Morning Star

A nonet poem

Morning star

She is at home on the battlefield,

The shaft comes with a ball and chain,

Her love is a morning star,

Effective with blunt force,

Causing great trauma,

Spiked at the ends,

Medieval,

Brutal,

Love.


This is my first nonet; a nine lined poem with a syllable count that descends from 9 – 1 as your work down the lines.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Lug the Legless

A narrative poem

Prologue

Forsaking I, to fend in the woods,
Undertaking trials of great peril,
Those Druid, beneath cloak and hood,
Caste off to scavenge as a feral,

I ran errands for my sacred leader,
Listened at his feet as he versed,
For my devotion, labelled a feeder,
On a sacrifice of blood was cursed,

Now, I crawl through the undergrowth,
Bone of my legs turned to jelly,
To slither in my wake, gods hear my oath,
Let grasses of sword pierce my belly,

If Toranos aid shall not strike thunder,
On the heads of the fickle Druid,
Villages reaped with fire and plunder,
Let their cries of forgiveness burn amid.

Lug the Legless

I laughed into the forest floor,
For my ears had tamed Druid knowledge,
To commune with the beasts of lore,
On advice of ancient trees, I forage,

Mastered beasts with shamanic howling,
Rode wild horses where their hooves tread,
Hillside was speckled with my wolves prowling,
Watchful eyes, whilst I rest my head,

In the burrow, where the shadows cackle,
Dare my treacherous tribe trample a leaf,
Will find vines to their ankles shackle,
Flesh be claimed by the woodlands teeth,

The children sing of the hermits cave,
He, whose occult whispers would possess,
To travel in the fertile deep was grave,
Lest you come across Lug the Legless.

Epilogue

Their armies came from across the seas,
A force so large, their fires ate the sky,
Footsteps shook free acorns from oak trees,
Land beneath their tents would wither and die,

Brave warriors painted in woad,
Fell under the eagle standard,
Blue skin trampled in red as they rode,
Cut down, be not the invaders pandered,

Albion gave herself to them,
Wealth of her earth sworn to new hands,
Fate, by long reaching arms condemn,
Tribal bands in once free, proud Celtic lands,

I danced mounted a boar by the fire,
A joy echoed on the forest wall,
Captured fulfilment of my desire,
Lug the Legless, outlived them all.

My response to the prompt by dVerse; Poetics: Exploring the Narrative Voice.


Image credit: Mary Evans Picture Library

Lug; Proto-Celtic, believed to be from the Proto-Indo-European “leug”, meaning, to swear an oath.

Toranos; Proto-Celtic form of Taranis, god of thunder in Celtic Mythology.

Albion; from the Proto-Indo-European for “white”, is the earliest known name for the island of Britain, thought to be reference to the White Cliffs of Dover.

Ardross wolf, Pictish Carving, image credit: Inverness Museum and Art Gallery

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

An Ugly Son #2

Short prose

Find part 1 here

Part 2

I thought he hated me because I was different, because the weeping, the laughter, the silence, of my three wretched faces, frightened him - appalled him - I was wrong. It was not that, it was how I so perfectly mirrored my mothers face, shifting, metamorphosing itself from the dark recesses of my thought onto the mortal vessel of my body, every time I would turn them to her. There was not a mirror, nor a window, to caste a reflection of my curious condition, in that dank, sorry cabin – the pitiful tomb he had built for himself – and I. The laughter and the weeping, the prying of my fingers, and the wickedness of my father’s tongue was the only thing which let me know I was a monster. With nothing to confirm or deny its truth, like my God, I threw my faith at the darkness. But, I had never, ever seen, or imagined in my wildest dreams, now exposed with such clarity, such desolating honesty, the abhorrent aberration in the altering state of my affliction. 

That day, by the stream, with my mother’s ghost watching me through the cold water, I had no idea where it would take me, how I would use it – but I would, in time. It did not start easy. I rolled back onto my bottom, numb. The squawk of frenzied birds snaring my attention, I looked upstream, with horror, the rotting carcass of a deer bobbed, caught between two rocks, its body starting to decompose, bloated, the puncture marks of ravenous birds riddling its exposed hind quarters. I spat the remnants of its watery captive from my mouth, that I had been lapping up like a thirsty cat, moments before. I had to get moving, I didn’t know where… but I had to, before I ended up like that forsaken deer.

I walked naively, following my nose most of the day, my short legs making hard work of the brush and thicket, sure that I passed the same crooked trees, bent toward me as if taunting, multiple times, lost and desperate, before finally vomiting up the contents of my stomach on my chin and knock knees, pathetically, as I hunched over, clutching my guts. I dropped down, writhing. I was sure this was the end for me. Albeit a short life, it was a miserable one. I said to myself, there, as I lay on my back, staring into the twilight of the day, there is no God, no good God, who would create a child like I, and damn him to not even but one day of joy.

There was a snuffling at my head, I tucked my face into my knees timidly, sobbed, forgetting the soft features I had inherited at daybreak.

“My God, are you ok? What’s a young girl doing out here?...”

Came a voice above me, through the shield I fashioned with my arms. ‘Young girl’? I puzzled at the word – but, I’m a boy. My face? My mother’s face – was it real? Do they see me – or her?

“Where’s your parents?”

I uncoiled like a beaten kitten, looked up with petrified eyes that begged mercy.

A man stood there, eyes widening
and narrowing to focus, hairy dark finger holding tightly the scruff of a canines loose neck, as the hound sniffed and huffed with agitated enthusiasm, big floppy ears falling over the side of its head like a clothe over the sides of a table.

“Are you ok? Oh, you’re… older than you first look…”

I glared at him, willingly, but there was no voice, nothing. He repeated his questioning. I tried so hard, I wanted to answer him, I screamed desperate pleas from the pit of my being, but I made no sounds, not even a grunt or moan, thus was the suffering of my affliction.

“Must be simple.”

The man said, possibly to his dog.

He took my hand in his, I followed gratefully, the hound too. A rust coloured horse stood restlessly, aged in the rain, tethered by rope attached to a tree, in front of a shoddy cart. He helped me onto the wagon, where I lay amongst the dead animals - rabbits, and a pheasant. The cart bumped on the uneven ground, the wheels squeaking on each rotation. I imagined there were mice living inside. The moon flickered behind the treeline as if the oil were running out in its lamp, till the trees gave way to open skies of stars and moon. Voices - cackles, hollering, hooting – there were people here. I sat up and peeked over the wooden side. There were definitely people here, wandering the streets, all sorts of strange shapes and sizes, some small like me, some big, wearing funny clothes. Houses here were odd too, built of brick and stone, with smoke spiralling in the air, from little shoots. Now, of course, much has changed in the world, and there is little, bar the lining of a man’s skin, which can surprise me, but back then, I could hardly believe my young eyes.

The cart trundled to a stop outside a modest grey stone building, with real glass windows and a door with a heavy handle. The man picked me out the wagon, led me inside, the dog hurried in, dropped into a straw cushion in the corner, as the door thud shut. He removed his earth encrusted boots, on one, a handle of a short blade poking from a self-stitched in sheathe. He placed them by the door, hung up a filth laden pig-hide overcoat beside. The man tore some bread, by his hairy ham fingers, darkened with the spoils of the hunt, dropped the stale morsel onto the table. I devoured it unthinkingly, as he worked up a small fire in the hearth. He poured some water into a stubby, crudely crafted pottery mug, gently placed it into my dainty fingers – took some more, poured and heated it in a metal tanker over the fire. When the tanker bubbled and steam wafted on the draft, about the room, making windows look like it had caught the fog of morning, he lifted it back out with blackened iron tongs, and tipped it into a modest bronze tub. He laid out a white linen tunic beside, as I watched excitedly, before brushing back his feathery silver eyebrows.

“Wash yourself down.”

I began to remove the burlap garments, first my shirt, over my head, then, dropping my lower half, I turned away to hide my body, and the feminine vail, which had gained me sanctuary. He sat into a homemade wooden chair. I lifted one leg over, then the other, and slipped down the inside of the wall, into the warm water. Sploshing, bathing blithely, for the first time in weeks, I ran my fingers through my hair, dark as slate, thickened by dirt, which dangled in matted strands, at my shoulders. The grime let go of my skin and scalp, whirling in the current of my puissance, gathering and sitting on the surface of the water like a vegetable broth. The man’s shadow sulked around the room. I heard his footsteps on the stone floor before I felt his forceful fingers on my head. He began to brush out the clumps of hair with his busy probing hands. I sat there, unmoving, body frozen with a crippling consternation. He took his time, getting out all the knots.

“Now, we won’t tell anyone about this, will we?” I felt his hot, putrid breath on my neck, close.

I tried, to say no, no I wont tell… no, no please don’t do this, I don’t want to - something, anything, but there was no voice. He placed his hand on the barren space at my chest. The dog whined behind, panting, and growling beneath the heavy handle of the door. The mans grip relaxed, laid-off, for a moment.

“Go and lie down!” He hammered at the hound, which sunk down, and whimpered, but resigned to stay.

I hesitated, a moment passed, every second felt monumental, as stars falling to earth, around me, with clout. I did not move, I could not.

A star landed in my lap. A sudden burst of preservation overrode passivity. I leapt from the tub, water followed me into the air with an explosive spray, as gunpower in a barrel. I caught hold of the linen tunic and took it up in my arms, holding it to my body.

The man recoiled in shock, almost tumbling back, but too soon for respite, composed himself, and instead started to make steps toward me. He jolted to an abrasive holt, stared me up and down with savagery in his eyes.

“A boy? What sort of witchcraft is this? Face of a women, body of a child boy. First, you are a simpleton, now you’re a trickster. You take me for a fool, witch?”

A silence.

“ANSWER ME!?”

The over alert canine prowled back and forth the room behind him, back arched anxiously, barking into the panic. The man withdrew, snapping shut the latch above the heavy door handle, to damn me, took up a sluggish iron poker from the hearth, and in throwing himself across the room with unwieldy anger, struck the wall behind my head. I dived across the room, discarding the tunic for the short blade prized from his boot. The hound lunged at me, snapping with frenzied determination. I kicked at it, with the defenceless soles of my feet, its teeth snatched my fleshy calves and thighs. The man’s burly steps, made light work of the room, as he lumbered with raised bar. I pointed the knife outward, clasped tight at my chest. Closed my eyes, pictured my true face, my malformed faces, laughing at my misfortune, crying at the tragic shame.

A shriek. Opening my eyes, the dog cowered, tracking back with snarling fright. A clunk, as the weighty poker hit the stone floor. The man staggered back, eyes threatening to drop from their sockets.

“DEMON!”

The weeping, the laughter, it misted the room with an immobilising fear. I hurtled out of the brace position I had shrunk into and thrust frenetically with the short blade. The man, had frantically dropped to an knee, with unstretched hand toward the iron poker, bringing him conveniently inline with the blade.
It pierced the neck with an impulsive spray of warm blood. I gauged at him twice more, severing small pulpy snacks for the hound. He fell away to his back, as I continued to make lunges. A gory foam filled his mouth, as he gargled on his last forgotten words.


I stood up, kicked a chunk to the whining hound, which took it up in its mouth and scarpered back to the corner. The room was fuzzy, flashes and specks of white. Adrenaline coursed my system with an overwhelming pulse. I wilted to my knees, crawled to the hearth, contemplated climbing inside it’s cleansing inferno. I took up the mantle with my hands, used it to clamber up and pull down a tarnished mirror, which rested next to an old book of lies, and a silver snuff box, above the hearth. I sat at the mirror, naked but for the blood of my captive, my image flickered with the flame. I watched, watched as the weeping, the incessant weeping, and the laughing, the perpetual laughing, hummed a joyless anaesthetising tune. I wish all three faces would weep, so I could be free of it.

Six autonomous eyes, three independent noses, two self-serving mouths - in between, an empty stretch of skin, membrane for the canvas of unspeaking words, the eyes above, restful, emotionless. My face. My faces. An ugly son.

I took the blade, and with it sliced a jagged crescent into the barren breadth of skin. A shrill shriek was let free in the room, and for the first time, I had a voice.

Original story by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

In the West

Quadrille poem

He sat on his porch,
From dawn till dusk,
Chewed sunflower seeds,
Spat out the husk,

With that same ol’ sun,
Nurturing yields,
On the horizon,
Tending the fields,

The crop harvested,
An empty chair,
Sun sets in the West,
Seeds in the air.

My response to the prompt from dVerse.

Quadrille Monday; create a 44 word poem, using the word “seed”.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

An Ugly Son

Short prose

Part 1

The words of my father whispered on the wind. An ugly son. Am I such a devil? Cold, stark pit of the night overtook the rattling tin of uninvited thoughts. I fell into slumber despite the thin layer of naked grasses piercing my back as rusted nails. The wind broke from whisper, my father’s words shouted me awake, bolt upright, from the belly of the howling gale. An ugly son.  

I followed the heel of his worn leather boots, as obedient dog. He slithered through the forests labyrinth of fallen leaves and watchful trees. They cowered at the sharpened axe gripped threateningly by the handle, finger grooves personalised by years of labour. My father, the woodcutter.

My body shook uncontrollably, a petty rain fell like poisoned arrows, as the dim light of the moon painted sinister shadows on the forest floor. I dragged in handfuls of debris to break up the monotonous expanse of hard ground. Why did he leave me here? An ugly son. Ten years old, with no voice of my own, just the relic of a thousand faces. I could not ask him myself, just stare – stare with my mothers’ eyes. An ugly son. But, but… he loved her so, I know it, I watched as the tears carved a skeleton of chalky roots from the earth laid on his cheeks, as he cast the last shovel of dirt on her peasant grave, dug behind the log cabin, where I was birthed, and she died.

He sat me on the stump of a great tree, felled long ago, when he still smiled, when I kicked unknowingly in my mother’s womb, before he looked upon my wretched face. I closed my eyes, as I listened to twigs snap and leaves crumble beneath his feet, behind me, as he circled to my back. He could not even bring himself to look at me whilst he did it. Why didn’t he do it? I cannot be sure if he even planned on swinging the axe he carried, so menacingly, with him. I am not sure of anything anymore. I squeezed my eyelids tightly, with a fragilely put forward defiance, begged for it to be quick, I did not dare turn to look at him, lest he strike me across the face with the back of his unforgiving hand, or worse, look at me with that sickened stare. I made silent pleas to my God... to do it, end my pain, but nothing came. When I finally opened my eyes, he was gone.

