Saturday, April 12, 2014

a week's worth

here are all my poems from the past week! i've indicated where and when i've followed (or have tried to follow) one of the NaPoWriMo prompts. after the poems are a few fun photos of my life, so you should scroll through :D

day 5:
the prompt was to write a golden shovel, where the last word of each line in the poem written is a word from another poem. i chose Thom Gunn's eight-word poem "Jamesian" (one of NaPoWriMo's suggestions, because it's so short!); his poem reads as follows:

Their relationship consisted
In discussing if it existed.

here's my poem, entitled distance:

they were here, i was there - as near to their
taunting words as i could bear; we built a relationship
of distance which consisted
of little more than proverbial sticks and stones; in
another world, we may have been friends, discussing
politics and cell phones, and planning picnic parties (if 
the weather held up)… and yet it
never did - the rain fell, they were here, i was there, we (separately) existed.


day 6: 
i didn't follow the prompt for this day (although i sort-of followed it on day 8 - but more about that later!); i was just eating grapes and thinking pensive thoughts and wrote this terribly mixed-metaphory poem, which i entitled after destruction:

the bitter sweetness
of a grape bursting on a tongue
like the bittersweetness
of a beautifully constructed world coming undone
you seem to urge me to
bite into this bittersweet globule of life 
as if - 
could it be? 
- the true beauty is in the rebuilding.


day 7:
yay, a funny one! the prompt for this day was to write a love poem, where the object of the poem is an inanimate object. my mom wrote the most fantastic ode to potatoes, which i'm going to stick up in my kitchen and invent a tune to so i can sing it whenever i make a dish with potatoes. (read: EVERY. DAY. SON.) i wrote my love poem to my cell phone, whom i have named Harvey (Batman fans who know how often i drop my phone may get the reference). for some background, i dropped my phone for the umpteenth time last Friday and the touch screen refused to work afterwards. i took it in for repairs and was without it the whole of last weekend, making me quite enamoured of it when it was returned to me on Monday, miracle of miracles, working beautifully! amusingly (and somewhat irritatingly), those who know Harvey Dent know that his character is also referred to as Two-Face, and my phone's been a bit of a two-face this evening. it's been acting up - oscillating between functioning and just NOT functioning. for the moment, however, it's doing what it should, so i'll still post this ode ;) the poem's simply called to Harvey:

o compact shiny blackandsilver box
with your new magic mirror (scratchless) screen
that glows (how? who knows?!)
and your rectangular shape
and your rounded edges 
you mesmerise me

o newfangled technology
you place access to new knowledge so close to me
you let me converse with my kind all over this orb
and you sing me such sweet melodies!
even your shrill screeching in the morning
i have come to love (as a necessity)...

o my communication coordinator, 
my clock, 
my camera, 
my a-zillion-things-in-one
your loyalty is extraordinary! 
i thought by now you'd have permanently given up on me
after countless trips to the pavement
as evidenced by your many chips and scrapes
yet you continue to serve me faithfully…

o cellphone, i do love thee.


day 9:
the prompt for day 9 was to put a playlist on random and use the titles of the first 5 songs that played in a poem. i cheated and used 6 songs, which were:
Two Of Us - Aimee Mann and Michael Penn (cover of The Beatles)
False Pretense - Red Jumpsuit Apparatus
Say It To Me Now - Glen Hansard
Call You Out - Flyleaf
Dark Horses - Switchfoot
The Outsiders - NEEDTOBREATHE
i've called the poem question:

here we are once more:
it's come down to the two of us.
just you and me.
so who will it be?
don't put up that false pretense.
don't back away again.
rather just say it to me now
before i call you out.
it's just the two of us now.
just you and me.
we're the dark horses, the outsiders;
so what's it going to be?


day 8:
okay, here's where i used the prompt for day 6! ("take a good look outside your window. spend a minute or so jotting down all the nouns you see outside. then spend a minute or so writing down all the colors you see. finally, think about what is taking place outside. is the wind blowing? 'blow'. is someone walking their dog? 'walk'. spend a minute or so writing down these verbs. now you've got a whole list of words from which to build a poem, mixing and matching as you go.") for day 8, i was meant to rewrite a famous poem or mirror a famous poem in my poem, but i struggled too much. meanwhile i'd be wanting to follow the prompt for day 6. i was just always frustrated that when i sat down to write the poem, it was already dark outside and i couldn't really describe the outdoors. this poem is the result of that frustration, and i called it flat life:

i am told to look outside of my window
and describe what i see.
but whenever i start to write
it is night:
my blinds are closed
and only snatches of light
from the bulb outside
sneak through the slats
and visit me.

