Please slow down

Sometimes we move so fast that life just can’t keep up with us. Always running, faster, harder, to get to that next meeting, that next doctor’s appointment, to be there for our loved ones or to pick our children up from school. When can we ever find the time to just slow down?

Recently I was in a town in Queensland, Australia, called Eumundi. The picture that you see with this publication was taken as I entered the town. The town itself was like returning to the 1950’s. I don’t say that in a bad way but rather an affectionate way, for I’d jump in the car to go to Eumundi again tomorrow – if only I could find the time.

Time. Have you ever tried taking your watch off and judging the time by the sun? In days gone by that’s exactly what people would do. The only clock was the one in the Town Centre on the Clocktower. Otherwise, the sun would tell those of yore that it was time. Even today, I’m sure some of those we hold dear judge time the very same way. Take my dog, for instance.

Needless to say she knows when it’s time for breakfast ‘cos the sun’s up. She knows it’s time for a walk ‘cos breakfast is over. She knows it’s lunch-time ‘cos the sun is strong, and the shade in the backyard has moved ever so slightly. And, most importantly, she knows when it’s dinner-time, for the sun is getting ready to set. As it falls dark she knows the day is over and it’s time to rest.

But we keep moving at a hundred miles an hour, failing to take in the beauty of the day, the sunset’s rich colour, and the bay of sparkling water with moored boats that we pass on our way home from work. When did we get ahead of ourselves?

Does it make you wonder how we ever survived without those gadgets we use to divert our attention from impending boredom? Do you ever stop to think we seem to be heading in the direction of ‘losing time’ for ‘sitting and thinking’, as rare as it might be, has taken over from, well, just ‘sitting’. So we turn to our gadget. Each and every day when I try and find the time for a bite to eat, I walk up the street and see people walking toward me, head down, hand around their gadget, checking their latest text message, or looking at their latest photo sent from a friend they used to catch up with most weekends at the bar but now – yes, you guessed it – just don’t seem to be able to find the time for.

One time it so happened I was in a Shopping Centre and the girl walking near me was walking toward a water fountain, her head down attending to her gadget. She kept walking far enough that she fell right into that water fountain, her dress soaking wet, and another shopper bringing her shoes to her that had been floating around the other side. Luckily, no harm came to her that day. Nor did it come to the young man who tripped and fell on the sidewalk near the CBD because he was too busy texting to look up and face the day.

Every day I try and wake up, pull the curtains, look at the woman beside me, and then look out the window at the sun shining, as if to say; ‘Good morning’ and then I stare at the palm tree in the front yard and, to use a colloquial expression, thank my lucky stars for being a part of the day that lies ahead of me.

After all, we love our kids, we love our town – let’s slow down.

NB: First published on https://mytrendingstories.com/admin/publications/article/26423/ 

the path less travelled…

He rose above the helpless throng
He was only one among a crowd
He heard a calling, 'twas a song
Timely, he could not disregard

You've come to me for rationale
You've come to me for saviour
No-one else can take the stand
You've come to me, the one you favour

The steps on which we stagger
From one level to the next
Like climbing up the corporate ladder
Feeling e'er, between, betwixt

The next step up he could not see
The frond led him to the money tree
Ladder of wealth, mendacity
The pathway opened unto me

Who and what and where we were
Why and how we hit upon
Invited, I failed to confer
I took the path less travelled on

Night-time

Night-time wouldn’t show itself

Until Sunshine moved away

Like a road-way that disappears in flood

Like a child who will stray

 

Night-time hid away God knows where

Like a sock hides in a shoe

Not wanting to come out and play

Like when I played hide and seek with you

 

The pages turned as Sunshine faded

Sunset became the star

New chapter aglow, best time of day

People came from near and far

 

To hear and see the sweetness, cheer

Sunset brought to all

Listening for the climax

That would entice, enthrall

 

Sunset’s colours made the day

Surely to behold

Night-time felt alone, left out

Dark, upset, anxious, lonely, old.

I write best when…

I’m a member of the Facebook Poetry Society.

Recently, I found a post entitled, ‘I write best when…’ It was fascinating, to say the least, and at last check 146 people had replied, including ‘yours truly’.

Some posts said such things as;

I write best when…

  • I am angry, upset and frustrated
  • drunk
  • emotional
  • alone

I wrote that I write best when I am “inspired.” And then I added;

“usually last thing at night before I go to sleep or first thing in the morning when I wake up.”

