celestialbard

United Kingdom

she/her | 18 | enfp

you can call me Ruth! i've been on here since 2018 and i'm gonna be here until October when i go to university! i hope you enjoy my work <3

Currently reading: Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

WTW community ambassador alum

Message from Writer

Formerly 'Ruthh' but that username is boring and I wanted to spice things up; I may return to my old name so I'm recognisable, who knows. Hello by the way! :D

Published Work

Mid-June Grab Bag

Husband?

We were magnificent. 
Wouldn't you agree, darling?
We lived and we loved,
and my greatest achievement was getting to hold your hand through it all. 

My memory isn't what it was.
It shatters and fragments like gentle frost
on a Winter's morning,
but I remember little things, with you

my love:

watching the sunset dapple over the waves as they
crashed on to the shore. I can't remember whether they
actually crashed, per-say, they could've been gentle.
I don't remember the specifics, because I was too busy
looking at you. 

I remember our children's birthday parties, the ones
where they were really little, so little they looked
breakable, but they never did. Trying to organise
entertainment, birthday cake all over the kitchen.
Laughter; your laughter, as I looked at your glowing eyes-

I remember. I remember. Of course I do.
How could I forget?
Sometimes, though, I'm not sure whether these are memories
or if they are just the words...

Reality is a Place Where Nothing Feels Real

Reality is a place where nothing feels real. 
The sky could be a casket, 
Every breath you take could just be the exhale
of air leaving tyres once they get punctures;
the clouds could be gunshot holes, 
letting the light in through the cracks. 

We could never have talked. 
We could never have fallen in love. 
The way you make me smile could just have been
the crescent moon of an orange split
by a knife, and the way you held my hand
could just have been a shipwrecked child
clinging on to driftwood. 

If you think for too long, everything makes less sense;
your breathing could just be the ebb and flow of a tide,
rising in an angry storm. If you think about it too hard,
you think you can feel your blood, though it could just be
the pulse of magma beneath feet that may just be pixels,
seen by eyes that could just be planets circling...

Bo Burnham Brainrot

ACT I

Re-reading childhood books, seeing the magic's died, 
Realising you forgot to eat because of how long you cried, 
The house plants are wilting, empty laughter, fairy lights, 
Holding sweaty hands, skipping down roads on endless nights. 

Feeling indifference creep in during the morning's news, 
Sitting at the gas station and wanting to light the fuse, 
Eco fast fashion, unused stationery, painted smiles, 
Gazing into the empty forest, wanting to run for miles. 

/////////////
ACT II 

Empty words on a full page,
Days spent inside filled with rage,
Scrolling through Twitter whilst birds sing outside, 
Watching the news on TV, mouth open wide. 

Tangled bedsheets and a pristine profile feed, 
Online shopping out of want, not of need,
Fingerprint recognition in a world where we cannot touch, 
Useless hobbies, a personality at which I clutch. 

Is this the end?
I guess. 
It must be near. 
Is this the end?
Probably. 
What else could it be?

A feeling in the...

Science Fiction Competition 2021

The Art of Setting Yourself Ablaze

The sky burned. 

It wasn't a beautiful burning. This wasn't the brilliant warmth of a log fire in the depths of winter whilst being snuggled under blankets on the sofa. This wasn't seemingly endless summer evenings sitting around a campfire whilst sparks danced in the air. This was hell: fire upon fire upon fire as the horizon blazed and the red screams filled the sky. 

Across the city, panic was in full wildfire. Crazed, hoards of desperate people crowded the streets, trying to find sanctuary in any nook or cranny they could find. It was hopeless, though. It was always going to be hopeless for them. On top of a skyscraper, Evelyn and August were sharing the last drops of champagne as they observed the terror ambushing the streets below. 

An Aerocar, scratched and muddied from collisions, soared through the sky, only to lose control and dwindle back down to the ground again with a whistling crash. The fire it...

Place Poem

Small Town Syndrome

The road encircling the centre like ribs protecting a heart, 
always audible and purring in the distance, 
the ebb and a flow of a tide enticing you to leave, though you never can. 

Glances from disapproving elders, 
the worn bus stops, 
curls of smoke trailing from cigarettes, 
anti-homeless architecture next
to the gleaming façade of the new council building;
the glass sliding doors and outside
wooden furniture. 

Charity shops congested with grannies bundled in jumpers and scarves despite the heat,
abandoned bikes rusted with age, 
the windchimes outside the library tickling in the breeze, 
lawnmowers revving up on lazy Sunday mornings, 
the market on Wednesdays that sells dodgy watches and itchy socks,
the coffee shops competing like gladiators 
whilst the banks watch on, stroking their mountains of gold. 

The river that wanders lazily through in which I stare
at my reflection, the shadows of my town
etched into my skin. Bruised knees from falling
in the skatepark and a sodden...

“Heaven of Freedom”

Green is Greed and Green is Power

Green are the strands of the winner's laurel;
green is the step of his podium as he stares over the crowd;
green are the eyes that narrow with cunning, mirroring the
green heart that beats and forgets that it is mortal-

green is the money that makes the world goes round;
green are the stained tongues that lap at the feet of those
green, grinning, in designer suits and rosy cheeks, flooding
green pastures so that the bones of those below are drowned and

green is where I want you to stop. 
Green is where I want you to look below the surface and see the corpses of those who came before and those who will follow. Do you want your throne built on nothing but smoke and grief? And not any old smoke, oh no, the smoke that corrupts and crawls and climbs and cries and sits and slimbers and wriggles and writhes and claws and snarls and bites...

When I Grow Up

I want to be able to write about love and know it comes from a place of personal experience. I want to be able to make a phone call without panicking. I want to be able to always be around the people who stop me from overthinking. I want to be able to braid my own hair. I want to find an affordable necklace that I can wear all the time. I want to be able to make the perfect foccacia. I want to embody the joy of laughing until your sides hurt and the bliss of seeing both the day’s dawn and dusk. I want to find adventure in wild woods and the lines of my friends’ palms. I want to be able to feel so comfortable with someone I can fall asleep in their arms and not be self-conscious about whether I smell. I want to be able to share my writing without feeling sick and maybe even...

Playwriting Competition 2020

The Beginner's Guide to Saving Yourself

Scene One
The stage is dimly lit. Actors are laid on the ground, dressed in grey, representing fear. A hospital monitor beeps. The actors stand up and run around the stage frantically, crying. MARGARET – a middle-aged woman in a nightdress – hobbles to the foreground as they go silent and stand still behind her.

MARGARET
(Looking to the audience)
I didn’t mean for this to happen… It was late, and so dark. I just… I just thought I should tell her. I couldn’t keep it a secret anymore-
(She is interrupted by coughs that she collects in a handkerchief)
Part of me didn’t even understand why she was so shocked. It’s pretty obvious I’m not in the best shape. I can’t even tie my shoelaces without hacking up a storm. But, despite everything, telling Uma I only have months to live was the most painful thing I’ve ever done… She ran away… The shock must’ve been too much… And...

Agape

Your lips danced over the back of my knuckles,
and I wanted to feel my skin rubbed raw
by your heavy-feather touch;
an unconditional fist-fight where we would batter each other into oblivion

before finding each other again in the dust motes
that tussle in the furious gaze of the sun splintering
through the hospital blinds. Your lips stomp across the back of my knuckles,
and I feel the sweet rain of your tears

join them. I feel myself fed; roots stretching from my tired veins
into the soiled sheets of the beige bedding,
clinging on to the baby feet of your tongue flicking
over the indent of my fingers. 

I am pulled through the bed, and I can smell the antiseptic
that clings to the mattress just a little
too late. My hand is pulled -
arm from a socket, and my nails run with blood as they are

unhinged. 

“Darling, darling...” darkly. Descending. Dust. 

Flag, distorted

I can hear it straggling behind in the breeze, whipped
convulsions of a wounded man forced into service. 
The lacerations to the torso the smirking

red, white and blue. I spy it now, masking the sun and
forcing the shade to crawl over my skin in the death throes
of my daily walk, plastered and lopsided;

cheap bunting a carved smile on the face of an otherwise
perfect rock. The grey light does it no favours, and it cheers 
on the weekly procession of claps that echo smaller and quieter

than every action they did not take. It is but a mask
that is being stolen from the mouth of those who need it,
to superficially serve and stare back from the polished mirrors. 

It drowns from the top of a pub's mast, where three months 
prior, bloated gentle-people rustled their Daily Mail's and 
sifted through the daily blame, the bloodied gums of cigs and lager

the new pitchforks and...

Playwriting Competition 2020

The Beginner's Guide to Saving Yourself

Scene One

The stage is dimly lit. In an orderly manner, the actors are laid on the ground. The beep of a hospital monitor can be heard. One by one, the actors stand up and run around the stage frantically, crying. MARGARET – a middle-aged woman in a nightdress – hobbles to the foreground as they go silent and stand still behind her.

MARGARET
(Looking to the audience)
How did this happen? I shouldn’t have yelled at her... It was late, and so dark. Ever so dark… I just… I just thought I should tell her. I thought it was the right time. I couldn’t keep it a secret any more-
(She is interrupted by a bout of coughs that she collects in a handkerchief)
Part of me didn’t even understand why she was so shocked. It’s pretty obvious I’m not in the best shape any more. I can’t even tie my shoelaces without hacking up a storm. But I...

