Heaven help us, he’s been thinking again

I have been working my way through some old notes and came across these few lines.
It is not poetry or anything much of anything in particular, it is just a random thought and as it from old notes, I’m not quite sure what prompted it. Still, I thought I’d share it anyway.

Even if you allow
For reincarnation,
You only get one shot
At this life.

That’s it, no more thinking for now. I’ll go back to some more, aimless, staring out the window.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.


photo credit: Ilaria via photopin (license)

photo credit: Ilaria via photopin (license)

I describe you
As the one that got away.
But that’s not true.
After all,
I’m the one who tore it up
And did not allow myself
To be caught by you.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

A day in the country

photo credit: 08_2013_36 via photopin (license)

photo credit: 08_2013_36 via photopin (license)

Nature to me
Is a badger, dead at the
Roadside. Stomach burst
Maggots writhing, feeding
On its rotting remains.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Weeble Wobble

My confidence level, very, rarely stays high. As low as the Marianas Trench, now, I can manage that no problem.
I’m so good at having low-confidence I could even give talks on the subject. Not that anyone would want to listen to me droning on…
You get the picture; I love to talk myself down. And given that it is now four months since I quit work. Summer has been and gone, the days are becoming shorter, and doubts are sneaking-up to hide in the shadows waiting to pounce.
Where’s an Alchemist when you need one?
Let me make it clear, I do not regret leaving my previous employment, in fact, I believe it will turn out to be the best decision I ever made. No, NEWSFLASH, it is the best decision I have ever made in my life so far. However…
At the moment the goals I am working towards haven’t been bringing in the big bucks.

“My other piece of advice, Copperfield,” said Mr. Micawber, “you know. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. The blossom is blighted, the leaf is withered, the God of day goes down upon the dreary scene, and – and in short you are forever floored. As I am!”
From David Copperfield by Charles Dickens.

Perhaps they never will. I knew that when I made my decision. But still when someone asks me have I got a job(?), have I been applying for jobs(?). I get angry. Now those that ask me have I got employment tend to know far more about my “Grand Plan” than I have shared online. They shouldn’t need to ask loaded questions, right?
The Big Push
However, the real reason I get angry is because, whisper it, I’ve been asking myself the same.
Is the “Grand Plan” a load of old tosh? I’ll fail at this goal; I’m not good enough to fulfil that role. No one wants to read my poems, let alone my stories. It’s pointless, I’m useless.
For some reason, this time, this self-depreciation made me think of Weebles…

…you know the things that wobble, but won’t fall down.
Because I know it is just a wobble, I’m not falling over; and if I do fall over then so what. At worst, it is a grazed knee or a bruised ego. The plan goes on.
Well this time there is a difference, this time I actually like and respect the person I am working for, because I am my own boss. That does not mean I haven’t had some good bosses in the past and that I won’t at some future date find myself within a traditional career structure and happy to be there.
For this is not about self-employment, this is about self-respect.
Yes, my current boss makes mistakes, wastes time, spends way too long in coffee shops just staring out of the window, and is the only one who finds his crappy jokes funny. But overall, he is making progress.
Yes, the “Grand Plan” may be held together by sticky backed plastic and forward motion may be limited to a series of Weeble wobbles but I am wholly responsible for my own future.

Falling Down
© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Three Wise

When did they stop listening?
What have I done to them?
How long have they been standing
With their hands over their eyes?
They will not answer
My questions are ignored.

Why are they angry?
I never heard their cries.
Why do they look away?
I never saw their tears.
Why will they not
Speak in my defence?
If I’d only known,
I’d have spoken up for them.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Upstairs Funk

photo credit: Restless via photopin (license)

photo credit: Restless via photopin (license)

Every morning I wake
With a tune going round
And round in my brain.
The tune may be different
But the result is the same.
I start the day knowing
After I turn off the light,
My mind’s been having a party
Throughout the night.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Bear necessities

An eighteen month old Grizzly Bear can weigh approximately 220lbs.
While this blog doesn’t quite weigh that, though some might say the writer has a similar personality to a bear with a sore head, the blog Made of Sticks and Stones is eighteen months old today.
I’ve enjoyed sharing the 200+ posts that are on the blog with you and reading and watching how the blogs I follow have developed over that time.
What I can say about all the Blog, Facebook and Twitter followers of mine out there is that as a group you are capable of providing the right word of encouragement and support at exactly the right time.
So from a bear with very little brain, thank you.


© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Also known as

Ziggy Stardust

I always had a fascination for pseudonyms, as a name you choose is like playing dressing up and I think the choice of a particular pseudonym makes a statement about the person sheltering behind it. How can it avoid it? Even the language used to described people with these types of names is different writers have pen-names or nom-de-plumes, actors have stage names and criminals have aliases.
Of course the reasoning behind the need for a pseudonym has a bearing on its choice. Writers and actors perhaps might choose a pseudonym in order to stand out of either the slush pile or in an audition, while the criminal will try to blend in to the crowd. Conversely the actor might want to seem “less ethnic” or “less posh” while the con-man will pick names that make him more appear suave and sophisticated to attract his targets to him.
But my main interest in pseudonyms was the fact I always assumed that if I ever wrote anything, that I’d write it under a pen-name and having a name that is frequently misspelled, has also presented a few potential Also-Known-As’ to me over the years.
As a child of the seventies growing up in Great Britain the TV show “The Sweeney” with its main character Jack Regan, made my surname cool. Jack Regan was a no-nonsense old-school copper and he gave my name street-cred, well he did to me but I was only five. As a Regan I had a brand identity that no one mistook. Hands up all those familiar with the show who are now humming The Sweeney theme tune?

