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Eugene Ionesco

You can only predict things after they have happened.

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After They Have Been Fed

No duty calls,
To perpetuate an influx...
Of destruction released.

No power held that proclaims,
Itself to be of faithful deeds...
Treats to delight the rising of conflicts,
As a reason to declare...
The certainty of victory.

No one with a responsible consciousness,
Allows insecurities to persist...
To feed upon a selfishness,
With delicious expectations.

To 'then' profess regrets...
That a diminishing integrity,
Leaves them with nothing left...
But a preparation that accepts the worst of times.

It is in their minds...
The best of times that could be lived,
Has not risen on their priority list...
That still feeds a greeding need,
To experience peace...
After they have been fed their lust for battle.

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If You can Keep your Cheese - after Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your cheese while few about you
are holding onto theirs', all envy ease.
If none can get your goat nor cow could doubt you
your scent which, heaven sent, can tell true bries
from gorgonzola, parmesan without you
planning for house mouse contingencies,
or short supply where larder rats may scout to
grind, compromise the tasty rind most please.

If by a whisker cheshire follows trout to
provide fit end for sweet delicacies,
or cheddar meat meal follows leaves no gout to
blur enjoyment, taste buds' harmonies.
If desert heat no threat presents, no pout too
in winter's cold where lizard's blood would freeze,
If neither flood nor drought can mar, throughout you
may triumph over blue mould colonies.

If all kowtow, if none would ever flout you
remembering to bow before ‘big cheese'...
if hole in one you score in club you clout to
take golden trophy - competition flees.
If all above's accomplished taste devout, true,
while others fail to prove their expertise,
your's is the world, which elsewhere's up the spout, few
can make their time your rhyme's real_I_tease!

IF - A Writers' Guild Gild Guile Guide
If you can form and not make norms your master,
conformity, performance formal, flame.
If you inform, share, [fl]airing, flow far faster,
yet let not copyright bind tight to shame.
If you treat critic's inconstructive blaster
with humour, beat him at his game's lame claim,
take not to hea[r]t his tumour, bandage, plaster
half-heartedly, pretend [s]he never came.

If you can couple energy creative
well in advance of others in your field,
without confusing nominative, dative,
rei[g]n arguments through cogency revealed
in context, in a manner innovative,
code palimpsests from all but s[t]age concealed,
If trust in self is never compensative
reaction used when you refused to yield.

If you can link great ends with small beginnings,
and yet not brag, nor tag each copy sold,
If dialogue's more vital than piled winnings,
to trim the quill where will won't be short-sold,
If, ignorance ignored, your story's spinnings
creates a pot no Potter has outsold,
yet you can fi[e]nd the flaw, to fresh beginnings
return to steer towards horizons bold.

If you can write without cash motivation,
self-righteousness avoiding like the plague,
create consensus round an innovation
embraced by all without appearing vague,
If you can span from logic to emotion
set constant course from vested interests clear,
If you can ban all untoward commotion,
while conscience clings to all that it holds dear,

If you can set the good within you flowing
without the itch to pitch beyond kitsch brink,
If you can give the nod and wink while knowing
that mental states aren't always in the pink,
If you use inner kinks to keep on growing
without denying others' right to think,
If you continue for tomorrow sowing
refusing using methods now that stink.

If you can lead lead soldiers Caxton crafted
without kowtow before cold compromise,
If neither editor nor public shafted
the output that your inner soul supplies,
If you can improvise, provide redrafted
communication keyed to catalyze,
you'll find to your surprise that you have rafted
alone on conscious stream your just dream buys.

Writers' Real Mirror Reflection Reel
With inside out, and out, surprised, inside,
When penning verse whose end may, too, begin it,
When rhyming reel with real can coincide
Your's is the world and everything that's in it.
If you can write without cash motivation,
Self-righteousness avoiding like the plague,
Create consensus round an innovation
Embraced by all without appearing vague.
If you can scan, span logic to emotion
Set constant course from vested interests clear,
If you can ban all untoward commotion,
While conscience clings to all that it holds dear,
If rhymes may improvise, spurn prose redrafted,
Communication key to catalyze,
You'll find to your surprise that you have rafted
On stream it seems when wit reverse dream tries.

On stream it seems when wit reverse dream tries
You'll find to your surprise that you have rafted
Communication key to catalyze.
If rhyme may improvise, spurn prose redrafted
While conscience clings to all that it holds dear,
If you can ban all untoward commotion,
Set constant course from vested interests clear.
If you can scan span logic to emotion
Embraced by all without appearing vague,
Create consensus round an innovation,
Self-righteousness avoiding like the plague,
If you can write without cash motivation,
Your's is the world and everything that's in it
When rhyming reel with real can coincide
When penning verse whose end may, too, begin it,
With inside out, and out, surprised, inside!

Cropped Apologies to Rudyard Kipling
If you can keep your crops when all the nation
rails, vain assailing creepy crawly bugs,
If you can thrive when most lives' reputation
is knocked for skittles, stumped by snails and slugs,
If you can sow, show though you stay surrounded
by failing harvests sere upon the stem,
where hopes unfounded, speculations grounded,
face farmers who through jealousy condemn.

If greenhouse gases can't delay your planting,
with fallow Brussels' edicts all ignored,
If CO² you compensate by chanting
an incantation to the heavens poured.
If snail trails slip upon your sensor networks,
if nano tech protects your fields' high yield
which on the Futures markets harvests net perks
that from the tax collector stay concealed.

If you can fight Monsanto's sterile sowing,
deny blight warnings, nor fear climate change,
if cash in hand exceeds debts most's greed's owing,
if you're the early bird with worms in range,
If you free farm through seasons, thank your maker
from man's pollution, safe solution find,
yours is the race, you, ace, may need pacemaker
for luck can turn, earn bridges burned behind.

Advice to an Applicant
If you can back your boss and keep on smiling,
while toning down his brash absurdities,
if, having watched the man manhandle filing,
you rearrange the folders pretty please,
if coy and charming, beautiful, beguiling,
anticipating all contingencies,
you manage new accounts, contacts redialling,
correct crass spelling, cover vagaries...