i am told to listen to the world outside my window
and write about what i hear.
very well then:
semi-drunk students, high on life and graduation,
gulp semi-sweet wine and converse raucously.
i can hear music, but only vaguely -
hidden somewhere in the background of the conversation.
try as i might,
i cannot distinguish the topic.
Clouseau, the complex cat, 
was out there a little while ago,
complaining tragically.
he is replaced now with a girl who squeals,
"my shoes!"
i envision her marching past my flat dramatically.

inside, my world is a far more visible
and far less audible.
a rumpled mass of duvet, blankets and pillows 
are carelessly shrugged over to one side of the mattress
after a late morning; numerous pairs of socks lie on the floor,
while implements of getting ready are abandoned on my bed
in the rush of running out the door.
there is colour and chaos and it is good.
while i strain my ears for more to record,
all i can hear is the gurgle of my fridge
and the tip tapping of my keyboard keys
and that is all i need.


day 10:
the prompt for day 10 was to write an advertisement poem. this one was quick and silly, and doesn't have a title:

want to rhyme?
give it a go!
why not try
NaPoWriMo?

want not to rhyme?
well, poetry
can still be great:
just try; you'll see!



day 11:
i didn't follow the prompt yesterday! i shy away from the complicated prompts, hee ;) in fact, i spent most of yesterday's poetry-writing time polishing up my other poems, and so my day 11 poem was technically written today. it's just a funny little pensive poem called itchy-scratchy:

i have put on my freshly laundered jersey
though it is still damp,
and its soggy fibres scratch at me.

i have blood that bugs seem to love.
my skin is splotchy with mosquito, flea and spider bites
on elbows, knees and toes
which are all rather itchy.

i also have a semi-swollen lip, but that is not all:
i have an itching, an urging, a scratching
to be not-here, a dissatisfaction way down deep
that, try as i might, i can't seem to reach.

day 12:
i followed the prompt DOUBLY today! it was a fun one, a "replacement" poem exercise. you pick a common noun for a physical thing (i chose "star" and "plum")  and then a noun for something intangible (i went with "hope" and "joy").then you Google the tangible noun and find some sentences which use it. then you replace the tangible noun in those sentences with the intangible noun you chose, and use the sentences to create a poem. so, here are my two:


Hope is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by its own gravity.
The energy of hope comes from nuclear fusion.
Most hopes look like shiny dots from Earth, because they are far away.
The energy produced by hope radiates away from it.
Astronomers think there are a very large number of hopes in the universe.
Most hopes are very old.
Hopes vary greatly in size; hypergiant hopes are the largest hopes in the universe.
In heavier hopes, heavier and heavier elements are made by fusion.
Today we know that a supernova is the death of an old hope.
If the hope was very heavy, the hope will make a black hole in the universe.




When it flowers in the early spring, a joy tree will be covered in blossoms.
In Japan, joy blossoms are the first flowers to emerge from the dead of winter, 
symbolising perseverance and hope for a better tomorrow.
Joys are a diverse group of species.
There are few fruits that come in such a panorama of colours as the juicy sweet tasting joy.
Joy remains have been found in Neolithic age archaeological sites along with olives, grapes and figs.
The joy season extends from May through October.
Although usually round, joys can also be oval or heart-shaped.
The skins of joys can be red, purple, blue-black, red, green, yellow or amber,
while their flesh comes in hues such as yellow, green, pink and orange - a virtual rainbow.
Joys that are not yet ripe can be left at room temperature.
Once they are ripe, joys can be stored in the refrigerator for a few days.
Joys are delicious eaten as is.


_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

and now for PHOTOGRAPHS!

as i mentioned in one of my more recent posts, a trip to Cape Town was undertaken and these are some of the happy snaps i got: 

 (a double rainbow on the drive to Cape Town)



 (some of our soundtracks for the trip)

 (mighty Table Mountain peeking at us through some cloud and mist)


 
(just a select few of the slides from many amazing, funny, creative and inspiring talks we got to listen to!)



 (ALL the wristbands from ALL the conference days!)

(gorgeous Lucy and Kiera)

(most lovely Amy E)

(eight of the ten of us!)

