Tranquil Thoughts

Our lives in the future are shaped by the ideas and actions in the present

01/04/2021 

The navigator plots a course 

To greener pastures forever more 

Better people, better places, better life 

The sweetest taste of effort rewarded 

As hard work the furnace 

Satisfies where vice falls short 

As all the troubles of the past 

Drift away in the light 

Of future possibility 

6 long years 

Of mental preparation 

To run the marathon 

Of a life well lived 

And it doesn’t come easy 

Nothing worth doing ever does 

So I shoulder my burden 

And walk through the snow 

To the highest mountain 

To the river of truth 

To the forest of death 

And the cities of hope 

God bless us all  

The ones who finally realize 

The miracle of our existence 

And the potential that life brings 

Work hard, have fun 

Stay true and make the most 

Of the plethora of potential lives to live 

May we scatter the seeds  

Of ideas worth thinking 

And let them shade us all 

With tranquil thoughts 

—- 

As cliché as it sounds, I’m all about 5-year plans, I have a clear idea of where I’d like to be and what I’d like to be doing down the track. I’m starting from scratch working in a waste management facility driving a forklift but I’m studying graphic design and would love to start my own business when I know how. 

The goal is to be surrounded by positive, creative people and to be doing something I love. We spend so much of our time at work that I don’t want to spend it watching the clock and living for the weekend. 

Our lives in the future are shaped by the ideas and actions in the present, in jail they called me the navigator, so I plot a course to a life well lived. 

Treasure

Beautiful people, beautiful souls. 

20/03/2021 

The girls all looked stunning 

Dressed up for a wedding 

We wore flowers in our hair 

That day at the catacombs 

And in a lucky turn of events 

A volcano in Iceland erupted 

And all the planes were grounded for a week  

Oh, what a shame 

We had to remain 

Another week  

In a bed and breakfast 

Not far from the Vatican 

My best mate 

And my favorite girl 

With nothing to do 

But explore a majestic city 

Eat, drink and be merry 

In the glow that only comes 

From old friends from brighter days 

The bride was well liked 

And the groom was forgiven 

For a little mincing in his gait 

Oh yes, 

The girls all looked stunning 

How blessed we were 

To have such radiant company 

I’ve never laughed so hard 

Or felt as sharp 

As on that trip 

Now it remains a reminder 

That fate sometimes smiles on us 

And can be kind as well as cruel 

The girls all looked stunning 

It won’t ever happen that way again 

But the memory  

Is a treasure for life 

— 

Whilst I was locked up I had access to a guitar for a while, I wrote some songs and this poem is a reworking of the lyrics of one of those songs. 

A very long time ago I was blessed enough to go to an old friend’s wedding in Rome. It was a little window of happiness in an otherwise painful decade and serves as a reminder that it’s not all doom and gloom. 

The photo is an actual photo from the wedding, beautiful people, beautiful souls. 

A Little Less Cruel

We do our best to navigate the problems at hand 

15/03/2021 

Somehow 

In my neck of the woods 

We all live lives  

Of quiet tragedy 

Some more than others it’s true 

But spend long enough on planet earth 

And something will go wrong 

Pray you have the strength 

To negotiate hardship 

Trauma and turmoil 

When the devil strikes 

Because no matter who you are 

Things can fall apart 

In a heart beat 

In a day 

In a year 

And some get so down 

They choose to end it 

So that it takes hard work 

To forgive humanity 

To love this imperfect world 

With all its flaws 

And it’s also true  

That once in a blue moon 

A man or woman finds peace 

Epiphany, Euphoria and Ecstasy 

Even for just a moment 

And that knowing these states are possible 

Can get you through 

And keep the wolves at bay 

Mum said:  

Life is 95% hard work 

And 5% really lovely… 

Dad said:  

Grind on through thick and thin 

Even if you’re dead to the world. 

So, we work hard  

And strive everyday 

To find  

Something worthwhile 

Something meaningful 

Something true 

To make this journey  

A little less cruel 

— 

When I look at my peers, mates from work and mates from jail it seems like everyone is battling to keep their head above the surface. Many of them struggle with addiction, mental health issues, homelessness and violence. 

There are probably some walks of life where existence isn’t such a struggle and I fully intend to find them. 

For now, we just do our best to navigate the problems at hand. 

Superman

What do you want to be remembered for? 

