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As the title so aptly indicates, this is a poem I wrote with Les Miserables as inspiration. Hope you all like it. 🙂

Driving along made up lines

Listening to a pain different and distant

Dark lights reflect the quality of your inner self

Tears lighter than hydrogen saturate onyx hair

The book of history is unravelling

Its pages telling stories with the blood of angry men

A new land born from the ashes of the dead

Life can only exist when death survives

Red upon white in a monochrome world

Peeling away the scabs of despair

Scouring the clinging mold of decay

Shaking off the breath of yesterday

It takes an ancient eye to recognise the young

To pinpoint the beginning of beginnings

The sliver of fresh green that still lives within

Grey fossils that no longer walk

No more, no more shall the relics rule

‘Tis a universe for the hopeful and the bright-eyed

The sceptre of oppression will crumble in the light of liberty

To expose shaky young limbs of progress

This isn’t common knowledge but I am a fan of horror/thriller movies and novels. As it had been a while since my last horror movie, I’ve been reading quite few submissions on a website called CreepyPasta lately. Some of you may already be familiar with this site. For those who aren’t, CreepyPasta is a site where anyone can submit their own writing in the horror/thriller genre. Any piece of work published on the site is called a pasta and can be deemed “delicious” or otherwise by readers. I’ve tried my hand at a thriller short story before but have not gotten around to finishing it. I’m going to share with you instead, a poem inspired partly by CreepyPasta and partly by the happenings in my life of late. You’ll no doubt detect a distinct thread of sadness throughout this poem, so I don’t mind admitting that I am going through something that is quite disappointing to me. I hope you enjoy the poem. I haven’t thought of a good title for it yet so if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear it.

Husks scattered across the dirt

Membrane-thin and weightless

Thrown every which way by the wind, careless and wanton

Toyed, tired and desiccated

A sudden gust introduces specks of grit to the air

One finds your eye and makes itself comfortable

Refusing to dislodge no matter how you try

From that irritated and sore eye

The gale dissipates

The howling of the wind ceases

It’s as if all sound had been extricated from the world

But not quite all…

Don’t look back at the footsteps whispering behind you

Of little sneakers scuffing the ground

Don’t turn around to face that guileless little voice

That pleads you for assistance

There’s no one left on this land but you

And if your senses tell you any differently

That’s just the ghosts that once were

Trying to claim you as one of their own

Snow in Adelaide – who would have thunk it! It has been remarkably chilly of late and I, just like most other people, have been guilty of sleeping in longer than usual and eating heavier foods. My dear ol’ dad is visiting from Singapore. When he arrived yesterday late afternoon, he was taken aback by the temperature, mistakenly thinking that it was supposed to be early spring here. I may have to take him shopping for a winter jacket… It’s been great to see him as I last visited him exactly a year ago, and it’ll be great to show him around the greater Adelaide region. As my dad is a lover of wildlife, I should think a trip to Monarto Zoo is in order.

On another writing-related note, author and editor Sylvia Kerslake was kind enough to conduct an interview with me several weeks ago. The questions I was asked include the challenges I faced when I was writing my book, the changes I’ve gone through since, and whether my upbringing has influenced my “sappy, funny and yet refreshing” writing. It was the longest interview I’ve had and I’d like to share it with all of you, my lovely followers. Here is the link to the interview.

Let me leave you with a photo of some meerkats from the Adelaide Zoo. The one standing taller was born a regular sandy colour but has gradually turned white over time. It’s a bit of a mystery…

 Albino and regular meerkat

I’m beginning to believe that good things happen in threes. In the space of one day, I’ve learned that my poetry collection ranks #3 on Amazon in the Australian/Oceanic poetry category, my Book Goodies interview has been released and the SO (significant other) is now officially an SO. That is, if he still remembers that tomorrow….

Read about my writing process, my mad scientist tendencies and my childhood summarised in 200 words here.

Well, I’ve received word from my editor recently with feedback on the first draft of my novel Tongue Tied. Good news is it has a solid plot line. Next comes the hard part, the changing and revision of the parts that don’t work. It’ll be quite a process, no doubt about it.

Having returned from a Ben Ottewell (singer from the band Gomez) gig, I’ve had a great time and discovered that I really enjoyed the opening act as well, a performer by the name of Carla Lippis. With her CD in hand, I shall charge into the morning bravely now. Her voice is quite haunting…

 

This morning I was accused of having no imagination. Oh my lovely acquaintance clad in grey, you have no idea… or perhaps you have favoured forgetfulness for a reason, since I’m quite sure we have covered this topic in our conversations prior. My problem is not a lack of imagination but rather an over-vivid one that never ceases to produce theoretical situations that I have no power to breathe life into. If I had less of an overactive imagination, my life would have been much much simpler and pain-free…

On a more optimistic note, my first draft of Tongue Tied is very close to completion! To think that I’ve written 38,000 words since January, all inspired by a person very dear to me, is enough to render me speechless.

