Laugh Or Cry – 31st August 2022

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry
I don’t know, who, when, what or why
Spent my days in endless frustration
A victim of a worthless education
Now I’m at school on the other side
All the things I learned being applied
And frustrated kids look up with empty eyes
I don’t know whether to laugh or cry

The people who get on in theis world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.

George Bernard Shaw

Today I’m grateful for:
Being able to share my abundant fruits with other people. The papaya is delicious but I can’t eat six of them!
The best thing about today was:
A quick ride along back roads and tracks to Bruno’s reminded me of times riding my motorbike in Dorset as a teenager. The green overhanging fauna down dirty muddy tracks and lanes. The smell of fresh oxygen mixed with distant smoky garden fires. I was transported, if only for a moment.

I took this picture because I found these two ‘good boys’ far from their home on my morning walk and they followed me all the way back.

Garden Haiku – 30th August 2022

Passionfruit flowers
Precede overabundance
Jam jars are ready

Ripened or not so
Papayas can be eaten
Until sick of it

The rambutans red
Are all infested with ants
Inedible now

Avocado trees
Why do you never give fruit?
I want to smash you

My chillies just came
It was a surprise to all
Conditions perfect

Pain and suffering are always inevitable for a large intelligence and a deep heart. The really great men must, I think, have great sadness on earth.

Fyodor Dostoevsky, Crime and Punishment

Today I’m grateful for:
The cookie I ate at House with my lunchtime coffee. It wasn’t particularly tasty or big but somehow it staved off any afternoon hunger so I ended up only needing yoghurt for dinner.
The best thing about today was:
Being able to talk to different students on a more personal level about more serious topics such as behaviour and respect. Even with the difficulties we have in communicating I feel as if I have their confidence in some ways.

I took this picture because I’d never seen the light on the lower mountains like this before. The sun was only just over the horizon to the east.

The Week That Was – 11th November 1979

Marginalia – 29th August 2022

A Russian writer in a Dublin bar
Took a metaphor way too far
The idiot brother spent the day
Conjuring up their words at play
Newspeak made them more afraid
And on the farm, a price was paid
Conch holders soon made no sound
As Alexandria’s library burned to the ground
A plague, a joke, the man outside
Tall tales of prejudice and pride
Repeated and replaced with robots, I
Struggle with two suns in the sky

Isn’t it conceivable a person wants to be a decent human being because that way he feels better.

Isaac Asimov
I took this picture because these two kept me company for a little while this morning on my walk. They looked like they were trying to kill each other but all the while wagging their tails and jumping up to run off again.

The Week That Was – 11th November 1979

Outside – 28th August 2022

I don’t want to go outside
The rain spits knives at my blinking eyes
Don’t want to be outside
Angry ghosts stare at me in surprise
I don’t want to see outside
Evil awaits with sharpened knives
Don’t take me to the outside
Amongst the dead and zombied lives
I don’t want to go outside
The flashing neon against dull grey skies
Don’t want to be outside
To smell the carcass covered in flies
I don’t want to see outside
The monsters can’t get me in my bed
Don’t take me to the outside
Where the rats of paranoia invade my head

The day a child realises all adults are imperfect, he becomes and adolescent; the day he forgives them, he becomes an adult; and the day he forgives himself, he becomes wise.

Alden Nowlan, Selected Poems

Today I’m grateful for:
Pushing myself to walk to Utopia in the morning and recognising the extra energy that gave me throughout the day. I got a lot done.
The best thing about today was:
Reading more Gormenghast. I’m loving the language and imagery and being introduced to all these weird and quirky characters. I’m enjoying it more than the first book in the series so far. There were lots of other good things today too mostly because I was in a good mood because of my morning walk and the sun being out again.

I took this picture because this was the view of the sunrise on my first early morning walk. It was also nice to view the world around me from different perspectives.

Atrox, Disciples of the Elder, (A poet), Other Side Of The Fence – Cornwall Hotel, Dorchester, Dorset, UK – 15th March 1985

Spice Of Life – 27th August 2022

*Luxury requires the gathering
Of many miseries and anxieties*
Yet our well-being is right before us
Living well has many varieties
Using the gifts of nature
Counts amongst the greatest things
Once given up the chase
Feel the contentment that it brings


We should not forget that the true purpose of education is to make minds, not careers.

Chris Hedges, Empire of Illusion

Today I’m grateful for:
My old friend Jenny from Sydney contacting me and saying she will try and come and visit in October. I really appreciate the fact that she might consider doing that.
The best thing about today was:
A lazy late afternoon nap as a dull dark day of threatening clouds forced my tired eyes to rest.

I took this picture because Tigger can be amazingly cute when he wants to be. This is just one of three pictures I took at the time and makes me smile.

A Japanese Day – 26th August 2022

It’s a very Japanese Day today
Ohayo gozaimasu we learned to say
Girls and boys dressed in cosplay
Pretending their favourite anime

The greater part of the population is not very intelligent, dreads responsibility and desires nothing better than to be told what to do.

