A poet is internal. Outside of ourselves we are rotting away using our resources like a dying tree. Until the external is withered and weak. But inside we have built a wisdom that can withstand any wind.
The more you read a poem, the more it will become invisible. Soaking into you as rain on tree bark. If you spend less time on a poem, you keep it floating. When drafting your own work, just spend short spurts on each poem. Pick ten to draft, go through them. Don't spend one whole evening on a poem. Otherwise it will sink.
Writing isn't about beautiful words....it's about using words beautifully..
A good writer is like a chess player. A good chess player knows the importance of a pawn. They will use them to be as powerful as a bishop or knight. A good writer will be the same using one syllable verbs. Anyone who thinks a five syllable word is more than a one syllable is no good at chess.
Using a good verb is like wearing a good coat.
Looking at a poem is like looking at a lake from above. You can close your eyes for a few seconds and the lake has changed, it is constantly moving. Just as a poem does, no poem is still. Months after writing a poem you will read it again and see it has changed shape. A hidden force we have no way of knowing.
A poet needs to understand the seconds are what make their life. If you live in hours then you are missing out on images, similies, metaphors, sounds. It is hard to stay focused and be commited, but a life full of seconds will give you more writing.
I see the rain today, exactly the same rain as yesterday, even the same as the rain from five years ago. It is even the same rain from the first rain I saw when I was a baby. Nothing changes, only what we perceive.
Some people will say they want to be a tree. The big wooden thing that is beautiful and as natural as can be. But it's stubborn and roots itself into the ground. I would prefer to be a leaf. Where the seasons dictate my mind and allow me to be free when the time comes.
Between a capital letter and a fullstop are stanzas of words. I have no idea where they came from or how I sailed from beginning to end. But all I know is when I look at it with my own eyes, I feel another day is worth it.
If you walk up a mountain backwards, will it be as challenging as going up forwards? One way the world falls away from you, the other, the world comes to you. But neither will affect the mountain.
Remember when we were children and one thing most kids did was get a piece of stick and go along a railing fence. The vibrations, noise, experience, that shot up our arm. That inquisitive nature is exactly what we need to be poets. You may not want to do that now, but you can touch things as you walk. The feel of sandstone or the shock of a holly bush, smooth face of brick, grain of wood. And that is just fences.
A wren, the smallest of birds, sits on a branch or a hole in a wall at night. It manages to keep away the cold and rain, frost and snow. When the sun comes it rises itself and forages. If made alert by something it will ping the wood with a sound. In spring it will mate and help feed. Then watch the chicks grow to adult and wave them off in late summer. Then it goes back to being a bird again. Sitting on a branch at night or a hole in a wall. Surviving on what the shrubs and trees give. Its thoughts are simple, but purposeful. It doesn't waste time, and each day is a blessing for this smallest of birds. The mighty wren, the smallest of birds, living a life of routine. Showing us the no excuse way of living.
If the wind didn't exist would time exist?
I have never lived a day where the sun didn't exist. Or slept through a night where the moon wasn't there. They are the only measurer's of time you need. As soon as one comes up you wake, or sleep.
I watch the snow fall on trees, hills, fields, grass, shrubs and bushes. I watch the snow fall on roads, streets, concrete, slate, traffic lights, people. It doesn't care where it falls. As long as the snow can be itself it carries on.
If you allow yourself to be surprised at your own progress you will achieve more. It's when you raise your own expectation levels that progress stops.
The grammar of a poem is the touching up when painting. When you write a poem try not to think of anything other than the words. Let the mind run free without restriction. Then when you have finished you can dab bits here and there, like capitals and commas.
When you write a poem, short story, novel chapter you are laying the foundation. That is all you are doing. It is when you redraft that you build the house. And then what sort of house your writing is is down to you. A.Oswald poems have the best sea view. Where as mine at present are terraced houses. My aim is to get on the sea view ladder, but to achieve that is through hard work, like redrafting.
If a poem is a house and you don't spend time on it then you are sending publishers a photo of a concrete base. How many of us are embarrassed by that? Build your house. Then aim for more quality.
When you see a flock of sheep on a field it appears random and lacks cohesion. The sheep are lost in the grass. They have stretched out the flock until it isn't a flock anymore. They are now individual. Your own life starts off as a flock until you start to venture out. The whole field is to be tasted. Each sheep then becomes a period of your life. You can go back to be being a flock whenever you want. But the fact you have a whole area to search through should be enough to prevent you going back.
Be the person you want to be. Not the person you have to be.
What I do today will affect months from now. Where I want to be months from now will effect today.
Trees create shadows to rest earth from the sun, roots drink floods, leaves feed off light, then mulch the earth, branches pass on winds to prevent stillness, wildlife eat seeds, birds nest. We chop it all down. Then suffer from the trees not being here.
The hardest part of life is being yourself, the second hardest part is living the life you want to live. We sacrifice our own lives to please others. But are we sure there will be a reward for it when we die? Look at the people around you. If you are piece of meat on a hook get out of there. Don't be butchered so to feed other people. A brave human is someone who changes for their own life.
Last night clouds took away the stars. They took away the sky. For hours they spread from one end of space to the other. They threatened to flatten the earth itself. All the shadows of the earth joined together. I stood in wait. A shine of hope pushed itself through the blackness. And there was the moon. Holding sunlight on its round face. Letting me see, no matter what is in front or above, will pass with time.
You live as a human, and the sex of your being. I am a human then a man. I am better human than a man. A human is someone who lives close to nature. The instincts we have that make us look at the earth. Feeding birds and loving my dogs are easy for me. But as a man I fail. People get to me and society as whole is not a place I feel at ease. The world we live in today is tearing us away from our natural ways into a conveyor belt society. I think every person needs to look at themselves and split their actions into two groups, one as a human, the other as a man/woman. We can separate both with looking at how we live. Our actions define our personality.
