~Goodbye, Carefree Summer~

Goodbye, carefree summer. You’re nearly gone now. I can still smell you in the wood smoke on my t-shirts though, hear you echoing in the laughter of my friends and feel you in the wind against my face, it’s much colder now. I miss you already.

I said my goodbyes in style. The water was freezing, but it was worth it….I let go, I went wild, I celebrated your legacy all the carefree spirit that’s inside me.

~Goodbye, Carefree Summer~

It’s true – happiness comes in waves.

You can’t stop the waves, but you can learn to surf…(which is what I fully intend to do)

The ocean is everything I want to be; mysterious, beautiful, wild and free.

Make waves, my friend 😉 

And now I’m ready. Ready for autumn and it’s untamed beauty. Ready for its fiery chill and crisp embrace. Come at me. I’m ready.

 

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What Can We Do?!

This is the top headline I see when I open the news this morning.

Fifth of 14 Year Old Girls Self-Harm

Out of the 5,624 girls who responded to the survey, 1,237 said they had self-harmed.

109,000 children aged 14 may have self-harmed across the UK during the 12-month period in 2015 – 76,000 girls and 33,000 boys.

Those who felt boys should be tough and girls should have nice clothes were least happy with life.

These are all sentences that jump out at me. It makes me think – this is it. This is my world, this is the society I’m growing up in. This is it. I am a fourteen year old girl. It’s my generation they’re talking about here. What can I do?!

I can try my best to be ‘a light in the darkness’ in the only ways I know how, but what am I really doing? How am I reaching the people who really need help? Even if I could, what difference would I make? I don’t understand what that 20% of fourteen year old girls have been through. I don’t understand what it’s like to be that desperate. And I can’t claim to, but I do have to do something.

It’s not because I’m a nice, selfless, caring person. No, I just have to. I can’t sit back and let this happen. We’ve allowed these issues to settle in our society and now we’re paying the price. No, the more vulnerable of us are paying the price and they deserve everyone’s help and support to get out of the place they’re in.

I feel extremely sad and angry. And I feel helpless, I feel like I can’t do anything. The only thing I can do is be a friend. That’s something I can do.

This post isn’t a pretty poem. It’s not well-written. It’s a rant fueled by emotion and desperation. I can see my world being dragged down in front of my eyes and all around me people are getting on with their lives and telling me that everything’s fine and will sort itself out. It’s not and it won’t. Not unless we do something about it.

Thing is, what can we do?

~the ocean + me~

I honestly think that I have saltwater for blood, the rhythm of the tides for a heartbeat and the dance of the waves in my soul. There is never a moment when I am not wishing I was at sea.

I have an obsession – with the ocean.

I want to share this piece that I wrote as part of my application to a spoken word programme in London. I haven’t heard if I got in yet, but I’ll be sure to let you all know. Anyway, I believe it captures exactly how I feel about the ocean.

Ode To The Ocean 

You fill my empty solitude with salt and spray and sea,
The never-ending water and footprints on the beach,
Your rise and fall and ups and downs,
You’ve showed me all my dreams,
And thanks to you, I know exactly who I want to be.

The sense of freedom and of flying,
The immortal fantasy of never, ever dying,
Just gliding through the waves forever and eternity,
Ecstatically content and exactly where I want to be.

The mystery of your rugged beauty chained to age-old rhythm,
An ever-changing surface with no predictable pattern,
And far below that, in your depths, are things we’ll never see,
Wild waters that are both forever trapped and forever free.

You sure know how to transform yourself into a masterpiece,
Stunning sunsets, vivid colours melting into your blues and greens,
Epic storms that summon the winds from all edges of the seas,
Black skies, lightning strikes, moonlit clouds sitting on the breeze.

Your waves they tumble and they crash,
Then they rise again from the ash
Like life’s one, constant motion,
Like a phoenix from the flames – the motion can’t be broken.

The wind in my sails and the waves beneath me come from you,
This feeling inside me tells me what I need to do,
And it tells me just where I need to be.
With you, where I belong, out at sea.

Here’s an audio of me performing it – https://youtu.be/hwBGzQWqt3s

We’re moving into our new truck very soon (super excited about that) and I’ve been decorating my bed. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to having my own room and I’m putting a lot of effort into making it look aesthetic. It’s really just a reflection of me and who I am, but my main theme is the ocean. I’ve printed out tons of photos, quotes, lyrics and poetry about sailing, waves, tides, beaches and the sea – as well as making my own ocean neon sign! I haven’t got a photo of it finished, but here’s one of it half done.

