Christmas 2018

As angel halos are polished brighter than Rudloph’s red nose
And Santa samples every sweet his elves have made this year
It is almost here that frantic rush to buy gifts we think others want
Hoping that in return we get more than some perfume or slippers

But for the supermarkets it started back in the heat of August’s sun
We popped in for the creams of sun and ice only to find crackers
In September out came that seasonal swear box if say its name
Surely only a fool would begin their annual celebrations so soon

By October the air begins to turn that distinctive autumnal smell
Advertisers scream through the leaves Christmas is coming soon
‘Buy this now to ensure it is the best you’ve ever had’ they lie to us
Every time we fall for them anew despite promises we made before

November is when any children make their annual written pilgrimage
Making lists of things that they’ll hate by that day in late December
Thinking of nothing else as they try to behave as know he is watching
With the wanting ever growing from iPads to ponies or weight in sweets

December dawns with a black thump as the credit card receipts mount
With the trimmings on the tree many colours and sprouts that nobody eats
Quickly we must write those cards we bought for charity but not be the first
Must change with the times too sending Instagrams, Tweets or Snapchats!

Christmas Eve is the calm before the storm with little time to relax or unwind
The shopping maybe over but there is always lots of wrapping left to do
Hanging up stockings to signal to Santa Claus we are ready for your visit
And a glass of mulled wine soon turns into just the one bottle for tonight

Next morning it begins early with the excitement of kids young and old
Long lies are not meant for this day so no point even beginning to try
Presents carefully wrapped but in seconds in a hundred pieces on the floor
With forced thank you’s exchanged matched only with the fake smiles

As the knife hits the turkey’s breast all eyes stop their games and stare
Even the sugar high children’s screaming and fighting stops for a second
The crackers go bang and paper crowns worn to a chorus of bad jokes
Time to overeat with no regret – well until the wake of Boxing Day morn

Watching the festive specials on the black box that never seem as good
Was it nostalgia or even the drink that says it was better in the old days
As the calm settles a collective world taking deep breaths that it is over
At least that is for another year when we will do it all over again!

© Fi S. J. Brown

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The Ogre

There was an ogre that lived
As bald as a newborn baby
But had lived at two and ten years
When she first walked this Earth
Writing formed only death wishes
Laughter tasted of bottle green
Dancing to another’s beat
Crying muted lonely tears
Growing the seeds of doubt
Record needle stuck again and again
Set on fire with self inflicted wounds
Collecting certificates for study
Stuck in laboratories like a monkey
Or was it jail with no key
As the train grew closer and closer
Time froze
Truth from camera lens not glasses
Picasso’s painted woman glanced
As a rag doll developed digitally
Sewn with threads of friendly love
But this was still not the whole truth
And the ogre wanted the final word
Humiliation across a brave new word
From an image cast on a black mirror
A selfie
No laughter came
After over two and a half decades
The ogre had lost the final battle and war
Blinded by the dawn light
Deafened by the dawn chorus
Leaving behind a human being
That is me
Now almost 40
And she is still just me

© Fi S. J. Brown

Technology – 20.18.11

This is not a rant against technology but more thoughts after watching an old clip on YouTube and considering what was said then to what is true of today’s technology. Equally, is today’s technology an escapism and/or all bad news?

Everywhere we go today almost everyone has a mobile/cell phone. Some have them stuck to their hands and stare back at the black mirror to this world where a version of them exists. It is like almost like old computer game The Sims but with better graphics and have more control of the worlds we create. Others hold them aloft to an invisible god as take selfies and hope this god will ensure they get many likes on the assorted social media as they apply filters to portray themselves in the worlds just mentioned.

Mindfulness has become a big thing but yet many do not just stop and look to enjoy the moment as feel the need to have proof they were there at all. Our memories are like movie with only edited bits we remember but yet by taking videos or pictures are we trying to hold on to them for that bit longer? Do we have to document our lives and share them to these worlds…is anyone really that interested in our fiftieth meeting of a so called celebrity or posing drunkenly with our mates when we are over twice the legal age?

Are our lives so vacant or boring we need the justification, reassurance, acceptance or love that come with these worlds? Acts of random kindness feel cheapened too – how can they be so random when it is recorded then shown to others to showcase the deed in action? Do we need these black mirrors of vanity and worlds to justify our being in the 21st century? Looking back at these records of memories are they not more painful or do they cheapen the so called good times, making them seem like they lasted longer than they did?

