Writing Reality: Using Synaesthetic Imagery

10/02/2014 at 05:50 (Method Writing, Poetry, Reviews, Synaesthesia, Writing, Writing Reality articles) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


There’s nothing I love more than to watch for the signs in life. Subtext, subtweet, crossed-wires, imagery, symbolism. In particular, the metaphor can create a beautiful path of words, drawing comparison between one image and another, so that the audience might walk to find themselves at a new truth, a fresh abstract landscape, rather than the tired old concrete definition of some reality.

Synaesthesia – “the transfer of information from one sensory modality to another”, or mingling of the senses – is often used to enhance imagery in writing. We find examples of this every day – “a bitter wind,” “a blue sound”, “a black funk.” As sense-imagery can be a vital part of drawing the audience into a scene, allowing them to experience what the narrative POV does (directly or by proxy), it stands to reason that the use of synaesthesia – the mingling of senses, or connecting a sense to something it is not regularly used for – creates an even more memorable effect.

As a synaesthete myself (sound — > colour/shapes [chromesthesia] and mood —> colour) I find a heightened reaction to words layered with this type of literary device, and will often speak aloud certain words to strengthen their colour/texture:

“There are perfumes fresh like the skin of infants
Sweet like oboes, green like prairies,
—And others corrupted, rich and triumphant” – “Correspondences”, Charles Baudelaire

I already “see” the sound of the oboe in shades of green, even without the additional pleasure of sense Taste (with positive connotations in “sweet”) being connected to the instrument’s sound, and to the smell of perfume.

When using synaesthesia to enhance your own writing, consider the connotations involved.
“The wind was a thin blanket pulled over the city” – a metaphor, which can stand in place of telling the audience that the wind is insubstantial / cold, depending on the context in which it is framed. For a more synaesthetic viewpoint, you might show the audience that the wind is cold by using colour:
“A blue wind slid over the city.”

This relies upon the acceptance of the audience that the colour blue holds connotations of cold, to be chilled, though it may also be interpreted as sadness if that is the context in which you’re writing – the mood you are trying to set.
I chose to swap the verb “pulled” for “slid”, since the former belongs with the image of a blanket being tugged over someone/thing, while the latter fits more neatly with the image of water or something slippery – again, associated with the colour blue, the feeling of (being) cold.
Since the wind cannot be seen (except through whatever it touches/moves) but can be felt and heard, it is the synaesthetic transference to sense Sight which helps the metaphor to work, with the afore-mentioned connotations carrying the message over.

When it comes to depicting a character through synaesthetic imagery, one of my favourite examples is by the US author Peter S Beagle, in his novel “The Last Unicorn.” It’s to this book that I owe most of my writing influences. Having first seen the film at age five, and being marked by its dark magic (I mean that in the sense of the wild world, the quiet woodland, the pathos/comedy of heroism), I tracked down the book to some desolate second-hand store, where the pages of the stacked volumes were old and yellow as the light filtered through papered-up windows.
My copy still smells of old leaves; the very best kind.

It’s through this colour that Beagle chose to sum up the jaded life of the character Molly Grue, a woman brought down to the level of a drudge by harsh circumstances. When confronted with the sight of the last unicorn in the world, her reaction is poignant to say the least.

“But Molly pushed him aside and went up to the unicorn, scolding her as though she were a strayed milk cow. “‘Where have you been?”‘
Before the whiteness and the shining horn, Molly shrank to a shrilling beetle, but this time it was the unicorn’s old dark eyes that looked down.
“‘I am here now,'” she said at last.
Molly laughed with her lips flat. “‘And what good is to me that you’re here now? Where were you twenty years ago, ten years ago? How dare you, how dare you come to me now, when I am this?”‘ With a flap of her hand she summed herself up: barren face, desert eyes, and yellowing heart. “‘I wish you had never come, why do you come now?”‘ – pg 63, “The Last Unicorn,” Peter S Beagle.