03/2021 

Inspiration and perspiration 

Work hard to reach your destination 

The call of paradise and sweet delight 

Beckons us into the night 

Driving home on my own 

To my throne I’m in the zone 

To acknowledge the blessings 

Of first world wealth 

To love with gratitude 

Our continued good health 

Plenty of everything 

And everything in place 

The trials of life 

Written on my face 

Keep Mum sweet 

Make Dad proud 

Find my feet and say out loud 

Life is beautiful 

Life is bliss 

Life is as profound 

As a very first kiss 

Souls get born into the world 

Souls go home into the next 

Still looking for that special girl 

Still working hard to be my best 

Give thanks 

Be real 

Never give up 

Go through this world like superman 

Live and die like a champion  

Eternity will remember everything

—-

I don’t do much rhyming stuff but this one felt right.  

I think a lot about the fact that everything you do and even what you don’t do will be part of the history of the world and indeed the universe for eternity. The question is what do you want to be remembered for? 

What do you want to be your impact on this amazing world? 

The Butterfly Effect

Tiny actions in the present could completely transform your future. 

07/03/2021 

I once had a friend 

Who told me he had a cousin 

That earned $80,000 a year 

Playing drums 

On a cruise ship band 

Talented drummer that I was 

That humble little conversation 

It inspired me to study music 

At the Australian National University 

Just having a degree 

Got me a public service job 

Which in turn got me the coin 

To travel overseas to Europe 

Which led me to Paris 

And a love affair with the great city 

That still remains today 

It’s incredible to think 

That a simple comment 

Like the butterfly effect 

Can shape your world 

For the rest of your life 

I can easily recall 

Half a dozen such moments; 

A friend had keys to a warehouse 

Where we practiced our music 

That led me to rent 

A warehouse of my own 

Where I learned more in a year  

That in the ten before 

A girl I chased just for fun 

Became a 5-year obsession 

And nearly became my wife 

At 9 years of age a friend’s older brother 

Played in a band 

Which instilled in me,  

A love of music 

That has defined my life 

Pray that you can recognize these moments 

And that they lead you down a path less painful 

Than my own 

And beware 

The choices you make today 

Could shape your future for the rest of your life 

— 

One of the features of doing time is you have endless hours to think about where you went wrong and what choices led you astray. Looking back, it was moments that seemed inconsequential at the time that shaped my life path into what it was. 

It’s both scary and exciting to me that tiny actions in the present could completely transform your future.  

A Like Minded Soul

I have a serious aversion to mediocrity. 

02/2021 

Let me find wisdom 

In unexpected places 

Let me find meaning 

In the world of the battler 

The addict and the dealer 

We all have our vices 

And everyone has something to offer 

Some information worth knowing 

Everyone is good at something 

The work on cars, fish like pros 

Tinker and fix things 

Skate, Surf and Snowboard 

Lift weights, play music 

And some of the truly strange ones 

Write books and poetry 

The only thing I fear in this world 

Is mediocrity 

To be a suburban TV addict 

Watching reruns of sitcoms 

That were garbage to begin with 

To cure this potential future 

I have my very own version  

Of catholic guilt 

Where spending time unproductively 

Makes me squirm and shudder 

So, I write, hit the gym  

And sip cab sav 

Looking for inspiration 

That often eludes me 

The goal is 

To do what I love  

More than not 

To share this world 

With a likeminded soul 

To make my family proud 

And walk with pride 

These things are not 

Unrealistic 

So, I love life 

With all its flaws  

And celebrate all of 

The potential futures 

In this life of mine 

I really do have a serious aversion to mediocrity. There’s a whole legion of everyday people that work, come home, watch TV and go to bed. Perhaps they are the happy ones but it feels like an empty lifestyle to me.  

Sometimes I take my eye off the ball and have to remind myself to stay hungry for improvements to the life I’m living but mostly my work ethic is good. 

I’m also a firm believer that everyone is good at something and everyone can teach you something, I find it endlessly rewarding picking the brains of workmates and friends about all kinds of knowledge and wisdom. 

The Light Of All That’s Good

I once had a vivid dream about a mighty wooden boat.

04/03/2021

The vessel is being rebuilt 

The paradise lost 

With the sinking of a mighty ship 

Is giving way to new beginnings 

New frequencies and approaches 

The wooden boathouse 

That vanished in my dreams 

Left a blueprint 

For future greatness 

So, we toil learn and engineer 

The next chapter to be 

A better ship than ever before 

And maybe it’s not true 

That the sharks always win 

We could evade them 

Without incurring their wrath 

A fresh start on the horizon 

The freedom to be  

Whoever we want to be 

An identity strong 

Adaptive and passionate 

In all the right things 

And it’s true 

This path is fragile 

The powers that be 

May not shine on me 

But there’s room for hope 

It’s not unrealistic to believe 

That the adventure that is life 

Could be happy and carefree 

The apple isle beckons 

Pray I make it one piece 

That life opens up  

Like the sweetest flower 

That life ripens up 

Like the sweetest berry 

That life is content 

Like the first taste of freedom 

That we all grow and evolve 

Into better versions of ourselves 

Find peace 

Find calm 

Sing and dance and play 

In the glow of life’s potential 

In the light of all that’s good 

This one is a throwback to a poem I wrote prior to being locked up, it’s about recapturing the good things in life that I once thought were lost forever. I once had a vivid dream about a mighty wooden boat that vanished, it was about losing freedom and everything good in my life. I feel like this grand vessel is being rebuilt in my psyche. 

