#24: The Thoughts of a Poet without a voice

Hi everyone,

I’ve been struggling to really write lately after having been distracted with life lately. It is not to say I have been short of things to say, it was more so because the words were finding it difficult to fall on paper and take form. It wasn’t a writers block, I guess I’d explain it more like a creative block. Strangely enough, that was where I drew inspiration from to write this poem exploring my own thought process during the last couple of weeks.

Also keep in mind that this was written particularly for performance.

The Thoughts of a Poet without a voice

Let me lose.

Release me. 

Save me.

I will torment you. 

Hold you captive until you set me free.

 

The thoughts of a poet without a voice.

 

Why are these words cooped up in my mind tormenting me?!  

 

Words that mould into being conjuring thoughts from the depths of my imagination. 

Like rivers from springs in desserts flow in a torrent bringing life to the depths of my imagination

Rising through sands disappear into sands in the endless desserts of my mind.

And without seeing day light, thoughts die inside without a voice to let lyrical metaphors of rivers flow down the valleys towards your minds eye.

Thoughts die.

 

A dictionary and thesaurus of unmarked graveyards litter my mind – 

here lies a thought you will never hear nor feel.

They were all imprisoned in the highest towers 

summoned for an execution that never took place

though no one heard their last sounds

they lost their last breath 

with the undignified loss of the poets voice.

 

Thoughts that take no form could not have lived.

We only remember those who were written to life

who lived long lives, short lives, regardless, just lives lived.

 

So I confront blank pages, a sea of white to sail my thoughts on, but unheard voices and ink-less words cannot set sail when they never made it to the shore. 

And it pains me knowing that my thoughts are unaccounted for. 

Never named, whispered or brought to life on blank pages 

To carry my thoughts across white seas.

Now they taunt me ‘a poet with no voice, a poet with no voice’.

 

Without words I am an 

Orchid without flowers

Sunsets without colour

A smith without fire – 

Meaningless.

 

Admitedly, there is a wall my thoughts cannot rise above, 

I call that wall a dam because it does not give a damn.

It holds back a torrent of words so poetic it would make Jesus weep, but instead I weep.

For the river that leads no where will never reach the white sea,

virgin pages remain ink-less,

unheard voices torment me like a poet with not voice, a poet with no voice. 

They will hold me captive until I set them free.

By Hans Lee

 

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#23 What playing Monopoly as a child taught me.

I have a confession to make.

I am a sucker for playing monopoly and I don’t mean the type of game that lasts a few hours. No. I am talking about the game that lasts days!

That is probably why I haven’t played it now that I am a bit older, because none of my friends have the time or patience to continue a game for days and days with the same enthusiasm and drive to win.

But as a child, I remember endless pursuits of trying to be the last one standing. Often times, when my cousins came to visit for a weekend, I’d challenge them to a game of Monopoly. My house ,my rule right? To me, those endless hours seemed to whizz by unnoticed as my money and properties built up, then, through some silly role of the dice, leave me dry, forcing me to foreclose on properties and start afresh.

What would happen when mum came to tell me it was time for bed? Well after having a hissy fit, I’d make sure to write down everyones position on the board and record everyones amount, and as if saving or pausing the game, we’d leave it as it was to return at a later time.

I remember being such a sore loser, I hated being broke, but I hated losing and quitting even more. In fact I never accepted I was bankrupt till I had nothing left. I had strategies to make sure that I was always one step ahead of the game, or so I thought. At each pass of the Go, I’d put $100 aside. Each time I raised money,  I’d put a portion of the earnings aside as retained capital. I made sure all my properties were partially developed (never get to hotel status), I tried to negotiate with the banks for leeway and I was adamant about lending finance to players to keep them in the game when they were broke or wanted to quit. The last point is perhaps the reason why our games lasted so long. I realised that in order for me to accumulate more wealth, there had to be players in the game. For me, the goal was to have the bank go broke before me. That was the thrill!

But what did all that adolescent-money- gaming do to my cognitive development. As a child, we become a product of all the experiences we are exposed to, so what lasting scars did the game of monopoly have on me. Well these are a list of things I believe I have gained from it:

  1. Unnerving ability to believe that there is always a way out

    Despite being claustrophobic, I am a pretty calm person. I know that there is always a way out even if that entails facing up to the issue. I remember games where I would lose everything and then scheme my way back into the game by borrowing from the bank or other players.

  2. Deep belief in my own ability to control the board (destiny)

    It was only when I watched Invictus that the words resonated with me “I am the master of my fate, the captain of my soul”. One of my truest of truths is that I can change my circumstances whenever I want. We all suffer from something or rather mentally, I am no different but I just can usually pull myself off the scruff of the neck and get on with life. For some reason, Monopoly taught me that the board doesn’t play the same hand twice and a bad role once won’t always lead to a bad role twice. There is always a way out.

