The Impossible Weightlessness of Clouds

The Impossible Weightlessness of Clouds by Vic Briggs

Weekly Photo Challenge: Adventure!

Dunes of vapour streak the skies just above. Here and there I can glimpse the blue inverse depths of the beyond. I can’t hold that stare for too long, afraid that the sensation of a world up-sidedown will intensify and I will be overcome by an irrepressible desire to plummet feet-forward into the upper levels of the stratosphere.

There are many reasons why this would not be a great idea.

For a start, I happen to be inclosed with hundreds of others in a metal bus, travelling at high speeds towards a predetermined destination. I haven’t seen any signs indicating that a specific foot position must be maintained at all times, but I am certain that, should I attempt any position other than the ordinarily acceptable, they would have something to say about it. (“they” always do)

For another, should it even be possible for me to somehow find myself outside at this kind of altitude, I would be ill-equipped to deal with the sub-tempretures on offer. (There is a reason why I’m heading to warmer climes.)

You may think that the lack of wings and/or appropriate breathing equipment should be of greater concern, but I beg to differ; these are mere details. The absence of wings does not interfere with gravity, and falling is so close a sensation to flying that I would be unlikely to be able to tell the difference until it would be too late to worry about it. As for breathing: highly underrated in its capacity to slow down and come to a near halt when the adrenaline kicks in. Still…

There are times when whimsy ought to be indulged, when a creative mind requires a physical imbalance of an unpredictable type that may symbiotically transform a literal into a figurative “change of perspective”, but this is not one of those times.

This is one of the others: the ones where the adventures to come  have the advantage of being unknown and all the more exciting for it. So I will draw my eyes away from those lingering dunes and fix my gaze on the spun-sugar islands floating just beneath my feet instead, and dream… of the impossible weightlessness of clouds.

Secrets in Indigo

Painting | My Summer Wine by Adrian Borda

Painting | My Summer Wine by Adrian Borda


You carved into my skin

The promise of a bruise

And I have watched it bloom

Into a sigh.

My body veils in silence

Each indigo – a secret

That longs for your caress

To mellow,

Else to die.

And when the snow falls red

Onto my cheeks displaced

By kisses inked in rain,

I shatter days:

The ones replete of beauty,

Those fashioned into hailstones…

All left for you to salvage. 

Your loss 

To set ablaze.


Weekly Writing Challenge: Mystery Ending

Of Truth and Spleen

photography: Dystopia by Ian Hemingway

photography: Dystopia by Ian Hemingway


I cower at your feet – 

A docile body – 

With no thoughts of its own

But those of your creation.

Identity depleted 

Of jagged edges all:

I am like him

And he is like the next.

In this – our condition –

Of quieted un-freedom 

We are amalgams of the same.

Are these the truths you seek?

Are we – such things of pity –

That you crave power over?

Yet know that yours won’t be

The only truth to reign

And we shall turn

The tide against itself.

And should our power fail us

We shall imagine sabres –

Or teeth of steel –

To give home to our spleen.



Writing Challenge: The Ray Bradbury Noun List Twist

2. Your nouns. Create a list of at least ten nouns. (If you can think of more, great, you’ll have more nouns to choose from.) Write a new piece using at least five of the nouns on your list.

My list: Modernity, Freedom, Identity, Creation, Condition, Action, Rulers, Power, Truth, Existence.

Spiralling out of Control | Exploring DC

Why walk in a straight line when there are so many hidden treasures off the beaten path?

There are many a person who goes on a city-break with a “tick list” in hand: a list of things they want to see and do. Of course, when time is of the essence this may very well be the quickest way to get acquainted with a new city. Personally, I prefer to get lost in a new place so that by the time I find my way again, I’ve also managed to make it my own.

Washington DC is no exception to my roundabout ways of exploring. The only thing I knew about my first outing in DC was that at some point I will reach Georgetown. There was no mistaking it once I got there, and here are some of the spirals, curves and zigzags that I discovered on my equally topsy-turvy journey.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Zigzag

The first thing that I absolutely had to stop and capture on film (well… its digital equivalent rather) was this stunning powder-blue staircase. Amazing curves and a colour to match. If you look carefully you will notice that the sign above the door is a steam locomotive! The romantic in me could not resist.