If you can keep your head while he's resiling,
evolve successful counter-strategies,
if ‘mum's the word', discrete, ignoring tyling,
from busy-bodies safe when he agrees.
If you can spend your time in reconciling
his intellectual inanities,
never upset his fragile ego, heiling
whene'er he feels the need, or profits sneeze...

If Windows easy comes, while modem dialing
to DSL migration's not a tease,
if firewall free from viruses hostiling
you clean can keep, recalling password keys,
if the above you show him recompiling
the data lost when he lacks expertise, -
yet know your place as cypher, never riling,
remembering to bow before ‘big cheese'...

If you can stand him publicly reviling
your good ideas, then claim them his with ease,
can watch while rival's ruin he's compiling
so coldly that a lizard's blood would freeze.
If when betrayed by his ambitious wiling
you triumph through innate abilities,
ignoring basic scheming, baser guiling,
you seize the precious point he never sees! ...

If you won't blush when, rash, he'll rush, exiling
your intuitions as freak fantasies,
but confidently while free-time he's whiling,
circumvent his incapacities.
Surpassing him in brains, tact, versatiling,
you never strive to swap your salaries,
but both feet on the ground, still patient, smiling,
can counteract his incoherencies...

If you are sure his image needs restyling,
select the suits that suit down to the tees,
if you are ever ready camomiling,
or sprinkling sugar, creaming, coffee, teas,
if you can trick his wayward infantiling
and censure not his immaturities,
ignore his clumsy tries at fond defling,
yet fondled, tactful, rise from off his knees...

If you take three degrees while reconciling
your private life to further Ph.D.'s,
if you can children bear without work piling
and keep them free from trouble and disease,
if you can spring his quick promotion - vile thing -
and play the game of happy families...
Your's is the job, the rest's cosmetic styling,
Oh prized princess and pride of... secret'ries!

A l'assistante de l'Indirection
Si tu peux supporter de voir tes dossiers
démolis sans souffler mot et puis reclasser,
si tu sais appuyer partout ton PDG
sans sceptique rester quant à ses qualités...

Si tu souris, beauté, sans être emmerdante,
si vive mais jamais surprise, impatiente,
le soutenant quand des contresens fous l'enchantent,
ses lubies supporter sans paroles tranchantes...

Si tu sais sans délais t'adapter au progrès,
les autres anticiper, sans jamais hésiter,
bien le préparer avec de bons conseils,
des envieux protéger ton patron hébété...

Très expérimentée, mais sans prendre de l'age,
compréhensive aider avec ses rattrapages
sans pourtant mériter accéder aux voyages
‘d'études' et aux congrès, - ces minables volages!

Si tu sais lui montrer se servir du clavier,
aux réseaux si primés vite se connecter,
de l'Internet cliquer sur l'intranet branché,
son PC débugger sans jamais se broncher...

Si sa peur du souris, du clic-clic, du mulot
tu peux sans interdits dépasser au boulot,
à ses flagrants délits trouver tout ce qu'il faut,
si tu ses buts poursuis en soufflant le bon mot...

Si tu sais compenser l'orthographe qu'il perd,
scanner, penser, noter, téléphoner, tout faire,
son planning programmer, sans être trop mémère,
le soutenir, si gaie, quand son coeur désespère...

Si tu peux accoucher à l'heure du dîner,
tes enfants élever tous en bonne santé,
ton patron remplacer - ronronnant au soleil -
sans pour autant rêver qu'on t'accorde sa paye.

Si tu sors d'H.E.C. sans prétendre à la gloire,
Sciences Po, c'est fait, sans en faire une histoire,
ou Enarque tu es, faisant dans ton pouvoir
le tout pour manier les re(i) nes du Pouvoir.

Lors mieux qu'homme d'affaires, ou chef de cabinet
mieux que tous ces experts si souvent égarés,
tu seras à tout faire une bonne rêvée,
mieux que mère, sacrée ASSISTANTE tu es!

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two imposters just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with wornout tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on';

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!
Rudyard Kipling 1865_1936

Biff! The same father to the same son, now grown up.

If you can keep your job when all about you
Are losing theirs (by cutting down of screw) :
If you can keep yourself - for, make no doubt you
Won't get allowance, just for you to blue.
If you can make a heap by all your winnings
Risked on outsiders backed at Kempton Park,
Don't think that you will always get your innings
And kiss your boss's daughter in the dark.

If you should risk promotion, aught should tempt ye,
Eyeing the safe when all the staff have gone,
And, jemmying it open, find it empty,
And hear the watchman growl to you, ‘Hold on! '
If you should fill the unforgiving ‘minutes'
With names of all the people you have ‘done, '
Yours is the gaol, and everything that's in ti,
And, what is more, you'll get six months, my son.
Rachel Ferguson Nymphs and Satires 1932

A London Sparrow's IF
If you c'n keep alive when li'l bleeders
Come arter t' wi' catapults an' stones;
If you c'n grow up unpertickler feeders,
An' live on rugidge, crumbs, an' ‘addock bones;
If you c'n nest up in the bloomin' gutters,
An' dodge the blinkin' tabby on the tiles;
Nip under wheels an' never git the flutters,
Wear brahn an' no bright-coloured fevver-styles;
If you ain't blown b'nippers (Cor, I'd skin ‘me!) :
Stop y'r shells nah, warm-like, under me;
Yous is the eggs an' everyfink ‘at's in ‘em -
An' when they ‘atch, yor be cock-sparrers, see?