Every fly we squash with a rolled newspaper is one less prey for a spider. Then the small bird has one less spider to eat. The bird of prey has one less bird to eat. Release the fly, and the wasp, moth, beetle, woodlouse, ant. Keep the world spinning.
Imagine a world where trees had leaves for twelve months of the year. Would the sun lose purpose? Would the soil thin to nothingness? Would birds nest all year? Would the wind run out from exhaustion? Trees need change. Our whole lives have seasons. It's understanding when they come and pass that allows the human to keep progressing.
When you think of a poem in your mind it is alive. But when that poem is transferred onto paper or a screen it dies. The poem only comes alive again when you read it out. You resuscitate the poem. Allow it to become a part of the wind.
If I write a poem today it will change tomorrow and the day after that. A week from now it will change again. A month from now and a year from now it will change. Poems are not meant to stay still. If they were we would call it painting.
When you write a sentence then a paragraph until a chapter is done. Or a poem. Make sure every sentence links like a freight train. Each carriage is connected like each word should. That train won't get anywhere and will only cause mayhem if any link is broken.
Imagine how bad a piece of writing is when you do the same.
The world is built on opinions. I have many, most have no facts, pointless thoughts. When we have an opinion of someone that is the worst fault of our behaviour. When you come across someone in your life, even a long time friend, you can never know them unless you have lived together. A person is like a house. When we spend time with someone we only see inside from outside. And that depends what window they open. If we live with someone we get to see every room. The sinews and tendons of their personality. To say someone is a good person by never living with them is like saying it is windy outside without going out there to feel it. A flapping towel on a washing line is only a hint of wind.
Today I have done housework. Tomorrow I will leave it. The day after that I will think about housework. End of the week I will put it off. A week goes by until I do it again. Why make it harder by pushing it away? Tomorrow I have to do housework. Being a writer is the same. It only gets dirty when you say excuses.
I tap a nail through piece of wood into a wall. I come back the next day and tap the nail again. One hit. The day after that I do it again. And carry on with one hit until the wood is fixed to the wall. Then as I turn away the wood asks 'Why take so long for a ten second job?' I look at the wood and reply 'If I finished you early I would have no jobs until the next job. Which could be days. So I took my time and kept myself busy until the next job comes along' Be the same with your work, a slow steady consistency will be better for your writing than a blast of creativity and silence for a week.
A rock suffers wind erosion its whole life. But we never see the shadow get smaller. Only the sunlight get longer. Then the rock is gone, and no one remembers it. A shadow shows there's life.
You don't need a routine for your life but you do need a routine for your writing. Let your mind be free until that time when you aite to write. That is when you gathe your brain, and all those litter pickings. That's when you recycle it into words. William Stafford use to get up at 4 am every morning. He did this for fifty years. A poem a day.
Every writer is climbing a mountain of words. There are millions of letters all over the place. All we do is pick them up and funnel them through a pen or keyboard. The next day we go rambling again.
The real poem is below the poem you have just written.
A human being lives by three things.
Head = experience.
Heart = Family timeline.
Gut = Instincts.
All three are important though your head is the dangerous one as the experience of your own life can prevent you being the person you can be.
Your heart is passed to you by your family timeline. What you are as a person comes from here.
Gut instinct is the area that you need the most. It is where you get the mother nature connection, it is like a cheat to life. Learning to listen to this area is difficult.
All three are important. Learn how to hear them.
If there is a meaning to life it is how Humanity balances with Mother Nature. Any other meaning is out dated.
If there's a difference between two humans it is their Outlook. We all have out faults, virtues, inhibitions, ego, fears, instincts. No human is better than another due to the lives they have lived. But you can say their Outlook can be the difference between two people. A good person with attributes that we would all love can have an awful Outlook. Making their life reflect on themselves in a negative manner.
We come into the world fresh faced, wide eyed, smooth skinned. We leave the world patched up. Wounded and exhausted. I feel for the people who leave the world like they came in. What experience have they had?
If you ever count the rungs on a ladder when you are on your way up you have no idea how far you can actually go.
A tree in winter mimics the roots of what is under itself. Those roots work for a whole year. But all we wait for are the leaves. We ignore its labour and smile in its beauty. Hence so many people don't understand hard work comes before where you want to be in life.
You can never catch poetry. Seamus Heaney was a few inches away from it, so was Ted Hughes, Keats, Frost, Bishop, Dickinson. I am a few miles away. Trying my best to reel it in. Poetry has to stay ahead, otherwise we will create its shadow.
Each poem is like a dog on a lead. You have to learn to understand the dog to get the most from it. Otherwise it will pull you everywhere. Understand poetry, understand the poem you have written.
Prose is word usage, Poetry is usage of words.
We have a perception the sky is blue. The sky is full of colours. Blue light is scattered in all directions by the tiny molecules of air in Earth's atmosphere. Blue is more than other colours because it travels as shorter, smaller waves.
What we see isn't always true. Facial expressions are the same. Find out the real colours of someone before labelling them like we do the sky.
For love to exist we need time. Time comes before everything. Giving a piece of your heart to someone might be the most important thing to do. But if there is no time span that love means nothing. It has no rails to run along. There is no journey. So love cannot exist without time.
When I write I bleed. The more a person writes the more wounded they are. There are days when I feel I have been put through a shredder.
