I Am An Addict

As the first line states, I wrote this a couple of months after I stopped smoking. It's interesting to me (and perhaps, only me) that the style of this poem seems more accepting and resolute than that of An Ode to Smoking, which seemed more reluctant about letting go of the cancer sticks. Writing really helped me get over the nicotine addiction and gave me something to do with my hands other than hold a cigarette.

It's been two months since I stopped.
I still feel like the very first day,
Fighting every urge of my being to resist.
That sweet siren song of the cigarette.
Of course, back then I chewed the gum,
Now it just rests in my shirt pocket.
A comfort blanket, a placebo,
It's presence, just enough to keep me sane.

Every day is like starting all over again,
Wiping the bad dreams of smoky fun,
From my over-active imagination,
and accepting the reality of a non-smoker.
The cravings come stronger now,
They burn like unrequited love,
For a stranger you meet every day.
Just one kiss and it would all be okay.

But I don't steal that kiss,
To do so would set me back so far,
I'd have to smoke just to beat,
the stress of failing to not smoke.
No, I take each day as it comes,
And it goes.
Knowing that it will always be this way,
I'm a smoker who doesn't smoke.

I don't smoke when I wake up,
And I don't smoke before I fall asleep.
I don't smoke when I'm driving,
and I don't smoke when out drinking.
I don't even smoke after a meal,
Or just before I go to see a movie.
Yet each of those times, I remember,
I remember the desire and the disease.

I also remember the smell of my clothes,
Or at least I remember discovering it,
When I stopped.
That's something new that I'm grateful for.
If I had never smoked, I would never know,
To the extent that I know now.
I would never appreciate the scent of fall,
my nephew's skin or fresh clean clothes.

So, I fight everyday, just as I did before,
But this time, I am armed more heavily,
With memories of what I gained,
And of failed attempts to gain them.
With the stench of smokey clothes,
And the stains on yellow teeth in the mirror.
With my nicotine gum and my will,
I will fight till the death, whoever may win.

It's been two months since I stopped.
I still feel like the very first day,
Fighting every urge of my being to resist.
That sweet siren song of the cigarette.
Writing this fought them off one more time,
Until the next, and there will be a next time.
I am an addict but I will not give in,
Not yet, but tomorrow, I might celebrate with a smoke.

October 2006

An Ode to Smoking

I can only presume this coincided with an attempt to stop smoking that lasted less than a month. I know this because just over a month after I wrote it, I actually stopped smoking and have been mostly smoke free for over 5 years now. The keen-eyed among you may notice this was written 3 months before Shattered – this may give you some insight into the emotional effects of nicotine withdrawal.

The smoking doesn't soothe me anymore,
It used to even out the bumps but now I just feel sore,
From burning air as I inhale,
Clothes that smell so stale.
What is it for? I can't take it anymore.

It used to feel good with a beer,
Having that fire in my hand but still the smoke would shed a tear.
I guess the novelty wore off,
Now all I have's this smoker's cough.
And death to fear. I hope the air will clear.

I know I've tried this all before,
Stopped smoking cigarettes and tried to fight the war,
Between my body and myself,
My pleasure and my health,
To find a cure and become a little pure.

I know it won't be an easy thing to do,
I'll need some help; a patch or just some gum to chew,
I'll need my friends to understand,
If things don't go just how I planned,
When I feel blue, not that it's something new.

With one last breath I've said goodbye,
To a two-faced friend that couldn't help itself but lie,
It won't be easy as we part,
But I know deep in my heart,
That I must try. One of us must die.

The months ahead will be my trial,
I know from times before how hard the final mile,
Can be to win the race,
I can't take second place,
I must maintain the pace,
And all the while, grit teeth and smile.

