A Caged Bird (Poem)

{I see myself, but it doesn’t look like me,

I see myself – but what should I be?

Yes, what should I be? And what should I become?

Be a dreamer – or achiever – you can only pick one.}

Ohhh, you want the bullet train to fame my boy?”

No, no, no! Just the mega bus away from plain and tame, would be a joy!

Well fucking stop that thought.”

Nothing good happens here.”

Oh, you’re into the arts? HA, HA, HA, must be a queer!”

Fuck off to London if that’s what you want – but know this,

we all think you’re an absolute cunt.”

{I want to think outside the box,

but I don’t have the keys to this cage,

I try every possibility in the locks,

that get rusty with age.}

HA! You don’t know about life! We struggle and strive, 9 to 5 that we hate, but we can barely survive, we buy things that we don’t want with credit we can’t pay, we turn on the television – it’s shit – but we watch anyway, we can’t wait for retirement, man that’ll be the day! We‘ll get to sit on our arse till we’re dead – ahh, bliss, don’t ya say?”

{I can see this for myself, but it doesn’t look like me,

I can see this for myself, but it’s something I don’t want to be.

Yes, there’s what I should be, and what I want to become,

I don’t want to cut my roots…I just want to grow: till my days are done.}

~~~

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Where Does The Time Go?

Something happened today – it was a seemingly every day, boring moment…but it seemed HUGE in its meaning somehow, actually, that is a colossal understatement…this realization shook my world by the shoulders and screamed ”WHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT IZZZZ THISSS?!”

You see, I was in my kindergarten class, when one of my kids started wiping their runny nose with a clean sleeve, naturally I intervened with a tissue, rather than watching them leave a crusty yellowish snail trail on their shirt (that would probably be rubbed off onto my jeans later, foresight ladies and gentlemen!);

“Big blow! Come on…wheeyyy, well done, feel better now? Good boy!”

WHOA. In that moment I was suddenly frozen still, slack jawed and wide eyed, as the whole world faded to a halt around me…where… had that came from? It was just a few short years ago that I was in that seat with snotty nostrils! Wasn’t it? Seriously what happened? When did this transition occur? I don’t remember my child-self tagging in the adult version…in fact I don’t feel any different right now, I feel like I am that same child with sky high dreams and a vibrant passion for life…it’s not my fault that a big fat adult shape grew over that boy, and suffocated him to death with arguments over education, debt and career prospects…

But I didn’t ask for this physical growth spurt. No one did…I am sure we would all like to stay in our protective child cocoon, where people blow your nose for you, hold your hand and tell you everything is alright. But the fact is, it isn’t going to be alright, no one gets out of this thing called life, alive.

It seems like you click your fingers and the next thing you know it’s a year later, five years later, ten years later, more! Indeed our wildest hopes and dreams may be limitless, but our time on this earth is most definitely limited, and the clock is ticking. I feel like…in fact, I know, that I will have a similar moment ten years from now, when I’m putting my own child to sleep…”Good night son, sleep well”WHOA, when did all of this happen?! And yet again I’ll pause and question time, space and the meaning of it all…well until I tune into my new favourite TV drama of course.

You see life just gradually rolls on, it doesn’t pause to check if we are okay, it doesn’t stop to pick us up when we fall, it just keeps going. This seems difficult for our brains to comprehend, so more often than not we ignore our worries and concerns until they pop up like an ugly hemorrhoid to remind of us of our morality, and it may squawk something like, “WAAAHHH, YOU’RE OLD! GET A NICE CAR AND IT’S BASICALLY LIKE THE LAST TEN YEARS DIDN’T HAPPEN!” But I think we all know that isn’t how it works.

If it is then get in touch, I would be ready to make that investment tomorrow.*

 

So I urge you to live in the moment, follow your passions and do what makes you happy. After all, you may snap out of a daze and realize a huge chunk of your life has just passed you by. I heard a lecture by a South Korean writer recently, who described how children do what makes them content in the moment and don’t possess that very adult worry of how long it will last or who else will see it and give it value, instead they pour their heart into creating the most fantastically wonderful sandcastle they can make and then shrug with a smile as the tide washes it away.

If only we could possess this mentality, if only we were not so obsessed with celebrity and legacy…after all, in a way we are all that sandcastle…we may build ourselves up and layer ourselves with the best decorations, but ultimately the tide of time will wash every one of us away too.

So tell me, when it’s all over, will you shrug with a smile as you enjoyed the time you had to the fullest? Or will you fade out as a blank…regretting those years that are now lost into the ether forever, the choice is yours. But listen, if there is a God I am sure he would want you to enjoy the gift of life…and if there isn’t, don’t you want to enjoy your life because it is all you get?

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So don’t let your childhood be “the happiest days of your life”…live so that every breath you take fits that bill.

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Please buy my collection of stories! Get it in paperback here – or on Kindle here! ALL proceeds go towards Macmillan Cancer Support!

What is Success?

“What is success?”

And I know, I know…everyone has a different version of the definition – apparently...but we are all people, and for the most part this drives us to want the same things. To love, and be loved…to have a purpose, and a core motivation…to eat an entire family sized lasagna by yourself without being sick. See, that’s probably just me with that last one. But yeah, the question does confuse me – and if I don’t fully understand what it means to be successful, then how will I know when I have reached this grand milestone?

You see at the moment I feel like I have graduated from the meager caterpillar stage…wandering around aimlessly, just consuming everything – with no clear direction…and now I am in the chrysalis stage, locked away in my bedroom cocoon, beavering away…with the hope that I will somehow magically burst into life, like a vibrant butterfly, and spread my wings. Confident, and suave…the Kanye West of comedy writing.

Kanye GIF f

Precious, ey? Well, although it would be lovely if all that were true – and trust me, it’s what I like to tell myself during my various conversations with, well…myself. I don’t think it is what life is like. Not really. Although it isn’t a sleek, or glamorous metaphor; I reckon we are a lot more like the snail.

Yup. We just mosey on along…pulling along all of the baggage that we accrue day after day…yes, the moss…the dirt…it builds on top of us, but we keep on going, we absorb it…it becomes who we are. 

We can look back at any time, and see the trails that we once took, glistening behind us. Often we went the wrong way, repeated back on ourselves, or looped, and looped, with no clear purpose. But we are still here – and the only real decision is…where are we going now? 

Lost GIF f

Well to success of course! Alright…but which way’s that?

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