Being sensitive is allowing your senses to promote themselves. Hiding behind a wall of steel will not be good for a writer/poet. Boil two eggs, keep one in its shell, peel the other. Do you notice the difference? One is keeping you at bay, while the other allows you in. One will remain unknown, the other will become an egg.
Life disappears around you with each passing day. Imagine yourself standing on a piece of ice. That ice is with you your whole life. How would you feel if you looked down every now and then and saw the edges getting closer to your feet? Once that ice has melted, that is it, you sink. The hardest part of life is not knowing the time span. It is best to get on with it and not worry.
We know our date of birth. None of us know our date of death. How much mulling have you done today?
When you write a poem see it as being upside down. The last two lines are as important as the title and first line.
Under every poem is a current. Sometimes you have to go with it.
All we do is regurgitate poems. Whether the body allows us to have all the poem is not up to us. Hence sometimes you can read aloud a poem and change a word as you go along. Without thought.
Our whole lives are built on a foundation of being in a jungle. This is where we came from and it still lies somewhere. Feeding that need by going around nature, sitting under a tree, walking in a wood will allow that jungle side to be fed. In return the jungle will stay happy, knowing it can still be itself. And our emotions will be easier to understand.
How many trees are side by side and they grow between each other? Their branches never touch, never fight for space, never place their weight on each other, never bully or argue. They see what each other has and they go their own way through life. Knowing the more trees the better the planet. How many countries would benefit by being multi-cultural? This is what a wood is.
In the human zoo that we inhibit, our human nature is diluting. Many years from now humans will be empty of what they are. Our senses will be diminished, instincts vanished, creatvitiy lost, the compass points forgotten. Then all we will be is walking death. At this moment we are clinging on like a monkey on the last branch of the last tree.
The wolf pack circles the elk then give chase. The elk stay in a group, running like one organism. Then the group starts to scatter. The wolves run faster, using their senses to know who to chase. Soon the elk have lost all togtherness. Then the wolves pick one elk. The weakest member. The elk runs and runs until the wolves catch it.
No matter what you do in life hunt down your weakest points.
If a tree was taken out of the ground then given to you to plant. And the place had to be the place you loved the most. Would the tree grow? Take away the 'love the most' part and think of the best place to grow the tree. Would you take it there?
If yes then should this place become the place you love?
If someone says to you 'You know a lot' and I mean it could be about anything in life. Answer back with 'I know little, but I only say what's in my head'
No human can say they know a lot. Our minds soak up and remember so much more than what we can handle. The key is to keep the mind ticking over. Through nourishment, or nurturing. The mind is like a jug collecting rain for a weather station.
I haven't had a mobile phone in three years. I see people walking with heads down. I hear voices on buses, trains. I see people playing games. I see people frowning or smiling at messages. I see people taking photos of things.
And I think....look at the emotional energy they are wasting. They have no time to not think. Would you have a washing machine on without clothes inside it? How long would it last if you kept it on 24/7? We ourselves need to turn off.
Find a natural place to stand bare footed. Let the earth reach into your bones. If you have no place then go the beach and fill a sink bowl full of sand and pebbles. Stand in it before you go to bed each night. See what it does to your sleep....
Our whole lives are balanced on this earth. Take away gravity and we fall as if we don't exist. Imagine if you could train your mind to do such a thing with emotions. How much room would your planet now have?
There was a time when lying next to trickling water was a natural way to be ourselves. Now we are clothed, comforted, cradled, and lost. The wedge of our desires is being hammered between us and nature every day. But what will we gain when we snap in two?
You can take nature out of your home, but you cannot take nature out of yourself.
If every bird on the planet was caged up would their body and character change? Of course it would. Now look at yourself. We are caged by laws, bills, ego, social media, stress, money, politics, career goals, health worries. Have these things changed our bodies, minds, character? Release yourself and fly.
The winter birds are here. Their songs add structure to the woods. There is a sound of life. They never waver in their joy of coming across the seas or miles of landscape. But how much can they hear when car engines fill the air? Or where do they stay when trees are felled? Birds are the most faithful of creatures. They still believe we will offer them a world to live in.
Put your hand in a river feel the water cover your skin. Try and pick it up, hold what you can in your hand. Someone else may have done the same ten thousand miles away. And because you don't know who it is you have no fear in sharing such a moment. There are no isms in water.
My dog, the best friend I have ever had, starts every day as a new day. He never holds on what I was like yesterday. He never says I am impatient, grumpy, quiet, rude, shy, unsocial, indecisive, selfish, spiteful, and other faults of mine. He gets up, has a stretch, yawns, howls, wags tail then lives his day. Happy to be fed, to be walked, to have water, to be cuddled, to have a friend. Why do we strive for more happiness when a simple life is more? I need to live like him.
Make a list of five things you love doing. Put them onto paper and hang them up somewhere prominent. A door, kitchen, headboard, back of living room door. Then try and routine one a day into your life. Do all five on your days off. If you cannot achieve this then why are you calling your life, living?
It's not the issue that humans keep getting health problems. New ones appear every year. The issue is lacking the wisdom to think we are trying to change an animal into a new species. Then expect this new animal to carry on as if nothing has happened. The body needs nature!
See that cloud above your head? Now, think about where that cloud has come from. We have a perception that is circles the earth hiding the sun or bringing rain. But the cloud is changing. It may look still and drawn onto the sky. At times it even looks solid. Our minds are the same. The skull gives off a solid view, and the brain stays the same shape. But look at our mind, it changes all the time. It's what shape we change it to that matters.
When we're born we are given a kit to get through life. We all have different kits. Some are more organised than others. While some are fitter than others. The people who have the best quality of life are the ones who realise these kits. Then bring in the right people for their own short comings. If you have the same people in your life then you will only tick some boxes. One tick is all you need in a box, not ten. Ticking as many as you can is the key.
