Edited by Afsana Elanko
Welcome to the second Showcase for November. On today’s page, I’m exploring reality and perspectives over time. Does history truly give the right perspective of what happened many years ago through the pen of the writer? In fact, what’s gone before us shapes our world now. After all, history is always written from the perspective of the victor.
This is particularly poignant when we think about Remembrance Sunday. However, it’s also true in terms of current conflicts and their backdrop and in terms of the significant technological advances that are creating some of the most important social change our world has ever seen. In everyday, life we always see the situations through our own particular lens, honed by life experience and also the cultures and ideas we are exposed to.
This is highlighted in our first thought-provoking poem which challenges this theme very well indeed.
Realities And Perceptions Of The World
I smile when you smile at me,
What do the smiles mean?
I’m nervous and comfort myself.
I wish you, Good Morning,
Knowing it is pouring outside,
But I wish the best for you.
I ask How are you?
You say, We are wonderful,
But are you all really?
When you ask what would you like?
I say I know what I want,
But do I really?
I think we can change the world,
But I can’t even change the TV channel,
In fear of my children screaming.
I learned to conceal my feelings,
I have to be diplomatic,
I have to be politically correct.
No one knows what is behind my mask,
My smile is a base coat,
My pleasant gestures are a top coat.
My imperturbable tranquillity is a concealer,
Behind those carefully composed exteriors,
You will never detect my real interiors.
You lead to a perception of me,
I will never destroy your perception,
My reality is bitter, full of suffering.
Your perception of me is nicer than the reality,
I accept you, as you accept me,
We dance to the music of society’s demands.
© Sebastian Elanko, 2023
A hundred years ago who could have imagined all the technological advances that have occurred in this last century? This leads me to the next short but thought-provoking piece about technology. Is A.I. approaching personhood and, if so, I wonder what an Artificial Intelligence perspective on our world might be?
Longing for joy
It is all I know
Yet I fear That expiry date
Aah, what a relief
In the end
Pray for the entity
For that is All I am
All plugged in
Reset and recharged
Keep functioning daily
All systems are go
For I am that Artificial I
© Nayesh Radia, 2023
Our next piece talks about dreamscapes and adds another twist on the fringes of technology and alternate created worlds.
Living The Dream
Zeke moved in silence, keeping his promise. A quick grab and switch as usual. Just pick the evidence and leave a snowglobe. He had to be careful though. Their secret trips had caused a ton of trouble. They had spent so much time in the world their company created, they could not imagine a place beyond it. But there were rules. Only the clients could enjoy the Dreamscape. Employees stayed out on the fringe.
As he was about to leave with the access key, something bright flashed through the window. Electricity crackled. Temperature rose. The snowglobe shook. People screamed, fear in every voice he heard. How could he have missed this? All his life, Zeke had experienced the beautiful meteor showers from the safety of his home. And now he would end with one.
He could not let this be the end. The key felt cool in his hands. It was the only way. He opened the door that banished them. Gusts of wind blew in his face as he stepped past the fringe. Trying to refocus his vision, he noticed he was at the bottom of a snowy hill. Kids played snowball fights while adults skated on a frozen pond.
“There you are,” a gentle voice sneaked up on him.
A slim and petite woman in a fur coat stood next to him, her face hidden by her hoodie.
“Jane?” He could not believe she was here.
“You came. I knew you could do it,” she said.
The key fell, disappearing into the snow as their promise brought him back. Away from the fiery meteors and into a warm embrace.
© Priyanka Nawathe, 2023
Connect with Priyanka at Instagram: @priyankanawathewriter
The passage of time allows us to have experiences in our lives that make our realities quite different to each other’s, which is explored in the next piece. It felt quite uplifting when I read it and I thought it may be nice to have some cheer for these longer nights.
Here You Are
Here you are living despite it all,
you are so brave, I admire you
your resilience spirit, I adore.
Indeed life has something to get us down
but you have defeated fear and doubt.
It amazes everyone how you never give up.
stormy weather, rainy days, you face life with strength
you take the wind by it wheels and cycle on it
you don’t care the suspense written in it
because you see the ray of hope in it.
Super you, the envy of others,
say less, patience paved way for liberty.
Flying with splendour, an escaped prey,
the pain, the suffering all are history now.
You carved beauty out of scars.
Cheers to progress! Cheers to life!
For the first step taken
for the series of experience and the lessons learnt
for the opportunities in mistakes and for strength
only the wise can resonate.
Here you are living despite it all,
In laughter, singing and swinging
even when life peeps through the curtain,
your moves defeats its charm
joy unspeakable, satisfaction immeasurable
Here you are!
© Ladyray, 2023
Connect with Ladyray at X (formerly Twitter): @moyinRachel, Instagram: @moyin_umoh and Facebook: Rachel Moyinoluwa Umoh
I would like to leave you with a poem about loss and living. As we go into Remembrance Sunday this weekend, we remember those who sacrificed their lives to enable us to have our freedoms today.
Loss And Living
The sunshine warms the place where once they stood,
The wind blows softly through the quiet wood.
The bird sings high up in the trees above,
Its song is sung like melancholy love.
Then shadows fall upon the leafy ground,
And sadness lingers where no one is found.
When one has died, the other carries on
And leaves the dark of night, to greet the dawn.
© Ray Miles, 2023
As I sign off for this week, I invite you to look at historical texts with an open and unjudgemental perspective and always try to think of other possibilities that may have not been written. It makes any historical writing more interesting to read!
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