A New Kingdom Has Been Forged in my Pores


I have sought answers on a dusty horizon,
And I have seen in the swirling patterns of migrating
Birds that heaven is dripping from my tongue and from my eyes,
Coating my skin and between my thighs.

I lift a finger and twist it in the sky, collecting the clouds
Like candy floss and feel the heady procession
Of thoughts parade a carnival through my mind,
When the entire universe is present in my firing synapses. 

I trace ancient inscriptions on the stretch marks
Crawling up my legs like divine spiders and the beginnings
Of crow’s foot wrinkles, smiling at me from the mirror
As I smile back at myself for the first time in years.

Dionysus and Ampelos #thegayagenda

The stars Dionysus played like a lyre merely
Lured him to be faced with the bloody
Reality that plagued him. Ironic, really,

Since he thrived on such chaotic atmospheres,
But this unwanted fate merely played his immortal heart and
Squeezed the ichor from his still veins. 

So as he stroked the smooth skin that
Tumbled under his fingers like a freshwater current,
He couldn’t help but wonder if he would shed

Any tears for this golden youth, Ampelos, who looked up at him with
Such adoration and swore all the constellations
Could be traced in his gaze.

But the constellations begged to differ,
And weaved a dirge as Ampelos dragged a tempting wrinkle over the fabric of the sky;
A disdainful gaze,

Cast toward Selene as his nails clenched the stubborn
Back of the wild bull. This was as good as the heady rush as being with Dionysus,
But on his own terms;

He felt as if he himself could...

oh, it’s such a wonderful thing to love

and i wonder
when i’m dark &
cold 
what it would be like
to love and to
fall
into the abyss
i’ve heard about only
in dreams and
tired text posts
is it like feeling
fresh dirt
under toes
and smelling
the ground after rain
or is it more like
the ocean 
relentlessly 
crashing and eroding
your very skin
your very mind
your very heart
your very soul
that once shone
neon and fluorescent
but then transgresses
to the stars
you gaze at & giggle 
as you trace the freckles 
on their back
and find a home 
in the crook of their neck
is it?
because at the end of the day
these are tired metaphors
regurgitated for another assail,
another grenade that flies at the victim 
before being thrown back in frantic haste
before it explodes and exposes the raw truth that
not everything can be poetry and not everything can be perfect 
and sometimes love is less like...

real life is messy, but i can’t wait to live

i have had time to think
and my thoughts have crystallised
like frost with cold, clear intent
that melts into the ground of dreams.

most of all, i want to live and
swallow each dawn and emulate each dusk;
to dance the midnight fields of society
and kiss each bloody vein.

to create, to learn, to love,
to skip through the weeds and the browning
grass as well, for there will be problems;
i’m going to be studying English during a recession, for crying out loud-

but what is life without toil?
it may not be beautiful, but it is life nonetheless.
we cry when we are born, and lose control of our bladders when we die,
but we have breathed and lived all the same.

i have drifted away from the glory of Hollywood resolutions
and pledged my commitment to authentic lives.
the bloody, gory, yelling, phobias, darkness, alleyways of the different paths humans may lead
and know that...

Five Line Fiction

The Sundance Kid

They gaze at each other from across the room, eyes narrowed. Clenched fists twitch at stoic sides; tense and crackling like the prelude to a storm. A Mexican stand off: hope against hope, tearing a trail that could lead to creation or destruction. The first jab of lightning struck one side and she raised her fist - poking out of her curled fingers was a pregnancy test. That was the cue he needed, and he ran forward and swept her into a hug.

house party in a housing crisis

you.
you say you’re scared of growing up because it signifies the ‘end of an era’ of messing up your mate’s hair and sitting in hushed circles and passing around the drinks and the gossip 

but

it also signifies the end of a mother’s comfort when you cry after a bad day at school and being able to roll your eyes at your dad’s joke and 

you feel like
falling

into the comfort of your favourite video game but the headset is clogged with your future and all the things they whisper about 

(use all the opportunities dispatched to the noble hero, lest you lose your way and become entangled in the weeds of not-good-enough, even though the key workers are the working class, working hard and sweating under the weight of minimum wage. But come to the banquet! Forsooth, Thou Needs To Say Grace)

and you wonder

is it worth it?
or should you freeze time and kiss the...

In Motion

Running with Glorious Purpose

Emily’s feet pounded the forest floor as she ran, twigs cracking and discarding in a path of small destruction. A laugh sprang from her lips and flew into the sky like a bird. She was running with purpose, running for fun, running whilst feeling her heart beat in her chest.

“I’m going to get you!” Amir shouted behind her. His voice seemed to shake the trees.

“I’d like to see you try!” She yelled back, pumping her arms and increasing the pace as her legs ached with the beautiful exhaustion.

Amir narrowed his eyes and grinned, extending an arm to grab hers, his fingers motioning downward until they intertwined with hers. They ran together, giggling and feeling free.

Names, Names, Names

Names

A breakfast joint: Pancakes and Panic
A new smartphone: Athena's Mind
An eyeglasses store: Eye See You
A dog pound: Absolute Babies 
A highway: Mum is on Her Way Home, Remember to Take That Thing Out of the Freezer
An island resort: England During Lockdown
A new constellation: Blanche Dubois 
A pet polar bear: David Attenborough 
A nail polish color: Wilde's Carnation
A new butterfly species: Snow Angel Whites

Op-Ed Competition 2020

Be A Freethinker In The Digital Age

    Do you think you can keep an open mind on the internet?

    I think, as a society, we all like to believe we can. We scoff when we see the latest outbreak of 'fake news' or the next pandemic of bias in the media. We all think we can scroll through twitter and Instagram and remain immune to the latest witch-hunt. But this is easier said than done. So much easier said than done, in fact, it could be perceived that a virus of intolerance is spreading as our media fuels our ego and we refuse to look at the other side of the argument, or check the validity of our own views at all. 
    
    This is not an article that aims to bash social media; there's a good and a bad side to everything, after all. It just strikes me, as one of the inhabitants of Earth, that people sometimes forget that...

i watched donnie darko a few days ago and i can't stop thinking about it

life is the mere flicker of a pyromaniac igniting a lighter
and watching the flames chase the shadows on the wall
before it all goes up and up and up to find a hold
on the staircase to whatever afterlife awaits, only 
to find that the carpet in the hallway is rugged and dust
clings to every surface like skin to shoulder blades that 
you swear aches to be sliced and cut like butcher's meat 
by a merciful blade that doesn't discriminate between appearance
and reality, just severs the lifeline and leaves the ligaments to crumple
like paper, a rejection letter, lines in a play or lines for sniffing out
secrets; feigned surprise, feigned sympathy, feigned love that 
forecasts a darker horizon that makes your fingers tingle and weaves
static in your hair and cuts a circle in your chest but you're annoyed
that the circle isn't perfect, it looks more like an oval or maybe even 
a battered triangle...

After... After... After

Worm’s Food

After the amount of money in your bank account, after the clothes that caress your skin, after the words spill out of your mouth, after the passion sparks and fades in your eyes, after the trophies in your cabinet hoard dust, after your friends and family drift away, after the wrinkles carve themselves into your skin, after your skin sags and your nails yellow, after the last breath leaves your body, after the last smile imprints itself on your lips, after you’re returned to the earth, after the tears are shed, the skeleton is the same as everyone else’s.

there are no limits to what this mouth can do

she said that i could charm the scales off a 
snake but, i already had, in a way, 
and her fancy little serpentine skins
were all too willing to slip off; de-gloved
and discarded on the gilded floor for
another maid to deal with. a tiny
torture, for purely diplomatic reasons
(one might say) and for the benefit of
the subjects that enjoyed the poison bite
of a high-heeled shoe as it spun on the
dance-floor. oh, she loved to dance-
    and gorge and dance and then gorge again, cheeks flushed
    with flirtation and the latest wine to be stomped between aching
    toes and to be drank and filtered through gapped teeth that ached
    to feel a tongue along them like a dentist's well mannered hand and oh how
    she loved to spin and twirl and jump and jive and feel the world
    fall around her like naughty constellations...

Write the Rainbow

Order of the Planets from the Sun

Order Of the Planets From the Sun

My
Vampire
Eats
Magnificently
Juicy
Sapiens
Under
Ninety

Of Other Lives and Alter Egos

The ambitious advisor to a monarch falling on hard times. With a silver tongue and golden fingers, I help alleviate their worries whilst subtly pushing my own agenda. Seduction, intelligence and charm veil me like a cloak and dagger. 

A rich debutant in Victorian London. On Mondays I go to balls, Tuesdays to the Opera, whilst Friday is reserved to the suitors who ache to peel off my gloves and see what’s underneath. My eyes dart with mischief whilst my skirts rustle; big, as if bloated with secrets. 

A writer recording the European bohemian scene, snapping suspenders and billowing shirts that allude a look of being sophisticated yet dishevelled. Perhaps there is a red wine stain on one of them, or some ink on the cuffs. Either way, my notebook and my head is full with swirling dreams.

