Friday, 26 October 2012

To Write About Writing

I know what the majority of people think when they hear the word “poetry” – that bitch of a topic that is the downfall of most students. We despise it. But why? Is it the backwards language we fail to comprehend?  Or the pointless themes, such as birds and blackberries. Maybe it’s simply a step too far outside our comfort zone – the one in which poetry is an unwarranted foe, gnawing at our brains like a dog would a bone. Not in a million years did I think that one day I would be sitting here, stressing to you how poetry was, and still is, my mind’s own private counsellor.

I began my poetic journey when I was a mere thirteen years old. As you can imagine, my talent was quite raw and tarnished back then. Nevertheless I found it fascinating and became something I would practise on a regular basis. However, it was soon evident that I was not destined to be a ‘happy’ writer. To this day I struggle to create happiness on a blank page. Another aspect of my writing is that everything is deeply personal. I can fake a smile no bother, but my words seem to strip my heart bare every time. I found the confidence to put pen to paper through a friend; a friend that has clicked so many pieces of my jumbled-up life together. For this, they deserve a thank you, at least.

I guess a lot of people don’t understand why I do it. I write because for me, it’s a release. It’s a way of getting anger out without fighting, or tears without crying. Somehow having my emotions and thoughts on a page in front of me sometimes tricks my mind into believing those feelings have disappeared. Poetry is like therapy to me; if not better. Also, it’s something I can control. One of the few times you are the master of your emotions is when you are writing about them. I have almost always put my poems on the Internet. The websites will remain unknown for the purpose of this. Do I want my acquaintances knowing every detail about me? Not particularly. I make them public because people relate to what I feel. Getting a message from someone halfway around the world saying they know how you feel is a great sensation.

Since this post is based on me being a writer (of some sort), I suppose the final step is to showcase for you some of my half decent pieces. Just remember – I’m not forcing you to read these. I didn’t force you onto this page. You chose to be here, and if you now choose to read these, please refrain from insulting and/or downgrading them if they are not to your taste. These things require feelings and a heart; it’s not my fault if you don’t have them. Enjoy.

Her Life Was Broken 

A lonely feeling sinking in,
As she sits alone on the shore,
She sits and smiles, and waits a while,
For then the tears will pour.
As she stands, her empty hands
Miss her lovers touch,
The sheer delight of her in sight,
Gave an overwhelming rush.
She wishes to be in her dreams,
A place so far away,
Where she can feel that love so real,
She misses every day.
Just a kiss would be enough
To satisfy her heart,
What she craves, her lover gave,
With the simplest of touch.
A waterfall among the trees
Lets out a gentle sigh,
It notices her blemishes
As she begins to cry.
Even though her heart is sore,
The rose continues on,
'Til winter comes and hides the sun,
And every petal is gone.
Then at the cliff she'll say to herself
"So many words remain unspoken"
With one last breath, she'll take a step;
Her world was just too broken.

Want To Remember, Need To Forget

I take a breath, "Just one more"
I utter these words
Knowing that's all they are;
For every breath I breathe
Is just one more without you.

That's all I am, just one person
I can be replaced,
I'm just one less heart to worry about
And since you know it's broken,
Why worry? I can't feel it anyway.

I wish I could forget
All those "Remember when.." 's
But since I'm the one reminding myself,
I don't even go an hour without remembering

It's like an alarm that I can't switch off
The pounding of rain, I can't control
The beating of my heart that won't stop...

So just one more time,
Remember when you loved me
Please remember.

You're Just A Memory

Alone in the open,
The silence speaks for itself;
Muttering a thousand sorrows
In the language only the heart understands,
The one I wish I wasn't fluent in.

But still I sit here, alone,
And listen to the whispers
Carried by the wind
That your body once kept me from.

I hear your name, I catch my breath,
I feel not even your shadow;
But the ghost of it,
Singing our favourite lullaby
Grasping every tear as it falls.

I wipe them away and think:
Each one, a memory with us we'll take;
Each one, a memory we'll never make.

I Wrote You My Love

I know my heart sang off-key
To the music coming from yours
But what if I told you the sound didn’t matter
The lyrics mean so much more.
I feel a tear fall from my eye
For every note you wrote for me
Now I’m left to sing alone;
My love as the melody.
I used to know the sound of your voice
I heard it every day
But like our love we once spoke of,
It slowly faded away.
I take a pen and write the words
That came from within your heart
“I will always love you, friends or not,
We will never be apart”
With our song, the ending came
The part we left unwritten,
Now, alone, I fill in the blanks
The history that had to be written.
Humming along to every bar,
My heart still knows the beat,
In my head it’s so hard to forget
When the song is still stuck on repeat.
Maybe one day I will play guitar
The way you played my heart
But for now I’ll take a bow
And let the symphony start.