In both cases, it tends to occur when I’m in bed. I wonder why that is?

The funny thing is, writing doesn’t seem to be a 9 to 5 profession. The fact most of us are required to support our writing with another job that pays the bills could have an effect on that. And this is backed up by those people who replied to the Facebook Poetry Society’s post. The one’s I quoted responded at:-

6.34pm

10.33pm

10.37pm, and

5.43am

So why do we write? I bet I’d get all sorts of answers from those writers on WordPress. And that is only to be expected. There are as many varieties of writing styles as there would be answers. Some, like me, delve into poetry. Some writers prefer biographies, military history, romance novels, horror, science fiction, the list goes on.

The beauty is we can all get together in writing groups and share each other’s experiences. We can join groups on Facebook and be introduced to other writers, or even via Twitter, WordPress, Tumblr and so on.

I’ve never been a social media ‘mogul’. Yet, after writing ‘Prism – an anthology’ (http://www.zeus-publications.com/prism%20-%20an%20anthology.htm) and having it published, I was told;

“you must be on social media.”

So, I ‘took the plunge’ and joined Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and other social media sites. And, lo and behold, Facebook has led me to a friend from university I hadn’t spoken to in twenty-five years. Imagine! I never for one moment thought I would make contact with her again, but I am so pleased that I did. We haven’t met, as she lives in Sydney and I’m on the Gold Coast, but our infrequent chats via Messenger have added a little something to my life. Almost like it has connected the present with the past.

Yet it doesn’t stop there. Facebook has also introduced me to a friend of mine from school days. I went through school with this man from Year 7 to Year 12 and now we have made contact once more. We share similar political views and it has been through a group on Facebook that I found his name. Once again, connecting the present with the past.

My university pal directed me to a friend of hers, now one of my Facebook friends. We chatted the other day about writing, the passion involved, and how she would write stories in the back of her notebook while in class at school such was her attachment to the written word. It seems her future story was already written for her before she’d even started the manuscript.

She is a screenwriter now, a very difficult form of writing, to be sure.

All this proves is that our ‘obsession’ if you like is clearly not a 9-5 obsession but a passion that lasts all day, all week, all of our wonderfully creative life.

It also proves that what I had previously disregarded as ‘trivial’, social media, is now the main way I connect with other writers.

You can too – you probably already do! And by doing so we’re making a vast planet smaller with every new contact from New York, Sydney, London, Lagos and beyond.

My first time

It happened. I’d heard people talk about it, in writing groups and elsewhere, but had never felt the emotion that overtakes when it happens to you.

The other day, a friend of mine rang me up and said; “Guess what? Your book isn’t in the book-store.”

“Of course not,” I replied. Patience, dear friend, patience.

“No, you don’t understand. I asked if they had it and they told me it had been sold.”

“Well are they going to get some more in?” I finally retorted.

But the feeling inside was one of wanting to jump out of my skin. My book? Sold? Like…wow!

I heard a story recently from another writer who told me that she went into a book-store not for one minute expecting to find her very own book on the bookshelves. But that’s exactly what happened. She picked it up, took it to the man behind the counter, and said;

“This is my book.”

And he replied;

“Not until you pay for it.”

There are many more stories very similar I could pass on, but the essence of the story is that no matter how many books you have published, the feeling of seeing your book on the shelves of a book-store will never fade.

It’s the passion we feel in actually writing the book that contributes to the sentiment we feel in seeing it bought. The process is a hard one, as I know only too well. But if it wasn’t hard, then why would we bother? And the old line never falters that hard work never hurt anyone. Besides, the harder it is, the better we feel.

So my first time is over. There’ll be a second – and a third. But I only wish I could have seen the expression on my face when my buddy called to tell me the good news. I guess the strength of feeling contributes to the quality of the manuscript. If we didn’t feel strongly we wouldn’t try hard. And if we didn’t try hard our chances of succeeding would be slim indeed.

If you wish to purchase my first publication, click here:-

http://www.zeus-publications.com/prism%20-%20an%20anthology.htm

NB: If outside of Australia, ‘Prism’ is available at all good on-line bookstores.

Poem – My bird

The bird seemed to follow my roving eye
As he walked beyond where I lie
He seemed to know, with eye I spy - 
Sitting there that day.

