Category Archives: writing

Apprentice interlude

APPRENTICE Interlude

So much has happened in the world since those days

Just as so much happened in the world before those days

Standing outside the central library on the steps

Leaning against the pillar and watching the world go by

As the odd gust of wind lifted dust and old cigarette packets

That wafted their obnoxious mix across one’s squinting eyes

While the journeyman who stood there beside me said little

And seemed to never hear when spoken to

Long monologues I would exhale to his ears that seemed to swivel his head from side to side as he too observed the passers by

And then frustratingly he would – after my well-crafted theories were expounded – grunt a question mark in response

As though he hadn’t heard a word

Time was up – back to the stone – the chase – the form

Back to his instruction – for now he came alive

Indentured-I-was to this fair trade as it was then

With licence to carry a sword by ancient decree

I carried a lunch box instead

The library (rarely entered) covered us with it’s canopy it’s baroque archway of an entrance providing shelter

So that even on rainy days we could watch that

changing world go by

Lunchtime break – a welcomed device for quenching

the smell of ink and wash-up

Menial tasks thrust into one’s path – do this – do that – scenarios

Except for the efforts of the non-answering journeyman

under whose wing

I began to learn the trade – Stanley – with slightly crossed eyes

I never did hear of his life again or of his demise

All darkness…

ALL DARKNESS 2021

Dramas today

Carry the stench of having gone astray

Negative emotions to the fore

Feel-good factors immobilised

Only dark situations portrayed

Dark times

Obnoxious rhymes

Dramas all black and sombre

Violence perpetrated and perpetuated

Scripts full of swear words

Of the worst kind

Addressing fellow citizens to trash them

Drug abuse and obtuse – philosophies

Abused women

And refused men

Conceited bosses lusting for power

Greed and weed

Hurt and pain

Serious crime with nothing to gain

Misery and sorrow in their wake

Dog eat dog – all on the take

Robbery and sloth

Indolent gain

Swooning around in delusional narcotics

Chaotic…

Hierarchy’s in gluttonous consumption

Iron-fisted dictators dictating to losers

And abusers

Writers won’t stop for a moment

To even ask why?

All uplifting stories gone below

To the place of disappearance

And they don’t even notice it

Characters swiftly running

to calamitous ruin

Plots of confusion for monetary gain

Dramas written

Not a wholesome word in sight

The drama pens look for material

Penning us to believe

this is the world you are living in

So they think to write the same

Make it real is the excuse

Delusional meditation offerings

Is the result

as we

Try to stay the course

In hope of a noble plot

Or something sane

So we can hope in life again

But it’s not to be found

As the rut has set in

The rut of negativity and pain

Everything wrapped in

A suicidal chain

Come on

You normal playwright minds

Give us a drama to affirm life

Let us rise with optimistic

Reprise and cheer again!

Words without meaning

The following experiment is a poem that

is the antithesis of my last post (see last post)

One might say:conversely…

WORDS WITHOUT MEANING

Why configurate these words on display?

With floweriness and watered lilies

Of flourish and fancy and carefree-say

Give me substance today

How many pats on the back is it now?

As the uniformed gush to give you praise

Why – you haven’t said anything yet

To my dismay

After all don’t say – if there’s nothing to say

Where’s your meaning in life?

Gone away – ?

We decorate your cake and make a fuss

And get together for your display

As your words are echoed in your array

You come waltzing into the company

Of adoring and moderately adoring…

And all brighten up at your celebrity

Words are many and diverse and articulate

But separating them up

No statement you have made

Of import – or discovery

You haven’t added to my grounded and settled life

You haven’t given me one iota of new found hope

You – with your words all shaken in our face

Not a word of solid stuff –

and hardy-annual-perpetuity

“Agh! – huh!” – I shrug my shoulders

As I stand on the circumference

Of your massive fan-club looking-in

Where fellow lovers of lightness Ooh! and Ahh!