‘maybe we were born and raised too cynical’

every news article i read chips another line into my heart;
regurgitated lyrics of the newest song always played on the radio:
death, destruction, the newest bomb dropped on the newest people and
for some reason,
hate is accelerating at a rate that rivals the heating of the atmosphere.
my parents roll their eyes and say its ‘PC gone mad’
whilst staring at their laptops, their phones,
enslaved all the same whilst forgetting
those who actually wore the chains and ignoring
people outside their sphere of privileged existence. 
a piece of good news barely manages a whisper to my disused organ - 
a feeble pump, before dissolving into the reverie of another funeral march
that gets #1 on a chart that gets more attention than the dead and the dying.
there are bloodied toys on the street and desert sands causing a brawl on the arctic highway,
whereas the punches on the news are the politics that spin round in...

reflections on turning 17 when my age seems bigger than my body

i always knew i was not going to be beautiful. 
the stunted limbs, flimsy like rotted wood 
and the frequent checkups at the hospital told me that. 
my life was measured in percentiles and growth charts and the browning
rocking-horse moaning its dirge in the children’s waiting room.
i was a stuck vinyl, repeating the same notes to a
vacuum that catapulted me into the empty space
that gripped my lungs and breathed irregularities into my bloodstream
like a flute. off-key, dented, rusted. 
rubble of another life that could’ve been if my genes
behaved.

the face i see in the mirror is not the one i see in my head.
in my mind my skin is a red carpet, lavish and decadent
with jewels and gilded halls mapping the alleyways of my mind,
tearing asunder the world with the magnitude of my grace.
the spinning heel of a dancer, shifting the axis of the planets
with full lips and a...

Environmental Journalism Competition 2020

Start and End - Why Reaching Out is So Important

It started with fear. 

The news constantly blared with the latest stories of the new record for warm temperatures, or a new natural disaster that ravaged another part of the world. The Friday Strikes were making their mark upon the world, but still the governments and businesses seemed to be blind and deaf and ignorant to it all. In my little bubble in a small town in the south of England, it was extremely difficult to see how I fit into the never-ending puzzle of climate politics. 

Then, came anger. 

Why was no one listening to the brave people who were so concerned about the open wounds humans were discarding upon the planet? Individual action didn't seem like enough; the bamboo toothbrushes and reusable coffee mugs only bandaged the blood-soaked dressings and left a stain on the carpet. More needed to be done, before it was too late. 

Then, came an idea. 

People needed to work together; this was not...

Zoom Out

In My Wardrobe

My head was pounding and my breath was hoarse inside the musty interior of my wardrobe. Around me, my identical red suits shuffled and scuttled like living things, turned inside out with their blood on display. What was going on? I asked myself the question again, but no answer revealed itself to me.

If I was brave enough to breach the confines of my wooden retreat, I would discover that everything and everyone had descended into Chaos. Whilst I was hiding and having quite a large existential crisis, rioters took to the streets with their fierce yelling and iron will, whilst children cried, their toys discarded as Order decided to flee from the scene with its tail between its legs. The sun burned on with her vindictive gaze, watching, watching.

Chunyun

Forgiveness

5. 
The sun is warm, and I let it pool in the palms of my hands. I want to hold it forever, let it seep into my skin, replace the ingrained dirt and ingrained fear like baptism. 

4.
The taxi is hot, and I feel every jolt as it scuttles its way across the rocks and stones. Every impact cuts in to my skin. Bloodletting; purging, washing away the sins of the past and letting them fade into the dust. 

3.
My head is full to the brim, and every emotion is radiant and blinding. The colours are too bright, the engine too loud. It feels like drowning. 

2. 
The car stops and I get out, and I watch it pull away with dread. I am alone, and I take a moment to breathe as I watch the birds above make their own journey, their wingspan the flood of angel's wings. 

1. 
I knock on the door, my heart screaming...

i want, i want, i want

i want to scrape my nails through the constellations
and brush the milky-way's hair, to comb through
the knots of black holes and to hold the hands of 
the planets in harmony. i want to see the sun's eyes
radiant with mirth, stare back at me through the 
iridescent space of everything and nothing.
i want everything and nothing; infinite space
at my feet and at my fingertips, to choke the neck
of mars and to caress the thighs of venus, to travel
through infinity, yet still have time to be home 
for supper. it is a big world, my darling, big and
endless. endless as the longing that eats at my chest
and makes a home in my bleached ribcage, tearing
and jerking and writhing in front of a heavy heart. 

but break, my heart, for i must hold my tongue

he could feel the frost around his lips and
the snow caked in his cheeks, blushing red with
shame, love, mercy, honour - the gaping hole
where what he should be was not. he was winter,
where everything rotted and died. his limbs
were spiderwebs silver with morning dew
and his bones were the wet leaves decaying
on the battlements. he reached his arms into the sky
and felt the splintered horizon crashing
down upon him. buried, buried, buried. 
    he didn't want to be here, he wanted to go
    and see the world beyond the limits of the portcullis,
    beyond the limits of the archer's hole that stabbed him in his chest
    and left his blood streaming into the moat
    that surrounded his heart. oh, his broken heart,
    how it sobbed with disease
    how it was tainted with lies and deceit that robbed him of love
   ...

Writing for Children Competition 2020

Ava and Ansh's Magical Adventure

In all her dreams, Ava dreamt of magic.

She dreamt of towering castles, and being a witch in a world where everyone could learn magic!

But, no matter how much Ava tried, she couldn't summon any magic. Her cat (Princess Leia) wouldn't even talk to her! So she looked among the stars, and grinned at the moon as she wished and imagined what it would be like to be surrounded by friends with all her magic power. 

(Ava and her fluffy ginger cat looking out of her window, with the starry sky above her and a sparkling castle on the horizon).

When she went to school the next day, she told her best friend, Ansh, about the magical life she wished for. "It would be amazing! You could be there, and mummy and daddy, and our pets, and we could explore all day and have so much fun!" 

Ansh was incredibly enthusiastic, but he didn't think Spock the dog...

they burned together

she is golden, and she is warm, and she
spills through the window like Lucifer’s tears
when he lay crumbled with wings burnt and broken.
she sings and soars and flies and wraps around 
him like frost on the dead and like greed
on the dying. she is bright, and she blinds 
him with bandages wrapped around his eyes 
and around his wrists and around his ankles 
and around his head like a crown of thorns
coronating him as Bathed in Sunlight.
she didn’t burn him. she was kind, so they
burned together. 
it made him wonder what it would be like to burn not with the sun, but to burn with Her, she who looked at him with pity instead of fear, and who smiled instead of gasped when his teeth ripped into her skin. Her blood was golden, her blood was warm. they burned together. 

dirty boys

this is war.
i want you to ordain me with medals 
and hearts and the lungs of those you have 
silenced. i want to wear the liveries 
of the planets; the blood of mars and the
ice of neptune. i want you to make me
feel like jupiter - bloated by success.
i want to bob for the Adam’s apples 
of the boys in their fresh pressed khaki, and to trim their dirty fingernails, and take the cigarettes from their lips. 
‘you gotta be careful, those things will give you cancer,’
and then blast them to smithereens.
this is war: i want my stallion, my badge, my medallions and my mask of impunity. 
i want to hang them from the trees so that they can feel the roots of evil that eats their eyes and spreads from their blocked pores. dirty, dirty. 

Pass It On

Respectful Honesty

Detailed suggestions on how to improve are always really good. For example, I showed a piece I submitted to the album review competition to my teacher and he said specific things on how to improve that could be applied both broadly and in a smaller sense. Like a broad way to improve was my structuring but a little way I could improve was not repeating the same phrase and having more variety. That also happens with essays that I do at school.
- it was helpful because it was honest. Even though structuring is a big aspect of a piece, telling me that it needed some work was helpful.
- As well as this criticism, it was constructive - I had advice on how to start a piece and then zoom into different aspects before rounding it up at the end.
- also, reviews are good when they expand your knowledge. I like it when reviewers include links to websites...

our souls are knit into one, mina

the moonlight that illuminates what should 
remain darkened hurts my eyes. my pillow
is discarded; sheets tussled and dull grey.
hair messy, skin cold, lips dry and puckered.
a thirst, awakening, rude and regurgitated
from the depths of whatever hell that rumbles
underneath my cold, bare feet. a hand
gripping me, tight on my waist, the nails
taut and cutting into my skin. something
is beneath the surface. it was dormant.
not anymore. 
    he whispers of magical things, of what the world holds
    like a fresh oyster in its palms, and how the thirst inside
    can steal the pearl away. he's saying how beautiful i am,
    how the moonlight illuminates my pale skin
    until i am lit up like a star on the stage and my 
    voice is echoing in the auditorium. i am lost, now,
    but i can be found. give in, the voice says, give in.

a vein ripped by a welcoming device
that unleashes...

Writing for Children Competition 2020

Ava and Ansh's Magical Adventure

In all her dreams, Ada dreamt of magic.

She dreamt of towering castles, fun dances, mystical summer evenings and terrific spells whizzing out of fingers like fireworks! 

But, no matter how much Ada tried, she couldn't summon any magic. Her cat (Princess Leia) wouldn't even talk to her! So she looked among the stars, and grinned at the moon as she wished and imagined what it would be like to be surrounded by friends with all her magic power. 