I have yet to find a passage in any text that can move me more than this one. The image is stark, the pathos (particularly when read in the context of the novel) is raw; here then is the image of a yellowed woman, standing before the shining white immortality of a unicorn so much older than she, but untouched by time or care. As Molly says later in the book, “The sky spins and drags everything along with it … but you stand still. You never see anything just once. I wish you could be a princess for a little while, or a flower, or a duck. Something that can’t wait.”

We can look upon the sky, but it is left up to weather to provide us with contact through the other senses – we hear when the storm charges a sound through the static-tumble of thunder, feel our neck hairs prickle with the electricity of lightning’s rise. But to taste the wind?
“So they journeyed together, following the fleeing darkness into a wind that tasted like nails.” – pg 68, “The Last Unicorn.”

Beagle creates an alternative image of something stronger, more memorable, as of a cat flehming to gauge a strange scent on its territory, via the mouth (taste-smelling the air.) You’ve probably come across this phenomenon yourself from time to time, when a smell tingled on your tongue and palate, or a taste filled up your nose.

Placed in the context of the scene – walking through a sullen, grey land – the negative connotations are ramped up with this sense- image of the wind and air “tasting” metallic, bitter.
Similarly, the smell of the main foe, the Red Bull of King Haggard, is described in a unique and quite unpleasant way:

“Bony birds struggled across the sky, screeling ‘Helpme helpme helpme!’, and small black shapes bobbled at the lightless windows of King Haggard’s castle. A wet, slow smell found the unicorn.
‘Where is the Bull?’ she asked. ‘Where does Haggard keep the Bull?’ – pg 69, “The Last Unicorn.”

The image created is something fetid and dark, slippery as rotting fish. Something best left unknown, hidden in the depths of the world beneath Haggard’s castle, surrounded by the sea.

It’s worth mentioning here that context can influence a lot of what you are trying to say to the audience. Pay attention to the connotations surrounding the sense you wish to draw upon, before forming the image. To describe the moon as having a “soft glow” (Touch —> Sight) creates a pleasant setting, as of a balmy summer night:
“Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The silent time of midnight
Shines sweetly everywhere” – Emily Bronte, “Moonlight, summer moonlight.”

Whereas in the setting of a hunter’s time, that same moonlight may become a finger of bone, or a sliver-blade come to slide through the heart of the midnight woods:

“Black Minnaloushe stared at the moon,
For, wander and wail as he would,
The pure cold light in the sky
Troubled his animal blood.” – W. B. Yeats, “The Cat and the Moon”

The sense Touch is mingled with Sight, creating a bonelight glow synonymous with hunting, the clarity of a cat’s movements; the chill message of death. I find real pleasure in these lines, and know that feeling well – to wander with the night burning the blood – though it’s difficult to understand its origins. Through synaesthetic imagery, Yeats has created a more primitive time, in which the audience can perhaps see themselves reflected – that wilder side, so often lost in the light of day.

When describing a mood, I tend to fall back on how they appear to me – as colours, usually in cloud-form and with no definite shape. A feral mood – all itchy feet and hot blood, a restless spirit – is a beetle’s back, because this is how it actually appears in my mind, all glossy and purple-black. It’s handy for describing this particular mood when writing metaphorical imagery; but I am reliant on the connotations of mystery surrounding these colours, to get my point across.

Similarly, a “pale mood/mind”, can be used to describe weariness. This is because my mind will actually turn pale, like a negative inversion of the black “fadeout” seen in films. It will get to the point where I find it difficult to think (see) clearly. The extreme of this is a “whiteout” (again, associated with and derived from the cinematic fadeout), wherein shock / fear will stimulate a neurological reaction – my mind literally turns white, blinding and stark.