July 2006


I go to sleep and dream of broken glass.
It sparkles in the sunslight like diamonds,
And dances across the floor like a million tiny bells.
Such beauty in something so painful.
Walking barefoot across it is like being close to you.
You're beauty is all devouring as you cut deeply,
With the words and actions you choose to employ.
Like a thousand tiny fragments of glass in my feet, you slice,
And I can't walk away.
Like the glass is stuck in my feet, you are stuck in my soul,
The pain following me no matter where I tread.
It's comforting to feel it, I should miss it if it were gone,
But oh, how it cuts, how I bleed.
I don't know how you came to be so broken, so shattered,
But like the glass, I don't think you can be repaired.
I wish I had the strength to turn and walk away,
But the pain would be too much, so like you, I stay;
Slaves to each others flaws and free only to do what we've always done,
Carry one another's scars as our own and dream.

October 2006

Furious Fowl

If your birds are upset,
And some swine are snooping round,
It makes total sense,
That a catapult be found,
Into which you place,
The angry avians you see,
And watch each porcine face,
When hit by flung poultry.

Now you may be in wonder,
Why it is the birds don't fly,
"Why a catapult?" you ponder,
Instead of wings to get them by,
But it really doesn't matter,
I really wouldn't ask,
They're each mad as a hatter,
They might take you to task.

So with careful aim,
Teach the pigs what for.
These birds aren't tame,
They are angry, out for war.
No wooden tower,
Or icy outcrop will be safe,
When wrathful feathery power,
Lays the porky land to waste.


I rediscovered this poem lurking in my files the other day and I don't remember the circumstances that led to it being written or the inspiration behind it. It's a little different to things that I'm used to writing. Let me know what you think.

A young man named Jonah once set out to sea, to sail the seven seas,

and at no point did he,
ever doubt whether she would be waiting,
for he knew somewhere far and away from his heart was the beautiful girl of his dreams.

So with compass in hand,
and a gold wedding band, he set sail.
Now the first night was fine as he travelled the waves, sleeping under the stars,

but the next blew a storm,
that did little to warn him of danger.
As he tried to hold course through the rain and the swells with prayers to Gods and the stars,

the storm, it grew worse,
the hull it did burst and Jonah was thrown to the depths.
For a week he was drifting through briny demise with nought but the sea to be found.

With the sun beating brutal,
and all hope left futile he drifted,
when a long came a ship full of friendship and food to save him before he had drowned.

As they fed him to health,
they shared knowledge of wealth and desires.
Now these new friends he had found were not sailors, but pirates of ill intent,

and when Jonah came round,
to see pirates abound he got frightened.
but with nothing to do, no escape to be made and all of his energy spent,

Jonah succumbed to greed,
joined the piratical breed and sailed on.
Two score years and ten, he would sail through the foam, plundering all in his wake,

until one day a tale,
met his ears over ale in a tavern.
It told of a girl with such beauty and grace that none could hope to forsake.

Jonah set down his mind,
that this beauty he'd find and they'd wed.
So a pirate named Jonah then set out to sea, to sail the seven seas,

in search of girl who,
somewhere in the world, he would marry.
Jonah knew somewhere far and away from his heart was that beautiful girl of his dreams;

with his cutlass in hand,
and a gold wedding band he set sail.
Just out of port, and outnumbered by far, Jonah's crew were caught quite unware—

revenge it would seem,
was to shatter his dream in a flash.
A merchant, quite bold, had sought Jonah's crew to reclaim what he saw as fair,

so a battle ensued,
one that Jonah would lose, he was sure.
After some time had passed, Jonah's ship lay a wreck, not a pirate alive to retell,

the tale of his plight,
and the fantastic fight they had fought.
Jonah lay with his pride, both bleeding and torn, in puddle of blood where he'd fell,

As his eyes closed up tight,
the ship sailed through the night to the shore.
When he neared the end, his ship came aground on the shore he had left as a youth,

where there stood a girl,
who had traveled the world, for her love.
A young maiden fogotten was stood on the shore, a smile of love as her proof,

and together they soared,
to the stars where he'd moored, young Jonah and his true love, Marie.
A young man named Jonah once set out to sea, to sail the seven seas,

and at no point did he,
ever doubt whether she would be waiting.
For he knew somewhere far and away from his heart was the beautiful girl of his dreams.