Aldous Huxley

Today I’m grateful for:
Spending a lot of time running around chatting and playing with students for the Japanese Day event.
The best thing about today was:
All the students having fun talking about boys, girls, boyfriends and girlfriends. They made me laugh a lot with their hopes, passion, shyness and insecurities. I try to teach the girls to be strong and the boys to be respectful.

I took this picture because the orchids are so pretty and they stand out amongst the green. The damp misty air adds to the lusciousness!

Jungle Garden – 25th August 2022

Too many bananas, papayas and lychees
I got passionfruits stacked up to my knees
Chillies and pumpkin grown from spat-out seeds
On every speck of dirt, even amongst the weeds
Mulberries hang over the neighbour’s fences
I pick his mangoes to save on expenses
The land of plenty, these abundant times
We can’t even eat all the goddamn limes

…our age cries out for the redeemer personality, the one who can emancipate himself from the grip of the collective ‘psychosis’ and save at least his own soul.

Carl Jung, Development of Personality

Today I’m grateful for:
Making it through the day without too much stress despite feeling tired and dizzy.
The best thing about today was:
Was briefly talking and joking with Nong Cake. She is still a smart kid. She was preparing Thai and Japanese flags for Japan day tomorrow and I made a joke that the Thai flag was for Italy and she immediately understood and said that the Japanese flag was for Indonesia.

I took this picture because this is what my students drew on the board before class started. Baipad and Jan claimed responsibility and which was a little surprising though I know Baipad loves drawing. The picture made me laugh and then I teased them that I would show the head teacher and they begged me not to.
This is Trevor’s picture but of the same sunset that I was looking at last night. It was mesmerising.

Nucking Futs – 24th August 2022

Eating belly jeans, listening to a bad salad
Considering the plaster man
My prubarb rye was wise prinning
As only my bunch luffet can
I was pit-nicking and nucking futs
Going over to the sark died
Sod rest her goal, it reamed so seal
Now those birty dirds have flied

Humans have an infinite capacity for denying the truth.

Judge Death, 2000AD
I took this picture because this is my first day using this app and I have to start somewhere.

Today I started using an app called Day One, the free version of which lets you add a picture each day with the prompt of why you took it. The app also prompts for other things such as below:

Today I’m grateful for:
Finding this app and to see if it is useful for me. I’ve been writing my gratitude journal on paper for 18 months or so and want to try a mobile app again.

The Week That Was – 4th November 1979

The Poems of Reason – 24th August 2022

This one has taken a while, perhaps more than a year. Again, a poem for a bunch of quotes I highlighted whilst reading Sartre’s The Age of Reason.

Everything is so neat and tidy in your mind; it smells of clean linen; it’s as though you had just come out of a drying room.

The Drying Room

The static in the air
Crackles your clean clothes
Your body is straight
Your mind is straight
It’s the vision that you chose

When you look at yourself, you imagine you aren’t what you see

False Mirror

Who is this?
Who are you?
Am I in this picture?
I am the light of the scene
A spotlight shines upon me
Flowers are thrown, gifts given
This mirror is not me
My head is not the mirror
So what is this picture I see?

…you’re the sort that upsets glasses and smashes mirrors. And women trust you. Well, they get what they deserve.

Smashed Up

You balanced your full temper
With a charisma kept in reserve
And those folks who trusted you
End up with what they deserve

He had not seen him for six months….It was embarrassing, they had too much to say to each other, their fading friendship lay between them.

Some Things Don’t Last A Long Time

The red has faded
The blue has paled
This picture, a reminder
Our friendship has failed
Too much to say
Too much time past
It’s just a sign
It wasn’t meant to last
Forgotten the feeling
Of the things we shared
Six months on
Like we never cared

Who am I to give advice? And what have I done with my life?


The eternal question to ask
Who am I? Why am I here?
Have you asked this of yourself?
Who are you? Why are you here?
Advice offered through experience
It’s honest but never true and clear
What did we ever do with ourselves?
Who are we? Why are we here?

…he always felt as though he were somewhere else, that he was not wholly born. He waited. And during all that time, gently, stealthily, the years had come, they had grasped him from behind…

Beers and Wine

What are you waiting for?
You’ve been born for many years
You’ve never been now
Now holds too many fears
Death is creeping up on you
You’ve been worried every day
Too late to let it loose
Now your regret is here to stay

Youth is fantastic, so vivid on the surface, but no feeling inside it.

Empty Pocket

The stars of the youthful eyes
Burning bright in darkened skies
An energy burst, far and wide
An empty pocket, nothing inside

You mustn’t mind me today, I’m not myself. I’m dependent on other people, which is so degrading.


Don’t mind me and the things I say
I’m just not really myself today
I degrade myself by being dependent
I need others to make me feel relevant

I want to live immediately, I haven’t begun, and I haven’t time to wait, I’m old already, I’m twenty-one.

Dying Days

How long can I wait, I’m already old
I should be living now, or so I’m told
I haven’t started and the race feels run
My dying days at only twenty-one

He never worried about her, he said to himself; “If there was anything the matter with her, she would tell me.”