This form of synaesthesia has been known to occur as a self-preservation technique. Take into consideration how you might describe the mood of a scene, through an overlap of the senses – how might fear be conveyed without describing the feeling of cold sweat, goosebumps? Could another sense be employed, such as seeing blinding-bright sparks (of fear), or having an acrid taste (of fear) in the mouth?

Whether synaesthetic or not, I believe that a writer can engage with their audience on entirely new levels of perception when using the syndrome in conjunction with imagery. Particularly if it is to mnemonic effect; I know of several synaesthetes who use their “type”, of colours associated with dates/days of the week, like a highlighter pen on a calendar.

For me, grapheme/phoneme colours of certain passages in a text, can trigger a reaction that leaves a “bookmark” impression. I can then return to these influential snippets as and when needed. F. Scott Fitzgerald and Truman Capote are favourites for this, as are Nabokov and Alice Hoffman, all of whom are “colour-associative” authors.

Whatever sensory-crossover you choose when using synaesthetic imagery, keep in mind the associative connotations; how these will impact upon the context of events in a scene, the portrayal of a character, the mood surrounding a narrative POV / dialogue.
Using the adjectives “juicy” and/or “red” to taste/sight-describe a cemetery’s creepy atmosphere, will more than likely evoke the wrong image.

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Writing Reality: Synonyms and Antonyms

06/01/2014 at 05:50 (Personal) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Our language is wonderfully diverse. For every one word or phrase assigned to something – whether in description, as a preposition, to denote an action – there are countless others with the same or similar meanings, but different graphemic / phonetic constructs, waiting to be used. As any writer will tell you, it’s often the most agonizing part of the whole process … trying to find that one word which will encapsulate the message you wish to convey, in a sentence.

Collectively, these words/phrases are known as synonyms. Their function, broadly speaking, is to add flavour to communication in speech and writing. If we were all to use the same words in our vocabulary then conversation would soon become strained; in text, all prose/verse would seem repetitive and lacking depths of meaning. We would know what to expect from others, with little chance of gratification from being surprised/charmed by a turn of phrase not our own. Synonyms step in to alleviate this wearing-out of language.

When a word or phrase is described as being synonymous with another word or phrase of the same language, its meaning can be taken as the same or suggestive of it:

“His name became synonymous with that of the Devil” (suggestive of evil in a character, through deeds)

Beautiful is an adjective. All well and good when used in the simple sentence, “She was beautiful.” Now imagine it being repeated across a more complex sentence structure, with additional features thrown in: “She was beautiful, with a beautiful nose and beautiful eyes.” By this point, beautiful is starting to look a bit strained around the eyes itself. To liven things up, it can be substituted after its first appearance with “a cute nose and lovely eyes.” Even these words are on the generic side, and don’t really add much in terms of describing the features mentioned – but they are synonyms of beautiful nonetheless, in the denotative sense of being attractive, and in their positive connotations.

Context is a pivotal factor when choosing to replace one word with another. Fine and pleasing are synonyms of beautiful, but they might not make as much of an impact when describing someone’s features or personality. Substituting it for foxy when describing the appeal of an ancient church, wouldn’t quite make the right impression; likewise, bewitching has connotative links to magic and enchantment, which would seem unsuitable in the religious context.

Bright is an adjective, and can be replaced with glittering, shining, aflame, vivid, argent, etc. However, as argent is associative with the colours silver and white (from the noun Argentum, chem., the metal silver) it may not be the best synonym to use in lieu of bright, when describing a pair of eyes. It would however fit the context of a night sky, and a full moon.

When writing, take into consideration the environmental / lifestyle factors that could affect someone’s personality, appearance and decisions, which in turn will influence your word choices. If the context was to be the description of a feral hunter or mercenary warrior on the campaign trail, chances are you could be looking for words that will reflect a life of guerilla movements, outdoor living conditions and tight rationing. In terms of appearance, you could describe them as being strong, but it doesn’t convey much in terms of imagery.