But still don’t know what you say

All pretty words are not enough

‘Give me substance’ I say

Tell me the hidden mysteries

Show me the untrodden way

Bring me to the brink

Where I will stay…

More than just caressing phrases

Wrapped in rhythms and rhymes

And cock-a-doodle dandy chimes

You are still not the bearer of good news

You are the wordsmith

With nothing to explain

Nothing I can take away

Nothing whereby – I gain

Flowery-bouquet all clever and arranged

In such and such an ancient – vaze vase or vauze

Looking hard now – examining every phrase

Bouncing in the eye from you

To your words – Im amazed

That when all is said and done

You – I repeat – you – have nothing to say

Words

WORDS

I’m writing words for the love of words

But in writing words I ‘m not saying a thing

I finish my piece and pass it to you

But you look puzzled and don’t know what to do

                          …

I’m writing words for the love of words

The love of words is what I sincerely bring

But the love of words doesn’t mean anything

                          …

I’m writing words as your attention dwindles away

I’m writing words without anything to say

                          …

Like a child I look for praise

As you start to look – but divert your gaze

Finding other things to laugh and cry about

Just before you excuse yourself and walk out

                          … 

I’m writing words now – all alone

Looking at my page as it bends to my tone

I love the words I start to compose

But they are not saying anything – I suppose

                          …

By the love of words I will stand

As one more sheet is stored up for the band

Never to see the light of day again

I sit before another white sheet semi-art and plain

                           …

Hitting the keys this time hard and fast

Hoping my love of words will last

Lasting – as – long – as it will take

Composing words – a poem doth make

                           …

What’s this business all about?

Poem after poem – for deaf ears – I spill out

This stringing of word-beads together

The love of meaning and the love of words in tether?

                           …

No – I won’t listen – it’s words today

Let the meaning drift away

                           …

The love of words – the love of words

The love of words – the love of words

                           …

That’s all I have to say

Locked down – locked in

LOCKED DOWN – LOCKED IN

“You need something – anything…”

What a strange confession to make

But you’re – locked-down – locked-in

The scale in your head recording it’s spin

Going from zero to infin.

What’s this about – this human thing?

Emotions are low – gaslight dim

Despair is stalking your room

Routine has run out of steam

Mentally inclined to decline

You still try to unwind

But boredom and anxiety

Of what might be

Leaves you cold-stone paralysed

With covid fear

But stop and listen

Try to learn – that the One

Behind the universe

In unapproachable light

Still offers the means of escape

In this life – for the next

The problem might not be solved

But it can be fixed

Fixed with a residing perspective

Gained from above

As you pursue and find

The God of Love

Life in Pictures

LIFE IN PICTURES

My life flashes past me in photographs

Why do we keep these things?

My life is vaporising day by day

It appears for a moment

And vanishes away

                    …

It appears for a moment again

In these photographs – physically –

laid out on the floor

                    …

Now here it comes up

The emotional perceiving of friends gone

My life stops in front of me on paper

That person – loved and esteemed

In my life no more

                     …

And now it comes up – the lump in my throat

As the vapour stands still

In colour and black and white

All flat on glossy surface

As the light hits it – but absent friends – no more

                      …

Now they come up – the flooding memories

I perceive and lay aside

Never seeing much point in upsetting myself

All emotional within

Kiss them and put them away

                       …

My name will echo in days to come

Echo around the room of relatives still here

As the old photo album is reached for

And dad/uncle/friend/grandad is pointed out

In photos on the floor

                        …

And bang them though you will

And poke the video even more

Yet you will never materialise what has gone before

                         …

I’m gone – only flat-me remains

I smile out at you

You smile back at me – but you – I cannot see

Photos – photos – what use are you?

You can’t bring them back to my warm embrace

                         …

Photos – photos – I can see

Photos staring back at me

All flat and glossy though you be

Your premier production is a two

On a scale of ten-to-three

                         …               

Nothing substitutes for time gone by

Nothing takes the place of the real you and I

Hug me quick – hug me long

Keep these moments – my life prolong

Thankfulness for time well spent

Loving all – thicker than water

                         …

You – are – right – now

I am right now

Dispense with the photos and jump together

Holding our embrace

Jump into inner space

Or hold forever all our love within

The end will come – but let us begin

                         …

Keep our love fresh – let me see your face

The smile and look – I know so well

I tick the box on the form

With indelible ink – I fix you before my eyes

I melt into you – and will never leave

As eternity is promised to those who believe

All ending

ALL ENDING

All of a sudden it’s all ending

The ice cream cone disappears into your mouth

You rinse the tooth brush all traces gone

You burn the paper – sweet taken

You swallow the last shredded-wheat morsel

                       …

All of a sudden it’s all ending

The titles arise on the screen

You’ve grown tired of that same holiday

They are leaving and there’s nothing you can do

Retirement at last – now eight years ago

                       …

All of a sudden it’s all ending

You were forty – now the forties are gone

Demolition of bricks and mortar

Demolition of emotional memories

Fading to silence – the song is sung

                        …

All of a sudden it’s all ending

Tension ceases – problem solved

You near the departure lounge

Up up and away in your aeroplane

Your school taken away – redeveloped

Remember this day – for tomorrow takes it away

Blogging millions

BLOGGING MILLIONS

I was thinking the other day about blogging.

I checked out the numbers. Here is what I found, not an exact science it would seem:

Here’s a quote I came across:

Exactly how many blogs there are in the world is difficult to know, but what’s clear is that blogs online number in the hundreds of millions. The total number of blogs on Tumblr, Squarespace, and WordPress alone equals over 440 million. In actuality, the total number of blogs in the world likely greatly exceeds this number.

