Poetry Shenanigans – God’s Plan

Things have been crazy hectic and it’s been challenging to upload and share the rest of the poems from my Holiday Challenge Series. I just had to carve some time out this weekend and share this poem, and honestly I couldn’t pick a better day. So, here’s the 2nd poem outta the 10 poems of the Holiday Challenge Series.

God’s Plan
Forgive, forget,  
Repetitive words constantly preached, hardly followed. 
Love, live and let live,
Words to live by.
Be an eternal student, 
Grow and help others flourish,
These are values to stand by.
Die and leave a legacy of love behind, 
It’s the best memory you can leave behind.
SJ
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Poetry Shenanigans – Girls Like You

So towards the end of 2018, more specifically the last 10 days of the year, I decided to give myself a writing challenge, specifically a poetry challenge. I challenged myself to write 10 poems and that the title of these poems would be the song titles of 10 of the top tracks of 2018. Needless to say I felt the time crunch, however, I did finish writing them all by NYE. I finally feel ready to share the poems from my Holiday Challenge series with all of you. I couldn’t have picked a better day to post this first one even if I tried. So…here you go!

Girls Like You

They say,
Girls like you,
Will never make it,
Need to fake it till you make it.
They say,
Girls like you,
Need to tone it down,
Take it easy,
Are too opinionated,
Make mountains out of molehills.
They say,
Girls like you,
Need to learn tact,
To deal with men and their ways.
Need to talk less,
Curb your tongue.
Rein in your anger, your temper,
When triggered or angered.
Take the high road, 
Be patient, be the bigger person 
they say,
Just don’t speak your mind,
Is what they really mean,
When you’re at the receiving end
Of sharp words, hurt egos,
and flaring tempers.
They say,
Girls like you,
Need to lose that weight,
Watch your hips, girth and curves.
Put on a little meat, you look too scrawny.
Put on that make-up,
To make yourself presentable,
To look prettier than you usually do.
You just may be a head turner,
A show stopper,
And be the centre of,
One too many gazes. 
They say,
Girls like you,
Need to take it easy,
Life isn’t about
Putting yourself first,
Putting your career ahead of you.
Working hard versus playing safe, 
Which is playing smart.
What’s the point anyway?
They say,
When at the end of the day,
Your ultimate purpose,
Is to be married, 
Have a home, an army of kids, a family
To look after and tend to,
Until your dying day.
As that has always been,
Your life’s one true purpose.
They say,
Girls like you,
Are getting too old,
Too old to be married,
Too old to compete 
With your ever ticking biological clock.
Too old to even have goals and dreams;
Older still to even think of chasing them.
They say too many things,
But girls like you and me,
We weren’t created,
To fill and fit,
These man-made constructs and constraints.
Our strengths and weaknesses,
Expectations, actions and their consequences,
Successes and failures,
Are our own and not dictated,
By a world that claims
To know what’s best for us.
We live life,
On our own terms.
We march and we dance,
To our own music,
And to the beats of our own drums. 
SJ

Book Review – Starfish

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Title – Starfish
Author – Akemi Dawn Bowman
Rating – 4/5 Starfishies

Plot Synopsis, well, at least my version of the plot synopsis. For one by the actual author either check the book out at the bookstore or library, or do the next best thing, Google it! This is the story of Kiko Himura, as she tries to find her voice, her purpose and ultimately herself. It is a story of acceptance, self-love, hope, chasing your dreams, and facing your fears, villains and ghosts on your own without being forced or coerced to do so. It is a story of self-discovery.

Just putting trigger warnings out there for those of you curious to read the book. The book addresses sexual and emotional abuse, so please put your own well being first before you proceed to read this book.

Now onto my thoughts about this book. As I’ve always maintained, I don’t want to talk too much about the plot of the books, movies and tele shows I watch, I figure that’s something everyone can do on their own and figure out on their own. So this year I decided that before I go get any more books from the library, I’d finish reading the unread books in my personal collection. I just happened to pick this book up from the bookstore, it was more of an instinctual purchase versus a recommended one. Also, the book’s cover was very appealing and drew my attention. Well I didn’t just judge the book by it’s cover, I read the inlay as well, so that basically cemented my decision. I decided to give this book a shot, and I went in with minimal expectations. What I was not expecting from this book, was the intensity and speed with which it grabbed my attention and pulled me into the life of Kiko Himura, the main protagonist.

