Writing 101, Day 7: Knight and Day

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Hello one and all, we meets again as writing 101 powers on. This piece here was an interesting one to work on. I was asked to write a piece in the form of a dialogue, that was a challenge in itself, but the assignment had a twist, the two voices in the piece had to be representatives of two opposing stand points, light and dark, cold and cold, high and low, the possibilities began to seem infinite. I tried to sit around, drawing up the perfect polar opposites to pit against each other in a dynamic whirlwind of a dialogue. It was well and truly a challenge, after much thought and deliberation I made the decision to challenge myself, I offered up two themes a chance to voice themselves. I give to you, Clarity and Temptation. Enjoy!

 

“They’ve forgotten all about you!” She said. “All they want is me. They do not remember loving you!”

She perspired the coldest diction, she had perfected her way with words. The air around her danced to the cadence of a learned malice. Her perfectly pursed lips pressed her twisted words to life. She was sensual, she was stern, she was everything she thought they wanted, so she hated the hope he harboured.

“They will always have me in there hearts.” He was sure.

He stood firm under the tumultuous waves of her diction, never losing his footing beneath him. He never fought to fill a frame with what he claimed to be his, he was a voice that spoke a steady promise, a mind who waited for time to offer up those gifts not promised, never  swayed by the sweet scent of her frivolity.

“I make them feel alive, you force them into tedium. With me they never have to wait, my very touch is satisfaction, you insist on prolonging suffering, what kind of love is that?” She watched his face for a failing hope, “They will never search for you, Look at those faces, they would never dream of leaving me.”

“Temptation, control your ego.” Clarity had found his words, “You seem to think its them who need you, but you crave there love the most, you shake when there voices fade from you.” His silence was never empty, and he was keen to unfold his mind. “You shiver with every night that they have gone without your folly, I love them because they choose me, you love them for validation.”

“You’re a foolish and bitter old man, what kind of pleasure can you provide?” She lost her seductive flare as she was met by clarities stare. She had never prepared herself for the moment he would reciprocate a volley of his own design. “I kill the agony of broken hearts, I hide the scars of a broken past, I keep there smiles etched on there faces you make them bare those heavy burdens.”

“They only run to you to numb there skin from life’s events. You’ve given shelter from natural elements, in the darkness of your embrace” Clarity was suddenly drawn to the feature that traced her face. Her smile was losing leverage and her beauty was falling weak. Her strength was seeded in there weakness, he thrived when they had found there footing.

The flickering flame of temptation had bought their love with the vigour of virgin flames, the fiery tongues that promised warmth, but danced away with a subtle heat. He rested in the ambers that burned steady, whispering a warmth to fend off the embrace of the evening chill.

“I’ve never of thought cheapening love for the sake of a following” he said, “When they find me we will be whole, we will learn to talk, we will grow with the passing moments.” temptations eyes soaked in the words that began to fill the space between them, ” I feel the fire inside them grow to power their dreams.” His features began to soften and his eyes betrayed his cold firmness. “I will wait an eternity to fight the dark with every heart that finds me, no matter what name they know me by.”

“You will never win.” She said, “Till the day I forfeit breath, I’ll keep there hearts away from you.”

Her features firmed and her seductive tones where riddled with rigarmortis, unkind to her eyes, and clumsily laced with fear. He could see it.

He smiled.

“They are faceless in your hearts, and nameless in your eyes, I will let you have them now.” He settled his gaze, “You show them to my door, from there I show them the world.”

“were not that different you and I” she said

“You see us like the children do,” He said, “That is why they grow and leave you, they learn the difference.”

She twisted her smile, she watched him retire into his solitary wait for there arrival. Never faltering, never swayed, she danced her word to win there hearts once again.

 

 

Writing 101, Day 6: Character Building

Pardon me as I brush aside the cob webs of my blog space once more. My contribution to day 6 of this blogging challenge is finally up. I was asked to write about the most interesting person I’ve met recently. This was a hard one, this was an interesting one, this stretch my writing voice gave me a good old kick in the backside. After a lot of thinking, and a little bit of writing, I think I have something. Enjoy.

