Three Weeks of Free Time

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Three weeks of free time
I give myself a rest,
No matter what they say
I know myself best.

Three weeks of free time
I pick up something new,
So far for driving I’ve had
Lessons one and two.

Three weeks of free time
I continue playing my games,
Training my monsters
Over volcanoes and plains.

Three weeks of free time
Before university starts,
And it’s all networking
With work thrown like darts.

Three weeks of free time
But quite there yet.
I still have time to laze around,
Now that I’m an expert.

The Herd of Black and White

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Too many people in big suits
I just came here to eat my food.
Too many people talking big
Hearing debates make me feel sick.

Too many events for the oh so smart
Please spare a thought for mere mortals like us.
I didn’t sit here to listen to you fuss
No, unlike you, I never cared as much.

They are a herd of black and white
Swarming the entire food court,
Snaking around the drinks stall…
What a horrible, bustling crowd.

A few days later
I am happy to announce
The herd of black and white
Has migrated to another area
More suited to their class.

P.S.
I didn’t write this as a hate poem
But I guess this has been my secret anthem.

Sometimes

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I’m pretty sure it’s all in my mind
But I feel this way every time.
I cast a shadow of despair,
There’s a tightness in the air.

I stare up at the cloudy sky
And ask myself again “Oh why
I never ever seem to learn
It’s a thing I can’t discern.”

It wasn’t a case of carelessness
I wasn’t completely unaware.
Selecting what I wanted to see,
I dissolved the rest
Into a cloud of mist.

Sensitive, sensible I might describe,
But in it all lies a worthless pride.
Excuses pour down like the rain
Every streak leaving an ugly stain.

Sometimes I just want
To dig a hole
And disappear.

Sometimes I worry
That my actions will cause
My social circle
To rot and decay.

Worlds of Ink and Shadow by Lena Coakley

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Worlds of Ink and Shadow is an eerily enthralling novel. Lena Coakley cleverly weaves in the historical background of the Brontë family together with the magic of crossing over to imaginary worlds, created by the siblings. The novel draws readers to discover the “deathless bonds between writers and their creations”.

The novel focuses on Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne, and is positioned around ten years after the deaths of their two older sisters. Charlotte and Branwell have created a world called “Verdopolis”, born from their stories. The two of them even get to cross over to this world and interact with their beloved characters… but at a price. Overcoming this is also difficult when Emily and Anne are not as innocent as they seem, and the Verdopolis characters themselves haunt the siblings for letting them go.

Brief background on the Brontë family: Charlotte, Emily and Anne Brontë were nineteenth century authors who wrote under the male pseudonyms of Currer, Ellis and Acton Bell. Their most famous work was Charlotte Brontë’s bestseller Jane Eyre. Branwell was the only son in the family, and was a painter and writer.

What fascinates me is how closely detailed the characters are to the actual Brontë family. The story runs so smoothly, straddling fact and fiction. For instance, Coakley’s version of the story behind Branwell’s painting was spine-chilling as I visualised the incident. Throughout the story, Coakley has played with references that linked to the real lives of the family. The deaths of the two elder sisters, Maria and Elizabeth, have deeply influenced the works of the Brontës, and this is echoed in the novel, especially in the retelling of what happened in Clergy Daughters’ School. Personally, doing a bit of research on the Brontë family made me appreciate the book even more.

Unlike the Brontës’ real novels, Worlds of Ink and Shadow is not what people may find intimidating ‘heavy reading’. Instead, it carries readers off in a thrilling, engrossing read.

Coherently Incoherent

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It was honestly
Just a casual remark,
But it conjured confusion
That led to tiring explanation
And made me regret mentioning it.

I once wrote with clarity
Yes, clear I once were.
But coherence has left me.
I have sensed it ever since
The start of the year.

Oh this was something trivial,
It was meant to be a joke.
I guess I was just too hungry
And hungry minds don’t work.

Alas, this is definitely
Just another queer product
Of mindless overthinking.

Snakes and Ladders

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I.
I waited and waited, and now it came.
But the past and present are never the same.
I thought my eyes would light up
And that I would jump up
In joy that it was what I wanted.

It was what I wanted,
Since two years ago.
It seemed so prestigious,
It was my goal.
But now that I made it,
I don’t feel that way anymore.

II.
It makes me proud to say that
My mind is finally crystal clear.
Gone is the past despair,
Gone is the disappointment.
I finally have it all figured out.

My heart has been heavy these days
But now I feel the breeze in my hair,
The warmth of the sun’s rays,
The lightness of my steps.

That is not to say
That everything will be easy.
No, I see
The twists and turns of my path,
The high hills and steep stumps –
Life is a game of Snakes and Ladders.

It will be challenging.
The heavy workload,
The quest for opportunities,
The deadly competition.

