Carpe Diem

Already the first month, 2013,
Is almost over, drawing to a close,
And what have I done, what works can be seen?
I've managed some poems and written some prose.

Lost in some debilitating 'dead zone',
Or so it would seem, drenched in lethargy,
And while I'm not stressed, I seem to be prone,
To bouts of depression, zero energy.

Poisonous notions attacking my heart,
Negative emotions that act like rust,
Corroding my soul, destroying my art,
Slowing me down and turning dreams to dust.

A mind of molasses, flowing so slow,
Numbing my senses, a flood of decay,
Bitterness kills while kissing one's ego,
An enemy within, from 'yesterday'.

This stagnation and procrastination,
It steals my tomorrows, whisks them away,
Robbing my future, drowning creation,
Must wake up! 'Carpe Diem' - seize the day!

Copyright  ⓒ  Chris Ryall  2013


I find myself still editing my novel, which seems to be taking forever; still playing 'stuck in the mud' with my life. The goal posts keep moving further away, and the ball I'm playing with is losing air rapidly it would appear, although that may be just an illusion. It's like I'm at a crossroads in my life, and the damned red light just won't turn green! LOL. Like a skier buried under an avalanche, I must claw my way out and breathe again! Then I can get on with my journey, instead of drowning in frustration. Sorry to whine. I will also try to make more time to read more poetry and make comments. Please bear with me. Thank you.

Warmest regards,


What molasses? what malaise ?

Leaking Pen
Dear Chris
I know you will get it done, confession is good for the soul, now that your hung your laundry in public, opened your windows wide, let the stale air out, your mind at full rest and the novel awaits its promise to see the light of day in the temple of tomorrow, I know you will "seize the day". and fulfill your destiny, you kept your promise and posted your "Carpe deim" one more promise you made, I see you typing away the last chapter of your novel, its
language born out from your fingertips, it is your soil to plow , plant the the seeds, and let life grow from the stems of your renewed imaginations

Seize the Day

Hi Paul,

Long time no see, buddy. It's been such a slow start to the year, and I've not had much of a chance to get back here and participate. But I will redouble my efforts from now on.

I think one of the things slowing me down has simply been 'winter', for two reasons - firstly the cold and the snow, and secondly, the lack of sunlight. Being an Aussie, I've been bathed in sun and warmth all my life, but here in the mountains each winter, it's dark and miserably cold. LOL. But I'm not whinging - it's also very beautiful as well. Heh. I hope that you are enjoying the sunshine there in Sydney, but watch out for Cyclone Oswald as it moves south! :-0

The other thing dragging me down, mentally, is worry. As you know, I have stopped teaching, and am doing weekend work as a marriage celebrant. In one way this is fantastic in terms of having extra time to edit my novel during the week, but on the other hand, I have almost no money, and hence worry about the future. This is also why I am frustrated at not having finished my novel already, so that I can get it out there, and hopefully find some success as a writer.

But I must have faith that everything will turn out right. I thank you for your kind words of encouragement, my friend - much appreciated. By the way, I re-wrote my poem Carpe Diem, after you uploaded your poem of the same name, and that's why it's taken me a bit longer than intended to post it here. But I'm grateful for your response - it's so good to have friends such as yourself and Kathy on this poetry site, to help me bounce back from the funk I've been in. Thanks! :-D

Enjoy the rest of the week, mate, take care, and best wishes.

Warmest regards,

Chris :-)

My winter of discontent

Leaking Pen
Dear Chris
I feel your pain, I feel your aganoy, I know from first hand what is like to live in the land of eternal winter
I spent the bulk of my life growing in the north heart land of the U.S.A, winter came and dragged its feets like an unwelcome guest, 6 to 7 months of Canadian clipper sheds its footprints on my life, luckily though the Sun did come out a lot, everything is fine as long as we remained indoor, the temperature used to drop to -55 fahrenheit
with the wind chill, I would wake up ans ask myself what on earth am I doing here, then I remember my calling, my destiny, I am supposed to be there, now that I am in Australia, as I look back on these formative years that shaped the the character in me, I know you have financial concerns in addition to winter blues, this is the perfect storm where the mirror of despair augments its light, I have faith that your road to recovery is around the corner, I know your faith, and the doors to prosperity will unlock their iron grips soon, I wish you all that is good, all that is peaceful all that is tranquil, may these words ignite the Sun that never left you

Winter Blues

Dear Paul,

Thanks so much. It's comforting to have an understanding ear. Yeah, the heartland of U.S.A. can be a desolate, freezing place. My wife spent a couple of months there in Minnesota, visiting friends and relatives, but had to escape to Florida to thaw out. Ha ha. Thank you for your kind and thoughtful wishes, my friend. May the sun always shine on you, too :-D



Well,you wrote this

I have not read your work before.I like it and can understand how you feel...sounds like from below that you have a good deal of worry and the winter affects me that way.I hope now you get the energy to finish your novel.
Wishing you the best


Dear Kate,

I did not expect a visit from such a fine poet as yourself. I have often admired your poetry very much, but my friends Kathy and Paul often beat me to writing a good comment in response. (That's a very poor excuse, isn't it? LOL) Thank you very much for your kind feedback - much appreciated.

Yes, coming from the 'land down-under' (I can never understand why the English government at the time sent the convicts to the country with all the sunshine and best beaches, while they themselves decided to stay in London! Ha ha), I never knew winter (or autumn or spring for that matter) until I lived in Japan. The snow is very charming and all, but I do hate the constantly dark, cloudy weather, the freezing temperatures, and the lack of a summer sun.