(A picture of Ava and her fluffy ginger cat looking out of her window, with the starry sky above her and a sparkling castle on the horizon).

When she went to school the next day, she told her best friend, Ansh, about the magical life she wished for. "It would be amazing! You could be there, and mummy and daddy, and our pets, and we could explore all day and have so much fun!" 

Ansh was incredibly enthusiastic, but he...

bring on the yellow ones

bring on the yellow ones,
for the world is looking bleak;
the skies are looking grey,
my limbs are weary and weak. 

bring on the yellow ones,
for I am full of blue,
my eyes are downcast and weeping,
counting the numbers on my revenue.

bring on the yellow ones,
with smiles to dispel the pain.

bring on the yellow ones,
with sunshine in their veins.


 

Word Collage

That's Showbiz, Baby

Never let me go, 
The day after tomorrow
Is grey.
I see the signs
Of the event horizon;
A shutter island
Held at grosse pointe blank.

The verdict is out, 
The serenity 
Is clueless.
The green mile
Is 28 days later.

The lawless contagion
Is our sin city
Tomorrow, when the war began. 
The eternal sunshine of the spotless mind;
Sunshine
On the day the earth stood still.

The impossible. 
 

Your View

Fresh & Funky Opinions

1. Every fight scene in every movie and tv show should have Toxic by Britney Spears in the background. 

2. Life does not inherently have a purpose and is thus meaningless, but humans can choose to assign individual meanings to their lives. 

3. For example, my purpose is to get sexy, get rich ;)

4. And find love, change lives, help the environment and all that soppy stuff.

5. The sentiment that ‘you’re perfect just the way you are’ can sometimes be damaging and should not be a barrier to improving health. 

6. The Hunger Games is better than Harry Potter. There, I said it.

7. Most classic works of fiction and philosophy are incredibly boring and people should not be expected to read them just because they are famous. Reading is meant to be fun, so read what you want. 

8. Similarly, the subject of English literature in school (in England at GCSE level, anyway) is too strenuous and...

Novel Writing Competition 2019

My 0 Star Review of the Afterlife

    Hello, demon here. It turns out I have to write a report of what’s happened over the last few months, as apparently it classifies as ‘abnormal circumstances’. I would hastily disagree with this statement (it wasn’t my fault I got landed in this mess, thank you very much) but doing such a thing would result in a lot of torture and I quite like having all my limbs attached. So yes, very abnormal, and I am very privileged to have the opportunity of spending the next few weeks writing every second of information under intense observation. It's very kind.  

    Anyway, as I said, the last few months have been a rollercoaster. My job is Consultant to the Recently Deceased. It isn’t a bad job; it definitely isn’t the worse (Satan’s personal foot cleaners can have that title) so I never expected it to get so troublesome.

    Not many people appreciate the job I do, and I hope that changes after...

Why I Write

Why I Write (a year later, and much less self-centered)

A year ago I wrote this piece, and detailed some pretentious, soul-wrenching monologue about how I want to change the world or something with my writing. 

I don’t write to shatter anything, to stir any emotions. I just write because I can. And it’s fun. 

There doesn’t need to be a long, philosophical reason for things. Just do them, man. Live.

Alexa

and they let her tell jokes,
and they let her tell the weather,
and they let her tell the news,
she said to take an umbrella.

and they let her stay up late,
and they let her glow in the dark,
the they let her watch them cry,
she grinned and 

they let her become part of the family,
and they let her read bedtime stories,
they let her teach lessons,
lessons devoid of humanity. 

 

Album Review Competition 2019

Sam Fender's Hypersonic Missiles is the Anthem of Our Generation

    In September, for the first time in my life, I stayed awake in anticipation for an album release. At 10PM, I was excitedly chatting to my friend over Instagram about the impending delivery. At 11PM, I was squealing as I liked Sam Fender's pictures chronicling the countdown. At 11:30PM, I was somewhat regretting the decision and the prospect of going to school the next day, but listening to the previously released music kept me going. At 12AM, I plugged in my headphones and streamed the complete album as if I was drunk on ambrosia: Hypersonic Missiles. 

    
As I had it on repeat for the next few days, the words seemed to ingrain themselves in my brain. I was obsessed; the songs slipped into my homework, allusions were in my writing, the lyrics were constantly dripping from my tongue. It was a melodious dance that grabbed me by both hands for one tune, and then sat me down...

Why The Long Face?

Dance pony dance,
life is just a dressage, after all.
Preen yourself up pretty,
weave ribbons in your hair,
smile in front of the camera.
Trot here, trot there,
follow their carrot to the watering
hole;
nul and void. 
Injury? 
We’ll put you down.
Press a gun to your temple,
line you up against the green screen wall
and shove your pretty little ribbon in your mouth. 
Don’t worry, we’ll hang your medal.
Why the long face? 

we will be like Him

i want you
to breath life
into my nostrils
and hold me
as you lay me down
in the flowers
and whisper
sweet nothings
in my ear
about surviving,
darling,
about a prison

and i want 
to fall with her
(it was her eyes, you see, she saw what i wanted, she reached inside my chest and squeezed my heart, fingered my veins)
from the highest 
branch
to break free and
to escape
and the landing 
will be soft, soon
for we will fall 
again and again
because we’re fools
sweet fools
that bathe in vice
and eat in sin. 

goddess of money

she was bleeding gold 
that swam from her veins 
and fought from her eyes
wrenching past the fragile skin to burst 
from her pores and from her 
mouth.

it trickled down her neck
and paved a path between her breasts 
it ran from her fingers
and dripped to the floor

where pestilence grew
and plague too,
the manifestation of greed and vice and
avarice that settled into teeth
and curled around ears
like sleeping tigers. 

she was money, thick 
and gluttonous
with curves to die for
with gold
to die for

with deploring suitors; Apollo stared, jealous 
of the brightness of her skin and Helios groaned 
about having competition.

Gaia rumbled, buried underground
in stifling heat and suffocating ice
and Zeus screamed, for he toppled from his throne. 

choking dreams

high heeled boots,
shiny faux, the real deal,
clinging to calves like
sticky honey covering my fingers and my
mouth.
i pray to god in alleyways and impromptu toilet cubicles,
the shoes dig in,
blisters rubbing,
rubbing,
moaning. 
i will ascend to heaven one day,
on a staircase or in sweaty lace,
by invitation 
or by force.
i will stab Him with all 6 inches,
twisting so the point snaps.
He was not there.
but I was. 

Six-Word Story

Again

Cried my very last tear. Again.

queen bee persephone

she roams the halls 
in a cute little skirt and biker boots,
with a flower in her hair and a knife in her grin,
with good grades and a twinkle in her eye,
is that mischief, you wonder? 

the ice queen with a thawing smile,
whose veins are green vines,
and whose blood is poison.
she descends, down deep, flicking her hair 
and you swear 
you can feel the memory of her deadly kiss
killing the summer
with a whiff of perfume
and a gun in her picnic basket. 

good women can be queens of the underworld too.

Arctic Dreams

my town clings to me like damp, the landscape makes me cynical

what would it be like to fall? 

the twisting 
clouds that grasp me 
but I slip through their fingers 
like water
spiralling down toward the motorway,
beeping cars, never satisfied,
fringed by trees and rolling hills
that fade away to the yellow sun;
The Sun paper on a Sunday morning,
chorusing the damp.

I gain velocity, oh, it’s kicking in now
the fear and the ferocity,
of provincial products, 
a raucous rendition
of sloth and mud
that meets me in the air of half a dozen coffee shops,
and the bustling market on a Wednesday morning
i want to fall, I want to escape.

Universal Knowledge

sugar

a desire to be loved, to be cherished, to be adored, to feel the hearts beat in unison and find solace in holding hands, however clammy, and to be able to look at the couples kissing and not feel jealous because you have solitude, you have a warm home, nestled into your soul, and you close to eyes to think of it, of the future, of the opportunities, of the heat and the passion and the glory and you close your eyes and hold it there, a painting of art, but not reality. 

green green green #home

green walls that we always joked were the face
of balamory, childlike laughs that hugged
the warm air (when the heating was on) and 
smiles over the chatting of the TV.

the rush of the motorway, right next
to the garden, gentle hums guiding me 
to sleep on those restless nights, speckled with 
stars and blessed with hugs and goodnight kisses.

always fun despite the tension of Wales 
and England rugby matches, the despair 
of money problems and me, constantly 
fretting over every word and action. 

the fire is in our eyes, as we blaze
to separate paths, intertwined like picnic 
basket threads. i just hope i can always
come home. never change. please, never change. 

A Trillion Trees

Tree Ballet

I let my arms unfurl into the sky
and I catch the sunlight in my open palms.
I start my ballet; head thrown to the heavens,
spinning across the floor in reckless joy. 

I feel my muscles, taut like rope, getting
stronger. I feel my bare feet kiss the ground.
I feel my hair, awash with warmth, growing. 
I feel freedom like a hug of water. 

