Scott Langston

Counselling, Mindfulness, Writing

Page 2 of 9


An Irish form – ‘Ae Freislighe’

Symbols of love requited
Climbing from beds of manure
Hues and fragrance delighted
Vigorous thorny splendour

A gift for my Valentine
Fated emotions arise
Bodies and lives intertwine
Floral power we summise

Here’s the really amazing thing

Here's the really amazing thing
There's nothing to lose, nothing to win
Sunday morning silence surrounds
A realisation profound

Listening to Jeff Buckley's 'Grace'
This is the time, this is the place
Coffee aroma, birdsong abounds
Releasing confusion unsound

Beauty in its simplicity
Letting go of complicity
I'm never going back underground
Life once more conspires to astound

He's now singing Brook's 'Lilac Wine'
But his melancholy isn't mine
I'm alive and on the rebound
In this moment, acceptance crowned

Poetry again…

So my wife made me a poetry scrap book – inspirational titles collaged into a notebook. I’m planning to investigate a different poetry form each day, and try to produce something vauely relevant to the titles she has proposed. So this offering is not an indication of my current state of mind…

The poetry form is a Glose, or Glosa – a Spanish form which takes a famous quatrain, and uses each line as the end line in a 10-line stanza, traditionally with four such stanzas. Oh, and alternating line rhymes and rhyming ending couplets…

My prompt was ‘Pain’ and the quatrain I’m quoting is by W.H.Auden, from ‘Funeral Blues’:

"The stars are not wanted now; put out every one
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood
For nothing now can come to any good."

So with apologies to any purists out there, here goes…

Investing in ultimately impossible dreams
Grasping at any likely-looking hand-hold
But nothing is quite what it seems
Solid ground and certainties get old
To get back up and sportingly finish the race
Brush off broken bones and worse
A smile worn in deceit upon my face
Too bone-tired to even utter a curse
There's nothing left, the will is gone
The stars are not wanted now; put out every one

This joyride careers to its inevitable end
How likely that I choose to ride again?
No dusting off now, it's too broken to mend
Walk away and refuse to play, what then?
Melancholy drains the colour from flowers
Insipid greyness pervades every corner
Climbing down from crumbling ivory towers
The spirit and demeanor of a mourner
Nowhere now to hide, nowhere to run
Pack up the stars and dismantle the sun

The sweetest melody transcribes to dirge
The simplest plan failing at birth
No desire, no hope, no future, no urge
Unimaginable that anything could have worth
This is beyond defeat and giving up
A withdrawal from a reality too hard
Take from me this bitter cup
Pluck from me this broken shard
Nothing can change this, and nothing should
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood

Slowly dawning consciousness reveals its trick
Here again this never-ending now
The joke's not a good one; the joke is sick
This has to stop, but I can't see how
Another pointless drawing of breath
For what purpose do I fuel this soul?
No solution offers less permanent than death
Nothing matters, existence an empty whole
I wouldn't stop this now, even if I could
For nothing now can come to any good

Have smartphones destroyed a generation?

Have smartphones really destroyed a generation? We don’t know. But here’s how to find out: Scientists need to ask better questions — and big tech needs to help. Full article here

The 2017 Twenge study reported that in one of the surveys it analyzed, the correlation between social media use and depressive symptoms was .05. Among girls, the correlation was slightly higher, at .06. Include only boys and the correlation dropped to .01 and was no longer significant. 

Correlational relationships, in social science, are scored between negative 1 and 1, with negative 1 meaning there’s a perfect negative correlation (as one variable goes up, the other goes down) and 1 meaning a perfect positive correlation. 

So .05 is a pretty small positive correlation.

And from The Guardian in January….

“We would, in the light of this paper, reiterate our advice that families spend time interacting as a family, that screens are not allowed to interfere with sleep, and that screen-based interaction is no substitute for in-person contact.”

Screen dims young minds – Frequent use of screens by children aged two to five has been linked to developmental delays by researchers in Canada. The more time children were reported to be spending in front of screens, the worse they did on development tests. The researchers say parents should be cautious about time spent with devices – on average, the 2,400 children they studied spent about 17 hours a week in front of screens at two years old, increasing to almost 25 hours a week at three years, before falling to 11 hours a week at five. Meanwhile the electronic bullying of young people has grown significantly worse in recent years, according to the UK’s media watchdog. Ofcom says 9% of 12- to 15-year-olds report being bullied via text messages and apps.

An absence

An absence, a deep rest, a re-birth and a renewal

A renegotiating with myself

Whatever ‘self’ might mean

Modular-mind theories revising our essence

Darwinian prerogatives running out-of-date drivers

For obsolescent software

A return to study

The mind, psychology, mindfulness

And a recognition of the physical

This imperfect perfect body

As optimism peeks out, seeks out, speaks out

A blank page

A blank page
Greeted with a blank mind
Nothing doing
A mess

An empty stage
Greeted with empty thoughts

A new day
Greeted my new possibilities

Light up the night

A darkness descends
But not nocturnal
This darkness pervades
Day-time oblivious
The darkness infects
A mocking joke
The darkness taunts
Flaunting power
But the darkness won't prevail
Not in this tale.

There’s more!


Of course

Never satiated

Never content

Bigger, better, faster, more.

One better

One newer

One wilder

One more

More than enough

More than I need

More than I wanted

More confusion

More discontent


A future in jeopardy

And reason defied, alas

Achievements in summary

An optimistic trespass

I’ll not take this treachery

This sinking into crevasse

Awake from this reverie

Resist and surpass

The first sip…

The first sip of the first coffee of the day

A knowing smile – nothing to say

Moments of peace before others awake

Ingredients, time, a meal to make

An old friend’s handshake turned into a hug

An afternoon tea from a favourite mug

A new scale mastered, the first page of a book

Simple pleasures everywhere, when you know where to look.

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