He never seemed to have a care
No matter for how long I stared
Or how controlling was my glare
He was there, it seemed, to stay

He gave out a little chirp
Like page from a book, like an excerpt
Like a song performed at a concert
He flapped from chair to chair

He was regal in nature, and replete
He'd had a little bit to eat
He walked with ease, with those clawed feet
As I got the camera out

I realised the camera was obsolete
My phone would do better, would always beat
The phone's quality, the camera couldn't meet
Of that I had no doubt

The bird stood atop the chair, to reflect
I told him; 'stay there, don't neglect'
Attention sent, ne'er deflect
To bird sitting on the floor

The bird, he turned, to his right
Knowing the bird on the floor was within sight
He waved his wings, as if in flight
Before he moved away

Yet how was I to know he was a 'he'
He could as well have been a 'she'
So long as it was either 'he' or 'she'
'He' must be one or be the other 

Is this a poem or a diatribe?
For until now I've not described
What he (or she [or it]) looks like
And how it came to be...

I happened to be sitting in the rain
Under cover, (heat was hot), the day the same
Noiselessly the day begane
And then continued on...

As bird arrived, with clawed feet
'Hello', it seemed to say, 'we meet,'
Though nothing was said when we greet
We merely doffed our 'hats'

Black and white, with long neck
His eyes, no matter - oh, what the heck!
I still don't know, not now, not yet
Perhaps I never will

But somehow this bird seemed a friend
The way he'd look and turn his head
It's hard explaining, even when
I knew he wouldn't stay

He looked at me, right in the eye
Turned his head from left to right
Never went out of my sight
Well, not now at least, 
Not yet

Looking me right in the eye
Makes me wonder; 'Heavens, why?'
I didn't push, I didn't pry
To find the colour of his eyes
That day when we met

No matter whether rain or shine
With me laying, sitting, there, he's fine
Never once did he whinge or whine
We talked 'bout little things

'Bout the simple things in life
Weather, health, things of that type
Simple things bring pleasure, like
Bring happiness and fun

He's my bird, I hope you see
Black and white, he sat with me
Not away on some pine tree
But close to where I lay

My bird finally flew away
I said; 'bird, I'll see you another day
Even if I'm far away - 
I'll know just where you are.'

I returned and saw you 'round the bend
Beaked, clawed, winged, my feathered friend
We greeted, like only we 
Could comprehend - Our story - 

Close the book...

The end.

Poem – One

Walking by the road-way, desolate

Eyes darting, back and forward

The light I saw came from the drawer

I’d opened once before

The tree, the breeze, the leaves, the glow

Knew each other, before any knew of me

The leaves, the breeze, and other trees

Joined their circle, welcomed in for free

To ever-last, the shoulder, past

The arm, out-stretched, to reach

The tree that sprung from life that lasts

Ne’er to fail or to breach

The rules to meet, the guidelines set

To join the party held by tree

And breeze and leaves and glow –

The trickle becomes a stream, a flow

Into which you welcome me

Horizon seen in distance

Rainbow before setting sun

After rain, colors remain

Red, blue, green, yellow

Become one.

Poem – The Ides of May.

The letters, jumbled, words mis-spelt

Letter-head looked wrong

Exchange for others – rightly so,

Like words within a song

 

Shoulder set, scarring scene

Scarring arm of man

Face reflected, water’s edge

Makes up part of plan

 

Fresh is the air awaiting me

I feel, I breathe, the air, anew

Words are spelt, correct-ing-ly

Turning page comes into view

 

Thank God! To be free of care

Afar away, the Ides of May –

Arriving here, I leave fear

Back in yesterday

 

Back then, concern and troubled times

Circled me all day

‘Round the sphere of influence

They circumnavigate

 

A faction, out of favour

Efforts, crowded, like a clique

People vote the other way

Searching – they probe and seek

 

The page, it comes to life

Yet hidden behind painted veil

Feel-good-factor, warmth of glow

Satisfaction – never fail

 

Gifted, is the velvet touch

Upon the hand I hold

A life beyond what I had known

A life I’m yet to mould

 

Walk with me in summer’s sun

Stand beside,

Fill glass to brim

 

You redeem my chance to thrive

On path with you, through life,

I’m him

 

He who beholds your every move

One foot, two, then three and more

Hair flows, ordained, without decor

The book of love,

I’ve kept, in store.

 

I saw a star, a sparkle, glint

I opened the book of love –

I’m in’t.

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