If You can Keep Your Man
If You can Keep Your Man when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
Avert a break-up when he starts to doubt you,
Without behaving like a tart or shrew;

If you can bake a cake or change a nappy,
Although you've got a good Redbrick degree,
And yet can say you're reasonably happy
When other graduate wives dropp in for tea;

If you can lose yourself in ‘To the Lighthouse',
Yet, changing books, seek first the Thriller shelf,
If you can laugh at Mrs. Mary Whitehouse,
But sometimes wince at Wednesday Plays yourself;

If you stand up for Women's Liberation,
Think sex equality long overdue,
Yet purr when men evince consideration
And in a bus or train stand up for you;

If you can be a protest march frequenter,
But sometimes think the marchers a bit queer,
Yet, spite of everything, stay left of centre,
Oh, well, who knows? You may be right, my dear.
Stanley Sharpless

If You Can Crush
If you can crush, when all your chums are cribbing,
The urge that beckons you to do the same;
Can keep your tongue from telling tales or fibbing,
And can, when others err, take all the blame.

If you can nurse a crush on dear Miss Withers,
Yet bully off with just one silent tear;
Be resolute when even Matron dithers,
And weld the House together with a cheer.

If you can foil the fiendish Russian spy-ring,
Who've ‘got a hold' upon the Head (the swine!)
And by example selfless and inspiring,
Can make those ghastly Juniors toe the line.

If you while staying virgo quite intacta,
Can scoff at those who label you a prude;
And, when you leave, can know you've never slacked or
(Except to Ma'moiselle) been flip or rude.

If you can scale such pinnacles of virtue
And earn your teachers' praises as ‘a brick',
The truth, dear girl, (I do so hate to hurt you) -
The simple truth, dear Daphne, is you're thick!
Martin Fagg

If you can stand the Quest and all her antics
When all around you turn somersaults upon her deck;
And go aloft when no one has told you
And not fall down and break your blooming neck;

If you can work like Wild and also like Wuzzles
Spend a convivial night with some old bean,
And then come down and meet the Boss at breakfast
And never breathe a word of where you've been.

If you can fill the port and starboard bunkers
With fourteen tons of coal; and call it fun;
Yours is the ship and everything that's in it
And you're a marvel; not a man my son.
Ernest H Shackleton

(28 July 2007)

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You Can't Say (You Don't Love Me Anymore)

You can say, old things must end
You can smile and even pretend
And you can turn and walk away so easily
But you can't say, you don't love me anymore.
You can dream of what might have been
You can cry for what won't pass again
And you can say there's every reason you should leave
But you can't say, you don't love me anymore.
You can say I'm right you're wrong
You can make your plans to find somebody else
But I can't believe you can carry on
We know what should be said
But you can't find the words instead.
You say, old things must end
You can smile and even pretend
And you can turn and say you're leaving me for good
But you can't say, you don't love me anymore.
And you can turn and say you're leaving me for good
But you can't say, you don't love me
First just say, you don't love me anymore...

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Why I Love To Travel

Walking the cobbled stone streets
Of some ancient city at dusk
Looking at worn out old buildings
Marveling at their grace and beauty
And musing over what they must have witnessed

Touching plaster
As it crumbles under my hand
I look at various intricately carved doorways
Who entered
Who left

I feel the sun
And bathe everything in her saffron glow
As the ghosts of old worlds
That were once magnificent universes
Teeming with their lives, loves, and battles
The personal soap operas
Of forgotten men and women
Dance in my head

I love this time of day
As birds begin to chirp from nowhere
Things start to move and come to life again
There is a scent in the air
Made of dirt, native foliage, perfume, sweat
And something
It soothes me
Makes me forget myself
I like getting lost in the beauty of ancient cities
Becoming nothing
I can be no one here

It's a time of day when
The souls of these buildings speak
If you'll only
They have so much to say

Sitting at a table at some local cafe
As the evening breeze begins to softly whisper
To caress my cheek
Make the leaves rustle in the trees
I close my eyes
To the soothing coolness
Let this sweetness carry me away..

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For Catherine: Juana, Infanta of Navarre

Ferdinand was systematic when
he drove his daughter mad.

With a Casanova's careful art,
he moved slowly,
stole only one child at a time
through tunnels specially dug
behind the walls of her royal
chamber, then paid the Duenna
well to remember nothing
but his appreciation.

Imagine how quietly
the servants must have worked,

loosening the dirt, the muffled
ring of pick-ends against
the castle stone. The Duenna,
one eye gauging the drugged girl's
sleep, each night handing over
another light parcel, another
small body vanished
through the mouth of a hole.

Once you were a daughter, too,
then a wife and now the mother
of a baby with a Spanish name.

Paloma, you call her, little dove;
she sleeps in a room beyond you.

Your husband, too, works late,
drinks too much at night, comes
home lit, wanting sex and dinner.
You feign sleep, shrunk
in the corner of the queen-sized bed.

You've confessed, you can't feel things
when they touch you;

take Prozac for depression, Ativan
for the buzz. Drunk, you call your father
who doesn't want to claim
a ha!fsand-niggergrandkid.
He says he never loved your mother.

No one remembers Juana; almost
everything's forgotten in time,

and if I tell her story,
it's only when guessing
what she loved, what she dreamed
about, the lost details of a life
that barely survives history.

God and Latin, I suppose, what she loved.
And dreams of mice pouring out
from a hole. The Duenna, in spite
of her black, widow's veil, leaning
to kiss her, saying Juana, don't listen...

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To Prove You Can Undo

Have you mistaken good for evil?
Premeditated just to tease.
Have you changed your medication,
And found an admiration...
To prove,
You can...
Undo the good in people.
To prove,
You can...
Be cruel and heartless too!

Have you mistaken good for evil?
To prove,
You can.
And be cruel and heartless too!
To prove,
You can.

You've been hurt too many times!
Get back.
Don't attack.
Too many times.
Get back.
Don't attack.
Too many people are just like that.

Have you mistaken good for evil?
Premeditated just to tease.
Have you changed your medication,
And found an admiration...
To prove,
You can...
Undo the good in people.
To prove,
You can...
Be cruel and heartless too!

You've mistaken good for evil.
To undo the good in people...
To prove,
You can...
Be cruel and heartless too!