I may not get what I want.
I may fall behind in the marathon,
And see others thrive and shine
In areas I wanted but lost.

It may be, but
I made it this far.
I know, and I believe
I have the power to succeed.

It’s going to another game
Of Snakes and Ladders,
And I’m gonna make it to the top.

Awaiting

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I.
Tension –
Waiting, waiting, waiting
Time ticks so slowly
Daily checks of the inbox
But no responses received.

Fear –
Maybe I made the wrong choice
Maybe the rankings are wrong
Maybe I would end up
With something I wouldn’t like
But I can’t change them anymore.

Anxiety –
It’s no longer within my control anymore.
I wish I could have been firmer
And decide that I was what I wanted.
Instead this fragile heart
Crumples in constant worry.

Perhaps realism is my downfall.

II.
The rain pours,
The skies roar with thunder and lightning.
Yet it is in this thunderstorm
That I feel the calmness of my heart.

The wind blew open
The constrained windows of my mind,
Offering me wisdom of possibilities,
Washing away my clouded vision.

I believe in destiny.
I believe that whatever it is I get,
I will make it the best for me.

Cross Junction

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I’m sitting at a cross junction,
I can’t feel my brain function.
I don’t know where I’m going
Or where this road will be leading.

My mind is getting in a whirl,
My vision is starting to be blur.
I can’t even hear my thoughts
With all this noise running about.

Should I just charge ahead,
Or should I take a turn instead?
And would that be left or right –
Which one makes my future bright?

I’m stuck in a traffic jam,
I’ve forgotten where I am.
All around me I can see
Troubled people just like me.

Up ahead Time the train is chugging,
In my mind the strings are tugging.
Interest happily gears up the engine
But Practicality blasts out with honking.

I thought that studying was such a pain,
But now this choice is driving me crazy again.
Children, children, play while you can,
At least you don’t have to worry ’bout your future plans.

I can feel my thoughts circle,
My nails are now turning purple.
I don’t know what will be the future me,
I’m still a kid unprepared for a degree.

Gradually the traffic is easing,
More people driving away and leaving.
How do they make up their minds so fast?
I still don’t know which path to trust.

Then again, delay and it might be too late.
I shall follow my instincts then leave it up to fate.

I Should Have

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I had my running shoes on
But I didn’t know when to run.
Now I’m running away from reality
Because hell on earth has begun.

I underestimated the requirements,
I overestimated my ability.
I guess I shouldn’t challenge myself
When I know I’ll crumble with responsibility.

I thought I was doing well enough,
I thought I would do fine.
I guess I’ll never fit the adult life
When I’m still a kid in my mind.

I’ve had enough of people,
I’ve had enough of talk.
I’ve had enough of smiling
So let me go off for my loner’s walk.

I had my running shoes on
But I didn’t know when to run.
Now I’m running away from reality
Because hell on earth has begun.

Suddenly I hear a scream,
Turn around and there I see
The monster chasing me in my dreams
Has always just been me.

I can’t feel my heart now,
I can’t feel my lungs.
I think I wrote a masterpiece
That’s been waiting to be sung.

Hurry up and beat those drums,
Hurry up and start the song.
I’m just gonna sing my sorrows
Until all my tears are gone.

I’m as useless as one can be,
I just can’t set priorities.
I get nervous then break down
And stumble to my knees.

I can’t face them anymore,
I wish I had someone else to blame.
But that only makes me a bigger loser,
So all that’s left is shame.

I could have,
I should have,
I didn’t.

I had my running shoes on
But I didn’t know when to run.
So now I’m running away from reality
Because hell on earth has begun.

Three Muffins, Three Cakes

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She felt like a peasant
Who had unknowingly
Stepped into the rich man’s land.

Pulling the door open she entered,
Her heart quivering slightly
As she was met with glances
Of those who sat comfortably there.

The exquisite aroma of coffee
Did little to soothe her,
Only successfully adding to her unease.

It wasn’t her first time
At such a place,
But it was the first time
She ever bought something there.

It wasn’t her task that bothered her,
But perhaps the fact that
She was ordering so much food
Which weren’t for her,
And paying with so much money
That wasn’t hers.

She tried to be sophisticated
In her ordering,
But mass ordering
Has always gotten her tongue-tied.

While waiting her eyes
Darted around the area-
The coffee beans on display,
Groups of people with their laptops
In the middle of hushed discussions,
Hearing others’ orders,
The strong aroma of coffee
That filled the entire cafe.

“Girl! Miss! Miss!”
She snapped out of her daze
Seeing an increasingly impatient
Staff holding and waving two bags.

Flushed with embarrassment
She mumbled an apology
While grabbing the bags
And rushing off from the piercing stares.

Three muffins, three cakes
One girl, one task,
Thousands of mistakes.