Poetry In Motion

PoetryBy some strange quirk of fate (not that I believe in fate), I managed to scrape into the final of Word Makers Spoken Word Slam Final.

A bit like a verbal version of Ultimate Cage Fighting, using the power of the English language instead of physical force and aggression, there were winners and losers, those who walked away smiling and those who bowed out bruised, bleeding and reduced to tears.

In very much the same manner that music can lift your heart or sadden your soul, poetry can reach the places other forms of spoken language never can.

Now it has to be said, that amongst some hugely talented poets, some of whom are fortunate enough to make a living from their work, I was carried from the cage (metaphorically speaking) battered, bruised and bleeding. But the very fact that any of my poetry was deemed to be good enough to be compared to theirs was a huge buzz and an honour.

Damien and Macca shared the prizes, both winning gigs in the Bournemouth area.

One of my efforts went like this …

Time Lapsed

The roads were quite slick in amongst all the trees
As I flew off to work on my Japanese steed
I was feeling at one, with the bike and had fun
Round the twists and turns of the morning works run

As I happened upon the Old Windsor road
This guy in his van, with his plumbing work load
Made a crazy manoeuvre right into my track
And the Fireblade squirmed as I throttled right back

I evaded the hulk of the white Hyundai guy
Got a really close look at the whites of his eyes
Picked the bike up straight with a blip on the gas
And vented my rage at this ignorant ass

Then all turned to red, as the Peugeot behind
Followed on even though he was totally blind
In an instant I found I had run out of time
And I struck it head on, without changing my line

I was launched off the bike without slowing at all
Splintering ladders on his roof rack halted my fall
Bent knees shattered the windscreen in front of his head
Whilst the on-looking drivers all assumed I was dead

I fell from the roof as a leather-clad heap
While the pain in my guts forced me, wincing, to weep
And my breath was slow coming in a stuttering gasp
As I lay there just wondering if it might be my last

Some people surrounded me, laid on the ground
And I was slowly aware of compassionate sounds
Someone bent down close, to take a hold of my arm
Protecting my twisted prone form from more harm

The stark reality of Now flooded into my brain
And connected events with this dull growing pain
I was checked by the medic who just by sheer chance
Was detained by the traffic, whilst I lay in a trance

He pronounced me unbroken, in arm, leg or neck
Though he firmly suggested my ribs should be checked
Then the ambulance came with its lights flashing blue
And again I was checked over by one of the crew

Coppers helped me to stand and they took off my lid
They asked lots of questions and wrote down what I said
Then they took me to sit on the ambulance steps
While they questioned the driver, who stood there and wept

It is said by some folks that when one nearly dies
That a montage swims by from events of our lives
But I saw, in slow motion, just a large bonnet, red
And the two huge white eyeballs in the car drivers head

Now it’s all but a memory from way in the past
And clearly that slow breath was never my last
I went on to ride bikes and none ever were wrecked
But I’ve never forgotten that time lapsed effect

Richard Blake © 2014

Sometimes we learn more from our defeats than from our victories, last night was one of those occasions.

It’s So Easy To Let It Slide

Fundamental DarknessChallenges we set ourselves can be easy, or they can be hard. Generally speaking, the challenges that are worth setting, take us well out of our comfort zone. So what is the secret of success in such a situation?

Well speaking from my own experience, it is all about confidence and determination. My weight loss ‘regime’, if you can call it that, was set in motion through a determination to get into shape, both physically and in terms of my own self image. Now there is a further challenge, to stay that way for good.

It’s easy to put off till tomorrow, that which you should start today, and to give in today, promising that you will put things right tomorrow. Feelings like that are normal. It is our Fundamental Darkness talking us into wrong thoughts and deeds. The only weapon we have against it, and we all have those thoughts, is our determination to succeed. By imagining that our Dark Passenger,  as I prefer to call it, is actually something outside ourselves, we can mentally argue our case and, through determination, change our actions.

Success is sweet, failure is bitter and the only difference between the two is determination. Any goal, no matter how large or how small, is only unattainable if you lack the determination to go on.

No cause is lost until you decide that it is lost. So ignore, or better still defeat your Fundamental Darkness, have confidence in yourself, be determined, and never, ever give up. In that way, you will always be a winner, will achieve your goals, and be forever tasting that sweet taste of success.

Whatever The Challenge, Start It Now !!!

Defeat Your Dark PassengerChallenges we set ourselves can be easy, or they can be hard. Generally speaking, the challenges that are worth setting, take us well out of our comfort zone. So what is the secret of success in such a situation?

Whatever the challenge, it’s easy to put off till tomorrow, that which you should start today, and to give in today, promising that you will put things right tomorrow. Feelings like that are normal. It is our Fundamental Darkness talking us into wrong thoughts and deeds. The only weapon we have against it, and we all have those thoughts, is our determination to succeed. By imagining that our Dark Passenger,  as I prefer to call it, is actually something outside ourselves, we can mentally argue our case and, through determination, change our actions.

Success is sweet, failure is bitter and the only difference between the two is determination. Any goal, no matter how large or how small, is only unattainable if you lack the determination to go on. No cause is lost until you decide that it is lost. So ignore, or better still defeat your Fundamental Darkness, have confidence in yourself, be determined, and never, ever give up. In that way, you will always be a winner, will achieve your goals, and be forever tasting that sweet taste of success.

