Seasonal Thrills


Like the summer heat, I lay bare, allowing trickles of sweat and want to drift down my chest.
Perked by the wisps of autumn, I watch as my mind fills with whirls of color in hopes of new beginnings.
Then soon, sometimes too soon, the dregs of winter stream by, and solitude sits heavy once again.
But spring, ever far, holds the echoed shrouds of blossoming truths that sweat, hope, and solitude can’t seem to amend.
This cycle, this vestibule of ardor and despair, how it trills like birdsong in the background of my life.
Lest desolation is my fate, these seasons of emotions may possibly be just right.

George’s Great Big Lesson

A sound under his bed jolted George awake.
His eyes grew wide, and his body started to shake.
“Is it a ghost or a monster?” he thought with dread.
But a soft meow told him it was only Fred.

Leaning over his bed, George saw two green eyes.
Fred meowed again, and George let out a sigh.
“Time for school!” Mom shouted from the door.
“Why, oh why, can’t I just sleep some more?”

He glanced at the clock. It was ten past seven.
If only he were a grownup, he could sleep till eleven!
“Why, oh why, couldn’t it be a snow day?”
Then he could stay at home and play, play, play.

Sleepy and tired, George stumbled into the kitchen.
He was running late, and his bag’s zipper had broken.
“Quickly, George,” Mom said, handing him a glass of grape juice.
“Have some cereal and one of those fruits.”

He took a banana and the juice to the counter.
Then stared at his favorite box of cereal, empty, and turned over.
“Mom, Sarah finished the cereal. I have nothing to eat!”
“There are other cereals,” Sarah said. “Why not try the wheat?”

George’s face got hot, and he wanted to cry.
“I don’t like those. Why did you have to eat mine?”
George glared at his sister, who was now licking her spoon.
“I’ll get some more later,” said Mom. “Hurry, we have to leave soon.”

Grabbing his banana and juice, George sat down, feeling hurt.
And half of the grape juice spilled all over his shirt.
“Oh, George,” Mom said, her face in shock.
“Go and change quickly. It’s almost eight o’clock!”

Embarrassed and angry, George ran back to his room.
He hoped the horrible morning would end really soon.
Back in the kitchen, clean and fed, he reached for his backpack, and a piece of paper fell instead.
It had a list of words for his spelling quiz. It was supposed to be today, and he hadn’t practiced!

His eyes filled with tears, and this time they fell.
“Why, oh why, did I even leave my bed?”
“George, what’s wrong?” Mom asked, frowning.
“I forgot I had a spelling test, and it’s been the worst morning!”

Pulling him into a hug, Mom kissed his cheek.
“We all have bad mornings, sweetheart. It’s how we face it that’s key.
If you take a deep breath and think positively, you’ll see.
The more you focus on something good, the better you’ll feel.”

George thought for a second and concluded that, yes.
Whenever he thought about good moments, he always felt his best.
But— “Mom, I haven’t studied, though. What about my quiz?”
“Just do your best, sweetheart, and use this as a lesson for your next test.”

George smiled and felt the day get a little bit brighter.
And as he walked to the door, his footsteps felt lighter.
He may not ace his spelling quiz, but he will definitely do his best.
And bad mornings don’t equal bad days; it only takes a moment to correct.

Suffering

I have no more pain to give
No more suffering to cloak myself in
No more heartbreak to wallow in.
Now, days are just a little too bright
Trials are a little too easy
And I no longer carry a cloud of blights.
How do I exist in this world of symmetry?
I can’t cry to the moon and wear black in bravery.
Oh! Now I’m just another sham.
I should throw myself off the highest cliff and let myself be damned.
Goodbye heartbreak
Goodbye pain
Goodbye years of suffering from which I’ve weaned.
Until next we meet
I will sit in silence, willing the darkness near so I can bask at its feet.

Awakenings

My existence sits heavily on my chest —
Pulling at me, strangling me, suffocating me.
I breathe in through my bones and ruminate at my rest,
All the machinations of the end that lie hollow upon my wake.
I can feel my skin stretching, creaking against my tendons
As I, not of this space, ponder my furtive passings.
Everything is heightened, intense, and shit, what does one have to do to cease this choking hold?
I call upon the ethers, the universe, and breathe.
That’s all I’m allowed to do —
Where my assurances lie.
I have nothing but this dream,
My dream,
This existence
As it sinks its claws in
And I die each time I wake,
Faced with another moment of the rising and settling of my chest.
I can make a playground of this.
I know.
But where’s the fun really, if you’re the only one fucking around?

Nightlife

Time is as time was
Time will always be.
Glossing shadows
Coy smiles
Is that all that we could be?
Such fickle creatures, you and I
He, she, and we.
Bellow the cries of what lies behind
The standards and the truth.
As want is as want was
With innocence in between.
How do we change the stiff and the stoked
If there is no inbetween?
How do we revive all the desecrated graves
When our ancestors remain blind to their sins?
We are who we are —
An amalgamation of curiosity and pain.
Where there’s no longer hope in the cries of babes
And no true god to cleanse our sins.
We are who we were —
Burning through the night.
There’s no end to this
No end to us
We’re just setting fire to the night.
Some hoping
Some looking on in disgust.
Still, we are how we’ve always been
Trudging through the night.