It now has a big swirly wave underneath 🌊

Another thing about the ocean is all the memories it holds for me. The best days of my life have been spent in its company. It’s given me a purpose. I’ve met some of my best friends thanks to it. Ocean = sailing = 😍😍😍


That was a kinda random post about the ocean + me. Hope you enjoyed!

 

On Friendships, Being Different and The Future…

*Note: not attacking/blaming anyone here. These are just my own opinions. If you disagree feel free to say so and we can discuss it 🙂* 

My little sister came home crying today because she feels so different to all of her friends, she feels like she doesn’t fit in. Truth is, she doesn’t. She doesn’t even want to. 

I walk past and see her standing there surrounded by her entire peer group. They’re all around her – singing stupid songs, doing silly things and talking about TV shows and movies she has no interest in. I catch her eye. She looks so sad and alone.

Later, back at home, she’s pretty upset. “Why can’t my friends be normal?” she asks me. Her perception of normal makes me smile. “They are normal” I tell her “It’s you who’s different.”

She doesn’t want to fit in with them, to be the same, to wear the same type of clothes, to talk the same kind of rubbish – she just wants her friends to be themselves,  to have fun and not care about being ‘cool’ and fitting in. She just wants them to see what’s good and important, to realise that what they’re watching, listening to and basing their small-minded lives around is nonsense. No one ever did anything notable by being like everyone else.

Look, I understand how hard it is to escape from. This stuff is all around us. Our own society is telling us how to think and act, but our whole future is at stake here!

I understand my sister’s struggle. It’s kinda like there’s something that sets us apart. Like our eyes are opened.  Like for some reason we can see the stupidity and danger in following the crowd. I listen to the rubbish some of my own friends and I feel like screaming at them “wake up! Is this how you want to spend your life??!?!”

Sometimes I wonder if anyone actually even likes this stuff – TV shows, music, internet trends and crazes? Maybe everyone is only obsessed because with it because it’s popular and they think they’ll be left out if they don’t join in with the hype?  Wouldn’t it be cool if one person was like ‘guys, what’re we doing? This is seriously so bad!’ and everyone else admitted they never liked it either?! There’s always got to be a first one, right?!

When I talk to my friends one-on-one we have the BEST conversations. Sure, they’re often a bit crazy, but that’s okay. We talk about our dreams and hopes and our struggles and things we’ve done and learnt. How we feel and things that have made us laugh or smile. We talk about memories and stories and things we’re scared of. Things that make us happy, things that make us sad. Very rarely do I have these conversations when there’s a big group of us. Everyone’s so worried about being popular and liked and fitting in that the conversation always turns back to the same old nonsense. ‘Here we go again.” I think, without enthusiasm. I either roll my eyes and zone out – or listen, get all worked up and offend someone. Oops! 😂

If you’ve known me or have been reading this blog for any length of time you’ll know how much I’ve struggled with friendships. It hasn’t been easy for me to avoid peer-pressure. In fact, I’ve probably succumbed to it more than I’d care to admit when things were really tough. I’ve found it so hard to find anyone like me and by ‘like me’ I don’t really mean into the same stuff – I mean not afraid to be themselves and be an individual.

I remember this one day when I just had to let it all go. Holding in the words was suffocating me and I needed to breathe. I wrote this whole long piece, but this was what stood out to me the most when I say back and read through it  at the end:

Do you ever know for certain that you’re not like them or like them or them or them or them? 
but you wonder who you are like?
And you wonder if you’ll ever find anyone like you?

This is why I’m so grateful for the friends I keep in touch with online. They are what real friendship looks like. Blogging friends, friends I’ve met sailing, friends I don’t see often enough, but talk to via email. I’m so lucky and happy with the friends I have in my life and I don’t know where I’d be without them.

So yeah, I’m worried. I’m worried about the future of our world in the hands of this next generation – my generation. We’re lost and the only thing we have to guide us is the negative influences of our society. You see the sickening results of it all around you – mental health, suicide rates, kids nearly losing their lives after jumping out of cars for some new internet trend. Need I say more?

It’s crazy. It’s tragic. And it has to stop. If you’re with me, let me know. It’s not easy for any if of us, but we can do this together, okay 👌❤️

Wish Me Luck – Spoken Word Poetry Performance Update

Hello there!

In my recent post I talked about an urban music and spoken word poetry performance I am going to be a part of very soon. Well, I’m here with an update on that!