Life Just Isn't For Me

Gone is all the happiness
I felt before today
Gone are all the memories
You helped me wash away.
Back are all the nightmares
The crying on the floor,
My soul is crushed, I wasn’t enough
You don’t want me anymore.

So at night I lie out under the stars
Under the thundering rain,
Wondering why I won’t let myself die,
Only drown in this breath-taking pain.
In darkness I walk this aimless road
Not caring where I’m going to go,
Life is for the living – but I’m already dead,
You killed me with such a hard blow.

So as I run away from this life
I ask one thing of you before I go:
Dig six feet down and five feet across,
Bury me – I want to go home.

No Matter What (I Love You)

Like that one star
That no matter where you are
It always shines the brightest,
You will always be with me.
And the stars I saw when I kissed you
Will watch over me
So that no matter how many mistakes I make
I never see our love as that.
In fact, I will always be a part of you,
First love never fades
And you,
You will always be the love I wish had lasted
My one regret though,
Is that I could not record every moment with you
Every tear of happiness, and of pain
I relive it all, every day, without you.
Touching your hand
I felt a connection that ran so deep
It touched my heart, made it skip a beat.
Holding you near me, though I couldn’t breathe,
Took my breath away every time.

It seemed effortless
How you could take my heart for days
And I could still survive on your love alone.
I had never seen the sun rise
And I missed it that morning also,
Your passion refelected from upon my lips onto the mirror
And it blinded me.
I could not see or hear,
But as you pulled me closer, it became familiar,
It was love.
As you lay next to me
Although I was so wrapped up in your love,
I could feel myself shaking.

That night we wished the world would freeze
Now I know why,
Things change, like dawn to dusk;
At first your world is full of light
A new journey reeling you in,
But day is too short and night is too long
And like our love
It’s over before it had time to begin.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Just When I Think I'm Done

How many of you feel like life has fucked you over more than once? Don’t feel excluded if you are yet to lose that virginity. You will sooner or later join the onslaught life has issued upon us; life will not forget you, m’dear. Nor will this battlefield ever be one you may retire from.

Y’know those people, the ones that seem completely oblivious to any sort of negative feelings? They go through my head. The ones that have had no major issues in their lives that they’ve had to overcome. Those folk that turn their noses up at even the mention of emotions. The ‘E’ and ‘F’ words, as my friend used to say. These words were as good as forbidden from all conversations. You do not express or even imply them; they were unacceptable. The words? Emotions and feelings. A friend once summed up and slashed emotional distress saying “As long as you’re not dead, you’re fine.” It actually fascinates me that people can say that. It’s one thing to be living stress and worry free, but it’s a whole other ball game when you start to belittle those of us that have actually had rough times.

Is it simply that karma massively dislikes us? Have we made too many mistakes to redeem ourselves? Or from birth were we destined to be fuck-ups? To a certain extent you can predict when things will take a turn for the worst, i.e. terminally ill relative, relationships breaking down. But what about those heart-wrenching pains that come out of the blue. The ones that leave us cursing the Heavens and asking ‘Why me?’ Or in my case, ‘Why me again?’

Perhaps sometimes we deserve it. We do wrong; wrong is done to us. An eye for an eye. Seems fair, right? But what happens when you can no longer cancel out the hurt being caused to you. When bad things happen to bad people, they learn from them. Everyone learns from their mistakes. Personal experience in this learning led me to believe I was finished with my fair share of encounters with karma, yet here we are again. You’d think after this much poison I’d be immune, but no. The worst part is that it affects every aspect of your being. Physical, emotional and mental healths are all connected. If you are suffering emotionally, it can affect your physical welfare also.

Eating more or eating less, change in sleeping patterns, not showering or caring for your appearance; these are all signs that you’re suffering in one way or another. I once spent one whole solitary week in those conditions – my only movement was from the sofa to my bed. Stress and worry are a deadly concoction. My immune system seems to fall victim to this duo every time. Here’s a funny (not really) fact – during my Junior Cert year I missed more time off school than I had missed in my eight primary school years, all down to my emotional health falling short of the “average” mark, shall we say. It’s said that if you miss even one maths class, you will be miles behind. I laugh when I hear this; I missed over forty.

How does one cope with this never-ending cycle of torture? Although I can tick almost every box on the ‘Ways to Get Hurt’ list, I still don’t know that answer. I could, however, advise you on things not to do.

