Another year gone.
Another day is done.
Another revolution around the sun.
New dreams born.
Fears, hates, desperately spurned.
Did you cry last year?
Did you laugh last year?
Did you cling to simple hope last year?
Did you hurt last year?
Did you tickle a rib last year?
Did you lift your face to the sky last year?
Then, maybe you have lived this last year.
In what is to come.
There is much to fear.
But then, there is reason for hope,
in this new year.
Lift your face to the sun this year.
Lift your voice in song this year.
Don’t forget the strength of your heart this year.
There is hope to be found this year.
If you but know where to look this year.
As long as you live this year.
There is hope.
Look deep within, that which is you.
Find your bliss, and then go pursue.
The thing that makes you jump for joy.
The things that cause you, your heart to employ.
The things that challenge,
And sometimes cause you to rip out your hair.
These things are things to reach for this year.
Ignore the things, that are far too big to handle.
Rather, look inward.
There you’ll find things, that life cannot dismantle.
There is hope this year.
If you but have courage this year.
Believe me, you can this year.
If you but have the will this year.
Believe it or not.
It’s in your hands.
Despite all you see,
that might reprimand.
Have faith and believe,
in all that you are.
And you will accomplish much this year.
Welcome to 2017!
Happy New Year!
I’ve been ill for the best part of the last fortnight. As a result, I’ve spent a lot of time watching movies. I haven’t written anything in quite sometime, beyond my #startright memes that is. And to me, those don’t really count. Mainly, because they’re not a balm for me like writing poetry is. I don’t feel like I’m releasing a great deal of myself at all. I never realised I was seeking any sort of release until the movie I watched two days ago, Batman Begins. I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve seen it, but there’s a line in it that always, always gets me: “Why do we fall?” I did what I always do, thought about it a great deal. Then this piece was born:
Sometimes We Fall
Sometimes we fall.
Sometimes we trip.
Sometimes the fear takes over,
And we give in to our baser nature.
Sometimes we fall.
Sometimes we forget.
Sometimes we forget that we are stronger.
Sometimes we forget what came before.
So, sometimes we fall.
We forget, we repeat.
We repeat mistakes that should never be repeated.
Sometimes we fall.
Sometimes we’re silent too long,
We forget to speak.
Sometimes we crawl too long,
We forget to stand.
Sometimes we fall.
Sometimes we don’t realise we have fallen,
as we wallow.
Sometimes we fall.
Sometimes we fall.
This is our lot.
Sometimes we hurt.
This is our lot too.
Sometimes we fall.
But, we must not be defeated.
Sometimes we fall.
But we cannot stay lost.
We all fall at some point.
It’s part of our humanity.
And yes, we all hurt sometimes.
This is life.
Another truth that we ca never deny…
Yet, must we rise.
It’s that time of year again. And to welcome you into the near year, here is my new offering. My first in many months. Though I started this tradition of mine many years ago. I plan to continue it for many years to come:
The New Year
We talk of new seasons, we talk of new days.
We talk of resolutions, in beautiful new ways.
We build relationships, we tear them down.
We reach through the ages, to dispel a frown.
This year gone, oh what joy, what pain.
So many songs, I still hear the refrain.
But as I look to tomorrow, to see what’s to come.
What’s apt to follow, considering what’s begun.
There is excitement, there is fear.
Trepidation, but a veneer.
A stronghold insistence, on resisting the persistence,
That life is but an existence, to be tolerated and endured.
Forgetting the laughter, the joy.
The love you could deploy.
In this new year, despite aggravation.
My sole recommendation is to live in the joy.
For happiness is a choice.
So, every day, from now till ever.
Make a vow, ties with bitterness to sever.
For that future place, the thing that you dream of.
The path to that place, something to lean on.
The way that you see.
The way that you think.
The way that you hear.
These will pull you from the brink.
Be the light when it’s dark.
That single solitary spark.
Be a voice when silence screams.
Even when all would burst at the seems.
In this new year, in this new day,
be the reason for others to say,
here is one who would not lean on excuse.
To lend a helping hand, he would never refuse.
So, as we talk of new seasons, we talk of new days.
As we talk of resolutions, in beautiful new ways.