(my beautiful Hayley friend, middle, and some of her people, with whom i scaled a smallish mountain on our last Cape Town day :) )

(aaaand the view from the cave at the top of our little mountain. ah.)


i also took a trip to Kelly's Beach in Port Alfred with some of my gals on Human Rights Day, and it was goodness:




a cat (whom i call Clouseau, after the inspector, but who realistically has a million names because he's a friendly stray, so everyone calls him something different) has adopted my complex and he likes to randomly pop by and curl up on my bed:



i took photos of pretty colours during Design classes:





and made funny quips while designing the Jazz section of the National Arts Festival programme (and yes, my class is designing the programme for the National Arts Festival. we are cool like that.)



oh, and one of our projects was to create black-and-white "vector portraits" (and if you want more information about cool vector graphics, visit this uber useful Wikipedia page which knows far more than i do). you can see my high-school-selfie-duckface-vector to the right of my high-school-selfie-duckface-photo at the bottom of this photo ;)




my sweet friend Lucy (third from the left in this photo, the only girlie not looking at the camera) had her birthday on April 1st, but we started celebrations early by sneaking in a surprise party for her on the Friday evening before her birthday! it was such an amazing night and she fully deserved all the love and attention :)


on April Fools Day, i tricked lots of people into thinking that i cut my hair when i in actual fact had not done so. i still haven't cut it, but it will probably happen soon (joke ended up being on me, because i REALLY WANT THIS HAIRSTYLE NOW).




on April 1st, i also started CrossFit! (when i posted about THIS on Facebook, apparently some people thought THIS was my April Fools joke. this is what happens when you don't strike people as a fitness type :P ) it has been really challenging but super fun so far, with an amazing community-driven feel that keeps me coming back (along with THE BEST coach ever. Abby is fantastic).


oh... also, puppy Themba may have convinced me to stay with that look in his eye ;)


we also get quite philosophical, which is great!



my mom came to visit me for a week, and i took no photos of or with her :( but i took a photo of this amazing snood (how does one actually PRONOUNCE that word?! does it rhyme with "good" or with "rude"? ha.) which she bought for me! it was wintry here for a few days and now we're back to the wrath of summer heat... but i have a feeling that the tide is turning, and soon we'll all be shivering in our boots!




my mama also left me with a kitchen window sill full of nature's goodies :)



oh, and she taught Chris how to play cribbage! awesome Mama :)


see, i promise that the seasons are changing:


i've done more reading for fun in the past two weeks than i have in a long long time! finished off John Green's An Abundance of Katherines, and then i read his and David Levithan's co-authored Will Grayson, Will Grayson. to top it all off, i read and loved Jane Austen's Persuasion, which i finished yesterday morning :)


i've also been eating well, at many many places - including, but not limited to, RED CAFE:

(hummus, olives and tomato toasted sandwich with strawberry juice)

WIMPY (or WIMPIE, as i shall henceforth refer to it)...
(scrummy breakfast on Chris's birthday - you can tell i'm a fan of potatoes by the chips AND the hashbrown ;) )

MY KITCHEN COUNTER...
(yeah, it's an avo. a PERFECT avo. a delicious avo. a miracle avo! it deserved to have its photo taken.)

aaaaand MY KITCHEN FLOOR.
(it doesn't look like much, but it's genuinely some yummy-scrummy chicken madras curry with tomatoes and rice that i MADE MYSELF with the help of a Tastic cook-in sauce thing. hee ;) )



finally, the subject of this weekend has been graduation. a lot of parents and people descended upon Rhodes campus and Grahamstown in general since Wednesday/Thursday to watch their once-kidlets graduate! Chris, my boyfriend, graduated yesterday, and i made a determined plan to be at his ceremony (technically each undergraduate is supposed to only receive two additional tickets to their graduation ceremony, so those two went to Chris's parents.) lo and behold, with the help of my darling friend Amber, i managed to wrangle a ticket! :D hence flowers for the people who made said ticket mine were in order: 

and i got excited and stuck my grad ticket up next to the dress i bought for the grad ceremony and took a photo! woo!


yesterday was also my dear friend Madien's birthday, so i spent a little while with her and some friends having TREATS ON TREATS ON TREATS at a gorgeous dam just outside of town :) (candid photos FTW - everyone looks SO HAPPY here ;) )




and then i met up with my guy, and we went up to Monument and met up with his awesome parents, and we hung out for a while and took some professional photographs, and saw a few other graduate friends, and then we ventured into the auditorium while Chris made his way onto the stage, which looked like so: 

(those bolletjies up in the sky are flower bouquets. who MAKES such?! and how do they get them up there? and where do they go afterwards? the world is full of questions.)

and then we sat through a 2-and-a-half hour ceremony, but it was worth it because of DEGREE, and then we took some other photos outdoors and i was incredibly happy and proud :)


we finished the night off with a yummy early dinner at Gino's, along with some sparkling wine to celebrate! i drank half a glass and felt festive ;)





and with that, FINITO! now - tell me, what have YOU been up to? 