I’m looking into the possibly of moving to Tasmania later in the year, it would be a fresh start that seems like an incredibly rewarding life choice. 

It’s a fragile notion that could be derailed by my parole officer but for now It’s filling me with hope for the future. 

Revolving door

The concept of the career crim, is still alive and kicking. 

27/3/2019

A mate went home today 

They call him The Levitator 

Andf my name being what it is 

They call me The Navigator 

The ‘Gator’ and the ‘Tator’ 

He’s a metal head 

And I’m a punk 

So we can agree 

On loud guitars 

And pounding drums 

A career crim  

He’s done hard time 

In and out for years 

But he says this time 

Will be different 

I ask him where 

He sees himself in five years 

And now he’s talking  

About jobs and saving 

For a decent car 

For a decent life 

Forever 

So wish him luck 

He’s better than this place 

A son unique 

And an experiment 

In brain washing convicts 

In to going straight  

And making a better life

The Levitator was in and out a few times during my stay, probably one of the best mates I made on the inside. I’m not really sure why but I always felt compelled to instill some drive towards a better life than in and out of jail, especially in friends. He’s probably back in jail right now but maybe in time will find a better path. 

The recidivism rate in Australia is probably better than many countries but I’ve seen many repeat offenders throwing their lives away. I feel that I did my part to help the situation in a few inmates but the responsibly really ends with the government and jail management. 

The concept of the career crim, is still alive and kicking.  

Never Give Up

Give thanks for that little crumb of happiness.

01/03/2021

Acquiesce to the rapturous nature  

Of freedom from jail 

Of freedom from failure 

As life improves every day 

As I gather pace  

Ine the modern rat race 

Let positivity prevail 

Let life unwind  

In the best possible way 

Let life be kind 

A mountain of work 

Toil that’s welcome 

For the ripe reward  

That soon enough beckons 

Too much of everything 

Making my heart sing 

Myriad possibilities 

All better than 

Any given day 

In the local town pen 

The funhouse behind me  

I see what’s ahead of me 

A plethora of pathways  

A symphony of the best of me 

So welcome each new day 

With gratitude and energy 

Welcome each new face 

As a potential 

Friend 

Lover 

Muse 

Confident 

Comrade 

Or partner in crime 

Welcome creativity  

Hope that it flows 

So my story  

The whole world knows 

Acquiesce to the rapturous nature  

Of life on earth 

And you’ll never fail 

If you never give up 

— 

To be honest I’m having a little writers block, I put it down to a level of content in my life that has stifled my creativity… And possibly that I’ve run out of wine. No art without pain, for me at least, so what else is there but to give thanks for that little crumb of happiness that would be disappointing for most but for me is truly beautiful. 

I’m still mining the work I did in jail and will post some more of them whilst I wait for fresh inspiration. 

The Lucky Country

 It could have been so much worse. 

05/11/20219

When I read and watch 

Stories about American jails 

I realize I am truly blessed 

There’s 2.3 million souls 

Mostly doing it tougher than me 

And that’s  not taking into account 

Prisons in third world countries 

But in AMC 

In the minimum-security cottages 

In a single man cell 

With a supportive family 

And the reputation that comes 

From a brutal crime 

I’ve got it better than most 

In prison at least 

I even have a job 

In the jail kitchen 

A radio, a guitar 

And the only jail in Australia 

That allows smoking 

And emails on the prison PC’s 

As if I wasn’t lucky enough 

To get just 6 years 

There’s a tennis court, a gym, a vegie garden 

And all the time in the world  

To work on improving yourself 

Make no mistake 

Australia is the lucky country 

And I’m the luckiest man 

In this whole damn town 

The quality of life in Australian prisons is probably up there with some of the best in the world with the exception of possibly some Scandinavian countries. 

The AMC is a fairly new jail, the alternative if I had broken the law 7 years earlier would be Goulburn jail, a place that breeds horror stories and dramas and carries a very real threat of getting stood over, stabbed or bullied.  

AMC is far from perfect but I’m fully conscience that it could have been so much worse. 

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