Category Archives: Poetry & Prose

Always Read The Label

Stereotypes
Put people in
Neat little packages
Create nice little labels
And tags
So that
When you see someone
You know how to
Adjust your attitude
Make a little mental note
On how to treat that person
Always read the label

If they fit the pigeonhole
You can file them away
In a safe place
Inside your head
Along with all the others
So that the next time
Another one comes along
You know exactly what to expect
It certainly makes life much easier
And less scary
When you know
Who or what you’re dealing with

Until someone comes along
And upsets your apple cart
And turns your Nice Plan
Upside down and inside out
By not conforming to any
Of the rules you’ve set for them
By being completely different
By doing everything contrary
To what you’ve learnt
And to what Society
Has drilled into your head
And now your head is screwed

This is not an abnormality
This is not a blip
Humans are not pigeons
That fit neatly into pigeonholes
For your convenience
Do not adjust the person
But do adjust your attitude
And prejudices against
The very labels you have imposed
Upon others, as
There are others Just Like You
…always read the label

The only labels we need have
For people should be
Good or Bad
But even then the very yardstick
By which we measure them
Is never completely unbiased
Depending instead on everything
You’ve been taught from young
And again, depending on
The very things we would like
To NOT discriminate against
How’s that for irony?

So, one person’s Good
May be another person’s Bad
When viewed through
The highly distorted lenses
Of Race, Religion,
Sexual orientation,
Culture, Gender
Political affiliation,
Even Occupation
And Life Philosophies
One man’s meat
Is another man’s poison

So, what should we do?

Start again, start afresh
Start with a clean slate
Start with our children
Before it’s too late

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Imagine

Imagine a circle
A circle of friends
And in this circle
We’re all holding hands

If we’re all holding hands
We’re not holding guns
We’re shaping a future
For our daughters and sons

A future that only
A few might foresee
Where we all work as One
Not as They, You or Me

Imagine this circle
Going round the whole world
Hands clasping hands
Hold after hold

Look at your neighbour
Look at your friend
We are as many as
The grains of sand

We may be different
But there is no shame
For beneath our colours
Our blood’s all the same

So widen that circle
Pull everyone in
For Humanity’s future lies
Hidden within

So let us begin.

AlyZen Moonshadow
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(Image found on Pinterest)

(Poem inspired in part by Jason de Caires Taylor’s underwater sculpture “Vicissitudes” in Grenada, West Indies http://weburbanist.com/2009/09/09/79-unique-and-awesome-underwater-sculptures/)

The Problem With Watching And Waiting

He liked her. A lot.
He decided that
He would tell her that
Once he got up the courage to do so
But, for now, he was happy to watch
And wait
And be just friends
Even best friends, perhaps…
After all, he didn’t want his heart
Broken again.

And so, he watched
And waited
And was her best friend
Her confidante
Her buddy
They did everything together
They were inseparable
He let her tell him everything
And he told her everything too
…apart from how he felt about her.

He wanted to tell her so badly
There were times he nearly did
But he was afraid of being rejected
He knew if that line was crossed
There was no going back
It would ruin their perfect friendship
It would be awkward
To say the least
And so he kept quiet, watched
And waited.

And that was how he lost her
He watched as a stranger appeared
And became her friend
This person did and said everything
That he was too afraid to
This person was dauntless
He watched her being swept away
Off her feet by this stranger
Who clearly wasn’t about to watch
Or wait for anyone

He watched his hopes and dreams
Crumble and lay at his feet
He waited to hear the sound of
His heart breaking in two
He watched as two souls
Gave voice, unafraid
And found each other
He let her tell him everything
And he told her everything too
…apart from how he felt about her.

Because now it was too late…
Too late to watch and wait.

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AlyZen Moonshadow

I had a dream…

I had a dream
I was on a mission
With some people I knew
But I only knew them in my dream
We were to travel on a train
But I got there late
And the train was pulling away
With my friends on it
Someone said there’ll be another
Along very soon
So I waited on the platform
With some random strangers
Making idle chat

Sure enough
The next train turned up
It was an old-fashioned steam engine
Like the Hogwarts trains
From the Harry Potter movies
This had individual compartments
And handsome interiors
Plush and velvety
I got on with my new friends
And found a seat
I hoped my friends in the first train
Would know to wait for me
At our designated meeting point

Then the door to my cabin opened
And a handsome face appeared
A blast from the past for sure
It was someone I’d lost
In a relationship
It was my husband
Who’d gone his own way
To search for himself
And left me for someone else
Had his cakes
And ate them too
He saw me, came over
Grasped my hand, hugged me to him

I said “I’ve missed you terribly”
And he said the same back to me
It felt so good to be reunited…
Only, this Wasn’t my husband
This clearly was someone else
But it felt so real, so familiar
This handsome face
This beautiful man
This man was a god
This man was… Rick Grimes
From The Walking Dead
Well, it was only a dream
Remember?

I can dream, can’t I? 😉

Poem by:
AlyZen Moonshadow

Image source: Google Images
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I haven’t written in a while…

Dear Younger Self,

I haven’t written in a while
I know I really should
My life has been a-changing
Just as I knew it would

I’ve come a long way from that time
When work was all I knew
And Life was all for paying bills
And looking after You

There’s more to Life than this, I thought
Than working like a slave
Where everything costs money
And it’s impossible to save

Until the penny dropped one day
I ploughed the same old furrow
And then the thought did come to me
To stop living for tomorrow

Fell off the rails I did, you see
When offspring did appear
The race was there, but not the rat
– I suspended my career

I’ve spent the last decade or so
A-wandering on my own
There are no roads, no paths to take
No places I have known

One day I came upon a track
And wondered at its presence
Was there someone else like me out there
Or was it my own essence?