Faded

He’s in my head again.
The pain, the longing, it’s here again.
And he knows.
When will it end?
He’d all but consumed me then.
His scent,
His smile,
His sins…
They all stuck around like a second skin.
He’s in my dreams.
Always a little too far.
I’ll always want the taste of him.
Will I grow?
It’s forever a strange thing,
How much I yearn and crave just a bit more of him.
Does he know?
He’ll stay in my head and then…
Who knows?

Desire

Tell me your secrets and I will show you mine.
The ones that replace words with writhes and moans that cross all kinds of lines.
I will, if you wish, give a taste to define —
All the naughty things that cross my mind.
No feather-like kisses and delicate tongue,
No sheets to slither on or tempered wants.
I like pain with my pleasure — to give and to get.
I want to be ripped apart and my pulsing appetite kept whet.
Blindside me with brazen hands, nails and teeth,
Let me be the filler of your darkest needs.
They say the darker the desire, the deeper the cuts,
But I’ll devour it all and bear the marks with pride.
Simply satiate the source of the constant pulse between my thighs.

The drug of love

drug

Tear me apart because I want you to.
Let me be your slave because I want you to.
Rip open my chest and devour its contents because I want you to.
I will – in turn – do the same.
You crowd my space, fill my mind and take over my comfort zone,
Because I want you to.
And I love it.
I want you to.
I want to feel you taking me in and spitting me out – shrouding me with the sexual ecstasies of life.
Because I’m willing, I’m ready, I’m open and I want you to.
I want all of you.
I want you to have all of me.
All my crazy, my empathy, kindness and lies.
These things are for you.
Lies are not always bad.
Lies make birds chirp a little sweeter.
Will you appreciate this love?
It would never sit with betrayal.
Only devotion.
Seduction.
Never need.
Just a simple appreciation of the good stuff.
Just… raw.
I can only give you raw.
Pure and unfathomed and well… crazy.
We all like a little crazy.
I know I do.
That’s the beauty of this.
Allowing another person’s chaos to perforate your life…
That’s what they give you.
That’s what you get.
So why not simply enjoy it?
I want to be filled by love.
I want to devour it, and I want it to do the same to me.
The tears, the fears, cravings and pain.
That’s what defines love at the end of the day, isn’t it?
That’s the beauty of love, isn’t it?!

Discover the great wide world from home

tour

With the current state of the world — a pandemic that no one saw coming and a near worldwide lockdown — it’s easy to go a bit stir-crazy without the freedom of movement that we’re used to.

Many people have turned to using social media to connect with the outside world, while others have resorted to more drastic moves like the “coronacut” — taking scissors and clippers to their hair out of sheer boredom or for that dramatic style they always wanted to try but have now found the courage to go for.

That said, staying indoors doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a lot of the things we were able to before. In fact, quite a few forms of entertainment (and even edification) can be enjoyed right at home for no cost.

From live concerts, art exhibitions and theater shows to exercise classes, virtual tours, and even celebrities offering up free entertainment, there’s a wide array of content to keep you occupied during these dark days. And for those who have wee ones at home, we haven’t forgotten about you. See what tickles your fancy from the selection below.

Polish your camera skills

If you’ve always been interested in trying photography, or you want to hone your skills, now is the time. There are numerous online tutorials and resources available for free, such as Curtin’s Guide to Digital Cameras on http://www.shortcourses.com, and Marc Levoy’s Lectures on Digital Photography, which can be found on YouTube as well as the official website.

Listen in

Amazon.com’s Audible is giving the gift of audiobooks. They have released hundreds of books in six languages that children can listen to while they’re out of school — from modern stories like the Harry Potter series to classics and fairy tales that elementary school students through to high schoolers can delve into — as well as a selection for adults. Start listening using your laptop, phone or tablet.

Learn a language

“Children can continue to expand their horizon by learning a new language, and parents can ensure that the kids are using their time wisely,” says language learning company Rosetta Stone, which is giving children three months of free access to their language courses while they’re off school.

Art and culture

Galleries may be closed but some are allowing virtual access so you can still experience the works of artistic greats.

■ The Royal Academy of Arts in London is offering their “Picasso and Paper” exhibition free in a video tour. Their exhibition on Belgian artist Leon Spilliaert is also free. They even have a how-to lesson so you can flex your artistic muscles to create portraits using photography, painting or collage: www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/family-how-to-portraits.

■ Take a trip around Dubai in the “Dubai 360” tour that will have you zooming around museums, parks, shopping centers, rooftop views and cultural landmarks.