Also someone suggested the following:

Tumbler = 440 billion blogs

Blogging has been on the go for quite some time. And I hear a scriptural injunction amidst the fact, that there are so many:

There are, it may be, so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance.

This is part of a particular context of course, but nevertheless it is a statement in itself.

All speech is significant. All languages are necessary. Most subjects have some value. All blogs have something to say. 

Stripping it back even further – everyone wants to communicate to their fellow man.

So much so that there are hundreds of millions who want to do so.

I find this interesting/intriguing. And ask myself why I too wish to blog post?

Can we say – we are just made that way (?).

We can’t help it – as it were.

I write poetry because ‘I can’t help it’. I paint pictures because ‘I can’t help it’. I want to communicate because that’s how I [and all of us (?)] are made.

Communication is like breathing, – necessary, and it’s absence is deadly.

Even reclusive-type humans – communicate with themselves. We can’t switch our brains off, and stay alive.

I stop and think this over again.

In another way it is quite inexplicable.

How many really know why they must write their posts? Why do you do it?

I guess there are many reasons.

Do we seek the agreement of others? Do we hope to gain financially? Are we commissioned to pass on our message? Are we looking for admiration? Are we trying to help others? Do we want to be part of a ‘mutual appreciation’ society? Do we think we are geniuses and the world needs our contribution? Are we lonely and want responses? Are we compelled to promote something – some cause, some belief? Are we enthused about a hobby and seek other members for the club?

Such questions must also be coupled with what we hope to achieve, and that starts another round of questions, about what it is we are trying to accomplish.

Usually what I’ve just written, should end with a personal view or conclusion, in which I share my own reasons for blogging.

But maybe that’s too boring?

And maybe I’m in for a silent admonition from 440+ million – “don’t overthink things”.

Outside of it

OUTSIDE OF IT

And if I was in the way of all fleshly culture

Accolades would come and offer themselves

I see through the mist of words coming my way

And look to the heart of the wordsmith supply

The mouth and the pen speaking the abundance of the heart

                             …

And they have their own secular priests in poetry’s halls of fame

And they applaud and visit the award ceremonies

And give them their time of day

And exult in their devises and words – great and swelling

And hanging on every word – they like their controversy

                            …

All give appearances of humility and ‘I don’t know’

But all think they do – in some held mystery

Best piano performers – as they press the keys of words

Their daily practice others perceive is a place too high

For mere mortal men – they miss how the ‘magicians’ do it

                             …

On the pedestal of applause they must get their fix

Who is in it for the money and the fame?

                             …

Yet words – as far as words go –

Oft find some harmony and balance

As the poets scratch their lines in the sands of time

I wonder at – all this jiving around – 

                              …

For selling the soul – all is offered

In prison [through time and shackles worn]

Adulation or the promise of exclusivity and

Man’s empty praise

                             …

But I can only be an observer

When I take the time to look

A sideways glance at the vying for position

I am not a friend of this world

And need not their kingly throne

                            …

So says the man who wants to write a poem

So says the man

who hasn’t completely thought this through

Neutral zone?

Neutral zone?

This lockdown experience can ‘slow-torture’ our lives into neutral zone.

Neutral zone as in shelving all our endeavours into ‘suspended animation’.

That could sound slightly peppered with the idea of despair. (?)

If we take our example from one of the fathers of the faith it’s a case of – far from it!

Paul the apostle gives us insight into his humanity, but also his triumphal experience as a born again Christian, coming as it does through faith.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. 8 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

He tells us of trouble and perplexity but without despair.

So a 24/7 joyous trouble-less high is not what being a Christian entails.

It does of course firstly entail matters of life or death before it is a whole pile of other things.

‘Where and how shall I spend eternity?’ Is usually a foundational question when examining the Christian faith.

No despair, Paul the apostle indicates in the above verses.

Reason? Because we are never forsaken. 

It is the unforsaken-ness that gives the Christian the strength and sustaining solace they need regardless of the situation, they might find themselves in. God is with us (Emmanuel) always, even to the end and further.

However I must admit to a certain neutral dwelling zone that I can drift in and out of. What about you? 

I examine this – in order to come to fresh conclusions.

Conclusions that will spur me on to lay hold, more firmly, upon eternal life again.

I Timothy 6/12

Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…

Disillusionment knocks at the door, in light of the chaos abroad.

With no immediate change, or with prolonged sameness, can come disillusionment.

But there is no disillusionment when it comes to the things of God, they are constant.

As the old hymn says: “All may change but Jesus never – Glory to His name!”