  • The performance is on Thursday and I am SO excited.
  • I went to London for the rehearsals last week and it was AMAZINGGGGG!
  • I have two solos.
  • I am performing two very poignant, topical spoken word pieces written by yours truly.
  • At the rehearsal I spent a hardcore one and a half hours with a spoken word poet learning everything you need to know about performing.
  • I spent another hour running through the whole thing with the rest of the group who are sharing all different genres of music, but all with an urban twist – rap, acapella, reggae, etc.
  • I am basically the complete polar opposite of the word urban #countrygirrrrl so I went to the rehearsals in my wellies. Picture below!

Stay tuned for photos of the actual performance coming soon! Oh, and wish me luck, my friends! *dances* *practices like crazyyyyy* 

 

#How Are You? Get Involved!

How are you? 

Simple question, right? One you’ll hear pretty much everyday, probably several times. I’m sure you’ll have your automatic answer all lined up.  Something along the lines of ‘Fine, thanks’ or ‘I’m okay’ or ‘Good’ or whatever. You say it without even thinking.

What happens if you do think about it though? What happens if you pause before you answer and ask yourself how you really are? Would your answer be different?

So I’m asking you – how are you? 

Be creative, be thoughtful, but most importantly, be honest.

Now, if you think this is great, please get involved by either sharing this post or writing your own, spread this around the blogosphere, encourage people to be open and honest, show people how to care about each other! We can do this, guys!

Writing Competition Hosted By Gracie and Gracie: The RESULTS

The time has come to announce the winners of the writing contest hosted by my friend Gracie Marchiani and myself. I won’t keep you in suspense for too long, but before you become tempted to scroll down and skip this part of the post, I must stress that it is very important, okay?

Right, firstly Gracie and I would like to thank every one of you who entered this competition and contributed a story of your own crafting. You guys are AMAZING writers and we had such a hard time choosing between all of your entries. So, you may all take a bow. *applause*

Originally, we had planned on picking just one overall winner, but a number of factors made us decide to change our minds and award 1st, 2nd and 3rd places. Reason #1. We couldn’t choose just one winner. Reason #2. We know how busy everyone is and we thought that one winner critiquing everyone’s entries would be a liiiiittle overwhelming. So now each winner gets a few stories to give feedback on. Okay?

If you are a winner – I know, I know, the suspense is killing me too – pleaseemailusstraightawaytocollectyourprize,okay?

Phewf, let’s get on with it.

Third prize goes to……

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Emmie from Pheonix American Girl World with her story Ghosts At Sunset Lake!!!

Emmie, we loved your story so much. It was beautifully written and you weaved the prompts insanely well. Congratulations! Please get in touch with us to recieve your prize. Your story ill be posted on both mine and Gracie’s blog within the next few days.

Second Prize is for….

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Emily from The Island Of Me with her story ‘Gone’!!!

Emily, your piece was hauntingly beautiful and deeply thought-provoking. Congrats, girl! You totally deserve your prize, get in touch to claim it. ‘Gone’ will be posted on both Through The Eyes Of Gracie and A Light In The Darkness within the next few days.

And finally, the prestigious prize for first place will be awarded to…..

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Andrea from Spaceships, Vampires and Very Secret Agents with her story ‘Flames’!

ASDFGHJKL, Andrea, we looooooooved your story sooooooo much. It was absolutely amazingly written, your descriptions were beautiful, the drama was intense and you wove the prompts wonderfully. Congratulations! Go get your prize, my friend! Flames will be posted on mine and Gracie’s blog within the next few days.

Massive well done to everyone who won and everyone who entered and YOU, for reading this!

Light – A Prose-y Thing That I’m Particularly Proud Of + A Reflection Of Society

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Sooooo, I haven’t shared any of my poetry in ages and so today I’ve decided to share a sort of prose-y piece that could be classed as a very long poem or a very short story written in stanzas (sorry, I’m indecisive) that I’m particularly proud of. As always, all feedback appreciated. I love to hear from fellow poets, writers or even just people who enjoy to listen and read. Oh, and while I remember, you have until the 27th of Feb to enter Gracie M and I’s writing contest. Click HERE to read all about it!

Writing this poem was a bit of an exploratory journey for me. It took into a world of metaphors and philosophy. It taught me to travel beyond the surface. I hope it takes you guys on the same journey. Loads of love to ya all as always!

Light by Gracie Chick 

Light.

On or off? I caress the switch with my fingertips, my mind racing, my head feeling like it’s about to explode, my thoughts and insecurities chasing each other in a fast-paced, never-ending, time-bomb ticking circle. On and on and on. All night. I can’t sleep.