1.       Do Not End Your Social Life:

Sitting in a dark room, crying to ‘Bleeding Love’ is not going to do you any favours. Going through a tough time is when your friends need to step up and say to your headphones “Bro please, I got this”. Surround yourself in happy people. Yes, they are very irritating at the best of times, but you will be thankful that something other than your worries is grabbing your attention. For a while, at least.


2.       Focus More On Things You Enjoy:

I’m imagining you have the energy of so many emotions just eating you up inside, so why not express them in something you love? Be it a sport you excel in or an art class you could join, focus this energy on whatever you have a passion for and turn it from negative to positive. For me, writing poetry was a saviour. I’m not always one to talk so this helped when all else failed. If you’re in the same boat – try it. I don’t care if people think what I do is pathetic and weird; it’s helped more than any of them ever have.


3.       Don’t Lose Faith:

I’m quite a hypocrite for saying that but then again this is my ‘Looking Back’ advice. Back in the day, I decided God either hated me or didn’t exist. On the outside I led people to believe I was a downright atheist. In mass I refused to stand up or kneel down, get communion, or even bless myself. But behind closed doors I never completely lost faith. I would pray to the stars or the sky; the only things I felt were looking out for me. I’m not saying my life is perfect because of my underlying faith, but who knows where I’d be without it.

Yes this has been a very personal and biased point, but how else would I get it across?


4.       Remember Nothing Lasts Forever:

This is usually quite a depressing statement, but if you’re going through hell you’ll be damn glad to hear that it’s true. This state of emotional distraught could last two weeks or two years; it won’t last a lifetime. Pain eventually grows old and without noticing, it will vanish. Whatever the case, don’t forget how to be happy. This may sound ridiculous but you’d be surprised how accustomed you get to feeling down and worthless. It may have been warm and cosy in that little emotion-filled hut-for-one you had going on there, but it’s time to re-join the world and dismiss the calling of your defensive outer shell.


Now I’m no counsellor and maybe I’ve just wasted your time, writing about things you already know, but if I could even help one person it will have been worth sharing some secrets of my ‘dark side’. The one I so rarely speak of. Intrigued yet?

Sunday, 7 October 2012

How To Survive Meeting The Parents

First of all, the fact that you have actually bothered scouring the Internet for these trustful tips tells me one thing – you’re desperate. Which leads me on to my next point; I am but sixteen years of age and have no experience in these matters. Regardless of this needless background info, you’re here now so you might as well read on.
Step 1: Appearance

No matter how long you’ve spent practising your ‘this, that, these and those’, perfect speech will not cover up, well, whatever you’ve forgotten to cover up. I’m not suggesting you go all Muslim on them but remember, respect comes in all forms; even appearance. Make sure to show flashes of your personality – you can’t go wrong with bracelets or a necklace. Maybe the best way to approach this is to imagine what you would be comfortable wearing in front of your grandparents. Got it? Now go with that.

Step 2: Mind Your Manners

Yes, we’re going back to basics here. You’d be surprised the amount of people that get so flustered they forget their “please and thank you”s. However, it’s not just as straightforward as remembering. You may have been polite, but who would want to pass gravy to the face of a dried prune. Understandably you’ll be nervous, but by God don’t let it affect your facial expressions. Also, if the steak doesn’t tickle your fancy, don’t announce your vegetarianism. You will get caught out and it will be awkward.

Step 3: Avoid Conversation Vices

These vices fall under two fairly obvious categories: politics and religion. Perhaps picking your partner’s brain on the way might give you an idea of some sensitive areas; otherwise you’ll have to be on full alert. Look for clues – does the Fine Gael banner across the house suggest anything? If so, avoid sharing your opinion on this subject as much as possible. Unless you agree, obviously. Some people simply can’t hold back their feelings on the topic. Such as my grandfather, who once announced the entire government, and I quote, should be assassinated. Thankfully we’re used to him. Your possible future in-laws, however, may not be as tolerant.

Step 4: PDAs Are a No-Go

By this I mean public displays of affection. Just don’t. Parents will not want to see their baby getting all touchy-feely with a stranger. Focus. Today is about showing your interest in them; not their child. If you do decide the timing is right to go for a quick peck, don’t be surprised if you’re given the other cheek. What child is comfortable having a snog while their parents sit opposite, sipping tea? Take the hint and back off. The last thing you want is to give the impression you’re clingy and needy.

Step 5: Don’t Evaluate Your Performance

If you feel like things could’ve gone better, don’t beat yourself up over it. First impressions aren’t the be-all and end-all. Big deal if you tripped over a plant pot or drove over the cat’s tail; it’ll be something to laugh about in the future.

