This gift

You taught me to believe.

To have faith and to talk to a higher power everyday.

First thing in the morning, and at night before I went off to sleep.

 

To think about the reasons to be grateful and to say thank you out loud.

To talk about my worries and ask for help,

And I believed.

I knew there was always somewhere to go when things got rough.

It wasn’t about religion, customs or traditions.

You taught me to wake up every morning, sit in a quiet corner at home, and feel the light.

You called the light Jesus but you taught me that people call him by many different names.

You taught me that there was no need fancy clothes and money.

Because it was a personal one-on-one relationship between me and the powers that be.

That all I needed was to feel the quietness and the silence.

And I learned to find it even during times of turmoil.

To believe even when I could not feel.

The lessons we learn in childhood stick.

Even though we sometimes go through the motions and say the words, but forget what they mean.

Because when life decides we need to learn and takes us in hand,

We always go back to where we came from, looking for answers.

I did.

And I learned again, to start my day in quiet and in silence,

And to practise being grateful every day.

I say the words even when I don’t mean them.

And they slowly seep in and become the way I feel, and my life opens up.

I’m grateful that I can find the quiet no matter how noisy it gets.

For all that went well and for the mistakes I’ve made, because they teach me the lessons I need to learn.

I’m grateful that I can feel the comfort of the light and know it’s there for me always.

And for getting struggles I have the capacity to face.

I know it’s not in my hands but I still hope, that my struggles stay that way.

I’m grateful for family, love and caring.

And I’m grateful I can see.

That every struggle has been a part of a series of events that taught me joy.

I feel the comfort of knowing I’m never alone because of this gift that you gave to me,

And I’m grateful for you.

For this part of you, that will always be with me.

 

 

I loved you

My inspiration for this poem is something that happened many years ago. I can still hear the screaming – it echoes in my mind.

I remember opening the door to ask if my neighbour needed help and she smiled apologetically, saying :

“We loved our son so much that we never said no to him.”

She continued to explain, saying “He’s gone so used to getting his way that he’s screaming the place down, because I’ve just said he can’t go out. We’re starting to say no when he behaves badly, but sometimes we get so tired, we just give in.”

 

I loved you, so I never said no.

I wanted you to have order in your life,

So I cleaned up after you.

 

Now, you’re growing up and I can’t face the tantrums.

You don’t have the ability to take the knocks that life will give you,

And you don’t have the independence you need to stand up on your own.

I’m fed up.

 

I realise I taught you wrong.

I realise, but not because I can see how immature and badly behaved you are.

If so, then I would have seen the warning signs long ago.

No, I realise because it’s gone so bad that it’s starting to affect me.

 

You’re young so it’s not too late to change but the problem is this,

That shouting has become my way of teaching you.

Because I am tired and my patience is wearing thin.

I shout, feel guilty, and then I give in to you once again.

 

When I look at what I did, I wonder why.

Why nobody spoke to me and guided me right.

Or talked to me when I was doing wrong.

Or did they try and fail, because I ignored them?

 

Did I really think I was preparing you for life?

Did I show you my love in a way that you needed me to?

Or was it all about what was easy and about what made me feel good?

Or did I think that you’d just learn the skills you required for life on your own?

 

I’m bearing the brunt now.

Still unable to be consistent in disciplining you.

Yet learning very grudgingly.

Only changing when you behaviour gets so bad that you’re forcing me to change.

 

Why can I not admit I don’t know, so I can learn faster?

Learn what YOU need to help you grow.

Know when YOU need me to be kind or to be tough,

Do for you and teach you to do for me.

Because you need to learn to do for me first, before you learn to be of service to others.

 

Why can’t I learn to say no without shouting,

So you accept it without getting defensive,

So you open up to me and understand my decisions.

So you learn to deal with disappointment,

and are prepared to take the knocks that life has planned for you.

 

Realisation hits and I’m trying, even though I fail many times

I know now that it’s not about success, but about making the effort.

What you need from me is the thing I find most difficult to do.

But I’m trying.

