This Fragile Vessel

Life is shocking in its fragility at some points and incredible resilience at other times.

22/09/2020

Celebrate my patience

A fight both new and ancient

Transforming a life on the ropes

Into a perfect beacon of hope

The beasts that lurk in the depths

Of the mind don’t bite for I am blessed

With a concrete heart and an iron lung

Golden teeth and silver tongue

Be wary though this vessel is fragile

Life is scary, demons agile

So that some feel the sweet embrace

Of the big release to meet their fate

Beneath the waves with the giant squid

The white whale or the shark tooth grin

So fight like a wildcat to reach the surface

If your vessels capsized and left you hopeless

You’ve never lost is you never give up

So fight hard, take heart, life is enough

These battles we face will make or break us

Save harbor awaits so be relentless

And never, ever, ever give up.

It’s no secret I’m in love with nautical metaphors and aesthetic, some of it owes to a book that captured my imagination about the colossal squid, the closes thing to the kraken that exists.

Life itself is a vessel shocking in its fragility at some points and incredible resilience at other times. The hard times can make or break us but the most important thing for me is no matter how hard things get to never give up and never stop trying to make the most of the gift of life.

Guardian Angel

In jail it was necessary to build a tough exterior to survive

20/09/2020

I am my own

Guardian angel

Protecting my inner self

With the staunch spirit of manhood

It could all have proved to be

Too much to handle

But my courage swung into action

Turning fear into love

Stress into motivation

And vulnerability into strength

That unbreakable spirit

Kept the wolves at the door fed

The ghosts banished

And the flame of love alive

And isn’t it always true

That a duality exists

Strong but weak

Weak but strong

Loved but hated

Hated but loved

So I work hard on the flaws

Of my inner self

Until the two dragons

Of the surface and the deep

The ying and yang

Flow into one whole

Both at peace and at war

Nurturing the parts of me

That relentlessly strive for the good

Until it’s safe enough

For them to walk tall

Completely authentic

I am my own salvation

Blessed be the warrior spirit

Even though I’ve done a lot of time and have a red blooded male temper, there’s a softer side to me that I had to protect in order to leave jail with my soul intact as an unbroken spirit.

There’s a divide between who I am on the surface and who I am inside, in jail it was necessary to build a tough exterior to survive and that’s a part of who I am but there’s a softer part of my soul as well.

I look forward to the time when the two converge and I am fully authentic in my life.

What Nitro Means

Some people talk about “The Crunch” I feel I’ve been there more than most.

26/6/2019

When you’ve done half a brick

In the local slammer

You might know what nitro means

When you’ve injected

Meth amphetamine

You’re getting closer

When you’ve told some of your story

At 4am

You’re getting warmer

When you’ve gone toe to toe

In the middle of a cell

You’re getting close

When you’ve walked on the highway

Been hit by a semi-trailer

You’re almost there

And when you’ve broken the hearts

Of everyone you once knew

You will know what nitro means

And live like there’s no tomorrow

The wild style makes me smile

And I live like a man

Who knows what nitro means

The concept for this poem is taken from a song by The Offspring, before they started making commercial garbage. I really have done all these things and I try to live with the possibility of it all being over close to my heart and hence make the absolute most of this life I have been blessed not to lose.

Some people talk about “The Crunch”, and I feel I’ve been there more than most.

Broken Sailors

Beware the sharks of all different kinds.

20/09/2020

We all know

What Hemingway knew

That the sharks always win

That even the most skillful sailor

Is still at the mercy of the sea

And if it’s not the sharks

It’s the kraken from the deep

And we fight

Oh how we fight

To make it back to shore

To taste home and safe harbors

Safe from the merciless sea

We snap oars

We lose fish hooks

The compass fails

The mast breaks

And the clouds hide the stars

So that only the chosen few

The lovers and fighters

That make love and make war

Can say they saw

The horrors beneath the waves

And made it out alive

So I sit in my cursed vessel

Anchored and hopeful

That the sharks, the waves, the kraken and the storms

Will pass me by

As I mourn my way home

The sunset behind me

The sunrise ahead

This is my first post in two weeks, I moved house and have been super busy trying to find furniture and essentials while keeping up work, gym and social life.

I thought I’d kick things off some new nautical stuff. Beware the sharks of all different kinds.

The Sweetest Fruit on the Vine

I hope I never lose sight of how special freedom really is.

09/09/2020

Freedom blooms

Like the sweetest fruit on the vine

As life opens up

Like the finest champagne

And god knows

I’ve earned my taste

Of the nectar of everyday paradise

Future echoes

Resonate sweetly

Deeds done today

Grow exponential

In the quality

Of future life

The whisky and women

The bottles and bros

Exotic sensations

The bliss denied for so long

In the longest time

The longest line

Of patience unheard of

In the lives of ordinary men

So bring on the present

Forget the past

And engineer the future

Into a world of contentment

Dance like no one is watching

Live like a perfect prince

Do what you love

And love what you do

It could all be over

In a heartbeat

So I drink my fill

Of the elixir of life

The world forever ours

Forever lost

Forever found

Forever

I’m really enjoying the everyday paradise that is life on the outside. You don’t know how special all the privilege and affluence of the Western world is until you lose everything. No happy without sad, no warm without cold and the contrast makes everything amazing.

