Empire.

I’m not too sure on how to start this – so I’ll jump right in.

 

Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It has only been through hindsight that I have realised why I have found poetry.

 

Let me take you back in time. Whilst I was growing up I used to read. A lot. I read everything. I found myself immersed in worlds of facts, fiction, news, and philosophies. My bookshelves bowed in the middle from the weight of all the books. I continued this habit of reading and collecting books throughout my teenage years and I still do it now. But despite my love of reading, I was closed off to a lot of things – especially social situations and people. People – particularly at school – used to pick on me, or make me feel vulnerable and useless. I know I was introverted and was never a partygoer etc., but these experiences stayed with me for a long time. They are still with me now. During this time I never had a diary. I never really had a confidant. I never really had an outlet. I just had these worlds I found myself in when reading. I would come home, hide away in a book, immerse myself in studying maps and globes – it was a psychological escape for me. I could imagine being far away in a place that excited me rather than disheartened me. Wanderlust was my escape.

 

I started writing poetry when I was fourteen/fifteen – I can’t remember which, but it was most likely fourteen – and it excited me. I remember I came home from school and I went to my room and played my music like all hormonal angst-filled teenagers. Piles of books littered my room. I was sat at my desk and I had a scrap of paper in front of me. Then words just spilled out. I remember reading back my words and I instantly fell in love. I had created something beautiful. I had created a whole world of feelings in a few lines. This continued for years and still continues to this day.

 

I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the age of twenty. This was a realisation for me as it suddenly gave me clarity as to why I had been like I had as a teen. I fought long and hard only to see that the problem was within me. All those feelings, those days where I felt empty, the sudden panics when my name was called, the inability to answer in class, the fear of judgment – it all made sense. I look back over a lot of these poems and notice that these words, thoughts, feelings and confessions were my own diary throughout these years. These poems are my diary of my development, my hidden anxiety and depression, my personal hopes and dreams, my knockdowns and heartbreak, my endeavours and my adventures. My diary continues to expand and grow with every passing day.

 

This is a highly personal account. These poems are me.

I am baring myself to you.

 

I still remember exactly how I was when I wrote each of these poems.

 

The beautiful thing about poetry is that it can tell a story, an emotion, a feeling, in just a few words. Novelists take six hundred pages to state what a poet can write in two lines.

 

There is no real beginning, middle and end of this anthology. Open a page and immerse yourself in a world of literature and imagination. The wonder of poetry is it has no rules or limits. Let the poem speak to you. Say it aloud as you read it. Give it to your friends. Keep it on a shelf. Draw all over the pages. Use this book as a coaster for your coffee. Use it to prop up a table leg that wobbles. Or simply turn to page one and keep going. There is no right or wrong when it comes to poetry. I just hope that someone will read my words and benefit from them. If you are currently having an anxiety attack, there are poems for you. If you have fallen in or out of love, there are poems for you. If you have lost a loved one, there are poems for you. If you crave a world to escape to, there are poems for you. If your mind is wandering, there are poems for you. If you are planning a crime, there are no poems for you – maybe the next anthology will be better suited for your needs. Whatever the reason, I just wish you a fulfilling journey throughout these pages.

 

 

 

Welcome to my Empire.

 

 

 

 

Enjoy.

 

 

A. J. Roberts.

The Second Amendment

I wrote this poem in 2015 after an all-too-common mass shooting happened in the USA. I feel that it is just as poignant today.

The Second Amendment

 

“We have the right to keep and bear arms!”

They shout aloud from the top of their lungs.

But when school children are massacred

Their response is final: “We need more guns!”

 

In March ’96 we saw Dunblane across the news,

In April that year Port Arthur hardened our views

“Guns should be banned and never again used.”

But this train of thought left Americans confused.

 

“Why would the world stop using their guns?

Do they not see they ‘protect’ and are fun?

You’ll always have people shooting up schools

– Columbine, Virginia Tech – but why change the rules

 

That have stood in our land for hundreds of years

All because you think that we have something to fear?

