In the doldrums – trying to catch a breeze

29 Jul

Body is slow

Every action a battle

By a weakened will

That’s swallowed in sluggishness

First tiring….then flagging

And finally failing

at first sign of setback.


No wind in my sails

No lead in my pencil

Nothing but the doldrums

On my shortened horizon

Of unemployed, unenjoyed

Hours and days,

At dead end after dead end

In my self-made maze.

Dead Ends, Ocksblog 2009

I wrote this poem today about how I have been feeling. I am a 23-year-old failed journalist (yes, it didn’t take me long) trying to find a way to fulfilling my literary dreams. Unfortunately I steadily realising that literary greatness, and even literary mediocrity, doesn’t just happen to a person. No matter how much they like reading books.

I have to pull my finger out, put some effort in, and direct the thoughts and feelings I have on a daily basis towards a creative end. I do this already, by writing the odd poem, attempting the odd article, but not with enough gusto and determination. My poem, Dead Ends, is a realisation of this. It was also the tipping point that made me finally overcome all self-doubt and begin a blog.

“You do have interesting things to say,” I told myself, “Think of all the conversations with others where you have jabbered on about this or that, rambling on philosophy, cultures, sense of being, and people seem absorbed. Or at least not bored. All the little observations on life and existence you sometimes share with others, who often find them witty.”  

The grinding, aching self-doubt remained to a degree. The lethargy that has been gripping me every morning for the last 10 weeks since I lost my job as a local newspaper reporter. Then I played a few trump cards on myself: the “You have nothing to lose” card, and the “sort you fucking life out” card.

And I started my blog.

More to come later on who I am, where I am, and what I am doing with myself (if I have worked that bit out by then).

5 Responses to “In the doldrums – trying to catch a breeze”

  1. Mr WordPress at 7:24 pm #

    Hi, this is a comment.
    To delete a comment, just log in, and view the posts’ comments, there you will have the option to edit or delete them.

  2. Serena at 5:39 pm #

    Nice, I like the Dead Ends poem. I enjoyed the end the best:

    “Of unemployed, unenjoyed

    Hours and days,

    At dead end after dead end

    In my self-made maze.”

    Well done Ock. Well done.

    • ocksblog at 7:00 pm #

      thank you, I am glad you like

  3. James Preece at 1:46 pm #

    Will just read this! certainly resonates… thought I would try and write you a poem back. feeling a certain reticence- this is my first poem- cringing a little.

    but here you are.

    Great Expectations

    Pip my mirror image,
    Rags to Riches,
    And what of me?

    Comfortable life, indulgent even.
    Successful though in some degree,
    But what now for me?

    Great expectations- from within and without.
    Any lament, feel like a whiney lout.
    For God’s sake do something!
    Get up! Break out! Get on!

    Yet I was promised the world!
    Great expectations, you see.
    What value left in a uni degree?

    • ocksblog at 4:06 pm #

      thanks! What better than a reply in poem form 🙂

      I like the last stanza of yours – those three lines work brilliantly.
      As to uni degrees: they seem to have fallen markedly in value with the recession, but when the jobs come back they will come in handy (I hope!)

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