Midday, Twilight, Dusk and Nothing Darker.

I got sucked into looking at one of those online slide shows. It was 100 pictures of women’s beauty and clearly about more than base gratification. There was a vast array of cultural beauty on display, often in idyllic settings. Whoever compiled the list was careful to be representative of the whole world, including those who are the minority everywhere, the visibly disabled. They weren’t overly biased towards youth either. Well, that’s what I thought at first.

Where is Africa, I began to wonder. Has it sunk into the sea since last night? Is it only those with white, tea and coffee coloured skin that can swim? I suppose it’s unreasonable to expect every compilation to say it all, but with a hundred pictures and nobody nearly as black as I am white, I was disappointed, for a variety of reasons.

Forget midday, twilight, dusk and nothing darker! Black is bliss. Ignoring African skin is forgetting the spirit that resides within. Every shade of the flesh rainbow is as exquisite as fingertips gliding across liquid satin, as loaded with passion and wonder as God.

* By God I mean all of the love, beauty, joy and creativity in existence, not a supreme individual.

Don’t Despair Big Foot, I Believe in You

Recently I joined a Facebook page under the impression it’s purpose is to support Wikileaks. I discovered its credibility is sky high, when compared with online communities that promote engineering more potent strains of the Ebola virus. I couldn’t find anything on the page about the political imprisonment of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, for the part he played in exposing U.S war crimes. After watching a few minutes of a video post about chemtrails, I left the group.

I can’t say I have analysed emissions from passenger jets myself, I wouldn’t know where to start. It’s those who think chemicals are being sprayed from planes, to control the weather and people’s minds that need to provide evidence though. They’re the ones making a claim. I don’t have to prove a negative, otherwise I’d have to disprove claims that my stories about reptilian orangutans and their medusa poodle lovers are non fiction. Disproving everything would be a mind boggling waste of time.

For those of you who possess less imagination than a prawn, a reptilian orangutan is anatomically similar to a mammalian orangutan. Their solar electric scales are the most obvious difference.

I’ve never met a reptilian orangutan, or any other shrewd creature, that believes in chemtrails, have you? No real scientists or investigative journalists have found a shred of evidence to support chemtrail conspiracy theories. I would rather put my money on Bigfoot posing for selfies with Michael Shermer than the powers that be subjugating us with the aid of chemtrails. For those who don’t know, Michael is the founder of the Skeptics Society.

How will Bigfoot feel, once he realizes Michael Sherma doesn’t believe in him? Maybe his self esteem will be irrevocably scarred, leading to the kind of violence that is banned from YouTube and Facebook, almost as swiftly as it can be re-uploaded. If you ever meet Big Foot, just say “I believe in you” and all will be well. Otherwise the most convincing evidence for your existence could disappear too.

If you’re looking for a non fiction publisher, on the subject of human rights, I recommend Wikileaks, but be careful which Wikileaks support groups you join. If you are able to help pay Julian Assange’s legal fees, you can do so by purchasing clothing or books from the Wikileaks online shop. There is also the option of making a donation. If you think Julian doesn’t deserve your help, that embarrassing the U.S government, by exposing American war crimes, is unacceptable then you’re what’s wrong with the world.




A Social Media Memory

Apparently I was struggling to find ends worth photographing that day, I murmured as I gazed at an old lawn bowls photo, dredged up by Facebook memories. When looking to advertise their magnificence, some opt for enough selfies to fill a thousand biographies. I on the other hand, know it’s not looks that matter, it’s how close your bowls are to the jack. “There’s got to be more to life than that” you say. What’s wrong with you?

I’m joking, about bowls feet away from the jack being unworthy of a photo that is. The truth is I was playing against Harry Potter, or someone wearing an invisibility cloak who claimed to be Harry Potter. He nudged the jack away from my perfect deliveries with his invisible bowls. I asked Yoda, the lone spectator, whether it was technology or magic at work. He claimed he didn’t know, but maybe his student Luke Skywalker could enlighten me. Now that’s a hippie name if I ever heard one. I wondered if there was something wrong with Yoda’s liver, he looked more green than the bowling green but blended in well with the shrivelled old men at the bar.

My lonely bowl, towards the back of the green, is what is known as insurance in lawn bowls parlance. In other words it’s strategically placed, in anticipation of your opponent hitting the jack. In hindsight, I think I bought the wrong policy. To be honest it was several millimetres deeper than intended too.

At least I remembered to switch on my alarm clock that day. There is no such thing as slightly late when you are catching public transport and the meeting point is miles from the forest work zone. In lawn bowls vernacular, I am down by four shots but I have one to come. Whatever happened previously one needs to have the mindset that their next delivery will be a resting toucher in the sand, the only invincible shot in the game.