The word technology comes from two Greek words, transliterated techne and logos. Techne means art, skill, craft, or the way, manner, or means by which a thing is gained. Logos means word, the utterance by which inward thought is expressed, a saying, or an expression. So perhaps technology in this case is a means to present our art and inward expressions of the way we see the world after all. As no two people see or experience life the same way perhaps we can use it to help humanity grow after all and not a step backwards.

© Fi S. J. Brown

A Centenary to Never Forget

An autumn breeze gently blows over Flanders Field
Poppies stand to attention in red
An autumn breeze gently blows over Flanders Field
One hundred years since they fell

All silent now from their guns and youthful screams
Poppies stand to attention in red
All silent now from their guns and youthful screams
One hundred years since they fell

Some returned only to experience daily repeats in mind
Poppies stand to attention in red
Some returned only to experience daily repeats in mind
One hundred years since they fell

And innocent nameless bystanders now but whispers
Poppies stand to attention in red
And innocent nameless bystanders now but whispers
One hundred years since they fell

That lead to a bloody pointless and unnecessary sequel
Poppies stand to attention in red
That lead to a bloody pointless and unnecessary sequel
One hundred years since they fell

And a dark song can be heard on across the world
Poppies stand to attention in red
And a dark song can be heard on across the world
One hundred years since they fell

But imagining peace’s white bells tolling with light
Poppies stand to attention in red
But imagining peace’s white bells tolling with light
One hundred years since they fell

Finally learning the lessons that time keeps repeating
Poppies stand to attention in red
Finally learning the lessons that time keeps repeating
One hundred years since they fell

© Fi S. J. Brown

The Edge of Forty

Every year I have written a reflective piece on the previous one on the lead up to my birthday. This year’s birthday is slightly different as it will be one of those big milestone ones as I turn forty. I am finding most people are flattering when I tell them how old I will be as say I do not look that age…but that begs the questions how should someone on the edge of forty look and how should they behave? Those younger than me are full of questions such as how does that make you feel and are you ready? Whereas those older shrug their shoulders and tell me I am still a baby or young. I am fast beginning to learn why it is the so called mid-life as feel a strange filling in the sandwich of youth and old age.

Looking back on my thirties as a whole at first they may seem quite frustrating but equally sedate after completing my PhD at thirty one and life since has been a very different journey to that of my twenties. They have brought good friends into my life that are like family who I would do anything for and love with all I have. The biggest part of this decade has been self discovery and acceptance as the ogre that lived in my head from my teens has gone and left a Fi-shaped person in its place that has the same love and respect as I give any human being on Earth that deserves them.

I have learnt to embrace life with making the most of each day and remembering to hold tight during the downs of the rollercoaster but remembering there are hidden positives and lights even at the darkest of times. Acceptance is definitely the key word to describe my thirties as have also understood what being asexual means to me and although it is very hard knowing I will never have my own child I have two lovely nieces. Equally, I no longer feel the outsider or alien that observes life rather than takes part in it as felt I did not belong or could not be what others wanted me to be. Labels and boxes are not meant for human beings and normal is a function on a washing machine!

I have also rediscovered my quirky creativeness and embraced it with open arms like a lost love, but my first love has become a greater passion with every passing year, which everyone that knows me was and is music! The written word and/or visuals are my talents to tell of my life, the tales of this planet’s citizens (not just the humans) and ensuring the forgotten or lost songs of the muted are sung for all to hear whilst spreading light and colour with my thoughts, actions and habits.

So what will my forties bring? There is hope and fear for the world we live in but determination not to let the negativity or hate drown me. On a personal level I am hoping I have final worked out my path and what that means in terms of career. As for love of the romantic nature…well I have never been one to chase it and if it is meant to be it is meant to be. The cynic in me still says it is for others not me. However, I am not scared or nervous at levelling up to a new decade in fact I am ready for it as see it as the next section in the book of my life that currently lies unwritten and that excites me…so bring it on!

