The Poetry Snapshot: I am a Runner

I am a runner.
I am proud.

I run up mountains.
I run through the night.
I run in the snow.
I run past finish lines.

And then I keep running.

    Detroit Free Press Half Marathon 2019

I run from my feelings.
Growing up to be strong
has made me afraid of my emotions.
So I run.

I run from my insecurities.
Years of being complimented on false confidence
has made me lock up my real anxieties.
So I run.

I run from intimacy.
Losing the people I open up to
has taught me to never let my guard down.
So I run.

A form of strength,
I manage to turn into my weakness.

I am a runner.
I am not proud.

The Poetry Snapshot: An Interlude of Solitude

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the silence of your voice,
because your thoughts speak for itself.
Your mind starts to wander;
to places you have forgotten,
and spaces you always get lost in.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the safety of human connection.
The warmth of a hug and the love in a kiss,
that no one wants to let go of.
It’s a feeling that makes you reminiscent,
of an embrace and the loss of innocence.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the songs that bring you back to your childhood.
When you close your eyes and feel the same emotions
after the hundredth time you listen to it.
A melody from that drive with your friends,
and a beat worth dancing till the weekend ends.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.
It’s in the stories you have collected,
that you have no one to share with.
The experiences you wish to tell others,
so you can relive your happy moments,
give back a praise worth notice,
and forgive with sincere condolence.

There is a stillness in solitude that scares people.

Neha Allathur Photography © Toronto Love Lock
Dark Souls III

Video Game Photography

Video games are undoubtedly a work of art: they combine immersive graphics, impressive design, originally composed music, and complex writing and storytelling to create a cohesive masterpiece. Of course every game is different, and each has its strengths and weaknesses, but overall they’re one of the most unique and interesting ways in which many different art forms can come together. Surprisingly, I had never consciously acknowledged the cinematic qualities of video games, but I always found myself taking screenshots of amazing moments, or lining up the camera in just the right way to show off an impressive view or landscape. It could be argued that I’m a bit overly sentimental, and that’s probably true, but there is something so powerful about a cinematic picture of a great game and the associations that it creates. I’m not the only one that feels this way; many games have even added photo modes, allowing normal players to take stunning pictures in-game and share them with other players, plus the PlayStation 4 has both a snapshot and screen recording feature, testifying to the popularity of saving favorite gaming moments. I find this trend interesting, especially as games get more and more realistic. Is there a potential future where video games become a dominant medium for photography? Is it possible that video game photography could be its own art form? And who gets credit for the artistic value of the photo; the game developers who created it, or the photographer that took it? Regardless, here are some of my own video game photos as inspiration, and perhaps to get you thinking about the artistic value of the medium:

Shadow of the Colossus
Shadow of the Colossus
Dark Souls III
Dark Souls III

The Poetry Snapshot: The Lotus Perspective of Uncertainty

Chaos is an inner feeling of the unknown.
It feeds off of fear and thrives in uncertainty.

People like routines.
We like predicting the future and staying on track.
Because the worst sensation of betrayal and heartbreak
come when we are blindsided.
And at a primitive level:
those who stayed alert,
stayed alive.

Lotus by Maria Venardis | Thrive Global

I want to look past my concentrated fear of uncertainty.
Because even in muddy waters,
a lotus finds the power to blossom.

Times of change may seem like the end,
but our environments only take us so far.
Take control of your narrative,
because we still have the power to blossom.

The Poetry Snapshot: Simple Sunlight

Rising in the east,
we slowly wake up to a soft yellow hue
peaking into our bedroom.

Setting in the west,
the dynamic bursts of pink and purple
revitalize us after a long day.

The beauty of sunlight,
at every moment of the day,
is that it does not need our validation.
Whether we recognize the sun shine,
or see the colors change,
the sun continues to rise and set.

Day in and day out,
no matter what the season.
The simplicity of sunlight is its confidence.

                      Honolulu, HI © Neha Allathur Photography

The Poetry Snapshot: Trusting to Fly

The first sight.
Light gleaming in my eyes,
and I squint to make sense of the complexity
within the simple sunrise in front of me.

The first few moments adjusting are uncomfortable.
Yet, we manage to blink through the discomfort
to catch a glimpse of color.

We wake up to see the sun rise
because we trust in the beauty of the sight.
Yet when it comes to our sense of freedom,
we fall short.

We do not trust in the value of our freedom.
Not our political freedom
or any other constructed version of liberty.

Rather, our innate freedom,
the free-falling freedom of life.
The feeling of opening our wings,
and taking a leap.

Nashville Wings © Neha Allathur Photography

We do not trust in the value of our freedom.
We do not think the leap is worth it,
because we find comfort in our seat.
Trusting to fly requires hope,
that the flight will be as vibrant
as the morning sunrise.

Open those wings,
you do not need to know the beauty of the flight
before you fly.
Trusting to fly is beauty in itself.