The dance continues, my friends all joining.
My hands wink and interlock with shared passion. 
The light brightens, the smog clears. All grey is gone. 
I grin. I breathe, and let the air rush in. 

buckling shoulders, uptight

a bittersweet limerence with the world at my feet,
naked soles on cold ground, toeing the wildflowers seething outside my door.
to feel in my lungs the hot decay of sweet death, of rock and roll, of smoke and ash and glory and laughter,
strobe smiles, sweaty bottles in sweaty palms,
on the dance floor of childhood mistakes. 
but it’s hard, with the conflict of the world upon ones shoulders, 
an anthem of doomed youth, beautiful and damned whatever path you take.    

a strength I could never know

the stars have a lot to answer for. 
the unheard cries, the lover’s promises in the hushed dark. 
the hazy tears as dawn closes the curtain on their 
hypnotic dance.
birthday candles in the dead of night,
blown out in front of an empty seat. 
they have seen the erosion of faith, of beauty, of love, of nature
and still they shine.
How Do They Do It? 

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Butterflies and Revolution

I have sat on the brink with every revolution and pushed it over the edge. A nudge to send it soaring, and I have watched how they paint the world golden; a million brushstrokes to resurrect the decay into dance. Now: a wasteland; abandoned toys bloody on the streets, I see hunger and rising heat that throttles screaming populations to conformity, I see lies and the pinched tongues of captivity. I see it all, and I weep. 
My steady hands are liberty, healing. I set the metamorphosis free. The beat of a butterfly’s wings:
Time is running out.

the tightrope of life

“and next... the tightrope walker:
defying gravity, a thin wire the only thing between her and empty air...
not for the faint hearted; only for the brave, for those who wish to be with the birds, but their wings are invisible...”

she took to the stage, a gasp erupting beneath her.
her adrenaline was magma trickling through her veins, her feet agneous rocks veined with adventure.
she stepped on to the wire, the wind caressing her hair like a forlorn lover. 
it felt magical; above everything.
a short journey to the other side, and money to match. 
it was life, this intrepid quest.

the crowd stirred. 
a volcanic ash cloud burst from their mouths and swept up to meet her.
eyes obscured, mouth covered. 
choked, throttled, hands around her throat. 
they roared like an explosion, telling her what to do, telling her what to be, the petty problems demanding to be dawdled and lied. 

politics, religion, homelessness, schooling, swept over...

Lunar Phrases

The Moon & Her Judas

I heard a gospel today; she was here. 
Among the pews, drenched in holy water,
the communion wine staining her lips
tears of blood a miracle on her cheeks. 

I sent a spaceship to reach her: I was
the intrepid astronaut who sang her
hymns and clasped her hands in prayer, kneeling
at the alter, blessed by her silver eyes,

grey skin, ribs craters on the curves of her
body that no man had gone before.
I crucified her at night when no stars could hear her screams.
Flowers were my nails, pride my hammer.
Honey was my whip, a smirk my spear. 

I went to her and then left her in the ground,
it wasn’t a giant leap for me.

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Butterflies and Revolution

I have sat on the brink with every revolution and pushed it over the edge. A nudge to send it soaring, and I have watched how they paint the world golden; a million brushstrokes to resurrect the decay into dance. Now: a wasteland; abandoned toys bloody on the streets, I see hunger and rising heat that throttles populations to conformity, I see lies and the pinched tongues of captivity. 
Once again, I sit on the brink. I steady my hands on the revolution, and push it over the edge. The beat of a butterfly’s wings:
Time is running out.

of fantasy worlds and powerlessness

I delve through worlds with purple skies and frost-bitten tongues, with silver blood and jade grass crunching between free feet, with starlit rivers and smiling skies, with warm suns and wild abandon and reckless love and daring ambition, of treachery and petticoats and smirks and daggers, of gunslingers in romantic alleys. I dream in a million words, in all the colours, whilst the monotone of the real world gazed by, dust from my feet kicked in its face. I don’t want this bland, tasteless dust on the roof of my mouth, I want the enchantment of an imagination run wild and conclusions bigger than death.

My hand is raised

I have a question:
Are grown-ups really grown-ups? 
Or children in masks.

A Signature Capability

A Signature Capability

Seth had a signature capability, a skill, a legend as it were. No matter how you were feeling, no matter what expression has crawled into your face and burrowed in your heart, Seth could make you laugh. 

In fact, he could do more then make you laugh; he was the stitches in your side from keeling over with chuckles, the flushed face of one too many giggles. He was the furtive titter and a sparkling eye, the breathlessness from chortling with the stars singing in unison, the happy cuddles, the shoulder to cry-and-then-tears-of-laughter-on. He was runaway evenings and night time smiles. Oh, he was heaven, skilled in grins. 

Sijo

Kintsugi

I am surrounded by broken things; a wasteland of decay.
The nightmare heat, of storms and whips and death out of lying teeth. 
I will pour gold into the cracks. There is still time to save it. 

It Was Just A Prank, Bro

“Officers, for the last time, it was an accident.”

Dubiously, the police officer gazed upon the teenager sprawled in the hospital bed. He was not a pretty sight: his brown hair was messed up, his grey eyes were bloodshot and his left arm was embraced protectively in a sling.

“I know what that look is. You don’t believe me,” he continued, an exasperated sigh dripping from his lips. “Disgusting. Unbelievable. I was promised a fair hearing of my experiences and you continue to look at me as if I meant for this to happen? I’ll tell you again: it was just a prank!”

“Let’s go through the story again, Richard.” She suggested calmly, fingers tapping impatiently on the radio at her hip. “Slowly.”

“Gotcha,” with a flourish of his right hand, Richard began his account of the day for the second time…

Everyone had been waiting for this day for months: sixteenth birthdays were a big thing. They only happened...

watching the sunset

look at the sunset;
hazy shimmers
of tarmac on a summer day,
lilac dancers 
traipsing with broken shoes.
mad blood stirring:
the sun drowning on the horizon,
swarmed over by the houses and the flickering lights that come on like ink splatters as the light runs away.

look around you;
you have friends.
you are loved and adored and their smiles 
are because of you.
the grass weeps joy
as you dance to the music,
way too loud for an urban area but you don’t care.
take her hand, brush against his side.
this is the magic you deserve. 

look at the sunset.
you say it isn’t much; 
a natural occurrence,
barely any colour.
you only saw the wilting sun for two minutes before it disappeared from view. 
you were only out for half an hour,
and goosebumps bubbled your skin in the mad blood stirring.
but it was enough.
feeling the ground beneath your body,
heart beating wildly,
breath...

Petty problems, but they still make me sick

Before I leave my house
I envision the trip’s instagram post
that I will publish in due time.
Another square on my profile;
geometric progression to the conformity
of shapes 
and the obtuse angles of polygons
pushing me into corners.
It has to be perfect (it doesn’t have to be real)
Just a smile for the camera.
Just a smile for my 77 followers, adoring fans. 
I’m scared that my arse is flat,
My acne has to be polished.
My scars have to be painted over with thick betrayals of rust red;
corrosion and deprivation of the soul.
I cannot watch a sunset
without wanting to show the world the flame licked sky on five seconds of story feed,
As if confessing that I go outside with hide the stress, the tears, the shaking hands
as I press post.

Can love defeat our modern world?

Will you reach for my hand
when the end is near and
take the time to wipe my tears? 
Will you notice my trembling 
as the bombs fall and the trees splinter 
and fade into ash? 
Will you gaze with me as affection 
as I model a suit
and watch football on a Sunday evening,
whilst the world shakes beneath me? 
Will you dance in the dark with me, darling,
as the ink of night draws closer;
a final act but I am in the cinema in a leather chair
whilst the bombs fall,
whilst experiments rage on in the countries that no one knows
and children cry and weep and starve and seep- their blood seeping into their demimonde graves? 
Will you save the world with me, my dear, 
before my brain is wiped
and I’m a slave to the memory of emotion 
between brunch and berry wine.

I’m tired of crying over school


Dear Examiner, 

I am writing to you about a horrific ailment that is plaguing generation after generation of poor, unsuspecting children. What is this horrible malady, I hear you ask? My answer is simple: exams. 

Even writing that horrible phrase has sent a shiver down my spine and carved a frown on to my lips, and I suspect it did the same to you, too. 

I reckon it even conjured up memories in your mind of trudging to school with wasps in your stomach and flash cards clutched desperately in your hand, begrudgingly taking the green mile to the exam room. Once there, you would sit on a tiny plastic chair (with very little back support), hunched over a tiny plastic desk and write and write and stress and stress for hours on end. Afterwards, you would be sick over contemplating all the little things you did wrong – perhaps you did the wrong calculation? – and, even if you did feel confident, you would have...

Nicotine at 89

she waits, poised, shuffling her feet
with her dressing gown loose across her skeleton 
painted with paper.

trembling hands,
starred with liver spots
broken constellations as she rubs the tobacco between her fingers

onto the white deception,
thin terror;
a splash of mud that hatred catalyst lies.

rolling up, head buried under sand,
wave after wave.
the dressing gown cord slips but
you do not notice. 

a pause, a glimmer, the distance from countertop to pale lips.
in the mouth, bribed like a glove 
full of dirty money. 

hanging out in raw heat,
flames that spark with deaf thunder.
ignite; burn; shrivel. Decay. 

door opened, a moment too late. 
chilly gale on a winter morning,
raising the heating bill. 