It’s always a bit of a surprise to me when a friend comes up to me and says something like, “I expect my copy [of On the Edge of Consciousness] to arrive in next few weeks.” It’s even nicer when it’s your somewhat-significant other who tells you that, especially when you think they’ve simply forgotten about it. A few weeks ago, one of my closest friends, while flipping through the collection, asked me which my favourite piece of work in the collection was. I told her that it was without a doubt, Sleeping Sisters.

You see, I had an image in my mind when I first started that poem – a photograph of a group of people standing under a wire frame arch that would have been covered in flowers, had it been spring. The wintry sky was grey, perhaps a tad dreary, but it sparked a seed of inspiration. Once the first two lines were written, it was clear to me that although the initial source of inspiration was a picture, the style of writing would be evoked by my favourite singer, Neko Case. In fact, other Case fans would be able to spot certain nuggets, little phrases that appeared in her songs. The “warble of a magpie” and “a hint of the sun” are a couple of examples. To be honest, I didn’t really know where I was headed with it. It started with that garden arch, then moved indoors to an abandoned house, later focusing on a playground in the distance that was visible from a window in the house. The ending was as much a surprise to me as I imagine it would be to any of my readers. I think my intense fascination with the ocean is apparent in the ending. In fact, I have an obsession for most water bodies that borders on the morbid – this stems from an unpleasant swimming/drowning experience in my childhood. In the last three lines, there’s admiration, love and fear, a yearning to be closer to something you cannot really conquer.

More to come. Stay tuned!

When things start falling into place, everything is new and exciting. For the first time in a very long while, my optimism is growing again. On the 16th of April, I was published. All those emotions I experienced over the past few years, the little triumphs and heartbreaks, the little moments of perfection, the beautiful pieces of inspiration, have now been formalised and are available to those who care to share in my past.

My greatest pleasure would of course be seeing my novel, Tongue Tied (or whatever it may be called in the future) in print but this is a momentous week, nonetheless. My first source of inspiration would be my father. The man is a veritable Jack-of-all-trades, having worked in many industries throughout his life. He has been an interpreter, a bus driver, a food business owner, a teacher and many more other things. I’ve definitely inherited his love of dabbling. My second source of inspiration would be my former partner who taught me that you should never be afraid to pursue your dreams. My third source of inspiration are my Krav Maga and Muay Thai trainers who believe that everyone has limitless potential and that we are all capable of great things. They push and inspire me every day to do better than I did the day before. My fourth source of inspiration are my closest and dearest friends who put up with my little insecurities and motivate me and rejuvenate my spirits. It is you who have made my life the wonderful thing it has turned into. My life is amazing because of the gems I surround myself with. Thank you.

I’ve just found out that On the Edge of Consciousness is also available in paperback. Please click here to view a sample or better yet – order a copy! http://www.amazon.com/On-Edge-Consciousness-Poetry-adults/dp/0987461451/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1366159829&sr=8-13&keywords=on+the+edge+of+consciousness

Today is the day I can call myself an author with pride. My first ever to be published book, a collection of my finest poems, can be found on Amazon. Please support a struggling writer by clicking on the links below:

For the paperback: http://www.amazon.com/On-Edge-Consciousness-Poetry-adults/dp/0987461451/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1366159829&sr=8-13&keywords=on+the+edge+of+consciousness

For the ebook: http://www.amazon.com/On-The-Edge-Consciousness-ebook/dp/B00CCYPDPY/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1366074683&sr=8-8&keywords=edge+of+consciousness

Inspired by my favourite martial art (Muay Thai) and one of my favourite African beastie (no prizes for guessing right though). Enjoy.

Oh, little meerkat standing tall

Bruised eyes and speckled fur bristling

Like a fighter, you stand on the balls of your feet

Tireless, indomitable and ever vigilant

Bark, little meerkat standing tall

Let your voice echo across the plain

For your warning call and several inches of sand are the only things

Between death and the crimson sunset

Scamper, little meerkat, for your burrow

Quick! Let the little bright-eyed ones scurry in

The distant shadow beckons with a renting cry

Making a bid for its own survival

Breathe, little meerkat, for you’re safe

In this harsh gritty landscape you call home

Neither the heat nor the predator will claim you today

With a loving eye, you will be watched over

And when the sun clambers over the land at dawn

Put on your gloves and stand tall

For the battle against the elements

Never ceases in the boxing ring of life

This is a poem I wrote two years ago after watching a war documentary. It was very sobering and it led to this piece of work.

 

Have you ever crawled through the grass hoping to make it through?

Have you ever heard a bullet whizzing past your ear, just missing you?

Have you ever had to make a tough decision knowing that lives depended on it?

Have you ever lost a treasured friend and trusted ally?

Madness leads to insanity, fuelling the desire to conquer all

We are but inconsequential pawns in an age-old senseless battle for the upper hand

I have grown so weary of the fight

It is time to put down my gun and greet that wily adversary of mine

And set camp in the fiery canyon he calls home