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Category Archives: Poetry

(Before you read this, I wish to apologise, this is not so much poetry as it is a rant. But I’m sure there are people out there who can relate to what is commonly known as the post-Grad blues. For those of you who are also going through this, I shall quote Sir Winston Churchill – “If you’re going through hell, keep going.”)

 

“Hi there! We’ve had word of a job…”
“They want you for an interview!”
“So what do you think would make you an asset to this company?”
“Well…” you launch into a well-rehearsed explanation.
“They called us back. Sorry, no joy. Not your fault though,
Just that someone else
Had more
Experience.”
The rinse and repeat of this scenario is beginning to strip layers
From your mind,
From your spirit,
From your soul.
You begin to wonder
Is this it?
Is this all there is to life?
Chasing the carrot of employment
To avoid the stick of debt
And humiliation.
Your parents,
They will try.
They will try very hard to convince you
That ultimately, things will work out.
That you won’t be living with them forever.
But you cannot let go of what you had, less than 2 months ago.
The times you had with people your own age.
Working hard at something you loved.
Something that now seems so impossible.
Something that you’re unlikely to have the drive to even think about.
You start with good intentions.
“Well, as I’m unemployed, I may as well use the time to sort myself out.”
Workouts.
Diets.
Household purges.
I have been there.
And the temporary self-satisfaction that these things give
Is lost
All so fast
And replaced
With sleeping in,
With junk food,
With clutter, simply because you can no longer be bothered to fight the fight.
And the well-meaning friends and relatives who call you up
To ask you
“Got a job yet?”
Those people that you hold so dear
Become people you begin to avoid.
And it consumes you.
You avoid people.
You avoid the outside.
You avoid life.
And any time you catch yourself
Briefly,
Oh-so-briefly,
Having any kind of enjoyment out of anything
The guilt will get you.
You do not deserve this,
You who does not contribute to society in a meaningful way.
You who secretly envies and despises those around you
Who have a job.
You who cannot seem to achieve anything of note.
You do not deserve your fleeting happiness.
And this cycle goes around and around and around.
I cannot tell you how it ends
If it breaks
Or if you break first.
Because the truth is,
I don’t know the answer myself.

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The phone call at two in the morning.
Unknown numbers.
The stranger walking too close.
The eyes watching at the cash machine.
The dog let loose, growling.
Turbulence.
Unpredictability.
Change.
A lingering cough.
That mark that itches, getting larger.
The voices.
The creak in the darkness.
Curls of smoke.
The smell of burning.
The person who doesn’t respond when you call.

There is no logic in this reality.
Emotional responses take over from reason.
The innocent have their blood spilled
By the confused, the ignorant, the hateful.
And all the while,
The puppet masters hide in darkness,
Twitching the strings,
Laughing,
Claiming no responsibility.
It is the work of higher powers.
That is the claim they stake.
It is the claim we reject.
For while we reject it,
Evil may not win.

If you fail,
The earth will continue to rotate.
If you fall,
You can pick yourself straight back up.
Or, you can take a moment to look up at the stars.
If you slow yourself down,
The view is less blurred.
You can join the rat race.
Or you can burn your own trail.
Lifetime is confusing.
But it is not the time in your life that matters most;
It is the life in your time.

A million thoughts
Buzzing like wasps around a nest.
When is that report due?
What did she mean when she sent that email?
I wonder if dad has remembered that it’s the green bins that are taken today?
Hairline seems to be receding more…
I wonder if she’ll go out for a drink with me.
Should just ask her…
Did I remember to feed the cat?
Did I lock the door?
What if she says no?
What if she says yes and then doesn’t turn up?
BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!
The screeching of brakes,
The acrid smell of burning rubber.
The sickening crunch of metal and glass.
Behind you,
In your rearview mirror,
You see the wreck
That you missed
By seconds.
You stop.
Call an ambulance.
Call the police.
You watch as stretchers are carried off.
You listen as police make phonecalls.
You observe from the outside
As lives are changed forever.
And in that moment,
All the petty worries,
The trivial griping,
The destructive comments…
They all melt away.
Replaced by a sudden urge
To quit your job.
To go to your father’s house
And take him out for the day.
Remind him how much you love him.
To ask that woman out on a date.
And hey, let’s be crazy…
Losing your hair?
Shave it off, and shine with pride,
Knowing that yours can be,
No, must be,
A life well-lived.