I remember pushing through the crowds. The air was worn and warm, weathered by the long days we worked in those crowded castles of concert. The spent air was heavy our necks, it ushered us all down the cluttered warrens of Bristol. Together we marched, our weary bodies angled in growing clusters, coursing through the city towards the train station. The working day was done.

I always look back to that day, puzzled with what ifs. Because I know, there was a moment that gifted me a glance into a precious moment. I would be one piece short of a stunning mosaic, if for some reason, the winds of fate swept across differently. If I stayed with that first wave, I wouldn’t have missed that train. If I hadn’t missed that train I Wouldn’t have been spending that hour amongst the silence that settled on temple meads after rush hour, I wouldn’t have met Kyza.

I didn’t mind the long waits at the platform, the book I had been reading was getting good, the words surrounded me with every page, an opportunity to leaf through those heavy pages of the Bhagavad-Gita was more than enough to settle my mind. I found it hard to really separate the world around me from the world on the pages while I was at home, there was life outside those four walls that fed my forever active mind. I don’t know why I thought the task was mine, but there was a code of character and human habit that seem to puzzle and tease me, begging me to crack it. Those daily commutes and spontaneous outings became a home for my curious mind, and became an opportunity to decypher the code.

I was greeted by a voice, “Awesome book!”

I wasn’t sure who she was, where she came from or what she was hoping to gain. There is a degree of isolation I’ve grown to expect from city folk, I’ve watched them and never have I caught them watch back from there tailor made realities. I guess that seclusion of well dress isolation had left with the cloud of busy minds that filtered into the earlier train, thick with haste and importance.

“I always thought it was my secret.” She continued, “I didn’t know many people read that stuff, these days.” I clearly remember being alone on that platform edge, those gusts of wind that chased the trains through the station must have washed her in silently and unannounced.

You never know when something will slowly pierced the perfect bubble that you coax into a neat circle of comfort. My world was changing under the pressure of evenly spaced type face, ink heavy with seamless intention staining the white pages with ideas that threatened my bubble. She had arrived in the same way as those words had done, unexpectedly, and in the midsts of a silent wait to reach something I thought was home.

It was her tone that was warm, twisted in a germinating evening chill, finding me unaware and prying me back into the word of tangible things. At first there were only those warm words, then there was a face sat next to me, staring right back at me. Strange eyes hiding a familiar want. Her eyes shared the same beat of a winged curiosity fighting to see deeper than the colour of life. We coloured the silent station with the conversation of familiar strangers.

I could rumble on at length, talking through the vibrant hues of her diction. The vibrant purple of her reassurance that, “not everyone will see the sense outside their sensibility,” the flickering yellows that eased themselves into highlighting the words that had captured her as wildly as they captured me, “Its crazy what you learn was wrong, from everything you knew to be right” she said ” Personal paradigms are crazy.” I laughed. I loved this spectrum she offered up, although I felt for the blackness she stifled when she fought back her cynicism, where did she find the comfort to share, when will I find this rainbow again.

If you asked the other eyes that filtered through the station, they would tell you about the wiry young girl, with a head full of curled up copper. Homely, with skin tickled by freckles around the nose. They would probably question her timeless attire, they would question her awkwardly draped clothes, the way she did seem to fit inside a world were the metronome of popular culture marks time.

Those filtering eyes leapt in and out of the passing carriages. Time stretched itself widely and into each pocket of times lapsing limbs we hid a truism of this hidden passion. It was liberating to free those hidden questions and thoughts without a chorus of judgement and scepticism. There was a treasure that defied the silence of the concrete world that day, the treasure that still accumulates its value long after the copper curls darted through the closing doors of one of those wondering steel carriages. Gone as suddenly as she had arrived.

Farewell Kyza

There were ambers that found there fire again. Its true that not everyone will see the sense outside their sensibility. Its truly crazy what we learn to be wrong insidw everything we know to be right, simply because personal paradigms are crazy. There is nothing sweet in the savouring of cynicism, hope and hunger will steady my spirits. Ill be curious, more now that before, because the unexpected can gift moments with no equal measure, this has made itself known to me now.