Let us build relationships, and seek never to tear them down.
By all means, let us reach through the ages, to dispel that single solitary frown.
As this new year dawns.
As this new day begins.
Reach deep down inside you.
Find that love.
Let it shine!
Happy New Year!
I was looking through my Dropbox folders, and came across this video. It’s one of the last rehearsals of the last song I wrote while still in the UK.
I have been so busy in Berlin with singing at events etc, I’ve not done much by way of writing. Though, if all goes according to plan, I will be able to rectify that within the next few months. Anyway, here’s the most up to date version of ‘On My Mind’
So, to combat the fact that I hadn’t written a poem in an age (last was in October), I went to a nearby park to sit, think and see if I can reconnect with myself. In the end, I was able to write:
Letter To A Friend
When I feel down,
As I have for the past few months.
I pick up the pad you gave me,
And I read the words you left me.
You have much faith in me,
These days I can’t see why.
I often feel like a failure to myself
As well as to my loved ones.
Especially around certain times of the year.
I often wish I could see,
What you see, when you look at me.
I would love to draw strength from that
And know that there is much,
Or at least a little to claim pride in.
I look ahead, to see.
To see what lies before me, and the path is not clear.
I feel tis a narrow road and I must clear a path for myself.
I look to my past. To previous thoughts and readings,
I am reminded that David often had cause to encourage himself.
I have trouble trying to draw parallels with him.
Even as I did when I was a man of faith.
I hear words from my favourite tv characters,
The Doctor, Merlin, Sherlock et al
Yet, I could not presume to place myself among such exalted company.
Though, if I would seek greatness, is it not their kin I must look to?
Can I not draw parallels here?
Is it too late to try?
Am I unworthy?
Who is worthy, if I cannot be?
All is in my hands.
But where do I turn?
I feel like a rudderless ship. Adrift in a storm.
With no idea which way is my North.
I look around to seek out answers.
In times gone past, I was told,
Look to the hills, as from there comes my help.
But I am no longer that man.
Those words no longer belong to me.
They belong to another.
I know not who.
Many moons ago, I was told of a destiny that was mine.
Is it no longer for me?
The underlying sadness I felt, even as a man of faith.
Remains, tears and claws at me.
The tenet I hold in hand.
Do what your hands find to do.
This I continue to do.
I am not comfortable.
And this is fine.
If I was, I wouldn’t fight, I wouldn’t try.
But I know not what I am supposed to do.
My strength has never been born of myself.
Ever was it born from others.
As much as I hated it,
It would appear I was never truly independent.
And much have I hated that.
You were the strength I never knew I needed.
In truth, I’m not even sure I wanted.
I fought you.
Because I fear that is all I know.
For good or ill, this has been my help.
Who do I fight?
Where is the iron to sharpen me?
And so I am lost.
I’m sure that in time, I will find my way.
It is me afterall.
In the meantime, I shall wait.
Try to find direction again.
I shall wait.
Unfortunately, it won’t be patiently.
At the end of every year I write a new poem to usher in the new year. Last year, for the first time in a number of years, I neglected to do so. I shan’t do the same this year.
2014 has been a year of change for me. In January, I graduated from my Masters degree in Music Performance, with a fairly clear plan for the year. I was going to travel to Italy, as I had done during the summer for a few years. I had planned to spend a few months there, then possibly head to Ankara, Turkey for another few months. Italy fell through, and I had to change my plans. Halfway through the year, I moved to Berlin. I write this on Christmas eve and I’m sitting on my bed (I’ll type it up later)
It’s my first Christmas away from the UK in over two decades. Though I’ve spent the season on my own in years gone by. It feels quite different to be in a new country that I am yet to be able to call home. And as I prepare to celebrate my first Christmas away from home, I gain new respect for the many international students I have known over the years. I don’t know how you did. Though, I’m glad you did, and I am richer for knowing you.
As I sit here, I think on the future. For the last decade, I had followed a plan. I’ve come to the end of that and I have no plan now. And I’m not ashamed to tell you that it’s a scary place for me.
A new year beckons.
A new day begins.
As this new sun rises,
A new season begins with it.
A season of hope.
A season of joy.
A season of fulfilled dreams.
