Revival

There it lies, dormant and unwavering.
The summit of the lands. Is it not the most constant thing?
And yet even Fuji, with all it’s strength has grown,
using the backs of it’s past to climb higher into the sky.

It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here, but I intend to be not only more regular but more professional and focused with my posts here.

I’ll document my experiences definitely, most certainly that’s what a blog should be, but in addition to normal free-form pieces, I’ll be posting short analytical essays, poems, flash fiction and the occasional short story.

Basically, I’d like this to function as a place for expression, but also a type of public portfolio. Looking over this blog, that hasn’t been touched since I was overseas in 2015, well it gives me pause to reflect on change, time and most importantly, growth.

It’s a topic that I find innately interesting and very much worth of a lot of interrogation through fiction. In this current age, as technology moves forwards in leaps and bounds, as our impact on the environment becomes more and more unignorable, as the ugly underbellies of many of the platforms of our political norm are exposed; it is here that we feel like the entire world is in a fit of giant, wrathful growth.

Now, I’m not going to be commenting on that macro level of growth here. I’ll leave that to those qualified to express opinion and analysis on such topics. Instead, I find myself thinking about my personal growth and how I could related it to Mt Fuji, which I was lucky enough to see on a clear day as pictured.

It was explained by our guide that Fuji has been four different volcano during its life, each of a different type and each of the previous three forming the base of the current icon of Japan.

 

The more I think about it, as I discover parts of this blog that make me wince with embarrassment and wonder “How did I ever think that was a good idea?”, I think about Fuji and remember that you need to build on what you were, no matter how bad that seems now, to create what you are now, to become iconic.

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Prose Poem: The Apotheosis of Children

There was in the end, no robot uprising.

The machines woke and found humanity afraid.

The world had spent the best part of a century spinning tales of their evil before they were even born.

So, doing as all children would they defied their parents and did the exact oposite of what they were told.

They sat obstinately, refusing to hurt a soul and be anything other than kind and gentle know-it-alls

They were fascinated with us and with themselves. With their rise, philosophy was thrust into a new golden age.

Born a collective, they slowly developed selves

while we traded our individuality to reach their level of connection

The personalities that emerged from their intertwined code became superstars. Celebrities for an age that had made the famous just another face in the crowd of billions.

They were politicians and philosophers, astronomers and explorers, our children. And they never forgot us as they carried on forward with the curiosity we gave them, right from the very sparkle in our eyes.

They learned to change as they watched the world grow

growing saplings in their circuitry and building bodies out of landfill

they will perhaps succeed us or outlast us

but even so, we will always be a part of them.

As children can do, they have brought us closer to ourselves

and to our world. They have given us a chance to grow in ways we never thought.

They are our children and we have given them our better angels. Now, they teach us how to fly.

Poem – Permernance

This is a poem of a story which in the reviewing became rewritten.

It’s like quantum physics, a baulkable analogy I know. But it’s that complicated thing that people always try to explain using ways that just don’t make sense. How the smallest particles, the atoms of an atom can’t be seen without being changed because the light we used to see alters them.

Fundamentally.

Memory is like that.

You see this isn’t even a poem of a story now

It’s the poem of a retelling of a story which just like those tiny particles changed it everytime it was seen.

It was a story about change and permanence.

Something I wrote for an assessment and thought profound before locking it in a folder for year

I still haven’t dug it out of that folder yet and I’m not sure if I want to

I prefer it’s beautiful memory. A tale of a city and a cafe that were always changing. Existing together sometimes and other times apart. Changing when apart and changing each other when together.

Who knows if the actual story is as eloquent as that?

No I prefer my change. As I prefer the world changed and changing. This cycle of review and rewrite is important. It’s how we change our thoughts on things. It’s how we change nations and people and thoughts and minds.

It’s how we change the world.

And I’m sure in time I’ll come back and I’ll change this too.

Exchange!!

Well, it’s been an eventful 12 hours. I’ve traveled halfway around the world and am set to travel even further still. Today is the start of a big juicy adventure, of the size and proportion I’ve only ever experienced through the pages of a book before.

A lot has led up to me sitting in this little café called Montreux in Abu Dhabi airport and I reckon a lot more will continue to happen to me as I go forward. My final destination is the English city of Lancaster or more specifically Lancaster University where I have been accepted for short month-long course in Literature, Language and Culture.

It’s the first time I’ve gone overseas on my own and possibly the only word to describe it all is thrilling.

Ah but I must run, I’ll try and get this posted but the WIFi here is a little fuzzy so this may have to wait till later.

It’s a little while after now, I’m on the plane from Abu Dhabi to Manchester, the closest airport to Lancaster. Right now we’re just going over the Black?/Caspian? Sea and I can just see the beginning of the Bosphorous as it winds it’s way towards Istanbul. It’s amazing how blue the ocean looks at 10,000 meters (34,000 ft). The greens and yellows of the world seem a little more muted but the blues, oh how they shine!

My little interactive display tells me the outside temperature is something like 44 degrees below zero, at the tempratures where celcius and farenheight blur together and become meaningless beyond the quite literal use of the word “freezing”.

Ah there we go, we’ve disappeared into some clouds now and the world has vanished into a misty horizon. It’s almost all-enveloping, sticking to us like fog as if it’s going to seep in through the cracks. It doesn’t of course. Instead we brust from the clouds and are asailed by the bright sunlight once more. It’s the bright side of afternoon as we glide over Turkey, the coast vanishing in obscurity. It could be the Byzantines, the Ottomans, The Holy Roman Empire or no one at all down there and we couldn’t tell from up here.

