Monday, 27 May 2013

Writers Block

'So, looking through your records here, it says you have been referred for Writer's block.
Would you like to tell me a little about that?'

'Well doc, I can't seem to find the poetry,
Though I've attempted and tried.
Sentiments are lacking symmetry,
Messages, well they drift and hide.'

Momentary eye contact, an awkward shift, 
Tongue tucks in cheek as eyes glaze in contemplative drift. 
A shift forward and examining finger nails, venturing a brief chew of the index -

'I struggle to find the words to express
The inner evolution.
Maybe trying too hard to impress
Like each piece should be a revolution.'

Silence seeps as body retreats to the comfort of the chair, 
Burden of weight transferred briefly to crimson threads almost bare.

'Sometimes in life, we're the active contributor,

Crooked clocks bring early chime.
And time seems contracted and linear,
Each moment a constant climb.
Sometimes we're the passive observer,
On the broken glass pieces of time.
And time seems expanded and fragmented, 
And more fervently defined.
Such transitory nature, is time, our old friend. 
A man-made construct tuned to nature's beginning and end.
And what I question doc, though the words seem to fail me,
Is what really is time doc, and why perception of it is so transitory?'

'Well, through these reflections continue to climb.
 In other words I want you to tell me what you think about time.'

Eyes spark, daylight sifts 

As the internal question around what this fella is actually being paid for whispers and drifts -

'No wisdom buries in my psyche to pass these lips,

Time, well It contracts and expands at will.
Memories of moments eclipse.
Though some burn brighter, firmer, imprint, still.
And there's no relation,
In their significance and shine,
To occurrences' duration.
Some don't even feel like they're mine.'

Silence drifts and seeps, as time expands in the face of inconclusive thought windings.

'It's easy to get caught up, heaped up, loved up, 
thrown up, swept up, stitched up, het up, worked up 
And in all of this, 
And because of all of this, 
And with all of this,
Lose sense of the meaning of it all.
I never knew the meaning of it all.
Sometimes sought the meaning of it all.
Never found the meaning of it all.'

'What kind of ways did you try to find the meaning of it all?'

'To find the meaning of it all - Ah the usual, you know
 I've tried switching off, switching on, and stand-by
I've tried working, working constantly, working intensely, working obsessively,
I've tried resting, dreaming, meditating, loving, procrastinating.
I've tried passing out, staying out, burning out.
I've tried avoiding, apathy, laziness, empathy, lamenting, regretting, laughing, flirting, chatting, feeling, drifting, hiding, escaping.
I've tried solitude, lonesomeness, monotony, isolation.
I've tried partying, singing, laughing, shouting, drinking, smoking. 
I've tried abstinence, excessiveness, indulgence, poverty.
I've tried academia, philosophy, all the ologies.
I've tried talking therapies, cognitive behavioural therapies, hypnotherapies, aromatherapies. I've tried documentaries, facts, literature.
I've tried romanticism, surrealism, modernism, cynicism, atheism, plagiarism. 
I've tried self-depreciation, cockiness, spirituality, humility. 
I've tried nature and sunsets and birds and rivers and stars and clean-living.
I've tried backstreet bars and boarded up windows, rocking 'n' rolling, staggering, mumbling. 
I've tried affection, deflection, rejection, disaffection.
Let's just say extensive testings have been undertaken,
Am I any the wiser? No!
It's led to no emancipation
And limited places to go.'

'I'm curious to know one thing though. What did your feelings find?'

'There has been no epiphany,
To spark inner regions of my mind.
I could write you out a litany,
But no wisdom in there would you find.
You know just about the one thing I didn't really try
In all this time, I never tried really listening.'

The Doctor put down his pen, and exhaled a soft sigh, then he looked up, his eyes sparkling and glistening.

As The Train Departed

You could hear it along the tracks from miles away, 
Distorting the breeze of the wilderness. 
Wind rustling reeds and drifting amongst weeds, unkempt and beautiful, 
With tiny buds of blue wild flowers flashing violet, and in the distance the hum.
The atmosphere trembling, the wilderness growing wilder. 

And as it struck around the corner, it's beacon shone, 
And the hum somehow further defined; its composition presented with clarity. 
The monotone notes of the clickety-clack-clickety-clack-clickety-clack, 
An unrelenting force. 
The great whir of the engine, the rattle and the roar.

And it passed straight on through, 
The clickety-clack stagnating and stirring, 
The drone of the wheels and the moan of the passengers. 
Straight on through it went, until it faded, 
And the light swept, tunnelled to penetrate only the immediate. 
Straight on through, up on under the bridge it whirred and left, 
Perpetual motion and creaking and ceasing back to humming as it whipped in its speeding.

John strolled along the side of the railway. 
Through the weeds he sent a rustling, and the wild flowers flattened under foot momentarily, 
Only to creep back up, for their delicate appearance belied their strength. 
Each step he knew well, the exact points to move right arm then left,
As if a maze of the mind, avoiding the thorns of wild. 
Traced and retraced was his route home, an exercise in muscle-memory. 

Returning from a day like many others, a microwave dinner for one tucked solemnly under his arm,
Its protective plastic bag hushing in the breeze, 
Weighted down only by a couple of beers that rooted it as it would him. 

Through the brambles he ambled, 
And the full moon struck high above, 
And the train left only a faint dabble of play on up ahead. 
And then as it faded, 
Even the breeze seemed to drift and the world settled and silence seeped. 