The dawn of the eighties and the inauguration of the last Republican President of the United States not to be called Bush, gave me my first taste of having a pseudonym as people began to have trouble spelling and saying my name. Since then apart from Reagan and recognisable variants of it, between four and eight letters in length, I’ve also been S. J. William, Mr Meegan, F. Power, plus other aliases still in use. If my picture ever finds its way into one of those rogues galleries that appear outside police stations I‘m sure these and various other names will be listed as my aliases. I haven’t quite decided what crime I’d be wanted for – does S. J. William sound like a bank robber, would you buy into a dodgy investment if the salesman was called F. Power? Does the F stand for Full? Or for that matter would you go to your local cinema to watch the latest movie starring Archibald Leach?*
I don’t know what exactly a Cary Grant is, but it definitely sounds a less suspicious creature than the dodgy sounding Archibald Leach. Then there is Norma Jean Baker, Bernard Schwartz, Marion Morrison, Robert Zimmerman, Richard Penniman, Charles Holley, all finding fame under different names.
Then there are the writers. George Orwell is really Eric Blair, George Eliot is Mary Ann Evans, John Le Carré is David Cornwell and the list goes on.
The whole of the Bronte clan wrote under pen-names because writing was just not the sort of thing young ladies should do and Jane Austen wrote anonymously – Anonymous, being of course, the number one choice of pseudonym for artists, writers and criminals throughout history.
Finally, to bring things right up to date J. K. Rowling is writing the Cormoran Strike novels under the male pen-name Robert Galbraith and for that matter the K of J. K. Rowling is pure invention and the use of initials designed not to put off boys from reading a book written by a girl.
As for me I’m happy playing about writing under my own name, I blame this story The Empty Chair as it gave me a taste of seeing my name up in print. I’m not saying I’d never write under another name, I have no objection to calling myself Dorothy if need be but for the moment I’m just happy pretending to be me.

Does this alias suit me?

*S. J. William, Mr Meegan and F. Power are innocent of all crimes and are just helping the police with their inquiries. Archibald Leach however is well dodgy and shouldn’t be approached.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Hats off to karma

I wrote this poem awhile back, but I always felt I needed to put it into some context before posting it.
Maybe that’s just my way of saying my words don’t adequately express the emotion I’m trying to capture or simply as justification for the views expressed.
After all, I’m only human.

A little context

When you are looking for a calm space in this crazy modern world and some meaning in life, it is probably inevitable you go looking for meaning in the devine.
It is, I believe, fundamentally human to imagine we are part of something bigger.
The sense I get when I look at a representation of Jesus on the cross or Buddha sitting cross legged, is that the majority of artists who have tried to represent these individuals tried to show their serenity.
You could argue that it is this calmness and awareness of others that underpins the philosophies of these individuals. Maybe it is this stillness that has made humans through the ages seek to follow their examples. While all around vast swathes of the human race try their hardest to degrade their fellow men. It does appear that the only limitless thing in the universe is mankind’s inhumanity. It did make me wonder what if the higher powers of the universe did consider giving up on us.
Maybe because I grew up watching the films with the animation of Ray Harryhausen where the gods of Olympus gather round a break in the clouds to peer down at us from on high, I imagine them congregating together, discussing the human race – deciding whether to cut their losses.
Anyway that’s the background to this poem. So, with apologies to all Buddhists, Christians and others of faith. As well as Led Zeppelin and John Lennon.

Hats off to karma

While Jesus wept,
Buddha just sighed
For he’d seen it all before.
He said, “Don’t you cry there brother,
About them fucking it up
And wrecking it all.
Because if that instant karma don’t get them,
I know; my shotgun will.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.

Out of the north

(words 320)
‘I’ve lost it.’ Red moaned.
‘It’ll return, it always does.’ I replied.
‘The signal was there Blake and now it’s gone.’ She said, staring intently at her monitor screen.
I knew what she wanted, that double trace to come back long enough for her to verify her theory, to guarantee that her name would go down in history.
And I knew that I wanted her.
That was why I volunteered for the posting while the rest of humanity hid away in fear far to the south of us. I was literally the only man for a thousand miles.
I watched as she got up from her desk and walked over to the window that made up the whole of the northern wall of the observation station. The dazzling lights in the sky outshone even Red. Her features obscured, only her silhouette visible against the abstract canvas of the falling meteorites and intermittent explosions to the north.
Red just stood there looking northward. I wondered how much she could make out of the terrain but knew she was as familiar as I with every rock and leaf of the view.
In daylight she would have been able to make out the path that winded its way lazily down the steep slope to the forest floor below. It was a beautiful view, trees as far as the eye could see.
A week earlier though, there had been no trees at the foot of the slope. We had been able to see the river and the little pier with the motor launch which was our only means of escape. That was gone now, destroyed by the trees southward march.
I wondered if Red would allow me to attempt to save her.
She smiled as she passed me, returned to her desk and her attempt to establish first contact. For Red was convinced the message was being sent to us from the trees.

© 2015 | Frank Regan, All rights reserved.