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Block Fall from the Zyklon Door

When you have passed nonplussed
by rumours
of ovens
of being burned alive by the horde
calcinated bones in torrid ashes
teeth without a name
pebbles in the sands of hate waves

When between you and the other side
is the block-flesh thrust through to Himmelweg
too late
you smell the Zyklon trap
about to be sprung on your innocence
your children looking to you for a way out
not daring to believe
you have left home without an answer

You can only wonder at how they led you
each child's hand ensconced in its mother's
the old and the infirm weeded out
the pill in the nape
of men rushed ahead from their charges
slapped jostled

for daring to ask with rifle butt
jabbed bundled
the eye searching hazily the breach under the helmet
benumbed fate
squashed hope
in the last faltering meek steps

It's only
when you're on the other side of yourself
between you and the block-flesh
forming on the other side of the zyklon door

You may wonder why you let your anger go
in safekeeping

Dedicated to those sacrificed in Concentration Camps during World War II.

(© T.Wignesan 1987: July 2,1987 [from the collection: back to background material,1993])

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First Step

I can only know true peace, once I have had no peace.
I can only know God, after I have had no God.
I can only know true love, once I have had no love.
To know the truth, the untruth must be realized.
What is unreal, can only then become real.
What is unseen, can only then become seen.
What is unknown, will then become known.
The journey is only a thought, until it has been embarked upon.
The destination cannot be reached, until the first step has been made.
The journey is all of the steps.
I keep looking outside, to find what was always truly within.
My search is fruitless.
For where we are destined to go, is where we have already been.
The past unlocks the door, to the destiny of future, which can only be obtained in the present.
For what was, determines what will be, in the what is.
But just the thought of this only leaves the what if.
We are not here to discover the world,
We are here to discover ourselves.
For it is only here,
That the true treasure lies buried deep within.
The unknown, is already known.
But the giant must be faced.
It is once the first step has been taken,
He has already fallen.
You just don't know it yet.
We are our own worst enemies.
It is the death of us,
That becomes the victory of all.

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A Saint I Ain't

If there is anyone seeking,
Anything in my life to taint?
I'll be the first to say...
A saint I ain't!

There is too much to explore.
Too much to experience,
Than to choose it to be ignored.
I want to adventure my life!
And that freedom nature offers.
And I can well afford.

Why should I deny myself...
To please those with their noses in the air?
With their stiff necks.
And their tight high lifted derrières!

People like that...
Can remove their behinds of my track.
The path on which I place my steps...
May shock others to hold their breath.
In fact...
Many like that,
Are busy body pests!
You know the kind...
Those who find time,
To wine and dine their displeasures.
As they pour someone's tea!
And I don't mind at all...
Serving up a full pot of my own for starters.
I want it known...
I can be quite cordial.
Even in the midst,
Of my own possible degradation.
I like to sit...
And listen to this mix of gossip.
The 'seriousness' of it...
Is worth a hasty limited visit.

I choose to do the unexpected.
With God's blessings,
Of course.

If there is anyone seeking,
Anything in my life to taint?
I'll be the first to say...
A saint I ain't!
Or profess to know,
What my 'Creator' wishes.
Like some hypocrites...
Quick to quip from scriptures.

I keep my eye on folks like that!
They can become defensive...
When questioned about their lack of facts.

Nor do I choose to walk on water.
I probably could.
Much of it is too polluted anyway.
Like some people with minds...
With nothing else to do,
But define how others should be living their lives.
Like 'themselves'...
Who have been certified self righteous.
And gossip as they sit in church pews.
Discussing where the pastor's wife,
Purchased her brand new shoes.

A saint I ain't.
Especially after observing...
Those who make claims,
They are the elite of 'christianity'.
And you can find them anywhere.
Once they have been seen...
Like roosters with hens pecking,
On any scene they pronounce as qualified...
For their self indulgence.

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Those Flag Draped Coffins

Who can we talk to is there anyone there,
Why won't you listen does nobody care,
When we arrived here we were full of zest,
It was our sole intention to do our best.

To achieve that goal takes the will of a nation,
We need them on our side the entire population,
But as time's moved on they have drifted away,
We are seen as, ‘' THE ENEMY ‘' we no longer hold sway.

Their tactics against us are so underhand,
Yet our powers that be just can't understand,
You can only help people if they want your assistance,
But what we have here is total resistance.

Someone is arming them with their weapons of woe,
They're a constant threat a formidable foe,
The streets are unsafe of trust there's a lack,
dropp your guard for a second you'll be shot in the back.

We are fighting an enemy that's morally corrupt,
We are in a volcano that's about to erupt,
Their views on life are the opposite of ours,
They kill us for fun while their attitude sours.

The Taliban murder their own in great numbers,
They do what they like while their government slumbers,
Then comes the news that all of us dreaded,
For enjoying life a group of women are beheaded.

They claim they're religious but God would be dismayed,
I doubt he'd approve of their genocide trade,
The west have been trying for hundreds of years,
To give them democracy all that's done is bring tears.

Democracy and freedom never merit a mention,
Misery and mayhem is their sole intention,
While our political leaders treat us as mugs,
These terrorists make billions from their illegal drugs.

The Russians have tried but their mission failed,
They finally gave up their intentions derailed,
The time has now come for us to pull out,
We are dying for nothing of that there's no doubt.

They don't want our help it's a thankless task,
So why are we here is the question we must ask
Please let us come home we are just being taunted,
Would you like to remain in a place you're not wanted.

The murder of our forces only proves what I'm saying,
They don't want our help for our blood they are baying,
Their politicians are corrupt as are the army and police,
Which proves beyond reason they want war not peace.

This conflict is futile there are too many of us dying,
These people who loathe us leave our relatives crying,
Would someone please enlighten our political boffins,
It's now time for an end to, ‘'

'' Those Flag Draped Coffins ‘'

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Posting Dreams in sleep

SLEEP? BED? Friendship VALUE? (A Map Of SLEEP.COM)

Whether your pregnant friend was put on bed rest, your little nephew had his tonsils taken out, your uncle was recovering from a surgery, or a family member has suffered from a chronic ill
ness or disease, chances are you have visited with someone, or know someone who has had to spend many days in bed for medical reasons.