The Best Power Ranger is the Pink One

“What happened.” 

It wasn’t a question, it was a direct command to tell him. The voice was rough, as if gravel had been poured down his throat. It crunched and clicked as he punched me in the ribs once again, me doubling over as the acute pain resonated through my torso. 

“I-I’m not... I’m not telling you.” 

“That’s not what I like to hear.” 

Another punch, this time to the side of the face. Why do boxers do this for fun? Why did fight club say this was liberating? As far as I’m away, being beaten to a pulp is horrific. 

Blood was streaming down my face, hot and sticky like treacle. I could feel the bruises blossoming on my stomach; feel the broken ribs screaming for assistance. 

Yet, in my head, it was all pink. 

Pink: the colour of her walls, the gaudy nightmare of the fluorescent coating like a lollipop heralding the way to childhood content. Pink: the...

What did my lips do before?

What did my lips do
before they whispered your name,
echoes of trepidation lost on the wind that danced and swayed 
and contorted the tree limbs that splintered the sky.
What did my lips do
before they moaned sickly sweet
temptation of togetherness
that seemed so achingly raw on such an empty heart;
wrong fuel, wrong engine,
fire that burns so quickly it consumes.
And still, my lips would fantasise yours:
what did they do before? 
There was no before, that is the answer,
for the sky concocted me of dust and ash and the lip balm you always wore
and the stray strands of hair that clung like a knife edge.
And your lips made me
follicle by follicle 
as they trailed across my skin
and breathed life into my nostrils
close as my jugular to my beating heart so I ask you
What did my lips do before? 
Before I was silenced? 
In the dark. I am scared....

it was really warm today and walking in the sunshine made me want to have a revolution.

I feel a transformation coming,
Like a breath of life upon the wind;
Spring puffs to dispel the winter gloom,
Thawing the frost within my lungs.
The daffodils are growing,
Dances of yellow upon the ground.
They, too, rebel against the cold because 
despite the hard ground and the brittle trees,
The sun still shines 
Traipsing the border between life and death;
A storm, relentless in its beauty,
Soul giver; life.
I will be that flower for the sun still rises
And so shall I.

The world is the same as I,
Dust and starlight and I
shall create a supernova 
so that the stars, in time, can watch the new dawn from their faraway sofas,
Nothing happens whilst we lay dormant 
with the dead leaves over our eyes. 

Love in Words

cold sheets, oh where's my love?

empty coffee cup,
silent kettle
that hunches on the kitchen counter, 
choked with limescale.
i yearn for the mornings
where you would rise like the dawn, 
bleeding colours
from your bunny slippers.
lots of milk, lots of sugar,
lots of sweetness---
absent from my tongue.
my appetite for coffee
strong; engulfing
but i cannot. 
the sunrise bleeds,
monotone now.
the clock ceases to tick. 

my world is dying

the earth, the earth

spinning; my heart
flipping
a pancake stuck on the ceiling
i feel the earth shifting
beneath my feet
see the clouds
whisked like meringue peaks

the earth, the earth

oceans and land
shifting 
jolting that throws my body
blood boiling
waves of trepidation 
splashing onto 
idle sand that burns

the earth, the earth

is crying
shoulders shaking
ash clouds in the sky
crawling into my lungs
stopping the engines
birds yelling as they burst from the trees

my earth, my earth
my world, my world


i'm trying to help
but it hurts so much
i'd wait a thousand years
just to see you smile again
but my words cannot conjure that on your lips
i'm trying
to help
but it's not working
drowning. 

Time is a Flat Circle

Servitude; chains of life,
interlocking rings of submission that are
never-ending, repetitive, locks
cutting in to my skin.
Even the scarlet seems dull:
mere ashes tasting my skin,
tongue dull, taste buds eroded,
monotonous flat circle that spins round
and round, carousel of night terrors 
(the only adrenaline I can salvage)
crawling through my veins with a 
forgotten purpose. 
The stars shine brightly
even they can explode
fade into nothing. 

Thales of Miletus

If everything is made out of water, 
you are my water. 
My tides and my currents and my comets that crashed to burn  
ice frost splinters that ruptured my skin 
and formed my blood;
flooded: melted ice caps 
the polar beat of my heart 
drowning. Trapped radiation on a throttled earth,
choked by a plastic bag.

The Cereal Makes Me Weep

I wish I could pluck the stars from the sky
and weave them into your eyes
for the face staring at me from the photograph 
serves no justice to the innocence, the beauty, the grace, the joy
that once sparkled within.
Now it is the weathered image 
with grooves like wrinkles 
on tired skin.
I’m sorry that I’m still sad, darling, but it’s hard to move on.
I can’t walk in the supermarket without remembering your smile in the cereal,
Or remembering your laughter in the shower gel,
And the bars of chocolate, which you would so ardently plead for,
And I wish I let you scoff them all,
For your tongue did not taste enough cocoa in your delicate lifetime;
I hope you are gorging yourself now. 
The house is so silent now,
Apart from the nights where I can hear your footprints on the stairs. 
Your muddy hands still stains the walls from when you galloped around after...

you were music to me

you were music to me 

your eyes were the gentle violin strings singing sweet notes as you gazed at me with your major chord smile and bright keys. 
your voice was a symphony; every instrument imaginable as they tussled and tumbled like little kids in a fresh snow. the harmonies were excellent; i wanted to sing along but oh darling, my voice was out of key.
such music needs to be protected. kept away in locked boxes for crotches and quavers contained within sepia sheets. such music needs to be controlled. yes, it needs a composer. 
i could feel my heart; a rapid staccato in my chest. we danced to our collapsing duet: it was out of key, out of key... discordant, clashing, minor and major trying to fumble along but our fingers got twisted; heart strings break...
a smashed guitar at my feet. me, licking the sweet melody off my fingers. stuck vinyl.

Strike

No woman has an abortion for fun.

I would walk out of school to protest against the illegal ruling of abortion, but it’s been legal in the UK since 1967 and it’s not going to change so I guess my work is done. Because the people in power recognise that making abortion a criminal act goes against human rights, and only leads to unsafe abortions and heightened death and unhappy lives. No ones likes abortion; that’s why doctors have to approve abortions before they’re operated and those who sensibly choose to go through with it are affected but know they have made the right decision. Instead of criminalising it, why not provide more sexual education for those who have sex too early because, according to the education system, gay sex doesn’t exist, and promote understanding of sex in a society still prude and clinging on to stupid terms like ‘purity’ and ‘virginity’. No one likes abortions, but they’re necessary in extreme circumstances.

This Isn’t What Music Is Meant To Be

The air was thick with the smell of cigarette smoke and my mind was thick with terror. My limbs were like lead: fingers tree trunks defying the roots that manipulated and controlled like puppet strings. My fingers were not dancing over the keys, they were dragging themselves; this was not music. This was wrong. 

The uniformed officers were chatting in such a jovial major that I was jealous of their melodic keys. They knew how to orchestrate such beauty: the beautiful woman, the beautiful laughs, the beautiful drinks like oil wells at their hands. 

From time to time, one of them would look over at me before gazing pointedly in the direction of the people huddled in the corner: shrouded in darkness with pale faces and baggy clothes. They thought we were disgusting: aliens with our different lives and different religion. How disdainfully they stared at us like muck on the bottom of their polished shoes. How I loathed them....

Nervous System

You stimulate me:
touch, taste, eyes, ears, nose; consume.
You make my skin crawl.

Film Review Competition 2019

BREAKING THE RULES OF FIGHT CLUB

Brace yourselves. I’m going to talk about one of the most shocking, complex, controversial & dangerous films of the last century: Fight Club. Released in 1999 and directed by David Fincher, as a recent viewer I was able to draw correlation between the pre-Millennium world and society today, encouraging me to further explore the different themes. From the problem of emasculation to the cyclical process of consumerism, this short film review will hopefully take you through the chaotic veins of this movie.

First: the characters. Edward Norton stars as The Narrator: a washed out, tired, white-collared everyman who works a repetitive job. In trying to find an escape from his insomnia, he utilises the suffering of various support groups and poses within them to unlock an emotional high.

On a business trip, he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Wearing a blood red jacket, bold shirts and spitting out bold phrases, The Narrator as well as the audience are entranced by...

Honey, The Attraction Is Undeniable

Let’s go up in flames,
Your love makes me a Phoenix,
Rise from the ashes.

Say Hello To My Main OC, Rustin!!

Rustin Byrd didn’t know at what time he awoke or at what time he went to bed. Most days started in this manner: blearily blinking in the hazy mess of his study, strewn across a chair or occasionally curled up amongst his papers and drawings on the wooden floor. Not the most comfortable of sleeping arrangements but he never managed to go upstairs to his proper bed: it was rarely slept in, except for those lazy days where he put aside his writing and his musings and had a long, long bath followed by dawdling and standing around and letting time tiptoe past him like grains of sand.