(c) Saili Katebe

Writing 101, Day 5: Brevity

Less is more!! I’m used to spinning yarns at the mercy of my forever chattering conscience. Today my tale had to be short and sweet! Here is the scenario people, I’m walking along a path, road or street, and I stumble upon a letter right there in my path. The letter moves me, something written on that page affects me in some way, and it inspires some kind of action, or new train of thought. A challenge in brevity. Here I go. Enjoy!

  

I found your secrets. I found them laid naked against a cold pavement, where your cold statements had abandoned their Manila womb, I assumed it was once neatly tucked into an envelope but your words had fled from that barren tomb that would have kept them hidden, hidden from her, from me, saved solely for her eyes, the hidden other, who made you “Feel like no one has done before”. Cold confessions clotted in cursive.

Does she know? 

Should she know?

How can I truly say “I told you so”?

How could she have seen it coming, my sister, forever young. Tonight I am tempted to break a promise, he has broken my sisters smile.

(c) Saili Katebe

Writing 101, Day 4: Seriously lost 

 

 

We slip through this river of time together, I remember your faces. It’s a crowded place sometimes, at times its deadly silent, I don’t know where this current takes us, but I’m certain our journey’s end. We are never in the same place twice, that is the nature of this river, it is the beauty of time.

We start off with nothing, we leave with nothing, somehow somewhere in the middle we feel as though we’ve earned things, gained things, made things ours. Sometimes we hold tightly to everything we have, sometimes we lose a thing or two to the white wash of passing moments. Maybe we lose them because we couldn’t hold them tight enough, we were not strong enough. Maybe we lose them because we held on too tight, or maybe we lose  them because there was nothing to there hold on to in the first place. 

Loss is inevitable, I have lost and left a lot behind, I am familiar with the sudden sense of lacking. I’m not saying I am happy about losing, I’m not saying it has gotten easier with time, but I look at the losses differently now, I see what it is left, what it was I truly  lost. 

I never thought I was losing you when I dreamed of change. I assumed, I assumed you would follow, that you would finally see the visions I painted into our summers. I just assumed you’d always be that spontaneous voice on the other end of the phone, coaxing me out for another day under the sun, another day to settle our tumultuous spirits, away from where the world teased us into tightly clenched pockets of confusion. I miss always knowing your home was mine. I look back and call for you at times, I try to pretend you’ll come, but you only wave and smile at me, I guess that’s enough for now. 

I never thought I would lose you, my second in command, my partner on my every conquest. We took to life with the winds of youth at our wings, with the endless string of chances we thought we had ready at hand. They doubted us then, they are doubting us now, but still we cut our way against there negativity. It’s a shame that we seem to doubt each other now, just as much as they did us.

 I never thought I’d lose the stage that claimed our memories. Behind our closed doors we dreamed of building our legacies. I realised that I had to swim to build that dream, treading water has lost its allure. 

I remember our wildest nights. When the sun forfeited its flight, we did what they all did, we marched amongst the wild and free. I hated when the guise had worn thin, I could see the binds. I was taken by fear when I saw the truth, what I thought to be my freedom had held me captive. 

You were the faces of my memories, I forever hold you close. It is not because of lessened love that I appear to remain hidden. It isn’t you that I am leaving behind. I know that you have seen them, those troubling sparks inside me that have always burned brightly and coloured our conversations with something memorable. I want those flashes to be a beacon in the night. I will disappear into black, but I promise you’re not forgotten. Watch for the beacon and you will find me. I hope you have the patience to wait.

Writing 101, Day 3: Top 3 Selected, 2.

Daily post have presented a nice challenging task for writing 101. Select 3 important songs to you, they say. Little did they know about the panic and intense pondering they had plunged me into. For me, selecting only 3 important songs to talk about, is like gathering my close friends and family into one room and telling them that only 3 of them are important, and only 3 of them will be joining me on a special prize holiday. It’s mean and it’s cruel, but it definitely got me thinking, like one of those house fire scenarios, those “If your house was burning, what 3 things would you grab?” Type questions.

