POETRY CORNER

Reflections
a request poem from a dear friend

When I reflect, it's only because I've been forced to look at what I've done
I might not be happy with what I see in that reflection
But I know for sure that it's a chance to see myself in my truest form
In a state where I either look at myself with wonder, worry or disdain

When I reflect, it's only because people have forced me to look at what I've done
They might not be happy what they see in that reflection
But they for sure that they believe it's a chance to see me in my truest form
In a state where they either look at me with wonder, worry or disdain

When I reflect, it's only because you have lead me to stand and look at what I've done
You smile because you are happy with what you see in that reflection
You know for sure that you are relishing the chance to see me in my truest form
In a state where you have made me with wonder, without worry and never disdain

I am a reflection of You.
How lucky am I :-)
                    _____________________________________________________________

Stuck
an impromptu poem

I'm stuck and I'm sinking but I don't know how I got here
I vaguely remember running and hoping I could bypass this spot
But I knew it would be inevitable because I've been procrastinating
And wishing that my legs wouldn't stay fixed to this spot, in paralysis

I'm stuck and I'm sinking but I don't know how I got here
I thought everything was going swimmingly up until this point
But I knew that trying to take every single thing on in my life
Would eventually lead me to this point of realisation, in analysis

I'm stuck and I'm sinking but I don't know how I got here
Should I fight this sinking feeling and resist this urge to submerge
Or should I welcome this sinking sensation and just let this quicksand
Envelop me in its sticky thickness, seeping into my eyes and pockets, in every orifice

I'm stuck and I'm sinking but I now know how I got here
I vaguely remember soaring before I could run, running before I could walk
Taking on everybody else's responsibilities and obligations as well as my own
Giving myself up to the acceptance of what this is and learning how to be unstuck. . .

_____________________________________________________________

How it is
a poem written so long ago. . . 1 had almost forgotten you . . . before mobile phones existed. . . 

Pathetic, that I sit patiently and wait for a call from somebody who has
no attachment to me other than being a friend.
Crazy, that he knows me so well and recognises when I'm not myself.
Amazing, that of all my friends combined, that I should not be able to make it
throughout each day without his phone call.
How is it, that you can come to rely on somebody so much - that to live life without the,
would be like you stopped breathing?

Scary, that I feel a bond so close it blinds me and puts all other things in the shade
That he should look for me and turn to me when she is gone or busy - how is it?
Remembering, that things must be kept a secret,
so careful not to let people see the closeness in reality -
to see the affinity and the kinship.
Conscious, that, should things be brought to light, it would be the end of the world.

I will be lucky to find someone as understanding and caring
and so concerned about the real me.
Enough, that just as long as he calls -
the conversation can be as trivial or mind numbing - that's isn't the point
Just to know, that someone is there in an arm's length -
so tangible yet elusive - some things are meant to remain mystery
Tell me - is it wrong? Is it unhealthy?  How long has it been going on?
It is even worth mentioning? Does it warrant any attention whatsoever?

To find the words to describe how much the bond means -
wouldn't be enough and never will be.
It's just how it is . . . 

_____________________________________________________________

Exodus
a poem about escaping . . 

Travelling from and journeying to the centre of the earth
One which will truly be of my own making
Fleeing from and moving towards a greater purpose for my existence - 
one that has remained elusive until now.

Hoping against hope that the blindfolds 
Have been well and truly pulled away
Spurring me on to the self-discovery 
That I must experience

Finally closing the doors on the eves of my past
And opening new entrance ways to begin the exodus
Escape to adventure and promise
Turn from recklessness and oblivion. . . 
_____________________________________________________________

Reading
a poem about making sense of what you read. . . 