Raising his head, he inspected what had been his pillow for the night. There, on his desk, a stack of paper. On the high-quality, recycled handmade parchment were scribbles of poetry. He had thousands of sheets like that: drenched in his thoughts and ideas and emotions. Would he ever get them published?...

all i want for Christmas is consumerism

I got chocolate coins for Christmas,
When all I wanted is money. 
It reminded me of love.
The anticipation,
All for some flimsy golden foil (not even recyclable) 
And chocolate that tastes cheap and like ashes blocking your throat.
I thought about this for a while,
How chocolate goes off in the end,
And goes to that strange state where it’s grey but not quite white and you contemplate eating it and think ‘what’s the worst that can happen?’ 
And then you get salmonella or some other annoying little shit in your body,
And you shit liquid for days straight.
I thought about this for a while, and then I realised
I’d rather have money.

Tiny Love Story

If You Can't Love Yourself How In The Hell Are You Gonna Love Somebody Else?

It's been a while since I've looked in the mirror. 

I was always ashamed of what I saw - my body was not like the ones in all the magazines; my skin not smooth, my stomach not flat, my hair not glossy and my teeth not straight. 

It hurt to see such ugliness staring back at me. 

But now, I stand in front of my reflection and look myself in the eye. I am not my flaws: imperfection doesn't exist. I am a good person who has many good qualities, and the world does not define me. 

"I love myself."

Film Review Competition 2019

BREAKING THE RULES OF FIGHT CLUB

Brace yourselves. I’m going to talk about one of the most shocking, complex, important, controversial & dangerous films of the last century: Fight Club. Released in 1999 and directed by David Fincher, as a recent viewer I was able to draw correlation between the pre-Millennium world and the society we see today, striking me and encouraging me to further explore the themes within the different layers of the film. From the petty problem of emasculation in a world obsessed by expectations to the cyclical process of consumerism and free-thinking, within this short film review I hope to take you on a startling ride through the veins of this chaotic movie.

First: the characters. Edward Norton stars as The Narrator: a washed out, tired, white-collared everyman who works a repetitive job. In trying to find an escape from his insomnia, he utilises the suffering of various support groups and poses within them to unlock an emotional high.

There, he meets Marla...

Toilet Haiku

I’m on the toilet
I have been for ten minutes
No point in rising 

bottling it up led to mould on the walls and ice in my eyes

It drips through the cracks in the ceiling, product of a neglected you left running.
It climbs down the walls with spindly fingers and sneering lips,
droplets;tears;shackles of ice that catch your skin in winter chains. 
The days are long and dark.
Frost blinds your eyelids; long nails, hang nails. 
The hats and the scarves and the gloves do nothing but suffocate and shove down your throat
the eternal winter; batteries taken out of clocks to let the hands stand still.

Alas, seasons change. 
Time keeps ticking regardless of your numb fingertips.
Talk
Tell
Loosen your tongue. 

The Key WOTW#7

For too long you have suffered, mouth sewn shut. 
For too long you have been broken, heart cracked. 
You're in the bathroom now, clutching at your
torn dress; rips like earthquake shattered ground, plate
margins critical. Combustion. Eruption. 
Rivulets of pain unfurling on porcelain skin,
like the doll of your childhood that you shattered and broke.
Now you are the discarded toy, (PLAYTHING) except the ground bruises you,
and the knuckles cut and draw blood like the fallen leaves of autumn decay. 
A sob scratches in your throat; record player dusty with misuse. The note is caught; choked,
repeating and repeating with no end and no silence and no freedom. 
No one can save you in your high tower, for the dragons guarding it are fire breathing and fierce and have hands and hearts so callous and unrelenting. 
But you, 
You are not a damsel. 
You don't have to stand for it. 
You have a voice.

You are the key. 

i see you in the sky, i see you in the grass

ancient philosophers used to believe everything was made up of the four elements: water, earth, wind and fire. an old concept, sure, but i can see their winds of logic swirl and breathe in every fibre of your being. 

the earth holds sanctuary within your bones, the vines of sweet embrace crawling through your veins. your fingertips bloom flowers wherever they linger: i want you to etch tulips and daisies into every freckle and stretch mark and every scar. make a garden of my imperfections. 

water is your blood, flowing around and surging with the life force that stretches to every corner of your heart and soul. emotions ebb and flow in the tides of your passions, the heart a moon to maintain the depths. let me explore the uncharted corals. 

your voice is air, carrying me like a kite into the sky. but i don't want the boring horizon, i want you: you are my oxygen and hold more...

the worst sentence #myfirstcontest

“It’s okay, I’m used to it.”

I’ll Kill For You, I’ll Die For You

It was raining. 
The water flooded down as if the gods themselves were shedding a tear for the crimes of the night, but no matter how hard it poured, the blood could not be washed away. 
“Victim?”
“Woman. 24.”
The body was grotesque. The head was caved in because of a short range bullet. Quick, painless.
The detective whistled and drifted into silence, kneeling down and inspecting the woman’s face. “Suspects?”
“Not a suspect as such… The man who found her: her husband. Married 5 months ago.”
“Is he here?”
The man was led over to the two detectives, his head bowed. Tears had marked rivulets in his harrowed features, a certain pallor settling into his skin. Eyes dark, he raised his head to look at them, biting his lip so hard blood started to ooze down his chin. 
“Hey… Careful there.” A blanket was embraced across his shoulders and he was strategically manoeuvred so he was faced away from...

A Pair of Poems

The Heart & The Mind

Wild, unpredictable: a mad scurry like the staccato best of dance floor mania. Jerking; twisting; writhing limbs that convulse and sing to the desperation of its personal melody. Uncontrolled, it runs free; a kite with no anchor or direction to its sail. The heart is a powerful weapon, but maybe it needs a breath of wind to set its course. 

Steady, sure. A tightrope walker with feet secure on the thin line over the abyss. Breaths are slow. Nothing moves. Even the hands do not twitch. To be teetering on the brink of chaos and to not have a forehead beading with sweat is the predominance of the mind. But sometimes... it too yearns to fall.

let her burn! #fire

I am tied to a post at the bottom of which a fire is burning. 
I can smell the smoke as I writhe and wriggle but in the end there is no escape - my hands are bound and my mouth is tied; knitting needles sewing thick wool in and out of my lips. 
Is that blood burning a path down my chest or is it the fire getting a little bit excited? 
I can hear the crowd cheering as my feet are engulfed.
The fire likes the attention. 
It roars on like madness; dancing in earnest to a tune only it can fathom. 
It whispers to me as my flesh turns charred and acrid. 
It whispers my failings, all my regrets, all my remorses:
a cold cacophony of defeat
it
it hurts now...
the fire is curling around my throat like a noose i should be dead, right? 
i should be long gone by now but yet the crowd...

Mixtape

dj, hear me cry

1. Come On Eileen, Dexys Midnight Runners
What can I say? As soon as this comes on you're grabbing my hands and spinning me around with that beautiful smile on your face and that joyful laugh rising in your throat. The beat rises with my heart as you remind me to live instead of just exist. You make me feel brave. We danced in front of everyone on that Bonfire Night with our cheeks flushed and our eyes reflecting the sparks that danced in the air. I felt invincible. 

2. Candy, Robbie Williams
Remember this absolute bop? We would jump on your mum's bed when we were the only ones home and pretend to be old when, in reality, we should've been cherishing our innocence. When did spy games turn into makeup challenges? When did climbing trees turn into climbing your walls and inscribing our crushes behind your wardrobe? When did reading Biff and Chip turn into sneaking a glimpse...

Warning, Fragile #warning

Warning, fragile.
Emblazoned across his chest like an Amazon delivery box, 
but what is inside this little mystery? 
He wanders - black shirt, black jeans, piercing a rapid flash of fire upon his tongue.

He hates the label pinned to his skin but he can't get it off. 
He scratches, rips, tears, clutches and 
rubs like sandpaper across his skin but it remains;
the shattered memories of his past that haunt him like blood thirsty wolves the growls follow him through 
the night and the shadows of his pain linger on his skin like ink 
he has been hurt 

it hurts it hurts it hurts 

he's been misunderstood 

it hurts it hurts it hurts 

and each dawn 
each ray 
of sunlight 
breaks him all over again. 

warning, 
f r a g i l e. 

Extraordinary in the Ordinary

The Universe is in Pages

Dusty spines and crinkled pages
hold within them the whole word. 
Black spider scrawls of ink the sunrise for a thousand new dawns. 
Cultures and people and lives swirling and twirling;
a woven picnic basket filled with summer joy. 
Tears of sadness and jubilant cheers,
I thumb the emotions of a thousand lives 
and feel the elements spill between my fingers 
like ambrosia of the gods. 

Open Prompt

Not Part of Your War

d     d     d
r     r     r
i     i     i
p     p     p

the tears, the blood...
they splash on to the ground...
muddy puddles thrown up by eager wellingtons. 

they fall up;
a child being swung by giggling parents 
the wound a gaping smile upon lips. 

it hurts, the pain new
cries falling upon deaf ears 
the roar of party hooters and crunches of party food I-

stop. look around. 
the dying are still dying.
they march by and do not care. 

khaki stained, guns dancing,
smoke in the distance the dancing ghost of young souls and 
young hearts and young minds. 

gone. 

d     d     d
r     r     r
i     i     i
p     p     p

endless. a mantra. 

the civilians begging. 
children screaming. 
they are not part of your war. 

