Power has the Power to

Why in these days of lockdown

does Violence continue to be transmitted

into all homes, 4 walls, times over

Why do our men in power

Not shut down this visual content

Put an end to what is not meant


While humans are being brought together

Inside with themselves

Time to face themselves

New messaging, brain conditioning, reprogramming to the inner sanctum

Of self

Can and will help

Because which one of us humans has full ability

To not imitate that which is put in front of us

The stimuli for all to see

For all will see


Shapes you

And goes on to shape humanity

So take away all violence, in all character and form

Allow the race to know itself

Shine better for the world

Transmit souls’ best vibration

Into every four walls

The power is here

Ignite it

De-programme Violence

for the greater good

of all mind



In light of this Golden Dawn

A given space in time

The opportune does now rise

To change mind brain pattern


Take away all violence

Its transmission here now ends

No more angry content

Let the walls now mend

In its place

Push peace

Push the button for peace

Transmit only what is sweet

And light

Angelic if you like

Power has the power to change

us, humans


A is for adamant that I will not

Become another statistic of the hum drum, just a

Crazy statistic that bears no relativity, I remain

Defiant of all hypocrisy, I

Expel the demons from my mind, instead evergreen

Forever remaining beautiful and one of a spirit kindred

Getting wise from the teachings of Karma

Having given what is required

I don’t have to sacrifice for I know the realms of


Kinaesthetically feeling


Magnetising it to come to me

Notwithstanding some love to come



Quintessentially all that I want it to mean

Reinventing and Receiving therein

Something no less than I am deserving

Tirelessly I have been serving whilst

Under the pressure of a foregone conclusion

Vilified in quieter times when I have withdrawn my

Willingness to become part of a process

Xenophobic nonsense and all the mental programming

Year after year, on and on and on and on when all I seek is






Dogstar’s Guide to the Top 10 NYC Open Mics

Dogstar is ……

…..a born and bred Londoner who, for the past 13 years, has lived (and been adopted) into the ‘self-penned’ musical capital of the world ‘Liverpool’ UK.  As recently as November 2014 ‘the dog’ touched down in NYC with the aim and ambition of ‘testing the water’ on the musical range of The Big Apple ……  for the past 70 days she has trekked, traipsed and tinkered to and fro to discover which venues and hosts are the best of the best on the music circuit here in NYC.  Within that time frame (having part mastered the New York Metro, which is a must if you really want to get to these places) Dogstar now pulls together for you (who wish to follow in the footsteps of rhythm, melody, harmony, color and adventure) all thoughts and experiences to bring a well-rounded and personalised top ten favourite list of the New York Open Mic tour …..

1.     Pete’s Candy Store : 709 Lorimer Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn NY11211 / Tel : (718) 302-3770

This open mic takes place every Sunday from 5pm to 8pm – sign up commences about a quarter to five and is pretty fast and furious as there are many performers who turn up from around 4.30pm and thus you really do have to stand your ground in getting your name on that list. You will find that as with many of these open mic ‘sign ups’ the difference in just a few minutes of your arrival time at the venue could put you anywhere from top of the list to the very bottom (which can often mean a good two to three-hour wait before you actually reach the stage) …  This open mic has been running for over 14 years and is currently hosted by the very charismatic Bruce Martin.  Original compositions are preferred but there are some performers who throw in the odd cover here and there, however it is not wanted to be renown as being a ‘covers forum’.  No ‘singers to track’ or full bands are allowed at this event.  The Open Mic at Pete’s is intended as a high quality affair for musicians to present their original material.

The location is pretty easy to navigate; closest tube station is Lorimer Street on the L Train.  The open mic takes place at the back of the venue in a small intimate portion of space that gives off an ambient of being on the ‘Orient Express’ with its dark red upholstery and narrow channeled wooden room. The bar at the front feels cosy and the barmen/women friendly and attentive, drinks are reasonably priced (it’s all pretty expensive in NYC to be honest)… my favoured hot toddy with a ‘well’ scotch or rye mash was 10 bucks (which equates, at this moment in 2015 time to GBP 6.60) …if you’re hungry you can get some basic fare (sandwiches) for 7-9 bucks and then if you’re up for cocktails (which are pretty stacked in alcohol) you can indulge yourself for 11 bucks.

You must be 21 to participate.  There is no cover charge and no minimum drink rules here so this creates an easier relaxed atmosphere without that ‘pay to play’ feeling.

Pete’s Candy Store actually did used to be a Candy Store many moons ago.