Blue Spirals by Vic Briggs, Georgetown: Washington DC

This second find made me grin ear to ear. How often do bikes go quite this pink? I loved how this oldie was refurbished into a flower pot, and although it is a little worse for wear, I would not have it look any other way. Did you spot the zigzags?

Pink Cycling by Vic Briggs, Georgetown: Washington DC

After zigzagging all around Georgetown, we took a well deserved by the Potomac and let our legs dangle off the curve of this water-side path, so that we may watch at leisure the rowers who were speeding through the heat of the day towards the nearby bridge.

Summer on the Potomac by Vic Briggs, Georgetown: Washington DC

I have to agree with Ben: “The quickest way between two points might be a straight line, but it’s rarely the most interesting one.”

Through the Trapdoor

Starry Night by Jorge Maia

Starry Night by Jorge Maia


The night is late.

Waves flutter at my feet with memories of light:

Belated stars, perhaps elsewhere extinguished. 

I’ve watched whole universes pass

Across the canvas of the sky

And melt away beyond the lake’s horizon.


And still you did not come.


Soon will be dawn.

The cricket’s song will die away 

And the ravine whence they have made my bed

Will paint its shadows silent.

Beneath this bloodied scythe I’m set to rest,

Never to rise again or feel this life’s embrace.


And still you did not come.



Weekly Writing Challenge: The Ray Bradbury Noun List Twist

  1. Bradbury’s sample noun list. Write a new piece using at least five of the nouns from Bradbury’s sample list, above: The lake. The night. The crickets. The ravine. The attic. The basement. The trapdoor. The baby. The crowd. The night train. The fog horn. The scythe. The carnival. The carousel. The dwarf. The mirror maze. The skeleton.

Hidden Within



Weekly Photo Challenge: Containers

We all have our secret hiding places, where we can get away from the world and spend time with our own recollections. Yet there is no better hiding place than being in a crowd. And when we find ourselves in a new city, anonymity is bound to be ours for the taking.

My choice of container may be unusual at first glance. Yet there are more than people within. There is exhilaration at the prospect of new discoveries, a thirst for knowledge and a sense of adventure. There are memories in the making, history finding its way from the shadows of nearby buildings and unveiling their secrets to those within, whenever they dare step off for a half hour. There are hopes and there is laughter, curiosity and delight.

Feel free to add more to the list. What does your inquisitive self hope for when you first arrive in a city or another new place of your choosing?

Mind The Gap

Unexpected Beauty

Unexpected Beauty by Vic Briggs

Weekly Photo Challenge: Contrasts

Etched into the shadow of a tree, as if to take respite from the heat of the day, there lay my wonder in miniature. Notice the rays of sunshine against the azure fabric of the mushroom’s cap? The slight curve of its fragile stem? To me, this picture is a veritable treasure trove of contrasts. I am curious to know which one(s) you noticed first.

Vow of Silence


Warm leather claws,

Your glove forgotten on my hand.

To write into its crumpled skin

Your life beyond the flicker of a screen,

My fingers twist all flaws

Into their absence.


Segmented chasm

Flushed in azure candlelight,

The flesh of shadows black with rage

Seek vengeance for their fate upon a page

In monochrome plasm:

A vow of silence.



DP Writing Challenge: Time for Poetry

Male Beauty UnPlugged

Monumental Male Beauty by Vic Briggs

Weekly Photo Challenge: Monument

About this image: We all have a conception of beauty that is both individual and socially contingent. Having acquired a taste for male beauty with a determinately classic Greek slant (feel free to blame Louvre’s collections of antique sculptures for the bias, if you will), leave it to the new world to unsettle one’s discreetly cultivated status quo.

This particular New York “monument” challenged my preconceptions of what ought to be included in that category (of beauty, rather than Greek sculpture). This male specimen does share something with his classic predecessors: a disregard for actual human proportions. Just as the ancient sculptors used an “ideal” model for their art, often at odds with reality, so did the present artist. Although I believe that while the first promoted a particular vision of beauty, the latter attempts to do the reverse. It questions ideas that would otherwise remain fixed.

What I particularly like about this photo is the fact that not only the statue, but its two onlookers became part of the narrative. It was their discussion of the piece that prompted me to stop and reflect.