A Place to Breathe

My, what a lovely place you have, you must be very proud
I love your modern furniture and the space that you’ve allowed
the kitchen is so stylish, are these appliances new?
I’d love one of those in our place, I bet it cost a few

The Lifestyle you Ordered

The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock
our warehouse has been stripped of supplies
our people are working around the clock
to ensure you get your hands on the prize

I Remembered Yesterday

I remembered yesterday the times that I have with you
And visions of the grateful days and all that I have wished for you
I’d stand out in the wind and cold and meet you in the rain
and offer no patronising words to beat us up or take away our pain

A Day in the Town

There’s a ghost selling memories down by the shore
as a jury decides its fate
there’s a man of religion knocking at my door
I need to lie down, he can wait.

"It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see."

– Henry David Thoreau

For those who do not feel the need to make sense of the world, it serves them well. For others, the poets, the writers, the artists, they tell their stories in an attempt to make some sense of the world they live in, if only for themselves. This, in small part, explains how art is born.

Find a quiet dark spot and listen to Beethoven’s 14th, the Moonlight Sonata, Dylan’s A Hard Rain’s a Gonna Fall, or, if ever you’re in Madrid, take a trip to the Museo Reina Sofia and look at Picasso’s Guernica, or pick up a copy of Camus’ The Stranger or Hans Fallada’s The Drinker, or any poem by Les Murray, to get an idea. They were all composed as the artist was attempting to make sense of the world.

The writer may have come to their craft because they’ve realised that, at heart, they are outsiders, their immediate world is alien to them and they therefore need a method of expressing that alienation. Other endeavours act merely as weigh stations until the realisation hits, too late, that the time has come for them to try and talk themselves out of it.

For although everyone has a story to tell, not everyone has the facility. Sometimes it’s given to others, knowing that the stories must be told, because we need them, subconsciously we know we need them, to sustain us.

What is certain is that while some are busy making the most of the world, there are others trying to make sense of it. What is also certain is that the talent being applied to this effort can overcome almost anything, even encouragement.

Journies Worth Taking

The Failing Science

At university I studied, I use the term loosely, Economics, known, for good reason, as the dismal science. My tutor once asked the class I sometimes attended for our definition of the subject we had enrolled in.

Dignity

My Father taught me a few things, without of course, knowing that he was teaching me in the process. One of them involved my first post university job, or the attempt at landing one.

I Turn Out the Lights and Listen to the Pain

There is a place I go, a not necessarily pleasant place but it is, all the same, necessary that I go there. It’s also, ironically enough, a place of solace.

Poems Worth Penning

A Place to Breathe

My, what a lovely place you have, you must be very proud I love your modern furniture and the space that you’ve allowed the kitchen is so stylish, are these appliances new? I’d love one of those in our place, I bet it cost a few
read more

The Lifestyle you Ordered

The lifestyle you ordered is currently out of stock our warehouse has been stripped of supplies our people are working around the clock to ensure you get your hands on the prize
read more

I Remembered Yesterday

I remembered yesterday the times that I have with you And visions of the grateful days and all that I have wished for you I’d stand out in the wind and cold and meet you in the rain and offer no patronising words to beat us up or take away our pain
read more

Stories Worth Telling

Floyd Collins

Floyd Collins sat on the hood of his Dodge putting on his walking shoes. The “hood” is a much more appropriate name to describe the flap that opens up to the engine than what the English would refer to as the “bonnet”, which is what you put on the head of a one year old English girl who’ll grow up to marry a gentleman of the aristocracy.
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The Boy with the Broken Arm

One wet, cold September night some years ago now, a boy was born. It was late, his father, a veterinary surgeon, was out tending to another birth, a cow, in a time when it was hardly expected that a father would be in attendance for the birth of his child, he would be much more likely to be asleep, or having drinks with friends, than with his wife about to give birth.
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Patrick Allen

Patrick Allen bent down, the brown paper bag lay on the ground in full view. He picked it up and he looked inside. It was money, a lot of money, crisp new notes. Someone’s betting money Patrick thought. Maybe it’s ill gotten gains, he had no way of knowing, it was a racetrack after all and gains were there to be had, both ill gotten and legitimate.
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Guess I'm Doing Fine

by Stephen Newman | The Lifestyle You Ordered

Songs Worth Singing

Great Australian Dream

by Stephen Newman | The Lifestyle You Ordered

Wisdom Cries in the Street

by Stephen Newman | The Lifestyle You Ordered

Places Worth Visiting

Giftland

It should be pointed out, before the story of Giftland, Lokta paper and the generosity of my Nepali hosts is mentioned, that some things are done differently in Nepal. We in the West could learn a thing or two from them.
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Kathmandu orphanage

My final day of visiting people affected by the April 25th earthquake made for an uneasy embrace of what it means to be denied a Western middle class upbringing. I had one, these delightful children have an upbringing only in the sense that they are not living on the street.
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Barahbise (Nepal)

The village of Barabesie, in the region of Sindapowlchuk, north east of the capital Kathmandu, was at the epicentre of the April 2015 earthquake. The village was flattened, almost destroyed. It's people are resilient, they are rebuilding.
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