How dare you sit there and try to cause us alarm!

This is America! ‘We have the right to bear arms!’”

 

Darling

Darling

 

Go cry for the World, my Darling.

Go.

Cry loudly and see if anyone takes notice.

You are a drama queen, my Darling;

And not in the good sense, like winning an award.

And do you know the funniest part that has been noted?

It’s that this is the best goddamn side of you, Darling.

I’ll be perfectly honest – you’re more self-absorbed than a sponge.

If you were being scored on this it’ll be perfect tens across the board.

Well, maybe a nine point five – because you’ll never be perfect, Darling.

Please remember to give your fist a kiss before you give my face a punch.

But my words describing you are mightier than the sword.

Maybe it’s a double-edged sword that, perhaps, I won’t see until hindsight

And if that’s the case – you’ll still get no apology, Darling.

So whilst you cry please see if anyone will take your side to fight

Against me and my words of my version of events.

I doubt that many people will hold your banner for long, Darling.

I have no one holding mine.

I don’t need one, Darling.

What’s supporting me is my memory of all those times I spent

Being pushed down, used, abused, cheated, hit, crying, shaking, made to frown…

 

Darling.

 

I do like your crown.

 

 

 

 

It suits you.

UK Education

UK Education

 

For a country that preaches being one of the best places in the world, why does the system in this country give no merit to artists who find life-pleasure in their work? Why must we all be stuck in a cubicle to make ends meet? Maybe, just maybe, instead of school forcing the youth to believe that maths, business and science are the only success stories, perhaps we should teach people to follow their dreams and follow their personal goals? Maybe all those kids who sucked at maths, science, sport, and business should not be forced to reach the goals set by a test. Those fucking numbers on a fucking score sheet mean nothing. Maybe more merit should be placed on making this world a better place. I have seen more artists make people smile than politicians or business leaders. I have seen a more scathing review of contemporary life from artists and writers than from professors and those we elect to be in charge of the nation. Maybe we should teach healthcare, cultural appreciation, artistic merit, and how to pay taxes. Not once have I used a fucking quadrilateral equation – but no one ever told me how to fill out a tax return form. It is easy to read from a textbook – but have you ever tried to be a nurse? Maybe those people who felt belittled because their talent lay in drawing, sculpting, nursing, and writing should be given the chance to feel good about their individual talents. Those people who aced science, maths, sports and business in school left feeling superior – whilst artists, who give meaning to our lives, are left feeling underappreciated and kicked down. Maths and science are compulsory, even for those who cannot do them, yet the people who are useless at art are given the opportunity to drop and ignore those subjects at the age of fourteen. Why do we teach that one person’s talents are superior and more necessary than someone else’s? I would much rather be surrounded by artists of all types than people who strive to make a personal fortune because some unequal system tells them that their talents are what make them successful by certain standards. Things need to change. Now.

Darling

Darling

 

Go cry for the World, my Darling.

Go.

Cry loudly and see if anyone takes notice.

You are a drama queen, my Darling;

And not in the good sense, like winning an award.

And do you know the funniest part that has been noted?

It’s that this is the best goddamn side of you, Darling.

I’ll be perfectly honest – you’re more self-absorbed than a sponge.

If you were being scored on this it’ll be perfect tens across the board.

Well, maybe a nine point five – because you’ll never be perfect, Darling.

Please remember to give your fist a kiss before you give my face a punch.

But my words describing you are mightier than the sword.

Maybe it’s a double-edged sword that, perhaps, I won’t see until hindsight

And if that’s the case – you’ll still get no apology, Darling.

So whilst you cry please see if anyone will take your side to fight

Against me and my words of my version of events.

I doubt that many people will hold your banner for long, Darling.

I have no one holding mine.

I don’t need one, Darling.

What’s supporting me is my memory of all those times I spent

Being pushed down, used, abused, cheated, hit, crying, shaking, made to frown…

 

Darling.

 

I do like your crown.

 

 

 

 

It suits you.