Category Archives: poetry

A CELEBRATION OF PLATH

There are many who seem to think of the darkness within them, and all around, as being something of comfort that they can live with. Sometimes they embrace the depths of this darkness so much that it is a part of them. It follows them around like a terrifying shadow which then leads to manic depression and strange episodes which prompt others to believe that these people are losing their minds.
Yet it is no real loss of  the senses. It is merely a newer window into a form of creative genius that most dare not tap into. For when they do, they do not tame and properly reconcile with  their personal demons, this rare chance to finally see the light gives rise to the most disturbing works of literature ever produced.
Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932-September 11, 1963) was a woman who thrived within her blackened shell. She wrote guided by her dark passenger’s hand and thus questioned much of what was possible to say within the poetic circle. This was not the horror of the supernatural that Poe was in love with but a new kind of terrifying subject had found its way into her world. This was the creation of a swirling vortex of the deep, dramatic and disturbing. Death, cruelty and even a form of anti-Nazism found their way into her writings.
Her images may be of the heart, sometimes of God, but they are in no way pleasant.

Today the WFR team brings to you a poet who is considered by most to be the patron saint of self-dramatization and self-pity.

DADDY

       You do not do, you do not do   Any more, black shoeIn which I have lived like a foot   For thirty years, poor and white,   Barely daring to breathe or Achoo.

Daddy, I have had to kill you.   
You died before I had time——
Marble-heavy, a bag full of God,   
Ghastly statue with one gray toe   
Big as a Frisco seal

And a head in the freakish Atlantic   
Where it pours bean green over blue   
In the waters off beautiful Nauset.   
I used to pray to recover you.
Ach, du.

In the German tongue, in the Polish town   
Scraped flat by the roller
Of wars, wars, wars.
But the name of the town is common.   
My Polack friend

Says there are a dozen or two.   
So I never could tell where you   
Put your foot, your root,
I never could talk to you.
The tongue stuck in my jaw.

It stuck in a barb wire snare.   
Ich, ich, ich, ich,
I could hardly speak.
I thought every German was you.   
And the language obscene

An engine, an engine
Chuffing me off like a Jew.
A Jew to Dachau, Auschwitz, Belsen.   
I began to talk like a Jew.
I think I may well be a Jew.

The snows of the Tyrol, the clear beer of Vienna   
Are not very pure or true.
With my gipsy ancestress and my weird luck   
And my Taroc pack and my Taroc pack
I may be a bit of a Jew.

I have always been scared of you,
With your Luftwaffe, your gobbledygoo.   
And your neat mustache
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Panzer-man, panzer-man, O You——

Not God but a swastika
So black no sky could squeak through.   
Every woman adores a Fascist,   
The boot in the face, the brute   
Brute heart of a brute like you.

You stand at the blackboard, daddy,   
In the picture I have of you,
A cleft in your chin instead of your foot   
But no less a devil for that, no not   
Any less the black man who

Bit my pretty red heart in two.
I was ten when they buried you.   
At twenty I tried to die
And get back, back, back to you.
I thought even the bones would do.

But they pulled me out of the sack,   
And they stuck me together with glue.   
And then I knew what to do.
I made a model of you,
A man in black with a Meinkampf look

And a love of the rack and the screw.   
And I said I do, I do.
So daddy, I’m finally through.
The black telephone’s off at the root,   
The voices just can’t worm through.

If I’ve killed one man, I’ve killed two——
The vampire who said he was you   
And drank my blood for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Daddy, you can lie back now.

There’s a stake in your fat black heart   
And the villagers never liked you.
They are dancing and stamping on you.   
They always knew it was you.
Daddy, daddy, you bastard, I’m through.


It is thus extremely clear from this narrative work that Plath was deeply resentful of her father for being a Nazi supporter. He was, after all, German, named Otto Plath. He was also over two decades older than her mother Aurelia, which might have meant something to Plath herself. Clearly the narrative, which is full of short, abrupt sentences tells us that she is driving her point into us hard, and dramatically to boot.
The word “black” shows up a number of times. It is obviously a show of personal darkness, and the darkness inside her because of her father. She blames him openly for her suicide attempts. She had done many of these during her episodes of depression. By calling herself a “Jew” she is using a word for the term hatred since she hates him, and it makes him hate her as well.

