Year Reflections – Poetry

This year has provided an exciting opportunity to be able to share my writing at a official and published capacity. This is the first of my year reflections post, specifically focusing on me thinking about my poetry this year!

Autumn, That Bastard

‘Autumn, That Bastard’ is my first poetry collection that I have publicly shared. This has been a great opportunity to show and have my poetry be read by anyone at anytime. Not all my poetry will be posted like this, but I wanted something that could be read without having to pay because, like my last poem ‘Stagnation’ hints, ‘fuck capitalism.’

Some  notes about the poems:

  • Authenticity – this poem felt like a great introduction to how I feel about stepping into the world of pseudo-published writing. The structure is also different enough from typical poems to generate initial curiosity into the collection.
  • Leviticus – I keep going back to this poem as one of my favourite poems out of this collection. The last line “No questions? No Question.” is something so powerful that I am so happy I produced. 
  • When Winter is expected – Lily’s death is something that I oddly still think about, even though she was a dog. That sentiment of ‘she is more than just a dog’ resonates throughout the poem, as she was an unforgettable part of my life and the least I could do was immortalise her in this poem.
  • Grey House – This poem originally started as a simple song I tried to write in my early learnings of the Saxophone when I was very young. The points of high I capture in the poem (moving to a new apartment) and the points of low (realising it was for the worst) came from me testing the combination of high and low notes.
  • The Apocalypse Cometh – This poem was written way before I even knew who Greta Thunberg was but now that I am aware of so much more regarding climate politics, to the point I think about the state of our world ecologically every day, this poem only strengthens the warnings that our planet is vulnerable.

Check out all the poems here!

Bubbles

Bubbles was a great collection to help support an organisation I very much appreciated. It was interesting centralising six poems over theme that I did not set. This collection, unlike ‘Autumn, That Bastard’, is exclusively available for those who contributed to my fundraising efforts this year as an incentive and thank you in supporting my efforts.

I felt creating a publication for it was very rewarding but also was a big time commitment I did not expect. Dabbling my foot into this design area has given be a better understanding of what I should be doing in future self-publishing endeavours if I choose that route. If I do not end up doing this, it will at least provide a lot of appreciation of how much it must take for an indie author!

Other Poetry Dabbles:

While not posted, I did work on some other poetry not a part of these two collections. These usually were inspired by some worldly event. It let me reflect on how and when I actually start to write poetry – what my drive is and where I am most likely to come up with poetic prose. Not much of this was at home, in fact, a lot of poetry sprung to me when I was on the go or doing something. I found my poetry routine, of sorts, and doing poetry outside these collections reinforced that this art is something I can work on but also isn’t something to be forced.

However, this is a different with my fiction writing where I take a more structured approach, which was very evident in how I prepared for the Write It Fellowship. More about this on my next blog post, reflecting on my other writing endeavours!

Bubbles Update Blog (And Happy Holidays from Christoast!)

Tis the season… to get an update on a poetry collection!

Originally scheduled to release this weekend, ‘Stagnation’ the concluding poem of the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ Poetry Collection and my commitment to writing an article for Envie took some time cleaning up the publication! However, it is almost complete and will be released on the 27th of December for everyone who donated to the ‘Pen to Paper’ Challenge and for everyone who donated to Extra Life 24 Hour Fundraiser !

If you are interested in obtaining a copy, you can find out more information about Bubbles here!

tl;dr, the collection will only be available during fundraiser events where I am raising money for an NGO-Orginisation or for purposes of social movements. If 2019 is any track record, this will be possibly twice a year! Keep up to date with my publications and events on my social medias here:

It has been an amazing year and I have loved keeping this blog up and running! Thank you to everyone and have a some happy holidays! I hope you enjoy celebrating this time with people that mean a lot to you!

Near future:

  • Two more blog posts by the end of the year. The first will be to talk about Bubbles when it is released and the second one will be a reflection on the year in terms of writing (inc. Autumn, That Bastard and other projects) for this blog/website.
  • In the early new year, expect an update post about future plans for the website and my own projects.

See you soon!

Stagnation

Website Version Here

By Christos Floratos

It is that time, again.

To wait for it to all end.

This waiting is a crux –

A crutch and a lux,

Spread thin over the fortnight’s influx.

 

This money system has left me bitter,

A tea that has long overstayed.

Corrupted green that has mixed with the soil,

Auburn turns black to brown, to a prodded boil,

Where the honey at the end would always spoil.

 

I am curious to their appraisals,

That my life is through a proverbial spring.

I may have all the bricks lined on the frontier,

But I confess, it is not yet veneer.

Stagnation has taken my masonry’s finest, oh dear.

 

It is all an arbitrary collection of bricks and stones,

For Autumn and Spring don’t exist.