Because at the end, it’s not about me,

It’s about my love for YOU.

 

 

My choice

I chose you and I lost my ability to see.

I couldn’t see your failings, though I was aware of them before.

It’s not that I was blind, but that I didn’t want to see.

Deep down inside, I think accepting your flaws was a reflection on me.

Because you were MY choice.

 

I chose you and now you’re proud.

I supported you when you did wrong and let you pull wool over my eyes.

And it’s starting to get to me.

Because your failings are so visible now that I can’t deny them.

And I can’t deny the role I’ve played in helping you pretend you’re perfect.

That your flaws don’t matter.

It’s my failing and I’m suffering for it, because they do.

 

I chose you.

Not because you were the best, but because you were the best available.

Not necessarily because I had something to gain by making that choice, though it’s possible,

But more because I felt I had no alternatives.

Or because I was afraid of the repurcussions of choosing someone else.

You were my compromise then, and you’re starting to be my shame.

 

I chose you and I’d choose you again.

For the same reasons. But I think you need to learn humility.

You forget that you stand where you are because of me.

You forget that I matter.

You forget that they matter, not just me.

 

They the silent ones, who have no way to speak.

You turn away from  their faces and their silent tears.

They bear the brunt because they’re vulnerable.

I’ve been letting you fool them with false promises and they believed.

Because they were ignorant and desperately looking for hope.

But they’re getting wise and I’m wondering what they’ll do when they run out of options.

It worries me – this failure of yours, which is also mine.

 

I chose you still, but I want to change.

I want to change and I want you to change.

It’s a new way for me, because till now I’ve gone with what’s convenient.

The truth is that you supported me when I wanted to do wrong.

So I kept you happy by supporting you.

I want to change, but I’m fighting with the side of myself that’s gone comfortable with wrong.

 

I chose you still, knowing you’re flawed.

Knowing I’m the same.

I’m willing to accept it now.

To accept where I did wrong, because I need to do that before I can make a change for the better.

And I’m starting to expect you to do the same.

I stand by my choice for now but it’s not because I believe you can change.

You’ve yet to prove to me that you can.

It’s a case of  ‘better the devil you know than the devil you don’t’.

 

But there’s a time limit and your time is slowly running out.

I’m wondering whether you have what it takes to change.

And whether I should continue to believe in you.

I might still chose you again if you fail me, because I feel stuck.

Because I feel there’s no alternative.

Or I might not chose at all, preferring to be alone.

 

Dear Reader,

This poem is about how human we are, though we sometime like to think otherwise.

It’s about the way we sometimes make choices and dig ditches for ourselves. And then struggle, until we realise that the power to change lies with us.

It’s not about any particular situation, so what it means to you is entirely what you make of it. I hope you enjoyed reading it.

🙂

The Mountains of Tasmania

‘The Mountains of Tasmania’ is  a piano piece by Peter Sculthorpe. I learned it in my late teens, and my teacher asked me to do a little research and write a note about the piece, so i could understand it better.

My desperate search for background on this piece without access to the internet resulted in this poem.

 

Mountains tall as old as time, look upon the twilight gold.

Dark now, in the fading light, till moon-rise, and a sky so bright.

 

Mountains, tall and dark and steep,

Moon – she casts her silvery gaze on soaring hills, and valleys low.

Streams of shining shimmering light, and shadows dark – mysterious!

She casts her silvery gaze across..

 

Back into time and days of old,

when Man did walk across this land, and looked up at the mountains tall

The rhythm of his life a beat, heard high and low on hills and plains, echoing in valleys low.

The rocks and stones can still recall, though stone-age Man’s long passed away

 

Way back in time to who knows when, no man yet walks across the land.

The earth moves, the mountain quakes. Rocks and stones begin to shake..

Falling down from way on high, tumbling, crashing, groaning, roaring..

