Forbidden Shells

An Emerald Wish


An Emerald Wish by Maria Fokas

Find that picture you once took . . . the one which captured a moment that seemed like any other, at the time. But looking back, you know better now. That picture which hides a gemstone that would take a thousand words to share; the one so special, you don’t dare give away. I can’t recall the exact wording of my wish that day, but who took me there, I will never forget;

Oh, that emerald field of magical whispers.

© Maria Fokas/October 28th 2016 – All Rights Reserved: Photography by mariafokas

Forbidden Shells (Blind Spots)

3. Forbidden Shells (Blind Spots) by Maria Fokas

Today Greece is voting for the next Prime Minister . . . [Do not dwell on the days that drift by – Make them stop] – The words carved on an iron plaque, hung on cemetery gates, in a dream.
And so I took the bus to the center of town, early this morning as I could not sleep. I sat on the bus observing people going to their destinations. I looked for smiles, or lack of them; speculated about the thoughts they were consumed with; whether they were healing, or sickening their hearts. Only one was smiling. I imagined he was reliving a happy moment. Most had lifeless and cold lips on. Were they thinking politics, or maybe all the mistakes they’ve made so far. We have no qualms about spreading other people’s miseries but we hide our own very well. Could our miseries carry a sense of fault within them; our fault?

I came out of my thoughts to reflect upon the lifeless expressions again. This time, I imagined the frozen faces as a means to relax their muscles; people merely enjoying the ride. I asked myself, what constitutes a good day, opposed to a bad one. How subjective can it be? “Now if only I knew what made me happy,” a girl on the bus said into her cell phone. See, the subconscious may be sceptical of whether we’ve learnt from our mistakes. It’s there to protect us, not change us, or even trust us, and surely not to remind us of what makes us happy; just there to frighten us against past miseries. It feels safe to know the future beforehand. Now imagine a world where we always knew what would happen next – Always.

The bus stopped, and I got off; no destination to devour my thoughts. I walked down the elite street of my city; the center of the high-rises where the finest luxury jewels are sold, boutiques of high fashion, floral shops with the freshest collections of brilliant colored bouquets, pastry shops of extravagant assortments dressed in dazzling artistry of sugar-art; there for the taking. But every couple blocks reality hit me in the gut, as I saw people like me, do the thing where they just walk by the less fortunate ones. None blinked towards those sitting on the cold dirty cement; some had backs leaning up against the high buildings, others crouched forward with faces down to hide their misery. The ones who looked into my eyes, had tired and angry eye; somewhat like mine. I saw one man who seemed to be in a dream state, another was praying, and a third was whispering to himself, but none of them were baffled.

I wondered about their families; where they were, and if they knew or cared. I assumed they all had families. I captured three of these people in my camera, after I emptied my pockets. Yes, I am guilty, and yes, I felt guilty as I took those pictures, but I did it anyway. I felt misery looking through the lens; the kind I didn’t want to hide. I wondered what they felt as they watched me trying to take it all in. A teacher once said, “When we prepare for national exams, we’re as weak as our weakest students; we work together and succeed together.” Did I stop to take those pictures to give purpose to my life? I have to vote today – Ridiculous!

© Maria Fokas 2015/All Rights Reserved

Forbidden Shells (Plastic Race)

 2. Forbidden Shells (Plastic Race) by Maria Fokas

I yearn for memories dressed in pleasure; silky silver wrappings, tied in red ribbons, as the snow settles in the winter nights. And when spring comes, breakfast in a secluded diner; your choice, and I’ll be there for that smile; such beauty is soothing to the heart. I want to sail away with my lover in the summertime, and forget all the plastic in the world; too much of it everywhere we turn. I close my eyes and see you sitting at that old forgotten piano. Your fingers dance on the keys and a familiar nostalgic melody fondles my ears. And right when I think our imagination has escaped the lies, I read this:

A staff writer named Liz Dwyer writes about the discovery of a solution to the plastic problem polluting the environment, “One solution,” she claims, “is an edible fungus that likes to chow down on the non-biodegradable material; Plastic could be degraded by fungi and turned into food.” At least that’s the idea behind the Fungi Mutarium, a pilot project from designer Katharina Unger, and biology researchers at Utretcht University in the Netherlands. So how is this idea applied? Katharina explains: Bits of plastic are first sterilized with UV light, then placed into tiny cups made from an edible substance called agar. The fungi are then dropped into the cup. As it grows, it devours all the plastic. “It’s ready to be eaten when there is no more visible plastic material inside; the end product is similar to mushrooms, and can be flavored to taste like a fruity dessert,” said Unger. Has logic gone astray, or have I just lost my humor?

Where is Hemingway; remember that charming man who spoke with sensual words that embraced the taste buds of our imagination? He spoke of oysters consumed by the salt of the sea, and crisp white wine that mesmerized; as if he were describing the touch of making love on a satin beach under a seductive blue sky with lonely wishing stars. He described the aroma of the heavens, as a cold fragrant drink which washes down the sea and leaves a sweet sensation on the tongue. He whispered of a drink which removes the empty feeling to make us happy enough to make plans again.

On second thought, where’s that bottle of wine, red or white, either one can take me to heaven, or away from thoughts of plastic eating munchkins on supermarket shelves with promises they cannot keep. Imagine if another scientist chips in on the action, and starts claiming that these treats can get rid of wrinkles, or even enhance erections. Imagine what will happen then; A multi-trillion dollar industry. Wall Street, here they come!

And when night falls, I’ll be waiting in that autumn breeze. So, let the waking days mock me if they choose. I won’t resent the nights for not knowing how to vanish the seas between us; for when I close my eyes, your smile fills my dreams. And when our ship sails, our hearts will sleep my love, knowing it was meant to be.

© Maria Fokas 2015/All Rights Reserved

Forbidden Shells (Reality)

1. Forbidden Shells (Reality) by Maria Fokas

I woke up this morning from the inside out; opened my eyes to a broken day –
He asked me if I knew anything about reality, but who can claim to know? It would have to be an objective lad, but minds are subjective most of the time. Maybe there’s one percent that knows, but what would they say? : “I know that I cannot possibly be objective when cultured to think a specific way, and regardless of what I choose opposed to what I deny, could it be the inner voice of my subjective world? How could we know?”

We can’t know, but we can know about Holidays, and so to honor the seasonal spirit (holiday food-for-thought):
Do you want to live in a world the way it is now? This reality? “No…not at all,” I heard him say: Some notes just catch my attention – I can’t help it.
I’m going to tell you, stay with me please – Wait . . . it doesn’t matter what I think. Yesterday someone planted a seed in my head (but was it already there?). Who wants to live in a world where the majority work simply to survive, where the criminal act of taxation is condemning our dreams and owning the one precious thing that life gives us arbitrarily; Time – yes, time – a world which drains creativity out of a child’s heart – where the word “Love” is losing its color; its scent; its sanctuary. I wonder if we can “uncreate” the world we’ve created. Write it down – Tell the story inside of you; not the one they carefully placed on top of yours.

Are there no words to save us?  – Hope maybe? “I’m hoping, if tomorrow I wake, to find a baked roll on my breakfast spread, prettier than a diamond tiara,” Modern Sleeping-Beauty said. Christmas was just around the corner, and then it was over – Sweet Santa made a trip to the US of A, on Christmas Eve, then headed over to Ireland for the best Irish coffee in the whole wide world – a few laughs, many secrets, and finally, he’ll make his way over to the Europeans (those who open gifts on New Year’s Eve). Santa is generous; it’s the best time of year; an important man was born in December, and since then – it’s been the season of light – snap – but no cinnamon rolls for my love. I was lost and he found me; will I survive when he goes away? I want to read a sentence that lasts 150 words . . . can you find me that sentence, please? I’ll be patiently waiting behind the window-pane. But no, I won’t.

© Maria Fokas 2014/All Rights Reserved