Light.

“Please keep burning, please don’t go out. You are my only hope…” I murmur into the candle flame, my fingers hovered over its warmth. “….for I am so afraid of what the darkness holds.” I can’t sleep for I am too scared. And cold.

Light.

The only light I know is the one that shines from my iphone screen. The only beauty I know is the one that proclaims and aims for perfection, perfect body, perfect, perfect, perfect. #perfect. I must be perfect.

 

Light.

The only light I know is the one that keeps me warm at night and drives the dark away. The only beauty I know is the dance within its flames.

Light.

I switch you on. You hurt my eyes. You do nothing to soothe my pain.

Light.

I rely on you. You are my saviour in the darkest times.

 

Light.

What are you? I learned all about you in science class and then again in RE. Two very different definitions. The light of the sun or the light of Christ?  Do you go deeper than that? Do you fill the cracks of the earth? Pierce the surface? Reach the most remote parts? Could you penetrate my life?

 

Light.

You are the only thing that keeps me going. I am grateful for your presence. I don’t know what it is about you, but I’ve sworn never to question you. So you are here and I am happy.

 

Light.

Could you touch me? Touch the darkest parts of my soul, the parts where the darkness flooded in and I tried to stop it, but it it filled the empty voids quicker than the speed of light, oozing in to suffocate my screams. So now I stay silent, drowning in sickly, sweet black, black treacle.

 

Light.

You are my halo. You are my security. You are the only thing keeping me afloat. Without you, I would burn into the ashes of hope, sink below any sort of horizon, redemption.

Light.

I’ve thought about it and I think maybe the grey is worse than the dark. The dark can be lit up with sunbeams, if you try hard enough, but the it’s the grey you really get lost in.

Light.

I’ve thought about it and maybe the reason why you and I go so well together is because both of our lives are battles. Mine a constant fight to stay above the surface, to float by with ease, staring at the sun in the sky, not looking down, ignoring my feet thrashing in the water, keeping myself afloat, keeping myself alive. Your’s is a simple fight, yet one that can never fully be won, you have one enemy and one enemy only….is the light afraid of the dark?

Light.

Greyness. It’s like paint, isn’t it? You hold a brush between your fingertips, trailing it alternately through white. Black. White. Black. White. You watch as the colours merge, your life becoming a blur between them.

Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Dark. Light. Fine, grey. Light. Grey. Light. Grey. Light. Okay, okay, Light. Light. Light.

Light.

Please show us your triumph, your strength, please use us to change the world, despite our weaknesses.

Light.

So you have won this battle at least. You have drained the darkness from my heart, but your word is but a promise. Please keep it.

Yours truly,

Hope

Yours truly,

Modern Society.

 

Writing Dump + New Spoken Word YouTube Video

‘Photo Dumps’ seem to be ‘a thing’ in the blogosphere right now. Thing is, I’m not much of a photographer. I am a writer, however, a very keen one and one searching for feedback on her work! So today’s post is going to be a ‘Writing Dump’ because someone likes to be rebellious original. It will consist of poetry, short stories and snippets of novels both finished and not.

First though, here I am with another spoken word poem, this time accompanied by creative film-making by me, starring me! Todays poem/film is called Peace For A Poet and it is about a poet on a journey to find peace in our crazy, messed-up world. Along her way she highlights all the injustices she encounters, but in the end….well, you’ll just have to watch it to find out!

I really hope you enjoyed that! As always, feedback is appreciated!

Now, onto #1 of ‘The Dump’. Oh yeah!

“I see you crying, crying like you can’t take no more. I know you’re hiding, but I don’t know what you’re hiding for.

You’re like a diamond shining underneath a billion rocks.

And no one knows the truth except me, and you, of course.

Or do you? I guess there aren’t many mirrors in the pile of rocks that crush you,

Nothing to reflect your brilliant sparkle and bounce it back to you.

Just dull grey rock, maybe you think you’re the same, just with one small difference:

you’re at the bottom of the pile, under everyone else.

Let me tell you, you’re way above them, honey, you just need to realise it.”

I like this because of its sass. It’s from a prose-y short story called Revolution.

#2 

Okay, here are a few snippets from my incompleted NaNo project, The Melody Of Life:

He looked upset. “I wish I could be here to help her”

“Why can’t you?” I asked, raising my voice as anger and confusion threatened to appear, seemingly out of nowhere.

He didn’t answer, just hung his head, all trace of a smile gone.

“I said, why can’t you?” I shouted.

“Dante?” I spun around at the sound of my Mother’s wobbling voice.

