‘Tired’

depression-in-bed

Tired

It tethers us to the bed,
It thunders down on our heads,
That sharp, sleepy shard
That slows us down so
And steals pieces of our spirit
Until our old self is lost.

It may morph into Misery
Or other beasts of burden,
Awaken the anxious ones
Who fret in our frenzied minds.
We can fight them no more,
So we recoil from reality instead.

They leave us shackled
As they taunt and cackle
At this sorry old state
That we have collapsed into.
And so they’ll prod and pick apart
Leaving no torment unturned.

The choice is ours now,
To combat back for control
Or to stay their hopeless slave
In this war of the wits
That will rage on always
Until our self comes back to us.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

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‘An Ocean Apart’

across-the-sea

(A poem written from a prompt as part of 2015’s April PAD Challenge from Writer’s Digest- which was to write an ‘across the sea’ poem)

An Ocean Apart

This gateway, but also barrier of blue
Severs my remote connection to you.
So I throw some small piece of me
Across this shifting, unsettled sea.

Fleeting image and clipped message
Is all I can project in this long passage.
Things you may see, read, or hear,
But the coveted touch is not near.

While our straining bond may bend,
Against testing times it will contend,
It shall not break, for your avatar
Channels through to me from afar.

We will fight through tide of time
Until your touch at last meets mine.
For now I dispatch my devotion
In form of trinkets across the ocean.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

‘In a Moment’

Insecure pretty woman

(A poem written from a prompt as part of 2015’s April PAD Challenge from Writer’s Digest- which was to write a ‘Moment’ poem)

In a Moment

So many things can happen
In just one short moment
Undying love may be spoken,
Or a heart may be broken.
Calmness may be captured,
Or a temper is fractured.
A creative spark can be lit,
Or a life’s work left in bits.

In one moment life is granted,
In the other Death is planted.
One big bang birthed us all,
Another could be our downfall.
No moment must be taken lightly,
We must hold onto them tightly,
As if every little, tiny one
Might be our very last.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

The ‘To Read’ List (Updated 22nd Feb 2017)

toreadpile

EDIT: Updated 22nd February 2017 – Links to reviews of Saint Odd and Of Mice and Men added.

…As for the subject of this post; yes, it is the dreaded ‘To Read’ pile that, for those like me who enjoy a good book, seems to grow ever bigger due to the heavy demands and committments of our everyday lives. It became a bit of a problem for me last year, as I was constantly buying books from second-hand bookshops/charity shops, thinking ‘I’ll get to all these someday’, only to find I had so many building up in my room, still unread. It was at that point I literally sorted them into a ‘To Read’ pile, and began, you know, actually reading the blasted things, further vowing to not buy anymore until I had finished them. I’ll admit I make the occassional exception – if there is a new Margaret Atwood coming out I will either buy it or ask for it as a gift, for example – but I’ve generally managed to keep to this pretty well. So, in order to keep an actual list for myself, here are all of the books that have amassed in the pile, with links to their Goodreads pages (I will give my account on there some attention as I work through all of these as well!). Click to read on…

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Weds poetry prompt: ‘Silent Heights’

old_rural_bridge

Today’s prompt: Write an ekphrastic poem. That is, a poem based on a piece of visual art–a painting, a photograph, a sculpture.

Always enjoy giving the ekphrastic thing a go. I opted to write one based on the image above, which was one of the examples supplied on the page. See what you think 🙂

Silent Heights

Solitary roads so often hide
In the cover of elevation
Where the turmoil of the surface
Cannot hope to break through,
There is only peace in these peaks
Free of the burdens of the ground.

Here in these silent heights
Are narrow, makeshift steps,
Precariously placed, perhaps,
Winding eternally in and around
The ancient giants of rock
That watch tiny mortals tread across.

The climb is one worth the struggle
For up here, where twin titans
Are conjoined by path of stone
Is a truly sublime and magical vision
Of both mist-cloaked mountains above
And the deep, gaping chasm below.

The quiet contentment this view brings
Washes over like a phantom wave
Which unveils the true, hidden nature
Of this meek and reserved world
That will continue to cast its beauty
In spite of all the strife within.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Quick Book Reviews: Of Mice and Men

ofmiceandmen

So chalk this one up as one of those famous books that I somehow hadn’t got around to reading, and thought that I probably ought to, hence why I picked it up upon seeing a copy in a charity shop sometime back. I read this short novella in one sitting, completely gripped all the way through, and then left in emotional turmoil after THAT brutal, unforgiving ending. I already had a rough idea of what happens, but that didn’t mean the ending lost any of its power. Steinbeck was able to write it in such a way that the impact of what you most likely saw coming is still very much felt.