A season of new drive.
A season of new challenges.
Just like any other.
But a season with new determination.
So you need not run for cover.
As we open ours eyes.
To face this new day.
We think new thoughts.
We dream new dreams.
We see new faces.
To guide us on our way.
We step into new phases.
And in joy, our heads we lay.
Purpose must drive you.
And circumstance, not beguile you.
You need to be clear,
on who it is you are.
Be that one,
who believes in dreams.
Be that one,
who knows dreams can come true.
Lean not on excuse.
Don’t let fear stop you.
Negativity, you must refuse.
Else your tears proceed to drown you.
And when dark days come.
As they tend to do.
Reach deep inside,
To the strength in you.
Forget not, who you are.
Neglect not, your distant star.
Rather, stand firm for what you believe.
Reach far and you may yet receive.
Be brave and you’ll achieve.
Be true to you and in yourself believe.
As the new day begins,
see in it, a new hope.
See in it, a new chance.
And don’t be afraid.
Look back, to see where you’ve come from.
Then look forward, see where you’re going.
With a smile on your face, and hope in your heart.
Know that the future is indeed bright!
Happy New Year everyone! Make 2015 amazing! 🙂
Of late I’ve been thinking. In truth, I never seem to stop thinking. The thoughts lately are generally centered around dreams and having them come true, or otherwise. And the question is always ‘Do I Dare Dream?’
On my last day at Kingston International, as I was leaving the office, I said goodbye to a friend of mine. While doing so I confessed being rather afraid of the unknown next step. To which she responded “You’re not scared of anything”
Now, I’m thoroughly glad that I come across as fearless and full of confidence, even cocky to many I come across. To a friend that I trust, I have no qualms in confessing being daunted. I told her that I’d felt the same fear before many of my major life changes. I was quite afraid when I left my job and Vodafone on 05 to return to full time education. I was beyond scared when I stood for election to the post of President of the Kingston University Students’ Union, both times. And before leaving Kingston International, I was petrified. All that did not stop me from moving forward anyway. In truth, I hope it never stops me. I hope it continues to empower me. Every time I seek to take a step outside of that which I know to be me, there is fear. And the question is always ‘Do I Dare?’
As I write this just after 5.30am. I’ve been off work ill over the last few days and the joys of being ill mean I can be at my laptop now trying to write a blog. Of course, the good thing about being ill is the alone time and the time to think that I have. I remember writing a while ago about my my best songs/poetry coming from honesty. Well, I think I shall give that a try now with this blog entry. I generally don’t talk to people much about what’s going on in my mind. I think I shall use this blog for that. So I ask that you indulge me for a while, as I work through one or two things going through my mind.
It’s been over a month since my last written blog. I’ve been trying ever so hard over the least few weeks to write something, and on Facebook I even got friends to give me suggestions as to what I should write about. As I walked home from work about a fortnight ago, I started thinking about it. In trying to understand where I am now, I considered the last number of years and my progress.
As soon as I finished my undergrad degree, I started work as the President of the Students’ Union. The very day after that finished, I traveled to work in Italy for 4 months. On my return, also the very next day, I started studying for my Masters degree. Recently finished that and I haven’t started something else that’s quite as all encompassing as yet. I have a good job, I’m comfortable. And that’s the problem.
I’m itching for another project. Itching isn’t quite the right word. Desperately seeking else I drown in comfortable, might be a better description. One of the reasons I left the 9-5 life many years ago was the feeling that has recently returned to me. The living for the weekend, the ‘loss’ of creativity. The hunger for something beyond the monthly paycheck or the occasional gig with the band.
I like my job. I love meeting new people and doing what I can to help them. I love the people I work with. Everyday I tell them that the only other place I’ve worked at that mixes the same blend of insanity and professionalism is the Kingston University Students’ Union. It’s unlike any other office I’ve worked at prior to coming to Kingston. That’s one of the reasons that I wanted to work at the International Office in the first place. Despite that, it’s not enough. I’m glad I will only be there until the end of July. I don’t regret taking this job. In truth, I’m happy I did. It’s reminded me that the 9-5 life is so not for me. I managed it for almost 10 years before coming to Kingston, only because the jobs were mundane enough, that my mind could be elsewhere all the while. I wrote my book while at work and I dreamed dreams of grandiose achievements while there. 10 -15 years later, and I have managed to scale some of the heights I had my eyes set on.