The mornings warmth caressed my cheek with the kindness of an old friend and heraldry of a brave knight – the knight which slain the night - vanquished, for now. I pressed my tender palms onto the bed of moss and bark I had curled up on, and sculled myself to my feet. My head felt swollen and drowned by the sodden atmosphere of the forest floor. I sucked at the moss for a modest drop of sustenance, but it was unjustifiably cruel - and spat nothing but more craving, and a mouthful of creatures and dirt. I circled where I stood, but the trees might as well have been bars on a jailhouse cell.

I stumbled about hopelessly, tripping on the dead carcasses of fallen trees, scratching, and bruising my guiltless bare feet. I became so disorientated, I barely noticed the land between my toes fall away, before I tumbled, rolling head over heels, like a dropped log. Gratefully, I bundled in a heap at the bottom, more frustrated than hurt, but my annoyance subsided when I realised I had come upon a stream - babbling with the vigour of an energetic young stallion, galloping the confines of the pen - caught between the walls of a shallow ravine. I hurried to the waters edge dipped my entire face below, slurping like a wild beast. As I drew myself from a feverish quenching, I hovered, staring, six eyes blinking erratically, in the reflection. My face… my faces. An ugly son.

Why am I weeping? The face on my right side, weeping, always weeping. His sorrow can never be pacified. Its features contorted by years of needless agony, hanging like melted wax. His sobbing ever dampens the day. Though, even his tears cannot douse the infernal laughter of the face which hangs on my left, laughing, always laughing. His crippled lips stretched gaping from the twisted hilarity – his eyes wild like the frantic hind legs of a distressed hare, in sights of a falcon. Six autonomous eyes, three independent noses, two self-serving mouths - in between, an empty stretch of skin, membrane for the canvas of unspeaking words, the eyes above, restful, emotionless. My face. My faces. An ugly son.

I submerged myself below the water, gushing. Drowned out the weeping and laughter. Held my breath. I pictured her face - my father, he kept me locked up for so long, hidden away in that decrepit cabin, as the winters withered it away, I can barely picture another face, just his - just hers. I felt something morphing inside me, as if somebody had added hot water to a cold tub. I had experienced this in the past, usually before my father flew into one of his rages. I withdrew my head from the stream. Air penetrated obliging lungs. I snapped opened my eyes, peered startled at the reflection, heart striking with the force of my fathers axe on innocent timber. There she was, dancing in the ripples, the face of my mother.

Find part 2 here


Original story by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Be the Dragon

Rhymed tanka

Conversation with Smaug, J.R.R. Tolkien
Don’t try to please sheep,

Be the Dragon of the keep,


They stand, stare and bleat,


Whilst your belly fills with meat,


May your castle house riches.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Calm Waters

Haiku

Will of calm water -

Exposes a sunken chest,

Of inner treasures.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Salt on the Path

Haiku

Lingering snowfall,

Fallen leaves of yesteryear -

Salty stay the tears.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Words of Winedom

Tanka

Questioning your worth - 

When you feel the odd one out,

Don’t sell yourself short,

In the end, there’s only you,

Choose people as you would wine.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Wildlife

Wild and Free Versed

The wildlife, 
don’t run in front of my wild-life,

My wild wife,
will give YOU trouble and strife,

A cockney jingle,
opposite words mingle,

Leave this line single,

Just because I can,

Thoughtless cognition
- a juxtaposition,

My wild-life,
Don’t run in front of my bees and honey,

Keep that disposition sunny!

For things will go out of place,
There’s no reindeer in Tasmania...

- Dromomania

When you’re feeling down under,
Uncontrollable urge to wander,

Free verse, randomly dispersed,
As pollen, no rhyme or reason,

Out of place, on purpose,
Ugly duckling...

Duck hunting season,
Shooting ducks in a barrel,

Quack quack, goes the ringtone,
On the dog and bone,

We come full circle,
The circle of wild-life.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Edge of the world

Haiku

Edge of the day...

The edge of the bay,
Mountain view, so far away -
Reminds me of you.

Edge of the world,
Tasmania.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Electric Seahorse

A narrative poem

I won an electric seahorse,
From Gypsies at the fair,
A Roma women sung to me,
Behind onyx black hair,

Born to be free,
Over thunderous waves,
Roamed happily,
Till mans reins did enslave,
Caught in a net,
Lost upon foreign lands,
Now, he’s your pet,
Thus fate rests in your hands


Homeward my electric seahorse,
To drop it in the tank,
It galloped around the glass dome,
Reared up, before it sank,

Our eyes met behind flared nostrils,
A current passed between,
Telepathic kaleidoscope,
Thousand year dreamlike scene,

“Long, long ago,
Night dark and frightening,
Murmurs did grow,
Cloudburst with lightening,
With storm raging,
Elemental forces,
Begun birthing,
Electric seahorses”


Head rattles off the boarded floor,
Mouth frothing, and fitting,
Red serpents puddled where they pour,
Gush forth from the splitting,

Awakening, laid prone and sore,
With new understanding,
Stolen from realms beyond the shore,
A lone Earthen stranding,

“Once swum many,
Distant numbers unknown,
By a penny,
Won away from thy throne,
The loathly shame,
Electric Seahorse King,
Life bet in game,
Counting coin, Gypsies sing”

I plunged into his prisoned orb,
Tread water as I kicked,
Electric seahorse rose to me,
On its spine gently picked,

Me up, and with a zippy zap,
It dived beneath the pool,
Rumbling and roaring, bolts expelled,
He taught me how to rule,

“A Kingdom vast,
Where species will devour,
Can only last,
With balance of power,
Use what you need,
Swim from thoughts selfish stream,
Let go of greed,
Watch how your waters gleam.”

I burst splashing from the vision,
Electric Seahorse King,
Drove to the sea and set you free,
Thank you for everything.

Epilogue

I went to find the Romani’s,
They’re nowhere to be found,
Cartwheels, wagons and horses hooves,
Left printed in the ground,

So, I called in with the Police,
Told them the whole story,
Of the Electric Seahorse Kings,
Realm of former glory,

Behind a laugh she coyly asked,
Sir, is this a tall tale?
No! But, the seed of doubt was sown,
- A letter in the mail,

I tore the envelope harshly,
It read; “Dear Sir/Madam,
We would like you to come for tests”,
They don’t believe I swam -

With the Electric Seahorse King!,
“A standard procedure”
Doctors results said I had an;
“Epileptic seizure”,

I kicked a can down to the sea,
Sat and sulked with the tide,
There was a current in the air,
Between the waves I eyed,

A volt of falling certainty,
Bolt upright, thunderstruck,
Bobbed two electric seahorses,
I can’t believe my luck!
Not one, TWO! Holy fuck!

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Gumtrees

Haibun

Van rolling to a gentle stop, not in a hurry, handbrake on, door opens – met by zesty breeze. A new place – small town Tasmania – refreshing. Quaint – with its colonial architecture, painted and preserved with double edged pride – it could be rural England, except, we don’t have mountains like these, maybe then, more like rural Scotland. There’s a ‘Ben Lomond’ close by – fitting.

A land far from home,

Hands that laid the stone -

Sown in British soil.

Been cooped up in the city for the last week. Who am I kidding? – The “cities” in Tasmania are as well nestled in the landscape, as a bird nests in a tree. I was appreciating the open road, but, even more so, the gum (eucalyptus) trees, as tyres spun round, and wound the bends, I realised I hadn’t felt excited about the scenery for some time. We (humans) get used to things so quickly. Paced into being conditioned numb.

Time to slow down – pay attention to the shades of colour beneath the gumtrees bark, shedding dramatically, exposing its belly with its bleached pigment, unlike anything I’ve seen in Europe, as it goes through its yearly cycle.

We’re a bit like gumtrees – shedding layers, growing new ones.

Tough exterior,

Shedded to make room for growth -

Shows inner beauty.

There’s a liberating texture to this new skin I’m wearing, eyes picking up on things which trickled beneath the bridge, yesterday. It’s amazing how from a momentarily confronting realisation, an acknowledgment with minor adjustments, can bring such rewarding developments. I come to a physical bridge, kneel there for a while, people pass behind me as I snap a photo – lap up the unfamiliar flora at its banks, nuzzled between the falling yellow and copper leaves.

Kneeling on the bridge,

As time trickles by beneath -

Drink up the moment.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Folk Heart

A poetry pulsation

Folk Art wood carving from Belarusian sculptor Andrey Sagalov

Callused laymen hands, 
Dirtied with oil and grime,
Sharpen the pencil,
To whittle out rhyme,

Carving a cadence,
Humming whilst hewing,
Fashioning fiction,
From words that I’m chewing,

The pulsing of my blood,
Life of my art - I nurse,
Untrained, unweaned,
on the teat of poetic verse,

Style and form adorns,
A contemporary rune,
Scratching out lettering,
Syllables scattered and strewn,

As tangled as roots,
Rustically written,
A bespoke piece,
The sculptor is smitten,

Find the makers mark,
At the base, at our start,
The lifeblood of Folk Art,
Beats in my Folk Heart.

Submitted to Open Link Night at dVerse Poets Pub.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

The laundromat

Haibun

The laundromat is humming that anaesthetising old tune again. The washing machine says he’s sick of handling other peoples dirty laundry. The tumble dryer is going stir crazy that nobody appreciates his dry wit. I sprinkle some ‘Fresh Frangipani’ powder on the mundane. The concrete floor, washed with a grey gloss, is making me feel cold. Someone decided it was a good idea to paint the walls, wooden benches and table in luminescent neon lime. I hold back uncomplimentary comments, attempting to squeeze out all the bitterness in the previous sentence. I’d crack a joke, but it’ll come across a bit fruity. The tumble dryer lets out a gleeful ping.

Words come tumbling out - 

Washing light colours with darks,

Spring scents of humour.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

A Little Chirp

I’m nothing special,
Mere man with a mind,
I like words written,
Versed free, blank or rhymed,

Partial to poems,
That sing from the page,
Birds will fly freely,
Left open a cage,

Swooping for morsels,
Daylight robbery,
The perp with the chirp
The crafty birdie,

Perched on my shoulder,
Tweeting in my ear,
Push the pen this way,
It makes itself clear,

Little creations,
It’s having a hoot,
We broker a deal,
That’ll mutually suit,

Peck at the cavern,
To gauge and to probe,
Nesting quite comfy,
On my frontal lobe.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Drawing Circles

What if life isn’t a linear pathway to death?

Most of us non god fearing folk imagine ourselves on a line, from A – B, birth to death.

In the depths of the night, sleepless notions draw in and out like the tide, frothing up all the man made crap people throw away. I think about the origins of religion, as proposed by many, including myself – searching in the darkness for answers, ever absent, to questions of what and why. Dancing on the surface of those vast troubling oceans of unknown are the reflection of stars, tiny twinkling abstractions shimmer – bright ideas? The wind howls. Transient introspections whistling wistfully beneath the full moon. The hours tick by, as I’m pushed “forward”, toward my final wakeful breath. I give my customary offerings to the immortal beasts of worry and dread, perched as gargoyles on the walls of my castle – I ruminate on life and death.

There’s really nothing scary about death, I thought – I try to convince myself – not about actual death, it’s knowing all the wonderful things we leave behind which terrifies us humans. If death was for 1000 years and we could come back for a single day, we’d probably be excited – overwhelmed – there would be something to look forward to. What would have changed? How thrilling – one last dance. One monumental day. How beautiful would that day be…?

Plus, we could work up to the final nail, incrementally. Bit of breathing (or not breathing) space between – really, really, take it all in. Marvel at the inventions, perhaps, you would look up how your ancestors faired, or, spend the whole day smelling flowers.

We spend our lives looking forward to things, never quite grasping the present moment. What’s there to fear in death – an emotionless, painless void of nothingness?

Nothing.

It’ll be just like before you were born – and that wasn’t too bad.

As I lay there, I yearned for sleep, to free me from the thoughts of death, but what is sleep, but just a budget death impersonator – peaceful, painless, short and free, come grab yourself a bargain. We don’t fear sleep, we welcome it. Maybe, it is all by design. That’s probably why we get frail and sick in old age, so we can become tired of life and welcome some good shut eye.

If life is a linear line – what if there was a line for death too, but instead of running parallel, in the same direction, transferring us over to the other side, on our death, like two sides to a coin, what if it came at us in the opposite direction?

What if life and death were two lines, heading toward each other, two existences, that implode on contact, or, swallow each other up – like two snakes devouring one another? Your life exists in death by the merit that you lived, just as your death exists in life by the merit that you’re living. Light and dark. Yin and yang. Two inseparable complementary forces. The ultimate duality. Death gives life meaning, as life gives meaning to the empty space on either side.

We don’t really know what happens after we die… Heaven? Hell? Reincarnation? nothing?

With so much unknown in the universe, what makes us so sure of anything?

What if, when we died, we passed over into the next reality – where everything runs in reverse? The moment you die, you blink, and you’re back in your body, to start Benjamin Button-ing your way back to birth.

Everything that’s ever been, is to be looked forward to. It’ll be like pressing rewind on an old video player, you run it back, an inverted reality, but to you, it feels regular. You draw back your last breath from the room, as it inflates your lungs, you open your eyes, your family by your side, eyelids blinking like butterfly’s wings as they free themselves from the cocoon. Your senses spin like a broken washing machine – colours blurring – an illusion? You’re bewildered, utterly terrified, as the realisation you’ve just un-died slips out of the envelope.

Every word spoken, will become unspoken, swallowed back into the darkness, every blot of ink, written or typed, drawn back into the instrument of their maker. You inhale deeply – once more – you lungs accept it gratefully. Backwards or forward, breath is constant, unchanged.

As you gradually start to feel better, your family takes you home, your bed has never felt so cosy or well received, a smile creeps across your face. You skin tightens, your joints ease, day by day, the twinkle in your eye reappears as luminescent glow reflected in the mirror. You celebrate a son or daughters 40th birthday again (granting you had children – if not, roll with it anyway), grandchildren playing in your lap. You start to look forward to your 40th birthday. People who have passed away, reappear in your life. You welcome your parents back, one by one. Your heart swells.