A raindrop is shaped like a bun. It's our eyes that make it appear teardrop shaped. Someone with a frown may appear moody or angry. But it could actually be the shape of their forehead that makes the eyebrows appear lower.
A flower will try and entice insects to take its pollen. Many devices can bring attention to its delights. It stands in rain, sun, frost, snow, thunder, drought, fog and pollution. If you can spend tomorrow in a manner where people come to you. And you know you can give them something in return. Shouldn't you be like that in all weathers?
A poet should never be concerned with the world. It's too big to write about. But if the poet can keep writing about the sinews of life then that will make the joints stronger. And a better planet will it become.
Imagine if you built a house. The house had a roof, a door, garden, utilities, carpets and furnishings. But then you leave out the windows. The house is then exposed to all the elements. The weather can only be predicted. Nothing is certain up there in sky. Now imagine the elements as the future of your own life. Some days hot other days wet. There is nothing you can do regarding the things that will happen. All you can do is build what you can and hope it supports you all the way.
A pen is a pipe to leak your thoughts through. If it gets jammed up go and do some housework. Or better still do something you hate doing. Kick in the adrenalin. When you come back if the pen works, ask yourself 'Why did it stop?' Your answer will be in what task you had previously done. The mind needs more than sitting at a desk.
We all start on different rungs of the ladder. In whatever field you take up you have to think ahead. Take each rung as it comes but make sure you climb as high as you can. There is no limit to this. Someone climbing one rung is the same as someone climbing a hundred.
Imagine a world without money. You know what it would mean? That as a species we are on the same planet.
No person can beat you other than yourself. We think the outside is having an influence but it is not. It is only our own denial. Ignore the world outside your skull. It does not exist.
We have changed the world in so many ways. Creating problems for ourselves with our tinkering. We seem to think nature needs our help. For millions of years it didn't need any help. But now it does because of us being what we are. Nature doesn't need any help. We do.
Every now and then say this to yourself
'One day I will be dead'
see how you feel at such a thought.
I experience this quite frequently. If you try to improve yourself through progressive thought. Then you come across an old mate or friend you never see anymore. And they make a comment or sly remark about how you are or how you live. You may get fired up knowing you have improved, or even upset. But please think before you react. It is not you that hasn't improved/changed, it is them.
Today I mopped the kitchen, cleaned the window sills, washed pots, wiped down the kitchen sides and cupboard doors. Not once did I sigh or shake my head from frustration. It was a pleasure to do.
Anything else on top was a bonus, poems written, books read, poems read, new thoughts growing. And the bonuses were heightened by the simplicity of my daily tasks.
Migrating geese call to each other as they fly over. From the time they set off until the time they land they are one organism. Never yielding in their hope of finding their home. Helping each other through storms, rain, clouds, night. We can learn from their togetherness, and no excuse meaning to how they want to live.
If you could have a half-time chat during the course of your day. Even pause time itself. And have ten to twenty minutes thinking about how you are. Knowing the only way you would get points is by being a good human. Not just towards humans but to nature aswell. How many of us would change our tactics to achieve this?
Every day take time to stop for a moment to think about how you are behaving.
when the rookery starts again in late winter. rooks talk to each other, share what they know. knowing the word 'survival' will allow their nests to succeed. I find it amazing how humans don't share enough knowledge to help each other. we're all together in our own woods.
All the sayings on this page mean nothing if all they do is make people agree or disagree. Opening your thoughts from the vice of modern society is all I am trying to do. There is no right way to live or write. But being adaptable, available, open like a flower head towards the sun, will be more beneficial.
the more complex the life the more complex the problems.
The man sleeping in the shop doorway is no less than the man who owns a five thousand acre estate. It is the person who thinks it, that is less.
When someone laughs or smiles they should do it with their whole body. The body is connected to create symphony. If some of the instruments are not in tune then you know the reaction is not real.
Alcohol is a great way to hide who you are. Once you start to hide yourself away then you hide from what bugs you. We all have holes and hills behind us. It doesn't hurt facing those holes and hills and pushing one into the other to flatten things out.
Sit at a fields edge and watch how grass lives. The way the weather tries to manipulate and even destroy the blades. Its strength is in its roots. Even if hacked down, it will come back. Think about what roots you are creating within yourself. How strong are you when hacked down?
Having a place with a long view will do more for your ambitions than being condensed in a cityscape. The mind needs to walk as well.
The wind glides or pushes its way through the earth. We have one window open in the house. The wind comes in but then where does it go? It gets lost. It falls to nothing on the floor. Learning needs to be allowed to swirl through us, hence we need more than one outlook on life. Otherwise everything we can learn just falls to the floor.
Live with what you are interested in. You can't be a good golfer with a cricket bat or create beautiful oil paintings while wearing rigger gloves. Look at what you enjoy doing then go for it. If you involve others that don't like it, or you don't do something for the sake of other's opinions, then you may aswell live with one arm behind your back. You will never get the most of your life.
Not so long back an old friend said to me in their own wedding 'You need to start living your life' at the time it threw me and I came up with an answer. But when I thought about it the next day it made me realise how this old friend had become exactly that. Old. I had moved on, and started to do the things that meant something to me by moving away from such questions. Whether he agreed or not with how I live today didn't matter. And still doesn't. Everyday I do something I love. I think that's as close to living ones life as any.
We live in a socety where questions such as
'Where you working now?'
'Are you married?'
'Have you any kids?'
'Where you living these days?'
'Have you got a mortgage?'
'Any holidays this year?'
You can give great answers to all these and the questioner will look at you and be happy. Maybe. Or jealous that you may be living a better life than them.