I give this event 4/5 stars …. ”A welcoming charm”

at petes candyPhoto Courtesy of : Azbo Drums


2.     The Bitter End : 147 Bleecker Street, New York, NY 10012 / Tel : (212) 673-7030

Taking place on a Saturday afternoon makes this open mic a great alternative to all those nightly affairs. Sign up is at 1pm and it runs until 6.30pm. Getting to the venue just a bit before 1pm can make all the difference for achieving a performance slot that’s higher up on the list, otherwise you could be number 20 plus before you know it and have a long wait whilst the rest of the crowd hog the spotlight. The very lovely Evan Kremin is your host and you’re in good hands with this guy as each week he’ll open proceedings with a thorough outline of what is to occur. He takes the time to sound engineer you and then turns photographer to snap you in full flow and on top of this you can get yourself a live recording on CD for just ten bucks if you give him the nod before you head on up to the mic. All photos are then displayed on the facebook page so you can save and download. A nice little piece of memorabilia for your scrapbook. You’re ensured a very warm welcome from him every time you attend and although the audience is predominantly like-minded musicians/performers (poets, comedians and spoken word are welcomed too) there is a good community feel here and your performance is actively listened to and appreciated.

Occasionally there is ‘live stream’ video taking place.

You can reach this ‘heart of Greenwich Village’ venue by taking the (Green) 4, 5 or 6 Train direct to Bleecker Street and then you have about a 7 minute walk to reach your entrance. There is no cover charge and no minimum drink purchase rule so this is another wonderful place where you can relax and not feel like you have ‘paid to play’.

One gripe to point out is that (in my personal opinion) the level of bar tending is below par. On three separate occasions (from the same member of staff) service emitted a ‘moodiness’ and ‘lack of customer appreciation’ … and the drinks are expensive. On one occasion I was charged $5 for a rank coffee and it was served with a scowl to boot. Not sure whether the bartender in question was just having ‘off’ days but thrice the service marred the otherwise loveliness of the experience.

This venue established itself in 1961 and is known as the oldest rock and roll club in New York City. The stage not only boasts a classic red brick backdrop but also has the most beautiful grand piano which has had many a great artist tickle its ivories ….. although this venue has a 230 crowd capacity as a nightclub it still has the ability to emit an intimate vibe on these Saturday afternoon jollies.  The historic venue is almost as iconic as its headliners having had legendary artists like Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Neil Diamond, Gavin DeGraw, Woody Allen, Billy Crystal, Norah Jones, Donny Hathaway, Curtis Mayfield, and thousands more grace the boards.

I give this event 3.5/5 stars …. ”Does what is says on the tin”

10906389_1528170694128018_4626317323952911230_n Photo Courtesy of : Evan Kremin


3.     Bijan’s : 81 Hoyt Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 / Tel : (718) 855-5574

This is a particular favourite. Bijan’s is a stylish, quaint and quirky place, has an open log fire and serves some of the best cocktails and cuisine for a fair price.  Bartender Ross is great at his job and always greets you with a welcoming smile and his service is second to none, with attention to detail being paid with every drink served. The Persian inspired food is delicious and after four visits I’d happily return again and again.  This place and the people within it aspire to offer the very best in hospitality and indeed succeed on many levels. The host of the open mic, which takes place every Tuesday night, is Sharief Hobley and this guy not only makes you feel welcome from the outset but also offers a genuine friendship into his community.  On top of this he is one heck of a musician. The quality of performers at this open mic will make you up your game tenfold. Sharief makes you feel cordially received into the music mix at this laid back, casual yet classy night. The stage may be small but the benefits of playing are big. You get listened to and appreciated and there are always a plethora of highly skilled ‘players’ ready to accompany you if you wish.  The night starts around 10pm and goes through till the wee hours so is great for the ‘night owl’ musician.

Pretty easy to access if you find your way to Dekalb Avenue metro station which can be reached via the B,Q and R Trains (Careful not to confuse this Dekalb stop with the Dekalb Avenue on the L Train). When you surface at street level you look for Fulton Street and walk for about 5 minutes until you swing a left onto Hoyt Street.  Another five minutes and you’ll find Bijan’s on your left hand side.

I give this event 5/5 stars ….. ”Sparkling”




4.     The Sugar Bar : 254 West 72nd Street #1A, New York, NY 10023 / Tel : (212) 579-0222

Even though I only went once I feel this open mic deserves a mention, if only for the high-caliber and possible epitome of music performance. The ‘Sugar Bar All Star’ house band’s competence and ability was nothing short of phenomenal and indeed the incredible musicians were referred to numerous times as ‘The Band That Can’ …. all singing artists were made of sheer greatness and my breath was taken away a little bit more each time a new act got up to perform. This is not for the fainthearted, notwithstanding however that all are welcome to this well renown NYC oasis.