Failure is a lame, herbivorous dog,
who whoops like a sasquatch,
unless you’ve truly given up.
Then failure is a steel cage
constructed from cowardice
and guarded by hyena locksmiths.
Their vultures circle.

Stand up, snap the bars,
beat the demonic scavengers back
to their dilapidated graves.
So what if they create a crater with the chunk
torn from your hands, moments from the dunk.
Refuse to be their slaves.

The tortured have an excuse to give up,
the rest of us should rise up like a pup.
Loping, leaping, creeping Lazarus hordes,
swim all the abomination infested fjords.
Aimless peasants, gloating parasitic lords,
savour the drops lingering in your gourds.
Time to admit there’s no lake in the dry,
purify the ointment seeping from the fly.

You can flap your arms on a landfill mound,
until your box cheats worms underground,
or write music to which your wings march,
swap creased excuses for plans full of starch.

Let defeatist chatter babble like a chimp troupe,
who cares what it does, you’ll crush it into soup.
Then you will drink the broth like a bilge pump,
convert it into dessert, obliterating your slump.

Marching with wings?

You claim there can’t be a procession in the sky?
The ideas in your possession are a cardboard pie.
I’ll go yomping through the upper atmosphere.
Your boring, baffling doubts will soon disappear.
Those who claim nobody can march with wings,
have dreams too small to be struck by sonar pings.

Delusions of Grandeur

Some common causes of delusions of grandeur are stupidity, narcissism, mood disorders, psychosis and drugs, such as amphetamines. Stupidity shortens the odds of someone being ludicrously overconfident but not everyone with delusions of grandeur is remotely stupid. Every narcissist has grandiose delusions but not everyone with grandiose delusions is a narcissist.

I have been known to overestimate the significance of my words but not myself. The belief that every member of the human race is of equal importance is deeply ingrained in me. My delusions of grandeur were triggered by the manic phase of bipolar disorder. At times, being in a socially isolated bubble caused me to overestimate the standard of my writing but not to the extent bipolar mania did. 

Manic episodes are times of unnatural intensity during which colors are unbelievably vivid, music is more beautiful than ever and lame jokes trigger explosive laughter. The world of someone in the grips of a manic episode is surreal. Cyclones of symbolism soar from scenes more mundane than a geological age of cleaning toilets. Every observation, every moment of contemplation, is blended with such extreme feelings of profundity, it’s impossible to avoid the belief you’re expressing paradigm shattering wisdom, with every flourish of the pen.

The reasonably realistic self assessments of the recent past could be replaced by the belief you’re destined to be mentioned in the same sentence as Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes and Samuel Coleridge. As your fingers dance across the keyboard, launching a riot of rubbish on to the screen, your sense of accomplishment is akin to Jimi Hendrix’s, as his magic hands reinvented rock and roll. The most boring and garbled statements you’ve ever uttered feel so overladen with wisdom, that if tangible they’d surely drag an air craft carrier to Davy Jones locker. 

Eventually you plunge back to reality, sometimes rapidly enough to make Icarus and his detached wings look like they’re still rising. What looked like the makings of a best seller, looks more like word salad soon enough. 

One in three hundred thousand people make a living from fiction writing. When I’m sane, which is most of the time, I’m not an aspiring full time writer. I prefer to perform repetitive tasks for a living. They’re a means of meditation, of recharging the creative batteries; especially if you work in forests like I do. Building sediment fences and injecting herbicide into weed trees is unlikely to land anyone on the cover of Time Magazine but it does improve biodiversity and can lead to a vibrant, tranquil state of mind. 

Probably all of us have met people whose delusions of grandeur are a regular feature of their personality, like wannabe singers who’ve never hit a note in their life, yet their belief they are the king of karaoke is as unwavering as a base jumper’s thirst for adrenaline. Sometimes the same people who think they’re destined to be the next Frank Sinatra are also convinced they should be the C.E.O of a major company, despite being fired from every lowly position they’ve ever attempted to fill. How terrible it would be to spend one’s entire life lost in self glorifying fiction. I’m glad that my delusions of grandeur were a symptom of an episodic illness which can be suppressed with medication. 

The majority of those with bipolar disorder experience delusions of grandeur and about half of those with schizophrenia do. While someone with bipolar mania is likely to overrate one or more of their abilities and might feel more important than usual, they’re not as likely to think they’re Jesus Christ, a C.I.A operative or a wizard as someone suffering from Schizophrenia.  

Unfortunately the pharmaceutical treatments for schizophrenia and schizo-effective disorder (a combination of schizophrenia and bipolar symptoms) tend to be less effective and more hazardous than pharmaceutical treatments for bipolar disorder.

For more information on the symptoms of and treatments for bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder and other mental illnesses, I recommend using the following link https://www.sane.org/

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(posted by Amanda Rakenwith, on the 12th of June 2015)