Sure she would tell me if there was something wrong
I never worry about her and where we both belong
Sometimes side by side and other times far apart
We are certain to be together deep within our heart

I forget the context of the quote but took it as a negative thought, in that he doesn’t think about the person much at all. But when it came to writing this little poem I’m channelling the positive feeling between my wife and me as she is far away. I do worry a little about her – but I don’t worry about us.

And yet he ought to know that I can’t talk about myself, that I don’t like myself enough for that.


When I dislike myself I remain quiet
Contemplating all of my life’s meaning
Yet you chatter away incessantly
Without acknowledging that I’m dreaming
And the words we both imparted
Provided little for either of our gleaning

One could only damage oneself through the harm one did to others.

I Hurt Myself

The thoughts I have about you
The ones I justify
I redirect them inward
To test and qualify
I learned that if I hurt you
It’s myself that feels the damage
Better to change my thinking
And these emotions I must manage

She was beautiful beyond all doubt, but her beauty was of the kind that vanishes under observation.


Such a vision from afar
As if captured in a soft-focus lens
This beauty breaks under inspection
On distance it depends

I am the more convinced that one oughtn’t to be a man of principles. You are stiff with them, you even invent them, but you don’t stick to them.

Break Or Bend

Does the principle a man make?
Or convinced they are better to break?
Stiff with sticking to a particular way
Or flexibly bending from day to day

A man must have the courage to act like everybody else, in order not to be like anybody.

A Different Same

It’s bravery to jump in the river
From the same bridge others jumped
There’s a message to deliver
So remains the water pumped
All within is what remains
There’s a choice to resistance
The difference will be what explains
Our places in existence

Your age of reason is the age of resignation, and I’ve no use for it.


When you found reason
It seemed all but useless to me
A resignation
About how one chooses to be

…you looked much more like a fellow who had just realised that he had been living on ideas that don’t pay.

Next Invention

Each great idea come and gone
Moved half a world away
Master of the next invention
Living on ideas that never pay

No one ever talks to me about myself, and there are times when I can’t seem to get hold of what I am.

Doctor Griffin

Talk to me, don’t talk to me
Your words so closely guarded
Who am I? I’m not too sure
Always disregarded
An invisible man
Unsure what I am

…inject a meaning into life, choose to be a man, to act and to believe. That would be salvation.


I saved myself in the end
Making choices, acting and believing
Found the time in which to spend
Thoughts to surround with meaning

My freedom? It’s a burden to me; for years past I have been free and to no purpose. I simply long to exchange it for good sound certainty.

No Complaint

I don’t want freedom
Its burden brings constraint
Because I have no purpose
Not even any complaint
Give me words to live by
A map and a guide
Days that are certain
No thinking need be applied

Well, he ought to marry Marcelle. After that he can rest upon his laurels, he is still young, he will have a whole life in which to congratulate himself on a good deed.

Sat Back

That one deed that made a god
To revel in the glory until the end
Resting on laurels laid in youth
And for the future did depend

“I must transform myself to the very bones.” But nothing could help him to do that: all his thoughts were tainted from their origin….he saw himself exposed and as he was: thoughts, thoughts about thoughts, thoughts about thoughts of thoughts, he was transparent and corrupt beyond any finite vision.

Very Bones

In ever-decreasing circles of thought
And all the thinking amounts to naught
Becoming a ghost, accepting of fate
Transformed to a flesh-corrupted state

…there were people who did not exist at all, mere puffs of smoke, and others who existed rather too much.

Living A Quote

Live the quote ‘to be or not’
You were blown away on the breeze
Left nothing to be remembered for
A life disappeared with ease
Living the quote ‘to be or not’
You are an immovable stone
Standing in the way of everyone
Until left standing alone

“I don’t know how to suffer, I never suffer enough.” The most painful thing about suffering was that it was a phantom, one spent one’s time pursuing it, one always hoped to catch and plunge into it and suffer squarely with clenched teeth; but in that instant it escaped, leaving nothing behind but a scattering of words and countless demented, pullulating arguments. “There’s a chattering in my head, and the chattering won’t stop. Oh, how I wish I could be silent!”

Suffer Enough

I only suffer myself
Is it enough for meaning?
Sunken into comforts
Words of smoke, no feeling
A talking never stops
All arguments demented
Suffering in silence
Enough to be resented

…they must be assumed to understand each other’s allusions or the charm would be broken.
(game playing. not like that – straight to a fault)

Game Playing

When the rules are clearly understood
Is it still a game we’re playing?
Have we taken this beyond understanding
With the truths we’ve been saying?

Various tried and proved rules of conduct had already discreetly offered him their services: disillusioned epicureanism, smiling tolerance, resignation, flat seriousness, stoicism – all the aids whereby a man may savour, minute by minute, like a connoisseur, the failure of a life.

All The Rules

Borrowed from the wise across the ages
From the philosophies of time’s well worn pages
Each one with rules increasingly rife
All pointing towards our failure of a life