The Battle Fought The War Won

I write a lot about gratitude.

10/02/2021

Carefree despite the baggage

That haunts my steps

Sooner or later I have to tell them all

Where I’ve been and what I’ve done

See them accept or see them run

My cross to bare

And I’m strangely at ease with it all

The pain I’ve endured in the past

Make a little rejection seem like nothing

And the lack of joy in my past

Makes the little victories resonate

With heavenly rapture

It could all be worse

I could have lost my life

To the cinder block walls

By my own hand

Or a murderous lifer

But I’m nothing if not patient

And the present continues to heal

The wounds in my tired soul

And I can see

My family and friends

Without glass between us

So every day is a little better

Than the hard years, hard fought

Hard time and hard living

These days

I can finish the day

With a little wine

And a little poetry

A little study

And a little content

That grows like a Bonsai

With tender love and care

I am truly blessed to have today

And tmrw and forever after that

Free as a bird

And healing in the light of

The battle fought and the war won

I write a lot about gratitude, it’s a corner stone of my inner dialogue so it makes sense but I’m think I’m going to aim for something less thoroughly explored in the next few.

It’s a strange process to go through telling people I was recently in jail for a seriously long time, most people are cool with it up to a point but it makes dating a balance between honesty and scaring them away sharing too early.

The Bonsai reference is no accident, I’ve been reading up on looking after them and plan to grow one soon.

Freedom is a beautiful thing.

Spread Light

Let all things good make a home in my head.

09/02/2021

I’ve no need to strive for perfection

I’ve no need for senseless hate

Let my revenge at the world

Be the contentment I find

Increasing with every day

Let the dance of life for me

Be effortless as I navigate

A course that knows no strife

Rejoice in my evolution

To fearless resilience

And a strong constitution

Let me find meaning

In the process of learning

New skills and new pathways

The future ever shifting

Let me put people at ease

Spread light and clarity

Kindness and confidence

Finding keys to unlock

The best versions of ourselves

And raise champions from the dust

Saving souls from their vices

For no other reason

Then I’m programmed to help

By the slight of my brothers’ hand

Let romance bloom

In the acceptance of loss

As I look for a new one

As special as the last

Let me make family proud

Who I’ve hurt so much

Let my ego return to

What it was at my best

Let all things good

Find a home in my head

And most of all

Let me give thanks

For the second chances

And for surviving the close calls

Moving forward life could be

Something truly special

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I often say the best revenge is to be happy, yet another reason to strive for meaning and content in the modern world.

I seem to be drawn to helping people and I put it down to conditioning as a child by two older brothers. I’ve been raised as a supportive person.

A lot of my work revolves around the concept of gratitude, it’s a big part of my life as I consider myself incredibly lucky to where I am today.

Let all things good make a home in my head.

Guiding Light

This one’s for her, my favorite girl.

07/02/2021

You ruled my heart

For 15 years

The sweetest fruit on the vine

And the gem in the crown

Of our youthful social scene

In my mind I call you

Mary star of the sea

The guiding light

Bringing me home

And keeping me from despair

In the darkest of times

You said you loved me

Unconditionally

Forever

And I felt the same

But times have changed

I told you I was a free man

And you said

“I cherish the time we spent together,

But things have shifted”

So, while it hurts

More than most will ever know

I remain stoic and move on

And maybe someday

You could forgive me

For all the things I haven’t done

For failing you as a man

And letting my demons destroy me

When I should have been

Building something beautiful with you

Every love song still reminds me of you

And I look for you

In other women’s eyes

I may love again

I may find peace

And a companion to make

This life less lonely

But I just don’t think

Anyone will ever be

As special as you

Farewell my queen

If I should be so lucky

Maybe someday I’ll see you again

In high school and beyond there was always one girl that everyone was in love with. I was no different but was probably the closest with her. I always hoped we would end up together but the path my life took made me less and less a man worthy of the light she created in everyone around her.

