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Arts Creative Writing

Mela

Samina Parveen is a teen spoken-word poet from India. Below is one of her poems on body shaming.

Midnight eyes mirror the truth,
Dusky brown skin echoes the bitterness
Echos reciprocate the four walls
Adjectives accustomed to the hearing eardrum
Fat, large, obese, big, thick.
eyes drenched in saline droplets
The blurry eye looked towards the hip line

Stomach growled like an acidic monster
Calming the hunger, I gasped in the smell of water
That feeling of having water on an empty stomach
Trying to suppress my hunger
For a perfect body?
Torturing myself to get that
Hourglass shape

Rage quickened my blood
Throwing away those pills, supplements
Moving away from the Scale weight
I stared at the mirror
And my body
Why do I torture it?
To look pretty?
Gazing at midnight eye I mirrored the truth
I want to beautiful, not pretty

Below you can also find her two spoken-word poems. (Both provide closed captions.)

Categories
Arts

If the World Were a Movie

I am Hannah Flores, a 17-year-old award-winning spoken word poet from Toronto, Ontario Canada and I hope to put smiles on my audience’s faces in this era of uncertainty, changing the world one poem at a time.

My film/poem is the Winner of the 2020 Write the World Spoken Word Poetry Competition, a current Semi-Finalist film for the 2020 Lift-Off Global Network First-Time Filmmaker Sessions and a Changing Minds (Community Access Inc.) Film Festival 2020 Featured Film.

This was entirely filmed, written, produced, directed, and voiced by me, and I was inspired by the millions of quarantine stories from around the globe. I love to travel, and I am deeply saddened that I will be stuck at home for a while, so I incorporated some footage from my travels throughout the film. Being born in the height of the SARS outbreak, having lived through the Ebola crisis and now living in the Covid-19 pandemic has given me a unique perspective on human behaviour patterns in health-related epidemics. It has further fueled my passions for global health and neuroscience.

I have been an advocate for student voice across my school board for the past 6 years and that is what inspired me as well to create my podcast Punchline! with hannahfloresthepoet which delivers poetry and perspective for the young and the young at heart on all platforms (Spotify, iTunes, Google Play, etc.).  Every Friday, I will discuss the issues that young people want to hear about and I am currently calling for guests to be on the show! This is open to anyone who wishes to be featured and talk about something that they are passionate about, as I want my platform to continue to be a megaphone for all types of student voices and stories.

As Covid-19 continues to envelope the lives of people across the globe, we must not lose ourselves in the process. We need to practice social distancing, but we cannot socially distance ourselves from each other’s humanity. Everyone must think outside of themselves, as this is a frightening and unprecedented moment in time where we are all in the same boat. It is difficult to stay grounded but do not lose hope, we will get past this together.

Below you can find the written version of her short film “If the World Was A Movie.”

If The World Was A Movie
Written and performed by: Hannah Flores

This poem is dedicated to the people of the world

I know a place
That’s always moving
Where there’s something in the air that makes sleep useless

If The World Was A Movie
You would see so many people walk by
And never stop to notice
As if they are just extras
But what if I told you
That they are the movie
We are the movie

If the world was a stop motion film
Each picture would be a moment frozen in time
Yet still moving forward
Like bad internet service
Claustrophobia ensues as we quarantine ourselves with our own fear
Thursday March 12, 2020 was the first day that I felt trapped in my own hand washing
Turning the Happy Birthday song into a timer
Dehydrating my sense of hope and my skin all at the same time

While some of us are basking in our privilege
Of stockpiling things
Not out of need, but our own fear
If the world was a movie
It would expose how those who bought wipes to resell and made $100,000 off of innocent, scared people
And how those who bought enough food to feed a village
Still look down on those fleeing war and famine with no Walmart to turn to
And it would tell them that any phobia is a toxin in itself

Or maybe it’s a silent film
In a world where you see colour but everything feels black and white
With 5 million children out of school right now you’d think it would be louder
Where I realize that by the time this poem is finished, all of my stats will be outdated
And there are so many voices screaming at you from all directions
Saying everything and nothing that you want to hear
To the point where your native tongue sounds like a foreign language
To the point where you drown out this flood until it turns to white noise
Then nothing at all

What if the film was a black screen
All the lights, cameras and actions are out
Sun extinguished and stars left to wander

Smothered by a red sea of businesses dropping like flies
Where we’re all left in the dark

But this grey area
Sets a backdrop for colour
A home for sun-spilled faces

If the world was a movie
I’d kaleidoscope the technicolor stories that we hold behind our eyes
How we build bridges, write books and try not to hold grudges
The heart of a cosmopolitan among the cosmos
We are nothing short of stars
Each mind a new kit of lenses to take different angles on the same avenues
The key is our delicate balance of thinking independently together
Threads of streets woven into grand tapestries

If the world was a film
It would have no beginning, middle or end
It would just play on
Imagine all of this
Translated by the cry of time moving through us
But COVID-19 would only last for one frame

If I made a movie about the world
I would tell you not to socially distance ourselves from each other’s humanity

A documentary of diversity
Where divided nations
Form a unifying pulse
An involuntary muscle with conscious intent
Of not cancelling hope
Not cancelling love
Not cancelling life
Employing the trillions of cells in our bodies to keep moving

Cinema can be the most beautiful fraud in the entire world
But what if I told you that this is real

What if I made a movie about the world
My beloved home
Where the extras avoiding cracks in the sidewalks
Become the stars
Beacons of light in falls of Broadway darkness
Where we are the movie


Written by Hannah Flores.

*This post was originally published in June 2020.

Categories
Arts

Art by Antonia

A message from the artist:

I was never understood as a child. I am 16, and I am still not understood. I love art because art has no definition of what is supposed to be or look like. We probably all had that experience where you drew a cat, for example, and you thought it looked good, but then you look at it far away and you’re like ‘is that a cat or a dog?’ I draw mainly because I love drawing. I love having no rules to follow, no one to impress except myself. Each drawing I draw I put love into. Even if it is “bad” I will still post it. Why? Because I learned that if I throw away each bad drawing, then I have no way of learning what I did wrong.  I stopped drawing when I was ten because my drawing didn’t look like the drawings I saw in the classroom, and I was made fun of for that. Looking back I know that I let other people’s opinions change the way that I felt about this, so I made my Instagram art page simply because I love to draw. I made this account to see if people would love it, which they do. I hope you like it too.


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