Comprehension was something we learned from an early age at school
The colour coded box was the object of our desires and affections
Instilled in us from that early age to understand hierarchies of colours
And know that we needed to finish reading through as many cards as possible

Reading was as simple as picking up a book in the tiny library corner of the class
Sitting quietly on a cushion and watching the sunlight dance with the shadows
On every single page that you turned, and even if you went outside to read your book
The wind would be sure to have her turn, hoping to have the pages slip through your fingers

Writing our own stories in response to what we read was a common occurrence
It felt like we had to memorise a lot of the stuff that we read to prove our understanding
But I preferred creative writing the best; where we could listen to the stories read aloud
And hope to create our own fantastical, wonderful and equally magical tales in our books

Understanding was something we learned from an early age at school
Those coloured cards soon became our ticket to activities outside of the classroom
The fastest and competent readers were selected as older reading buddies for younger students
We ran the school newspaper and went on school trips to explore where reading dared to take us. . .
_______________________________________________________________

Lucky
a poem about being fortunate. . . 

How do you react when people say that you are so lucky?
Lucky for having a career that you worked hard to be able to work in
Lucky for having parents who taught you so much about being an indigenous genius
Lucky for having the confidence to speak with a clear voice that people sometimes find hard to hear

How do you react when people say that you are so lucky?
Lucky for having a mind that considers things from so many different angles
Lucky for having brothers but no sisters to share secrets, stories and songs with except with friends
Lucky for having friends who aren't Samoan because I like learning about so many other cultures

I don't know how you react when people say that you are so lucky
But I think that I am lucky to have so many opportunities to discover more about me
Lucky for chances to see what life has to offer and what it can also deny
Lucky to know the difference between chance and choice. . .

_______________________________________________________________

To admire or be admired
a poem about the murkiness of admiration. . . 

A complicated or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself
Can only happen when you are in the thickness of the mire that you never expected to be in
You don't anticipate how you are able to get out of it, how patient you need to be
How you got yourself in this mess in the first place so you sit there and wonder how

A complicated or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself
Doesn't need to happen if you are able to assess the enormity of the situation
What's holding you back from being able to extricate yourself
And are there other contributing factors that prevent you from being able to be uncomplicated

A complicated or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself
May not necessarily have occurred through fault of your own
In face it could be because you were suddenly thrust into the limelight or spotlight
Intense scrutiny that now escapes no highlight like some spinning record stuck on repeat

A complicated or unpleasant situation from which it is difficult to extricate oneself
Seems to be where I spend most of my times these days and I'm getting used to it
I find that there is some comfort in complicated and unpleasant situations
Because it teaches me to know that I can feel and appreciate life in all its richness and mire. . . 
_______________________________________________________________

Caught off-guard
a poem about how with the right people you can let your guard down. . .

We don't often have conversations unless something happens
This is the time when you get to have these conversations
During occasions with extended families and listening to each other
Slowly realising that perceptions held of you doesn't match what you always perceived

We don't often have conversations unless something happens
Because we're not meant to associate so familiarly
Which is quite funny consider we are familia, even if we are not familiar
Slowly getting to know things about each other that changed as we aged

We don't often have conversations unless something happens
But all I can say is that this deep connection with you
Keeps us connected even we don't see each other often
We never catch each other off-guard, because you are always on-guard for me :-)
_______________________________________________________________

Influence
a poem about how we recognise it, how we understand it and what we do with it. . . 

People seem to think that I carry you around with me in my bag
That I pull you out when I need to and shake you off a bit
Just to make sure that you are seen and easily recognised
It's hard to imagine what you actually look like to other people

I can't remember when I thought that I had you
I mean, I don't remember when people first thought that I had you
Because I don't know if it was something that I was taught to pursue
Something I was taught to understand and see how important it was

It can be hard to handle sometimes when people expect me to bring you out
That you have some invisible magic power that reaches out to people
Like some tentacled octopus that stretches out to bring the unwilling
To your point of view and get on board with things that need to work, like yesterday

It's hard to imagine what you actually look like to other people
Just to make sure that you are seen and easily recognised
That I pull you out when I need to and shake you off a bit
People seem to think that I carry you around with me in my bag. . .

_______________________________________________________________

Pray and Display
a poem about how we beseech in a prayerful speech. . . 