It’s a thorn in my side that that she has moved on and doesn’t really want to know me, but I’ve come to terms with it and it pains me less and less.

This one’s for her, my favorite girl though I doubt she’ll ever read it.

One Happy One Sad (2)

In truth

I haven’t been at my best

This last decade

Every mistake is now

My own infinite failure

From the office job

To the night shift

To the warehouse

To the prison

And beyond

All the while searching

For the clarity and confidence

I was blessed with

As a youth

And those that know me

At my best

Are the only ones

Who can resurrect my spark

That opened the world to me

Like an oyster

In the glory of youth

And those precious few

Don’t want to  know me

And the person I’ve become

I don’t blame them

Not many do

They say in times of hardship

The quantity of your friends diminishes

And the quality of your friends improves

So I cherish the precious few

Drops of human kindness

That falls so sparsely

In the wake of

A life that you wouldn’t wish

On your worst enemy

Still hope survives

Resolute and strong

And thank god for that

Sometimes it’s hard to remain positive in the wake of the hardship that came with jail, I feel like it’s possible to have a decade of poor form followed by a decade of excellence. This is what I strive for.

Life is better than it was and continues to improve but I still wouldn’t wish my troubles on anyone.

I have faith that those few old friends that remain can guide me to a brighter future.

One Happy One Sad (1)

With the right attitude everything seems golden.

04/02/2021

An honest days hard work

Back home

To a place of my own

Pizza with parents

And a bottle of red

So things could scarcely

Be much better

A new record on the player

Fresh kicks, good jeans and new shirt

Everything in its place

Study starts Monday

And an outside chance

Of a promotion at work

Fountain pen and fresh ink

Comfy double bed

Girls on Tinder

Chats and Lols

Soccer on the weekend

A new laptop in the works

Family making bold moves

Property and retirement

Good books to read

If I ever had the time

Punk rock tunes at work

Punk rock tunes in the car

Staying in touch with my culture

Covid vaccine

Bringing home to the masses

No more trump

So I count m y blessings

And they are as many

As I could ever hope for

Life is beautiful

Thank god I’m alive

To see times such as these

When I think of my life now compared to my life on the inside it’s a truly beautiful thing. While some would be discontent with a life such as mine I count my blessings every day and they are many.

I very nearly lost my life more than once and could have copped a much larger stretch in jail so I feel blessed to be alive and free in the modern world.

It’s easy to take the comforts of the western world for granted but life with the right attitude everything seems golden. That’s the place I am in now and it’s wonderful.

The Lighthouse

The right path is hard to find.

02/02/2021

Let us chosen few

Be as the lighthouse

To guide lonely sailors

To safety and peace

Us who can see

The errors and missteps

In others

Where we may not see them in ourselves

Guide them back to land

With the insight that grows

Ever sharper with age

Carve a path to ordinary greatness

In the actions of others

Don’t let them settle

For mediocrity

TV and a 9 to 5

Where they count the hours

And count the days

Let them learn the craft

Of skilful life architecture

Building a legacy

Of excellence and pride

And help them appreciate

How special it is

To be a human creature

Alive in the age

Of untold technological progress

You only get one chance

One life to live

Friends don’t let friends

Fill their life up with regrets

Be as the lighthouse

Light the way

To safe harbors of the soul

To contentment

To honor

To strength

It will all make waves

In the fabric of society

And be remembered

In the history of the world

Sometimes it’s easy to see a path for friends and co-workers towards a better life while for ourselves the right path is harder to find.

For me there’s something noble about try to help people put of hardship or mediocrity.

Let me be as the lighthouse.

The Endless Struggle

Squeeze as much juice as possible out of your short time on planet earth.

