Tag Archives: mental

Pistons

Carry me home

Slay bells toll

A maze in this mould, bridging the gap

Burning soles find heaven I’m trying to put my face on the map

Why smash your pumpkin when you’re a sweet potato

I carry me home on this crowded railroad.

Adding carriages can be painful and I hate reservations.

Carry me home shattering webs and fathoming dust.

 

Die? Me?

I rust raging rainbows

There’s levels to this painting.

 

Your stares dress me on fleet streets where you’ll find that I’m a neon pink and lime shrine

You’ve got to be a pupil to see me in more than black n’ white

Oh, you think death is strange?

So it’s not just I.

If life is a cycle I’m here for the ride

 

I’m here to shake chandeliers of shamanic tears till diamonds find their way to their crown.

Is death an emergency stop or a slowing down?

 

Carry me home canoodling setting concrete.

Carry me home crowd-funded by choruses and crashes.

Feed me clashes to comb

There’s science to the magic but I don’t want to know.

As I know sure as the slay bells toll

I’ll just use it to carry me home.

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Filed under Random Poetics

World Mental Health Day

Mental Health, trendy isn’t it? Everyone’s talking about it, sharing memes and copying and pasting posts right now.

What happens when the volume turns down; when the phones are off or the next distraction explodes onto our screens? What happens when the man really has to look in the mirror? What happens when it becomes….”oh that’s so 2018” or “are you still on about that?”

We keep talking, that’s what we do. We keep listening. We keep checking in our friends, the distant ones, the ones who speak to us about the things that matter to them even if it’s not our number 1. We keep on keeping on because doing it saves lives. Doing it breathes life into someone who might not necessarily take theirs but is one moment of frustration away from a breakdown.

Mental Health is more than a medical diagnosis. To have the opportunity to have a positive connection to another human being is something that impacts our ability to live our every day lives as though there really is a tomorrow.

Sometimes the darkness is so thick around us that we push away the candles that are offered. Sometimes it takes persistence from one side to help you understand that the light shining in your life is a genuine one.

I love hugs. I remember there was one guy at university who would greet most people with a hug because he believed in a moment of positivity for everyone. Cheesy as it sounds, a hug has turned my down days where I’m -100 into a day when I’m +10 in how I feel inside myself. A hug has brought tears, opened hearts, allowed friendships to find new planes. Maybe a hug for 10 or even 30 seconds is all it takes. It’s not a magic cure but it’s a start.

No matter how well-intentioned we are, I hope that World Mental Health Day becomes more than a day where we copy and paste. You don’t need to push any social media buttons to check-in with someone no matter how near or distant. Your conversation may be the pressure reliever that they had been waiting for.

May you listen intentionally and without judgment. May your connections grow deeper, may many minds be saved, all because we didn’t just copy and paste.

AJ

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Filed under Non Poetic Blogs

Fear? Oh!

As a male who is happy to adapt to any city, I’m generally comfortable wherever. I’ve been to London enough times to know you have to be savvy with the way you carry things due to the sheer number of people around you at any one time. I’m privileged as a male to (rightly or wrongly) believe, that I am at a lower risk of crime against me than a female may be.

However, after my colleague’s purse was taken on the first day of our company induction in London, my awareness of my safety was heightened. I found myself holding my bag tighter, I didn’t want any bulges that told you where things were on me. I was wary of anyone in sports or casual clothing that wasn’t in line with particular looks. Wary of being in confined spaces (lifts, tube etc) with them

At the top of my suspicion list were people that looked like me, followed by other ethnicities, those who spoke English and those that didn’t. At the bottom of the list lay predominantly white professionals.

As I returned from dinner during the middle of the week it dawned on me that, I was possibly projecting. Projecting fears that never manifested themselves. Those people didn’t (and still don’t) need my stereotyping, they don’t deserve to be looked at as potential thieves or muggers who might injure me for saying no their intentions.

I recognise that I was once a young black male who was seeking to avoid being seen that way. The overall majority of people are law-abiding folk looking to get from A to B. Who am I to think the way I did? I questioned my automatic suspicion of black males as being the perpetrators. Why didn’t I think that it was simply an opportunist? Why did I think that they, along with non-English speakers to be the biggest threat to my safety?

In truth, humans will do terrible things by choice or by accident at any given point. Not everyone can afford to hire security to protect them from what may never happen. We can only take a limited number of actions to protect ourselves. Beyond that, we are at risk of damaging our own mental health by living in fear. Fear that causes anxiety by magnifying the smallest possibility of negativity. Fears that lead to words and actions that could cause harm to those we are fearful of.

Pre-emptive strikes against someone who has no intention to hurt you is your problem, not theirs.

 

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Filed under Just Living

All Good Things

The piano tinkled one last time as a man mountain of hugs closed the final show. A stream of tears became a Mexican tidal wave that overtook us all. Grown men sobbing publicly without fear or thought to what any of the audience may think. It was real, for all of us.

We had worked with each other, for each other, we loved and laughed, we embraced as we grafted and crafted something special. We hoped that it was impactful whilst entertaining. For many of the 600 or so that came, this was essential viewing.  A conversation on masculinity and mental health has well and truly been started, how far could it go?

When the last drop of celebratory beers had been drunk, and the last of our multiple hugs had finished, each of us returned home to face the reality of life outside the bubble of a performance. I didn’t know what to do with myself, I didn’t know how to feel. For all my emotional intelligence and self-awareness I was numb. I knew I’d grown but I didn’t know how. I was exhausted and fragile yet strengthened by the experience.

