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Pattern

by Ambreen Saniya

This is difficult time for all of us. We miss the normal that we never really closely observed back then and cherished. Some of us are away from our families too. We all are fighting battles in our own ways. We are clinging to even the very little hope that we find admist all the chaos. My poem “Pattern” is an attempt to reminisce our back then normal days. It is in form of a love poem. This read is basically written to make things feel a little lighter even if it is just for a minute.

i. morning
you are,
the welcoming smell of freshly brewed coffee,
the softness of just baked croissant,
the strange tranquility of reading the newspaper,
the boastful moment of a creaseless shirt.
you are,
the chaos of the traffic,
the anxiety of running late.
you are the morning I want to wake up to.

ii. noon
you are,
the rage of the blazing sun,
the excitement of the kid hearing the school bell,
the bashful smiles walking in the lovers’ park.
the happiness of a home cooked meal.
you are,
the enthusiasm of the busy shop owners
the escapism through a book
you are the noon I want my mornings to meet.

iii. night
you are,
the drowsy ride after work,
the soothing silence while walking home,
the comfort of the pajamas,
the pure bliss of a dinner with family.
you are,
the relaxing meditation to my stress
the vulnerable thoughts at midnight,
you are the embrace of my day,
caressing every minute very fondly.

and just like that,
I try connecting,
my days and nights with yours.
but little did I know,
the criss cross patterns,
of yours,
will never match with,
the split piece patterns,
of mine.

Meraki

by Dina Jael

In times of isolation and darkness, as our shells painfully crack open, may we embrace growth and await the reveal of our inner beauty.

M E R A K I .*. d i n a j a e l

The fixation of my hands
is upon the soil beneath me.
It calls me to nurture it,
thus I immerse in its moist nature.
Even the worms collaborate
in this messy downward journey,
softly lingering through my fingers.
Dirt and chaos everywhere,
as I penetrate the chosen spot.
The mycelium awaiting patiently
the arrival of the unaffected seed.
“Spread the news to the Mother Trees!” -they say
“this naive carapace has now entered deep.”
I comfort it with a blanket of mud,
hoping it feels tight and snug.
I carry myself away from the little one,
trusting the light will dry up its tears.
The days pass,
and soon a crackling sound
awakes my eyes.
Is it already time?
I rush to the garden,
encounter nothing but a sad sob.
What is it you need my tiny little dot?
“I need you to hold me, I’m breaking apart”.
A motherly sigh poures down from the clouds,
sparkling drops gently entering the ground.
As a melody of love lifts from a song,
a spirit of warmth prevails the dawn.
The short lived pain has gone astray,
the darkest night fleeted away.
The sun rises and sets.
Rooted secrets are blooming out the edge.
Stretching arms begin to unfold;
sprouting joy; neverending growth.
I stare at such greatness,
as the whistling wind carries out loving scents of graces.

Patience in Solitude

by eros north

These four walls
Have never felt more like a fortress
And there have been times where I have felt stuck inside my own body
But not quite like this
This is a slow torture

Where fresh air and sharp breaths on morning runs are my only freedom
I have never noticed the sky as much as I do now
And it hurts to recognize that

It aches, longing for the ones I felt so tired of
I needed a break to see how much I needed them close
It pains me to hear them, breaking through lost calls
Or seeing them at almost an arms length
Not being able to reach out and touch them
But they’re right there…

How is it that my eyes are glued to my screen
Lost in the cacophonous noise of endless communication
When all I want is to be left alone
Connected and yet… disassociating
I miss the comfortable silence of quality time
Embraces without words
Leaning into one another
Shoulders to cry into
Arms to shelter

Now the countless seconds of deprivation drag on
Turning days into nights
And I’m not sure why this infinite cycle
Invites darkness
I fear for those who feel it’s tug

We need balance
And we need each other
And despite fighting something so real,
I want us to walk out of it, all of us
After what feels like ages of fighting demons
We must gain a better understanding
Of what it means to live a meaningful life
And see the day when we can finally live it