MIRROR

I am silver and exact. I have no preconceptions.
Whatever I see I swallow immediately
Just as it is, unmisted by love or dislike.
I am not cruel, only truthful —
The eye of a little god, four-cornered.
Most of the time I meditate on the opposite wall.
It is pink, with speckles. I have looked at it so long
I think it is part of my heart. But it flickers.
Faces and darkness separate us over and over.
Now I am a lake. A woman bends over me,
Searching my reaches for what she really is.
Then she turns to those liars, the candles or the moon.
I see her back, and reflect it faithfully.
She rewards me with tears and an agitation of hands.
I am important to her. She comes and goes.
Each morning it is her face that replaces the darkness.
In me she has drowned a young girl, and in me an old woman

Rises toward her day after day, like a terrible fish.

Poets do not regularly tackle the subject of aging and the agony that comes out of it, but in this short poetic work, Plath once again is giving us an insight into her mind. She tells us in the first line of the poem that she is “exact”. This and a continuing series of sentences and words that tell us about the “four-cornered” nature of the mirror seem to say that she has been feeling restricted and that is thus driving her insane. No artistic person likes to be restricted, or else they feel paralyzed. Plath however clearly says that a mirror is always truthful. She is growing old and that is all the mirror can tell her.
Yet her views do change within the lost time between the two verses. The word “lake” tells us that she now has a broader mirror, which has stretched out, possibly due to seeing the reality of things. Attempting to deny aging, despite what the mirror told her, was something that she might have tried earlier but not anymore. She had come to realize the all-consuming nature of old age. 
Plath also writes in the first person, and as the reflective surface itself. What really lies behind the mirror? Authors the world over have attempted to answer this question. But what is clear is that when the mirror is personified we see what Plath herself sees inside her soul when she looks into the mirror. 

THE ARRIVAL OF THE BEE-BOX

I ordered this, clean wood box
Square as a chair and almost too heavy to lift.
I would say it was the coffin of a midget
Or a square baby
Were there not such a din in it.
The box is locked, it is dangerous.
I have to live with it overnight
And I can’t keep away from it.
There are no windows, so I can’t see what is in there.
There is only a little grid, no exit.
I put my eye to the grid.
It is dark, dark,
With the swarmy feeling of African hands
Minute and shrunk for export,
Black on black, angrily clambering.
How can I let them out?
It is the noise that appalls me most of all,
The unintelligible syllables.
It is like a Roman mob,
Small, taken one by one, but my god, together!
I lay my ear to furious Latin.
I am not a Caesar.
I have simply ordered a box of maniacs.
They can be sent back.
They can die, I need feed them nothing, I am the owner.
I wonder how hungry they are.
I wonder if they would forget me
If I just undid the locks and stood back and turned into a tree.
There is the laburnum, its blond colonnades,
And the petticoats of the cherry.
They might ignore me immediately
In my moon suit and funeral veil.
I am no source of honey
So why should they turn on me?
Tomorrow I will be sweet God, I will set them free.
The box is only temporary.
In our final poem, we have Plath dealing with the concept of death itself. She tells the reader that it is a “wooden box” at first and then we have the image of a coffin. We also have the aural image of thousands of droning, angry bees. Of course nobody would be foolish enough to deal with a box full of bees. A large number, when irritated, can kill you. Therefore bees is a metaphor for death. The box is another means of restraint. Death is kept in restraint until the coup de grace,  the final blow when it attacks you and overtakes you completely. Plath is telling us that she has mixed emotions about dying, about whether or not to open the box. She cannot bear to hear the bees inside the wooden box. The same way she contemplates suicide. However she does say that “The box is only temporary.” 
Does this indicate that she believes in the afterlife, that death is a temporary phase? One cannot yet be sure but perhaps it is. In any case it is one of her most disturbing poems. 
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Ode to the Sky IX