None of those questions hold any substance. Every one of those questions can be affected by the randomness of life. Some people suffer more than others, while other people have other ways of looking at the world they live. Some of those questions are meaningless.
I could live in a wooden hut, no electric, no kids, no partner, no holidays, no job and be happy. Watching a wood change from winter to spring is something I enjoy. Or hear a blackbird or robin singing.
There's a feeling of judgement, even the person scaling you as a human being. Don't be caught up in the fact you have to work four on/four off or split shifts in a factory. Working overtime is only if you need it. Some people are lucky with savings while others struggle. Don't be downhearted by thinking someone with a mortgage, kids, cars, holidays, and what job they have is better than your own. If they come across as having a better life, then you are already ahead of them as a person.
Some stones are rougher than others. But none are more important when building a wall.
Willow Warblers are small birds. Between 10.5cm and 11.5cm in size. They travel from Africa every year to breed here. then take their new family home. Has anyone asked are humans migrating while we live on this earth? Maybe we're in the in between of something far grander.
Emotions are like clouds. They come and go. Some stay longer than others, but they eventually leave. While others are gone in a few minutes. Knowing the sky is still above is what will be important to letting the clouds leave. You can always go back to yourself when the emotions float away. What's the point in keeping clouds until they make you wet?
Termites go into wood and destroy it. They make it rot far quicker than anything else on earth, except fire. Think about the people that get into our own heads. Some are termites. So think about who is, then slowly turn away from them. The biggest termites for me were always fellow workers, but then I left the place. Sometimes family can be, and old mates I don't see anymore. You have to brave, but calm. Find the source and route it out.
I have had depression and anxiety. Never took a pill for either. Maybe I got lucky. Both made my life very difficult. Both brought me to my knees.
It took me awhile but I re-evaluated my life and took big decisions. Stop drinking on weekends, move away from static view points, change my image, change my outlook. As well as changing smaller things like drink more water, read more, stay in the present longer, listen to my body. It was slow progress. But today I am a stronger person for it. And happier.
Being emotionally dependent on anything that is not nature based is when a human will bring trouble to the mind.
In the freezing cold you can wear ten jumpers at once. I only have one. But when those jumpers are taken off who is warmer?
A human being can drown in the pleasures of sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, technology. They may well look good on the outside, most hide behind all sorts of fancy ways.
But inside they suffer like groynes on a beach. At my financial level I see people trying to live like them but they suffer outside as well as in.
If you are constantly looking at the time. Then you are living a life that doesn't suit you. Time doesn't exist for people are living life that is true to them.
The loneliest tree will live the same life as one in a wood. It stays true to itself all year round. The tree doesn't have to go searching for a wood to belong to. Or hide behind a wall in fear of being alone. It's happy to be itself.
Sometimes when I get frustrated with someone it's only because I have seen myself in their ways. We all reflect each other at some point. Keep it calm.
Every seed released from a tree is the same as every opinion from a human. Most will amount to nothing and when it does spring growth, it can only mature if in the right place.
When someone picks up on something you are not good at. They are only saying it because it is one of their virtues. Don't blink, stay calm, then look at your virtues and see which one they don't have. But don't say anything. Smile inside.
You see humans building on nature. Pushing her further away from our lives. Then over time she weakens what we've done. Like a fence with posts, or a factory that has closed down, a disused car park. You cannot go against the natural instincts. As humans we are similar, you cannot wear something that does not suit who you are, or be someone you are not. Eventually nature will force its way through yourself. Ignoring it is the worst answer.
A three hundred year old oak tree will have a shadow. A blade of grass will have a shadow.
Sit by a tree once a month for a year. Feel the seasons the tree has to put up with. Don't hesitate regarding the weather, get out there. Then ask yourself are you lucky to be a free human? Because that's the alternative.
If you are going to do something in life it's better to drown yourself than dip your toes in.
Balancing the sitting down with the being active is key to creativity output. Some people need to doodle more than others. The mind is encouraged to grow by physical activity as well as non-physical. Find what works for you then aim to keep that level up. I like to have roughly a 60/40 ratio. The larger number is being active. But I also need to sit, play chess, read, doodle, stare at a wall.
Consistency is key to all success. Make sure you have a routine of writing every day. The quality doesn't matter, it's the fine tuning of who you are as a writer that comes from being consistent.
When the sun rises it isn't just for birds to sing. You can sing. So why don't you?
I see myself as an artist but I paint letters. It's how original I can be painting those letters that will one day make my dreams come true.
Every day is a poem. but too many poets have the poet side of their life as a sidecar. They only notice it when they are free from the other parts of their lives. Not me, poetry is the motorbike. And we go wherever every day.
I had built a wall inside my brain and I couldn't see over. But then poetry came over and gave me a ladder to see again. Eventually reading books chipped away at the wall. It hasn't gone but now I can step over it. Maybe next year it will be demolished.
When you meet someone or be with someone you know, it's best to feel lesser than them. Then you can see them more clearly. if you think you're better than people then you will never see them for who they are. Good points and bad. Eventually as a person you wil sieze to exist. And spend a life without learning.
A spider will wait in the corner of a shed. It doesn't do anything but wait. Then one day a wasp or fly will venture through a hole. The spider will still wait. Then 'BANG!' it will have a meal. A spider is the most patient creature on earth. But it never changes who it is or does things that never suits its life. They have peace of mind things will happen. Be the same.
Sometimes it's a good idea to go to the end of the garden or where it's quiet and speak the words you want to say. In terms of what is bothering you or your life goals. Set them free into the world. They will hover of you and make sure you are aware of them. We all have shoals going around our minds, but not all migrate out of there.