I used a few clichés in this one but I think they were ones worth using.

I hope I never lose sight of how special freedom really is.

That Fate May Smile

May we all be blessed with a kinder fate.

06/09/2020

Star crossed lovers

Dance to the beat of eternity

Original sin, paradise lost

And the mystery of death

All coalesce

Into the beauty and rapture

Of fresh seeds sown

In the womb of the universe

And all yearn

For gods love

That fate may smile

Upon the wounds we cause

Ourselves and our loved ones

As we tread blindly

Through this cursed existence

With little more

Than the torch light of consciousness

That perceives but a drop

Of all that takes place

On planet earth

Oh that we could see

The echoes of our future

In the deeds of the present

That we could steer our lives

To greener pastures

Take heart

For there is always

A better path we can take

And you never know

The future could hold

Untold bliss

And the light of all creation

May shine upon you

For the rest of your time

Until we put this flesh

Back into the earth

The image for this poem is a drawing done by a close friend, I asked if he would mind if I put some words to his art and this is what I came up with. I think it’s one of the better ones of my new work.

This encapsulates a lot of the things I think about, eternity and death, consciousness and the vastness of human activity on earth.

May we all  be blessed with a kinder fate than what the cruel world so often dishes out.

Set Sail

I no longer feel like a broken sailor

16/2/2019

When I draw

And make art with the pen

I often draw

Anchors and lighthouses

Because there’s something

About the idea

Of being safe at sea

Through the worst of storms

And being safe from the sharks

The white whale and the kraken

That appeals to me

The aesthetic of

Lonely old sailors

Reminds me of my own story

Lost at sea in the local jail

Waiting for the chance

To return to shore

I often send

These drawings to

My eldest brother

And I’m sure

As much as he likes them

That he doesn’t understand

How rough the sea

Of my life has been

It’s no secret I love the nautical aesthetic and think of my time in prison as being lost at sea waiting to be released and return to dry land. Thinking of anchors helped me feel that during the hard years I was never going to succumb to the desperate misery of the place.

My eldest brother has been a rock of moral support and being incarcerated the only gift I could give him for his birthdays were a drawing so somehow the yearly anchor has become a tradition.

I made it through my time and I no longer feel like a broken sailor.

Draw the line

Try everything once.

13/7/2019

I’ve tried just about every drug

Weed, Ecstasy, Mushrooms

Acid, Cocaine, Ice

But I draw the line

At heroin

I’ve listened to just about every genre

Punk, Rock, Rap

Jazz, Country, Classical

But I draw the line

At opera

I’m too posh for jail

Too jail for posh

But I like to think

I live a life

Rich in experiences

Without being too extreme

Posh with the family

Wild with the mates

Until I settle on a lifestyle

That works more for those around me

Than any other way

I haven’t touched an illegal substance in two and a half years, which takes a fair amount of self-discipline, but back in the day I tried everything once except heroin. Some of the more soulless inmates tried to convince me to try it saying “Once you try heroin, nothing else will matter”. That seemed like a good reason to not try it.

Try everything once that doesn’t lower you moral fiber or open doors for misery to seep in.

The Right Design

Every day of freedom is a good day.

2018

Unwind the mind to find the right design

To articulate with my paper mate

What goes on down below

It’s obscene in the world of the fiend

A river of self-inflicted misery

As chemical chains corrupt the brain

And I die inside a little each time

I hear another story about the glory

Of a half gram shot or growing pot

Of stolen cars and dirt bikes

Of “Meth Beth”

And “Tash the Gash Rash”

There’s few diamonds in the rough here

The best of the worst are still the worst of the best

As a sleepless malice never rests

I succumb to the world of gronks and dogs

Bags of fruit and chocolate frogs

The language seeps into my being

It’s obscene in the world of the fiend

So I swim against the tide

Bed down with books

Make knowledge my bride

Great minds guide me to meaning

And pretty soon I start believing

I’ll leave here my soul in tact

When I walk out those gates and never look back

The world of the ice fiend is a pretty dismal place, stolen cars and week long binges, psychosis and crime sprees. There really is a chick that everyone in AMC seems to know called Tash the Gash Rash.

I often say I’m a man of contrasts, talking shit with crims all day then reading Tolstoy and Tim Winton by night, talking about ‘Grand Designs’ and politics with my family at visits then about “shoppers” and drug dealing with the jail riff-raff.

Every day of freedom is a good day.

Dream of me

The friends and loves that kept in touch are angels in my eyes.

5 years deep in the slammer

And still I think of her

She didn’t answer my letter

I may never see her again

But I feel

Like no one would compare

To building a life with her

I see her in my dreams

And I’m saying all the things

It was never the right time to say

It’s been four years

Since I saw her face

But I remember it clear as day

A half Indonesian, half Anglo princess

The sweetest kind of light

That she pours into the world

She might be married

Might have kids

But I still hope

That she will think of me sometimes

And remember the light we shared

I write a lot of poems about the one that got away. It’s a painful fact of serious jail time that you lose 90 percent of your friends and former loves. They say the quantity of relationships goes down but the quality goes up and those friends and loves that kept in touch are angels in my eyes.

I hope that when I dream that I’m telling her how I feel that she dreams she’s listening to me.

26/1/2019

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