 I remember the songs I chose for my last contribution to this challenge, last time round. At that point in time, those three songs were the three songs that I felt deserved a mention. I have decided on a fresh three today. A trio that are relevant to my current lever thinking. So I appologise for the lack of diversity in genre, because it’s hip hop time, we’ll be touring some fly rhymers, with some dope commentary on some straight truth! Here are my current 3 important works of hip hop. 

Can I Holla At Ya – J.Cole

  

J.cole wins his audience with a level of honesty, he is a clever lyricist who doesn’t conform to many of the popular culture structures of rap. “Can I Holla At Ya”, with a Lauren Hill sample, mirrors an all too familiar sensation. Looking back and finally saying those words we never said. J Cole steals an opportunity in each verse to address 3 different subjects with honesty and a humbling openness. The emotional content is rich and without a doubt, very raw. He talks to an old sweet heart, exploring the possibilities of what could have been and the connection that may still underly, he wants to revisit the one that got away and he offers is a front row seat to the dialogue. He then portraits an honest monologue to a father figure, one that was filled with it’s fair share of tempestuous emotion. From a boy he remembers that relationship and carries a burden inside him, he shows us the development of the relationship and the underlying resentment, “by now you’re probably and old man, but I won’t be satisfied until we throw hands…” The reality of that relationship does scare call, maybe a part of that father figure lives on within him. He then addresses a childhood friend. From J. Coles start to his success he has understandably changed and the faces around him have changed in certain ways. There are people we lose touch of ,after a long time it’s hard to identify where we fit. Do we pick up where we left off? The beautiful thing about writers, poets, musicians, is the ability to connect with an audience on relatable strands of thought. J Cole knows how to do this well. He is calling his subjects aside in memory for an honest heart to heart. When was the last time you wished you could pull someone aside for an honest “Can I Holla At Ya?”

Family Business – Kanye West

  

Kanye West has played with my loyalty dramatically over the years. From late registration, college drop out days through to Yeezus, I have both celebrated and detested his work. But if he played it safe he would not be the Kanye I respect as an artist. Family business does what it says on the tin. We all have our moments of weakness, we have our strengths and down falls. Blood is thinker than water, sometimes it’s this density that might feel like a lead weight holding us back. Family is not a perfect word by any stretch of the imaginatiom. We are victims of our own humanity, so the ambiguity of character can cause harmony or friction at times. It’s undeniable that family is forever, just because I detest my cousin, it doesn’t make him less of a cousin, he simply becomes a cousins I hate. Kanye identifies different family elements, giving a guided tour of the different characters that piece together to make that family. “You know that one auntie, you don’t mean to be rude, but every holiday nobody eating her food…” Home truths. He plays with humour well. We will run shoulders, but as we done together, sit together at the same table we are bound to bump shoulders. We all have our demons. “We ain’t letting anybody in our family business” we may not be perfect, but we are one.

Bitch, Bad – Lupe Fiasco

  

We are confusing ourselves with popular culture. The conflict between the cool and our core is bordering on disunity. I have chanted along to “I like bad bitches that’s my fucking problem” by ASAP rocky, Knowing full well, I would feel a certain way of the special woman in my life would associate herself with the term “bad bitch”. We are casual with this conflict at times, we can nonchalantly draw the line between entertainment and personal values, those core principles. We feel as though we are relatively mature and can make that distinguishment. Sadly we are confusing a generation that are coming in after us. Lupe Fiasco addresses this confusion in Bitch, Bad. He talks about the possible confusion of a young boy watching his mother sing along to her favourite record, referring to herself as a “bad bitch”. He recognises her a source of support and strength, and in his head builds a picture of a bad bitch as a strong dependable woman to his mothers likeness. Lupe moves on to contrast this image by addressing the potential outcome of some young girls listening to the music, watching the videos online. The internet is there for everyone, even moderately tech savvy youngsters can discover the world, in good and bad ways through it, ” It doesn’t matter if they have patental clearance, they understand the Internet better than there parents”. The young girls attach themselves to a very different definition of a bad bitch, the video vixen, forever flaunting her flesh, the apple of the protagonists eye. Lupe furthers this confusion by introducing the boy to one of those little girls. Both have an image of “Bad, Bitch” with both conflicting with each other’s definition of the idea. He never knew a bad bitch to dress this way, in his mind a “bad bitch” was firm source of support, the the young girl “Bitch” was still an offensive term. There are a host of contradictions that we look over because they are a done thing, having slowly become some kind of a social norm, breeding confusion and conflict in the way we, and the generations coming into there own, perceive themselves and the world around. We say “it’s just music”, We are lucky when we cab make that distinction.However music has been a big influence in social culture for a long time, Lupe does a good job of discussing the consequences of these contradictions. Words have power, and popular culture does have the potential to confuse us and the budding generation, leading them astray. Message from me and Lupe, think about what you’re actually saying. 