Being the good friend or family member that you are, you racked your brain, trying to think of a thoughtful way to show you care and find ways to ease their pain and add joy to their day. That pain could be physical, but often it can be emotional too. Many patients will say that they experienced feelings of loneliness as one of the side effects of being confined to bed for a period of time.

There are many things you can do to help friends and family when they are down and out.


Knowing someone is in pain makes me want to comfort them. A new pair of comfy socks, slippers. pajamas or a cozy robe can feel good to slip into. You can bring them a fun new throw blanket or a cute pillow or pillowcase to cheer them up.


Once patients are as comfortable as they can be, then they have other needs that you can help with. They might suffer from boredom. Being alone in a room all day can certainly get dull. You can bring along a deck of cards to play a game with them while you are there, and then they can follow up with some solitaire when they get bored. The companionship and conversation that card and board games bring forth are priceless. Handheld game consoles aren't just for children anymore. If they don't have one, see if you can get one for them even if it is borrowed. There are now games for all ages and interests.

If they have i-pod or i-pad, you can get them an i-tunes gift card so they can download apps and music. Speaking of music… why not make a mix cd? See if they need earphones or a portable cd player. Maybe get some other mood music they wouldn't ordinarily think of.

Regular tv can get boring, especially if someone is in a hospital with a more limited channel selection. A portable dvd player could provide hours of entertainment, especially if you are able to get them a tv series or a few movies they normally wouldn't have the time to see or might be missing. Depending on what is available it might be worth subscribing to a movie channel so they have more entertainment choices.

Intellect/ Creativity

Puzzles such as word search, crosswords and Sudoku are ways they can challenge themselves when there is nothing to do. They sharpen the mind and pass the time. For children especially, make sure they have crayons, markers and coloring books or sketchpads. There are many craft kits and other hobbies and collectibles that can be enjoyed while restricted to bed. Make sure they have a variety of books and interest magazines on hand. This could be an opportune time to record and preserve memories by journaling. There are a lot of fun interactive journals that make great keepsakes and gifts. Perhaps you can bring them supplies for that scrapbook they have been meaning to put together.

Other pick me-uppers

Visits from friends and family as well as entertainment are most likely some of the preferred ways they may want to pass time when they are feeling up to it. Even so, at some point they could probably use a refreshing physical pick me upper. Pamper them if you can. Check to make sure they have no medical restrictions, and look into people who offer travel services such as massages and beauty treatments. Arrange for them to receive a massage, pedicure, or reflexology. Perhaps they need their hair done to feel refreshed. In some instances they may even benefit from light stretching and exercise such as yoga. A video or training session to help them learn a new physical activity could be appropriate.


The gift of time is priceless. Perhaps you can't visit, or it is difficult to make it as often as you would like to. Send e-mails, texts, or better yet, a greeting card through the postal services. Put together and mail a care package with some silly things from a dollar store and maybe some gum, yummy snacks or homemade cookies. I might add one of those little humor or inspiration gift books.

The other way to give the gift of time is to offer to help them take care of things that he or she can't do while confined to bed, but that need tending to. You could mow the lawn, walk the dogs, watch the kids, cook meals, or other help with household duties that might be getting neglected. Gift cards to take-out restaurants or other places are helpful if finances are a concern. It is hard enough being physically set back, but if they have others who normally count on them it can add extra stress and make the recovery process seem even more difficult.

The basics:

Flowers are a timeless gesture to show you care. Send flowers and stay in contact.. Your kindness is probably appreciated more that you realize. Whatever you do, when you take the time to show you care, it makes a difference

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Dorothy L. Sayers

None of us feels the true love of God till we realize how wicked we are. But you can't teach people that - they have to learn by experience.

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It seems to me that people have vast potential. Most people can do extraordinary things if they have the confidence or take the risks. Yet most people don't. They sit in front of the telly and treat life as if it goes on forever.

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A bitter taste of irony (For........)

Often I think just how
nice it would be
to rid myself
of this addiction
that's destroying me.

To wake up and enjoy
the early morning sunshine
and not search for long
lost drops from last
nights bottle of wine.

Or to laugh and smile
in the blessed light of the day
instead of hiding in the dark
which blinds my way.

To live my life without daily despair,
oh to live a life without a care.

Yet the sad truth is I can only
contemplate change
after I have had a drink,
for that is when my mind
is steadied enough to think.

And so to contemplate a better life
I have to go on destroying me,
And that leaves me with
a taste of such bitter irony.

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The Winner

Written by c. jackson, m. yancy and g. barge
In this world of make believe I must confess
To be number one youve got to do it better
And if you strive to be happy youll find success
Perspectively youve got to pull it together
Nothing good will come to you if you dont see
A reason for victory
Everybody loves the winner
Only the winner can really make things happen
Everybody loves the winner, so be the winner, I know you are
If theres something youd like to do youve never done
Dont let fear stand in your way
Just collect your dreams and thoughts and get on the run
I wouldnt wait another day
You can be the best in everything you do
When it thawls out, its all up to you
Everybody loves the winner (everybody loves the winner)
Only a winner can really make things happen
Everybody loves a winner (everybody loves a winner)
So be the winner you are
Be a winner, ooh (yes you can, yes you can, yes you can)
Be a winner, ooh (yes you can, yes you can, yes you can)
Be a winner, a winner, a winner, yes you can
cause everybody (everybody) loves (loves a winner)
The winner, so be a winner
You can only make things happen
Everybody (everybody) loves a winner (loves a winner)
So be the winner, I know you are
Every (everybody), everybody, (loves a winner)
Really loves the winner, (so be a winner)
Only the winner can really make things happen
Everybody (everybody) loves the winner (loves a winner)
So be a winner (so be a winner), I know you are if you really try
Be a winner, you know you can, you know you can
You know you can be a winner
(yes you can, yes you can, yes you can)
Scat (yes you can, yes you can, yes you can)
(everybody) yeah, (loves a winner)
(everybody loves a winner)
(everybody) everybody really loves a winner (loves a winner)!