Had I been wandering round in circles
And come across my past?
If so it’s time to make new tracks
And get out of there fast

So, having lost and found myself
I see the World with new eyes
For Change to happen, You have to change
That’s what you have to realise

Dear Younger Self, I know I haven’t
Written in a while
I’ve laid the path before you now
So, step out with a smile

Be not afraid of things unknown
Be brave, be bold, be wise
And speak of things you know are true
Expose Society’s lies

There’s more to Life than paying bills
And saving for the future
Enough of following like a sheep
Now You must be the teacher

Poem and artwork by:
AlyZen Moonshadow (moi!)
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Freebie: Sit And Watch The Leaves Turn

Here is another inspirational/motivational card design from my partially abandoned project. Feel free to download and print it if you like. It makes a handy bookmark, if you, like me, still read real books.

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This one’s especially for my dear readers in the Northern Hemisphere, who are now entering Autumn and Winter.

Here’s a little Haiku I wrote about the turning of the seasons. Enjoy!

Red sun sets early
A gentle breeze blows through trees
Leaves twirl, turn and fall

Soon the Harvest Moon
Then evenings will draw closer
Now watch the leaves turn

Winter is coming
A mighty wind is brewing
More leaves are turning

Embrace the season
Be calm, and still your movements
Sit, watch the leaves turn

AlyZen Moonshadow

Actions and Consequences

Here’s a parable
For these modern times
A metaphor, analogy
Call it what you will
The point I’d like to make
Is this:

Every word you say
Every action
Every thought
Has consequences
But don’t get them both mixed up
For Actions come before
Consequences
And not the other way round.

You say I’m boring
Because I don’t want to travel
But perhaps you’ve forgotten
That the reason I don’t travel
Is because of you?

You say I’m not exciting anymore
And that’s why you strayed
But perhaps you’ve forgotten
That you strayed first
And I shut shop because of you?

You say that I’m too detached, aloof
And you can’t talk to me
But perhaps you’ve forgotten
That I’ve always been there for you
But you never felt like talking?

You say that we want different things
And we’re going different ways
But perhaps you’ve forgotten
That you were the one who decided
To seek out greener pastures?

So, before you continue
Confusing your Actions
With their Consequences
Please put your brain hat on
Switch on the light,
And take the rubbish out
Therein lies the metaphor.

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Watchers

You say you’re my friend
Yet you simply stand by
And watch me fall

You claim to have my best interests
Yet your loyalty is divided
As you watch me fall

You say you’re on my side
Yet your actions indicate otherwise
As you watch me fall

You say you’d be there for me
Yet you take a step backwards
As you watch me fall

Well now you can really stand by
Now you can stop pretending
Now you can show your true faces
As you watch me rise

With friends like these
Who needs enemies
I’ve learnt my lesson
Don’t trust the snake in the grass
No matter how pretty it is
Its venom is still as deadly
No matter, first you watched me fall
Now watch me rise again.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
(The above poem was inspired by this quote by Rumi, and also by certain recent events in my life):
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Maybe Someday

Maybe Someday they’ll see
That I was never crazy
Maybe Someday they’ll see
That I was right all along
That the song I sang
Though harsh and sad
Was also the Truth
Of the good and the bad

Maybe Someday they’ll agree
That I had the right idea
Maybe Someday they’ll realise
That I was on the right path
That we shouldn’t just sit there
And watch as the world
Loses its way
And turns heartless and cold

Maybe Someday they’ll say
That they should have listened
Maybe Someday they’ll learn
That it’s never too late
To rise up against
The tyrants that rule us
To wake up and fight
For the poor and the homeless

Maybe Someday they’ll know
That I never stopped caring
Maybe Someday they’ll hear
That my ideas bore fruit
That my thoughts became action
My lyrics became song
That now you appreciate me
At last, when I’m gone

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(Google Images)

Advice for my Sisters

The heart is a fickle organ
That goes against the beat
It longs to find that special person
With whom things will be sweet
And awesome
And cool
And hot at the same time

The heart has no ears but it can hear
The faintest footstep or tremor
It yearns to hear the magic words
“I will love You forever,
You are the Only One
The Love of my Life
There is no one else”

Which is all very well indeed
If only those words were true
My Sisters of the World, beware
The Charmer who says it to you
If his words are like silk
Or gold or honey
Oh honey, he doesn’t mean them

He’s toying with your hearts, you see
You’re Not the Only One
You’ve been charmed out of the trees
So He can have his fun
With you, and you,
And you, and you,
And you, and you and you.

He’ll tell you what you want to hear
And you’ll believe it too
His previous loves hurt him so bad
His ex is a piece of poo
Or crazy, or nuts
Or just vindictive
…everything but Right about him

Hearts can be broken by love or pain
And Charmers know how to play
The Chase and Game are exciting
But Sisters, at the end of the day
The only victor is him, not you
The minute you find out the truth
He’s moved on to the next One

And then you simply stand and stare
With disbelief as he plays the field
With your friends, your Sisters
Who lowered their shield
When they heard the cock crow
And thought it magnificent
Until they saw…it’s just a lark

So, my dear Sisters of the World
Who may share my pain
Or maybe you believe you’re The One
And that I am insane
The day will come
The scales will fall
And you will truly see

For if he can cheat on me with you
Trust me, he’ll cheat on you
Don’t fall for the silky voiced Charmer
If you really want a man who’s true
Is it a mid-life crisis, you wonder
Well, if it is, my dear
It’s the longest mid-life ever

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(Found this on Google Images, under “Beware the Charmer”)