A series which began as a tribute to the sky that unites us all, has now ended. Yes, what started as a one-time thing has become a long-running series that defines our work. We may never know what shades and hues the sky will take next. Thus it is beautiful in all its great mysteries. In our final Ode, we explore the skies in their long journey, with pics from the depths of time to the farthest reaches of space.
Yes, outer space indeed.
So let’s call this one an “Ode to the Stars” as a special. Of course we do have one from the Earth’s own history as well, so we haven’t exactly been highly um….consistent with this short, fast ode.
The message of peace is universal, and transcends the very continuum of time and space. Nobody craves war, or misunderstanding.

All artworks here are courtesy of myself-http://vasix.deviantart.com/ and will not be used without my prior permission.

They are all digital pics done with Photoshop, a very old-as-crap version, but I’m a poor man after all  :).

Poem by: Rochelle Silva

The Star
Burning bright, ever so bright,
It loomed ahead in the darkest night.
Ruling the skies; a feast to the eyes,
A frenzy of thoughts did arise.
A radiant star, beckoning from afar,
Guided kings and shepherds alike.
A star did nestle, close to a crescent,
Being a symbol to the faithful worldwide.
Sacred it is, if with six points apiece,
Meaning “Shakthi” and “Shiva” in peace.
And yet to another, fate does it usher,
Deciding whether one enjoys or suffers.
Burning bright, ever so bright,
Oh little star, if only you knew,
How precious thou art, no matter our caste,
A beacon of hope to our troubled hearts!

Poem by: Shailee Wick

He hides from the world

In his rank smelling tower
High up in the mountains
As close to the skies as he can get
He looks through the glass
Beyond clouds and skies
At the great abyss of darkness
Brightened by stars galore
And he smiles as his eyes
Follow one blinking star after another
And he whispers slowly
“The end is here”
In the yellow journal, notes of his life
Hide one prediction, worthy of being written in gold
“I look at the stars and I know it is here
An end to this hatred, wars and fear.
Soon like the faraway clouds of dust
The world will once more know how to love”

Quote by: Vindya Jayasinghe

“Whenever I look up the sky, I feel I’m free and open, I may never reach it, but I will always look up and see the beauty, believe in it and try to follow where it leads…”

Poem by: Vijini Mallawaarachchi
Stellar Thought

Gazing above the airspace
In the hours of darkness
Expecting a shooting star
To make a wish for good

As midnight rises
Imagination comes to life
Wondering what would be there
Which is not known to us

Stars that twinkle above
Painting the darkness in vivid colours
Making up figures of myths
That we name as constellations

Some are newborn white dwarfs
Some are dying neutron stars
Just like us, they have a life
Which will end in a supernova

Through the dust and gas
Among interstellar spaces
Floating across nebulae
Destiny can be glimpsed

The mind can travel
Imagining the undiscovered
With the wish for a star-gate
To dial across the universe



Poem by: Priyangwada Perera
The sky is like life….
 Spreading long and wide… 
With a glimmer here and there,
 Glistening at sunrise. 
Beyond the horizon, to a limitless land
 Across the sands of time.
 Star secrets, clouds of dreams;
 In a flashing comet
 Comes a heavenly gleam…
We have explored the heavens, and now it;s time to take the clock back a few tens of millions of years, and put ourselves back on Terra Firma.

Poem by: Vasika Udurawane

ANGEL
 Beneath the angel’s wind-swift wings,
The thunder of a restless earth;
Beneath a host of heavenly saviors,
A world ever-shifting.
Imperfect to its core, to be purged at final salvation,
To be kissed by breaths from miles above
To be saved from damnation.
Fires blaze below, roaring sinners burn;
But no such sinners see I in your sky.
In the storm of tossing clouds is flame,
The blaze from heaven that lights up all mortal eyes.
Flight of angels, so far above me,
If only you could feel us,
Our breath, our cries, our tortures,
Our birth-cries, and death-mourns;
The screams of the shifting ground,
A cruel, forsaken goddess.
Angel, perfect light in glowing sky,
Guide us through an endless night.