© Fi S. J. Brown

Trick or Treat

Trick or treat
(Halloween is calling your name)
Trick or treat
(Autumn leaves have fall fast)
Let us see the night stars
Ringing out across the universe

Get on your broomstick – we’re gonna fly tonight
Your eyes like ashes from the bonfires
I wanna paint the sky – with moonlight brushes
Gonna leave the tears behind
Getting out of this rat-race

Trick or treat
(Halloween is calling your name)
Trick or treat
(Autumn leaves have fall fast)
Let us see the night stars
Ringing out across the universe

Grab your pumpkin lantern
We’re gonna fly tonight
We got liars to the right – we got apologists to the left
Sometimes I get so low – all I have are dreams
I wanna paint the sky
With moonlight brushes

Trick or treat
(Halloween is calling your name)
Trick or treat
(Autumn leaves have fall fast)
Let us see the night stars
Ringing out across the universe

© Fi S. J. Brown

Special

They point and say ‘he has special needs’
And although yes that maybe partly true
There are also some needs we all share
The need to be accepted to be ourselves
To have friends that will make us smile
Learning and growing at our own speed
Feeling valued but not as fool’s gold
There are things we all need help with
Accepting there are some things we can’t
Where as others we are the best there is
We are all made of the same basic cells
But our differences are what give colour
Normal is a function on a washing machine
And nobody is truly average in every way
Making everyone special in their own way

 

Ils indiquent et disent ‘il a des besoins éducatifs’
Et bien oui, peut-être en partie vrai
Il y a aussi quelques besoins que nous partageons tous
Le besoin d’être accepté pour être soi-même
Avoir des amis qui vont nous faire sourire
Apprendre et grandir à notre rythme
Se sentir valorisé mais pas comme l’or du fou
Il y a des choses que nous ont besoin d’aide tout
Alors que d’autres nous sommes les meilleurs il y a
Où, comme les autres, nous sommes les meilleurs
Nous sommes tous faits des mêmes cellules de base
Mais nos différences sont ce qui donne la couleur
Normale est une fonction sur une machine à laver
Et personne est vraiment moyenne dans tous les sens
Faire tout le monde spécial à leur manière

© Fi S. J. Brown

An Earthly Balance

In the month of October the leaves change themselves into many colours
And all round my neighbourhood from branches they soon drop like tears
As sadly I look to the distance hills that seem to grow further away by day
Obscured by the ever growing houses and cars replacing crops in the fields

One day it felt like ten thousand leaves fell about by my head as I pondered
With a mist descending with a quickening pace Photoshopping out the hills
And a gentle breeze was replaced by an angry gust of Mother Nature’s rage
Even the birds seemed frightened of her so kept their songs to muted grey

My eyes wandered left and right as watched the destruction she caused
But my thoughts were elsewhere lost in thought of those now forever gone
A father, a friend and a great uncle too all now stars in the evening skies
Even the chaos she caused would not change the internal mess I now felt

In this constantly changing world the view from my window now tarnished
Emptiness replaced where the leaves had once sat among the song birds
But like the soldiers of Flanders Field now lying on the ground in blood red
Humans and Mother Nature fighting to keep control that each feel their own

Too many have swapped the colourful life for that of autotuned human grey
Follow blindly like a sheep that can be manipulated into doing another’s work
But now many are awakening to this each dawn with their swords ready
And on Mother Nature’s side they will fight to keep this world in balance

In the month of October the leaves change colour but life on Earth carries on
And the armies evergreen trees protect us from Jack Frost’s chilling laugh
Humans are only one of the characters in this play not the star and director
So let us let take a back seat and enjoy the show with the others not alone.

© Fi S. J. Brown

Love is a mystery

Now and again I find curiosity gets the better of me and tune into television programs just to try understand being human and how others see life differently to me. This includes ones like ‘First Dates’ that set up people and film them have their first date together in a restaurant, which of course is heavily edited like any reality television program. The program makers decide how they are going to edit someone to be like to the narrative of what unfolded. As someone that love is very much that mystery I have all but left out of my life so far it is interesting to me what the participants are looking for and what love means to them. From ‘friend zone’ to ‘baggage’ it often leaves me more bewildered than anything on the ways they often justify reasons for saying ‘no’ or to why they are single and thus decided to do the show in the first place.

The concept of ‘friend zone’ stems from the 1990s television series according to the Oxford English Dictionary but seems to be very 21st century to meet someone and decide they’ll only ever be a friend so immediately that’s any chance of anything more developing as someone learns more about a person over time to be zero. I guess it may feed into this instant gratification we now seem to have as often see on First Dates some say ‘there was no instant spark’…which to me is silly as they’re in an artificial environment and unless there was good reason to avoid that person in future then why not see how that person is away from the camera? Equally, a ‘spark’ can develop over time as the other person’s little quirks make us smile and see that person as someone we like to be in the company of. How many relationships in the past started from a friendship that grew into something more? It is almost stunting something with a full stop before it could be a beautiful friendship that means far more than something romantic too.

