My Digital Universe, Poems, Portfolio

Table Nomad: A Wanderer’s Collection

We live in a world full of connotations. The way you comb your hair to a metaphor you use when you write, will be interpreted by someone according to the lenses they wear when they view the world.

I enjoy poetry for this very reason!

Writing a poem gives you the freedom to express freely. How someone will interpret what you write is not really of concern, at least for me. As I mentioned above, we live in a world of connotations. So, it is expected that readers will interpret a line of poetry depending on what each word and image represent (to them) according to their worldview.

The poems come from my personal experiences. Some, are reactions to situations that I never expressed while others capture the feelings of fleeting moments. As readers flip through the pages, I hope they will be able to relate to certain feelings and appreciate varying perspectives.

When I started my backpacking trip to Nepal, I had no plan whatsoever. As my Instagram account states: “I have no agenda”, especially when it comes to traveling, music and writing. I decided to goto Nepal on the same day I took the flight. It was a decision I made on the spur of the moment. I was definitely not prepared to trek the Annapurna circuit when I packed my bags. If anything, I wanted to have spontaneous experiences.

And that’s exactly what I found for the next year!

The decision to collect various pieces of writing I had produced over the years came to mind when I was in Munnar, India. Even then, I wanted to stay true to my motto: “I have no agenda”. So I simply collected poems that were stacked away and put together a collection. Initially, I wanted the book to be a photo / poetry book. I thought it would be fitting to find images that compliment my writing. It was delightful to find a picture that resonated with a poem. Especially, since the images were taken at random without the intention of including in the book!

The digital version, which can be found here, has accompanying images that I captured from an iPhone 6s during my travels in South East Asia.

The paperback version is a poetry only version. You can get it here.

I hope you enjoy the poems and the accompanying images. Originally, I envisioned the book as something that will compliment one’s living room by taking the place of a coffee table book.

My Digital Universe, Poems, Portfolio

“It always seems impossible until it’s done” – Nelson Mandela

I recently published my first poetry book: Table Nomad: A Wanderer’s Collection on Amazon. Writing poetry is something very personal. Self-publishing, designing and creating the layout myself, made it a bit more intimate.

I learnt a lot of new skills and polished up on existing ones during this process. Adobe InDesign was completely new to me when I first started to layout my book. I was in Munnar, India at that time, taking a break from extensive traveling. While taking a few days to relax, I suddenly felt the urge to finally put together this book. I had most of the content written already. I also had over 10,000 images from my travels. So, it was a matter of putting it all together.

“It’s not about doing everything alone. It’s more about learning something new and applying that knowledge in the practical world.”

Here are three lessons I learned during the process:

Lesson 1: To make an idea come into reality, one must take action

I’ve thought about it. Talked about it. Dreamed about it. One day I finally realized that what’s left is, to simply do it. The hardest part of an extensive project is getting things going. Over the years, I’ve found that whenever I get myself to start something, I tend to follow through. There’s something in me that doesn’t want to back down once I start something. So, I started by subscribing to InDesign. Now it was serious, I have made an investment in a tool that I had no clue how to operate! My brain figured out what needed to happen next and soon I had gathered my pieces of writing that were stored on websites, Instagram and my notes.

Lesson 2: Getting different perspectives and opinions are good, but at the end you must decide

When I started arranging the poems and images, I asked a couple of friends for their opinions. It was good to know what others were seeing and understand whether your creation is communicating the right message. However, the ultimate decision to decide on which font to use and how to format an image was up to me. There were times that I doubted myself. It can be frustrating when you can’t decide on something. But, in order to make progress, we must make a decision and stick with it. Yes, sometimes it’s risky. Yes, we must live with the consequences of our decisions. But, it’s also all about your outlook. We can always learn from a mistake. The good thing in the digital age is that we can change things easily. Which leads to my next lesson …

Lesson 3: Be open to change and don’t settle

I first got a taste for making corrections and revisions during my master’s thesis. I am thankful for my thesis chair for pushing me to revise, re-write and redo. It can be extremely frustrating to find an error right when you think it’s ready to go live. But finding errors and having the ability to correct them is a blessing in disguise. Yes, it can take a toll on you after the 10th time, but it teaches you to become more careful and pay attention to detail. In the beginning, I wanted to publish around 50 poems and sayings with images. When I realized that the cost was too high to do color images, I was disappointed. I felt as if all my efforts had come to a standstill.

Determination is a fascinating quality. Couple that with the ability to make compromises, it’s not too hard to find win-wins. I had to change my book to meet the practical aspects of publishing. So, I made the photography and poetry (color) version available digitally and created a poetry only paperback version. I didn’t get everything I wanted. But then again, I did.

Digital version: http://bit.ly/tablenomad
Paperback version: http://bit.ly/buywanderer

 

 

My Digital Universe, Poems

When the sun fell in love with the moon

He rose up early and painted beautiful skies,
Even for a few minutes, he tried!
He stayed up as late as he could at night,
Even when he was drowning,
He tried to shed some light.

Then it dawned on him:
It’s his arrival that makes the moon go away,
And entire planets depended on his arrival.
With sadness and without choice,
He decided to forever paint the skies for the moon 🌙 
Hoping she will realize why he has to go away every night. 
~Instagram.com/smilander87 

http://lankansapphires.com/ has some beautiful moonstones and a variety of natural gemstones. 

Follow them on Instagram at: Instagram.com/ LankanSapphires 

My Digital Universe, Poems

For a realistic win

Whatever you do with integrity,

When taken away abruptly,

Don’t panic, simply hold steady.

Not every victory is straightforward,

Even when you feel cheated, defeated,

Do something else you always wanted.

Let time decide when it’s over,

Use your time, it’s not forever,

Hardships inflicted may be a favor.

Let compassion be always dominant,

Without it, never try to be prominent,

Be real, kind-hearted and persistent. 

With time, your story will unfold,

It’ll bring to light the pain untold,

There’s more to life than more gold. 

My Digital Universe, Poems

Getting old 

When the tea becomes cold,

And there’s no hand to hold,

You are now getting old;

No point doing as your’re told.

You realize there’s a hole,

As you search within your soul;

Like a fisherman with no pole,

You keep fighting for your goal.

Some just want to be a mole,

Watch out! They will take a toll.

Those who are looking for coal,

Use the kind-hearted to maul.

Don’t treat me like some doll,

Or a cat with a plastic ball.

I don’t have to wait for your call;

Or for Saul to change into Paul.

My Digital Universe, Poems

Any given day 

Always keep things simple,

And remember to be nimble.

It won’t pay, but stay humble,

Care not much about a dimple;

Reality is more about the pimple.

Do things that may seem ridiculous,

Not to you, but for the superfluous.

Not for their sake: live scrupulous,

Follow your passions and be meticulous.

You’ll find many smiles to be dubious, 

That’s not your problem, Mr. studious!

Pay less attention to things too fabulous, 

Be careful with time, when your laborious.

Whatever it is, that helps you sleep,

Shouldn’t bother your neighbor, please!

Spread jam on toast not hate on prose,

We can only handle each other in a dose. 

My Digital Universe, Poems

Winds – Visual Poem

Winds

At times tossed, turned or even rattled,
Rain comes- rain goes,
Yesterday, today or tomorrow?
Sunny days- warm smiles,
Minutes pass, don’t come back.
Cold nights- frozen tears,
Mock away past cheers,
Wind blows: leaves fall,
Child throws away the doll.
New day: same measures,
Past rules- past fears.
Stone wall- false hope,
Tossed away across the shore.
Birds fly, snakes crawl,
Dog barks but mountains don’t Fall!