More often than not when we are called to pray
We find it difficult and challenging to find the words to say
Particularly when you are called upon to pray in front of a crowd
Often it is what you don't say that is more deafening and loud

The conviction and bravery displayed in prayer
Hides the dissatisfaction with the world that falls within your stare
I think about the strength and articulation in your spoken word
And hope and pray that you don't place yourself too highly above the absurd

Because when we are meant to ask for forgiveness for sins that we display
Is it not fitting that we can list in full - the array
Of not just other people's transgressions but also our own
So that when we reap what we sow, bear in mind, this is what will be known. . .
          __________________________________________________________________

Takeaway or Have Here?
a poem about. . . moderation. . .  

Talking with you is like I'm in a fast food restaurant
You realise that you want to try something new; you have different things to tell me
But you're also in a hurry so you're probably going to get this take away
Hoping that I won't notice how little you asked about how I was today
Because that means that the conversation would be more about yourself and not me

Talking with you is like I'm in a fast food restaurant
You seem to know what you want; you have the same things to tell me
Much like you're ordering your favourite meal to have here
You might even upsize the meal and add a few extras according to taste
Because that means you want me to answer a few more questions or listen a little more

Talking with you like I'm in a fast food restaurant
Depending on how I'm feeling, I might not have take away or have here
I might not even opt for drive through
In fact, I might have a home cooked meal instead. . .

          __________________________________________________________________

The Secret
a poem request by +Shannon Vulu 

You come to me like a whisper
Almost too quiet that I could completely miss you if I wasn't paying attention
You come to me like brain freeze
Because the excitement of having you gives me an ice cream headache that delights me

You come to me like a distant melody
Music that only I can hear from a far away place but becomes more apparent closer to the source
You come to me like a pleasant surprise
When I have zero expectations and when I least expect you

You come to me like an epiphany
When I can see connections that only start to form because I can see alignments in my mind
You come to me like blessings
Like an overwhelming wondrous glow that begins to transpire then oozes out of every pore in me

Thank you for coming to me
The Secret
When I am most grateful and happy
I know it's you :-)

__________________________________________________________________

I have @THE0BALD to thank for the following two videoclips.  They are student performances by Joziah and Ethan from Holy Family School in Porirua, Wellington, New Zealand, where Chris Theobald is the principal :-)  The boys are performing my poem "Voice".  I was truly honoured and humbled that the boys were able to embody and reflect the feelings that sit behind the words.  It is because of children like these that I write and hope that they find their voice :-)

Joziah :-)

Voice
a poem inspired by expectations and hesitations. . . 

I am expected to speak
Eyes bore into mine as I make eye contact
I wait patiently, waiting for an opportunity
None is given
Should I interrupt and make a case for myself?
I struggle internally, this is not how I'm raised
I must sit quietly and wait for a chance to speak
I need to find my voice

You expect me to speak
But do you want to listen?
Can you really hear what I'm saying?
You are impatient
Should I interrupt you and make you listen?
You struggle internally, this is not how you're raised
You stand tall, and take up every chance to speak
You need to find my voice. . . 

Ethan :-)

Faafetai tele lava Joziah ma Ethan, ae maise lava Chris.
I hope I get to meet you all very soon :-)
__________________________________________________________________

Smile
Thinking about the reasons to smile. . . 

I often wonder about why I smile
It's a really quick way to connect with a stranger
When you walk past them in the street, lock eyes on public transport,
When you meet someone for the first time at a meeting, or someone is excited to meet you

I often wonder about why I smile
It often appears when I am with friends
Before long the smile can convert and converge into laughter, the thigh slapping, hand clapping kind
The stomach cradling, eyes closed, head shaking laughter that springs forth from a series of smiles

I often wonder about why I smile
We're told that it takes less facial muscles to use to smile, rather than frowning
So why not make it easier on yourself, give yourself a break and smile once in a while
I replay happy memories in my mental movie theatre and smile through my favourite scenes

I often wonder about why I smile
And then I think, why not smile?
Smiles are free, they make people feel good; about themselves, about each other
I often wonder, why don't I smile more often?  It's something I think about, when I smile :-)

____________________________________________________________________

Loyal
Dedication poems - a new series of poems where friends give me a title and I write about them.