Although I am openly asexual to my friends (“An asexual is someone who does not experience sexual attraction. This does not necessarily mean that they do not experience sexual arousal, or romantic or aesthetic attraction, or that they do not want intimacy from their relationships.”) it is sometimes left unsaid on why I am single. Equally, it is always someone’s personality for me that makes them attractive or not, although I have had horrific vibes off people that I have learnt meant to run and keep running from them too. I do not care about someone’s gender when it comes to love as I have had rarely had feelings for anyone (male, female or however someone wants to define their gender); of the people I have kissed two have been male and one is female. Who that person is as a package not the shell around their body is what speaks to me. As a teenager I questioned my sexuality as had no idea who I found sexy but did find any sexual talk a trigger as made me upset and uneasy, which it still remains to this day due to unresolved issues.

That last point brings me onto ‘baggage’ that any human being that has ever lived has got. Yes some of us seem to experience more things in life than others but does not mean we should be determined by it. First Dates seems to love its sob stories and tragic events or stories from its participants. It takes a lot to learn to love ones self as I have learnt and know it would take a lot for me to love another as to me that is absolutely terrifying at beginning to imagine it. I know to some my personal ‘baggage’ may seem a lot but by sharing the weight becomes lighter as it also does with the passing of time, something that the only person I sort of dated did not grasp. Nobody gets to the age I am at now without a few scars but equally they should not be defined by their past as makes them the person they are today and what happens today will influence the future. Baggage sounds like we have several suitcases we bring from relationship to relationship, but equally they can contain amazing experiences and things we have done. However, they also show to me how we should deal with things properly and not bottle them up so become dragged down by them.

My love of music and musicality is no secret but have rarely understood why we write so many songs about love when there are so many other human emotions. One album I am enjoying right now is exploring many themes from awakeness to not giving up on life so meaning a lot to me beyond the fact the singer/songwriter is a special friend. For me I feel romantic love is a mystery meant for others and not for me. If I am honest if someone said they fancied me or loved me in a romantic way I would be sure it was a joke and/or a bet such is my cynical view. Love comes in many forms and we should be embarrassing that not giving friend zones at the drop of a hat as the love of a good friend should not be ignored but treasured as far as I am concerned beyond that of romantic. I do not believe in fairy tale love but would like someone to challenge my suitcases and me to see beyond the love I have learnt through friends that I did not think was even possible. So don’t give up as you’re single, enjoy it and who cares…the spinster cat starter kit is only a phone call away from your local animal shelter!

© Fi S. J. Brown

The Girl That Said No

Standing on the edge of the forest
Like my ancestors once did
And the leaves are changing colour
No more flowers and animals will sleep
Whispers in the air tell the tales
Of the year almost gone
Fearful hate, apathy awakened
What a mess we make, will we ever learn

Watching from the black mirror in hand
For the latest craze to begin
Celebrities instagraming their hashtags
With their lies for mass consumption

I will not follow the unwritten rules
I will not be placed in their boxes
I will not Photoshop or filter my life
Or worship the gods of stage and screen
Independence and individuality
Thinking aloud with no thought police
Burning the spin and lies with every step
I am the girl that said no

Standing in the middle of the town
Ignoring the autotuned grey noise
Hoping for some colourful miracle
To breakout out with the sword of truth
Whispers in the air tell the tales
Of the year almost gone
Fearful hate, apathy awakened
What a mess we make, will we ever learn

An emperor wearing his new clothes
Praised by the sheep baaing masses
Fakeness has become the new norm
Blurred lines until we all become one

I will not follow the unwritten rules
I will not be placed in their boxes
I will not Photoshop or filter my life
Or worship the gods of stage and screen
Independence and individuality
Thinking aloud with no thought police
Burning the spin and lies with every step
I am the girl that said no

I will not follow the unwritten rules
I will not be placed in their boxes
I will not Photoshop or filter my life
Or worship the gods of stage and screen
Independence and individuality
Thinking aloud with no thought police
Burning the spin and lies with every step
I am the girl that said no

© Fi S. J. Brown