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Kim Jan 2017
Hazy outlines familiar faces
Echoes of familiar places
Captured moments long forgotten
Honesty in words unspoken
A fleeting smile unguarded eyes
Truth beneath the surface lies
Pause a moment the masquerade
Telling postures now displayed
Rueful smiles and tired eyes
A warm glance melts a mask of ice
And as the frame fades away
Smoke and mirrors back into play
I'm quite a fan of candid photography
It is an art that is underrated in my opinion
I have had the privilege of taking some beautiful, albeit inexpert, candid shots of my friends and family from time to time -
And shall continue to do so whenever I have the opportunity!

(Edited "breaks through" to melts - credit to Phil Lindsey for the suggestion)
You once told me how you were captivated with photos, how it fills you with satisfaction capturing a picture perfect portrait of a moment, memory, or even a mere mortal. I almost always never understood this addiction of yours on why and how you’re more than determined to collect snips of your life in a paper inked by dozens and dozens of color to paint a single picture. It is somewhat a kind of a waste but you never thought of it like that.

“What is it with you and photographs?” a question I finally got to ask you after harboring enough courage. Yet you merely answered with a shrug and looked away, away from my prying eyes, away from the echoes of what I just asked you. I was on the verge of giving up on you when you suddenly held my hand tighter than usual. “Because…,” you muttered in between huge gulps of breath. I wrapped my arms around you hoping to shield you from your turmoil. For minutes we sat there, still and not making any sound while I let you hold on to me as if I was your lifeline. Anchored back to the present, you told me, “I’m just scared that’s all.” I waited for you to continue, to go on with what you were saying, but you just did not. I turned to look at you only to find you staring at the far distance, looking lost, gone.

I yanked my hand out of your hold but you were still transfixed far, far away from me, far from this reality. Your stare just did not falter at the slightest even as you told me the words which bugged me for the most of my hours, days, or weeks even. Those times following your passing that is. Yes, you left me. You left me hanging and alone without knowing the reason why you ended your life just like that. I’ve always been blinded by the pretense that you were more that okay amidst it all. Probably it comes with the denial of your loss. But if there’s any consolation, I finally know you aren’t okay at all, now when it’s all a little too later that I should have known.

But now as I lay here, I come to think of the last thing you told me. *“If a picture is worth a thousand words, then as to what worth would a million photographs be?”


As I recall you saying it that night, hours before you pulled the trigger over your head, I assumed it was merely rhetorical. I merely thought you were playing Socrates in order to halt me from bombarding you with any more questions. It kept me up all night staring at the ceiling only to receive a phone call at 3:00 A.M. on how you were rushed to the hospital and how the doctors shook their head in the inability to save you.

Until now, I’m still kept awake not of the distraught on your sudden death but because of that question you took me by surprise. I answered nothing then but I am afraid I do know the answer now. You did not capture those sunrises and the blossoming of flowers out of sheer creativity. Instead, it gave you a glimpse of a new beginning that this life failed to give you. You did not capture the candid smiles of random individuals out of a coincidence but because your heart yearns for this kind of happiness to be instilled deep within you. You did not capture the city lights just for the vivid imagination it fueled your satisfaction. It was the colors which brought light to every impending doom you have yet to undergo. You did not capture the landscapes and skyscrapers out of nothing more than an appreciation of abstract art. Rather, it gave you the leeway to live in a fantasy as the surrealism in these photos fuels your unwavering resolve to escape the trap this reality caged you in.

Darling, you weren’t just collecting photographs out of a hobby, out of a custom. And now, I know why you told me you were scared that time I asked you about this obsession of yours. *You were scared to find out that your life is a meaningless pit, like a hollow chasm with nothing but a void.
In search of yourself, you found fragments of ‘you’ in these ink-stained scraps of print. It was how you defined your existence: in shots of images of the existence of others. Some might not understand, but you are brave and brilliant to this all. Brave for facing all your demons alone, no matter how I would have wanted to save you from your distress, and brilliant for discovering that our lives are merely a collection of lives complementing each other.

So, darling, maybe this is the end of the line for you, the brink of your voyage to obtain a million photographs. And to answer your question, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a million photographs would be worth a life. These million photographs are all you. These photographs are what make you whole, flawlessly complete. You will realize you always were as opposed to what the world let you believe in. And then maybe, just maybe, as you finally lay to rest, far-off from the tragedy this realm of this cruel dimension, you can be finally be at peace and eventually manage to realize that you lived not just a portfolio of photographs but a masterpiece.