Easy Come, Easy Go

Easy Come, Easy GoNothing worth doing, nothing worth achieving, nothing worth the effort ever came easily. There is a simple reason for that. What is easily done can be easily undone.

To move steadily forward on one’s chosen path, step after step, whether or not others are watching; to meet difficulties with the steady, relentless strength of ceaselessly flowing water-such firmness of purpose, such integrity and perseverance builds a foundation that can never be compromised.

For Every Winner …

For Every Winner ...Today it was Oxford in the University Boat Race, yesterday it was the 25-1 Pineau de Re in the Aintree Grand National.

Winners in their own fields, but what about the losers? For every winner in an event, there must be at least one loser, right? Wrong !!!

Daisaku Ikeda had this to say:

“Strength is Happiness. Strength is itself victory. In weakness and cowardice there is no happiness. When you wage a struggle, you might win or you might lose. But regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being.”

So going home with the shiny prize isn’t the only way you can win, again President Ikeda has pearls of Wisdom …

“It is not how you compare to others that is important, but rather how you compare to who you were yesterday. If you’ve advanced even one step, then you’ve achieved something great.”

So whether you’ve had good day or not, you can look at things in several ways, and still come out of it as a winner.

Another Lost Cause?

Defeat Your Dark PassengerChallenges we set ourselves can be easy, or they can be hard. Generally speaking, the challenges that are worth setting, take us well out of our comfort zone. So what is the secret of success in such a situation?

Well speaking from my own experience, it is all about confidence and determination. My weight loss ‘regime’, if you can call it that, was set in motion through a determination to get into shape, both physically and in terms of my own self image. This time there is a further challenge, to stay that way for good.

It’s easy to put off till tomorrow, that which you should start today, and to give in today, promising that you will put things right tomorrow. Feelings like that are normal. It is our Fundamental Darkness talking us into wrong thoughts and deeds. The only weapon we have against it, and we all have those thoughts, is our determination to succeed. By imagining that our Dark Passenger,  as I prefer to call it, is actually something outside ourselves, we can mentally argue our case and, through determination, change our actions.

Success is sweet, failure is bitter and the only difference between the two is determination. Any goal, no matter how large or how small, is only unattainable if you lack the determination to go on. No cause is lost until you decide that it is lost. So ignore, or better still defeat your Fundamental Darkness, have confidence in yourself, be determined, and never, ever give up. In that way, you will always be a winner, will achieve your goals, and be forever tasting that sweet taste of success.

Winning Isn’t Everything

Grand NationalLast weekend it was Oxford in the University Boat Race, this weekend it’s the 66-1 long shot Auroras Encore ridden by Ryan Mania in his very first Grand National.

Winners in their own fields, but what about the losers? For every winner in an event, there must be at least one loser, right? Wrong !!!

Daisaku Ikeda had this to say:

“Strength is Happiness. Strength is itself victory. In weakness and cowardice there is no happiness. When you wage a struggle, you might win or you might lose. But regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being.”

So going home with the shiny prize isn’t the only way you can win, again President Ikeda has pearls of Wisdom …

“It is not how you compare to others that is important, but rather how you compare to who you were yesterday. If you’ve advanced even one step, then you’ve achieved something great.”

So whether you’ve had good day or not, you can look at things in several ways, and still come out of it as a winner.

An Elitist Race

The Boat RaceThe Boat Race was won this afternoon by Oxford. It was a very close race, with both sides giving their all for the cause, but there was a strange air of pointless strife as we watched the Cambridge president, in his last ever race, being interviewed as a loser.

The whole event, the crews, the boats, even the bridges were smothered in BNY Mellon advertising, the sponsors. How apt, that an elite race, between two elite universities, crewed by elite oarsmen is sponsored by an investment company. A company, whose sole aim is to make money for those who already have more than is good for them.

Whilst the endeavour of the crew members, the months of early morning training, the sacrifices made for the joint cause, must be acknowledged, it is rather difficult to see what difference all the effort really makes to a world of poverty, pain and unhappiness.

Everyone’s A Winner

Euro 2012So Euro 2012 is finally here and tonight’s games have lived up to all the hype and expectations. With the co-hosts Poland drawing 1-1 with Greece, I imagine the Poles are feeling a little down, letting a one goal and one man advantage slip in the second half.

Russia, on the other hand, must be buzzing, having beaten the Czech Republic 4-1. With more fancied teams playing over the next few days there will be winners and losers, but if the matches live up to the openers, football will be the real winner. But even the teams that come out of their opening games as losers can take heart if they look at the results in a slightly different way.

Daisaku Ikeda had this to say:

“Strength is Happiness. Strength is itself victory. In weakness and cowardice there is no happiness. When you wage a struggle, you might win or you might lose. But regardless of the short-term outcome, the very fact of your continuing to struggle is proof of your victory as a human being.”

Going home with the shiny prize isn’t the only way you can win, again President Ikeda has pearls of Wisdom …

“It is not how you compare to others that is important, but rather how you compare to who you were yesterday. If you’ve advanced even one step, then you’ve achieved something great.”

So whatever kind of opening game your team has, you can look at things in several ways, and still come out of it as a winner.

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