As I write this, I don’t know how I’ve grown personally, maybe I’ve grown as an artist. I remember the first performances where I messed up lines but got through my solo in the show. That started an incredible mental battle that I had to overcome. Slow down so that every line can have the impact you want it to, was the message from the directors.   I duly started my piece in 1st gear rather than 3rd and found a groove that allowed me to shine. Word perfect and performances 3 – 5 got better each time. Some said they saw me grow through each one.

Some have said they’ve learned a lot from me, again I don’t know what. So I ask myself what is the legacy of Man Up for me? Perhaps it’s relationships.

Throughout my life, I didn’t have many deep connections with the males, one every blue moon at best. The connections I had were generally social and rarely along meaningful lines. Ultimately they’d fizzle and I’d be left to fend for myself. As the weeks pass, I intend to build even deeper personal connections with the family or UpMen as we called ourselves. If brotherly love must continue, being intentional is necessary.

“Yes I’m a mess but I’m blessed to be stuck with you…”

Thank you, Paul & Clare, for your direction and process of co-creation, thank you Up Men for your love for this overthinking wordsmith. We have redefined the words Man Up in a positive way. Let’s build.

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Filed under Just Living

1434

Some days, the world closes in around me.

For minutes at a time, the earth shakes as though a thousand dormant volcanoes have erupted in unison.

I chase after my breaths like a 5-year-old with bubbles on a breezy afternoon.

I am deaf to the beat of my heart.

The sun orbits the earth before I come around to the understanding of my plight.

I am at war with my shadow.

Afraid of fading from view, I like stringing sentences like tennis rackets.

Mantras slip through my fingers like perfect ex’s.

Questioning supposed recklessness I break fast.

Peace is a stranger that refuses to converse.

I silence the alarm despite being raised by a nurse.

Always an episode instead of a series.

The script seems more powerful every time.

Maybe this is what I deserve.

Payback for the other side of me.

Maybe it’s the design for me

Anxiety.

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Filed under Just Living, Random Poetics

2/30 – Penny on the pavement

Too busy sipping tea to smell the roses.
Pockets full of pansies, posers
Too busy seeing red to be a Moses.
Ignoring the driftwood while singing Oceans.
Too busy, too focused to be open.
Neglect a catalyst of foreclosure.
Drowning, Emotion, Head up, No One. Head shot, Implosion,
Rest in peace? We don’t know that.

Nice memories, for sure, yeah.
Too busy being me to notice
That’s what it’ll be til it’s over, til it’s over
It is far from over….

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Filed under 30 day challenge, Society

Million Ways

Million Ways:

(Me)

Fighting on inches when moments would suffice
Head lies crawl through the epidermis
The sperm is energized like electrons
Neutrons spin in frenzied atomic glee
Singing I wish I could be free like the Legend of the John
Pimped out by spinning pulsars watching orderly stars exist
Why dost normality persist when fantasy is evolution
Champagne supernova is the solution
Get drunk on revolution
See banality is pollution yet everybody acts clean
Out of vented spleen windows are cleaned
They say you gotta die to live and I’m a suicide fiend
A homicidal maniac, a sniper of actuality
Breaking souls with a sentence, killing them with logical sanity
Remixing their incarnations with intonations of moon.
Saying there’s a million ways to die but I’d rather make the vultures swoon….
For Me

(Jodi)

I play hooky from he that is death
Outta breath
Living life in more seconds than time allows
Never picked the short stick,
But fate got a case of hate and I continue to raise my brow
Wonderin what he up to now
Attacks are coming
When, where, why and how
Knife stabs and low jabs
Swollen face for tryin ta face em…
Head on
So I headed on
Unconsciously warned
Scorned
For thinking I controlled life just cause I was born
Torn
Between the plots he plans
Tryin to get a grip
But he has a full house
So I gotta fold in my hand
Tryin to find an angle
But he 180’d my 90
Supa fast like whip lash
Premonitions thrown out with the trash
And he straightened out my hindsight and blinded out my future so I couldn’t see
Leavin me empty
Reached in my stash
Tried to pay death off but he wanted souls not cash
There’s a million ways to die…
I wish he’d just choose one…

(Me)

I stabbed her with visions of my past pain till she sang soprano
The modals of her yodels burst my banks
Blood money was the currency of thanks for her mirror
Jagged souls sang as they passed port to the fast lane
Concorde to the last gain, last cause, jungle wars
Stalking perception with no pause
Animal instincts on all fours I was used to wound licking
She said there’s a million ways to cook chicken
8 bullet barrels in a pistol with one trigger
6 letters make a nigger
Yet he needs four to live as she reached out in the dark
Saying I am Wrigley Field, I am Fenway Park
Step up to the home plate you can feed your flame in the dark
For even bats can see play or be played off the park
Her eyes pierced like a shot in the dark
All I heard was the swish before she swayed in an arc
She died giving rebirth to me
To love myself was her last respect

(Jodi)

Respect paid
Body laid
With a million ways he chose to torture me
Net caught my life before he set me free
Now I have nuttin left but respect for thee
Embracing the elevated view of the scene before me
He was the owner of a life that made living weak
Pain’d by those who’d never “circle and inner Y”…Pump peace
His hunger for death led an attention craving frenzy
Embodied John Gotti
Mafia controlled following bodies
Held the hand of the clan
Whispered a little hate and reeled ’em in
Train derailed music and gangs
Started an epidemic that’s killin men and can’t be contained
His gift is quite precise
Slashing unity with rigged dice
Political gambles and fights over raising oil’s price
With the world in his hand
He plucks away a few each day
You can choose the trick
Cause he’ll treat ya a million ways…
Choose One!

Adrian “Poetic7” McKenzie/Joanna OrJustplain Jodi Collaboration © 2011 All Rights Reserved

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