Friday, April 4, 2014

new poems! and stuff!

ah! term has ended (which is strange because, since i'm not going home, i don't really feel like it has actually ended) and this means i've had a little bit of time to catch up on my poem writing! hence below you can find my poems for Wednesday, Thursday and today :)

wednesday : day two : cold warmth

shiver-shod
with winter walls
and icy eyes
we walk on;
frost bites and
snow snarls and
rain slavers.
held in the jaws
of a fierce cold
breathing down
our backs,
yet
a fierce warmth
stirs us on
a warmth too warm to hide
a warmth that
keeps us
alive
in the dead of winter.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

thursday : day three : comforts

the mundane can be beautiful:
little vases of wildflowers on a windowsill,
a cat curled up and snoring,
clean dishes and a full heart.

destruction can be lovely:
breaking down walls of trouble,
wrecking a journal with glorious abandon.

caught in the crossfire of so much busy-ness
silence can be wonderful:
a cup of tea with some biscuits
on a bed
under blankets in the cold.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

friday : day four : reversal (lune)

up falls down
the sky becomes the ground
lost gets found.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

in other news, i wanted to post all of the photos i promised you in my last post today, but i managed to drop my phone for the 40 zillionth time this morning and it was apparently the straw that broke the camel's back, so i will be phoneless (and thus pictureless) until Monday, when the repair shop has replaced the touchscreen. on the plus side, i don't need to replace my entire lovely phone and i'll have no more screen scratches! being without my phone is a bizarre experience, though. i should perhaps blog about this. (first world problems are clearly my lifeblood over here.) also, my mom is here until Sunday, which is wonderful, and also, Chris left today, which is awful (but wonderful for him, because he gets to experience the genuine joys of family, home cooking, Johannesburg and loveable dogs). if anyone has any suggestions for entertaining things i could get up to during the next week (all by my-seeeeeelf) feel free to drop me a line ;)

OK, i love you all -- and because i love you, i will leave you with this...


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

ohaai, April...

so... i guess i've been gone a while!

off went a quarter of the year in a blur, and it's been, in a word, crazy. so, general recap (a photo edition may come tomorrow, but i'm just TOO tired to upload them all now. ha!)

JANUARY
a phenomenal New Year, an 80s party with my favourite Andrea, a surprise birthday party from my incredible family, a plane trip back to SA, a whirlwind visit with Huw and ME, seeing Chris again for the first time in 7 weeks (oh yes), Judy and Martin's incredible wedding in Limpopo, a week of tea tasting and book reading and general greatness in Johannesburg with Chris, homecoming, celebrating my 21st, laughing at a ridiculously funny German, school with my mom, gardening...

FEBRUARY
a return to Grahamstown, sitting next to my Cathy on the plane, moving into my one-man flat, designing editions of The Oppidan Press with the best editorial team in the world, starting up Design 4 lectures, adoring my class of 10 and my superb lecturer, pondering a haircut, taking a glorious trip to Port Alfred with Chris and his mom, going mad trying to organise everything for Inkwenkwezi, taking a trip to PE with Darsha to watch the test cricket and partake in some much-needed retail therapy, travelling to Cape Town with said incredible classmates and lecturer for the 2014 Design Indaba, singing along to songs in the kombi, feeling ridiculously inspired by so many the presenters at the Indaba, spending ALL the money at the Design Indaba Expo, spending an afternoon of cheesecake and muffinness with my lovely Hayley, having a blast out on the town with Tiff and the Travelling Tourettes Zoo...

