Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Daddy (Not) Cool

You wonder, why the thunder? What has torn my world asunder?
Don’t feel bad, but it’s sad, and it’s all about my Dad.
He’s fallen sick, it happened quick, and pills won’t do the trick
He’s got his humour, but there’s a rumour, that tests will confirm a tumour

It was a shock, my world did rock, of my life I did take stock
But cruel fate, didn’t wait, to pile dessert upon my plate
Across my path, the aftermath, of an awful blood bath
Two vans collide, kids inside, and everybody died

We drove past, albeit fast, but the images will last
Burnt on my brain, lives lost in vain, a sight of such pain
Everywhere I see, tragedy, loss that wasn’t meant to be
But I don’t cry, though I try, and I often wonder why.

Away from him, my life feels grim, like I’m out on a limb
But I won’t mope, I have hope, and more faith than the pope
He’s strong, he’ll live long, he’ll prove the numbers wrong
He did before, and what’s more, now he has more to live for

It may be, that what drives me, is nought but naivety
But I’d look out of place, could you erase, the smile upon my face
So as I ought, as I was taught, I pick myself up off the court
And resign, to grand design, knowing my Dad will be fine.

Written January 2011, inspired by some of the sforementioned difficult events that were occuring in my life at the time.

No Reaction

No reaction, distraction, stop the thoughts from gaining traction
All alone, in the zone, you can deal with it on your own
You are strong, but it’s wrong, to let the pain prolong

It’ll spread, all that dread, you can’t run from your head
And you can’t hide, the chasm’s wide, and its pulling you inside
It was fast, but it will last, what you repress from your past

You don’t cry, though you try, and now you wonder why
Are you so callous, in your palace that you don’t drink from the same chalice?
Is there a hole, black as coal, where there is supposed to be a soul?

Look at the skies, close your eyes, strip back all the lies
You are smart, open your heart, deal with it from the start
Let it out, scream and shout, let the tears you’ve held back spout

If you release, it will cease, you will find your inner peace
Find what you feel, that’s what’s real, break your heart from its steel
Turn the key, let it free, embrace your own fragility

Written January 2011 after suffering through a series of difficult events, but being most upset with myself due to my ability to be distracted and not face the issues.

A New Year’s Revolution

A quick little reflection of the year that was,
Not for any good reason, but just because,

Already I find, it’s hard to remember,
What it was I was doing, this time last December.

I welcomed the year in the usual fashion,
With free-flowing booze and in the throes of passion.

But though I danced my way into two thousand and ten,
And found myself in a similar stupor, again and again,

That really is the only constant to be seen,
In then and now, and the times in between.

Back then I had a job, no, a career,
A relationship, a lifestyle, and nothing to fear.

I rode a bike in secret and lived by the beach,
But there were unfulfilled desires, just out of reach.

So I threw it all in, in the pursuit of adventures,
In the hope of living life, before I wound up in dentures.

I put all my faith in the romantic notion,
That the secret to my happiness; lay over the ocean.

I spent three months in the back of a truck,
Wandering through a continent filed with hope, but no luck.

I experienced a world that most never will,
Had the time of my life, but was unsatisfied still.

You see on a quad in the desert I’d flirted with death,
And once again on white-water, thought I’d breathed my last breath.

I’d spent time with people devoid of possession,
Happier than those with the consumer obsession.

All in all, Africa had helped prove to me,
The importance of life, and its fragility.

So though I’d seen sights that I’ll always remember,
I’d had enough off playing tourist by the end of September.

I returned to the house of my parents’ rule
And focussed my attention on returning to school.

But with marks too low, and aspirations too high,
It proved not to be, but I gave it a try.

Home was full of pilots, and good times galore,
But pretty soon it was time to open the next door.

So it was less than a month before I again boarded a plane,
And headed out into the unknown again.

Then all of a sudden found myself in a place,
Absent of English, or another white face.

Head and shoulders above the man in the street,
And unable to communicate with those that I meet.

Scary? Absolutely. A challenge? For sure.
But isn’t that really what we’re given life for?

So I dusted myself off and surveyed my surround,
And before long was overwhelmed, by the good to be found.

A welcoming people, generous to the last,
That needed my help, and needed it fast.