When I write I am pouring water out of a jug. I never stop until I have emptied it. Don't think about the water coming out or even where it's going. Just pour.
Get into the habit of asking someone a different question every week. This can people you work with or live with, friends, club mates. You can create a different world around yourself by pushing people's minds in new directions.
Whatever source of writing you do try and do something that is so far away from the pen. A different world entirely. For example years ago before poetry I was into powerlifting. I loved it but many things I created stopped me from competing. Today I still have dumbells. Though I have no need to train for an hour I still lift them in the week. Being a poet is about using your senses. Picking up a heavy dumbell is on another planet. Twenty minutes is all I do, but I love the dimension/dynamic of it.
Like a fruit sometimes we have to be peeled to show who we are. It's better to be brave than be kept wrapped up your whole life. Yes you may get eaten, but I prefer that than sitting in a corner until the mould comes.
When you have written a collection shuffle the pages, read it back to front, swap the titles, swap the stanzas, put full stops where there's commas, and visa versa, read poems upside down, then put it away. Let all those new and dynamic thoughts swill around your brain. A month later read it again. Then do all the above once more. See what new things can happen.
I don't believe in anyone being better but I do believe in people who change their art by being different.
When you're outside you are inside.
When people ignore your advice or help it's because they are ignoring themselves. So you have to sit back and let them suffer.
Our own life is like a seed within a shell. There's another life around ours. We must do our best to hang in there and let the wind take us. When we fall there's nothing we can do.
Don't be on the side in the shadows. Then watch other's take up the light. You deserve it to.
Ten blue tit chicks leave the nest. Some go to the first tree, others go to the second or third. But one stays in the nest. Sometimes knowing when to move is more important than being the leader. There's no rush to do things as you grow into the world. Let others fly out and think they are ahead. But you learn from what they have experienced.
When we see a wood in summer with all its leaves we may think the wood has gone. And now sits huge green hedgerows. But we have to go inside to see the trees again, to know the wood is there. This may be the same as someone with depression or anxiety. They are the same underneath, but we have to wait for the season to change to see them again.
When I was younger my creative brain was not known by myself or others. Life was tough. But I never gave up. I didn't know I needed stimulation to be happy. A person who is creative is like having a dog in their brains. The dog is happiest when walked. My own mind is happy when I take it for a wander. The school system in the UK is a joke. People like me never get the schooling they need. So we become just names on a sheet. When I wrote my first poem it felt great. For years my poems were rhymed a bit like songs. They were poor. Once I grew up a bit I took things seriously and improved. The way I see myself today, if I had known he existed 20 years ago I would have had a different life. I always feel like I am 10 years behind.
We are now at the cliffe edge of our reliance on technology. Another generation and our brains will start to melt. Our thumbs get more exercise than our feet. The 'sofa generation' will only add to the next. There has to be a stage where our natural instincts say 'No'. I won't see this happen. But I hope someone does.
Imagine if we found out the heart has a certain amount of heartbeats during every person's lifetime. We would all have different numbers but we could inrease that number by living a better life. We actually knew this for certain. We were given a monthly chart or somethng similar. How many of us would put the effort in to make our lives longer?
Sometimes I believe in GOD, sometimes I don't. Religion is not something I am interested in. But my point is if we have such an emotion like love, an emotion so deep and profound that it can affect your life. Then how can life be of no meaning? What is the point of loving someone like a parent, grandparent, or child, when this life is only when we see them? I have my own interpretation of GOD. I don't think he lives in books. But if there is a GOD then surely he is not this cruel to allow us to love but then take it away forever?
My granddad told me a story. He had a dog who was ill. Too ill to leave her bed. She was dying but each day he bathed, fed, watered her. Then one night she somehow crawled up the stairs to his bedroom. She licked his hand. He woke. He was shocked she had made it up to see him. He took her back down then went back to bed. When he got up for work she was dead.
He once said to me he thinks she was saying 'thank you'.
Imagine having a core of his being for a dog to love you so much.
I have done things I am not proud of. Some of them will stay with me for life. Sometimes we do things out of survival, or take a gamble. Sometimes we do things that are wrong full stop. I know it may sound good to balance out our wrongdoings by doing good, but life gets in the way of life. We cannot always do what our heart needs. Look at what you have done make an honest comment. Then spend a life not doing that again. Being aware is as good as trying to balance it all.
I have spent a period of my life trying to be something I wasn't. You cannot wear other people's clothes. You have to look at your own skin then be the person that is hidden. I have more respect for people who find who they are than people who ignore themselves. We only have a small amount of time. Why live on a current that takes you places you don't want to go?
All the negative thoughts you have in your head. Put them in balloons and let them fly. Close your eyes, picture as many balloons as you need then put each negative in one. Go by an open door and close your eyes again then let them fly.
We all have negative thoughts. Whether this is due to evolution I do not know, but life is so short. Do we need to weigh ourselves down?
Every excuse you have is an anchor in your mind. Do you really want to be in port forever?
The better the person the better the life. But that doesn't mean yachts and big houses. That means letting someone have the pavement and you walk the road side, keeping a door open, let others pass in traffic, helping someone up stairs, handing in dropped money, realising your extra change, and many many others. Be a better person. Your life will be more rewarding. A muscle is only as strong as its sinews and tendons. They are the things that sew our days together or what we have.
There are many ways to reach the North Pole. Do not think someone has a better way than you to achieve something like a poetry book or awards. We can all get to the pole, but some of us will be taking different routes.