It is the eternal summers and winters I chase.

For even though those bricks are lined, houses are placed

No residence could save me from ash encase.

 

No, I am most definitely in the fall.

Yet defiantly, death and dying is not what I feel.

I am warmed by the sun’s rays and adore the hearth.

Though daises are no longer pushing a girth,

This uncertainty is what lulls me to the earth.

 

I don’t dread Autumn, for it is going,

But because I know it will arrive again.

White horse with black hooves trampling the ground

And there is discovery in it yet against the sound.

For waiting has christened my crown.

 

Nothingness has become my favourite companion.

It is they, that lonesome path to permanence.

At the end nought could be done to amend

Except for you, reader, who has provided an ear on lend.

Perhaps the wait will be indefinite – these words need to be tend.

 

Autumn will be that bastard.

And we will never be through.

We will remain along this cursed line

These cheap words and rhymes, they will be just fine.

These horrible thoughts will be paid through the halt of a lifeline.

© Christos Floratos 2019

Stagnation – Sneak Peek

The concluding poem for the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ Poetry Collection comes out this Friday!

Stagnation, like the wait/hiatus from the penultimate poem, is meant to capture the feelings of indefinite waiting and down trodden celebrations.

Reflections on the Extra Life Charity Fundraiser – Raising $655 AUD ($450USD)

Extra Life has passed once again and as a community, in total have raised $655 AUD (which translates to $450 USD) over the 24 hours of the live stream!

24 hours, two separate stream events (Dungeons and Dragons + Video Game Live Stream), over 20 donations and dozens of viewers! Thank you to everyone who tuned in!

Those who donated $20 will receive the copy of ‘Bubbles’ by the 21st of December! Just finalising some sections throughout the next week and a bit.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated and donated!

Some of my thoughts:

  • Dungeons and Dragons was super fun. My group was super awesome, shout out to Nick, Mustafa, Jeremy, Edgar, and Cameron for playing super fun characters and engaging with the narratives. The story also has ramification for my home campaign.
  • We had one of the biggest donations through the last 4 years I’ve been doing Extra Life, of $75 USD, which is amazing! Raising $450USD was no easy feat and I could not have done it without so many supportive people in my life!
  • I had a blast playing video games with my friends and having some awesome bants! Im always inspired by how many people pop in, play games and get to talking around this event!

I have done two fundraisers this year and it has been a blast organising and supporting these charities!

The Apocalypse Cometh

By Christos Floratos

Some say the world

Will let out its last whimper

In a swirl of blaze and frost.

 

But I know better than some.

For I was young when I saw it come.

The lightning struck and struck,

And then some.

A week where it spiked

A month of humidity’s fight.

A year of reason’s most gallows.

                             A love child of melted ice and Australia’s burn

Against those olden-minds’ saying, most hollow:

“But it’s too chilli!”, would encourage a churn

 

Don’t you understand the cold?

The wrath of the blizzard is

just the warmth of hell

seeping through the oil-cracks in the earth

and condensing in the smog above.

 

The warning signs shocked you but

The tremors will rock you to

Your feet, your soles, your souls.

Waves of polyester swamp our beaches

And deep- beyond blue Mariana -are

remanets of Mickey, Cola and your groceries.

 

 

The old will give one more hazardous cough

and our world will be untold.

 

For

We’ve had our last summer

And Autumn’s killed its last tree.

Winter will be the mistress after the affair

And Spring will surely forget us.

 

After we are gone,

The worms will not remember their banquet on us

              For even they will die soon after their feast and celebration.

Ash shall not be gentle reminders on the mantle

              For we shall break down to our bare atoms.

 

For those preachers of old,

The Apocalypse Cometh

-not one of undead, technology or

some forsworn rapture –

But a carrion, inhibited by us.

A fever on the earth, calmed, cared and chilled by oil flames.


 ©  Christos Floratos 2019

Sneak Peek: The Apocalypse Cometh

The Penultimate Poem of the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ Poetry Collection. What do you imagine when you think of the end of the world? This poem is a rejection of some traditional concepts of the Apocalypse.

Full Poem is Out This Friday!

‘In Honour Of Summer’ – Poetry Sneak Peek (Autumn, That Bastard)

In Honour of Summer, the 10th poem of the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ poetry collection, will be out Saturday this week!

Next week I find out if I have made it into the Write It Fellowship! I also have an article coming up for the Writing Community Newsletter!

Stay tuned for more!

Grey House – What the Heck am I Rambling About? #9

‘Grey House’ takes on the persona of a young child who eagerly goes into a new home, an apartment complex, with their mother. Rather quickly, the child becomes exposed to harsh realities and becomes disillusioned with the excitement of moving to a new place, and the conditions that led them there.