Thus ends our work for the time being. Maybe catch us later on during the rest of the festive season. Wish you all a merry Christmas, and a happy New Year!






Constellations

Look!
Nangi, you aren’t looking.
There, right there
It’s a constellation
Point your finger toward the sky
Your arm stretched
Like my arm.
Now slowly and carefully
Follow my finger,
Trace the stars with me
And unveil what it hides
The bear maybe,
Isn’t that your favorite
Constellation?
Or is it the scorpion?
Trace the stars
And I will tell you a story.
A deep dark secret

You see, Nangi,
Once there was a constellation
There was a mother star,
A father star,
Three child stars
One day the mother star left
For the desert lands
She had to light up the sandy acres
You mayn’t understand
But the mother star had to
Work hard to keep
Her family happy
So the constellation was missing a star
But they went on
Then the father star left too
He was needed elsewhere
Understand this, my dear,
You are too young, I know
But he didn’t go to kill
Even though that’s what
The other kids say
No, the father star went to
Fight for his country
But he’s yet to come home
Like one of the child stars
He stepped on something bad
And he blew out
The way all stars do at the end.
But he blew out at too young an age.

The two star constellation
Was lost, alone and scared
They stopped being a constellation
Of their own
And instead joined this constellation
And that constellation
Until, there was no where else to go
But no matter what happened
No matter how hard times got
The brother star
Never stopped loving
The sister star
And the sister star never
Left her brother’s side
And even when the dark was
So incredibly dark,
They kept shining,
They didn’t let the world
Pull them apart
Nangi, the story doesn’t end there
Our stories are too long
And too unique
To say it all at once.
But remember,
Don’t let the night sky scare you
And don’t let the bright sky
Blind you
Nangi, don’t leave the constellation
It may be difficult to stay,
But it’s even worse to leave.

Poem By Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
Image By http://taenadoman.deviantart.com/

Ode to the Sky VII

Wow! How time flies when you are planning your next few posts! Gosh, I must say that I’m amazed that we could get this far with our series of Odes to the Sky, and trust me there’ll be more to come in future! As I told my friends on the WFR Team : The sky has been shared by beings for millions of years, human and otherwise, and even beyond our beautiful blue planet, there is beauty. Beauty that only an artist can create. And when photography meets technology, a riot of wonders takes place, filling the soul as it has never been filled before. Here is a mix of digital art, poetry, prose and photography about the ancient, distant sky.
So yes viewers, this ode is a package in itself! Just sit back….and enjoy.


So this particular post shows off the differences in art today, and how diverse it is. The difference between reality and fantasy has been blurred thanks to digital art software. Amazing photographers capture moments no painter can ever dream of capturing with his brush or graphic tablet. Writers live to capture life and feeling in their words. And, when the feeling is love, and when love is for the vast immortal roof above all mankind, well…:)


Image credits go to Christos Lamprianidis: http://chris-       lamprianidis.deviantart.com/art/Not-of-this-earth-390429908 and was used with his direct permission.
Or else, check out more at-http://www.christos-lamprianidis.gr/
Now when Dawn in robe of saffron was hastening from the streams of Oceanus, to bring light to mortals and immortals, Thetis reached the ships with the armor that the god had given her.
—Iliad xix.1
But soon as early Dawn appeared, the rosy-fingered, then gathered the folk about the pyre of glorious Hector.
—Iliad xxiv.776

The Iliad, by Homer


Image credits go to: http://taenadoman.deviantart.com/art/Blue-Yonder-376824124

and was used with her direct permission
Poem by: Vasika Udurawane
“BIRD OF PEACE”
The light shone
Bright in our eyes,
Bringing forth wonders!
The Savior had heard me,
My prayers ringing hard,
Like bells from eons ago,
The Lord descends as a being of flight,
Descends as a Bird of Peace and Right,
For the world He heals with angelic eyes,
From wild blue yonder,
To heart of mine.