Calendar days un-tick, years fly back, not fall away – everything feels whole, for brief moments. Under the surface, always, creeping, is the knowledge, precise, to the day, that people disappear. Your grandchildren are the first to go. It hurts. You hold out for the day your child/ren move back in, as happiness echos on the walls of the house once more. Your precious children become more and more dependent, with each day, until, poof, they’re gone too. Your life partner, suddenly walks out the door backwards, never to return. You mourn every loss with deepest of heartbreaks, every unfolding note in your life, becomes so much more painful as you count them down. First hellos are grieved as final goodbyes.

Wisdom drifts away. You start thinking your shit doesn’t stink again. Naivety creeps in. You pack you bags, turf them out onto the floor of your adolescent bedroom. Long loved band posters rehung on walls.

Independence slips away. You become unsure of yourself. You’re still getting your kicks, all the same. Fuck it. Have some fun. Your mind, day by day, abates. Before long, seemingly innate knowledge begins to hide. Faces obscure in your memory… you begin to wonder if there ever was a time you missed the taste of coffee, or the warmth of your loved ones breath on the back of your neck on a lazy Sunday morning. You take joy in the simplest of things. You begin to skip instead of walk, your coordination deteriorates, as you need to crawl instead of toddle. Everything you’ve ever known, falls away, until you’re helpless, and any “sentience” is all but a sound in the room, incomprehensible. Then, poof.

What if the lines of life and death, looped round to meet again, like the infinity symbol? Constantly overlapping in the centre.

I don’t know which would be scarier – not knowing what’s to come, or knowing.

Hmm…

What if existence, as we know it, is spherical, a never ending cycle, swirling, like a vortex, and the end of our universe is actually the beginning of it.

There’s so much in the universe that we don’t understand, how and why. We don’t really understand time. Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity stipulates that time will slow down or speed up depending on how fast you move relative to something else – if you travel fast enough, your relative velocity will create a time dilation. Time dilations are evidenced in time slowing down in space, so strictly speaking, astronauts on the International Space Station come back a few milliseconds younger than they would have aged, had they have remained on Earth.

There’s quantum physics that make my eyes water reading, as my head threatens to implode like the centre of a black hole.

Black holes are one of those things which offer more questions than answers, but we do know that they warp the fabric of spacetime. As you approach, time slows down, until you reach the event horizon – where the stretching of spacetime is so powerful that – who really knows?

Spaghettification. Yes, that’s a real thing. Not as appetising as it first sounds.

What can be confirmed, in all the great unknown – is that there are forces at work in the universe that most can barely comprehend, and there is no idea too outlandish, that can show it up.

Maybe, space, is finite. Our universe has been growing since the Big Bang. Maybe, our universe grows so big, so dense, that it starts to implode on itself. Maybe, at the centre of that implosion, is the start of the universe itself.

Maybe… life and death is a circle and one day we’ll be back.

Maybe… all this sounded more profound in my head at 2am…?

The things we humans think about before we slip away…


Words by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Teacher

My mother, you taught me to tie laces,
Now I walk on trails from my wildest dreams,

My father, you showed me how to use tools,
I’ve built adventures in nature’s extremes,

My brother, you would once look up to me,
I learn much from principles in your code,

~Teachers of life, unique style and mode~

To my free willed daughter or son, unborn,
Don’t sleep on gifts of guidance, unwrap gold,

Ego is a sedative to learning,
Conforming to base instincts will enslave,

Wisdom is humble, an authentic voice,
Grows sagely in a meditative conclave.


My response to the prompt by dVerse. Today’s poetry form is called a puente, translated to “bridge”, in Spanish.

A puente uses a line with a tilde at either end ~like so~ to bridge the first and third stanzas – which must themselves, have the same number of lines.

The poem I’ve created intends represent the bridge of knowledge transferred between people, through generations, as well as to symbolise the bridge on which knowledge crosses into wisdom.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

The Bones

A cacophony of mongrel whines,
The hounds gnaw at the bones,
Gnarly fingers stroke at matted hairs,
Pipes expel their gaping tones,

A curdling ring in a set of three,
Who calls in at this hour?
Old lady joints creak to rise for thee,
Worn as ground down flour,

Vacant chair bears an entrenched hollow,
Many years she sat and watched,
As the window pane grew black with mould,
Haggard lips sunk sips of scotch,

The dirtied glass is empty,
Barren chair, unanswered phone,
A cacophony of mongrel whines,
The hounds gnaw at the bones.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Sung from the page

Legs crossed in a figure 4, American style, to assert my dominance unconsciously – unnecessarily. Short clatter of glass and porcelain on the wooden table – a coffee – “Thank you” – dimples cove in cheeks – sugary smile returned. A library with a cafe… a winning combination. Balancing leg slides down over the top of knee, to hang crossed, parallel. Much more comfortable.

Nowhere’s better to work for me than the library – “work”; write, read, relax – whatever’s needed. A safe space. Surrounded by the words of bygone movers and shakers, thinkers, authors – dead novelists and poets, provocateurs of inspiration, a symphony of styles, a most beautiful euphony, many voices speaking, inner workings of the mind, alive, surviving in the ink. It’s amazing one can get anything done with so much noise on the shelves.

Sun breaches the window diagonally, spotlighting my coffee, as the frothy bubbles atop the latte dance and pop, highlighting the rich tones of camel, fawn and ivory – assorted as autumn leaves. A short sip. The milky foam sits on my upper lip, applauding from the balcony. The choir sings on, for future generations.

Wise words yet to fade,

Stayed young on shelves as it aged -

Watched by faithful sun.

A second haibun, a response to the prompt by dVerse; create a haibunprose, followed by a haiku. Today’s focus was writing on, and appreciating, the present moment.

My first can be found here; Harvest Season.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Harvest Season

A dry, savoury Southern Hemisphere sun, places an empyrean hand on my exposed cheek, almost hot to the point of discomfort, focused on one side, but with demure kisses of crisp autumnal wind tendering dotingly, it’s pleasantly tranquil – today promises to be clement and peaceable.

Touches and kisses - 

A welcomed simplicity,

Harvesting breaths, deep.

My response to the prompt by dVerse; create a haibunprose, followed by a haiku. Today’s focus was writing on, and appreciating, the present moment.

A second haibun can be found at; Sung from the page.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Snapshot: Tunxi Old Town

Short look + read photograph collections from places I’ve loved enough to capture.


Tunxi Old Town, Anhui Province, China

Tunxi Old Street is one of China’s the best persevered, with its traditional buildings, of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE), Ming (1368-1644 CE) and Qing (1644-1912 CE) dynasties, showcasing Hui style architecture, well adorned with ornamentation.

Placed within Tunxi Old Town, today, it is a busy tourist spot, with several museums, stores, many still exhibiting 100 year old artisan and craft methods of production, along with more contemporary ones, tea houses and eateries.


Photographs by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Times of Travel: Mt Kosciuszko

The cold was bitter and spiteful, the type you only know when you’re stood on the side of a mountain in winter. The wind whistled around objects, penetrated every warren, and licked up unwelcomingly around my exposed fingers, as I struggled with zips and mismanaged setting up my splitboard.

I was standing just off the unload ramp on the Kosciuszko Express chairlift, at Thredbo, New South Wales, Australia.

The plan of the day, was to tour up to the top of Australia’s highest mountain, earning our turns down. The route is an unmarked 13km+ return cross country, with any side tracks, predictably made wrong turns, and down runs taken additional kms underfoot – there is the mandatory top of the Kosciuszko chairlift to Thredbo Village, snowboard down to pop a cherry on the cake, at days end. The once receding snow line, had been freshly iced with a delicious white coating. Despite the rough patch of weather we were forecast, my friend and I were confident we could have a good time.

He is a true mountain man, with a suitably mysterious past, who spent all of the hostile winter months, covertly camping in the tree line. For the sake of privacy and because it’s going to sound unnecessarily badass in this story, we’ll call him The Sparrow. If there was anyone you wanted to have by your side in challenging conditions, it was him. We had bonded during the season, through many coincidental shared experiences, having both worked as De-icers at Mount Ruapehu, in New Zealand, as well as in Snowmaking – using water pumped from a source, to fan guns, which in utilising compressed air and a dry, low atmospheric temperature, create a man-made snow supply to supplement the natural snow base – at ski resorts in Canada.

Thredbo had concluded the season a week early due to inconsistent snowfall, with a busted pipe, the Snowmaking system had been inoperative during the latter half of the season, compounding into thin snow cover over the lower part of the mountain. In an ironic twist fate, the weather wizards had pointed their wands above us, and gifted several generous last days dumping out dry, feathery powder, mere days after the chairlifts span their last sheathe for another year (apart Kosciuszko Express Chairlift, which runs through the summer months). The recent storm had tipped buckets upon the rolling mossy hills, painting the landscape with an eccentric hand, once more abundantly white, settling and holding its quality through the cold snap, across the upper slopes.

For those who aren’t familiar, ski touring and split boarding involves navigating the landscape on your chosen equipment, with an articulated toe clip and disengaged heel, the rider slides their toes forward, in a vertically inverted moonwalk, choreographed to glide over the snow. Once the end destination is reached, on the high ground, ‘skins’ are removed (a carpet like cover which goes over the slick base of the ski, giving it grip) the heel is clipped in, for skis, or the two halves of the “split”-board (get it!?) are attached together, to be ridden down.

After rendezvousing at the chairlift, we made the first pushes over to The Sparrows tent, where he had been residing resiliently for the few days since the resorts closure, amid the storm, like the hermit man he is. He broke the ice above the stream which trickled underneath a bridge walkway 1km in, and filled his bottles up from a mountain source to the Snowy River.

Mt Kosciuszko, part of the Snowy Mountains in Kosciuszko National Park, is the highest mountain, in the highest range on the Australian mainland. They are part of the Australian Alps, which spans parts of New South Wales and Victoria. That said, it is still relatively tame, compared to its European or New Zealand counterparts, standing modestly with a highest point of 2,228 metres.

As we got moving, the warm blood pulsing around my system began to relive my numb fingers and toes. I was used to numb fingers and toes – I’ve been playing silly games in the mountains for a while now – but, that doesn’t make it anymore comfortable.

The sky sat heavily as a dense white barrier in droplets, airborne. We were navigating by the tips of our noses. Whenever you go touring, it’s always essential you bring a beacon with you, which is a signal sending and receiving device, in case of avalanche burials. We had redundant paper maps stashed away, and a GPS, which we used to steer our direction.

The Sparrow lead the charge, with his superior experience, filling the holes in my knowledge, as we went. We picked a landmark in the direction of our destination, according to the GPS, and headed straight to it, cutting our path through the unforgiving whiteout, recalibrating on the GPS, once, and only once, we reached the landmark.

As we pierced through, at approximately 2 hours into the trek, we noticed a huddle of people in the distance, circling around the same spot, with eyes fixed on a GPS watch. The Sparrow, made a brief verbal acclamation, “Thats what not to do.”, as we headed in a straight line toward the discernible black figure, of a rock.

The Sparrow (right), and I (left)

We stopped above them and asked if they were alright, to which they nodded. I asked one of them to take a picture of my mate and I, which they kindly obliged, and on exchanging the phone back, I couldn’t help but notice the skimpy ‘Donnay’ tracksuit pants one was wearing – lamentably underdressed for the environment. “Are you sure you’re ok?”.

They looked at each other with an opaque stare. The uncertainty revealing hesitation, was less than encouraging.

“Which way to Kosciuszko summit?” One finally parted with.

Oh man, I thought – that’s not a good opening gambit.

Several hours from the shelter of the Village, these would-be explorers had bitten off a little more than they could chew – choking on their escapade, lodged firmly in throat. Visiting the area from the south eastern cities, this untimely trinity, had started the day as a duo and single traveller, lost, they had crossed paths and joined forces in the unforgiving storm, swallowing their internal compass, becoming a trio of equally disoriented adventurers, adrift in the sea of white.

On a wing and a prayer, the individual parties, had rented snowshoes and shot up the mountain for a day of sightseeing. With the sights to see obscured in fog, and without a compass, map, GPS… or any sense of direction, the duo was lucky to bump into the single walker, who, they gratefully followed on a roundabout campaign to circumnavigate their own footprints.

Stick with us! We’ll get you to the top, we agreed.

Over the crunch of wind swept ice, between the coyly peeping rocks, we romped on.

For another two hours, we pushed our skis forward, with rhythmic tenacity, boots became implacable against shins, as our pentagonal party filed forward, the shuffling of snowshoes at the rear.

Right, which direction to go?

At the base of the final rise toward the summit, we broke briefly to supplement wanting salvia with sips of water, as a hand held packet of jelly beans was offered around for the needed glucose hit by their trustee.

The trio was deflated. I don’t think either The Sparrow or I had realised just how underprepared they were when we extended our guidance, otherwise, we may have insisted on turning back, and making for the safety of the resort boundary.

The least encouraging words were soon to be laid at my feet, when one triad member chimed, “I can’t go any further, leave me, I’ll have to call for rescue…”, to nods from the other two.

I almost laughed, it sounded more feasibly a joke than a legitimate suggestion. A rash discharge of anger flooded my, until now, patient demeanour. Three – four hours and 6.5km+ from the closest civilisation, through bleached raw terrain, in the midst of an uncompromising storm lashing, even if you had phone reception, even if it was possible to locate you, which before dark would be questionable, you would have to put other people in danger, to preform the rescue. This is exactly the type of selfish, ill prepared pigheadedness that ends in tragedy. And breath. They’re not bad people, they’re just naive… they didn’t appreciate the complexity of the task or know the true bloodless face, drawn ashen – of nature in winter.

I composed myself, breaking out into my best rendition of Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Just do it!’ speech, supportive and upbeat, but with an added cube of honesty stirred in, to cut through the purposefully encouraging positivity, and bring them down to Earth.

You always have more in the tank to give, just one step in front of the other. You have to make it back on your own two feet. Nobody is coming to rescue you out here. We aren’t leaving you. And if you can make it back 3 – 4 hours, after coming this far, you can make it 30 minutes to the summit.

They proved receptive, with fire in their belly, we rose, together, to the challenge. I watched intently, as The Sparrow educated me on how to do proper cutbacks on the steep terrain, as we pressed to the top. We all learnt something.

As we stood on the summit, it was difficult to differentiate the squared vortex from anywhere else on the route – the reward of our labours was not an unending view over the landscape from atop Australia’s highest peak, but the knowing we helped to make it happen for others.

Back at The Sparrows tent, 1km to go…
The Sparrow (centre left) and I (centre right), celebrate a great team effort, all round. I still had the ride down from the top of the Kosciuszko Express chairlift to look forward to.