“Coming, Mum.” I popped my head around the living room door.

“She misses you, you know.” I whispered, but when I looked around my Father was gone.

It was weeks before he appeared again, perhaps even a month. I was upstairs in my room, imagining as usual. I heard something at the window. Looking across, I couldn’t see anything. Just as I was turning back to stare at the blank canvas of my wall, a shadow crossed the glass. I sighed and decided to check it out. Flinging the window open, I looked out across the rooftops and, sure enough, there he was. He was sat with his back to me, gazing out at the town, swinging his legs over the edge of the garage roof.

“Hey!” I exclaimed, leaping out of the window to join him. He looked at me as I sat down next to him, no surprise in his eyes.

“Where have you been? You abandoned me!” I laughed, glad to have him back. He didn’t laugh with me.

“You don’t need me anymore.” he said. That stopped my laughter short.

“What do you mean?” I asked. “What do you mean, Dad?”

I’m not your Dad.” he told me. That made me wince. “Look, you need to leave me behind and find your real Dad.” The power of his words really hit me hard, right where it hurts too.

I thought about explaining how I couldn’t, about how it would hurt me even more, about how I was safe here, with him, but somehow my argument sounded feeble now.

“You may not need me, but you do need this.” I watched as he pulled a scrap of dusty orange paper from his jeans pocket and handed it to me.

I traced Sahra’s handwriting across its surface. “Where did you get this?” I breathed.

“Call her.” he said, and with that he jumped from the roof.

“Dad!” I cried, looking over the edge, but he was gone. Probably forever.

Just to say, this is his imaginary Dad, his real one left when he was young.

“How did you know I was on the roof today? How did you see me?” I asked

She laughed a little. “That would be because I was on the roof too.”

I was astonished. “You were? You were on my roof?”

“No! My roof, silly.”

“Oh.” It was obvious now I thought about it.

“It’s a great spot for thinking, no?” she stared dreamily out of the window.

“Yeah, you also get a pretty damn good phone signal up there too.” I joked.

She laughed softly.

An attempt at humour. 😉

We walked for a long time in silence. Finally, I spoke. “Sahra?”

“Mmmm.”

“Thank you.”

“What for?”

“Today.”

“Oh. That’s okay.”

“You know what you did, right?”

“I guess so.”

“You took me into the real world and you’ve made it hard for me to leave.”

“I’m not sure I follow.”

“When your life does have bits missing, it’s easy to slip into a place which isn’t entirely real. Before I met you I had cut myself off, wrapped myself up in my imagination, hidden from the truth. I created a place that’s perfect, too perfect, a fantasy.”

“And I drew you out of it?”

“Exactly. You’ve changed me in the few days we’ve spent together. You’ve shown me how amazing reality can be and now I don’t want to go back to my old ways.”

Sahra stepped in front of me. “Dante, you don’t have to.”

I clenched my fists. “You know what it’s like, Sahra. You know it’s hard for me.”

“Yes, Dante.” she whispered softly. “But it’s not impossible. I’ll help you, Jenita will help you, so will Paige and everyone.”

“There’s something else I need to tell you.”

Ooh, the drama!

“Please.” I asked empty space. I felt my way blindly through my thoughts. “I’m not five. You have to tell me what’s happened.”

I heard a sigh, it was strangely muffled. “Look. Get your head out of that pillow and I’ll explain everything.”

I lifted my head and blinked in the light.

Neeeeext! 

I punched in her number, just to see what it looked like on the screen. It was attractive. I laughed quietly to myself, I never found the prospect of numbers or figures exciting. Maths was not something I revelled in.

Hehe.

I have to tell you the truth after all this time. I’m not much of a writer, you know that, but I’ll try to explain the best I can. Please don’t expect any eloquence because that’s one thing I can’t provide.

I am and always will be your friend, but I have to tell you this (you may hate me for it afterwards and never want to speak to me again, but I’ll accept that as my fate). I lied to you all along. It felt terrible to deceive you, but I promise I was only trying to help.

You know, if you ask nicely I might even give you some more snippets, but for now…..*closes book*…..the end.

#3

The Angel Of Peace

I arise,

Shrouding shawl wrapped around my compassionate shoulders,

Ascending from the wrath of 195 nation’s past.

 

From the eye of the storm reflected in their vision,

From the glint on the blade of a metallic winking sword,

And from the release of a gun.

From two hands interlocked, stained with the blood of enemies and comrades combined,

I arise, the angel of peace.

Just another lil’ poem on the not so lil’ subject of peace.