Image credits go to myself, Vasika Udurawane: http://vasix.deviantart.com/art/Utahraptor- ostrommaysorum-392428724 and will not be used without my direct permission

Prose by: Vasika Udurawane

“THOUGHTS OF A RAPTOR”

Ophelia flexed her muscular limbs once more, cramped from siting in her favorite hole in the deep snow that covered the once-leaf-strewn floor of the birch forest. Her orange eyes were like fires against the cold darkness that was all around her.  And she wondered how she knew it too…had some primal force more powerful and omniscient in this forest than herself, stuck into her mind that she should know the seasons back to front? Or had she somehow got it into her head that winter, while hard, was still radiant in all its hues?
The goddess of the forests for years and years, Ophelia prided herself as the taker of all life but every time she looked at the glory around her….she felt less powerful. Was there something above her head that was by far stronger than the eighty-foot behemoths she sometimes hunted? Something that could strike her down with a mere breath, fearing neither her curved claws nor her brutal, snapping jaws?

Walking onward, and stifling a yawn, Ophelia paused.

There was fire in the skies around her.

The vermilion richness of the mountainous clouds around her seemed to caress her senses as she gazed out into the countryside. This was home, this was the power around her. In her mind, Ophelia heard herself hiss in laughter….in laughter at the things she would never ever know.

                                                              
                                                                      

                                                       Image credits go to: Marc Adamus
                     (http://www.marcadamus.com/) and has been used with his direct permission.
-in Ogilive, Yukon Territory
Poem by: Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
“FLAME-HUED MEMORIES”
As he held the king coconut
Against the orange skies
He was reminded of his
Little sister
The same shade of orange
She had loved to wear
Dresses and hair bands
So bright
Yet so simple
That same orange,
He had later seen
In the midst of the fire
That burned the corpse
As he said good bye to his sister
For the very last time
He fought away the tears
As the orange reminded him
Of what once was
Of what had been snatched away
From him
She had been just another number
Just another victim of war
And yet,
He knew it wasn’t just
Another death
The country, the world
Had lost an angel
And for that,
The rivers and the heavens
Burned


Image credits go to: Ayodhya Karunaratne

Poem by: Vijini Mallawaarachchi
-in Negombo, Sri Lanka
“ODYSSEY-VOYAGE BEYOND VICINITY”
“Over the sparkling white waves
Towards the mystic oceans
Seeking the never ending horizons
Exploring the deep…
We go on voyage
Under the velvet blue sky
Exploiting mystic dark fathoms
Beyond our eyes…
We go on a ship
Sailing round the world
On seven seas
Passing through storms
Gazing at the deep
Furious waves
We keep on sailing
Till we find sun shine…
Life is like a voyage
Beyond vicinity
This is an amazing
Odyssey of sailing
In oceans of fantasy…”


Image credits go to: Marc Adamus

(http://www.marcadamus.com/) and has been used with his direct permission.
Poem by: Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
“SWEET TASTES, PINK SKIES”
One held the Bombai motai against the sky
And smiled at the blend of colors
The other looked through the red glass paper
Laughed when her world turned a red pink
Mere kids, they were
Sitting on the wall
Barefoot, clothes dirty
They were happy though
For worries, they had none
Except if the clouds
Tasted sweet too
And so when the world turned over
They didn’t understand why
It seemed like a sheet of grey
Glass paper had been placed before their eyes
Everything, so dark, so eerie
Their smiles slowly faded,
The Bombai motai left untouched
Their place on the wall empty
For like the pink skies
They were gone too”

Image credits go to: Amrita Pieris

Poem by: Shailendree Wickrama Adittiya
-in Jaffna, Sri Lanka
WHAT’S REALLY WORTH IN LIFE”
                                                    
Love doesn’t make sense,
And neither does hate,
And yet we love,
And we hate
We give life
We take life
And we go on
We think it all makes sense
Why one group is a majority
And the other a minority
It’s all about the numbers
And nothing else
I feel like telling them
But their beliefs
Ah! Can they be changed?
It’s an adult thing,
It seems
To think they are
Never in the wrong
And so they believe
They are better than the rest
And I,
I believe that,
Against the pink-purple skies
Pigs will someday fly