Culture

Creativity in Crisis: part seven

The Oxford Blue Culture team’s creative writing and art project: ‘CREATIVITY IN CRISIS: a writing collective’.

Here are some of our favourites of the work we received, illustrated by Jaime Teo.

Ex Lover — Dot Foster 

I remember the person
I used to hold hands with 
in the dark, as we fell down 
 
streets like they were stairs 
and felt the city shake us 
by the shoulders, parents
angry when we got back late.
 
We wore each other,
kept ourselves warm by
breathing out cold air like 
cigarette smoke, pretending 
 
the park was a forest, the canal
an ocean, the multi-storey a 
flagstone patio looking out on 
the city with a face like a handsome 
father. Everything feels more alive
 
at night; people are plants who 
do most of their growing in the dark. 
 
It is daytime now. 
You’re sat in the garden, 
the sun stroking your hair, 
lighting it up like a candlewick;
I see you flicker when I close my eyes. 

Beautiful World – Daniel Cox

I am a pheasant in headlights,
I am a bluebell in the woods,
I am an orchid on a windowsill,
At the moment of impact,
Trampled on the edge of a path
Burned under sunlight for days,
I am a beautiful world,
 
Crows tie me down and cut me up,
And whisper sounds of safety in my ear,
This house of cards is a fortress,
Made to soak tomorrow’s punches,
I am a blast furnace choking on smog,
I am poison shrapnel poisoning the earth,
I am an animal high on antibiotics,
 
It’s thirty seconds to midnight,
And like that dove in the distance,
I feel like ascending,
Leaving behind an outstretched hand,
I have rejected treatment,
(I am dreaming)
I am a beautiful world.

Bravo, Girls! — Yang-sheng Lin

Face by face under the blue 
And hand by hand in the dew,
They’re one less than the Graces three
But one more than Venus, rising from the sea.
 
O Aurora, there’re the twin daughters of thine
Please let me praise thy glorious shrine:
Where the smiles twinkle without any intent
But tell of the sweet summer Goddesses spent.
 
While day-hymn faints and tides of life fall
And heavenly roses fade, in the fairest of all;
On the empty beach youth’s poetry disperse       
Leaving a set of footprints to be the last verse:
 
Such purity and beauty dwelt in timeless rhyme 
That cannot be lined by a worldly song of mine.

The look – Lucie de Gentile

The look
Is all it took
Alone in the notes
Of music and time
The pastels melted
Of the lime
That was floating
In my pink wine
 
The look 
Is all it took
A caress
Elongated like
The bow of a cat
When it was 
Really a soft order
Purring for you to react
 
The look 
Is all it took
The giggled whispers
Of lips too close
Even to kiss
Enough to cause
A heavy weight
Of breath, of space
Of silent intent
 
The look
Is all it took
For your mouth
To fall on mine
Like a moth
Seeking light 
In a mine
 
The look
Is all it took
For my hair
To parade
My white shoulders
And breakable neck
To shiver at your touch
Your fingers
Drawing me out
 
The look 
Is all it took
When I give you the signal
To meet you in duel
The challenge you took on
But victory is won
If my eyes rolled over
No longer
Can give you the look

If you would like to be published in the next edition, submit your work to the link below. We welcome writing from everyone, regardless of experience!
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScjN2VQtMq6l4Ytq5bnMs2mNSEilQl3znxPei3tJOLVdqzNsg/viewform?usp=sf_link

Gaia Clark Nevola

Gaia Clark Nevola (she/ her) is the Senior Editor for Culture at The Oxford Blue. She is in her second year studying English at St. Catherine's College where she is also LGBTQ+ welfare rep. Gaia enjoys creative writing, doing costumes for student theatre and telling people that she's actually half Italian, as though that constitutes having a personality.