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They Can Only Drag You Down

Leader, poet, singer, artist, who have struggled long and won,
Though the climbing is behind you, now the battle has begun,
Shut your ears unto the empty parrot phrases of the town,
Shun the hand-grips of your rivals, they can only drag you down.

See the bush or quiet chamber, work – for you have work to do,
Though the city shall be lighted and the table spread for you
Work through ease and pleasure call you, work when you have care to drown,
Shun the wine-cup like a serpent, it can only drag you down.

And the star eyes and the red lips, luring ever to a wreck,
And the beauty of the white arms clinging closely round your neck!
Golden head thrown back and white arms clinging closer when you frown,
Tear them from your neck if need be – they can only drag you down.

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Some Things You Can't Take Back

Well she was lookin out the window
And I was starin at the door
The dog was sleepin on the sofa
This place has never been this quiet before
You cant pretend it never happened
You cant pretend its still the same
You cant say you were only jokin
You cant keep thinkin things can go on this way
Some things you cant take back
Though you wish you could
Some things you cant take back
Though the glass has been broke
And the milk has been spilled
And your loves on the line
Some things you cant take back
When someone says theres no tomorrow
When the writings on the wall
After all have cried and spoken
And your poor heart has taken such a fall
If I could reset the clock and go back in time
Id erase the thoughts that went through my mind
You know I never would leave
And Id still have you with me
You cant pretend it never happened
You cant pretend its still the same
You cant say you were only jokin
You cant keep thinkin things can go on this way
Some things you cant take back
Cause in the cold light of day the pieces all blew away
And now Im livin a lie
Some things you cant take back

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Only You Can Make That Decision

Are you disillusioned and fed up with your life,
Do you feel it's no longer worth living?
We're all partly responsible for our own strife,
There are times it can be so unforgiving.

Accept you can't get everything you want,
What goes around comes around is true,
Do nothing in life that can come back to haunt,
Or believe me it will come back on you.

Never make promises you know you can't keep,
Don't try to change things that cannot be changed,
A broken pledge will make more than you weep,
It will leave you feeling deranged.

Conflict and debt only bring on a tear,
Never buy what you cannot afford,
By saving for luxuries you'll have nothing to fear,
Future problems will no longer be stored.

Do it today stop saying tomorrow,
Start Living within your means,
Doing the opposite will only bring sorrow,
That's when chaos convenes.

Stay true to yourself and success will follow,
Never try to be someone you're not,
By being yourself you need never feel hollow,
Be thankful for what you have got.

Only you can choose the life you will lead,
Listen and learn that way you'll stay wise,
When warned of the dangers, always take heed,
Seek the truth and dispel any lies.

Learn about life and know right from wrong,
Determine the fakes from the frauds,
That way you'll find out where you belong,
We're all capable of defying the odds.

Treasure your family and all those around,
Keep your enemies at arms length,
Ensure you keep your feet on the ground,
Wisdom will be your ultimate strength.

Get rid of the deadwood they just bring on hate,
You can become a real go-getter,
It's you, who's in charge of your own fate,
You know you can do much better.

There is nothing in life you cannot achieve,
As long as you've the mind and the guile,
You can do anything is what you must believe,
Those aspirations will bring on a smile.

If you fall to the ground get back on your feet,
Nobody's perfect we all make mistakes,
Convince yourself that you will not be beat,
It's through knowledge that our spirit awakes.

Work hard at learning and toil with a will,
Pass on to others the wisdom you've gained,
Having more friends than enemies is truly a skill,
You'll be proud of what you've attained.

Life comes but once it's yours to enjoy,
The experience can be full of mystique,
Common sense is what you must deploy,
It makes you precious and truly unique.

When you think of yourself to achieve your dreams,
You can chart your future with precision,
Fight for your rights they are yours to defend,

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Patrick White

You Can't Embrace Me With Your Moderate Love

You can't embrace me with your moderate love
as if two arms were one too many to give someone a hug,
or one eye were enough to look at the stars in your lover's eyes,
and make up constellations you've never seen before.

I've never fallen in love with anyone who ever
made my whole body feel like it was a ghost amputee
who had never gotten over the memory of having one.
You can't read Braille without fingertips.

And it's either brave and suicidally noble, or something
drastically real about me but I've always preferred
the dark, dangerous muse, to the sunny cheerleader
who cut the bananas into my cereal just for the potassium.

No moon. No music. No slumming in heaven
when we take every other nightshift off from hell
and then walk out on the job permanently like a Tarot deck
to see how it feels to be a shipwreck on the bottom of a prophecy

that foretold, one day, swimmers and drowners alike
would be in it way up over their heads. And that's
when I learned to count on my heart
like an overturned lifeboat to keep things afloat

for me and anyone I love who went into exile beside me.
Got to be ancient starmaps in her eyes
like the return address of extraterrestials
who promised to come back one day

and make crop circles in the hay together.
And fireflies for back up in the long dark halls
of what we were reading when the stars went out
and we opened up to each other about our secret research

into the comparative mythology of each other's psyche.
Even at high noon I want to look out of the corner of my eye
and see in the depths of her silence, stars
hiding out in the shadows on the bottom of her wishing wells

and know that she's ok at either end of the telescope.
And I'll show her the sun shining at midnight
and the moon among the corals, and come up like a pearl diver
with new metaphors to show her how I can still see her radiance

like a lunar eclipse in a mystic moon rise just behind
the guile of her veils and the eyelashes of her tree line.
And there shall be no shadow upon the earth
that she casts behind her that shall remain starless.

And it must be well understood from the very start
that you can't put the wing of an eagle on one side of the heart
and that of a sparrow on the other, even less so, a dragon,
and expect it to fly very good or straight to the mark.