“He was sinewy with muscle” vs. “He was brawny with muscle.” Though both denote strength and a compact, toughened physical form, the word brawny is more closely associated with the image of size and muscle mass. For swiftness of movement and tenacity in battle, the character is more likely to need / to have built up a lean muscle mass that resembles steel rope, braided and sinewy, as opposed to large blocks of muscle that might actually slow them down and make them more conspicuous in battle. This is only a personal observation, of course; but I choose sinewy over brawny to suggest a lean style of living, reflected in the physical form of the warrior / hunter.

Synonyms can be used to denote authority: “It is the first time British police are being issued with the “non-lethal weapon“‘ – as opposed to, ‘…are being given the “non-lethal weapon.”‘ This report refers to police Personal Protective Equipment, or PPE. To issue is a verb – synonyms include to give or to dole out, but neither fit the professional context of the action and the impersonal tone of the text. There is technically nothing wrong with using the word “give”, as it is a verb and concerns supplying someone with something. But it doesn’t have the same authoritative ring of issue and to give is more closely associated with gifts and presents, or acts of charity.

In obituaries and epitaphs, words synonymous with death can be used as part of a euphemism, to deliver a softened approach to a subject that is taboo for some (where open discussion is concerned), and raw for those in mourning. As the concept of death can be surrounded by negative feelings (grief, anger, loss) and the word itself holds connotations of fear and the unknown, it is useful to have words synonymous with it (when placed in context), which deliver a message that isn’t quite so direct. These synonyms often have restful and positive meanings, or humour intended to take away the sting of loss; they might also reflect the religious beliefs of the one who has died / their family.

passing away
(courtesy of http://kaionegal.typepad.com/)

In contrast to synonyms, we have antonyms. These are words that stand in oppositional meaning to others:

love hate

The word itself is an antonym of synonym, and is just as reliant on context. Hot is a word that can be made relevant to the weather when placed in a meteorological context – say, the comparison of two countries’ climates. But it can also be used to describe someone’s physical attractiveness or success, in a colloquial sense.
When seeking the antonym of a word, be aware of unintentional connotations becoming linked to your desired message.

There are three types of antonym.

Graded antonyms could visually resemble railway lines on a map, with the starting point at one end and the destination at the other. In between lie calling points to be stopped at first. Between Love and Hate, there is Like. In the context of a dimmer switch on a light, there is an Increase – Decrease of illumination, before On / Off occurs.

Relational antonyms cannot exist without one another.
You may greet someone with Hello, and bid them Goodbye
A door may be Opened and then Closed (or Shut, if you want a synonym.)

In weight-training, Flexion is the bending of a joint, bringing the bones that create it closer together. Its counter (or antonym) is Extension – straightening the joint out. Likewise, there is Elevation and Depression (raising / lowering.)

Complimentary antonyms have only one outcome – words meet and greet without gradients of meaning between them.

You can either be Alive or Dead.
Something can be True or False
A light can be flicked On or Off

If you are one, you cannot be the other; these are ‘absolute’ opposites.” – Kristin Denham and Anne Lobeck, Linguistics for Everyone: An Introduction, 2nd ed. Wadsworth, 2013

Be careful when using your Thesaurus. Overdoing it on the fancy variations doesn’t make a text look more professional, and may actually harm the rhythm of your words. As ever, consider context – what message are you trying to convey? what connotations are linked to the word/words you wish to substitute? – and read aloud what you have written. Sometimes, the word we’re trying to avoid is the most likely candidate, with the truest message, after all.

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Writing Reality: Sound Effects in Writing

25/11/2013 at 05:45 (Poetry, Reviews, Writing, Writing Reality articles) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


When writing, do you speak aloud the words that will form your sentences, to know them for sound as well as structure?