With no end in sight,
We must find ways to live it when getting out of bed is impossible
When opening windows is a battle
When springtime is winter in disguise
I’m here for you
And I believe you can be there for yourself too
Your bed waits to be made
Your windows wait to bring you fresh air
And the world waits with you
For the sun
For the moon
For the rain
And the chance to enjoy this life once again

Every day is a late Sunday morning

by Mary Lou

Time has become the sheet I’ve pushed to the end of my bed with my feet in my sleep
It is folded and scrunched up

I’ve slipped between the folds and I exist in a space where I’m frighteningly aware
of what’s going on in my house,
but I can’t find my way
out of the crumpled white cotton blend

I feel little motivation to unfold the layers above and around me because
I’ve slipped in so easily-

is there any point in resisting now that I’m here?

Every day feels like a late Sunday morning.
The day begins with high hopes that are then swallowed with coffee
By late morning I’ve realized my goals for the day were much too lofty

Do I give up now?
Is there any point?

Mid-afternoon
2 hours contemplating whether I have the time to save this mess of a day

Existentialism and nihilism joined me in social isolation
It’s the late Sunday morning that never ends
Stuck between my bedsheets

But no one is coming to unfold the material from around me
untangle it from my kicking legs  
And tell me everything is fine
Or spur me into action
It’s been hours and I’ve drank far too much coffee for one
Sunday morning

That’s why I’m turning inwards
Sitting with myself
Feeling my forehead wrinkle in tandem with anxiety
My shoulders that roll forwards to look at each other with grief
But then
Feeling my breath that returns when my eyes meet scenes of solidarity and love
My mouth that widens when I read messages from friends
My mind that rests when I move and care for my body

Feel everything
Acknowledge everything
Sit with it. Feel it.
Accept it.
Then see where you want to make change
where you can
Change your world
Then
See what you can do outside your world and in others

Because they need you out of your bed sheets 
It’s not Sunday morning
It’s Monday afternoon and there’s a long week ahead
And we will make it back to another Sunday morning.  

Quarantine

by “The Content Slave”

To every situation there are a million perspectives,
And this life, a synonym of uncertainties,
You expect it to not throw bombshells?
Everything… I mean everything,
In life is for a limited time…. Like Robert Frost once said,
If I can sum up all that I have learnt in life in three words
They would be.. It goes on….
You might never get a break bigger than this..
This is nothing but literally life giving you a chance,
A chance to ponder what it is,
I am no scientist,
But I sure should know,
What I was made for…
Maybe what you know is wrong…
Maybe you are looking at a mountain
And it’s just a covering for a whole darn city,
Figure out what life is…
You have no excuse.. To have been too busy..
-TCS

Widen Your Gaze

by Rob Dominick

Connection
Is fleeting
In these times
But lessons are found
Regardless
If you
Care to look
Outside your room and
Listen

Top 6 tips to get rid of writer’s block

by @the_left_handed_writer (on Instagram)

As a writer I know that the well we go to to collect our inspiration can often run dry. I too struggle with writer’s block. Therefore I’ve found some neat little tricks you can do to regain focus, consistency and get the most out of your writing.

Exercise:
Moving, exercising. It get’s the bloodflow going. The blood that is being pumped towards your head starts to accelerate which makes you able to process thoughts quicker, make connections, connect the dots. It can serve as the fine tuner you needed. You might have been on the right way already, even put some words down, but don’t know how to continue. Exercising will help you to refocus and get rid of that metaphorical stutter you’ve been experiencing. Now you can speak fluently again. Let your words be heard or better, write them down.

Read:
In order for you to be able to write down your own words/pieces, it’s important to have a source of inspiration, a muse. Someone who inspires you, so you can put your own twist to a subject they’ve been talking about.