While mountains, ever skyward soaring, groaning, moaning, climbing high,

are reaching up into the sky

 

Earth, her labour long complete, the rhythm of her sighs now beat

the beat of life that ebbs and flows, while moonlight glints on mountain slopes

 

A longing for the ages past, with thoughts of life that’s still be

The smiling Moon now moving low behind mountains tall as old as time,

Mountains tall and steep..

Possibilities .. a poem about my dreams for the future

Sometimes i sits, i sits and thinks, of things i’ve never seen,

of places that i’ll never know, of what i may not be.

Of all the possibilities that seem so far away,

of all the lovely winding roads, that lead out from my gate.

 

I dream of possibilities i cannot see awake

Of walking lovely winding roads that seem so far away.

 

I know i’ll never really know what lies along my way,

or what i’ll choose to do, and which new path’s my feet will take.

 

I sits sometimes, i sits and thinks – in wonder, as i wait

for every turn that’ll take me on, to where i’ll be someday

 

One of my favourite books is ‘The Lord of the Rings’ .. and the start of it all ‘The hobbit’. I just love the poetry there, especially the poem by Bilbo Baggins (The road goes ever on and on….)

 

I get it…my rant on driving while talking on the phone

… to the slightly insane driver’s who disrupt traffic, on the Sion-Panvel highway

 

I get it that you have important matters to talk about

So you drive slowly, and chat on your cell phone

 

I get it that you don’t care

That you’re slowing everyone down

That a lot of the driver’s behind you are switching lanes, because you driving at 30km/hr

And they’re stuck driving at a crawl behind you

 

I get it that you really don’t understand

That you’re actually reaching your destination much later than if you stopped, spoke on your cellphone and then continued on your journey

 

I get it that you’re confident

That nothing will happen to you

That you can and do speed up to way above the speed limit, after your call is done

That the cops are too understaffed to stop you and pull you up for driving too slow

That they mostly will not catch you, for driving too fast, either

That you know there are no cameras recording your craziness, so you know you can get away with it

 

I get it that you don’t actually care

That you’re teaching your children to do something that puts their lives and that of other commuters at risk

 

I get it that you really can’t drive

That you race when the road is empty, but crawl in traffic, even when there’s plenty of space

Because you’re scared!

That you should not actually have a driving license, but nobody really cares enough to do something about it

 

So you talk and drive and put on your hazard lights while you do this, thinking it makes it ok

 

I drive patiently behind you, a little bit tired, but resigned

You see, i’ve had years of getting used to drivers like you

 

What i don’t get is the insanity that causes you to do all of this in the fast lane, on the bloody highway!

Dear Change,

I am grateful for your constant and steady companionship

I have not always felt that way about your many many visits, but as time goes by I’m growing to value them. When you visit regularly, I sometimes wish you away, but you know that I really do not mean it.

You bring me joy and sorrow, rude shocks and pleasant surprises,

I would not have known the joy, if you had not brought me sorrow,

I would not have known I was strong if you had not shaken me up,

I would not have known accomplishment, if i did not accept the struggles you gave me,

Through it all, you gave me hope

 

I am never alone, because you hold on to me,

I remember not to be complacent, because you slap me in the face

 

I am sometimes wise, and welcome you with open arms,

I sometimes forget that wisdom and just want a break

 

I know you are good for me, as you make me grow,

I have learned over time to accept you as you are and go with the flow

 

I appreciate your constancy and I’m not asking you to be any different from what you are.

But would it be so hard, to just give me a call now and then, and let me know you’re on your way to see me?

What do I do

What do I do, oh what do I do
The sun shines so bright and there’s house work to do
The dishes aren’t done and the floor is not mopped
And I want to go to the coffee shop

I don’t see the papers that need to be filed
The bills to be paid can wait just a while
The sun shines so bright and it’s lovely outside
I know what to do – I’ve just got to get out

I call up my friend, say I’ll meet her for tea
Or coffee and cake at Java Bean
We talk and we laugh and we have a nice time
Now, it’s eight in the evening, but I’m in the mood

To wash the dishes and mop the floor
To do all the things that need to be done

I’ve had a nice day and I did it my way
I’m happy to work at the end of the day

😀