*(k.p.)
Peter Gareth May 24
I used to be so desperately afraid
Of seeing your face among the crowd
That our memories would never fade
And that you would always be around

But I don’t fear your ghost anymore
Or being cut by your bright blue eyes
Not our photographs all over the floor
Nor that it was nothing but pretty lies

For now that you’re 5000 miles away
I’m scared your shadows leave me too
So my heart will beg for them to stay
As a reminder that I once had you
Lyn Jul 2018
Here's the irony: even if I dearly miss you, it is because of you that I'm not afraid of what the future brings. You give me strength to believe that it is still possible to move forward, that no matter how much the grief, I can still believe that someday it will turn into something beautiful, something that would bring a smile on our faces without the memory of the bitter ache. This is not a goodbye, but a thank you. Thank you for loving me, and for receiving my love in return. Thank you for saving me and bringing joy into my life.  Thank you for the photographs and memories I will cherish forever.  You are the very best part of me and my life is better for it. You might be gone but I will forever have you in my heart. It's your turn now to wait for me. Wait for me, okay? Because there will come a day where it is going to be my turn to come back home to you.

I love you.
Prabhat Chhetri Oct 2017
not so long ago
they made you feel
not so alone

before
the social medias and  compulsive criterias

and the claustrophobia
that comes
when you will always understand where some people come from but never love them for it

these days it sits in a blind corner
like a forgotten foreigner
mentioned in sentences
that start with
"remember back when..."

The lesson of technology is to go with the flow

The lesson of time is in old and fading photographs
where you are holding
a landline phone
and pretending to talk into it
because your mother wanted to take a picture
Hanna Alayne Oct 2018
My recollections of the past
have merely become faded photographs

Birthday parties with pink balloons
funerals held in a floral print room

boxes upon boxes of forgotten times
now resurrected, consuming my mind

would these memories exist if not seen in print?
would my mind conjure up something different?

Would I look at this life through a lens of curved glass
if not for the help of a photograph
Take pictures people. You'll want the memories later.
Ashley Chapman Jun 2018
We fall,
and hard,
and in the shadows,
***** ourselves on snags,
that tear our clothes;
grazed and cut,
we stagger on -
Impressions, ideas, fancies!
Of these have we been disabused.

But is this spring,
come again?

Lovely,
yesterday,
in the bright sunlight,
to see you,
felt green hat in among the photo clouds,
apple suedes on the gallery's dank floor.

Melvyn,  
and I,
merrily circling with you the light cloud images,
my nostrils full of pollen spikes.
The pictures:
wisps of trailing dreams churning in ‘scapes of infinite blue;
dark clouds,
in amongst them,
too.

Photographs in two time places
caught;
at once, all:
the other and t'other.

So excitement swells,
and everything besides us quells,
because the knowing of itself,
knows,
and dares beyond the frames;
to skirt knowingly the unsaid;
to want beyond the wounded past,
to pull things,
once again,
inside out.

In whimsy’s currents flow these thoughts,
these feelings,
these drives;
swirling in eddies,
so that as you sit,
on a summer’s day,
it moves,
a mirror to everything above.

The wavelets on the surface,
hammered into shape,
burn, bite and dazzle;
the sun’s flames leaping and dancing on ripples.

In the basement,
on the concrete,
your Y proneness shifts,
releasing knees on black-clad thighs;
two pendulums swinging,
brushing;
yawing metronomes in the cool,
coolness of my desultory thoughts.

Oh, what am I saying?
Feelings like reveries walk along these silver lips straying languorously.
These myths are too soon made,
carried one to the next,
one-on-one,
until contained no longer,
become new truths.
Visited an East End London picture gallery with a friend. Later, she texted me and said she had been called a *****, and I said, we're all that, too. Then I wanted to defend her by describing the intoxicting effect of her connection with me: her beauty.
A broken little heart entangles his tears,
that come from a person that he'll never see.
Wet rain boots and ***** feet make him forget
about the darkest nights. His bed and blankets
are like souvenirs from home; a house he'll never
remember. Lies and "I'm sorry"s are trapped in his
hair, dangling behind his ears, whispering such
morbid pain among his lullabies. With every cry he's
screamed for you, can you even hear him? He's afraid
to sleep alone, as the TV erases nightmares oozing from
his eyes, do you care at all? Lost toys and old photographs
make him plead; Oh, but why? He'll never understand the
love he couldn't have, the love you wouldn't give-
I made this poem a long time ago.
All feedback is welcome and appreciated!
In a photo
a man is
lighting
his
cigarette
in a
grain of
shadow,
his face
just for
a moment
caught
on a
hook of
light.

It could
be anywhere.
Maybe
even
this city,
clad in
green
squares
& stone
circles,
whose
soft
evening
runs
like yolk
into night.