‘’The truth is, every great writer has imitated the great writers before him or her. To find your voice, you have to take on the voices of others’’

And this is true. To get a sense of writing and all the theory behind it, then it is useful to imitate great writers that have already succeeded. For example: spacing, storytelling, build up, character building ( if you’re writing a book that is). All these things take time to learn. Most of us don’t have a literary background or studied English lit at university.

Therefore to write like somebody else; who has already invented the wheel. Can help you quickly get to their level. The only important thing to remember is to translate their geniuses into your own. This takes time, but if you stay true to your own voice then people will like your writing, your perspectives, your wordplay, those small individual nuances only you can make. This is what makes you a extraordinary writer.

I personally like thrillers, romans and science fiction books. I am writing a thriller and a children’s book at the moment. There are so many aspects to writing a book that I don’t know of yet. But having read so many books and stories of these genre’s, has given me a good foundation to work with and create my own story.

Consistency:
I have a Instagram account. @the_left_handed_writer. Here I post all my writings. At the beginning I wanted to grow really fast so I knew that I had to write a lot, post a lot and make sure I was connecting with my followers.
You won’t be inspired every day. These are just hard facts. Some days you can just keep on typing and the words will just appear on the page. And other days you will see that blinking line on Microsoft word going on, and on. Without moving. You’ve just been staring to the screen for half an hour like an idiot.
Writing, is a muscle. You need to train it. You can’t expect to run a marathon (a book for instance) without ever having to run. You’re not used to the workload, the distance, the pressure.
That’s why it is very important to write. Everyday. Regardless of what it is. Good or bad. It doesn’t exist. Not in this case at least. This is just you sketching, training the muscle. Make that canvas dirty, it doesn’t bite.

To get back on Good/Bad writing. Some of you might be more perfectionistic then others, but in general we all like to produce/write something we can be proud of. I feel the same way. But like drawing. Sketching/brainstorming is super important to get an idea of what subject you want to write about, how you want to interpret it, what message you want it to say. Later on you can finetune. Don’t be so harsh on yourself in the beginning.

Even though I don’t post daily anymore on my Instagram. I still keep a journal, with all my doodles, sketches, and finished pieces. Once in a while I just go through them, read some old stuff and I find new inspiration in words from the past. These topics I wrote about back then, now have a different meaning to me. Time has passed and I have evolved, I see things different now, with a new set of eyes, so to say.
So, if you ever feel uninspired, go back to a moment were you were and maybe it will lit the spark again, who knows ;).

Accountabillity/set goals:
Two years ago, I joined a course called : how to write a book in 100 days.

It’s been said that realistically ,you really only need a maximum of 3 months to write your first draft of your book. Anything that takes longer is just you stalling, overthinking.

A whole book?! But how? Well, this is possible if you consistently write 500 to 1000 words a day. This seems like a lot. But really it isn’t. For example, this article that I’ve been writing right now has 860 words right now and this took me 15 min. If I can do it you can too! Put your back into it, press pause on Netflix for a bit and write down some words!

During this course there were a lot of other participants as well, who were eager to write a book, some even already wrote and published a book, but liked the course so much that they did it again.

Every week we had to update our story, if you didn’t, you would get a penalty, an x behind your name. If you collected 3 penalties. You would be kicked out of the program, because clearly you couldn’t commit to the cause. This sounds rough, but it was to push you and make you more consistent. I only made it because of all the positive feedback of the other writers and their encouraging words. I held them accountable and they me.

Set goals for yourself, realistic ones (important detail), remember the Marathon I mentioned earlier. You still have to train before you can handle the ”real deal”. Set goals, you know you will pass and then slowly increase the amount of work and time you put into it.

Treat yourself! You did it, you passed your goal. Reason for celebration. Take a nice break for yourself. Now you can press play again, go watch a nice episode of your favorite series, a movie, a nice walk through the forest, whatever makes you happy. Treating yourself small or big, it stimulates your growth/motivation so next time you’ll try just as hard or even harder!