Owned by Ashford & Simpson (of ‘Solid (As A Rock)’, ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’ and ‘I’m Every Woman’ to name but three of the many hits from this famous duo) and this is possibly a reflection to the distinction of each performer that graces the stage at this Venue. Again, another open mic that sets a standard beyond anything you may have experienced before. One thing is sure, it will be memorable.

For a relatively ‘new’ open mic (this event has run for the last three years) it’s already hugely popular and the clientele is booming.  It’s every Thursday Night, sign up at 9pm (one song only). Your host is Andre Smith, not a particularly welcoming master of ceremonies but a compellingly flawless and impressive singer nevertheless. No ‘singing to CD tracks’ but covers are allowed (indeed most of the singers performed covers) original material is openly welcome. There is a cover charge of $10 and drinks are expensive (so it really does have the ‘pay to play’ feel about it) although totally worth it for this golden opportunity. The bartenders, though not the greatest at first (I sat for twenty minutes before either one of the two on duty gave me the slightest flicker of acknowledgement) however warmed to me after I had spent a few bucks, played a song on stage and stayed to support the entire night …. by the end of the event we were on first name terms and all previous lack of attentiveness had been forgotten.

Located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan this venue is elegant and has an air of embellishment of the rich and famous, you can almost smell the stardust and trappings of fame in the soft furnishings ….. indeed stars such as Michael Douglas, Pattie La Belle, Queen Latifah, Stevie Wonder and Whoopi Goldberg have passed through the doors for some fine dining and sweet soulful entertainment.

It’s the 1, 2, or 3 (Red) Train that you’ll need to take, alight at 72nd Street and then it’s a brisk 3 minute walk (heading toward the Henry Hudson Parkway) and The Sugar Bar’s Sweet light will shine on you from the left hand of the sidewalk.

I give this night 4/5 stars ….. ”Impressive”


5.     Parkside Lounge, Parkside 317E Houston St, NY 10002 / Tel : (212) 673-6270

This is one of the NYC ‘landmark’ places for the eclectic folk and indeed it has the accolade of being a ‘old school music venue’. The open mic here takes place on a Monday night and is hosted by Mike Geffner of ‘The Inspired Word’ legacy. Sign Up is at 7pm and for a cover charge of $8 (per performer) you get the privilege of performing 2 songs or if you’re a poet, comedian or ‘spoken word’ artist you get 8 minutes.  It’s 21 plus age limit.   It’s pitched as comfy cabaret-style seating but if my memory serves me correct it felt less than comfortable with basic seating and tables but you do get waitress ‘table’ service (remember to tip, tip, tip!) and the drinks are pretty cheap in comparison to other venues on the circuit. There’s also a full back line including a honky-tonk piano and the raised stage is of good size ensuring your place in the entertainment ‘spotlight’.  Photographs are taken as you perform and these are then uploaded to ‘The Inspired Word’s’ website. Overall it was a nice atmosphere (improving as the night unfolded), the crowd were pretty good too with lots of encouraging applause and attentive listening.

1st Avenue is the nearest Metro Station you’ll need to alight at and then it’s a walk on the east side to your destination.

I rate this open mic with 3.5/5 stars …. ”inspiration in moderation”

10615495_750552345000374_3069705106739142209_nPhoto Courtesy of : Mike Geffner


6.     The Local, 1302 44th Avenue, Long Island City, NY 11101 / Tel : (347) 738-5251

Not only is this a great hostel for the intrepid traveller but it doubles as a great place for Open Mic and indeed Live Music Entertainment several nights of the week.  Hosted by the particularly beautiful Hannah Fairchild and the uber talented Matthew DeGroat (Drink More Records) this is definitely one to attend.  It may be a little out there right up in Queens, Long Island City but it’s a ‘cool’ neighbourhood and as with all of these venues, if you get to grips with the Metro System, you can bite your way through the whole of the Big Apple with relative ease.  This newly established event takes place every Monday night and sign up is 6pm.  Performances commence around 7pm and dependent upon the sign up you could get 3 to 4 songs which gives you the chance to shine!  There is no cover charge, no minimum drink rules apply and possibly one of the friendliest run bars on the scene.  There is always time for a personalised chat with the bar staff who go above and beyond to ensure you are made to feel welcome into ‘The Local’ community.  The night runs for as long as there are people singing and playing or up until 1am when the bar closes…… the atmosphere here is chilled, laid back, easy-going, and all those words that can be tagged to a stress free comfortable night.  Another great pointer is that you play to a global audience which makes for a refreshing alternative to being in the ‘thick’ of artistes at most other events.