While I have indeed have set some new dreams/targets for myself, my current life means I have nothing left of myself at the end of the day, to create. The part of me that creates seems to be blunted, and try as I may to ‘sharpen’ it, I come up with naught. Now, as I sit at my laptop, I can feel things percolating again inside this little cranium of mine and I remember that I used to do my best writing at night. When all around is still, the sky is dark and number of those walking the streets counts in the single digits. Once or twice I would take a walk around Surbiton at stupid o’clock and breathe in the air. Walk to the river and watch its calmness and come back home to create. I would know it was time to stop writing when it started to get light out. My aim now, is to find a way that my optimum hours of creativity can be used to create, instead of trying to sleep. And my weekends need to be used on more than just trying to relax and recuperate in time for the week to come. Which means that when this job is done at the end of July I need to grab the bull by its proverbial horns and hold on tight. A new project is beginning to form in my mind. And this is good. I hope this will quell the gnawing feeling of disquiet and dissatisfaction that has been plaguing me these last few months. And that gives me cause to smile at 06.53 on this Wednesday morning.
Syfy am always consists of Smallville, then Buffy. Smallville’s just finished. Buffy next, then sleep. I’ve decided I shall return to the office tomorrow. Things to do etc. So, until next time people, have a great day!
I was taught a number of things when it comes to dreams. Here are but a few of them:-
1. Have dreams bigger than you
2. Write down your dreams.
3. Guard your dreams. Protect them, be very careful with whom you share them as not all you meet will aid you in bringing them to life.
4. Let some people know about these dreams. those that will encourage you and drive you, push you never to let go of them. they will keep you on course.
With that in mind, last week I sat down and decided to finally write down these dreams of mine. Here are a few of them:
- Sell my poetry. (Frames, on mugs, in cards etc)
- Write a few more books.
- Open a music venue, where known artists can come to perform, as well as promoting local talent.
- Continue travelling to perform.
- Nurture local talent, in local schools and other educational establishments and give them to opportunity to perform on stage at the venue. Thus improving on their performance technique and helping to further inspire them to keep with what they’re doing.
- Motivational speaker
- All of the above would be under the umbrella of MusicTJ, which I’ve begun to cultivate in the last year or so. One large organisation which will include a number of different facets/departments. Educational (dance, music, writing etc), Events, Performance, Poetry, Speaking etc.
- And remain open to other opportunities that may come about.
The fortunate or unfortunate thing about having a lot in your ‘box of tricks’ is that it’s hard to pin down a single thing you want to do. I’ve therefore decided not to stick to a single one. The REALLY hard thing now, is deciding what to start with. One thing I know with absolute certainty right now is that I do not wish to remain in the UK. I’ve been here most of my life and it’s time to move elsewhere. What I now need to do, is put together a model that I can pick up and take with me wherever I go.
There are still a number of things I haven’t put on here. I haven’t mentioned anything about my music as yet. And you know I love my music. I’ve a lot in mind for that. My mind has always been exceptionally full of things, and for such a long time I never actually believed I could do any of it. In the last seven years especially, I come across people who seem to believe I could do absolutely anything I ever set my mind to. It’s absolutely amazing how liberating that is!
I could afford it, I would have bought the MusicTJ.com domain name by now, just to make sure it’s mine at least. I still need to get the MusicTJ logo designed. So much to do, so little time.
Do not tread on my dreams. If you do so, I promise you, I will tread on you.
I dare you to dream.
I dare you to believe.
I dare you to have faith.
I dare you to stand.
I dare you to sing.
I dare you to cry.
I dare you to scream.
I dare you to shout.
I dare you to take up arms.
I dare you to fight.
I dare you to speak up.
I dare you to stay silent.
I dare you to raise your hand.
I dare you to be counted.
I dare you to try.
I dare you to fail.
I dare you to challenge yourself.
I dare you to strive.
I dare you to fail.
I dare you to succeed.
I dare you to be true.
I dare you to be you.
I dare you against all odds.
I dare you to live!