And quiet moments such as this sometimes appeared as a gift, a rare indulgence. 
A natural phenomena borne of necessity, perhaps to make sense of the numerous situations of the past day, week, month, year or indeed lifetime.
And for a moment he briefly contemplated the nature of silence. 

Mind's eye whirred to see a great page of writing, 
Yellowing and curling with small, archaic print, 
And he wondered at how it would all appear senseless without the silences. 
The little pauses, 
Determined by punctuation, 
Defining the rhythm and sentiment, 
Until the breaks become as informative as the dialogue. 
And mind drifted to the not-saids as well as what's-saids as crucial to relations in much the same way. 
And he wondered at silence as an artform, the 'Pinteresque Pause' shining like neon lights in his head. 
And then the fanciful musings faded, much like the train. 
Replaced by inevitable glib rhetoric that somehow seemed safer and the chorus line of Depeche Mode 'Enjoy The Silence' emerged in his mind soothingly.

For in the silence, there was somehow, sort of emptiness, and this was something he vehemently avoided.
 Filling each moment with sound, conversation and rumination.
 He wouldn't have been in this situation at all if he had remembered his headphones this morning. 
He pictured them, almost longingly, on the kitchen worktop where he had left them in the last-minute dash to retrieve keys from an obscure jacket pocket as the clock wound to announce definitively he was running late and panicked him to abrupt exit forgetting them.

So now his companion headphones was temporarily missing in action, there was no diversion, procrastination, activity, or escapism. 
Not even another train to break up the silence that fell, heavy and protruding. 
Not even a gust of wind. 
He wondered at the passengers, moving ahead quickly, 
The roar of the engine,
The power of the train.
It felt there was always a rush and he was somehow always adrift, for he couldn't really get his head around what the constant rushing was for. 

Somehow though, he longed to be in their position, 
Seated and warm and rushing with noise from passengers, 
And the engine, 
And the tracks, 
And the whirring 
And eyes filled and tantalized with several diversions, 
The whizzing through the window of the area, 
The commuters, 
Even the notices and signs, 
Something to absorb though perhaps not penetrate.

Yet, despite his longing, in himself there too was silence, emptiness, for it is innately human. 
And perhaps it was this that he found most daunting.
For there was something within himself that body understood, emotions were compelled by, and intellect couldn't rationalise. 

But sometimes, the silences can tell us more of our connection than the sounds.
And perhaps there's something in emptiness that is in itself, profound and insightful. 

John knew only his own skin for his company, but had never cared to admit it, and therefore didn't really know it, not intrinsically anyway. But wherever his journey took him, however familiar the route, he was guaranteed to bring with him one thing - himself. 

John had spent a lifetime denying the emptiness within and had attempted everything to fill in the silence.  And yet within both emptiness and silence, lay an inherent definition of self.
So now, with no other option but to, he began to wonder about it.
And the rushing world silenced and shimmered.


The mirrors were all screwed to the wall in perfect symmetry.
Never did an eye sneak to capture the glaze of smear where cloth had left fluid untouched from the polishing of years. 
They stood tall and proud, up high on the wall and stretched right down so only the skirting board crept out flirting with independence. 
Never did an eye cast down to absorb it,  after all what is in a skirting board? 
The tall, proud mirrors were perfectly positioned for the idle stares of younger women correcting hair and stroking eye make- up back in to place, for aims at perfection had slipped. 
And older women examining the fitting of their clothes, and scrutinising their weight gain or loss, whichever the case, criticism was key. 
And younger men holding a casual stance with a casual air and burying an in-casual sentiment, that spoke of insufficiencies. 
And older men fixing their tie or shirt or collar back into place, for neatness had drifted. 
Never did an eye venture to the corner to witness the crack that fragmented the smooth surface.

The wall surrounding the mirrors, though limited in view, was tiled with small pieces in varying shades of blue, each of a slightly differing grain and tone. 
When you added them together and stood back,  their concealment behind the vast, stoic mirrors only added to their intrigue, for collectively they appeared as a rippling ocean, speckled with tones of depth and highlights of softness. Though of course, never did an eye look closely enough at the wall.
After all what's in a wall to tell us anything of ourselves? 

And nobody shifted back to count the vast spectrum of collaged colour. 
A tile is a tile, in fact no one even saw a tile; so taken were they with the mirrors. 
Not the mirrors in and of themselves, not the fabrics that composed them, nor the screws that fastened them tight to the tiled wall that nobody noticed. 
For truly, the preoccupation was not with the mirrors themselves but of what they projected. 

And so, without a single step back to view the bigger picture, without even a glimpse of the eye to anything but the immediate, it became impossible to see anything that alluded to the entirety of  the scene, that would have framed it as a construct. 

So then, each man, woman and child played their part, seeing only a distorted reflection of self and nothing of the structure surrounding it. 

And if a person cared to take a step back for just a moment, they might just see the context and view themselves as a component of a scene far larger, instead they were bound to a picture of themselves; a mere reflection, and an ongoing critique, that didn't account for the whole construct.

At times it would seem, such is life.

Saturday, 4 May 2013

We Roam The Same Earth

We sleep under the same stars; 
Though each in our own contemplation.
We're comprised of the same substance; 
Though tissue, muscle and bone grow complex.
We seek the same things; though walk different paths.
We admire the same virtues, 
Of kindness, equality, compassion, humility, laughter, joy; 
Though credit as the characteristics of success, values that contradict all above virtues. 
We live, love and lose; though in continuous, cyclical motions.
We roam the same earth, 
And drift, 
Always drifting, 
Always seeking, 
Always wondering; 
Though our worlds are mere shadows.