As Capote quite rightly said, “the greatest pleasure of writing is not what it’s about, but the music the words make.” There are a good many comparisons to be drawn between writing – both verse and prose – and music, most notably in the techniques used to establish rhythm and rhyme.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve wrangled with the latter in particular for years, to the point of actively abandoning it for a length of time while writing poetry in my teens. We’ve probably all been there at some point, guilty of wrestling a word down, beating it into shape to suit our intended message. But the result will only ever sound forced. This applies to both poetry and prose; too often, I’ve read my own work aloud and found a sentence / paragraph in dire need of rearrangement, because it didn’t “sound right.” Words didn’t click together where a smooth or beautiful image was my intention; likewise, a scene fraught with tension could have used more staccato sounds indicative of the mood.

Below are a few linguistic sound-effect techniques which I’ve returned to recently – learned in English Language, and perhaps overlooked while writing prose as opposed to poetry, which was my primary creative outlet for some time. It’s quite easy to overlook sound-imagery when a particular genre (in my novel’s case, YA drama) doesn’t tend to be vocalized. Speeches, scripts, adverts, poetry, lyrics, phonetic picture books aimed at children, are more likely candidates.

But this doesn’t mean the mind can’t automatically register a word in its “silent” form, particularly with relation to life experience. In the case of onomatopoeia, “we read not only with our eyes but also with our ears. The smallest child, learning to read by reading about bees, needs no translation for buzz. Subconsciously we hear the words on a printed page.” – James Kilpatrick, Listening to What We Write.

For sensory involvement in text, onomatopoeia is a great way to transport the audience “live” to a scene, without going overboard on lengthy descriptions. Words are used which imitate the action, object or concept they refer to – the rustle of leaves, the hiss of a snake or wheeze of a bad cough (and of course, cough itself is another example.) Farmyard picture books for children, with the animal / industrial sounds displayed in bold letters, are a classic example of onomatopoeia. They are a delightful way of putting words, their relative sounds and animals, into context.

Comics and graphic novels have used onomatopoeia to great effect over the years, with emphasis on character actions:

thwip

and scene events, for enhanced audience involvement:

trwoa

It could be argued that these words will change in relation to the language used, and therefore lose their onomatopoeic value – but as Cornelia Haase points out in her Oxford Dictionaries blog, it’s the initial phonemes used which will round up the differences: “A French rooster says ‘cocorico’ and an Arabic-speaking one will sound something like ‘kuku-kookoo’. Whereas the vowels differ in these examples, all of them contain a plosive (/k/). Once again, this is the quality of the sound produced by a rooster translated into human speech: loud and piercing.”

“From the moment he entered it the wood seemed full of noises. There was a smell of damp leaves and moss, and everywhere the splash of water went whispering about..
Roosting birds rustled overhead; the night breeze stirred the leaves…” – pg 34, Watership Down, Richard Adams.

In this excerpt, onomatopaiea and consonance are used to convey the unsettling motion of the woodland; the wind ruffling rabbit fur, shifting leaves; the fluttering of birds. All are disturbing to the rabbit’s peace, out of their secure home and wandering in alien territory. Consonance being the repetition of similar consonant sounds at stressed syllables, when spoken aloud, the repeated use of the /r/ phoneme makes it easy to imagine their wide-eyed fear, as they take note of every minute detail which might cause them harm.

Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sounds, found at points of stress. It’s useful for memorization, for creating text that is catchy and trips off the tongue. As it’s dependent on the sound of the letter, clever cat is alliterative – so is murky with mud; but clear light in the city is not, as the letter C in this case is soft, as of /s/. The first C is relevant to the /K/ phoneme – cat, kitten, school. It’s the feeling you get at the roof of your mouth.
The second C emerges through the teeth and tongue, as with ice, sun and dress. This is an important feature to remember about alliteration.

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping…
And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me – filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before…” – The Raven, Edgar Allan Poe.