29/01/2021

Never lose sight

Of the endless struggle

To be a better man

To be more than you are

To be the best version of yourself

Strive for these things

And you’ll never lose

Work hard

Like a man possessed

Give thanks

Like a man that’s blessed

Acknowledge the privilege

That comes with the West

Be more and more

You at your best

Time is getting short

The years slip by

So get your shit together and roll

Get our game face on

Prepare your ship and launch

Into a sea of hope

Let the sails

Cure what ails ya

Determination

Perseverance

Resilience

Focus

Pride

All things good

All in good time

Best luck and best wishes

To the friends and family

Past and present

God bless us all

What else is there but to squeeze as much juice out of our short time on planet earth? I try to keep in mind all those hours spent watching TV and eating junk food could be spent doing something meaningful.

Never lose sight of that hunger to make the most of life, if you’re not careful the years will slip by unnoticed and before you know it mediocrity will have you beat.

Demons

The future could hold a joy you never imagined.

25/01/2021

Fixation on the negative

Never made for a life well lived

My demons chase me

But I’m too quick for them

It takes vigilance

Not to succumb to despair

The guilt and shame

Fear and self-loathing

Could overwhelm me

If I didn’t chase that dream

Of a family safe and proud

Of a life rich in meaning

So I look reality

Square in the face

And rise above

Always keeping

One step ahead of

The quicksand

The doldrums

The toil and turmoil

Dramas and dead dreams

I catch the waves of change

With my suit of armour

And nothing much gets to me

Let the haters burn

Let the liars learn

And never let the bastards get you down

God knows if they taste blood

You’ll never hear the end of it

I’m mostly a happy and psychologically healthy person but it definitely takes work to keep things that way.

My demons nearly took my life more than once and the effect my past had and continues to have on my family is a potential source of misery that I combat with positive actions and patience.

No matter who you are there’s someone doing it tougher, stay strong, the future could hold a joy you never imagined.

Old Friends

Hope springs eternal.

25/01/2021

Red wine

Backyard tattoos

Prison tattoos

Prison stories

Stories of hope and prosperity

And always

Too many cigarettes

Not enough whisky

Not enough women

And a crushing addiction

To solitude and writing

Every day I can’t wait

To pass the time in my room alone

Just like the song

My mate cried in the front row

Gateway bands and punk rock youth

He’s a composer for film now

Another friendship destroyed

By the hard years on the inside

I thought all the old crew

Would be stoked to see me

Truth is I can count

My friends on one hand

Another wound inflicted

 By the perfect storm

Of misfortune and mismanagement

That changed things forever

God bless the old friends

I miss them like hell

Lately I’ve been feeling the pain of what my life is like compared to what it could have been like if things had been different.

I really miss my old friends and cherish the few from the old days that have kept in touch.

I’m sure it isn’t healthy that every day I can’t wait to get home to blog, nap, drink red wine and not much else.

Still I’m making progress and things could always be worse.

Hope springs eternal.

Why I Love Books

Reading is a gift to convicts.

23/01/2021

Reading got me through jail

I read everything

Moby Dick and Mark Twain

War and Peace and Hemingway

Irvine Welsh and Tim Winton

Were the pick of the bunch

The thing about reading is

It’s the same no matter where you are

So it’s a blessed escape

For the lonely convict

Friends on the inside

Recommend books

And friends on the outside

Recommend books

And we talk about them

And it’s heaven

It’s true

That time could be spent

Perfecting a physique

Or chasing the dollar

But learning is priceless

And healing words

Help pass the time

Without losing hope

150 books in 6 years

No regrets

No remorse

No shame

Live like you’ll die tomorrow

And learn lie you’ll live forever

And if you find yourself

With a surplus of spare time

Bunker down with a good book

And watch the hours melt away

I did a lot of reading whilst I was locked up. In truth there wasn’t much else to do. I read all sorts of stuff and the best was probably the book by a fellow ACT/Queanbeyan poet Omar Musa’s  ‘Here Come The Dogs’.

The line about learning like you’ll live forever is something a good friend often says to me.

Reading is a gift to convicts.

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