The trio were extremely grateful. I would say lucky too – but, there was no luck involved, just good navigation and experience put into action, predominately by The Sparrow.

That was a difficult all day hike in challenging conditions. Definitely an achievement, great effort from everyone, but, also one that should give everybody a greater awareness and some invaluable experience for next time.

The backcountry is an unforgiving place. People die all the time. If you’re interested in going out, then there are courses that teach navigation, mountain skills and first aid, and avalanche skills and education in traversing avalanche terrain. Preparation is key. Be safe out there.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Yearning for reunions

A Limerick from afar, 

Relax, there’ll always be work aplenty,
Drink a beer and treat your body gently.

Happy Birthday wishes Dad,
From your eldest grown lad,

Today, I’ll be missing you intently.

Love, Darius

I changed a few words from the original I wrote for my Dad, for the benefit of the reader, this version is more universal.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Reclaims

Haiku

Image credit: Underwood Archives
San Francisco, California c. 1960
Naked tree crooked -

Old man walks by with hunched back,

Lays flat in the earth.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Mirage!

I enjoyed writing my first sonnet yesterday, so, I wrote another one…

Image credit: Alyssa Ramos

Heartbeat sultry, alone in the desert,

Your love is a caravan approaching,

A nomads flask tipped gratefully, quenching,

Lips to lips, thirsting for romances curt,

Arid dust clouds gust to breathlessly flirt,

Stirred sharp sand lashing, thrashing, entrenching,

Pool of haven – mirage! The void drenching,

Heartbeat sultry, alone in the desert,

Bereft, the cold dead night solemnly falls,

Stars dance to impress, you take centre-stage,

Your face flashes in my dreams as sleep calls,

Vivid as pictures on a glossy page,

Your cheeks delicate as dew on petals,

Drop away with the years, but do not age.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Sonnet the hedgehog

This is my attempt to give a Petrarchan sonnet a modern world twist.


Sonic the Hedgehog, Sega Mega Drive, 1991
Art from the original Japanese version

Snatched as prey in an eagles terse talons,

New vantage over the landscape, dangling,

Boiling up within, gushes a hot spring,

Wet feverish lust, fired up neurons,

Grey eyes howling, celebrated icons,

Scuttling close, heart pierced by scorpions sting,

Mortal wounding, beats as doves pure white wing,

Lost, seconds sit in space stretching aeons.

“Hi, do you want to place an order, sir?”

Reality pricks like a hedgehogs quill,

“A coffee please” I say shyly to her,

My girlfriends squeeze on my hand sends a chill,

My love, my sweet love, my sweet saboteur,

If she reads minds, I better write my will.


This is my first sonnet – specifically, it’s a Petrarchan sonnet.

It uses a iambic pentameter, as I am learning today, meaning it follows a rhythmic alternation between an unstressed and stressed syllable (iambic), repeated five times (pentameter). Therefor, the complete line contains ten syllables.

Petrarchan sonnets contain 14 lines total. It includes two stanzas, the first is an octave (eight lines), followed by a sestet (six lines). In the first stanza, the octave, the rhyme is composed in a ABBAABBA order, descending, whilst the in the second, the sestet, it can be assembled in CDCDCD or CDECDE.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Dreaming High

Mum, said I, can I fly, with the birds in the sky?

Yes, you can, before sleep, flap your thoughts, take a leap...

Dreamt of wings, woke in bed, feathers dense, guilt in lead.

Mum, said I, when birds die, do they fall from the sky?

This is my flutter at the prompt by dVerse.

This poem uses an Anapestic Tetrameterat – a coupling of words, which struck in me equal quantities of fear, and confusion.

After the initially apprehension, and a few basic finger equations, it turns out it’s far more simple than it lets on – and near instantly lets you in on the fun!

Each line, has four sets of ‘two unstressed syllables followed by a single stressed syllable’ – 12 syllables altogether.


If you liked this, you might enjoy Feathered.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Hai-ku-dos

Guiding hands to teach

Senpai swept on Eastern winds –

Greek marble endures.

I wrote earlier in ‘Today, I bothered’, of wishing to diversify my poetic styles.

I thought I would jump in gently –

With a haiku…

A Japanese poem in a 5, 7, 5 syllable pattern, containing a Kigo – a word or phrase that connects it to a season, and a Kireji – a cutting word, or juxtaposition.

Turns out there’s more than meets the eye.


In that this haiku was a step to learn something new, I decided to celebrate two ancient cultures revered for their lasting wisdom.

Kudos – praise for accomplishment, derived from the Greek “kydos”.

Senpai – a Japanese word for a senior person, of higher experience, such as a teacher.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Today, I bothered

Bright page under-lights,
Skin beneath my face,
I space, thinking of the chase,

To snare the catch,
Rifled shot, ringing in my brain,
Beastly words gushing from the vein,

Beating through fingertips,
Bleed spoils of my bother,
Spurting black, eyes wide, I hover.

I’ll admit, I’m a pretty one dimensional poet. I love rhymes and I don’t really deviate. I would like to change that – justify my attachment of the word poet, above – and in time, diversify.

I’m consistently unsurprised by the limited scope of my knowledge and talents.

I write my poems with layman’s fingers – they’re the same ones I use to scratch my head in confusion, and assertively push slices of pizza, oozing molten cheese, into my greedy gullet. If professionals become proficient at their craft through the compounding of experiences, the burnt roof of my mouth is evidence against my standing.

In admiring over the two short, yet valuable months blogging, the bountiful variety of poetry from The skeptics kaddish, I was inspired by his own modest account in his recent post. Thanks David.

Through him, I’ve decided to give dVerse’s Quadrille Monday a go; to come up with a poem, 44 words in length, that’s features the word “bother”.

Here lies (above), my take on the creative process.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

No children, no problems

Selfish, or selfless?

World population is growing unsustainably. As of time of writing, world population is almost 7.9 billion. I’m rounding up, as based on data released by the UN, there’s 250 births every minute – that’s more than 4 a second – and 131.4 million a year, we’ll be there in a blink. That can be counted against a figure from the World Health Organisation, that 55.4 million people died in 2019.

The only way is up, baby. Babies. Lots of them.

Would it be too strong to say having more than 2 children is irresponsible? Its not really my place to argue the point, regardless of personal choices. Should there be a limit imposed on the number of children? Hell no. However, couples who have 2 children or less, aren’t leaving any larger a footprint than their own. Obviously, that’s not how the world is, and even trying to formulate some sort of metric based on the archetype of an homogeneous relationship, is going to be limited. I don’t think it’s in my power to judge the scales of balance, in what constitutes a positive/negative environmental impact. Does forgoing plastic straws and composting our waste, level us sufficiently to grant moral rights to an additional child? Probably not.

We wouldn’t want to see a similar programme of population control, as seen in China between 1979 to 2015, the one-child policy, replicated anywhere else in the world. In 2015 China reverted to a two-child policy, which had been in place for a decade before 1978.

In terms of population increase, the trend is and almost always has been, on the up – despite, we have seen some noticeable shifts over the last few years, with millennials opting to delay parenthood, or abstain completely, to focus on their careers and personal lives – coupled with the environmental incentive, is now the best time ever to focus entirely on yourself?

Children are overrated. They come into your life, suck your blood for (at least) 18 years, then bugger off to leave you to live out the last decades of your life in the decrepit body you earned for you troubles.

What’s so great about children anyway? They’re bone idle, lazy, and don’t pull their weight around the house. They’re rubbish at sports, have no coordination and pay no attention to the offside rule. They never stick their hand in their pocket to pick up the pints. If you do get into a chat with them, half the time, either you, and/or they, have no idea what the hell they’re talking about. To top it off, their idea of hosting a dinner party, is feeding you cold spaghetti hoops out of their hand. Going into my 30’s, why the hell would I want that around?

Parasites. God damn bottom feeders. Sniffing up crumbs. The way things are now in the world, in most places, it’s just getting more and more expensive to get on the property ladder, pushing the immediate prospects of home ownership, way out of reach for the average 18 – 20 somethings. The trend is seeing young adults leaving the family home later than in their parents generation.

What’s up with teenagers these days too? I’m currently travelling Tasmania. I’ve picked up work on a family farm. It’s Easter school holidays and the owners 15 year old daughter stands in front of me as the sun peaks over the horizon, crack of dawn, her oversized glove gripping a foul smelling rotten potato.

“Haven’t you got anything better to do?”

I jokingly prodded.

“Not really.”

She responds, dropping the spud through the rejection shoot on the harvester.

I chip away a bit, attempting to break the ice.

“So, any plans over then next couple of weeks?”

She looks around dartingly, at anything but my eyes, with familiar teenage awkwardness.

“Erm… work, I guess.”

What’s up with that?! This girl has her head screwed on straight.

When I was her age, I spent everyday of my Easter holidays galavanting around town, latched onto the direction the groups of girls we’re heading, like an overly agreeable, hormonal homing missile. My feet barely touched the ground. I didn’t spend a single moment indulging in my homework assignments – the only papers I picked up were Rizla.

This kid is way too responsible. It makes me sick.

I was a dirty little stopout – routinely spending nights on friends sofas – only occasionally popping my head home to raid the fridge and get more clean underwear. I had no priorities except having fun and getting that thing that naturally all teenage boys obsess about. We rode the buses around excitedly to new places, to crowd the parks through summer and cold, dark winter months, under wearing garments to flash that pubescent rounding out of flesh in an immature mating ritual, on abandoning the area to the nearest house party, leaving the sticky smell of overenthusiastic vomit. When we weren’t living by the night, we spun bicycles wheels, no hands on the handlebars, as we blew smoke rings and sophisticated our palates on heavy gulps of Special Brew, from the can.

Thats what teen years are for. If you ain’t fucking up, you ain’t doing it right.

There’s no dead certs. Who’s knows what type of child you’ll produce? There doesn’t exist a takeaway price list, with a option of the golden child. All the parenting tricks in the world can’t guarantee a prodigal kid, with Olympian athleticism and marble physique, destined to go on to receive a Nobel prize for service to mankind.

That’s the gamble – whichever horse wins, it’s odds on, your sweet darling son or daughter will still hit puberty and start throwing rolled eyes across the room. You can never own your child. They aren’t your property, sooner or later, they’re going to assert their autonomy.

You might get a piece of shit who blows smoke rings and gulps cans of Special Brew.

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. My parents dropped me into football (soccer) practice after school, when I was about 5 years old. All the other kids scrabbled around, thudding balls and calling eagerly for a pass. I was rolling about on my back pitch side, picking dandelions and blowing them into the wind.

I can recall vividly one moment of glory. The end of practice always concluded with penalty shootouts. I stood there in goal, poised and ready to save the impending flying football from entering the net. My body was there, static, arms by my side like a human lollipop, but my mind was way off, chasing dragonflies and doing cartwheels. The ball left the kids boot, piercing the air like an English longbow, and before I could even think about what body part needed to move to stop it, the mud splattered plastic exterior imprinted the iconic duo of hexagons and pentagons into my innocent face. There was a flash, and the only thing I really remember next is having the sting washed out under the cold running water of the tap, by the coach. Saved it though, so I suppose the objective was met. What a lad.

You get what you’re given, and what you’re given is going to be expensive and all consuming. The path is paved with uncertainty and there’s no turning back…

I’m enjoying my life. Whats in it for me? Well, you selfish bastard, who will be around to look after you when you’re old, need the dribble wiped from your chin and a diaper change? It’s a two way street.

I was witness to a close family friends passing a few years ago. It was acutely eye opening, if not life changing. It certainly educated me on the process of end of life care. Watching the grace, tact and discretion at which the nurses dealt with the mechanics of facilitating a “comfortable” death, both for the departing and for those who remain. I was overwhelmed with profound respect, appreciation and awe for the hospital staff, who routinely face what most people will only have to a few times during their life. What struck me, is all the uncertainty, in something which is by definition, certain. If my insight is taken as a microscopic incarnation of the immense possible experiences there are in death, it would in a modern society be termed a typical one. Dying in hospital, with family and friends at the bedside. Sudden illness’ act on underlying weakness’. It crept on so slowly, yet so fast. One moment, there’s hope in the air, as those who visit with well wishes, clutch for more time. The reality is always under the surface, but theres an inevitable tendency to subdue the worse outcome from the forefront. In the moment hope disappears, finally comes the sharp pull back – disbelief. Oh shit, it’s happening. There’s was a sudden rush to formulate some structure – a plan of action, maybe, but nobody really knows what to do. It’s all new territory, and utterly surreal. Some people grasp distortedly at things – like becoming wholly focussed on making sure the dying have their false teeth in, or something, when getting their teeth would mean a 20 minute round trip to the car park, instead of being present. In the end, nothing changes the outcome.

I had never seen somebody die before – their life leave their body. The doctor administered a sedative, which relaxed their breathing, helping the person pass away quietly and relatively peacefully. Those who wish to, can come close, lay a hand on their loved one, let them know they aren’t alone – whisper empty promises that they’ll see them again. Anything you say or do now is almost entirely symbolic – it’s for you, more than them. What’s important is you are there.

I don’t want to die alone. I don’t know in how far that is “selfish”, as it is human.

Beyond the irreplaceable value of having a loving family to share the precious moments with, as you age, they’ll be there to support you, and you, them – through it all.

We are communal creatures, and we haven’t made it this far by going it alone.

I guess I might be cleaning the apple and banana purée burp up from over the back of my shoulder, when I do finally have children, after all, and the Special Brew burp from over the arm of the sofa, when they get a bit older…

…or, maybe mine will be prodigal

There’s only one way to find out.

You’ve got to ask yourself one question;

‘Do I feel lucky? – Well, do ya, punk?

Once the developing world catches up to the material standards of the first world nations, and the incentives to delay parenthood, or cede it completely, become great enough to effect population decline, it’s likely the next big problem will be in having too few young people to drive the economy, and the big question; how do we take care of our elderly?


Words by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Duet

Porcelain promises,
Pieces lain broken,
Swept into corners,
Long lost, unspoken,

Pink poisoned lips,
Hot spiteful lust,
Sweet ceasefire kiss,
Cold uncoiled thrust,

Harmonies of bladed words,
Sing into guts,
Operatic precision,
Deep melodic cuts,

Jagged withdrawal,
Two lonely rooms,
Resolutions grow distant,
In embittered wombs.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Exploring mental and physical

Snapshot: Vancouver

Short look + read photograph collections from places I’ve loved enough to capture.


Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

On Canada’s west coast, Vancouver is a sprawling metropolis, bustling with a diverse, multi cultural demographic and Canada’s largest Chinatown, with the highest population density of anywhere in Canada. Its easily navigated via the elevated tracks of the SkyTrain, granting generous panoramic views. It’s consistently voted as one of the top 5 most liveable cities in the world.

Whilst embracing the cultural fusion, the city still manages to feel unmistakable Canadian, with the grand rocky outcrop of the North Shore Mountain range nestling the skyline, and the long lasting autumnal hues of its easily accessible open spaces, watched over by lofty old trees.


Photographs by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Goodbye Avery. Hello Mate.

What’s in an original idea – and how far does creative ownership go?

Avery Mann, as some of you might have noticed, is a play on Everyman.

When I started this blog, I was a little nervous putting myself out there. I felt more comfortable going incognito, so I chose a pseudonym. The meaning behind the name was, in fact, an original idea – the protagonist from a short story I wrote for fun, a few years ago. It was born of my mind, whilst in playful thought.

However, as I had pointed out to me by a relative (they can be so unreservedly honest, can’t they!), and subsequently in Googling, it exists in multiple incarnations, out there, from the minds of others. That’s not a surprise. With a world population of nearly 7.9 billion, and written history stretching back almost 5,000 years, with the Sumerian cuneiform script, and the oldest legible texts surviving from around 2,600 BCE – its understandable that many ideas can originate separately, simultaneously.

Sumerian cuneiform tablet,
Mesopotamia, circa 3100–2900 BCE.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.

A prominent example of this is Charles Darwin and the theory of evolution, conceived individually and independently by the lesser known and nowhere near as widely accredited British anthropologist and biologist, Alfred Russell Wallace.

Alfred Russell Wallace in 1895

The occurrence is called multiple discovery or simultaneous invention.

Invention, discovery and rediscoveries have been conceptualised across history, whether concurrently, or in isolation many generations down the line, pointing to the inevitability of it all.

Thank you Avery Mann, for lending me the moniker. I can claim you as my own, but only in principle. Our relationship, it turns out, was never mutually exclusive.

Since giving a platform to artistic creation, freeing some of my most well kept sensitivities, and expressing my thoughts in unconcealed words, I’ve felt an overwhelming gratitude to those who have read my writing, and shared their support with likes, comments and follows. Every one goes noticed – thank you. The positive response has gifted me the confidence to be peel back the shroud further.

From now on, I will be attaching my real name to my work, at least in part.

My name is Darius.

I wear it, during my brief time inhabiting this world, at the patronage of Persian Kings, including Darius the Great, King of Kings, who ruled the Achaemenid Empire at its height, from 522 BCE until his death in 486 BCE.

Relief of Darius the Great,
Persepolis, circa 500 BCE

Darius III, reigning from 336 BCE until his death in 330 BCE, was the final Persian King of Kings, murdered by his own relative, after his defeat to Alexander the Great.

Alexander Mosaic, showing Alexander the Great (left) charging Darius III (right). Roman floor mosaic from the House of the Faun, Pompeii.
Image credit: Berthold Werner (Ancient World Magazine)

I’m not nearly as distinguished or bathed in grandeur as my namesake predecessors. Let’s keep it down to Earth – I will stay open, honest and genuine, with myself, and you. I’m realistic – I realise how infinitesimal my existence is, but, I’m here to make it count – stay passionate, where it matters, challenge myself to think about the big questions, whilst appreciating fully the small things in life. Ill never stop loving learning. I would gain a great satisfaction, in the continued introduction to great writers and thinkers out there, to celebrate and share this experience with. Maybe, we’ll like each other’s work – a different kind of multiple discovery.

Let’s connect, you can call me Darius the Mate.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Snapshot: Melbourne

Short look + read photograph collections from places I’ve loved enough to capture.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Melbourne, on Australia’s southern coast, with a population on 5 million, is the largest city in Victoria and second most populous in Australia.

It’s been an active settlement of the Aboriginal people for over 40,000 years, before being colonised by the British in the 1800s.

In modern times, it’s known as Australias cultural capital, with its vibrant music scene, bubbling urban laneways and hipster cafe culture.


Photographs by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Blocked

Albert Einstein in 1944

“People like us, who believe in physics, know that the distinction between past, present, and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

Albert Einstein
Time piece on my wrist, 
Time piece on my wall,
Time is everywhere,
Yet there’s no time at all,

Presentism is where we are,
Stuck in our current state,
In Possibilism, past and present exist,
But not yet our future fate,

That’s called the growing block,
In a thin slice of space-time,
Then there’s Eternalism, a theory,
Which shifts our paradigm,

Where each are equally real,
Happening simultaneously,
Rewriting our history,
With synchronicity,

Boxed into quantum thought,
If time is four-dimensional,
In the block universe,
Right now, stands a Neanderthal,

Watching as his deer,
Crackles in the fire,
Whilst next to him in space,
You watch as the flames lick higher,

Around your own barbecue,
Relax, there’s no time to waste,
Enjoy a new meaning,
To timeless taste.
The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory
Painting by Salvador Dalí

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Snapshot: Hongcun Village

Short look + read photograph collections from places I’ve loved enough to capture.


Hongcun Village, Anhui Province, China

Together, with the nearby town of Xidi, Hongcun Village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well preserved medieval Chinese architecture.


Photographs by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Snapshot: Xidi Village

Short look + read photograph collections from places I’ve loved enough to capture.


Xidi Village, Anhui Province, China

Together, with the nearby town of Hongcun, Xidi Village is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well preserved medieval Chinese architecture.


Photographs by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Feathered

Wind captures wings,

Lifts up to see the things,

That most people only see,

In photographs and on tv,

Metal birds up in the sky,

When dreaming high…

Means more than just sleeping on planes…

Counting clouds beyond the windowpane.


Wind captures wings,

Fly the nest to see the things,

Above cerulean reflections of the lake,

One life real,

The other, not quite fake,

When riding waves…

Means more than just crossing the ocean…

Sending electromagnetic notes to share emotion.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Eliza

Young life, ember burning bright,

So jealous was the night,

That it choked out your flame,

Families sit in darkness,

A long and barren starkness,

Lives that will never be the same.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Unconscious resolutions

Nocturnal thoughts coo from the past,

In the twilight of my waking hour,

To lay upon the palate,

Spoon fed on morsels sour,


Unforgotten grievances morph heinously,

In slumber, shapes of familiar faces jitter,

Me awake, with a pinch of saltiness,

And an essence flavourfully bitter,


I slip back beneath my eyelids,

Drawing shut the darkening curtain,

Reprise encounters in the rabid heat,

Of the moment, for reasons uncertain,


Let loose a simian shriek,

As I bludgeon past transgressions,

To vomit forth at my feet,

Uncomfortable confessions,


I stomp around frenziedly,

Atop hurt, anger and fear,

A red midst around my head,

Stubbornly gives to clear,


Worked up in a quagmire,

I had began to sink within,

Struggle pushes deeper beneath,

Until the bog surrounds my chin,


With my final gasp of air,

My lips free a parting reconciliation,

I forgive myself for lingering resentment,

And those I blame for former indignation,


Sun breaches my retinas,

Before the mire swallowed any tighter,

I lift my head off my pillow,

And feel a little lighter.


Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Times of Travel: Liffey Falls

Type: Hike, out and back
Distance: 8km (6km + optional 2km)
Time: 2 - 3 hours
Difficulty: Easy
Location: Liffey Falls State Reserve, Tasmania

Liffey Falls track is a short, easy walk, following an old 1900s logging tramway, in Liffey Falls State Reserve, Tasmania. It’s a 45 minute drive (50km) from the centre of Launceston, the closest city (it’s a big town, at best, by most standards).

The route is accessed from the Liffey Falls campground. An alternate 2km (return) walk can be found from the top car park, if you continue on the right hand side in the fork, on the turn off to the campground.

This picturesque waterfall is reached through cool temperate rainforest, drenched in green glow. The undulating track is hugged by a canopy of statuesque fern trees, amid the eucalypts, and off the modest mud path are pillows of soft vibrant moss.

Among the vegetation of sassafrass, myrtle and leatherwood, there are plenty of mighty trees towering stoically beside the trail, and occasionally, across it too.

Although signposted as a 1hr 30min walk one way, to the falls, it’s probably more reasonable to reach it within 45min – 1hr.

The falls can be viewed from a number of well positioned platforms, or those with decent shoes may decide to push out onto the rocks, as the water babbles past.

Victoria Falls

It’s well worth following the track the extra kilometre uphill, to the cascades. The Spout cascade, met just above the main falls, sends a spirited rush of water, from between a worn down sandstone grove, diving onto the rocks below.

Spout Falls

Peaking through the foliage, is the majestic Drys Bluff. A hike for another day.

A little further, the energetic waters sourced from the Great Western Tiers, pours over the sides of the sandstone steps, which are set into the landscape as if laid in the ground by the masonry of primordial giants.

Hopetoun Falls

The return from here will be 4kms descending along the same route as you tracked up.

This area, vivid and luxuriously embossed with flora, grows lush besides the Liffey River, which was originally called Tellerpangger by the Panninher clan of Aboriginal Tasmanians who used it as a meeting place for thousands of years.

I feel privileged to walk in their footsteps, on this special island, but also hold prominently in my mind the extreme injustice perpetrated on the indigenous people.

The Black War of the mid 1820s – 1832 saw the killing of between 600 – 900 aboriginals by the hands of British Colonists, nearly wiping them from the island.

Liffey Falls, with all its paradisiacal distinctions, saw atrocities which reflect the darkest and most wicked side of humanities face, off the idyllic waters.

As reported in the The Sydney Morning Herald;

“Settlers on a reprisal raid for the murder of a stockman are said to have surprised the gathered Pallittorre people at Liffey Falls on a winter dawn in 1827.

They are reported in the Colonial Times to have killed ''an immense quantity''. About 60 died or were wounded and, in two further skirmishes in the next 18 days, perhaps 40 more Pallittorre died - as did three colonists.”

The extent of the damage proved to be irreversible. On the 8th of May 1876, the last known full blooded Aboriginal Tasmanian, named Truganini, passed away. It marked the end of a period, that should go down in the history books as genocide.

Truganini, 1870

May we learn from the lessons of the past, for the sake of a better future. Aboriginal communities across Australia are still suffering the consequences of years of abuse. I’ve observed it first hand on my travels. Their culture is rich and knowledge of this land, deep. Their vigour is resilient and affinity to the natural world, unbroken.

We could learn a lot, if we were able to be more humble.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Is my vote a game to you?

Politics – Is there a more polarising subject?

The word democracy comes from an amalgamation of the Greek words, ‘demos’, essentially meaning ‘people’, and ‘kratos’, which can be translated to ‘power’.

Power to the people!

Athens is generally accepted to have housed the first governmental democracy in 508 – 507 BC, although it is thought to have existed in other Greek city states prior to this, and perhaps a result of having the strongest surviving records, can celebrate this attribution.

This is Democracy Manifest!

“What is the charge? Eating a meal? A succulent Chinese meal?”
Image from the viral video and meme.

Politics, why is it so black and white – or rather, red and blue?

Let’s take my country, Britain.

Two opposing sides battle for domination.
The parties sit, facing each other on either side of the House of Commons chamber.

House of Commons chamber.
Boris Johnson lines up a shot on former opposition leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

Each party leader takes turns at spitting poison darts at the other. Eton College is practically an incubator for breeding future Tory Prime Ministers, growing the spawn of the rich and influential few, in vitro. A clear extension of public school debating society, its quite apparent it’s been difficult for some statesman to remove the inane schoolyard taunts and insults, as members of parliament jeer from the back benches. The triviality embedded, with its deep roots, is drearily evident, and discernibly juvenile.

Take this, for example – an image uploaded on the 6th September 2019, to official Conservative Party social media accounts, on all major platforms, in the lead up to the general election;

Jeremy Corbyn, the then Labour Party leader.

Even on a very basic level, this is just so wrong. The acronym doesn’t even work – JFC (KFC), yeah, yeah, got that bit. But then the Totally Spineless Chicken? It doesn’t even fit. It’s like it was created by children, and thats before you get to the actual content. It’s just way off the mark.

How low can you get – is this what politics has become?

Let’s get one thing straight, I am not a member of a party. This isn’t supposed to be a Tory bashing post – I am not a raging lefty. I make my decision to vote for any party, based on the merit of the manifesto, and my belief in the individuals assembled in their government, especially the leader, being able to deliver on the key points. I identify what I feel strongest about, and whichever party represents my interests best, gets my vote. I have no allegiances. I am open to be persuaded. I truly hope that one can elicit some kind of response in me, and connect on a fundamental level. I’ll wait, I’m patient.

I have, however, only ever voted Conservative, thus far. My views are constantly evolving. I am not the same person as I was ten years ago, when I first got the vote. I was certainly in part, playing devils advocate, as all of my best friends were raging lefties. If everyone agrees on everything, life becomes a bit beige. I have been out of the country for most of the last five years, including for the last election, and opted to abstain. Being away from everyone and everything I have grown up with, and been influenced by, has let my true thoughts and feelings develop organically, outside. Being in another country adds to the degree of separation. It even makes you question the way you see yourself. Maybe, I am a raging lefty?

However, this is the party I voted for in the past, which made me beg the question too;

In what way does this represent me?

The short answer: it doesn’t.

Often, I have watched and listened as the vanguard we entrust to shape the society we live, resort to personal attacks, in lieu of any substance, or focus on policy matter. How do you separate this diseased culture of combative politics from the greater organism?

It’s practically sport – or is it just a game – my vote isn’t part of a game – is it?

If the intended end result is the betterment of the country, it’s people, its economy, and in upholding its values, then, aren’t we all on the same team?

But, there’s the problem, you may point
out – our values are different – thats precisely why we have different parties.
Yet, are they really that different? Now, more than ever, I believe we have a more transparent idea of what a country sentimentalises at its core.

Today, whether the party swings left or right on the political spectrum, it’s adheres crucially to different shades of liberalism – economic, social, cultural and political.

I see it as less of a line, from left to right, and more of a circle, the further you go, the more extreme it becomes, the more they begin to look like the other again, until they meet.