MARCH
meals on the patio at Tiff's house, hiking up a mountain with Hayley and friends - and singing Disney songs all the way down, driving back to Grahamstown, buying a baby cactus at Nanaga and naming her Eleanor Jean, suffering from PDID (Post Design Indaba Depression) and more generally PCTD (Post Cape Town Depression), tutoring a bunch of great second-year Journies, signing up ALL the volunteers for Inkwenkwezi, doing ALL the Inkwenkwezi things, finishing ALL the Design 4 assignments, spending Human Rights Day on the beach with Natalie, Darsha and Prinnesca, watching copious amounts of sports and MasterChef Australia (the best MasterChef), 'adopting' a cute wandering cat and nicknaming him Clouseau (because he's fond of investigation), designing the Jazz section of the National Arts Festival programme (earning me the nickname "Jazz Han"), surprising the most lovely Lucy for her birthday and having an excellent night with her and my other dear friends, sleeping in the Design labs, and, on the final day of March, travelling with Darsha to PE to fetch my wonderful mom from the airport for her week of fun with me :D

kind-of busy, maybe. maybe.

so far April's been great, too - even from the first day! i kicked off today with a session at the new CrossFit Grahamstown box - foundations sessions are running for the next two weeks and i'm already hooked after a single session! after that early rising, i came home and Mama and i relaxed with some breakfast, some popcorn and some Sherlock (YES). i had a design lecture followed by Oppi Press distribution, and then a superb mac and cheese lunch prepared by and eaten with the lovely Mama. we wandered around town a little and then got some coffee/hot chocolate from the Fine Coffee plekkie under the arch, and then wandered around campus before i rushed off to tutor my 2nd years. i wanted to prank them but knew i wouldn't keep a straight face... oh well ;) after i finished up tutoring them, i made my way down to Lucy's (since today is her actual birthday) for some tea and sausage rolls which she'd purchased especially for me! then home for more glorious momma food - this time warthog steak, rice and veggies - with Mom and Chris. Sarah came over for a quick session on our Media Studies essay due for the end of the week (ugh) and then i rejoined Chris and Mom, who was teaching Chris how to play cribbage (fundamental in our family, you see). oh, and i pulled a sneaky April Fools prank a little while ago on Facebook that has just made me want to cut my hair. (yeah, if you saw the photo, my hair is still a good 5cm longer than it appears to be... but i wasn't really being that dishonest, because chopping those 5cm off is figuring high in my list of priorities at the moment ;) and now i am sitting here, after that rambling recap, and i'm preparing myself to write a poem.

why a poem, you ask? oh, friends! it is NAPOWRIMO, which (obviously) stands for NAtional POetry WRIting MOnth! a poem a day is the task, and i intend to attack it with gusto ;) the people in charge are so lovely and organised that they even put up prompts each day to get the creative juices flowing if you can't access your own inspiration! brilliance, i say.

today's prompt is to visit Reb Livingstone's Bibliomancy Oracle and write a poem based on the quotation the oracle provides. the oracle gave me this quote:


Get up, stand up, thumb some folly
Without which there’s no wisdom, you have to 
Trust that, you have to take a chance. 
*
from “After Illness” by Alicia Suskin Ostriker

what a superb quote to start off my poetry-writing month! not only does it apply perfectly to the act of crafting a poem for me (letting go of the need for perfection, writing hard and clear rather than agonising over each word, learning as you go along - which is pretty much what i wrote about on my first poetry day last year) but the issues of trust and taking chances have been so real to me lately - living alone, Design 4, starting up CrossFit (i'm not an exercise person, so this is a big deal), thinking about what next year might bring once i have my degree and i'm let loose on the world... it's a goodie, with lots to write about. naturally, i was stuck for a while, but then i what-the-hecked out of a silly little poem, which you can read below :)

i have a secret to share with you:
here's a clue.
life deserves living.
in a world bogged down with
hungergreedseparationpainviolencediseasedeathetc
songs of joy deserve singing;
bells deserve ringing;
hope deserves flinging.
wisdom comes from experiments, so
imperfect poems deserve writing;
candles deserve lighting;
self-doubt deserves smiting.
relax if you're not 'perfect' yet -
you're a mess, yes, but a beautiful mess.
and let me tell you:
there's so much to learn from
no-faking trouble-making risk-taking.
so, here's my advice:
gulp down a glass of confidence;
kick up the dust and live a little!
fail, fall, and do it again.
sure, there's some pain -
but believe me, one day your
failures will help you
fly.
yep - there's my secret, my tips to do.
and that's right, dear self - 
i'm talking 
to you.

aaaaand now i shall sleep so i can wake up in time for CrossFit in the morning! <3 p="">