Smoking used to be cool

Poetry

Remember when smoking was the way to be seen?
Back when all our idols did it. 
From Sean Connery to James Dean.
A cigarette hanging lazy from their lip.
So cool it made me wanna fake scream. 
Or get all starry-eyed and daydream. 
Then the world changed, and our bodies became temples of health. 
Now I could live longer.
And perhaps play a different hand to the one I was dealt. 
With quinoa and wheatgrass and gluten-free bread. 
I could be better. 
But a voice inside screamed to be shot in the head. 
Cos I missed the days of whisky and decadence.
Where I twerked in clubs, my body all twisty and elegant. 
And the way I flirted had a kind of trippy intelligence.
But now I just spend my days in health stores and coffee shops.
Damn.
It wasn’t long ago when Friday night dinner was one that I double dropped.
But even back then I was burning out.
And needed a plan to stop the rot. 
Cos this lifestyle couldn’t last, and before long would have to stop. 
So I ditched the night-time narcotics for fitbits and yoga mats.
With weekends spent browsing for more wholesome hits.
Like curtains and cushions and toaster racks.
Knowing this was way worse than my youth.
But somehow, now, I was kinda trapped and loathe to act. 
Cos my joys, it seemed, were cups of tea.
I had to grow up and face that fact. 
But life is never as black and white as people say. 
Sometimes, when you clear an obstacle, you still get wet like a steeplechase. 
But this is the glory of the human existence. 
And shouldn’t be a lethal race. 
So if I’m having a good time and not hurting anyone.
Should I be punished for my ‘evil traits’?
But whatever. 
Right now, on the table, lurks that cigarette. 
Its rush of calm is in my grasp. 
So where’s the harm if I go ahead and take that bet?
Look at it, laying there all seductive.
The sunlight framing its silhouette. 
With witnesses around I try and ignore it.
And attempt to casually feign regret. 
But in reality can’t hide my dismay.
As I put it down so it’s laid to rest. 
Cos frankly, I’ve been racking up debt for decades. 
So maybe now it’s time I paid that cheque?
Cos ribbons of impurity continue to unravel in my mind. 
And get me thinking, should I save these threads? 
Cos I need both the rebel and the sensible. 
And if I don’t feed them equally.
Then I may as well be as good as dead. 

Making friends

Poetry

So you’re on a night out and things are going swimmingly.
But something splits your thoughts like divorce.
And so you’re ill at ease.
Are these people really your friends?
Or just here to witness your social life implode and slowly descend?
Cos nights alone at home got you here.
And now you’re just making amends.
And yeah, maybe fair enough and it’s all too little too late.
But you’re a problem solver.
Experienced now, you’re wiser and older.
No way will you let life dictate your slide from grace like a fallen soldier.
Cos now’s the time for that plan for battle.
Put together all casual like you’re planning your travel.
Cos you’re gonna nail this friend game with moves utter genius.
No chance you’ll be an outcast.
Doomed to insanity like mad King Oedipus.
If there’s anything that an old legend like that teaches us.
You just need stay calm and ensure your next moves are subtle and devious.
But there’s a fair chance people will say you were a sociopath.
Ego inflated… pure calculated doing the math.
Cos sometimes you stumble.
And get left thinking you’ll never get through this intact.
Stuck making small talk in some bar.
Proudly reciting dubious facts. 
Or like you’ve met your girlfriend’s family.
And you’re hyper aware of impressing her dad.
But maybe this is just a phase? 
And you’re trying it out and testing this fad.
Cos as you lay down the law and keep score you can’t help a smile. 
Then slowly you return to arresting the damned. 

Permanently exhausted pigeon

Poetry

So I’m at work a zombie, froze and stupefied.
Vacant stare like an airhead as he or she goes to beautify.
Failing at the most basic tasks.
Cos my mind is warm in this bubble.
Here I’m protected and can’t cause much trouble.
It’s the safest chance. 
But the rub is I’m failing to make good use of my clever smarts.
Which got me thinking.
Annoying morning people say the early bird is the one that’ll catch that worm.
So they’re likely to succeed at life if they go and snatch their turn.
Probably sharp each day cos they go to bed and rest their head.
This is something I cannot learn.
And truth be told it’s got me all concerned.

Then there’s those they call night owls.
In the morning they’re quick to darken.
Like an clear sky that suddenly fills with white clouds.
And their faces tell a story.
One that says you should probably pipe down or be prepared to fight now.
Ask for anything before midday then it’s lights out.

Then there’s those in-between.
Aka, people like me.

Permanently exhausted pigeons.
Cos during the day we twist and fidget.
Our minds chirp from lack of sleep like a swarm of crickets.
So be alert.
Or we’ll invade your society gleefully like a horde of misfits.
High functioning insomniacs.
Our brains beat thoughts at us rapid tempo.
Like a drum ‘n’ bass Goldie track.
And we’re about as fresh as a poorly prepared chef.
When all he’s got left to cook with is mouldy fat.
Stressed and on edge, we fight when cornered.
So don’t go backing us into a cul-de-sac.
Cos it’s clear our next mental gear is primal fear.
I’m just stating facts.
And the energy we have when leaving home, I’ll be honest I just don’t know.
Holy crap, I’m kind of surprised we make it back.
And daily life can bore us.
Cos most talk we have with people is just wasted chat.
Our minds elsewhere as we flirt with despair and then fade to black.

But don’t get me wrong.
We can be chirpy mothers too.
Honestly, we yearn for positivity if you catch us in a thirsty mood.
So coax out our best bits and see them bursting through.
And yes, this behaviour is rare, it’s true.
So for this sort of thing to happen we need a fair excuse.
But in the absence of one we’re kind of stuck in this loop.
Eat, sleep, work, and repeat.
At this point we’ve got nothing to lose.
It’s like the opposite of substance abuse.
Because we need life purpose.
It’s time we break free and chase dreams and find a place where life might hurt us.