Ideologically, the Conservative Party believes in the freedom of the market. The Labour Party, intrinsically, most vehemently in the freedom of the worker. Both believe in freedom. Both believe in democracy. On paper, perhaps rather dubiously, both believe in equality and the rights of its citizens.

It’s like they are making an omelette, agree on the ingredients, and are now arguing about how much salt and pepper to use. Instead of working together to make this the best omelette possible, one was accused of holding the whisk wrong, whilst retorting that the other wore their apron contemptibly.

We, the diners, stand outside hungry, staring through the window in disbelief at the disorderly spectacle. I suppose the real problem materialises when somebody doesn’t like omelettes.

How many revolutions have started over food shortages?

Most of us think our ideals, opinions and decisions are our own.

Yet, we have two biological parents that we inherent genetic characteristics from. The overwhelming majority has at least one who raises us, who is in our life consistently, biological or not. We inherit some of their traits too, inborn or learned. Speech, for example. Our accent is a direct result of our environment. We tend to mimic those around us – it’s a part of how we cooperate and survive.

We are born with individual life circumstances. Isn’t our family structure – how many parents, if any, are present, their job and how much they earn, as well the area we live, among others (the list is extensive), all social economic factors that contribute to predestined political biases?

It’s all a bit tribal. We’ve been scared of the tribe on the other side of the valley, since time immemorial. Now, we just throw verbal spears – mostly.

It can’t be as simple as rich vs poor, can it?

We’re all born equal is the biggest lie I uncovered, since that fat bloke stopped sliding down my chimney.

Don’t believe everything they tell you.

A big lie is a propaganda technique, where a politician or political institution tells a lie so big, that most people believe it must be true.

Adolf Hitler was the first to define the technique in Mein Kampf;

“It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously.”

More recently, current United States
President Joe Biden, characterised the then President Donald Trumps claims, of massive election fraud in an attempt to overturn his loss in the 2020 US presidential election, as “the big lie”.

On the 6th of January 2021, it culminated in the storming of the United States Capitol building by a mob of Trump supporters, enflamed by a call to action during a rally, from the then President Donald Trump.

More than 140 people were injured and 5 died, as a result of the violence.

I’m sick of the power politics.

In the age of the long peace, when we’ve never experienced such a time of reduced violence and greater global cooperation, with the rise of Trump, Brexit and nationalism across The West, its glaring, we still have a way to go.

Secularism is having a revival.

Britain went to the nuthouse with the Brexit referendum result. The chaos it provoked, the rut we became entrenched in, as we battered ourselves black and blue, became more tedious than tragic. We managed to make resounding fools of ourselves internationally, repeatedly, as the infighting raged on at home. When we couldn’t even work together within our own government, how on Earth, were we suppose to come to terms with the European Union and its 27 other member states?

As it droned on in the press too – sensationally pitting us, the plebeians, against one another for monetary gain, it got to the point that nothing really mattered to me anymore.

All the rhetoric, posturing and fluffing of feathers had become a uninspiring display of meaningless motions, akin to an elitist chicken dance – an easy to replicate, uncoordinated and classless foray, where everyone moves in much the same way, jigged to a utterly dreadful tune.

The media is there, all the while, scaring people into an early grave, as they pump fear and doom relentlessly through every medium they have at their disposal, until the people are so washed out and void of any true autonomy, that their ability to put rational thought into play and separate the bullshit from their physical lives, in front them, dissipates.

No, it’s not a game.

It is all just an elaborate social experiment, that hasn’t come to a final conclusion and never will.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Six weeks of summer

Those six weeks of summer, 
If I could have you even once anew,
Then I could live a lifetime more,

Savour sweetly, an everlasting haze,
Of moments that came before,

We waited with bated breath,
School bell let go an animate ring,
Precious hands gather hurriedly,
As from seats we briskly spring,

The school year was over,
Summer holiday had begun,
Every experience new and full
of excitement, joy and fun,

Sleepovers, with my best mates,
The pinnacle of a Friday night,
Midnight snacks came out,
When we turned off the light,

We’d skip to the park,
Leap from swings and monkey bars,
Tumbling about, snotty nose,
Sore muddy knees and battle scars,

The days were long,
Rolling on, on, and on,
Until the final week,
You would come upon,

A sudden realisation,
And only then,
That it would be a WHOLE year,
Until those six weeks came again...

Those six weeks of summer,
If I could have you even once anew,
Then I could live a lifetime more,

Waiting patiently for a lively knock,
My best friend, standing at the door,

Gameboy in hand,
Trading Pokémon, To catch em’ all,
Imagination flowing from pencil,
To paper, as we’d scrawl,

You knew you were in,
For a decadent day,
If planned for the cinema,
And Pizza Hut buffet,

Excitement as Mum gave in,
And Bought that new shiny toy,
A frolic in a vivid land,
Imagination, a gift to enjoy,

Climbing through trees,
In the field behind my home,
Lit by evening skies wavering sun,
Late we would roam,

The days were long,
Rolling on, on, and on,
Until the final week,
You would come upon,

A sudden realisation,
And only then,
That it would be a WHOLE year,
Until those six weeks came again...

Those six weeks of summer,
If I could have you even once anew,
Then I could live a lifetime more,

Cycling pedals bikes to knock around,
My best friend, standing at the door,

Skateboard in hand, polyurethane wheels,
Rolled on tarmac soaked in rays,
Filming stunts, captured youth,
Endless sun bleached days,

Loose hair and looser cares,
Free and wild,To roam and dream,
Torn baggy jeans, oversized,
Fraying at the seams,

We grunged out,
Come as you are,
Catchy riffs,
On Kurt Cobain’s guitar,

Twiddling thumbs,
Taking turns on GTA,
The naughtiest video game,
That we could play,

The days were long,
Rolling on, on, and on,
Until the final week,
You would come upon,

A sudden realisation,
And only then,
That they’ll never be a year,
That those six weeks come again...

Those six weeks of summer,
If I could have you even once anew,
Then I could live a lifetime more,

This is an everlasting homage,
To moments that came before,

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


If you’re like me, and love wallowing in sentimentality, you may enjoy my recent post Nostalgia, it’s a hell of a drug.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Times of Travel: Mt Ruapehu Crater Lake

Distance: 10km+
Elevation gain: 1,072 metres
Top elevation: 2,672 metres
Time: 5 - 7 hours

Difficulty: moderate
Summer conditions: December - May
Winter conditions: June - November
Location: Mt Ruapehu, Tongariro National Park, North Island, New Zealand

This overview encompasses the Crater Lake hike, from the Whakapapa side, focussing on my experience during the winter of 2017.

The summers hike, is an unmarked route to Mount Ruapehu Crater Lake, on the North Islands highest mountain, ascending over rugged volcanic terrain. A brief detailing; take the Waterfalls trail, to Knoll Ridge Cafe. Its straight up, it’s hard to miss. Luckily, there plenty of infrastructural landmarks to aid navigation toward this point. From here, there are two routes, via Knoll Ridge, or Restful ridge to the Dome Summit.

The winter hike, can be tackled in much the same way as the summer hike, starting at the Whakapapa ski field car park. However, it can be hard going, trudging through snow. Factor in extra time. Either, summer or winter, this is a single day hike. Set off early. Only hikers with alpine experience should attempt the full hike during winter, making sure to be fully prepared and equipped with all additional winter hiking gear, as needed, such as crampons, and ice axe, if intention is to to add the 3 peaks of Ruhapehu, Tahurangi – 2,797 metres, Te Heuheu – 2,755 metres, and Paretetaitonga – 2,751 metres, to your itinerary. If there’s any variable weather conditions forecast, you’ll need a GPS, and know how to use it. Weather at Ruapehu can be unpredictable. Getting stuck in a white out is no fun, and can be disorienting, if not deadly. If you haven’t got one or the knowledge to navigate with it, only go out on a bluebird day (clear weather). If you own a transceiver, bring it, even if the avalanche risk is low to non-existent, it’s always good practice to have it on you. It won’t save your life sitting at home in a draw. With that said, if you are an experienced winter hiker and/or climber, this will all be old news to you.

If you are purely hiking, without carrying skiing and snowboarding gear, for the down route, then the hike will start from Iwikau Village, at 1,600 metres above sea level, which is located above the Whakapapa car park, or you can utilise the chairlifts, and take the Rangatira, followed by the new Sky Waka gondola, to The Knoll Ridge Cafe, at 2,020 metres, the highest restaurant in New Zealand.

Reaching the Crater Cake is the premier challenge, whilst visiting Mt Ruapehu for your snow sports holiday. A must do, for those fit and keen, on a clear day.

There’s nothing better than the uninterrupted top to bottom ride of your life!

Don’t despair if you can’t commit a whole day to it, if you’re making the journey in winter and are a strong skier or snowboarder, the simplest way is to make your way to the furthest and highest lifted point, at the top of the Far-West T bar. From the unload, at an elevation of 2,300 metres, you can head straight up, and be at the crater lake within an hour or two, depending yours and your parties fitness.

This will leave some energy in the tank for the 1,072 metre run you’re about to revel in. In reality, the vertical distance doesn’t do it justice, as you are required to traverse diagonally around the mountain, to get back to the base. It’s a very long run, let’s leave it at that!

On my trip, I was joined by a comrade in arms, surviving the cold winter in the Stalinist Gulag – the Whakapapa staff accommodation – the communist experiment, where 55 adults, living under one roof, fought over peanut butter and told of war stories between hands of cards. This slab of prime American beef, and resident Cribbage champion, worked in the rentals department – the hire shop for Whakapapas fleet of skis and snowboards.

Image credit: Bicycle Playing Cards

Our third musketeer, was his colleague in rentals, who, having only shared this fleeting experience with, I have forgotten the name of. Sorry dude, your poncho rocked, that I’ll never forget.

A Brit, a Kiwi & a Yank – the start of a bad joke

I’ve withheld all names for privacy, regardless.

Before starting, check in with ski patrol to apprehend weather conditions, and get the “good to go”.

Travel in groups is always advisable, to enhance safety. Whether you’re alone or not, make sure somebody knows you’re going and when you’re scheduled to be back.

View over Ngauruhoe from the Far West T-Bar

As with any starting position on this hike, from the top of the Far West T-Bar, the route is not signposted, but, there will usually be plenty of footprints in the snow to guide you. It’s relatively quick, yet has a steep incline to the top.

It’s absolute vastness is starkly apparent. The wide gully you’ll be trudging through, with its sheer white floor, has the sincere ability project magnitude, at the expense of your own sense of scale. If you had an ego before you came here, let it be washed away, as you feel the stoic colossus sleeping beneath your feet.

Although straightforward, be prepared for some deep breathes ahead, as even this modest altitude can compound with the added labour in your step, as your feet sink through the snow. It’ll all be worth it.

The panoramic views from the top, stretching unending in all directions, are just what we came for.

Having personally made the trip during the latter part of the season, the snow and ice build up had created a ridge around the lake, roughly 2.5 – 3 metres off the water. The slippery surface ice on the walk up to the edge added impact, as I stared down over the dancing steam, twirling off the shimmering marine green surface. I wondered, how would I, or anyone else, be able to climb out, if one slips in?

During my time at Mt Ruapehu, there was a tragedy of this nature, as I recall in Times of Travel Mt Ruapehu. This, after all, is an active volcano. Without retreading too much ground, that you can read about above, here’s some key information;

Ruapehu is colloquially known as The Maunga, the Māori word for mountain, Ruapehu means “pit of noise”/”exploding pit” in Māori.

Phreatomagmatic eruptions have happened approximately 50 years apart, and can sometimes rumble on for several months at a time.

These major eruptions, have been active through the Crater Lake at the summit, for at least 2000 years.

Smaller phreatic/hydrothermal eruptions, occur roughly a decade apart, with the last eruption occurring 2007.

The most deadly event, infamous Tangiwai disaster, happened on the morning of Christmas Eve 1953. 151 people were killed by the result of a lahar, caused by the collapse of the tephra dam, which had formed after a 1945 eruption, now no longer holding back the Crater Lake.

Tephra is a material produced during a volcanic eruption.

Lahars are landscape changing debris flows. A rise in the water level, through volcanic activity under the surface, can cause to the tephra dam to break under pressure, or overflow. Debris of mud, hot water and rock, pick up speed, which reaches of tens of metres a second, feeding itself on melted snow and ice and collecting more rubble, creating a “snowball” effect. Lahars are extremely destructive forces of nature, totalling any structure in its runout, and etching new features into the mountain terrain.

Image credit: Dougal Townsend, GNS Science

Sometime shy of 10.15am, a lahar tore through the Whangaehu River striking the ageing concrete pylons of the Tangiwai rail bridge, significantly comprising it just an express train traveling from Wellington to Auckland approached. Arthur Cyril Ellis attempted to warn the driver by waving a torch at the train. An engineer onboard, named Charles Parker, applied the breaks. It was too late. At 10.21am, as the locomotive advanced onto the bridge, its weight buckled the damaged pylons, collapsing it into the river. It killed over half the occupants – still the worst rail disaster in New Zealand’s history.

With the last Lahar occurring during 2007, as of 2017, during my time at Ruapehu, the mountain was on high alert.

As I lingered at the waters edge, I felt a mercy. I was grateful to place my diminutive footprints at the mouth of such a potent, untameable, primordial force.

The ride down is the prize, inside the prize. Ruapehu is the gift that keeps on giving. The trip is like a Matryoshka doll.

Image credit: Sandra Castro

It was time to strap in and enjoy the off piste section, before overrunning the resort boundary, tearing down the mountain like an invading horde.

The large faces on either side of the gully, that had been hiked up earlier – Dome Ridge, made for a generous canvas for some pencil line turns. Every nook and cranny was penetrated, darting between natural features, swarming like frantic insects, pumping in and out then getting low and digging the edges of the snowboard in hard – biting ravenously for extra deep carves. I was like a coiled spring, overly excitable, popping off anything with even a minor convex exuberantly. Expending energy impulsively, every trick in the arsenal was exhausted, veering around the mounds of tumbled learner skiers through the lower mountain, before finally, screeching to a triumphant halt at Iwikau Village.

Unstrapping from my bindings and stepping out onto the slushy spring snow…

…“So, this is what walking feels like!”

It was a hell of a ride.


I said before in a previous post – Mt Ruapehu is a place of extremes. It doesn’t do things in half measures. You work hard, play hard. But, notice how work comes first?