Shaking off disillusionment, like Paul did – with the serpent into the fire. (Acts 28/4-6)

Nevertheless I must admit to missing, gathering with, God’s people and lifting the roof in praise. And I mean really lifting the roof!

As far as I am concerned all the clever-most technology will never substitute for human beings – being together ‘in the flesh’, but the great thing and advantage Christians have is being together ‘in the Spirit’.

If that was not the case, being in the flesh as in gathering physically together, would be of little consequence.

What a blessing to be both together in each others company and to worship in ‘spirit and truth’ at the same time.

Meantime, we’ve been doing Zoom. We edify and exhort one another. I’m sure you too are tapping into some online expression of church life?

Depending on the changing shifts of covid-safe rules, we can gather together as church, in a limited way.

In all of this invisible attack (virus), on our world – the question that is exchanged between non-Christian and Christian persons alike, is: ‘What is this achieving – why is it happening – what’s the cause, what’s the point etc.?’ Or something similarly expressed.

What ‘it’ (the pandemic) is supposed to do – as with all trials and tribulations we encounter as human beings – is to cause us to fall on God.

Luke 20/

18 Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken and shattered in pieces; and on whomever it falls, it will crush him.”

There is a brokenness that accompanies humility where the failures of our own efforts and the empathetic hand of God meet, as we fall at His feet in prayer. Falling ON the Rock Christ Jesus. There is coming a terrible day when the Rock Christ Jesus will fall ON all ungodliness.

But many do not recognise The Rock upon which we must fall.

Romans 9/33

As it is written and forever remains written, “Behold I am laying in Zion a Stone of stumbling and a Rock of offence; And he who believes in Him [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] will not be disappointed [in his expectations].”

One of the ways the God of the Bible is a stumbling stone to many is – expressed in the old chestnut: “Why does God allow these things?” (Pandemics)

So they stumble in unbelief (through skewed reasoning).

Whereas whoever trusts in Christ will not be disappointed now and in the long term, especially in the long term.

The way of Christ is in total contradistinction to the other spirit that dominates human beings. He hates anything to do with Christ. He is the antichrist spirit.

Christ is a rock of offence to him, and to those opposed to the gospel.

But he who believes in Jesus Christ the Son of God, will not be disappointed with Him.

Like everyone else I am disappointed in how things are in this world at the moment. An understatement don’t you think?

But I am not disappointed with Christ.

But here is my abrupt end to this post – Christian out there, what is God saying to us? 

How does He want us to respond to this pandemic and the state of affairs we find ourselves in?

One thing is for sure our God-dependancy increases with the weakening effect and lack of answers this pandemic has produced.

Who out there will turn to Christ in acknowledgement of how inadequate we still are in the 21st century?

Does this virus not clearly expose the weakness of mankind, and knock him off any self-satisfied or ‘smugness perch’?

Our need of God is self-evident, brought home by things such as this pandemic.

Nevertheless mankind will continue to look for answers through his own ingenuity – until the next humbling event hits the earth.

Give me ingenuity for vaccine finding – but with the big big plus – of welcoming individually, the Presence and Person of Christ in this lost and dying world.

On-edge-brawn

On-edge-brawn

I – ancient indentured apprentice be

Got all the dirty work initially

Turning that mangle of a proofing-press handle

Over galleys of type – a printing preamble

                            …

I of long haired youth 

Ordered by old school journeymen to proof

Laughed at – when attached to that ‘Ol’Beatle hat’

Ignored when I said: ‘It’s all I’ve got’

                            …

They hit me with unsavoury suggestions

But failed to answer my questions

What was life all about?

They didn’t know and ignored their own doubt

                            …

I clocked out one day – that’s what we did

What came over him? A journeyman his fist hid

Then appeared to strike me across my face

I reeled – recoiled – and quickened my pace

                            …

Far away from that indentured place

His job was in jeopardy unless I had grace

He tried to apologise – I left him be

I didn’t press charges but let him go free

                            …

Now it is a memory long – long gone

I wonder what happened to that on-edge-brawn

Did he marry a wife and leave her be

Or did he bully her – just like me?

Mystical statistician

Mystical statistician

There once was a mystic who was into statistics

He discovered that people weren’t mystical at all

Most – answered the survey and confessed to being realistic

And although pessimistic –

Were optimistic about being atheistic

They loved to beat down the mystics who were ‘on the ball’

            …

He tried to publish his statistics being a good mystic

Publish for the benefit of all

But he received a rebuttal from those – more linguistic

In their approach to the question of death

             …

They cornered him and bullied him and hit him with words

But he managed to rise above it all

He left this world when his time had come

And now he sits where they can’t exist

               ..

…What with being atheistic an’ all…