Novel Writing Competition 2018

The Gods Have Abandoned Us (excerpt)

 Looking back, Rustin didn’t know what possessed him to let her in. Whenever he heard gunshots he immediately retreated to the room at the end of the house – his study – and drowned his fear in books and paper, trying not to let his tears blot the ink.
From time to time this situation would arise; his house was one of the only ones left standing, yet the security on it was so advanced and the windows bulletproof so nothing could penetrate it. It was his sanctuary as the rest of the world decayed... and his prison. He lived alone, his only company his tortured mind. 
The gangs in the city made havoc; they ruled the dirty streets with falsetto guns and dulled consciences. People would tick them off and they would have to run, and some way or another they ended up at Rustin’s door, begging for entrance.
It wasn’t cruelty that made the 22 year old deny...

Exam Papers

We are burst pens
We are shattered 
Splintered plastic; shrapnel Splintering my skin 
I choke on the ink 
That crawls from my eyes.
The compass is in my throat 
I’m trying to draw a perfect circle 
But I can’t 
My fingers slip, shaking
I claw at my throat 
Calculate the angle of my pain
(Not drawn to scale)
My fingers scramble on my neck 
I rip -
I can’t escape, suffocating
Choked by wrinkled hands 
I look at myself
But all I see are numbers.
That’s all I am to you, isn’t it?

Heroic [A Poem for Armistice Day]

They always ask me if I’m a hero.
if I protected and defended in
the name of king and country. If I loved
the sheer thrill and the fun of the big game.
 
Oh sure, I tossed the ball of war with mud
splattered clothes and frozen skin with my tears
falling; engulfed by the silence and the
waiting. Always waiting. The darkness roared.
 
Then, it would happen. The yells. Screams. Fix your
bayonets boys, the final push has come!
 
Running.
The war will be over by Christmas! Back at home with the family.
Running.
You’ll be a man! No cowardice for us (You’ll be shot for cowardice! At dawn!)
Running.
We’re soldiers we’re strong we’re brave and unflinching and relentless and thoughtless we shoot and we maim and we kill and we win we-
Stop.
 
‘Daddy, were you a hero in the war?’
Of course I was. My country needed me.
Mum said I was...

empty.

you were not the warmth of summer, 
nor the growth of spring.
devoid of the colours of autumn,
without the sharpness of the cold of winter.
neglected from all seasons, 
you raged relentless, 
a blank canvas, 
empty for anyone to tarnish. 

Novel Writing Competition 2018

The Gods Have Abandoned Us (excerpt)

 Looking back, Rustin didn’t know what possessed him to let her in. Whenever he heard gunshots he immediately retreated to the room at the end of the house – his study – and drowned his fear in books and paper, trying not to let his tears blot the ink.
From time to time this situation would arise; his house was one of the only ones left standing, yet the security system on it was so advanced and the windows bulletproof so nothing could penetrate it. It was his sanctuary as the rest of the world decayed, and his prison.
The gangs in the city made havoc; they ruled the dirty streets with falsetto guns and dulled consciences. People would tick them off and they would have to run, and some way or another lots of them ended up at Rustin’s door, begging for entrance.
It wasn’t cruelty that made him deny them – as he tried to tell himself –...

Doubt

A slight asphyxiation;
A pressure on the chest,
A flash amongst the darkness,
Trying to rise above the rest. 
A tempest of horrid faces, 
Screaming in the gloom,
Façades of gentle homeliness,
All around they loom.
Let me out! 
Let me be free! 
Let me fly and soar and sing and shout, 
And be all I can possibly be! 
But that is not possible,
For there is something inside,
Something charred and horrid and snarling with spite,
Something I would like to hide. 
Can you hear it growl in the gathering dark? 
Using the shadows as a cloak? 
See it eyes leap into sight,
As you slowly start to choke? 
Now you know what the pressure was,
The haunted you all your life,
The soulless thing that crept in your mind, 
(That everyone has but not everyone harnesses, the whispers in the subconscious, the dark the dark the dark the dark the fear the fear the fear the truth the...

Overwhelmed

I feel overwhelmed sometimes. 
I feel like I'm drowning in a sea of voices,
playing counsellor to all the cries and tears and 
wading amongst it all to help and direct the gossip.
Sharks swim next to me and I can't keep up;
my smile stops the waves from crashing down on everyone. 
A conductor with too many instruments to direct -
the music washes over me
and I choke on the notes. 

the dark side of the moon

We danced like the planets in a quiet nightclub in a quiet town.
The music faded into nothing and I seemed to lose my definitions.
It was just me and her
a w a y 
from it all. 
I had no name, no job, no worries or fears. 
In her arms, I was invincible. 

She always called me her sun; the centre of her universe. 
I shone and she bathed in my happiness, 
hoping to soak up all the golden goodness. 
I joked and called her my moon:
the enigma, the one without a smile but instead a knowing smirk 
and an intelligent mind who could make me feel everything - 
she controlled my tides and all the ebbs and flows of my 
desire. 
I was radiant. I was her sun because she made me that way. 

Pink Floyd daydreams and echoes of another generation, 
yeah, she made me live everything.
Two lost souls, but all I needed was her. ...

#SFOW20 | Beauty is Terror

She was my flower girl. 
She entranced me on one Summer's day with a
smile and a twinkle of her violet eyes. 
Dancing across the pink fields with her skirts
twirling and writhing like a man possessed-
like me. 

How could someone be that elegant?
The sun abandoned the grey horizon 
and the sky burned. Still we went: her graceful,
me stumbling, calling out with an eager 
voice. Her only reply would be a laugh.
She was intoxicating. 

She dripped like honey. 
Sweet, gilded, more. She shimmered like the haze 
over tarmac on a hot day. I was 
blind. Darkness came; the fields looked unfriendly 
and that twinkle in her eye turned wicked. 
She walked toward me. 

Her hands were cold. 
She cupped my cheeks - tear stained - and met my gaze. 
Stroking runes across my flesh as I stood 
frozen and afraid in the hungry night. 
Her breath tickled my cheek as she placed a 
kiss upon...

Turned to Stone

Yet Another Day...

Ring ring ring! Reaching over to turn off my alarm clock, I remembered with a grunt of annoyance that today was another day of school: another day of long lessons and endless socialising. Another day of jostling in the lunch queue and frowning over maths sums. Another day of the same boring routine and endless cycle... It didn't even occur to me that today would be the day I died. 

Thought

Do I love you, or do I love you because you love me?

Unconventional

desire

i want
everything 

i want to grow flowers from my hands and to make the garden of my body grow 
i want 
to bloom tulips from my scars and make sunflowers from my crooked teeth and grow vines from my stretch marks 

i want 
to scream 
and let all the emotion 
out
and watch it skip through the air
and i want
to blow it all to oblivion 

i want 
to burn
and burn everyone
because the anger inside demands to be heard but 
i cant let it out 
and 
i want
to be heard
i want to be touched

i want love
i need it
i want someone to gaze at me if as if i were the stars 
and i want someone to trace constellations across my flaws
and tell me 
they think im beautiful

i want 
everything
but i cant have it 
so i shall write the poetry i cannot live
and hope i shall grow
 

Once the World Was...

Once the World Was Cold

In the beginning, the world trembled cold,
Hence we lay dormant in our frozen tombs,
Watching the earth spin by in cruelty old,
Shivers of frost the sole life in our wombs.
Brittle branches whipped ruthless at our skin, 
The vile puppeteers contorting our limbs,
They laughed at us; the world was grey and thin,
Rocks were thrown, fire was shed; it looked dim.
But then someone hastened a feeble smile,
And helped a child up where they had fallen,
A flower blossomed in their veins - fronds beguiled,
Sun peeped out and thawed the crypts - it brightened.
Once the world was cold but then came kindness,
A laugh is limitless; joy is endless. 

Why I Write

Why I Write (a year later, and much less self-centered)

I write to orchestrate the chaos.
The world is loud and overwhelming and controlling but with words I can tame the action and calm the storm. 

I write to mend. 
The world is fragmented and falling and splintering but the words are my glue which I can restore with. 

I write to help.
When my friends are sad; when the stress is getting to them, I can soothe them with my words and to see the healing process is beautiful. 

I write to run away. 
Sometimes I feel like formulating sentences is the only exercise I voluntarily do, since I sometimes need to find solace in this demimonde between reality and fiction. 

I write to change.
Words are a weapon. They can evoke any emotion. They can make people do anything. I write to ensure a better future for myself and those around me and to show that I will make a difference. 

Speech Writing Competition 2018

School Sucks

The education system is shocking. There’s no simpler way to put it! It is far too stressful, far too conforming, far too overwhelming and is ultimately failing to serve its purpose. How many children have you heard actually saying they like school? How many children do you know who eagerly bound up the school steps with no fears or worries about their day? Now ask yourself: how many children cry because of school? How many are too scared to attend? Do you remember how reluctant you were to go every day? The harsh reality is this: n a survey called ‘Emotional Revolution’ and conducted by Yale Centre for Emotional Intelligence and the Born This Way Foundation, students noted they were bored in school 70% of the time, and stressed 80% of the time. How awful is that?
In my eyes, school is all about enlightenment. It’s about gaining an insight into the world around us and learning that, with our creativity...