I built a home

in honour of those who have…

I achieved where many others failed –
I’m satisfied though many others aren’t.

My path told me to walk the path I could
And led me away from the path I can’t.

And sacrifice instructed me to stay
As loss, oh loss, would lead me to succeed.

Certainty would meet me along the way –
My flower’s blooming from my garden’s seed.

From the camping ground to caravan,
From the beach-head to the sea, I’ve been
Taken on a path; my very own.

From the safety of a nucleus
To a nucleus of mine – come walk
With me on my path – I’ve built a home.

(a snippet from an as yet unpublished poem, ‘I built a home’.

Home alive

Passion breeds poetry – what follows is a section of a piece written recently about an experience of mine a few years back and the people that gave me my second chance…

 

Hospitals have lost their welcome mat, and

Are quick to change the patient in their bed.

When I have stayed I’ve tried so hard to walk

Back out the door. But they’ve told me; “wait, you’ll

Be needing surgery, instead.”

 

But what must it have been like for those I left at home?

Parental sacrifice means you put your loved ones first.

A sense of loving others before you love yourself

Is the essence of belief in what I call

‘The family stone’.

 

My scar is a reminder of my second chance to thrive.

Thank goodness it’s been given by those who

Love me as I am. They’re the ones that hold me,

That mould me into me. They’re the ones

That got me home, alive.

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.

Publishing – the struggle

Been through quite an experience of late. Publishing poetry is no easy business. What’s best? Getting your poetry into a magazine or having a publisher tell you; “Welcome to the family.”

I’m yet to decide.

As so many say, one is the quick way to being published, the other the slow and onerous way. Nothing is done because it is easy, it is done because we have a passion to do it. Because what we have is some kind of a talent to write. And can there be anything better than the written word? A picture, a painting, perhaps? For as some say, a picture paints a thousand words. But what would Shakespeare have said about that? He’d be turning over in his grave, wouldn’t he? And how do we explain the painting if not with words?

So, you see, this may not be a well-paid profession but it is a passionate one – and as we all know, great things come from true love.

And so I’ve made a decision – this site will no longer be about poetry, per se, but the road we take to having our poetry read. The many facets that go into our day-to-day activities.

I’ll be writing about my writing groups, my published book of poetry, and my experiences over past and coming months. I’ll be interested in your feedback and comments as we traverse this road together. And remember, the road may well be rocky, but, my oh my, is it worth travelling. For as the saying goes;

A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn

I saw that on a coffee mug once and have never forgotten it. And another reason the travels to success or failure are so worthy is this – we should always concentrate our efforts on our own success, rather than on other’s failures. And so I leave you with a quote from probably the greatest President America has ever had, Abraham Lincoln, who once said;

Let not he who is houseless pull down the house of another, but let him labour diligently to build one for himself

Happy travels!

Live to fight

Feet, coloured yellow –

Move at speed –

Shades of green

Adorn the ground

 

Billboards changing –

Take your seats –

We’re bouncing in the round

 

Seagulls take up

Residence

And coach on high alert

 

Dropping veterans

For youth to build –

Fans think it will subvert

 

What once was strong,

Like Coventry –

He was primed

To out-perform

 

Ah, the good old days,

They held it high

But now, they’re out of form

 

The President –

Encompassing –

A culture that is rife

 

With a cold (or is it flu?)

That’s prevalent –

Ubiquitous, despite

 

The ability to cheer

To love what angers some

To shout and yell in support

Of the mid-fielder, on the run

 

He carries the ball down the spine

The team-mate, to his left, is clear

The handpass is perfection –

A hip-and-shoulder, and he’s near

 

The man who carries everyone’s

Expectations in his foot

He drops the ball, he kicks it straight

His goal, the scene-stealer, to boot

 

The scene gives of

Fanaticism –

Objective over-ruled –

Zealousness a special treat –

Tastes like a helix – like a spool

 

Beyond the backdoor arguments

Of avarice and spite

The paper-pushers run an industry

Constructed from the contract’s might

 

The microphone – required

It’s written on the page –

Held out to reach a sonic pitch

That keeps the player sage

 

Back ‘on deck’ and it is tight

Precision wins the game

The difference between

Right and wrong is

Written in a name

 

Will he go on to stardom?

Does he even have a say?

Perhaps! But if, and only if

Free agency’s the way

 

The crowd erupts – the game is won

The team’s theme song must be played

Everyone’s a winner as

The dollar sign’s displayed.

Darling bud

Oh leaf, oh leaf

Become a bud

Bring me promise, please

 

Oh bud, oh bud

Be my flower

Yearned for, brought with ease

 

Flower, flower

You bloom bright –

Rest your head on me

 

Flower, flower –

Wilting kite –

Oh, mortality!

 

Flowering plant –

Flying kite –

From leaf that brought a bud

 

Oh darling buds

Bring vim and verve

Be my flower, dearly loved

 

Oh water me

Sweet angel

Day, after day goes by

 

Oh water me

The soul of life

Springs eternal after dry

 

A droplet

Brings me truth

And budding flower blooms

 

Truth brings a soul

Forgotten

My angel – in the room

 

I’ll be your spring

In winter

Your perennial, I’ll grow

 

Open my leaf

In sunlight

And create an afterglow

 

Wilt no more, my

Flowered seed

Darling bud that’s dearly loved

 

You are the angel

Of my eye,

The envy of my sun.

Face

A life explained after death

Enjoyed by those who last

Its essence lingers, like the sun

And never comes to pass

 

Loyalty, love and language –

Linguistically-inclined

Shared with few – the few who care –

Untimely when defined

 

In ways, subdued, but lasting

A life for others, not themself

Sacrificial loyalty –

‘I love you,’ he would tell

 

Those attending, those within

A place of majesty and grace

Go beyond eternity –

It’s written on your face