You struggle to understand people who are not loyal
Those who have no qualms about standing on others to get what they want
Disrespecting the spaces of loyalty that should have remained once forged
You feel chagrined on your friend's behalf when others choose to mistreat and abuse

You struggle to understand people who are not loyal
Because you would never betray anybody, or make them feel small about themselves
Choosing instead to be positive and full of light, using your energy to be constructive, not destructive
You feel empowered and emboldened to help others in any capacity that you can

When I think of someone who is loyal
I think of someone like you; someone who understands and has empahty
Someone whose sunny disposition and strength of characters is often mistaken for silence
Because you don't need to be loud to be heard; I hear you speak volumes with your actions

When you think of someone who is loyal
I hope you think of me; someone who doesn't need to stand up for you because you always stand tall
But just know that I am here for you anytime you need me; regardless of the time, the hour
Because you empower me and embolden me to help others in any capacity that I can. . .

Thank you for being loyal; I will always be loyal to you :-)
____________________________________________________________________

Hard to know
Dedication poems - a new series of poems where friends give me a title and I write about them.  

Apparently you are hard to know
But we know it's because you don't waste time
On frivolous conversation, unnecessary drama and idle gossip
You would rather spend time talking about things that matter
Creating ideas and thinking through topics that interest you on a larger scale

Apparently you are hard to know
Because you don't like to socialise too much
Especially with people who keep bringing up your past
Or look at you based on the last social interaction when everybody was around
But we all know that sometimes we can let loose too much and people judge all too easily

Apparently you are hard to know
But I don't believe that at all because
I listen to you and ask you the right questions
About things that interest you and engage you in conversations
That help you to be the best version of yourself that you want to be

So in the end you are not hard to know at all
In fact, you are easy to know; if people bother to value who you really are :-)
____________________________________________________________________

Thinking
making sense of common sense. . . 

Even when your body is tired
Your brain may run a mile a minute
Constantly thinking, constantly planning
Making sense of other people's thought processes

Even when your body is tired
Your brain is already thinking ahead
Considering what the week ahead bring
Making sense by predicting other people's thought processes

Even when your body is tired
Your mind is as sharp as a tack
Acutely aware of what holographic images
That swim in front of your eyes to draw connections

Making sense of other people's thought processes
Constantly planning, constantly thinking
Your brain may run a mile a minute
Even when you're body is tired. . . 
____________________________________________________________________

Watching
looking but are we really seeing?

You watch me and I don't notice
It takes me a while to catch on that you have been watching for a while
I don't know what you find fascinating
I don't find myself fascinating; but I can't change your opinion

You watch me and I don't notice
I carry on the conversation as normal, oblivious to what you're observing
How I use my hands to express points of information
Relaying stories and events of what happened during the day

You watch me and I don't notice
I'm not aware that you are making notes with your eyes, drinking in what I say
I have to look away sometimes to avoid eye contact because looking at you is quite intense
I don't know where to look sometimes, so I look at my hands or focus on something else

I watch you and you don't notice
I can see behind your eyes, thinking about the next question to ask me
I can see the cogs turning in your heard, trying to make sense of what I'm saying
Even though you look at me, you don't see me, but I see you. . .
____________________________________________________________________

Gratitude
gathering meaning from looking inwards. . . 

Grateful
Full of great expectations
Full of great thoughts and feelings
Full of great ideas, plans, visions, actions, opportunities

Grateful
Great expectations that fill
Great thoughts and feelings that fill
Great ideas, plans, visions, actions and opportunities that fill

Gratitude
Attitude of self belief
Attitude of passion and drive
Attitude of dynamic power and energy, love and light, looking inwards

Gratitude
Living in the attitude of self
Living in the attitude of passion and drive
Living in the attitude of dynamic power and energy, love and light, looking inwards

So that I reflect what I see inwards to the world outside
So that I can be grateful, full of greatness, to have gratitude and an attitude that fills the full. . . 
____________________________________________________________________

Sacrifice
just a collection of thoughts. . . . 