I do believe we are both suffering from SADS (seasonal affective disorder syndrome), due to the lack of light (vitamin D) and lack of warmth. This can lead to depression in some cases, but is wonderful as inspiration to poets! Hehehe. Just add some red wine, and presto! A new poem emerges. (^o^)

Sorry to ramble on. Thank you for your sweet words of encouragement re my novel. I finished it two years ago, edited it last year, and in response to advice from a publisher, am doing a final edit. Wish me luck. It's a tough industry out there for first-time authors.

I promise to double my efforts in leaving some comments on your marvelous poems. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your week, take care, and best wishes.

Warmest regards,


Thank you so much.

Dear Chris
Thank you for your letter.Yes,it's the lack of light.I bought vit D and keep losing it.
Thank you very much for your complimentary words abour my poetry.I have pain from arthritis and writing makes me forget it..and I spend a long time writing..of course it's very hard when you are trying to earn a living too.
I have written some short stories and I find prose m uch more tiring to write,so if you have writtena whole novel
I admire you and hope it will be published.
With poetry i think the music of it carries one along so it's easier.And poems are shorter as well.I am very impressed by what people produce here and on other sites.
I only began 3 years ago and never dreamed of making it public at the beginning
You don't need to write comments.I am just happy if a few people read it.. that is the purpose.And of course the pleasure of writing.
I do hope you soon get warmer weather and feel the energy come back again. into your mind,Winter can have appeal but we need heat and sunshine
With my very best wishes,Kate

Prose vs Poetry

G'morning Kate,

Well, it's 6 am in Japan as I write this, anyway. Heh. My wife and I must look like pagan sun-worshippers to our Japanese neighbors - every time the sun is shining in a clear sky, we run outside and bask in it! Ha ha. We try to soak up as much vit D as we can in these winter months.

When it's cold and damp, I also occasionally get arthritis in my right knee and shoulder, but in my case I think it's hereditary (as my father, who was 47 when I was born - with 7 brothers and sisters before me - had arthritis in exactly the same spots). Exercise (focusing on those areas) and alcohol numb my pain. LOL

Poetry and prose both help me to take my mind off it though (and other worries & stresses), along with reading, listening to music and watching movies. Like you, I started out writing short stories, and progressed to writing a full length novel after I graduated from high school. It was a typical young-romance-adventure piece that I quickly shelved. Life took over, a career as a teacher, and a sojourn to the Land of the Rising Sun ensued, and it was years before I returned to writing again.

Also like you, I enjoy writing poetry as it's faster and produces satisfying results more quickly. But I do love writing prose as well. I have tried mixing the two (longer free verse poems) recently with mixed results. I am the same with movies - there are nights I enjoy a short, entertaining movie, but sometimes I love settling in for a real epic (Gone With the Wind, Gladiator, Braveheart, Dr Zhivago, etc). Reading is the same as well (novelettes vs tomes).

I am back into my editing today, and feeling more motivated and inspired, thanks to the encouragement from yourself and others that I have received over the last couple of days. During a break, I might also upload a haiku I've had sitting around on my desktop for a while. Have a great day.

Wishing you all the very best,


My reply may be under Paul's letter

I may have written a replyin the wrong place,,,
look further down under Paul!

In Hiding

Oh, sorry about that. Ha ha. I need to scroll down more often! Cheers,

Chris :-)

Light Therapy


I am still working a seasonal retail job at Nordstrom. I am a professional shopper, I walk all day long. I pick-up orders from all over the store for internet sales. As mindless as this is, I enjoy seeing all the sights and meeting all the people in different departments. I can't do this for a living though, the pay is very poor.

There is a lot of interesting products in the cosmetic department. Many of these product's names are really funny and expensive. The other day, an elderly woman was being given a light treatment. I went over and watched for a few minutes. The elderly woman was a beautiful 70 - 75 year old woman. The cosmetic clerk had a wand with a light at the end, rubbing it all over her face. It was stated that clinical research indicates that this light tool helps promote better skin tone, collagen production.

Perhaps you and Mandy need some light therapy wands. :o)

I understood this poem perfectly. I too have bouts of down unders. It is not always easy to be creative when one's think tank is being influenced by darkness and cold. My animals and I enjoy a log on the fire, it helps. I also light candles, turn on classical music, and let my mind wonder to the sun.

I love your honesty dear Chris. I know that you work hard and put your heart into all you do. Sometimes our best is all we can do.

I live for the day that I have your novel in my hands and heart. I also live for the day that we may meet and share our success stories.


Kathy :o)

Dallas, Texas

Don't you love the beautiful people on this poetry site? These beautiful people are the sun!

Love and Light

Dear Kathy,

Thank you for sharing your thoughts. I'm happy that you are enjoying meeting so many new people in your job at Nordstrom, even if the pay is low - but after all, it's the experiences in life that matter, and the people we share them with. Those light therapy wands sound amazing, and would be even better if they dispensed Vitamin D. Heh. Increasing serotonin levels would be great, too. I like your idea of a log fire, candles, and classical music - lovely :-)

My novel is just months away from completion, after years of hard work. I have so many more that I wish to write, and will get started immediately as soon as this one is done. This one took so long because it was my first serious adult-level novel, and there was a real 'learning process' taking place. I've learned how to get inside the character's head, rather than write from the author's perspective. "Show, don't tell" has become my banner. I've learned to eliminate flowery prose (the exact opposite of what we attempt to do in poetry), passive writing, adverbs and adjectives (except where absolutely necessary), cut out redundant qualifiers and dangling modifiers. I know that when I write my 2nd novel, it will take a tenth of the time, and be incorporating the correct techniques and style right from the start of the writing process. But the fact that I have learned all these things justifies the long time it has taken. I feel as though I am a better writer for the journey, so to speak. At least I hope so! :-D

Thanks for your encouragement, dear friend. I also look forward to the day that we can meet and share our success stories. I believe in that day ... I believe in you.

Love always,

Chris xo

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