Get into the habit of leaving the day you have lived in a better place than the previous day. Each day will throw up different things but be professional about your day. As a poet, writer, human. We can have five days a week as professionals of life then have two days on the sub bench. Sit back, relax, wear no socks, watch time go by. But then get back on it come the Monday or whatever day works for you. You have been given this vehicle to live in. Why let it rust away?
See your own life like the face of a clock. You start at 12pm then go round until 12am. Life is one circle. There are no other shapes to live as the flow would stop.
How we live and what we think is put into our sleep. I know when my mind is balanced by the quality of sleep. Why pollute one of the most important things a human needs?
I once worked in a place where every mistake was like the end of the world. Every day someone had something to say about things. The place was vermon and full of anger and hate. Some of the worst people I have ever known worked there. Mainly because mistakes were always made and it gave them something to moan about. You become the same.
You are only as good as your last mistake. If you keep learning and attempt to improve the mistakes will become smaller. Then new ones appear and you have more to think about again. And a day of thinking is better than a day of nothing.
If anxiety has taught me anything it's when the mind is balanced life is beautiful.
I would rather aim for ten small goals than aim for one big one.
The chances of hitting the ten smaller ones are higher and will eventually lead to a big goal anyway. Do not forget the small things.
Have a habit of making time work for you. Analyze your whole day and see what moments you can have to yourself. I have two train trips each working day. Both are 12 minutes long. One is to watch the world go by the other is to redraft poems. I have a 25 minute break and 1 hour dinner. I usually take the break as downtime and the dinner to read. My first 2 hours at home after work I make/eat tea. Watch the television with the Mrs or chat about stuff. Then I have 1 or 2 hours thinking about my writing.
A hoover is as efficient as the bag it has to fill. Every so often the hoover needs emptying to keep working. Our minds are the same. Find the place to empty yourself.
This life is only a link in a chain of lives, so why stop learning in this one to weaken the next?
You are only as strong as the set back you have allowed to beat you.
A bird has tertiary, secondary and primary feathers. Without some primaries the bird will not fly. Though it can lose some secondary without any loss of flight. Look at what is important to you and put them in these three areas like a birds feathers. There's some things in life I need to make me fly for example my dog, nature, birds, poetry, imagination. Some things like bad food choices I can lose.
Our interpretation of the world are only by our own wounds.
The foundation of life is suffering. If it was less than this we would stop our own journey as a species.With suffering comes a mind set to keep our eyes open.
Do not chase anything in life. Be like a flower when the time is right your time will come.
Happiness is a hard one to pin down. I see it split in two. One is the core happiness, the level you are always at. Then there is the lit match happiness. Depending on the moment/occasion the match will run itself out. This can be a pay rise, career move, a new car, getting married, leaving home, buying clothes, holidays. But once the match has burnt then it's the core happiness of the human. This is what we need to work on. How many people have all these lit matches and expect to be happy all the time? But when they are not they get depressed? Have happiness in two, but work on your core. If I had answers for all of you I would genuinely help.
When you go into a quality shop what do you notice compared to a cheaper shop? Look at the layouts, products, details, marketing, standards, management. This can be the same for your mind. What you put in there will be how good your shop is. Read good books, listen to good music, get enough sleep, be proffesional in your manner, have a good outlook, be tidy. Don't devalue yourself to fit in somewhere on the high street, Be The Best.
If you look at your steps as you walk you will hesitate to move forward.
Not every plant can cope with the same conditions. Some prefer dry land others need a bog.
If you don't find the right conditions for yourself you will never flourish. Butterflies don't go to dead plants.
Look at the world around you. It's not easy being honest with yourself, but you cannot moan if you're a Hosta in full sun.
If you count the stars in the night sky for an answer it will be sunlight before you finish. The stars will be there anyway the next night. Never count anything in life all you've got to do is be consistent in your mind.
There's this thing called Love. And when you die it runs out. So make sure you use it before then.
If we all lived in the same way the entrance would become blocked. try another door to leave earth through. It may get you somewhere quicker...
Not listening to praise may mean you lose sight of who you are.
Listening to too much praise may prevent you seeing where you are going.
A car can run without window wipers. But it won't get far in rain. Every part of you has to work, not just the engine, tyres, brakes, exhaust. Be aware of all components.
Collecting seeds off this years flowers gives me hope that next year may happen. Learn from what you have right now. Take it into the next year of growth.
There's a wind in the breeze, but summer won't release it as summer knows it's too early. Be patient with what you have. There will be a time when the seeds need scattering.
You put food into a slow cooker then let the hours pass by. When the food comes out it's beautiful. Your senses are touched.
The brain is like a slow cooker when asleep. Hence you need a good rest from your own day. I always feel fully charged after a good kip. My senses are raring to go.
Doing something wrong is the beginning of learning something new.
To have sadness must mean you feel your past. Moving forward without feelings can lead you to more pain.
If a bird only sang for one summer and you never heard it. Would that mean it's life was a waste of time? No, It would mean you were not listening.
There is no plan after this life only what you have left behind for others to see.
I always find it amazing when a young person voices an opinion in front of adults. There is always that silence. Most of the time the point/opinion is valid. You see common sense, wisdom, hope, energy in their faces. The thing is we were all like that once. Where does it change and what is the reason for why we stop as we age? I mean stop as in seeing things clearly. The mind also needs window wipers.
When I started to ride a bike I realised the world was round. And it went on and on. It made me realise there's no ending. Just the odd red light or roadwork to deal with. Sometimes I had to fix a puncture or change a tyre. But when I cycled again life went on.
A word in a poem is a vessel. The gap between the words is a river. The first word to start a poem off is a drip from your mind.
If I lived a perfect life how can I have emotion?