And no broken arrows of the promises
we make to each other at a rain dance for the waters of life.
And no sipping from the river when there's a chance
to swallow it all in a single gulp and satisfy all wells at once

without getting the waterbirds stuck in our throats
like the high notes of sacred syllables above the reach
of the black swans that live in our chimneys for free.
By all means, I want to see the light

but coming out of the dark like a nightbird
with a message that wasn't meant for anyone else.
She can be swarmed by faeries, she can
live on a menu of mushrooms and toadstools,

all the soft gilled things without hooks in them she wants
I don't care, as long as she includes
a banshee or two scratching at her wings like windows
to be let in to the inner sanctum of her devotion

like a black candle at a white mass for wounded voodoo dolls.
And if she wants me to jump through her wilderness fires
to satisfy her occult desires in a coven of one
that's ok too as long as she's enough of a firemaster

to know when I've been done well. Not medium rare.
And I won't have things fifty-fifty, a hundred and fifty percent
and a hundred and fifty percent, or die in the attempt,
because anything less than that is nothing at all.

Love when it comes to the hour of gates, becomes
the best of the other in the leaving, as your lover
absorbs in the turn-counterturn-stand of the perennial dance
things about you she loved at first glance, jewels and virtues,

and all the wildflowers a suffering soul puts out with generosity
that were meant for her eyes only, even you
couldn't see in yourself at the time because even
among the most enlightened of us, the deepest insight

into ourselves as embodiments of thoughtless reality
is always blind. And if you couldn't find what you wanted
together, you always find it under your pillow
once the other who left it like a parting gift is gone.

Don't want anyone after we've broken up
who doesn't know how to honour the memory of what we tried
to be to each other before we outgrew what we meant
when we vowed to console our loss of happiness

with peace and a gentle release of the moon
like a blossom from a dead branch in the middle of winter.
She can come to me flawed, she can come to me wounded.
She can come to me like an apostate sunflower

who wandered off the beaten path to follow the moon.
Selfless as we all are behind our delusions of probity
who remains to be a judge of character except
the most doubtful and disdainfully vain among us?

Let the death masks argue it out among themselves
who is real and who is not, who's been true and who forgot,
as for me and my house, I'd rather be loved than right.
I'd rather have my lover's head in my lap at the end of the night,

or mine in hers. I'd rather stand beside her
and look up at the stars together as if they knew
more about us than us about them, than feel them
hemorrhaging like supernovae in both our eyes

arguing like medieval theologians painting
a picture on the third eye of the telescope
we're looking at through both lenses simultaneously
eye to eye, tooth to tooth, one false idol to the other,

squabbling over whose lop-sided view of the paradise
we planted to live in together, is most worthy of worship,
the hunter or the farmer, the hunter or the farmer,
keeping in mind women invented agriculture.

Intrigue me, berate me, teach, upgrade, or refute me,
just let me feel your hand when I suffer
as if it were the wing of a bird
I was scrying aviomantically to see

if it had healed enough to fly, to make
my homelessness a big enough sky for her
to spread her wings in and wheel
on the passionate thermals of joy

that arise within me like double helices of inspiration.
And in return, I would promise her to never think
I'd found an answer to her mystery, or a reply
to the silences that abound within her

like nightbirds that just won't answer.
And if she's not in her shrine when I come to lay
a bouquet of stars at the foot of her temple stairwells,
or off at a coven somewhere with the Horned One,

trying to get a handle on my polyphrenic diversity
that can speak to the angels as well as the demons in tongues.
Shapeshifter though I may be, I promise her
by the time she gets home she'll always recognize me

in the form that most becomes her. I've always thought
that death was shorter than life, because
death isn't lived through even for a moment and if
anything lasts forever anywhere, it's right here

where we can dance like rootless trees to the songs of the nightbirds
and listen to the squirrels in the walls in the morning
stacking black walnuts like prophetic skulls,
and reach out to the waterlilies like dragonflies

that know how to interpret them like loveletters on the sly.

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Patrick White

God, I Hurt Sometimes For Reasons I Can Only Guess

for Sally

God, I hurt sometimes for reasons I can only guess.
Don't know what it is, too much love, too little,
but it feels like I'm giving birth to fog,
or my heart is standing in the doorway
of an abandoned chrysalis asking if
we could do it all a little differently this time,
and ingather like the nebulae of the stars
instead of the circus tents of these gypsy moths
swarming the Dutch elms like fake starmaps
that don't know much about shining in the dark,
but eat mini blackholes through the leaves
that have known greener days of radiance,
and more creative things to do with the light.

I can see the stars even in daylight
from the bottom of this fathomless well
only the snakes and the frogs and the fireflies
descend into to drink from the dark watershed
of the mystery I'm swimming through
like an albino bioluminescent fish through black ink
trying to find the words to express this sorrow
that overtakes me from time to time
as if life's waterclock had confined itself
to one bucket for awhile. And time had stopped.

It's as if I could feel every wound in the world
pierce the hummingbird of my heart on the thorns
of a black rose, as if I could feel the secret grief
of the yellow star in the violet eye of the beautiful lady
who toxically weeps like the belladonna
under the chandeliers of the deadly nightshade
that cures what it kills in love
administering death like mercy to put her lover
out of his misery with an oceanic love potion
he can't help but thrive upon like nectar and ambrosia.

As if I were picking up the small body of a sparrow
in the cradle of my hands and seeing in it,
its random extinction in the face of the windowpane
that lied, the death of the sky. And it's strange
that I do, that my eyes should fill with unprompted tears
that I'm digging a hole with my bare hands
in the same bed of tiger lilies I buried my goldfish in
like the big June bugs lying on their backs
perfectly preserved out in the open on the cement sidewalk
where I stopped to bury them with a finger for a spade,
when no one was looking who might laugh at me,
and mark their graves with two blades of grass,
on my way back from rugby practise, on King's Street,
to make sure nobody stepped on them just for fun,
as if death itself weren't already enough of a desecration,
a seeming destruction, to satisfy them for awhile.

And it's silly, I know, to bury the dead
in the soil of my heart as if they were bulbs
I planted in the fall to bloom in the spring
like the bells of the blue hyacinth
and the white gold daffodils of a pagan Easter
emerging like the high priestesses of a mystery religion
that returns resurrection to the womb of a woman.