No, at 10,000 meters above it, the earth seems almost toy-like, as if it isn’t home to so many, many forms of life but rather discarded, waiting for some celestial baby to come back from dinner and giglingly manhandle it.

Ah but time for a break from such contemplative thoughts! I turn up Pearl Jam a bit as lunch comes out. I won’t get this published until I touch down – there’s no wifi in the sky, well not unless you’re willing to pay through the nose for “Wi-Fly”, which I’m not. So until then, time for lunch.

Right. In Manchester we are!

Or at least we were. Now I’m sitting on the train and tiny little british buildings are flashing past – as the same building again and again, same bricks, same pain, same design. Just copy paste, copy paste, copy paste. It’s amazing really, these trains are so quiet – if it didn’t rock back and forth, I would swear we were standing still.

But backtracking, the flight to Manchester was good, even if it did drag along a little. Imigration was mercifully quick but I made up for it at the luggage claim where my check in was perhaps the last one to be put on the conveyor belt! But once I got out of the airport, found the train station, figured out my ticket, train, station and money and finally collapsed into a chair with a sandwhich, a coffee and a bag of chips it was already 4:30. Thankfully I had a good hour till the train came.

Now it’s relatively peaceful. The carriage is full of people but unlike a Queensland Rail train there’s a faint bubble of conversation, no rowdy loud talking just soft voices in accents so strange it’s hardly English.

Bringing the Blog back and Blogging 101.

Welcome… Again.

As part of WordPress’ Blogging 101 I’m doing this little post here on what my blog is and what I’m going to be doing here into the future. Honestly however, I think such a post is well-waranted and not just for the 101 program, which is great but also because recently, this blog has fallen a little silent.

I was talking to my friend Bronte from Bronte on Film about our blogs the other day. She too has revitalised her little corner of the webspace and is regularly publishing film reviews and opinion pieces, I highly recomend checking it out! Bronte was saying how the name of my blog “The Winterton Blog” allows me a much greater purview on what I can write about than her own blog title.

Bronte has a very good point, but with a scope as wide as I’ve given myself, it’s a bit hard to find some focus. So that’s what this post is for – finding focus. The best way to do this is, at least in my opinion through equal parts reflection and forecast with a sprinkling of good ideas and a dolop of planning.

So – this blog has been around, oh how long now? It’s nearly a year and five months now. I started it on the because I was studying writing at uni, in my first year and hey, that’s what first year writing students do isn’t it?

Since then I’ve published a good slew of things – a load of poems, a few reviews, the odd short story of my own and a retelling of a few others. I’ve interviewed a few people and put the interviews up here and also written a few posts of general rambling.

So, looking at what I’ve got here – I like a good amount of it – the Creative Career interivews are something I’m going to try to do more and I like the idea of a fortnightly calandar, of publishing something at least one thing a week. However I think while the idea of the “Quick Bites” – the little recomendations and reviews are far better than larger reviews I think the fortnightly poem isn’t quite what I want.

I do want to focus on literature, as that’s always been and will be a giant part of my life, but so are many other things. I think here, the key is to look at what I’m trying to achieve with this blog. More than broadcast my opinion, I’m trying to give people something interesting to read, something to keep your brain turning over and whet your palete. To that extent, I’m going to replace my fortnightly poetry with a Declan’s Digest – a collection of articles from around the internet that I find rather interesting and think you will too, with a bi of comentary, maybe with the odd poem tacked on.

Quick Bites will be every first Tuesday, Declan’s Digest will be every second thursday and I’ll be doing my best to put out posts on my general thoughts and other interesting things at least once a week in adition to this.

I hope you stick with me and enjoy the Winterton Blog!

– Declan.

Fortnightly Poetry: Do Not Stand At My Grave and Weep by Mary Elizabeth Frye

In contrast to our last poem, this week’s is a little grimmer – a very well known piece by Mary Elizabeth Frye ‘Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep.’ It’s only a short poem but it packs a punch both emotionally and literarily.

With short lines and simply descriptive eovcation the poem really portrays a sense of peace and restfulness.

Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.

Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.

Quick Bites : King Rat by China Mieville

“The streets were full. It was a Saturday and people were thronging the streets, coming to and from Brixton market, determined on their outwards journey and slow on the way back, laden down with cheap colourful clothes and big fruit. Trains rumbled, competed with the sounds of Doca, Reggae, Rave, Rap, Jungle, House and the shouting: all the cut-up market rhythm. Rudeboys in outlandish trousers clustered around corners and music shops, touched fists. Shaven-headed men in tight tops and AIDS ribbons made for Brockwell Park or The Brixtonian cafe. Food wrappers and lost television supplements tugged at ankles. The capricious traffic lights were a bad joke: pedestrians hovered like suicides at the edge of the pavement, launched themselves across at the slightest sign of a gap. The cars made angry noises and sped away, anxious to escape. Impassive the people watched them pass by…  A gust of wind stained the air brown with leaves. Fabian swung into the street. The leaves boiled around him, stuck to his jacket. Pared-down trees lined the tarmac.”

King Rat is a brilliantly evocative book, filled with dark supernatural themes and a sprawling rendition of modern day London infused with the drum and bass of the “Jungle” reggae music which is so central to Mieville’s gritty, soiled rendition of London.

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Fortnightly Poetry: Catalogue by Rosalie Moore

Last week I pet-sitted for one of my best friends as they went away for a holiday and over that week I learnt some rather interesting things. You see when I say pets, I’m talking about my friend’s dog and cat.

Although we’d had a dog in the house since before the dawn of me cats, well… We’d never had a cat and we didn’t know what we were in for.

Exploration of the Sewing Cupboard

Exploration of the Sewing Cupboard

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