Alliteration is a useful technique for ad campaigns – you’ve no doubt had some earworm heard on the TV or radio, stuck in your mind. Brand names too, can be made memorable with alliteration: Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Range Rover, Mr Muscle. It’s also the reason why I never give names to characters which sound too much alike, particularly the initial letter/sound; too easy for the reader to mix them up in the mind.

Used too often in prose, alliteration can make for clotted language. Phonemes that appear frequently will stand out, and have your audience wondering if there’s some message that they’re missing. Unless there are particular words/phrases you want to drive home, try to avoid overdoing it. That being said, alliteration can make for some truly memorable scenes in prose; as can its counterpart, homoioteleuton:

“He ran quickly and the ice flowed sleekly”
“Someone should call attention to his lack of premeditation.”

Suffixes such as -ing (leaving, beating) -ence, -ly -ance and -ion are often used in this repetitive pattern, to reinforce a connection between words and create a striking rhythm.

Where traditional rhyme uses both consonants and vowels to mark itself out, assonance deals with the latter. It is the echo of internal vowel-sounds, when placed in good proximity of each other. As with alliteration, it’s concerned more with the sound of the letters concerned; these hook onto each other to create another form of near rhyme (particularly when the surrounding consonants do not meet well.) I find that this technique often “rounds out” otherwise hard-sounding words, as of flesh lining bones:

“In sinuous folds of cities old and grim,
Where all things, even horror, turn to grace,
I follow, in obedience to my whim,
Strange, feeble, charming creatures round the place.” – The Little Old Women, Baudelaire.

Though more commonly found in verse, assonance can have a striking effect when used in prose:

“It was a damp April day, with long diagonal clouds over the Albishorn and water inert in the low places – pg 132 Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Dissonance is the intentional disruption of rhythm and sound, to jarring effect. In music, it’s the discord of notes, a lack of harmony; in writing, it can snarl up the reading/speaking process, forcing the audience to focus on the imagery involved:

“In a soil thick with snails and rich as grease
I’ve longed to dig myself a good deep grave
There to stretch my old bones at ease – Baudelaire, The Gladly Dead.

The vowel sounds are elongated, as of stretching out to sleep, to die, to be laid to rest. By contrast, the consonants are thick and cloying; there’s a predilection for the /k/ and /g/ phonemes, which lie heavy in the mouth, evocative of heavy soil that clings to the shovel, to the boots … and of age, the cares of the world, dragging the weary soul down. What’s most striking is the dissonant rhythm created, as the vowels and consonants butt up against one another – the scrape of the shovel through the vowels, coming up upon obstacles such as stones and snails, the soil “thick as grease.”

Sibilance is the hissing effect caused by English phonemes (s), (sh), (z), and (zh). It can take various roles, depending on context – the soothing of a mother’s voice to a child:

“Hush hush little plush
Mama’s near you through the night
Hush hush little plush
Everything will be alright.” – The Mouse and his Child, Russell Hoban.

the sultry atmosphere of a summer evening, calm and pleasant:

‘Tis moonlight, summer moonlight,
All soft and still and fair;
The silent time of midnight
Shines sweetly everywhere.” – Moonlight, summer moonlight, Emily Bronte.

Used in prose, it can evoke connotations of pathos or tension relative to a character or scene. In Watership Down, a particular scene which always stands out for me is the arrival of the Sandleford rabbits at the warren of wires. When a native rabbit is called upon to recite poetry at a get-together, it can be no coincidence that his very name, Silverweed, encapsulates the desperately sad atmosphere of his warren. Sibilance plays a large part in his spoken verse, to unsettling effect:

“The wind is blowing, blowing over the grass.
It shakes the willow catkins; the leaves shine silver…
Into the sky, the feathery sky and the rabbit…
Where are you going, stream? Far far away
Beyond the heather, sliding away all night.
Take me with you, stream, away in the starlight…” – pg 113, Watership Down, Richard Adams.