Reflection:
I talked about this a bit earlier, but I want to go a bit more in depth now. All your writings, everything you experience. It’s a process. You’re walking down a path and you will get at a crossroad more often then you like there to be. And you’re going to have to make certain decisions. These decisions will lead to results, there’s true power to be found in reflecting on what those results mean/meant for you, and what you based your choices on.

These values you have, the reason why you write it’s important for your future writings. You are making an image for yourself. People read your pieces, because you let them feel something, they can relate, imagine, sense. You owe it to them to stay true to yourself and what you find important.

Give and take Feeback:
To grow as an writer and to be less stuck in writer’s block you should think of giving or receiving feedback. It’s nice to hear something from others who look at your work with a fresh perspective. This often showed me how nice it is to share your thoughts, reasoning behind things, your passion. Because, you will get it back just as much. That’s why I like collabs so much. On your own, the piece would turn out completely different. But it is not just your piece it is a fuse of two minds, a harmony between perspectives. Some writing styles might be more dominant then others, but just like a lead singer needs back vocals and his band to make it a whole, you need that other writer. It doesn’t matter how loud your voice is, every cog is important in the machine to keep it running smoothly.

Change your environment:
If you are just as quickly distracted like me then you’re screwed. No, just kidding I have the solution. When I am at home I have my PlayStation 4, my guitar to play tunes and sing, Netflix, my running shoes (if I feel proactive). In other words, to many distractions. How do you cut them off. Go somewhere else. I personally like to go to a nice casual café with good coffee and a nice corner to sit in. I’d take my laptop with me or just a journal. Because a laptop has a standard button for Netflix these days you can understand that even being in this ”other environment” the temptation to start watching Netflix anyway is very present. So, just the journal and a pencil is probably the roughest conditions I can create for myself. Now I basically have to write. If you have more self-control then me, I certainly hope you do, then you won’t have to do it this drastically, but you get the point. If you change your surroundings, cut away your distractions, you will have more focus to write.

Dearest April

by Kavindi Jay (@eloquent_kmj)

April, will you be the chance of rain
To the whole mankind?
Haven’t seen him, for what feels ages
Do you have the heart to be kind?
Cherry blossom dreams, all pink and glowing
Fill up my lonely heart.
Have you ever loved someone dearly
To understand, a lover’s dreamy art?

It ain’t easy to be miles away
Isolation being the barrier between us, above all
Please don’t make it even harder
Battles of love ain’t simple to win, after all.
Fiery fascinations do creep in at times
As I yearn for his touch and ceaseless laughter
The warmth, the lust of pasttimes
Those sensations, as beautiful as blossoming buds after

I’ve become everybody’s fool, because of you April
As I lie day and night, weaving day dreams
Hoping you’ll finally end these dark times of peril
And calm this fearful chaos, a nightmare it seems.

The streets won’t be abandoned for long!

by Simi Juriasingani

I saw an image of an empty street and it made me really sad and nostalgic. But then I remembered something I read when I was little, “All things change – the good and the bad things. Always remember that change is the only constant.” It made me feel hopeful, which inspired a poem about the streets not being abandoned forever.

Covetous Humans

by @@eloquent_kmj (on Instagram)

When we finally were deprived
of embracing each other.
We learnt to embrace ourselves
Even more than before.
We’ve revived forgotten people within us,
who were lurking in a corner, ignored.
The artists, singers, writers inside
Became reborn, prominent & explored.

We’ve realised how fragile we are
The stunts we pull against nature,
won’t be withheld forever.
Fell in a deep spell, feet bounded
To discern how freely we roamed, boundless
Currently stuck in the confines of a home
Where family comes first, not our phones.
Bored alrght, but ain’t it comforting, the race

Just like a butterfly, embracing a rose
We’ve started to hug and feel the nature
Perceiving how sensational it’s glory is
Covetousness has a price to pay
Suppose, we’re gradually expiating now
Comprehending the worth of our freedom
We had, we overused and we’ve lost
The universe knocks on our hearts
To be better & humane than we’ve ever been.