Giving up what you want to do can be difficult
Especially when you have planned to do things that took you so long
To muster up the courage to do, to put those dreams you have into reality
To muster up the courage to say, to convince people that those dreams are worth putting into reality
To muster up the courage to believe, in yourself for a change and not feel guilty for thinking you can

Giving up what you want to do can be difficult
Not because it's hard to do, but because you're left to pick up the pieces
Like you're sitting at the table about to eat your dinner that you've been looking forward to all day
But someone puts other food on your plate that you didn't ask for, don't feel like eating at the time
Food that you don't care to eat, haven't developed the taste for, but you know you're expected to

Giving up what you want to do can be difficult
Because other people make you feel things that you don't want to
I believe they call it sympathy or empathy if you've felt that way yourself at one point or another
So you help people out at your own expense, might be financially, intellectually, spiritually
So you help people out at your own expense, might be through time, your energy, your light

Giving up what you want to do doesn't need to be difficult
Because you don't need to sacrifice yourself to help others
You don't need to give up anything of yourself to help others, you can actually have it all
You just need to muster up the courage to do, muster up the courage to say, muster up the courage to
Believe in yourself for a change and not feel guilty for knowing that you can. , ,
____________________________________________________________________

Insomnia
a poem inspired by not being able to go to sleep. . . 

Some nights are full of sleep, other nights you don't sleep
What keeps you up at night?  What makes you lose sleep?
Did something or someone trigger the "insomnia" mode
That kicks in when you least expect it? Holding you hostage until daylight creeps in

It's almost as if the daylight hours hold no wonder for you
It seems as if a daily routine bores you and holds no passion for the unknown
Because you look at the night time hours as holding wonder for you
A nightly ritual of waiting for the household to fall into slumber as your eyes stay open

Nobody plans to have insomnia, I mean, if you did, you'd make a night of it (excuse the pun)
And you'd invite some people around to make things interesting like a movie marathon,
A games night that never ends or some kind of event that warrants the last man standing
But what do you get out of having no sleep?  Apart from the long sleep-in for the day after

Where you can have daydreams with your eyes closed, dreaming about things you can't see
During the day because what you normally see during the day is reality and it's structured
A far cry from the nightmares maybe, that you would have during the night with your eyes closed
During the night you would see maybe a future that may become your distant reality. . .
____________________________________________________________________

Procrastination
a poem inspired by experiences and people that allow me to keep getting put off. . . 

Every good intention falls by the wayside when you appear on the scene
All of a sudden every great excuse appears that almost seem as if
You deliberately plant them in my path, like a trail of breadcrumbs that I willingly follow
To move away from the desired path that I should be following more willingly

Every good intention falls by the wayside when you appear on my screen
All of sudden I'm not as interested in what I should be working on anymore
But I entertain myself with pop up screens of useless and trivial rubbish
That I would normally not even read if I wasn't so stressed out trying to meet deadlines

Every good intention falls by the wayside when someone starts gossiping
Because for a moment you forget about your own problems to listen to some scandal
Silently comparing how much better your life is, listening to the sordid tales dropping from lips
Those very same lips you would normally never listen to, as you were the topic of gossip last week

I now understand why I let every good intention fall by the wayside when you appear
Because quietly I think I'm not entitled to this success, to understand things so quickly
I think I shouldn't be this eager to learn about things that are not part my natural experience
I understand that things have been created to distract me from fulfilling my divine life purpose. . . 
____________________________________________________________________

Love
a poem inspired by observations and experiences. . . 

We learn from an early age how to define you
We may be given insights into examples of how to experience you
We are taught what it means to be with you, to know the good side of you, the bad side of you
We fall into you, stumble across you, lie to ourselves when we try to avoid you
We embrace you, search for you, try to deny ourselves an intimate acquaintance with you
We forget who we are when we plunge ourselves headlong into you
Remembering only how much we give of ourselves, deny ourselves when we face you
Giving up the past of you, to live in the now with you, while not worrying about a future with you

Whenever you decide to turn up in our lives, thank you for being you . . . 
____________________________________________________________________

Attention
a poem inspired by my observations of conversations. . . 

When you pay attention to someone
What currency are you using?
Are you paying with time?
Are you paying with money?