There is also the presence of assonance in the repetition of the /a/ /o/ phonemes, and homoioteleuton in the -ing suffix – these create a wistful, flowing sensation, as of the wind carrying souls away into the night, leaving behind those who must stay in a numb state of non-life. Silverweed’s tone is almost plaintive; he and the other rabbits of his warren have not only accepted their fate, but almost look forward to the release found in death, because of it. Pipkin’s remark best sums it up:
“I’ll tell you how they strike me. They all seem terribly sad. I can’t think why, when they’re so big and strong and have this beautiful warren. But they put me in mind of trees in November.”

Compare this pathos with the stark atmosphere found in the use of sibilance in the world of Harry Potter. The language of snakes is a spitfire hissing, and known here as Parseltongue. Put into the context of the novel, the use of sibilance creates a tense atmosphere, where the very mention of snakes is connotative of wrongdoing:

“‘It matters,’ said Hermione, speaking at last in a hushed voice, ‘because being able to talk to snakes was what Salazar Slytherin was famous for. That’s why the symbol of Slytherin house is a serpent.'”

“‘They called Slytherin himself Serpent-tongue.'” – pgs 146-9, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, J.K. Rowling.

Whether for poetry or prose, these are but some sound techniques that can be used to enhance your writing. Audience perspective of a character can be influenced by “their” choice of words, the phonemes resounding with connotative imagery; a scene can be made memorable by the emotional effect of pronouncing each word used to describe it. An atmosphere heavy with tension and thick consonants; a death delivered in whispering sibilance, as of a ghost passing over.
Sometimes, no matter how small the passage, it’s the sheer pleasure of finding music in the positioning of words, the relation of their phonemes to one another:

“There was music from my neighbour’s house through the summer nights. In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars.” – F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby.

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Going Far

15/09/2013 at 02:03 (Personal, Poetry, Writing) (, , , , , , , )


When distance measures in a smile
A frozen word, a nowhere child
A message gone astray in time
When no one knew that you were mine

The world can’t seem to let us go
It strives to force the public face
And we, the players that we are
Can’t help but rise towards the chase

I wander still beneath your stars
I’m somewhere near, but going far
And nothing beats the hardest here
Than love inside a name, and fear

The in-between and where-without
Is living life inside a lie
And nothing stands a chance in time
Without the fear and love inside.

 photo e68f7f8b-5794-4872-aa31-8378548c6550_zpsc60f364c.jpg

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Borrowed and Blue

12/09/2013 at 21:15 (Method Writing, Poetry, Writing) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , )


This poem is a play on the marriage rhyme “Four Somethings”, thought to bring luck to a bride if she were to wear the following artifacts. It also works as a ward against infertility caused by the Evil Eye.

“Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something blue

It has a direct link to my novel, “End of the Line,” in which a missing girl’s diary turns up more than the dark fairytales she left behind.
No One secret can stay buried forever, and a nightmare may play on a loop for as long as the secret lives.

Something broken
Something true
Something no one
Wore for you

Somehow fallen
By the way
Thriving on
The tide of day

 photo 8645f239-2c1e-4c33-b052-22a770d44af0_zps8e07f975.jpg

Rising shadows
Falling sun
Through the wild
We twist and run

Thickly cluster
Bramble snare
Tried and trapped
With wire and hair

 photo ffa4e170-ca18-40b0-93b1-679f5367934a_zpsa68d92a6.jpg

Flowing hem
And bloody thigh
Blue the moon
Within your eye

 photo 16584f32-4e62-464d-85d6-6472dfbf620d_zps7ad4365c.jpg

Black to white
As red to grey
Silent in
Your heart the grave

Morning swallow
Thick and cold
Torn the hand
You long to hold

 photo 1b28e558-2559-4c00-9b0f-77d90132e547_zps789bc941.jpg

Smallest face
And blindest eye
Blue the moon
The Rose, the Lie.

 photo e68f7f8b-5794-4872-aa31-8378548c6550_zpsc60f364c.jpg

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