Amorphous pain, homogeneously dispersed,
like the afterbirth of the background universal hiss
that miscarried into the post-natal depression
of an emptiness that keeps reversing its spin
on the state of things like synchronous happenings
in the charged particle field of a duplicitous politician,
like a ghost in the rain, like a faraway train,
my heart's the red lantern of a Chinese box-kite
way down the line at the last stop
where no one gets off, and no one arrives,
and there are no starmaps like tourist brochures
to point out like cabbies, the hotspots
of what's shining down upon nothing tonight.

I can feel the inhuman solitude
of eighty thousand prisoners sentenced
to years of isolation in the third eye of the pen
chewing on their shadows like leg-hold traps,
and the contemplative vengeance of their keepers
walking the night rounds with socks on their feet
in the wee hours of the morning as if it were they
who had avoided capture and mastered failure
by defeating these uncaged in their sleep.
As Robert Louis Stevenson said, or was it Walter de la Mare,
tread lightly for you tread on my dreams,
some like mushrooms, some like landmines.

But it isn't the kind of pain you can factor
a cause into like fireflies into the Slough of Despond,
or the Valley of Death, after the storm has passed
like an electric chair that's just thrown the switch.
It's softer than that, inclusive, embrasive, almost
lunar in its compassion for the least of things
from flies with wings torn off like the pages
of a calendar, June bugs, to the orphanage of asteroids
that nobody wanted when the solar system
was first forming into myriad nuclear family ways.

Not the kind of sorrow that brings rain, but
pain like the condensation of hydrogen clouds
that have been lingering like ghosts of the stars
they used to be, waiting to break into light
like the constellation of a new myth of origin
to explain being exiled this far from home.
No grave in sight, but still I mourn
for all the wishing wells that
didn't get what they wanted
when they kissed the moon
like a coin they had blessed
and returned to river they had retrieved it from
only to discover the dark side of their luck
when it popped up again like a sacred syllable
under the forked tongue of a lottery ticket.

Pain without locus, pain without focus,
a blur, a smear, a smudge, an atmosphere, an aura,
cataracts in the eyes, flowers in the sky,
and everywhere I see the belongings of the Beloved,
her passion for lightning and fireflies,
scattered all over this unbegotten house of life
like battered flowers and shattered trees
and power-outages that make the stars flicker
and black out, for days at a time, like an ice-storm
in the middle of summer, passing over the distant hills,
like a glacier following its own melting
all the way to the dark night sea
as if water, as it is to a river a raindropp and a tear
whether it's painted on a clown's face or not,
or just trying to make the mascara of the poppies run,
were the only guide it could trust.

And these are the green swords of the gladiolas
and wild violet irises down by the river
where the waterlilies and the corpses flow by
like floats in a parade of burning flowers
that make the river's eyes run with grief and bliss,
hello, farewell, good-by, as if you just saw
the silouhette of a bird fly across the moon
with a few beats of its wings, a small pulse,
the brief thought moment of a passing wavelength,
like my own, a braille dot on the starmap of a blind star,
with the emotions and aspirations of a Cepheid variable
trying to keep pace with the measure of the death march
beating on the drum of my heart
like dollops of funereal rain on a tin roof.

And what do you learn when you die like this
for the things you lived in the name of too long
to bear the loss of the world mountain
on the turtle of your heart when the black swan
of the new moon has been snapped up from below
as if the only way you can come to the end of things
is to run out of beginnings, and that hasn't happened yet
since the universe first broke into stars and went prime time.

All opening nights. Everyone of them. And there are
scimitars of the moon at last crescent and poems and lovers
you can cut your wrists on like the brass moonrise
of a tuna fish can, if you don't really want to talk
to the ambulance about anything unreal as reality.
And you can be rushed to the emergency ward,
like a rose that's bleeding out, and there'll
you'll meet a nurse, not a nun, at the end
of a long tunnel of light that isn't estranged from death
but embodies the female principle of life
with a smile like a silver herb of the moon
and she'll inser the other fang of the snake that heals
into your vein like a boomslang of blood
hanging on the branch of a a chromium tree
with mandalic wheels that wobble like planets down the hall.

And there she'll teach you as you heal
that just as your lungs have learned to trust
the oxygen in the air that others are breathing along with you
like the Amazon jungle, fish in the sea, the flower
of the candle that blooms in fire, so your heart
that imbibes the skull cup of the moon down to its lees
to read the partial eclipses of your prophecies and dreams
like shipwrecks at the bottom of lunar seas
that have been drained of water,
drained of atmosphere and wine
looking for signs in dry creekbeds
like the lifelines on the palms of your hands,
must water the dust at your feet,
the stars above your head like the Milky Way,
the Road of Ghosts, your passage on earth,
with as many boodstreams in life
as it takes to float your lifeboat
on a bubble of the moon at high tide.

Such is life. Such is the flashflood of love
that makes the seven year long sleep of the frogs
up to their voices in starmud, sing
that their dream has finally come alive again,
and the voodoo doll of the cactus pierced with thorns,
flowers, and the serpent revels in the rain
that falls on its scales like the petals of a marigold
or the keys of a piano with its eighty-eights straight
and plays such music as it's never heard before
its scales turn into the feathers of a bird, or if
it's enlightened, the wings of a dragon of serpent fire
running up your spine like the sign of a healer
coiled around the axis of the earth like a caduceus
because even a single blade of grass here
is a strong enough medicine to give
the whole world vertigo like a Sufi
at a crossroads on the moon
dancing alone with dust devils
when things begin to overflow again
like a cup, like a heart with a crack and a broken handle,
like a watershed in a hourglass,
or a mirage in a desert of stars
because love, when it leaves home,
always forgets to turn the faucet off
like the four rivers flowing out of Eden
to water the root fires in the star gardens of paradise
when love jumps up stream like a salmon
coming home to the womb it will be buried in
like a loveletter from the sea to the moon.

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