Every page had something in it that made my heart stop, and at times just took my breath away. Never have I connected with a book on so many levels than this particular book, which is also probably why I was a little disappointed towards the end of it. I mean hats off to Akemi Dawn Bowman for her brilliant descriptors and magical ways of crafting a story that binds your soul and sets your imagination free. It’s not easy describing art, but the simple yet exquisite way she describes art pieces and uses metaphors to describe the emotional status of her protagonist, it left me speechless and almost in a trance. I couldn’t stop thinking and re-playing the visuals her words built in my head, long after I was done reading a chapter, and the book. One amongst many things that I liked about this book was the description about the impact of abuse on the emotional, mental and psychological growth of a victim of abuse. This is one of the few books that I think has made a good attempt at capturing the mind, body and emotional space of a victim of abuse. I don’t want to say anything else about it, because I could probably write a few more paragraphs, only then it wouldn’t be a review anymore but a very opinionated piece. I know for a fact that I will definitely re-read the book as there were so many poignant and powerful lines that I couldn’t stop fixating over. My only issue with this book was with regards to the resolution of one of one of the main issues the protagonist, Kiko, deal with. Throughout the book, the issue is discussed, if not mentioned, in many different ways, which shows just how invasive and how deep an impact it has had on her life and her development as an individual. Then you get to the three quarter mark and boom, boom, bang, everything falls into place, and confrontations happen and she makes peace with herself and she gets to pursue her dreams. Towards the end, everything that took a good chunk of the book to set up got wrapped up a little too quickly. I think one of the reasons why this may have happened, is perhaps because the author thought they were dwelling on issues for too long and probably just felt the need to wrap things up ASAP and conclude the book. Which is a fair thought process to have, since you want to keep the attention of your readers. I just felt that ending may give people a bit of false hope, because as much as people would love quick resolutions to their problems, some problems last a lot longer than one could hope or even ask for.

Overall, I do recommend giving this book a read. It truly is quite the experience to read and appreciate the beauty and simplicity with which the author uses her words to tell the story of Kiko Himura. If you have read this book, please do share your thoughts & sentiments about this book with me in the comments section below. I’m really excited & curious to see what you have to say!

 

Poetry Shenanigans – Strength

Strength

Strength,
It’s a thing of beauty.
It hides in a smile,
On the face of those 
Fighting battles and demons,
Unknown and unseen to us.
It shows it’s fiery self,
In the face of hardship, injustice
and suffering,
When there’s no more tears,
But only the weight of fears.
It makes itself felt in tears,
When the weight of the world
Bears you down, and wears you out,
And crushes your dreams. 
While your world,
Is spinning out of control,
It comes in the form of words and a hand,
To hold yours,
To reassure, to reaffirm,
That you’re not lost,
Never alone.
And that you’ve always got,
A shoulder to lean on,
And a place and people to call home.

SJ (December 23, 2018)

Poetry Shenanigans – Yellowed Pages

Fun things happen when you decide it’s time to declutter your room & your life. I stumbled upon a lot of interesting stuff & I have a confession to make. I’m a sentimental hoarder, and it is bloody hard to part with some stuff man! Some of this stuff truly is the equivalent of a time capsule. I kid you not, I can see myself transported back in time to that moment or instance I sat down and wrote whatever it is that I wrote. I wouldn’t call it regrets, but I do wish I’d figured some people & things out sooner. Anyhow, through the course of going through stuff this poem was inspired. I hope you all enjoy it, and like always, feel free to share your thots in the comments section down below!

Yellowed Pages

Through Archenemies,
Half-truths and whole lies,
I survived.
Through fearful phases,
And memory hazes,
I’m alive and all revived.
Through gossip columns,
Strewn across many page corners,
And blank spaces,
On word crammed pages,
Back in time,
To safer and happier places.
A smile restored,
Wistful and wise,
All to aware, 
Of the battles and journeys,
Waiting up ahead
To remedy and redefine,
The purpose of this life.

SJ

Poetry Shenanigans – Measured & Weighed

Halfway through May & sunlight & warm temps seem to be sticking around a little longer than the last few months. With Spring finally making it’s presence known, I hope it’s been just as inspiring & refreshing for all of you as it has been for me! Thanks for sticking around & reading!

Measured & Weighed

I can’t breathe; Every breath weighed and measured.
Sleep, no longer a sanctuary, 
But a canvas of dreams,
Painted in hues of fear, and shades of anxiety.

SJ

Book Review – The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck by Mark Manson

 

The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck
Live, learn and grow!

Title: The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*ck
Author: Mark Manson
Rating:
 4/5 F*cks given

Well this is the 1st book I’ve read this year, and there’s no better way to kickstart one’s reading list than with a self help book. After all, we do strive to be better versions of ourselves on a daily basis, don’t we? So, the first time I saw this book, the biggest thing that got my attention was the title & I was curious about 2 things.

1.What it was about? And,
2. Were people reading it?

So I checked to see if the book was available at the local library & guess what? I was #82 when I put a hold on this book. 3 months later, after I’d forgotten I was on the waiting list, I got a notification letting me know the book was ready for pick-up at the library. All that previously forgotten curiosity came rushing back to me when I picked up the book. Anyway, now that I’m done with the book, I thought I’d share a few of my thots.