A lift operators carry a shovel like a pocket knife

Behind all these life affirming experiences, comes plenty of planning, trials and tribulations. I had been tested as I worked as a De-icer, climbing the chairlift towers through the unrelenting storms, and clearing rime ice build up. You can read about it in Times of Travel: Mt Ruapehu Deicing.

Don’t look down

Whilst working as a Lift Operator, we were drilled in the importance of assertive action in the event of a lahar, and trained in evacuation procedures, to protect guests, in the event one occurred.

Whakapapa’s terrain, with its undulating valley runs, is in part carved by lahars. Some of the chairlifts sit in these pathways, granting access to a fantastic scope of riding. The Delta Quad chairlift, is one of those lifts. As I stood there, greeting gleaming, pink cheeked children and their entitled, *cough*, I mean, valuable lifetime pass holder parents. (I’m not a dartboard, but it was thrown around like it. Understand Dear Sir/Madam, I am just a simple employee. I can listen to your opinion, but, honestly, you can’t change the direction of the wind with a paper fan. Write a letter. Jheez.)

I stood there, bouncing from foot to foot, charming my way through the waves of skiers approaching – like re-spawning Space Invaders – firing off greetings like I’d had too much coffee. My peppy pronouncements would occasionally ring off like robotic sound bites, repeating exactly what I just said, in exactly the same way, to exactly the same person in 15 minute intervals, as they lapped the chair (you see exactly how repetitive that gets?).

Suddenly, my cheerful daze was cut in two by the razor sharp sound of the lahar warning siren. I cranked my neck to look toward the Crater Lake. An ignorant bliss had been severed. I swung my head back to the public. They stared at me, expectantly. I looked back to the Crater Lake. Back to the public. They were still staring at me. Worried faces blinked around me, from all directions. Oh shit.

I jumped into action. Signalling to my French counterpart, working with me on the lift. We divided roles instinctively, as my English was fluent, I began lead the crowds to the designated safe zone – raised terrain above the lift – whilst he went inside the control room, to run the lift and clear any guests who were currently on it. Each chairlift had a designated safe zone, and it was important we knew everyone of them.

A lift control room

I waved my arms commandingly, bellowed and hollered in my big boy voice, as I stamped hurriedly through the snow, pointing directions as they passed, staying at the back, so I could make sure nobody was left behind. Once I had made sure everyone was out of the runout zone, I signalled a quick thumbs up to the Frenchman, who had started making his way across the snow, presumably having cleared the lift successfully, with it now shut down. I turned to the maddening crowd.

“What’s happening?!”

One panicked young girl asked trepidly from beneath oversized goggles, two mousey blonde bangs, twirling out from either side. of a cherry blossom pink helmet.

I answered thoughtfully, clear and calm. Hands open, reassuringly.

“It’s the signal to warn a lahar is coming. We’re standing in the safe zone, we should be alright.”

I caught, even in myself, the uncertainty of the end of my sentence. I stiffened up, stood tall and composed – professional.

I looked up and focussing unwaveringly, toward the Crater Lake. My heart pounded in my chest like bare hands on the skin of an African drum.

A few questions shot my way at once. The voice of another young girl, slightly older than the first, rose shrilly above the rest;

“Are we safe?”

– It was picked up by my heightened senses.

I was asking the same question.

I suppose, the outcome is set, if we’re to go out like this, for her sake, let it be swift and void of fear.

“Of course, we’re in the safest place here.”

My lips moved to soothe the crowd. My head replied to itself, silently;

“I don’t know.”

One man dropped his rucksack and drew the zip a quarter of the way around, enough room to reach in and pull a leather backed clipboard. Flick, flick, flick, he went with a pen, decisively, in a promising direction.

“Well done.” He nodded my way.

I breathed an earnest sigh of relief.

“Alright, everyone, it was just a drill, thank you for your cooperation. Lets her back to having fun!” I proclaimed.

I laughed it off, with self gratifying grin, as if I had somehow been privy to it. I had managed to maintain the mocked up air of authority, as a spectacle of buoyancy began to dust over people’s faces again.

My colleague, the Frenchman, who spoke surprisingly little English, for a job which benefited intrinsically in communication, stood there wide eyed, unnervingly, with his mouth ajar like a hungry goldfish.

I felt mildly better, knowing I wasn’t the last one not in on it.


Thank you for reading.


If you’re lucky enough to be in New Zealand, and want to work at Ruapehu, or, to book your snow sports break this season, check out the link below;

https://www.mtruapehu.com

And, for all those waiting for international travel to recommence, fear not, Ruapehu isn’t going anywhere – the Maunga will be waiting in restless slumber, until she wakes up once more.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Happy Easter.

A special day to remember the Easter bunny died for our sins, so we get to eat chocolate, or something.

I’m not religious. I do like chocolate eggs though.

I don’t get why people still use the old saying;

What came first, the chicken or the egg?

Isn’t it a bit like religion – outdated?

For any religious yolk reading, don’t take this post so seriously, I eggsaggerate my points, for eggfect. I find religion an eggcellent conversation piece. I do in fact, love the eggciting stories, and the eggstravagent art. I’m just eggsercising my right to free speech. However, I find the eggstremists can be a bit eggsplosive.

I would love to spend some time pontificating, but it seems so obvious, let’s just cut to the point.

The egg predated the chicken.

There, it’s done, thanks for reading.

An explanation? Oh, alright then.

What is a chicken anyway – which one looks like a chicken to you?

Image credit: The Economist

Chickens are changing man. Get with the times.

Woodstock 1969

Evolution is happening all the time. We are constantly changing.

We are, who we are, until a tiny mutation makes us something different. Not entirely different, but different. Small accumulative changes, which over time, create a entirely different beast. We are animals after all. Growl.

Whenever the first genetically chicken chicken, hatched, whatever laid it, wasn’t quite a chicken.

We are Homo-sapiens, we are not, however, Homo-erectus.

This is, however, a chicken.

A Chinese Silk Chicken, also known as a Silkie. It’s one of the oldest chickens around today.

At a best guess, earliest archaeological evidence of wild chickens can be dated to roughly 12,000 years ago, in northern China.

What is a fricken chicken anyway?

That thing looks like a furry dinosaur.

The world’s earliest known dinosaur eggs date back 195 million years.

No, seriously, what is a fricken chicken anyway?

If you want to get really pedantic, the concept of a “chicken” came from our disjointed minds. As humans, we process information by labelling, so we can distinguish a cauliflower from a melted candlestick. Without us, without our deciphering of what an egg is and what a chicken is, then none of it matters anyway. Maybe, the Earth is a giant egg – like a fertilised embryo. Maybe, we’re inside the uterus of a giant metaphysical chicken, and I’ve got this all backwards, after all. Maybe, the chicken is God.

Oh crap. What if it’s reading this? I take this all back! Please forgive me. It was all a fowl joke.

Im glad I got that out my system. A good rant is like a boiled egg – you can’t beat it.

Image Credit: A. Nota/NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)/ESA/STScI)/Westerlund 2 Science Team

What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Nostalgia, it’s a hell of a drug

Whose that pokemon?

Its Snorlax!

Man, this dude has it figured out. I wish I could sleep like this guy. He’s got the work/life balance down.

Shame, I’m more Electrode. Self-destructing.

Don’t worry, for those who missed out or couldn’t care less, this post isn’t all about Pokemon.

It’s about nostalgia. A celebration of childhood, yesterday, and all that was. I grew up with one ambition, utterly determined. An internal dialogue which intertwined my psyche;

I wanna be the very best, like no one ever was.

Sorry, that was an in joke. Last Pokemon reference, I swear (no I don’t). If you did get it, however, just to let you know, I appreciate you. We are kin.

Im a millennial – I just scraped in on that hype. I was a 90’s kid. I have the credentials. I remember the millennium, so, that’s something. I remember it not meaning a whole heap of much, that’s something else… 00’s were where things got real naughty.

In many of my dreams recently, I’ve been a kid, in school, running through the playground, surrounded by people from my childhood.

They say your dreams have hidden meanings.

If so, they should hide better.

I can take a wild guess what it means – I’m scared of getting old! That, and I feel deeply connected to the past. It’s sacred, it’s complete, concrete – untouchable, by my hands or yours.

Those memories are like an enchanting rose garden, hidden behind a burly brick wall. I just want to play in it so much. Roll in the lush green grass, smell the intoxicating aroma of youth. I can’t, I can only peek over the top of the wall, clinging to it, but the ledge has been greased.

I’ve hung on for so long, I can feel my fingers slipping now.

It’s time to wake up.

What is it about nostalgia that is so powerful? We love it. There’s a tinge of sadness, a twang of happiness, a wistful longing, and a profound warmth in it.

It’s even said to actually make you feel warmer on cold days.

We’re so good at loving it too. I feel nostalgic about decades I never experienced. Man, people were living in the future during the 80’s. I had lots of older cousins. I guess they dragged the paraphernalia into my era. Pop culture does ultimately transcend the decade of its incarnation – it becomes part of the narrative of our lives.

But, that doesn’t explain why sometimes, I get nostalgic about gathering berries and hunting mammoth.

Except, the reality isn’t always as great as it is in our imagination. Running through fields of breeze blown flowers and golden sunshine sounds idyllic, but the predator crouching in the brush at our heels, or the zip of arrows from anxious tribal bowmen, piercing the air by our ears, does not.

Life expectancy has never been better. We’re living longer lives than ever before. In 1875, nearly 100 years after Thomas Jefferson penned the Declaration of Independence, life expectancy in the United States was just 39.41 years. By 1975, it was 71.43. Today, it’s 78.81 and rising. Yet, It’s still trailing a fair bit behind many other first world countries – 45 of them, to be exact. The top spots, are currently hovering around the 85 year mark, and ever improving, with Hong Kong or Japan on top, depending on whose judging what constitutes a country.

A factor, is undoubtedly the unjustifiable high murder rate, for a first world country. More deadly than Sudan, Somalia and Lebanon, the homicide rate per 100,000 people in the United States is 5.35. In comparison, it’s economic rival, China, has a murder rate of 0.62 according to worldpopulationreview.com.

What ever could be the problem?

Image credit: Geoffrey Coelho

That said, today, the majority of the world, is safer than ever before. The homocide rate in the USA spiked in 1980 at 10.2.

That means you were twice as likely to be killed by violent crime, than you are today.

… so much for the good old days.

Image credit: 8tracks radio

When we’re young, growing up seems so exciting. We’re evolving as little humans into slightly less little humans all the time. Our body is a well oiled machine. Our bodywork is pristine. Barely a tune up is needed to keep us running smooth. When we get a dent, it comes out with a wet paper towel. We are constantly upgrading to the newest model. Then suddenly, we change dealership, we start downgrading instead.

Everything looks better through the rear window.

Especially, if you’re looking through the back pane of a beat up old sedan, and you catch a glimpse of yourself burning rubber in the DeLorean.

Back to the Future

So, what is nostalgia?

The term was introduced by Johannes Hofer, a medical student, in 1688, to relate the homesick ache described by Swiss mercenaries, fighting away from their native country.

Today, it can be best summarised as a powerful emotional response – a strong sentimental thought or feeling, triggered by a sound, sight, smell, or simply self-initiated in our imagination (I have nostalgic thoughts everyday – It’s my go to mood enhancer, whilst on the move), wherein, activity occurs in the memory and reward systems in the brain, when the stimuli triggers metabolic activity and blood flow in the frontal cortex, limbic, paralimbic, and midbrain regions.

Turns out, the brain is actually a petty complicated organ. So much is going on at once, it’s not as simple as saying, that’s dopamine responsible, etc. It only makes up a small part of what is going on. There’s so many other working parts. It’s like changing a headlight on a Volvo with a bulb taken from a Volkswagen and calling the whole car a VW.

Car analogies… what have I resorted to?

It’s awfully close to my pet peeve, sports analogies. I have an unspoken rule not to use them. My moral is: if you need a sports analogy to understand the information, maybe the information isn’t for you.

I know that seems rude. If you’re offended, Im sorry, It really isn’t meant to – that wasn’t my intention. Let me explain it to you;

If you’re about to take a penalty shoot out in football (soccer), and you need arrows painted on the pitch so you can find the goal, maybe you should try another sport.

That nugget was inspired by my brother.

Honestly, it was only a joke. You do your thing. Live life, use sports analogies, go nuts. Screw it, just go ahead and walk mud through my house, help yourself to the food in my fridge, take a shit in my toilet, don’t worry about flushing, I’ll do that for you. Enjoy yourself. No worries.

My baby brother is an intelligent lad, who happened to be a talented rugby player – which earned him a scholarship to an excellent private school. Because of this, his teachers would often initiate explanations using rugby analogies, much to his annoyance and exasperation. Really, it was his pet peeve.

In the end, he finished school with straight A’s and A*’s.

That’s like kicking the game winning conversation, after scoring a try, whilst your coaches stand on the sideline shouting Euclidean geometric angles at you in Latin.

5 rugby balls – 4 rugby balls = 1 patronised student.

I love my little brother, he is an amazing human. Despite, I, being the older sibling, he inspires me. He’s a real achiever.

Meanwhile, this was me in school…

I wonder if he is filled with nostalgia when he reminisces on the days, when I’d force him to hold the video camera, as my shaggy haired mates and I skateboarded into walls, whilst screeching “Hi, I’m Johnny Knoxville, welcome to Jackass Jr’s!”.

We killed some brain cells, but we had fun.

Then I grew up a little, became the kid in the photo above. Grown a little more since then too. Yet, my teenage angst just hasn’t gone away. Its dropped its adjective, but it’s still the same old interloper. The guy who turns up at the party uninvited. It’s been following me around for years. It’s like the smell of Lynx Africa at Christmas.

I believe some of us have a special affinity with nostalgia, bordering on the obsessive. I do. I dive into it at will – hold my breath as long as I can, before I am forced to the surface – consistently, for pleasure. If I could host a dinner party for my emotions, I’d like to sit next to nostalgia.

It’ll be a fine dining menu, of Turkey Twizzlers and potato faces, with butterscotch tart for pudding, served to the table, on little plastic trays, by Jane, my primary school dinner lady.

Image credit: scheduledescape.com

Thank you Jane. Thank you for everything.

A candescent light flickers in the corner, as I tussle to maintain the vision, soaking the room in an ambient rose hue.


If you enjoyed this post, you may also like my blogs on the happiness chemicals; dopamine, oxytocin, serotonin and endorphins, in The dopamine epidemic and its follow up, Happy chemicals.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

What’s the worlds strongest compliment?