So before I knew it, I’d swung into action,
Tested the waters and received positive reaction.

I grappled with the language, and found a place to live,
Discovered who I was, and what it is I can give.

I’d believed in the cause, but what really gave me chills,
Was to realise the worth of my strange set of skills.

Already I can see the difference I’ve made,
Which is nothing compared to the plans that I’ve laid.

So as I stare at the dawn of another year,
I shan’t mourn the loss of an unhappy career.

My life as I knew it may well have ended,
Or at least finds that it has, for a time, been suspended.

It’s on a new path that you’ll now find my feet,
An exciting, but admittedly, less-paved street.

Now I hope only to live up to what of myself I expect.
Will I do it? We’ll see, next time I reflect.

Written December 2010 after discussing with a mate just how incredible the last year had been and that some reflection was required for NYE.

A Christmas Carroll

T’was the night before Christmas but the house is alive,
Jules is running the show, knows when you’re due to arrive.

Welcomed at the door with a glass and a hug,
The laughter’s infectious, the joy like a drug.

She’s been planning this Christmas for twenty-odd years,
There’s food for an army, and we won’t run out of beers.

The house has been painted, the drive, well swept
Jules has been management while Allan has schlepped.

The boys have flown in, and are temporary borders,
On arrival at the airport they were given their orders.

And now the family’s all made it, at least those that could
And Santa’s expected, though no one’s been good.

So now it’s time for the real fun to begin
There’s the food, there’s the drink, looks amazing, tuck in.

Don’t worry about manners; it’s a family affair,
Kick off your shoes, get comfy, let down your hair.

Christmas has a lot of meanings, to all different people,
But whether you’re at home, or under the steeple,

It’s important to take time, reflect, and remember,
That it’s all about family, this day in December.

So to all Carrolls, both here and out of sight
A Merry Christmas to all, and to all, a good night!

Written December 2010 as a Christmas present for my mum for her long-awaited family reunion christmas

Monday, October 18, 2010

HIV Not Positive

So far nothing has quite saddened me
As much as seeing a child born into HIV
Beautiful kids not given a chance
Because of their parents’ poisoned romance
Their dice are all loaded, from day one
Either the energy to survive, or to have fun
Too weak to play football, too sick to learn
Disease and infection around every turn
And if by some miracle they manage to live
Then to their partner the disease they’ll give
And before long another child will be born
Another innocent being with a life to mourn

Written July 2010, after a visit to a slum in Kampala, and a day spent therein.


In this history of ours there’s many a black date
Unspeakable violence fuelled by hate
The reasons differ but the result is the same
Ordinary people kill, torture and maim

So what really happens, what goes on inside?
When the man on the street commits genocide
Is he following orders as so many claim
Acting out the will of a notorious name

Is he swept up in the fervour, a believer in the cause?
Acting on impulse in a land without laws
Or is there something more sinister that lurks within
Are we really just savages under the skin?

Given free reign, how would you behave?
Action without consequence, no society to enslave
Would you rape and murder, pillage and steal?
And if you did, how would it make you feel?

With no rule of law there’s no punishment of course
But is it human or societal to feel remorse?
If you can justify the way that you act
And live with yourself after the fact

Then is that all we are, animals walking tall
Looking for an excuse, any at all
To escape out of society’s cage
And put another black mark on history’s page

Written July 2010, after a day in the Rwandan genocide museum, but inspired by a number of visits to previous sights of genocide the world over, and the frustration associated.

Techno Travel

There is no greater example of modern luxury
Then this strange dependence on technology
To travel to a place, regardless how poor
Requires a swag of gadgetry galore

Camera and kindle, ipod and phone
Do you think I can leave my laptop at home?
Memory cards and sticks, even a hard drive
Without these with me I just couldn’t survive

It goes without saying that there must also be
A fast internet connection and electricity
A thing’s not worth doing if it’s not going to look
Good on my twitter, flikr or facebook.

Sometimes I have to remind myself to sit and just be
To let the place I’m in well up and absorb me
I’m here to learn, in each place I visit
So I’d better disconnect or I’ll bloody well miss it!

Written July 2010, amazed at the divide between the technology of tourists vs the locals in rural Africa.