Then
in another
photograph
I saw
the
hallelujah
of your
face.

I forgot
the
speckled
city,
I forgot
the man
& his
vine
of light.
My own
name
seemed
drunk
with you,
lost in
the wine
of your
talent.

Some
things
are
branded
on the
inside
of your
skin
forever:
the taste
of milk
or mint,
the raw
flower
of ***,
the slow
sacrifice
of the
candle,
a first
love,
& a last
love.

Darling,
turn me
inside out
& sign
your name
with fire.
siinli Dec 2018
I burned our
old photographs,
it fell down
like dried leaves
in the autumn
The classic
gallery of our
love that was
once fascinating
became a
tedious one
The once white
walls and
clean corners
Are now dusty
and dark
The perfectly
carved frames,
and perfect
shots
became dull
and lifeless
You left me
knowing that
I won't survive
alone inside this
***** walls
Picture me
in your mind
And you'll see
the saddest photo
there will ever be
siin.li
Life* often speaks in rhythm & blues
whispering trumpets to bended ears, while reminding us
that smiles belong only in photographs; and tears
behind the curtain of an indifferent face

We walk fine
lines, between tragedy
and genius, lines so rarely straight
we seek balance in mediocrity
and solitude in unfinished lives

We become incomplete puzzles
forcing squares into circular places
by tearing away pieces of the whole
and conforming to the empty spaces

some things were never meant to be changed

We place people into boxes, neatly organizing them
by the
labels* we give their cracks and flaws
seldom ever realizing that *broken has a beauty all it's own
, and...

*some things were never meant be mended
Zeleyha Mata Nov 2018
You used to tell me that beautiful things come from pain and adversity.
Like motherhood, unconditional love, and true stories.
As I stood in the middle of a room painted white,
Staring at the remains of rolling hills burned to black,
I saw you staring back at me.

Burnt fields like black panther fur
Shining against your bones
Velvet black
You’ve changed
And changed and changed
Yet your love still remains
Burnt fields like black panther fur
Whiskers are the needles on a compass
Always pointing to the azure sky
You used to sing when I cried
Rolling your r’s over rrolling hills
A haunting melody startling black birds into the night
Feathered constellations against a sliver moon
And lips pressed to my salty cheeks

You told me that your favorite skin tone was chocolate,
As you laid out in the sun hoping to melt. “A quarter black” is what you say when you want to feel proud,
Even as you tell me stories of how your mother was called negrita,
The girl who stood too dark amongst the crowd.

Burnt fields like black panther fur
Black like the broken wings of mothers before you
Who had hands with scars from cotton seeds
And blue veins like uprooted trees
Stretching all the way to their tired knees
Burnt fields like black panther fur
You criticize your aging beauty
Speaking in envy of the color gold
Like you are a broken bowl in need of kintsugi
Yet silver snakes still slither
Over the pebbled river beds of your black curls
Dripping down the small of your back
Until they reach the base of your ivory spine
Burnt fields like black panther fur
You criticize your aging beauty
Because you never thought
Cocoa lips and sun spots painted on sculpted clay that never cracks
Could ever look as stunning as it does on you

You told me that it is better to speak my truth then tell pretty lies.
So I told you mine and you cried,
And cried and cried.
But look where we are now,
Standing beside each other with the same eyes,
Just different reflections.

Burnt fields like black panther fur
Tongue like a sword set ablaze
Tempered in pools of milk and honey
Blood red sun grazing the tops of your eyelids
Still reminiscent of those in old photographs
Where you saw the little girl you search for in me
Burnt fields like black panther fur
I am sorry I made you cry
But even when our backs are turned
We are still
Black birds singing in the dead of night
Free
Thank you mama for my broken wings.
Inspired by a photograph of a burnt field that I saw in an art gallery. For my mom.
patty m Mar 2015
The lake reflects the blueness of your eyes,
my hands tremble as I hold the photgraph
feeling depths of emotion,
wishing your hands would touch me now.

Summer's warmth floats in heated halos
easy feelings basking in saturated glow.
I melt in the reflection of love's golden rays.
Photographs of picnics beneath cool trees,
shaded smiles, you waving one frame.
In that moment you stand where
my feet are submerged,
drops of water hanging mid-air.
I hold my hand out in the dry July sun,
prisms of love reflecting everywhere,
but you're not here.
Guden Oct 2017
As I light up
This last blonde cigarette,
I think of music,
Of boats sailing through smoke,
Smog.
Stars that fall in the ocean,
Cosmonauts drifting through space,
Their ship destroyed
Like a mother who has given birth.
Memories of photographs.
I think of her
As usual.
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