When, “looking good hun”, just won’t cut it.

I noticed how women sometimes compliment other women by saying they look like a celebrity.

I wonder what it’s like to be famous.

One side effect is the advancement of an acute sense of UV exposure.

How to avoid attention and UV exposure – Leonardo DiCaprio looking inconspicuous.

I see why celebrities are called stars.

There isn’t a glow radiating out their arsehole. No, honestly, there really isn’t. I’ve seen one before. A celebrity, not… oh, never mind.

They’re fucking everywhere you look, yet only an exceptional few get near them, and for us normal people, no matter how much we shine down here, we’ll never be looked up to as much as they are.

I’d rather be infamous, than famous.

Jesse James at 16 years old, 1882.

Put my bounty on a wanted poster and call me the the fastest hand in the West…

… South-West…

of London.

That just got lamer and lamer.

Anyway, it’s none of your business what I do with my hands. *awkward cough*

I wonder how much they’d pay for me. Hopefully, it’s not “dead or alive”. I don’t think anybody hates me that much.

To hate, is to really, really care.

Hold on, I might be onto something.

There’s many ways to care about someone. I really care about you, I want you to be happy, healthy and safe.

Then there’s, I really care about you, I want to be you. Mimicking someone is a big tribute. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery. Maybe just not in the Spitting Image type of way.

Image credit: Spitting Image, Britbox

But, how about sincerely hating someone? You gave that one some thought. They’ve taken up space in your head. That’s premium real estate.

That’s a real compliment.

I hate you so much, I am going to part with a finite resource – precious time and mental energy.

You can pay someone a verbal compliment. You can pay for dinner. That’s easy. A momentary effort. To pay in time, that’s big-budget.

How about; I really care about you, I want you dead.

I mean, that’s a bit extreme, but isn’t that just about the pinnacle of caring?

Assassination in cold blood.

Wanted Poster for John Wilkes Booth, for the murder of Abraham Lincoln,
1865.

Now, these are successful people. People at the top of their game. They invoke such a strong emotional response, that somebody is willing risk everything, including maybe their own life, just to eradicate their existence.

Just a few of the house-hold names…

… Julius Caesar, Shaka Zulu, Abraham Lincoln, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Leon Trotsky, Mahatma Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Gianni Versace, Tupac Shakur, John Lennon…

… most, if not all, were at the apex of success in their field. Leaders, visionaries, Icons. Powerful people, who, many drew toward, followed and revered. None more so than their assassin.

Assassination, the worlds strongest compliment.


Watch out for people who are full of compliments, you never know what’s behind them.


Bust of Julius Caesar – “Chiaramonti Caesar”.

Et tu, Brute?

Quote from the William Shakespeare play, Julius Caesar.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Information – how much, is too much?

We live in a society where almost any question can be answered with a few twitches of a finger.

Did you know? The Great Pyramid of Giza, completed in around 2560 BCE, originally stood at 146.5 metres in height, and was incredibly, the tallest man made structure in the world for more than a whopping 3,800 years?

Image credit: shuttershock

No, neither did I, until I just googled it.

I’m a hypochondriac in remission. If you’ve ever run your finger over a lump and instantly wondered what type of cancer that is, squinted at the sight of an alien mole – glimpsed briefly as your crossed the threshold of a mirror – or, at feeling slightly under the weather, jumped on Google to self diagnose the affliction that’s going to kill you this time, you’re not alone.

With the near unlimited resource of the internet at our disposal, it’s easier than ever to become a DIY doctor. This is of course a good thing, right?

I went to the GP a few years ago to get a mole checked. The GP flicked her eyes at it and said “looks normal”. I said, “are you sure?”. She said “yes”. She turned to type up my nuisance visit. “How about this one?” I inquired. She peeked over from her computer keys – “looks normal”. She did a double take. I caught it. “Are you sure?”, I asked again. She could barely contain a sigh, as she wheeled her chair around for third look. “Hmmm… *dramatic pause* Yes.”. I wasn’t sold on her certainty. I left. I was frustrated. I felt slightly patronised. Why do the medical authorities make adverts to create awareness of skin cancers, and encourage vigilance, advising you to have check ups if you’re concerned, only to have the healthcare professional roll their eyes at you?

Am I overthinking?

I am living in Australia right now. There’s a hole in the ozone…

My partner was suffering from a consistent pain in her leg last year. She was experiencing a cramping sensation, throbbing and a “dead” feeling. She self diagnosed herself with a DVT – deep vein thrombosis, a potentially life threatening condition, where a blood clot forms in a vein, which, if becoming unlogged, can travel through your system and block the pulmonary arteries in your lungs, restricting blood flow. This is called a pulmonary embolism and can be fatal. I was sceptical, but she was sure. She would know how her body feels better than I could. So, we went to the doctors for a ultrasound. The technician was as dismissive and I initially was – my partner was 26 at the time, after all. Following a quick once over, the technician sat back presumptively, “Ok, you’re all clear”. My partner tilted her head to the side, with uneasy brow. The technician read her face. “I’ll recheck”. Sure enough, there it was, a blood clot in her leg. Not to place any blame at the technicians feet, but if it wasn’t for the internet, how long may it have gone misdiagnosed or missed due to human conditioning – to jump to assumptions – is anybody’s guess.

Access to information may well have saved my partners life, or at least much reduced the likelihood of a more serious outcome. However, for the technician, learned biases created preconceived beliefs, which almost led to an incorrect conclusion. That’s not surprising, we have spent our entire lives building up information to save time and bypass a cumbersome step by step relearning process, toward comprehension.

We are creatures of conjecture. What we don’t know, we fill the gaps in with our imagination. We often make judgements at the absence of information.

There’s a reason why stereotypes exist – could you imagine if cans of food didn’t have labels? We’d have to open cans at random until we got to the peaches. With labels, you still don’t know for certain that they’ll be peaches inside until you’ve opened it up – but you can assume. We label people too. Once you’ve read the label, you form ideas based on what you’ve seen. Now we have this information, we need a way to cut through it. Stereotypes are like can openers for people. They’re a tool to help you get to the contents quicker.

Image credit: shuttershock

We build stereotypes, not because they’re 100% accurate, but because they save time, meaning we can make more effective decisions, off the cuff. They say, “don’t judge a book by its cover”, yet, a blurb is placed on the back of it, precisely to facilitate that action.

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”
Miles Kington

Information is everywhere. Everything is information.

If you break it down to the most base interpretation of the word, anything we see is information – that fridge in the corner, is where I store my food to keep it fresh and edible for longer because it keeps it cold. Fridges keep food cold. Cold keeps food fresh. Food needs to be eaten fresh, so we don’t get sick. I ate turned food and I pooped my pants. Being sick is bad. Put food in the fridge. Fridge. Refrigerator. Frij. Ruh·fri·juh·rei·tuh. That’s how you say it. Ok, got it.

You get the point.

It took a long time to get to this point, because it takes a long time to get to this point. We need all this utilitarian information to function. We are assimilating information from birth. The process never ends. If we didn’t, we’d be walking around confused, bumping into walls. Sometimes, despite it, we are still walking around confused, bumping into walls. It must help a little. In fact, it would be impossible to learn to walk. If by some magic, we made it to adulthood, we’d be rolling around on our backs with a puddle of sick pooled on our laps. That’s most pubs on any given day of the week – so maybe we aren’t as good at equating our modern information gain, with an across the board evolution in acculturational gentrification, as I’d given us credit for.

Lots and lots of accumulated information.

That chair is black, that fluffy dog is cute, this guy is rambling, not this again. All valid information. Oh look, it wags it tail when it’s excited, cool, who’s a good boy? Did you just assume it’s gender? This is a non-binary dog, I’ll have you know. Information is fluid too. Sometimes we learn things which we must unlearn. Information evolves with insight. For much of history, the general consensus was that the Earth was flat, with the first known philosophising on a spherical Earth being accredited to Pythagoras, in Greece, in the 6th century BCE.

Bust of Pythagorus, Capitoline Museum, Rome

You really get the point.

Information is fluxional

When Pluto was discovered in 1930, it became the ninth planet from the Sun. In 2006, it’s status was downgraded, as the rules on what defines a planet were delineated, to some contention. Poor Pluto.

Pluto, taken by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft. Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute

Religion has influenced the direction of governance for the entirety of known human existence. Until now (in most of the western world). Is religion just a code for behaviour? Collectively we need answers – reasons for being, reasons for doing. When we can’t find those answers in the tangible world, we look elsewhere – sometimes inwards, sometimes upwards. I think there’s an irony in proselytising on our source of creation originating from an other worldly being, based in a celestial heaven, considering that the new generally accepted belief, is an origin of existence in an otherworldly event, out there in the celestial realm, sometime around 13.8 billion years ago – the Big Bang theory. Earlier suppositions weren’t so far fetched, when you think of it like that. We just accept other people’s ideas so routinely, without proof. As the name implies, it is just a theory and may become as erroneous as religion has to many in the first world societies, somewhere down the line. Time will tell.

The Last Supper, Leonardo da Vinci

Let’s take this scenario. There’s two Jewish bakeries in your 1920’s nondescript Eastern European hamlet. If company A, buys company B, that’s means they’ll have market hold, product prices go up, because there’s no incentive to reduce prices against competition.

You’ll have to pay a bit more to get your loathe of challah in time for sabbath. Now, if you thought about why you’re paying more, you might be gloomy at the changing tides, and bark at the influence this new market dominance enables over the working class. How deep you go is up to you.

Image credit: Molly Yeh, The Food Network

Or, if you’re not that way inclined, you may pay the extra coin, and get on with your day. Ignorance of bliss, they say.

You, the poor bugger, have no idea about the scourge which is about to rip through the European landmass and out into the wider world, in the coming decades.

If you knew what was coming, would it help you feel less concerned about bread?

Obviously.

Would you be more concerned in general, than you were before?

Obviously.

So would you really want to know the future?

Sure, the obvious answer is YES! I’m packing my Torah, and I’m out of here. But, for examples sake, let’s imagine you couldn’t act or speak on it. Your body would continue to mime your fate, just as it would have been, but, you could only think and feel it.

Is ignorance bliss?

Obviously.

I worry a lot. If I’m not worrying about imagined ailments or looming death sentences, I pretty much worry about everything else. I lay in bed at night in a state of existential dread. I worry at that which I can’t control. I worry about ageing, both for myself and those I love. I worry about health. I worry about how to make the best out of the short time on Earth we get. I worry about money. I worry about not being able to sleep. I worry about being tired the next day. Inevitably, that makes it more difficult to relax. I worry about worrying too much.

I think people worry too much.

The news plays on our fears. Nothing good ever happens according to the news – just terror attacks, natural disasters and politicians throwing spears at each other. It’s depressing. My country, Britain, is very, very good at self-flagellation. We like to belittle, demean and criticise ourselves, preaching toward infinite imagined realities which contain our catastrophic fate, that in the end, become self fulfilling prophecies.

Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in the film Anchorman

Listening to that drivel, day in, day out, can’t be good for anyone’s mental health. I worry about how invested, for example, my own father gets at the cheerless state of affairs.

Are we really doomed?

As they always have, do things just change? There will be better days, there just must be. Or maybe, today isn’t so bad after all?

I realised that when you turn the news off, the voices go away.

The sun still rises and sets, and birds still sing in the trees.

Simplicity.

That’s what feels good today.

Kookaburras don’t sing, they just laugh at you. This one stole my carrot.

I was having beers with friends in a bar in Paris one time, years ago. Early into the evening, our conversation crossed onto the table beside us and before you know it, the group was sitting at our table. The chat was open and flowing, somehow, to one of our new acquaintances, we must have looked like the type of people who wanted to know that he likes a finger slipped into his rectum whilst he’s having sex with his girlfriend.

How much information, is too much information?

That is.

Did you know? On average, there are over 3.5 billion Google searches per day. That’s 40,000 searches a second!

I contribute at least 15 or more to that, on a slow day, easy.

How many italics, are too many italics?

That is.

According to a study by psychologists at Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, on average, a person has around 6,200 thoughts per day. That’s from the beginning to the end of a single idea – which they call a ‘thought worm’.

If you take a lifetime of 80 years, that’s 181,040,000 wriggly little worms.

Image credit: planetnatural.com

We spend our entire lives building up this beautiful garden of knowledge, teaming with activity in the soil. We learn all this stuff, and then we die. In the end, it can’t help us to outsmart the inevitable.

If you could know the moment of your death, would you choose to?

The Japanese have some poignant words and expressions. Yūgen 幽玄 is a part of Japanese aesthetics. It means “a profound, mysterious sense of the beauty of the universe and the sad beauty of human suffering”.

Imagine credit: Lesly/Fotolia, Brittanica.com

The more I know, the more I think, the more I appreciate, yet the sadder and less content it can make me. It’s difficult to process the enormity of wonderment and the conflict it induces within.

If you connect to the concept of Yūgen, you may like my post The awareness of things.

I don’t know if I’d be happier with less awareness – less information. Sometimes I think it would be easier.

So, where are we now?

Well, I suppose the answer is ultimately, entirely subjective and depends on the person and context.

Personally, whilst I continue to absorb foundational and functional information involuntarily, I will endeavour to stockpile as much perceptively provoking material as I can, in the short time we get, in a effort to make it as worthwhile as possible. At the same time, reduce the white noise, by switching off to that which does not improve my resting condition.

Tending to the garden.

Thank you for reading – I hope you enjoyed it. Maybe you didn’t – that’s ok too. I’m learning – it’s all new information.

I’m going to use the word twice more – you’re being triangulated. You’ve been warned.

When it comes to blogging, how much information, is too much information?


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Polarity

Time goes so fast when you’re having fun,
So slow when you’re in pain,
I try in vain,
To sustain,
A smile,

The rain,
Falls as frigid tears on my windowsill,

To feel,
The things that cannot heal,

Only fester,
And rot,

A hot,
Putrid smell,
Of spoilt fruits,

Pollutes,
My pallet,
So I cannot taste the joy of the earth,

I birth,
A flood,

The pane,
That holds back the night,
Shatters,
As I fight,

To stay afloat,

Moonlit gargles,
In a luminescent blue,

I chew,
The thoughts down,
Like broken glass,

To the last,
Mouthful,
To savour,

The flavour,
Of life,

Good days will come again.

Original poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Seeing as you’ve got this far, that’s probably you! Reach out, drop me a message and let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!