These are only a number of survival tips that should hopefully get you through round one of meeting the parents. Keep all of these well in mind as you delve into these depths of the unknown – they will be your armbands, or even your lifeboat. Should they fail you, however, I can take no responsibility.  After all, you were the one that decided to take a sixteen year old’s advice. Good luck.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Knowing When To Let Go

“Giving up doesn’t always mean you’re weak, sometimes it just means you’re strong enough to let go”. What a beautiful quote that can bring about so many emotions, yet people rarely listen to the message behind it. We have no control over certain aspects of our lives; therefore we cannot always control our emotions when they are provoked. But what we can decide is how we will deal with them. For some people, mental walls are built, blocking all feelings from entering the body. They acknowledge the pain but can’t bear to face it. Others go straight into denial. They deny their closest ones the compassion they need from them, they deny themselves the chance to come to terms with reality, and they deny their hearts the opportunity to ever fully heal. Then there are those that embrace the anguish. They weep and they moan, and they follow every step in the ‘Griever’s Guide’ correctly, except for one thing. They nurture the pain.

There are so many circumstances in which people must make the conscious decision to let go of a loved one. Be it a broken relationship, an unexpected death, or simply time getting the better of us. One of the most difficult ways of letting go is when you are still infatuated with the person that has crushed your world. Nothing in life seems worth the pain of watching them walk away, after smashing your heart on the hollow ground. “I don’t love you anymore” – five words no-one ever wants to hear. Especially when you can’t say them back. There are so many clich├ęd ways attached to the “getting over them” stage. Girly nights in with friends and ice-cream, getting hammered with “the lads” and pretending that it actually makes a difference or worst of all, the rebound curse. This is not going to fix a broken heart. If anything, it’ll just remind you how shit you really feel. You’re not with that person because you’re attracted to them; you’re there because it has become a global rite of passage when your love life disintegrates.

Maybe some of you don’t feel the aftermath of a relationship ending. But most of you would be somewhat familiar with the over-used expressions “He was the one” and “I’ll never love anyone like that again”. Eh, chances are you will love again, and at the age of thirteen there’s no hope in hell he was the one. If you can find someone new within a few weeks, fair deuce, but generally the heart won’t have recovered that quickly, and certainly won’t be willing to risk getting beaten to a pulp like that again. There’s no way of speeding up that recovery, and time doesn’t always work its wonders. Eventually you will just have to get rid of the pictures and stop playing “our song”. You can’t force someone to love you, no matter how much that hurts to hear.

Not only are you wasting love on someone that doesn’t deserve it, you are wasting precious days, weeks or months that you will never get back. Life is unpredictable; you can never really tell how much longer you’ll be around. Death is a word that scares many people. Death is unfair, confusing and the most excruciating form of losing someone. They are gone forever and all you’re left with as consolation are the memories. It doesn’t make a difference whether it’s out of the blue or if you’ve been expecting it for six months; the grieving is unbearable. You think about your last encounter with them; what was the last thing you said? Unfortunately, our true feelings aren’t always voiced until it’s too late.

Sometimes it’s the words left unspoken that matter the most. If you were granted one minute with the person you know is going to die, you wouldn’t spend it telling them about how your day was. You’d tell them how much they meant to you and how severely you love them. Why are we so cautious about showing our deepest feelings? Irish people are terrible at those sorts of meaningful conversations. And when we are rarely confronted with this kind of agony, why do we assume putting on the kettle is going to help a newly widowed woman or a man that has just filed for divorce? They want comforting and support, not a cup of tea.

There are so many people I know that have encountered death so many times it’s ridiculous. I’m talking about people my age. The ones that haven’t got years and years of memories to hold onto. How can young people like this be expected to keep their faith in God when they are getting no explanation as to why their relatives are being taken from them. How can they look to a future with families of their own when they are so deeply scarred by death? I once asked someone if they still believed in God after all this trauma. They answered yes; they wanted so badly to believe that they would meet their loved ones again and that they hadn’t just disappeared completely.

Is there ever really a way to move on from such damaging forms of pain? I wish I could answer that. I recently found a diary I had kept a few years ago, and inside I found a little wish list. The third wish was simply “Death didn’t exist”. Bear in mind I was under the age of 12 when I wrote that. But do we really want that? If we had no limit to our lives, would we ever really live? Pain is a way of knowing you’re alive. If you’ve never felt it, you haven’t lived yet. Deciding to be happy after enduring such heartache should not make you feel guilty. It does not mean you have forgotten, it means you have moved the person to a safer place; from your mind to your heart.