Tour natural wonders

With quality technology right at our fingertips, we don’t have to venture out to see some of the great landmarks of the world. With just a few clicks, you can go on a tour from the comfort of your home. Here are eight famous places that you can enjoy virtually:

■ Hang Son Doong, Vietnam

Located in Vietnam’s Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, the world’s largest natural cave is quite a recent discovery. Put on your explorer hat and go on this amazing high-definition tour of caverns and sinkhole jungles with National Geographic: https://on.natgeo.com/3eHc190

■ Zhangjiajie National Forest Park, China

Home to impressive quartz-sandstone pillars, some towering over 1,000 meters tall, and the world’s highest and longest glass bridge, you can soar above this popular tourist spot and bask in the serenity of the view thanks to AirPano VR. Find the videos on YouTube and use the arrows for a 360-degree view, or check the AirPano website for more locations.

■ Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland

Ireland is known for its fair share of magic, and the Giant’s Causeway is no exception. This UNESCO World Heritage site is found at the foot of the basalt cliffs along Antrim’s Atlantic coastline in Northern Ireland, and is made up of 40,000 huge interlocking basalt columns sticking out of the sea. These geometric columns inspired the legend that giants built them to walk to Scotland. Take a virtual tour with Britain’s National Trust.

■ Namib Desert dunes, Namibia

The Namib Desert, said to be the planet’s oldest and driest desert at 55 million to 80 million years old, spans the Namib-Naukluft National Park on the southern African coast. It has UNESCO World Heritage status and is a popular attraction for its red-orange sculptural sand dunes that seem to have rusted with time. Explore this extraordinary area from the AirPano website as well.

■ Perito Moreno glacier, Argentinian Patagonia

Perito Moreno sprawls over about 250 square kilometers, is fed by the melting waters of the South Patagonia Ice Field and towers above the turquoise waters of Los Glaciares National Park. This wondrous site has scientists scratching their heads as, instead of shrinking like others around the world, this glacier is actually growing. The almost 60-meter-tall glacier and its surroundings offer visitors a beautifully pristine view. Enjoy the view on the 360 Cities website.

■ Grand Canyon, United States

The vast Arizona landmark is home to red basement rocks believed to be about 2 billion years old. With steep cliffs and meandering trails, this UNESCO site is one of the United States’ most famous landmarks. Hike the Bright Angel Trail via Google Street View Trek, explore its peaks via Google Earth, and view the red rocks from high above with AirPano.

■ The Northern Lights

The magical aurora borealis, or northern lights, is an otherworldly sight that comes about when electrically charged particles from the sun collide with the Earth’s magnetic field. This colorful dancing light show can be viewed above both magnetic poles in such places as Canada, Russia, Greenland, Scandinavia and Antarctica. There’s a live webcam in Manitoba, Canada, where you can catch it live, if you’re lucky — check explore.org/livecams and seetheaurora.com/webcams — but if you don’t want to wait, there are plenty of breathtaking 360-degree views on YouTube or AirPano.

■ Mount Everest, Nepal

Renowned as the world’s highest peak, you can explore Mount Everest’s snowy peaks, take a “walk” around the mountain range and bask in the beauty that attracts 35,000 visitors per year using Google Street View, AirPano and Google Earth.

■ Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Take an interactive journey through the world’s largest coral reef system with naturalist legend Sir David Attenborough. Besides amazing imagery and scientific insight into this complex ecosystem, the virtual experience even offers “mantis shrimp vision.” Visit attenboroughsreef.com to dive in.

■ Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Famously linked to Charles Darwin and his theory of evolution, the Galapagos Islands continue to be revered for their endemic wildlife. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site with Catlin Seaview Survey’s virtual dive or go above and below the water with Google Maps.

For braver souls

Are you interested in something that’s more on the scary side? For people who are down for haunted mansions and the like, here’s a spooky virtual tour to enjoy under the cloak of the night.

■ The Catacombs of Paris

These tunnels were created in the late 18th century in Paris when cemeteries became overcrowded. They used the tunnels, known as catacombs, to house the relocated dead — more than 6 million people. You can make a virtual visit in eight languages on the Les Catacombes de Paris website.

The Japan News

 

Fatebound

night

Can you find me in the dark ⁠—
Fitted among the many souls that are strewn across your path?
Will you recognise my voice?
The echo of which bleeds with the agony of time long past.
They say we are bound but I wonder at times if it’s just a fated lie,
One that was created to make us feel like maybe there’s more to this.
Am I waiting on a dream that will never come?
Maybe this is the dream.
Who says dreams have to be some grand thing ⁠—
Something that will touch a part of you that’s hidden and precious?
This could be it.
This could be all there is.
And all we have to do is create what we want like in our fantastical dreams at night —
When we put together fantasies and nightmares borne of our subconscious selves.
Still, what’s life without a little hope, a little mystique?
As a creator of this reality, maybe I will bring you to life,
Then turn it into something fatebound and magical,
Because, why not make things a bit more interesting?
Either way, fate or dreamscape, I’m here.
I will be here…
Surrounded by shadows.
Patiently waiting for you to recognise my light.