  3. Dealing with having, and not having power

    I love power. I like having it, being around it and messing with it. But Monopoly taught me an important lesson in  respecting power – be humble in victory and gracious in defeat. Learning how to deal with the bankers as money lenders earlier on and showing mercy to those who couldn’t afford to pay you for landing on your highest earning properties was all about courting power. Allowing people to pay me slowly allowed them to be in the game longer, appearing merciful assured me allies and power.

  4. Highly developed Emotional Intelligence 

    If I have earned anything, it is the power to be deeply reflective and empathetic. I call it the God Perspective and this was honed with a few other games too but being able to read people and predict what their reaction was going to be was incredibly important to my own survival on the board. Understanding when to take a break when I could sense a tough phase was occurring ensured that I had a game to play that wasn’t wearing everyone out.

  5. Taking risk and being ok with loss

    Children need to learn how to deal take massive financial risks and experience the glories of winning and lossing. Too many people are risk averse, resulting in not much happening. They sit back and take on a life of average because they are afraid of taking big risks and losing. For them,  loss is equal to death. For me death is the only loss. I loved Monopoly, I didn’t always win and those were tough. When I was really addicted to it, I remember being furious that I’d lose, but it made me want to play it even more. The thrill of taking risks, knowing I could lose it all at the next round of the board was strangely appealing to my adolescent mind. The thrill of uncertainty still remains with me today. Certainty and comfort makes me bored.

Obviously, there must be a more ways that Monopoly defined me that I have not figured out yet. I highly recommend getting your children, or your friends children, inducted into the world of Monopoly. If anything, they may just learn a bit about themselves.

Kind regards,

Hans Lee

 

 

 

#21 Cairns Major Murals Project Info Evening

For all my artistically inclined friends in Cairns.  The Cairns Regional Council are about to launch their Major Murals Project and are opening up an info session on Tuesday 27th June 2017 at the Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre. 

RSVP to Simon Suckling.

Email: s.suckling@cairns.qld.gov.au

Paint it up! 

– Hans Lee

#19 Lessons Learnt, Lessons Earnt

Remember –

sugar free

lemonade

is the most

bitter taste.

–  by Hans Lee

Being the first officer of a plane experiencing dual engine failure is always going to be daunting and nerving experience. It must be worse when you know that you are still a subordinate to the captains orders. Knowing that the initial impact will determine whether you survive or not makes critical every effort to ease the severity of the impact.

I pose that scenario to begin my reflection on the science of an undoing of a company. I have often prayed to be exposed to failure at a grand scale and I think I am about to see it go down like the twin towers. After all, the best lessons are the ones learned through experience. I hope that the insight gained through this experience will give me exceptional foresight in the management of my future company.

So where do I begin?

Firstly, always remember that a garden must bear fruits before you can start eating from it, but if you want more from it, you must be wiling to take some of that product to the market to sell it for money. That money can either be reinvested into growing the garden or exploring other money growth opportunities. The K50 earned from the market sales should be reinvested for the future, sacrificing today’s rewards.

The basic principle is that, before something can look after you, you must look after it.

Asset rich – Cash poor brings creditors knocking at the door.

Whether you are working for yourself or working for someone else, remember that operations get harder when there is limited cash moving through the veins of the company. A company can feel and look like it is rich i.e. have a lot of property, plant and equipment, but if they aren’t making money, or the company doesn’t have cash reserves, they are in a very risky position. Imagine what would happen if you only had K5,000.00 in the operating account and the credit accounts due (your debtors) were chasing after K10,000.00 payment immediately.

Lack of vision is lack of direction 

It is easy to follow blindly especially when the leader thinks what they are doing is for the best. They risk everything including killing the company to carry out a flawed plan.

Be mindful of someone you are following who has not thought out and explained a plan properly. When they cannot see where they are going, they will always get lost. When you join organisations, ask them what their plans are for the short, medium and long term, even if you do not know whether you will be there for the long haul or not, it is encouraged that you find out where the company is going and whether you could fit the carrying out of that vision.

Never get too comfortable, all can be taken away

One thing I am terrified about is being comfortable, or the though of it. I have always believed, and will always believe, that comfort breeds complacency. For me it is a fate that precedes death. Think of all the people who are forced to retire, if they chose to kick back and relax, it is the beginning of their demise to the box, but for those who remain active, for them are rewards of a life fulfilled.

Comfort can often blind us to the temporary nature of life’s pleasures like friendships and social activities but when you realise that you are not entitled to those things anyway, it makes you work harder. It can all be taken away at the shortcoming in cash flows and court notices.

Know when you are in trouble and let go

Very few people are able to admit when they are wrong or are about to fail. The saying too big to fail doesn’t apply equally across the board. Sometimes we need to stop and reassess if we are too comfortable or whether the people around us are changing or not changing.

Too few too know how to break out of the mould they have built for themselves. Knowing when you are wrong and asking for help from those around you who are smarter then you is the first step in fixing a problem.

 

That is about from me so far.
Hansley