The Alcoholic

He looks into his glass

Hoping to see the reflection of a saviour

In the swirl of brown liquor before him.

Propped up by the blindness of others

He sips and is violently propelled to a high

Of ethereal happiness

Narrowly just avoiding the grasps of reality

By ordering another drink

To the broken and downtrodden

To those who feel ignored or forgotten

I write this as 2020 is now in full flow.

Some people entered the New Year not filled with the same hope and optimism as those around them.

Perhaps as the fireworks launched on New Year’s the emptiness within you burned just a strong.

Or maybe you enjoyed the night but couldn’t ignore the feeling that someone who could no longer be there should have been by your side sharing the moment.

Maybe you’re entering the New Year jobless; having fallen far from the benchmark of success you set yourself the year before.

Perhaps you look at the New Year ahead and something won’t let you be happy; the uncertainty that the next 12 months may hold fills you with dread.

Just know that you have not been forgotten. You’re in my thoughts. And things will change; it may be a slow-burning change but it will come.

I’ve been quiet for a while so I thought I would just celebrate the weekend with another poem of mine 🙂

Silent Combat

Sometimes you don’t

realise you’re at war

Until you’re lying on the ground

sore with scars and wounded.

One person, many masks

Beneath the fragile surface of your laughter

I see

the tears you are drowning in.

____________________________________________________

I’ve always been fascinated with this idea of everyone hiding a secret pain and suffering. That perhaps the strong person welding a smile or air of politeness there’s pain lingering inside. I remember when I was in primary school and in music class we learned The Beatles’ song ‘Eleanor Rigby’. In the song is the line:

‘Eleanor Rigby…waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps in a jar by the door,

who is it for?’

I remember my young mind literally imagining a lady carefully taking a pale mask out of a jar each day and applying it to her face as she steps out of her door and into the world. But of course, nowadays- now that I am older I see it differently. Each of us wears a mask out of necessity because let’s be honest; I’m sure there have been many times where someone has asked ‘how are you?‘ and you’ve wanted to say ‘not great’ but held back. For me, that happens way too often but I’m sure its a common occurrence for many. But every time we grin and nod that’s our mask playing its role and coming into use. In fact, we probably do way more than we know, and sometimes without ourselves noticing.

I try to keep this in mind when approaching people, it’s always good to be aware that a smile hides 1000 things. It makes you navigate conversation carefully with people and more open to people maybe saying a simple ‘no’ when asked ‘Are you okay?’

Ghosts of Friendships past

Friendship is a funny thing. Am I the only one that looks down the long hallway that is my past and sees the floating shadows of many former friendships? These are not necessarily friendships that suffered an explosive ending. Most of the time you try to keep in touch but days pass and the next thing you know two years have gone and you’ve barely spoken.  I do see these friends every now and then but the conversation is very brief and shallow, almost as if you’re back to acquaintance (or even stranger) level again. After all, people do change- and much quicker than we know sometimes. Although the joyful memories associated with them bring happiness, you almost have to take time to grieve that individual as you realise the intimacy you shared may not ever be experienced again.

But as the old ends, new ones begin and such is the pain and beauty of friendship.

__________________

 

I hate that we don’t talk

as much as we used to.

Will I ever meet some someone like you

I often wonder.

The spontaneous singing

The endless conversations

the laughing, the moments.

Heart to hearts

All in the past.

 

 

How it’s meant to be.

Yesterday I had a moment of serenity as I walked down the path to choir rehearsal. I was on the back streets of Notting Hill, the sun shining (weakly, but shining nonetheless), cooling intervals of breeze and Shawn Mendes’ voice soothing my eardrums. Did I mention I was eating a beef patty? Well, I should have, and with every bite, I was more appreciative of the moment at hand. As I looked at the trees ahead fighting for the sun’s spotlight I thought about how everything had conspired for this moment to happen. If I had decided to go home or to a different part of London, or maybe if it had rained instead- that exact moment wouldn’t have happened. That kind of mathematics (i.e. possible worlds and alternative chains of events) I like to leave to God, but it’s amazing to think about every now and then; it gives a new meaning to the moment.

Here’s a poem a wrote to embody the feeling in such moments:

I’m stoppable, untoppable*

as I walk down the street

there is no obstacle

that can slow me down.

The wind is my fanfare and

the sun my spotlight.

My feet tread light but stride confidently.

And my worries are only echoes

My worries are only echoes.

_______________

(*technically not a word but hey ho.)

Free with flowing thoughts…

On the day I should have been writing this post I had been sitting in an Itsu cafe in South London. It was desolate and peaceful. And in my head as I savoured the peace I congratulated myself for finding my little haven in the bustle. Even though I only had half the day off [of work] I really didn’t know what to do. I had piled on my tabletop the various options I had considered; Bible study booklet, current reading book and notebook for creative writing. It’s quite weird having even just a relatively small amount of time on your hands if you’re used to being on the go non-stop. It’s almost like your mind has to (with a lot of effort) tell your body to chill so you properly relax; embrace the moment of stillness.

As I adjusted and became more comfortable I people watched. In the back of my mind, I imagined being in a small and chic Parisian cafe watching busy folk curry across pavements to the sound of sipping coffee.

It was quiet in the shop but a customer sitting by the door inspired this:

 

Mr Anonymous

He plots world domination

one click at a time.

Liking tweet after tweet

twiddling with his headphones and

smiling out of the window

before swiftly disappearing onto the street,

melting into the crowd.