Overall, this book was a fun read. I found it to be very practical & logical for most part. Sure there were certain parts of the book & examples used that had me quirking my brow, but I just attributed it to the author being a man-child about certain aspects of life. Here’s the best way I can explain it,  sometimes writing about certain subjects or issues takes a certain level of maturity & sensitivity.  And in order to be able to do so it takes time & a little more experience. But to the author’s credit, he eventually gets to the point (with regards to those particular sections) despite floundering. But for most part, the brow quirking parts either led to an eye-roll or a chuckle.

Something I absolutely LOVED about this book was how it didn’t keep forcing the ‘Power of Positive thinking’ on to the reader in every chapter or page. If anything, the concept is acknowledged & then left alone. There is a greater emphasis on the ‘Power of Negativity.’ What do I mean by that? Well there’s a great emphasis on how it isn’t just the positive things in life that we should look to for inspiration. We should examine, evaluate and embrace our failures, as well as our negative experiences, because they too create, build & remodel us. I loved the emphasis on embracing your failures & not to disregard them, or weigh yourself down because of them. They aren’t metrics that define or describe you as a person.

So here’s the bottom line, if you asked me, ‘Hey do you recommend reading this book?’ My answer to that question is ‘I HIGHLY recommend doing so.’ Like I said before it’s practical & logical, and most importantly it’s light hearted & entertaining, so really, what do you stand to lose? Worst case scenario, if you don’t like this book at all, you can just embrace the spirit of the book & exclaim ‘What the F*ck was that?!’

Poetry Shenanigans – Human Condition

So this particular poem was inspired while I was going through the news yesterday morning. And honestly, going through the news these days, there’s more heartbreak and suffering that some people are thriving off of. They would much rather live off of sowing seeds of discord & hate than try and help others out as their equals. However, that doesn’t mean that there is no hope in the world, there is, but sometimes the efforts to bring out a unified front is much harder than a bunch of bullies banding together and tormenting others.

Anyway, that’s about it for my lil’ frustration filled rant. Now, here’s the poem & as always, feel free to leave & share your thots!

Human Condition

With everyone calling for visibility,
Just how invisible have we become?
When did we forget?
That being human,
Meant, being one?
When did we lose ourselves?
When did we divide ourselves?
By religion, caste, gender and orientation,
And, spewing so much hate.
When did we allow one’s suffering,
To be another’s victory?
When did we let discrimination,
Take up so much space?
When did we turn into unfeeling beings?
Able to withstand so much oppression,
And so much violence?
When did we settle to be ignorant?
And have others make our choices and
shape our opinions?
What happened to the rebels and explorers,
The visionaries, the dreamers,
That resided deep within?
When did we agree,
To be divided, to be boxed in?
When did we allow,
Fears and insecurities,
Of bullies and oppressors,
And people in positions of power,
To erase our choices,
And dictate our futures?
When did we prioritize,
Nursing bruised egos,
And appeasing megalomaniacs,
Over peace, harmony and prosperity?
When did we allow freedom,
To be a fairytale, a myth,
And nothing more than a quixotic dream?

SJ

Poetry Shenanigans – Survivor

Survivor

Breathe easy, stay still.
Their words, their actions,
Cuts, burns and stings,
Absorb it all, breathe it all in.
But most of all,
Stay firm, stay strong, stay still.
For, this too shall pass,
And all that will last,
Is you, and your strong and firm will.

SJ

Poetry Shenanigans – Blink

Another day, another poem. Thank you dear muse for coming around & inspiring a few words outta me, it’s been a while, but it’s good to have you back! To everybody else, happy reading!

 

Blink

In the blink of an eye,
Life will pass you by.
In the blink of an eye,
You better be ready to say goodbye.
In the blink of an eye,
Wars are won,
Empires crumble,
New life stumbles, wobbles,
And makes itself valid and present.
In the blink of an eye,
Hearts beat, hearts break,
Hesitation creeps in,
And hasty decisions are made.
In the blink of an eye,
You’re on top of the world,
In the blink of an eye,
Gravity is your best friend,
While your free falling nightmare never
seems to end.
In the blink of an eye,
Poetry is written,
In the blink of an eye,
Inspiration stems and grows deep within.
In the blink of an eye,
You’re the nobody,
Who unknowingly stumbles into the limelight,
To become a household name.
In the blink of an eye,
You’re the centre of attention,
Who fades into the background,
And falls from grace.
A distant memory,
Faded to gray.
In the blink of an eye,
You may wonder how and why,
It all came together,
And wonder and ponder,
At how it all fell apart.
In the blink of an eye,
Who you were a moment ago,
Is no longer who you are anymore.
So stop to smell the roses,
Celebrate your victories,
Embrace your failures,
Feel your tears,
Salty and bittersweet.
For in the blink of an eye,
When all is said and done,
Be free, be liberated,
From bitterness, from animosity,
From the chains and weight of regret.

SJ