Telling the story of George and his mentally disabled, but well-meaning friend Lennie, Of Mice and Men tells of their life on the road as drifters during the Great Depression , searching for work across California. They are able to keep going because of their hopes of one day owning a farm of their own and having lots of rabbits (the latter part particularly appealing to Lennie), and live the fabled ‘American Dream’. If there is a message running through the book, it is that such hopes are foolish to have in the harsh reality of the world, and the implication that the American Dream is nothing more than an unachievable myth. Of course, George and Lennie’s wishes sadly do not come to fruition – there is an overhanging sense of dread throughout the story, especially as we’ve been told that there were previous ‘incidents’ in places where they previously worked, caused by Lennie, where they were forced to run away and move on. It is asked at several points why George continues to stay with his challenging companion, why he doesn’t just leave him behind and never look back – but George feels unable to because he knows that Lennie would not be able to take care of himself – he is a burden that he must carry or otherwise feel an unbearable guilt if he does not. Despite George’s best efforts, Lennie does get himself into trouble again, leading to tragedy, and there is a constant feeling of him being able to see it coming, perhaps why he is so resigned to his friend’s fate by the end of the story. We as a reader feel it as well, as well as the pain of their desire to have land to call their own. It still resonates very strongly reading it in the present day as well – the obligation to always be working for someone else, to never have full control of our own livelihood, is an all-too-relatable feeling for many.

Loneliness is also a key theme that weighs heavily on a lot of the characters; one of the reasons George most likely stays with Lennie is simply because he has no one else, the reverse also being true. Old Man Candy is forced to hand over the life of his aging dog, leaving him numb and desperately wanting to be a part of George and Lennie’s little scheme, which tragically does not come to pass. The wife of the abusive and blockheaded Curley (her name is not even revealed, emphasising how stuck she is in this submissive role), is clearly unhappy in her marriage, and tries to flirt with everyone else at the farm, who all make a point of staying away from her so to not invoke Curley’s jealous wrath, leaving her even more isolated. And of course, her attempts to befriend Lennie lead to tragedy. Crooks, the lone negro worker, of course feels strongly isolated from everyone else as well. He is also extremely bitter and cynical, pointing out he has seen hundreds of men come through just like George and Lennie with dreams of their own land, “An’ never a God damn one of ’em ever gets it”. – but at the same time he does ask if he’d be able to come and lend a hand if needed, as he gradually softens and his desire for companionship exposed through speaking with the innocent, hopeful Lennie. In a line that has become one of the most famous in the book, Crooks muses that “A guy goes nuts if he ain’t got nobody. Don’t make no difference who the guy is, long’s he’s with you. I tell ya a  guy gets too lonely an’ he gets sick”.

Steinbeck was able to effortlessly write each of these characters who all have a hidden depth – and hopelessly loneliness to them, which is why there is such an emotional resonance to what seems like a deceptively simple plot and course of events. Learning that a lot of it was based on his actual experience travelling as a ‘bindlestiff’ – and that Lennie was in fact based on a real person – makes it all the more raw and personal, and with an impressive amount of layers for such a short novella.

A true classic, and one I would not hesitate to give 5/5.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M

Weds poetry prompt: ‘Tomatoes’

tomatoes-meme

Today’s prompt: Write a ‘Nope’ poem.

An interesting prompt once again this week – took me a while to think about, but in the end I decided to write about my somewhat paradoxical dislike of a certain fruit…hoping some can relate to this! Enjoy…

Tomatoes

I’ll always ask for ketchup,
I’ll happily slurp red soup,
I’ll even partake of a pizza
Drenched in that familiar paste,
Or prepare myself a pasta
Coated in its thick sauce,
But my tongue simply cannot abide
The frightful texture of the fruit
That spawned all these forth,
And will surely gag in retort,
Therefore I will always say ‘Nope!’
To the vile, rubbery bitterness
Otherwise known as the tomato,
And save my teeth and tongue the torture.

Like this poem? Read more in my first poetry collection, ‘The Awakening’, avaliable NOW!

Paperback – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Awakening-Selection-Poems-Stuart-Peacock/dp/1911476335

eBook-: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B017BZBH6M