Writing 101, Day 2: A Room With a View

  

The prompt for the day was to write a descriptive piece. I had to think of one place I would love to journey to, I’d have to go there, I’d have to share it with you, paint you a picture of this important place. I turned to nostalgia for my answer, and I wrote, what I’m hoping to be an effective portrayal, of one of my favourite weekend outings as a boy. Enjoy! 


It was a weekend, It was always a weekend when we went there. We waited until the sun was nice and round, full and clear, sitting perfectly in the sky. 

There was a long stretch of shore line. I’m not sure what you call it when a man made body of water meets land like that, but the grass was right up against the water. You could see right across to the other side if you stood at the right place. Sometimes the water went on forever, an endless sheet of dancing sunlight, dropping off into the distance. The whole thing was like a mirror, wobbling and dancing. This wasnt a river, or a great ocean, so the water had a bit of elegance I guess, because it danced a shy little dance against the warm air that swept through.

There was a large building, it was the unmovable guardian of the water side. It stood sturdy and still, it was the long standing sanctuary from the Zambian sun. I could tell it had been there for a long time. It had these cracks that traced its walls, like wrinkles on a face that has seen more than its fair share of sunsets, I’m more than sure that it had seen its fair share of setting Suns over Mindolo. It’s once white walls were faded and had clearly been kissed by the sky’s offering during the rainy season. It was an old building but it housed everything we needed, the bar, the restaurant, the old slanted pool tables that sat right in front of the dj booth.

Between the mirrors edge and the old building, there was a wide stretch of grass. It was littered with rounded wooden tables, revarnished on occasion, but sporting there age in withered edges and dented slacks. There were unevenly spaced deck chairs huddled around them, waiting for the crowds. I remember how those tables attracted the herds of folk, hooves of happy patrons clip clopping across the worn grass paths to those sun lit perches. 

I could tell people went there a lot, I could tell because of the grass. There was grass everywhere, but in places you could see it had been worn away by the frequent visits. Around the picnic tables you could see the green bleed to gold. I can imagine the little feet running around the table, as the adults sat down, drinking their cold drinks, drinks far too bitter for their youn mouths. The adults would occasionally stand to have a dance, joining the little feet in tracing another map of a joyful weekend in the blades of grass. 

There was always music in the air. From the heart of the faded white building the disk jockey would spin his afternoon magic, he kept the air filled with music that kept the spirits high, matching the tempo of the peaking sun. He had a way of making it so there was always a song that made mum and dad dance, I remember mum shuffle in her seat pursing her lips the way she did, I remember dad stifling a laugh, I remember us all laughing.

 I remember the fishing rods that dad would make up for us. Dad always brought some hooks and a reel of fishing line along with him, they might have been guitar string but dad was always resourceful like that. Past the big building and further away from the crowds, there was a place where the reeds had grown wildly against the wavering mirror. Dad would fetch us some reeds, he tied the line onto the ends and fix our hooks with his unmovable knots. He would help us bait our hooks and sat us down by the waters edge. It wasn’t very deep close to the grass, when the water was clear we could see the little fish swimming underneath the semi permeable  mirror, I liked how sometimes I could see broken pieces of the sun in it, stealing a moment from the sky to dance in the water. 

Everyone threw there sauced and seasoned meats onto to the barbiques. There  barbiques pits everywhere, each was stood next to the picnic tables. With a hiss and a subtle mist, the air came alive with a world of flavour. Dad would watch over the pit and turn the pieces of meet with an experience eye, sending another cloud of flavour in the wind to tease the other tables who had just finished there share, or were readying there food for the fire. 