The thing about this kind of transaction is that
When you pay attention to someone
You aren't doing it for your benefit, for your gain
You do it because they need attention from you

So unlike the shopping sprees that you go on
Where you are buying products, paying for and using services
Think about the purpose of the conversation, of your interaction
When you pay attention to someone. . . 
____________________________________________________________________

Voice
a poem inspired by expectations and hesitations. . . 

I am expected to speak
Eyes bore into mine as I make eye contact
I wait patiently, waiting for an opportunity
None is given
Should I interrupt and make a case for myself?
I struggle internally, this is not how I'm raised
I must sit quietly and wait for a chance to speak
I need to find my voice

You expect me to speak
But do you want to listen?
Can you really hear what I'm saying?
You are impatient
Should I interrupt you and make you listen?
You struggle internally, this is not how you're raised
You stand tall, and take up every chance to speak
You need to find my voice. . . 
____________________________________________________________________

Elevators
a poem inspired by my trip on the elevator on the way to a work meeting this morning
random thoughts collected and memories of elevator rides. . . 

Small talk has never been more awkward than in an elevator
It's like you're trapped in close proximity with strangers
Avoiding furtive glances and tentative smiles
Watching each other but trying not to in the reflective surfaces

Small talk has never been more awkward than in an elevator
The only other situation I can compare this to is
Riding on a bus or train, even on an aeroplane
Particularly if you have to interact, when you don't want to

Small talk has never been more awkward than in an elevator
It's like the bus of doom that stops on each floor
And knowing your luck, your floor was near the top
However, I don't mind small talk on an elevator

Because what's more awkward than small talk in an elevator
Is furiously pressing the "close door" button when someone is trying to get into the lift
Is having to get off the elevator when it has reached its maximum weight allowance
Is having your body parts in "invasion of personal space" proximity with complete strangers
And trying to do those "silent but violent" farts on the elevator, but everyone knows it's you. . .
____________________________________________________________________

Music
a poem inspired by my life-long love

You're like the promise of a new day
Bright like the shining sun streaming through my window
Birds singing their complicated contrapuntal melodies with each other
Car horns and traffic intermingled with radio programmes
Smell of breakfast and conversations over coffee

You're like a jealous lover that won't leave me alone
You torture me, enslave me, incessantly bind me until I can't be released
Lost in your melodies, rhythms, harmonies
Feeling the thickness of your textures and timbres
Sensing the swell of your dynamics and articulation

You're like the calm that comes after the storm
The sweet surrender that only comes when the dust settles
Even when you can still see dust particles floating around
Waiting to settle on surfaces that the storm has touched
Sensing the vibrations that resonate still in the damage caused
 
You're like the lifeline that saves me every time
A perfect song for every occasion
Words and sounds intermingled with combinations
Of chord progressions and silences
My internal radio attuned to your every interval

That plays in my mind when I need to be soothed. . .
                                                       
____________________________________________________________________

Disappointment 
a poem inspired by the many moments that disappointment has arrived unannounced unexpectedly

You turn up unannounced
Because who would plan to be disappointed?
You don't think about what impact you have
Like the aunt or uncle everyone dreads seeing
At extended family gatherings
The noisy one who draws attention and deserves nothing
But is willing to take everything if given half a chance
Always taking more than a mile, way more than an inch.

Wouldn't it be funny
If disappointment made an appointment?
Sitting carefully in the waiting room
Waiting for you to emerge
So it wouldn't spring an ugly surprise on you
Because it was planned, it had intention
It had every intention of being there
It just wanted to see the look on your face.

Disappointment
Not an appointment because nobody plans for you
But when you turn up, nobody knows quite how to deal
Until you show what can quickly happen after you
Have first revealed yourself
Morphing and changing into something else
Like a cake that initially started out great but turned pear shaped 
But turned into plan B, something less optimal, but at least
Feeling relieved and less disappointed
And in fact, tasting, not half bad.

_______________________________________________________________________

This page will show some poems that I have written over the years (need to find them first. . . ) but yes, just original work that I have written.  Before I learned how to write songs, I was writing poetry.  If there is anything you would like me to write about  -  please let me know.