He slumps in the plump, winged armchair
Of his expensively furnished study,
In his enormous, princely palace,
With a healthy measure of the finest Scotch
That money can buy,
And he weeps.
The man who everyone believes has it all
Weeps
For the one thing he cannot have.
The girl.
The sweet, innocent, pretty young thing,
With a smile like sunshine
And a heart of gold finer than any that a jeweler could supply.
This beautiful rose
Who married for love,
Not wealth, or convenience.
And who,
For the time being,
Is sheltered, protected,
In a warm cocoon
Of pure, perfect, unconditional, and reciprocated adoration.
What her husband lacks in money
He more than makes up for with time.
Endless thoughtful gestures.
A hand to hold when seas are rough.
Someone to laugh with in the summertime.
A man to grow old with.
And that is why the rich man weeps.
Because he is all too aware
That the flashiest car available cannot transport him
To where he yearns to be.
In her arms.
That all the powerful allies
Cannot change the feelings of a woman’s heart.
That the largest of mansions
Are cold and hollow
Without a lover to share them.
But worst of all, he knows
That all the money in the world
Cannot buy her love.
And while she will die,
Surrounded by those she holds dear,
With a smile on her face,
He will die cold and alone,
Wishing that he could make his choice again
Between wealth and success.
As he wipes the last traces of Scotch from his lips,
A painful epiphany reveals itself:
Happiness,  success, and wealth
Are not always synonymous.
And that is why the rich man weeps.

Don’t love.
Because the sad, inevitable truth
Is this:
Be it through wars,
Or tears,
Differences,
Or even death,
Eventually, the flames that keep you warm
When the world is bitterly cold
Will burn out.
Sometimes they take many years to slowly die down.
In other cases,
They are snuffed out, suffocated,
In an instant.
The pain, though purely in your mind,
Will be more excruciating
Than anything you could ever put your body through.
Someone told me that time was the greatest healer.
They lied.
Time does not heal.
Time merely allows you to grow accustomed to agony,
To accept it as part of your daily routine.
Wake up, ache.
Shower, sting.
Breakfast, with added burn, naturally.
New lovers may take that place,
A warm, comforting bandage over a gaping wound.
But they will only ever be a bandage.
Some wounds simply refuse to heal.
Protect yourself.
Don’t love.

She admires the shiny red shoes with the heel,
The kind her mother would have only dreamed of
And her father would have scoffed at.
“Who are you trying to fool?
You’re a carpenter’s daughter, nothing more.”
But today, she is more than that.
Her hair, freshly washed,
Tied up in a smooth bun.
The dress, freshly pressed,
The labels newly removed.
Wages were saved for many moons
Just for this occasion.
She’d saved before knowing if he’d ask her to dance.
But her hope allowed her to control her own fate.
Tonight, she is more than a carpenter’s daughter…
She is the one he chose.
The girl he fell in love with on sight,
Watching her type in the office.
Clack. Clack. Clack.
Today the only clacking comes from the shoes she wears
As she walks towards the man
Who will make her more than her father ever believed she could be.

It doesn’t always fit in the way you’d like.
Sometimes it doesn’t suit the wearer.
But sometimes the truth
Is embroidered upon so much,
It becomes a completely different garment.
For better or worse,
It’s never what you asked for.
Sometimes you’d rather look honourably plain
Than to be gilded with lies.
I choose to walk this runway
With a fabric stitched with honesty
It may stretch or sag,
But even so…
I need not hide what lies beneath.

Pull a pint.
Change a note.
Shots, shots, shots!
Oi luv, when you got a minute.
Barrel’s gone. Damnit.
So when can I take you home?
Oi back off mate, she’s better than that.
She don’t look it.
Watch ya mouth.
Rolling eyes.
Turn away.
Out of ice. Damnit.
Stop lookin’ at my fella!
More rolling of eyes.
Glasses smash.
Claws come out.
Handbags fly.
Drunken slurring fills the air.
Why did I apply for this job?