We enjoyed the day until it was close to spent. Dad always liked the way the sun dipped in the water at the furthest edge. The sun dawned an orange hue, lowering itself into the water. I have watched dad look at it the same way every time. He watches very closely. He watched it until only a small corner of the sun was left peaking out of the water, the whole sky was tainted orange, the air grew cold and the loud music played on. There were less of the yoingervoices. We knew this meant it was time to go home. I always savoured those days by the water, the sun catching in the shimmering sheet, at Mindolo where we forged our memories. 

Writing 101, Day One: Unlock Your Mind

Daily post have kindly brought back Writing 101. As usual, I’m a day behind, None the less I will be tucking into the delicious feast of prompts on offer for the blogging U. Day one was a task in free writing. We had to let words fall on to paper for 20 minutes and post whatever came out. Dangerous concept, but a beautiful freeing writing practice. Here is what my mind had to say when I let it loose. It’s all bitter and I did a brief sweep, but it’s still all very raw. 

  

Imagine an open field, you got it? Great, now imagine it early in the morning, real quiet like. There is a thin fog hovering over, not the menacing type, you know the one I mean, horror movie, Halloween type fog. It was just a real easy, laid back fog, the sun can cut through it real nice. It makes a cool little curtain against the round hills off in the distant. 

Now picture waking up to this, not from a bed, just kind of waking up all of the sudden and looking out at everything, you see the fog, you feel the wet grass on your toes and you see the sun just working it’s way through the cool, laid back fog curtain. That’s kinda how I picture every great adventure starting. Right at the start of the day, with a fog slowly peeling away to show what’s ahead. It’s an awesome idea, and it kinda fits perfectly with the fairy tales. 

Learning that sleeping damsels in great castles with fiery dragons might have edged towards an exaggeration, I still respected that. I grew to learn though, that it isn’t as glamorous when we take our own adventures and have to slay the dragons waiting for us there. 

I killed a dragon once, it had these mammoth scales, great big things, the size of a full grown man, it teeth that were tainted red, I immediately assumed it was blood. It’s fire was blistering, it was thick, hot and, imaginary. My dragon was a mindset, “You will never be able to…”The mighty cry of the scaly nemesis. There was an adventure to embark on, but I never knew I would meet my dragon, right at the first step, as in looking out ahead to track a map to the first check point, and there it is, staring right at me. I was scared, but I saw people out there, past the dragons, so that means it could be done right? Not many people were out that far, but they were out there. Some people had slain the dragons, others whistled some songs they learned, carried trinkets, puffed up there chests and walked bravely past the dragons. Maybe the dragons didn’t see them when they looked brave, maybe that was the secret, or maybe the dragon saw them, pretended not to see, waited until they were too far to hide and got them then, I don’t know. 

Dad kept an old sword on the table in his study, took me forever to sharpen that crippled piece of iron, my knees knocked and my voice creaked as I hoped to sing little songs to lift the fear from around my neck. 

I took far too long to work on that sword, but I guess doing a small bit everyday until it was done, made me strong enough to carry it.

With the Blade sharpened to an amateur finish, I woke up to that open field, with the cool laid back fog in the air and the wet grass at my feet. I watched the dragon floating down, a mighty silhouette against the newly risen sun. I was breathing deeply feeling the hilt of the old sword in the palms of my hands, heavy and firm. I swinging it wildly and listenin to the jagged edges cutting awkwardly in the wind as I finally confront my dragon. The dragon drew in closer an closer until the steel of the jagged blade stopped suddenly. There was a moan and a grunt, a thick wetness surrounded the grass around me. 

My dragon was dead, the little boy, with the old sword could finally see the cool laid back fog, drifting away. I had never thought of life past the dragon, everything was new again. Another little fear, a near unnoticed fear nibbled at me, whispered it’s poison

“it’s a long way off?” 

“how will you eat?” 

“home, how will you make it back home?” 

Home is where the heart is, I will take my heart with me to the furthest end of that trail.