Today I was angry, frustrated, peeved. It took my whole morning up. People push you with their ways. After dinner I calmed. I went bird watching later up the hills. When I came back I realised my morning was wasted by me. I had tired to read and learn writing skills but my mind was all over the place. Tonight I ask myself this, does the earth get angry when the wrong weather turns up? Or does it allow the sky freedom of thought in hope the sky learns. Hanging onto emotion because of someone else is a good way to shorten your life. I must become better.
If I could spend a day as a bird. Be able to fly as fast as I wanted or go as far as I could. I would ignore the eagle, swallow, owl, blackbird, and be a robin. The one bird not afraid to show itself even if at fault.
We live in a world where every one can have faults except ourselves. Even the dog. But we are at fault for assuming such a thought. Personalities are not to be rubber stamped. If you stop looking at others and pushed ahead you may find yourself being more helpful.
In my mid-twenties my mind was unbalanced. I tried to fix it with ways that were not nature based. I nearly fell off the world. Depression hit me and I ignored nature. When I started to see the things I had done, or said, I reached out to nature. She took me in. Brought sense to my mind. I have been progressing ever since. Very slowly but each year I get closer to who I am. If people look at me with the eyes they had back then maybe they should try nature too.
I'm 38 years of age, but I'm already confessing wrongdoings. Hopefully in time it will clear the way to have a good life.
Trying to fit the human being into the primate is like putting on a pair of gloves. Even though you are wearing a pair. Sooner or later you're going to start to lose range of motion, feeling, sensation, point, touch, grip, usage.
Lionel Messi may play with great players, huge stadiums, be loved by millions. We may all wish to be like him. But Sunday League player will play on bumpy pitches, exposed weather, hangovers, a lack of flexibility, full-time job. But if he enjoys it as much then he is getting the same feelings. Nothing should be graded or scaled. Your own feelings are as important as any other person's.
Imagine if we lived our life in front of a mirror. The mirror stayed around three feet all day. Everywhere we went we had this mirror. But the mirror showed us the instant past all the time. Replaying everything we said or did. Reactions and actions, smiles and tears. If the option came to rid ourselves of the mirror how many would be brave to keep it?
Write a short story about you. Pick a day where you were in the wrong and treated someone badly. Give the story to someone you have affection for. Watch them read the story. How they react is what the other person felt inside.
When anxiety was at its worse I could not go on a train journey from the village where I live to the local town. It was too much. Silly thoughts flooded my brain. I was at times embarrassed. So I took the bus. The train journey was seven minutes. What can you do in seven minutes? make beans and toast and a cup of tea? Sometimes I would stand on the train with sweat pouring off me. My heart wanting out. Brain fizzing. Seven minutes when you have a mental ilness feels like six hours.
My poetry journey keeps turning. I am now at the MMU writing school. It has started off great. I am hoping to learn much more. Whether anything on this page will change who knows? I hope some things do. As that will be a means of progress. The fog has been wiped a bit more from my eyes.
When the birds go back to warmer climates. You have faith they will return. Even with the human war on taming planet earth. You keep it quiet they will return. Never worry about writers block. Words do come back. Even if you pollute your brain. When the time is right things return.
Every day poets fill their brains with ink. In hope something pours out at some point. It's difficult to find where to place this ink but you must always be aware of it. You are never too far away from writing something.
Life always throws things at you. Sometimes you can fall to the ground or stand and cry. Bruises happen. Wounds take years to heal. Even ten months after leaving our previous house I still miss the garden and wood at the back. The allotment I was building. It takes time to recover. I may feel sad but what does that do? You can tell other people but they have their own life to live. Not everyone can help.
Sometimes helping yourself is more important it makes you prepared for the day you have to help someone.
Flickering streetlights at night are the same as the thoughts you have in your brain. They never leave you. Just wait for the moment when you can see them and see where they lead.
Looking in the mirror shows how slow ageing is. But when you take photos of yourself on holiday and look at them you see a huge change. Year on year you have aged. You would never see that in the mirror. Even if you looked every minute. Erosion happens at the size of the smallest shavings. Looking at holiday photos or parties, etc are better than looking in the mirror every day for a sign of ageing. All mirrors lie.
All my poems are jigsaw pieces. Everytime I write one it adds to the path I am creating.
An apple can be bruised, have fruit flies inside and make you ill if eaten. But if you cut it in half you will see seeds. Those seeds can build a tree. No matter how bad things are something can happen from it.
The only competition is within. Poetry is a beautiful community and I feel blessed for being a part of it. Some of the poeple I have met are wonderful. But deep down I have to achieve something. Sometimes I feel a point has to be proved within myself. This is something I cannot explain. If there was a previous life it must have been very disappointing.
I am still yet to meet a person who cannot give something to the world. Our school system is very poor. Nothing is worked on the emotions and character building. How many writers lack self-esteem? They're far better than what they think. You can never give up. I have never read a poet who hasn't hit me hard with their poems at some point. And I have sat their and thought 'I wish that was my work'
Find me a person that isn't worth listening to. I know many who don't listen, but everyone's voice should be shared. Do you think a wood ignores all winds? If they did all trees would be on the floor.
The farm fields in front of us when we moved here had sheep, fieldfares, starlings and redwings. Then they left and it was empty, but regularly manured. Then came the crows, rooks, jackdaws. Then trimmed. Then empty again. Now it has cows. Soon enough fieldfares and redwings will come back. The grass takes all batterings and hardships. But today, October 14th, it has a wonderful green grace under a blue and white sky.
We paste words from our brains onto paper. Where does the paper come from? Trees. Where do the words come from? Being alive. If you were given three trees before you started to write as your paper source. And that was it. How many of us would learn quicker?