What the Heck am I Rambling About is a series of blog posts where I breakdown a work I have created and shared. You can read the poem here if you aren’t caught up!

Someone has commented that these series of blog posts and the Author’s comments section are going to be useful tools for HSC students in the future. A very flattering comment and I think when I did the HSC I would have loved it if the people I was writing about how done a blog series like that. Alas, the prescribed texts were all mostly dead white men.

Set out – almost barefoot. Along my journey

on the cigarette path, I met Crystal, Molly,

was tracked by a Dragon and became BFs with Mary Jane.

Stanza 5

There is only two stanzas that have the optimistic tone, perhaps misguiding the reader due to the child’s curiosity. When the child’s life starts to break down, she becomes systematically disempowered, first starting with the bare necessities such as electricity and then at school by teachers who punish them for being late, not at the fault of the child. Those who the child meets on the way aren’t people but the code names for different drugs. The child being Best Friends with Mary Jane (Marijuana) is a comment of how this unregulated use for people in such fragile states can act as a gateway drug. The reader can take away what that type of relationship would be for a young person. Is Best Friend also someone for life in this instance, denoting a pessimistic point of view that they cannot escape? Or, like a fleeting childhood friendship, will the child escape it eventually?

I had to leave that woman when I came of age.

For she said we’d be home by autumn’s end.

Stanza 6

When I Came of Age” is subjective. Does she mean when she became an adult? Or when the child could legally move on from her mother at the age of 16 (in many western countries)? Or perhaps when she realised when her mother wasn’t good for her. The term Autumn’s end is meant to symbolise that this move was supposed to be a grace period in the mind of the child. The excitement of a new place perhaps shadowed the permanency of such a living situation the child was not ready for. The line also shows that there was a desire to return to the past life, before the Grey House. However, like a great number of cases, this return isn’t always as conceptualised. Referring to her here as that woman is the last time she is given a gendered identity. When the mother becomes labelled as parent at the end, it is revealed that the child still conceptualises somewhat of a caretaker role, but not in the typical narrative of the maternal bonds.

She was neither the executioner nor the criminal

but the wife of the bread-thief.

Stanza 7

Throughout the poem, there’s no direct attack against the mother, just comments about the unruly life. As the child ‘grows up’ they become more aware of her mother’s context. The child expresses sympathy for her mother, which is captured in this line. The metaphor of the bread-thief alludes to their situation, which suggests that her previous father did petty crime to support their family, which has led to the current life. The mother was responsible for the situation or the person who created the situation. In the same way, the child is linked to her mother as they are not responsible. Although neither are deserving of the ‘Grey House’, they both end up in that life, a sad common tragedy experienced by people with similar hardships.

This poem has been heavily inspired by my social work experience. This is perhaps the most tangible of the ‘Autumn, That Bastard’ collection. To leave you with some thoughts think:

  • What happens now to the girl? What happens to the mother?
  • Is this a cyclical life-event, like the season of Autumn? Or has the child realised their predicament and overcome it?

I hope you enjoyed this rambling and you can find some more ramblings below.

Grey House (Poem)

Website Version

Christos Floratos

 

Mommy asked me what I thought

of the Grey House.

So tall. Was all ours. Spring was a few seconds away.

Earth to sky. You could even see the clouds pass on by.

Mommy smiled when I jumped in glee.

 

Mommy asked me where the sky ended.

Why, at the top of our Grey House, of course!

And that’s where we went.

Right to the top, gazing where fans swirled, and birds lost all their feathers.

Mommy laughed when I said mine was what the light touched.

 

But the darkness was Mom’s own.

She had raged warfare before but nothing as

the campaign she waged on the phone.

There were many battles lost and Mom neither

 

won that war. The damned operators she wrestled.

The grey hut was starting to shamble

and the darkness of Mom’s words transfixed

themselves with the light bulbs,

and those showers thereafter returned the childhood achoos.

 

I was reprimanded for being late at school,

But mother was bedridden. What was I to do?

Set out – almost barefoot. Along my journey

on the cigarette path, I met Crystal, Molly,

was tracked by a Dragon and became BFs with Mary Jane.

 

I had to leave that woman when I came of age.

For she said we’d be home by autumn’s end.

But there I sat in

an apartment that made squalor shiver,

and a boyfriend here, and over there.

 

She cried when my departure loomed overhead.

She was neither the executioner nor the criminal

but the wife of the bread-thief.

I was the void between Venus and Mars,

Water and a pot-plant balcony garden constituted my celestial body.

 

That woman, her promise of a time yonder our

dilapidated apartment…

was a dream of hollow mines and sore minds.

Maybe I will return to her; she was my parent, after all.

This was an exodus much sooner than expected.

 

© Christos Floratos 2019