I rate this Open Mic night as a 4/5 stars …. ”Hip n Happening”



7.     The Shillilagh Tavern, 4722 30th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11103 / Tel : (718) 728-9028

Now this venue is a good trek up to 46th street on the M or the R Train (Orange/Yellow) and then a probable ten to 15 minute walk to 30th Avenue. It’s worth it. It’s not a particularly glamorous venue but you get a real feel of the American neighbourhood here with the locals propping up the bar watching ice hockey as temperatures plummet … I ventured here once and will definitely return and that’s mostly due to the genuine niceness of the host, Justin Howard. A particularly gifted musician working the scene for other musicians, a great guy who meets your needs, wants and wishes without missing a beat.  Sign up is 9.30pm and the action starts at 10pm.  There is no cover charge and no minimum spend on drink, which again is a bonus because there is nothing more disheartening than having house rules landed on you before you can even think of relaxing into ‘play’ mode. Level of performance here is pretty good too and you get a sound engineer to boot.  Another dedicated musician was taking photographs from the sideline and uploading to facebook which again, helps build the portfolio.

Dogstar rates this one at 3.8/5 stars ….. ”Raising the Bar in Astoria”

1509688_918176558195058_7783902997113112483_n Photo Courtesy of : Andrew Sydor



Justin also has his own blog whereby he video’s and writes about performers at his open mic events ….


8.     Paddy Reilly’s Music Bar, 519 2nd Ave, NY 10016 / Tel : (212) 686 1210

You need to jump the 6 (Green) Train to get to this one and it happens twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday, sign up at 6.30pm and 5.30pm respectively.  No cover charge, no minimum drink rules and you’re usually lucky in getting 3 songs. In this traditional Irish pub the bar staff are lovely, you get service with a smile and you’re not prodded into having to buy drinks every ten to fifteen minutes (as is the case with some of the venues covered). Price of drinks is pretty comparable to the rest of the clan, if you buy ‘well’ drinks (basic vodka, gin, scotch etc) then you can probably look at $5 per drink (remembering there is the customary $1 per drink tip which edges your nightly quota ever upwards) …. but, if you get good service, then tipping is the polite thing to do, and bear in mind there’s always those wonderful ‘happy hours’ which can last anything up 180 minutes in some cases.  This pub has been going for 3 decades now and is definitely worth checking out in person and indeed their website as there is some notary facts about the interior decor that some of you will find of interest. I’ve been a couple of times and enjoyed the experience fully. I’m heading back there for another stage performance very soon.

This event gets 3.9/5 stars from me …… ”Infectious”


9.     Sidewalk Cafe, 94 Avenue A, NY 10009 / Tel : (212) 473 7373

This has to be one of the craziest open mic events I have ever bore witness to. It takes place every Monday night and sign up commences at 7pm. Doesn’t matter if you get there early to avoid the masses, cos the masses is what you get each and every week. The sign up process is quite long and drawn out whereby the host ‘Ben Kriegar’ (a very able and esteemed presenter) will give his opening speech to the swelling crowd (almost every single attendee being a musician of some level of skill) and once he’s done with that he directs you to form an orderly queue (which can get up to and beyond 40 persons) whereby you patiently shuffle forward until you come face to face with said ‘Ben’ who reaches both fists out to you and you have to utter the word ‘left’ or ‘right’ … he’ll then open said appointed fist to reveal a tiny piece of paper with a number on it … and that little number there denotes your performance slot …. I drew the well rounded ’33’ which equated a possible 3 to 4 hour wait for which I would get to play 2 songs, unless the ‘hour’ between ten and eleven arrived whereby proceedings would revert to a 1 song each rule …. I found this to be sheer madness …. who would want to wait up to that level of time span to play just one song??  but hey, people do exactly that, week in, week out …. this Open Mic has been going strong for years and the venue itself is famed for being the centre for Anti-folk and underground music  …. there’s a 2 item minimum (food or drink) but no cover charge.  Needless to say I didn’t wait for my No.33 placement but I did try the food and that was of a good standard, the barmaid was okay, she knew her job well enough and was courteous but not overly so, service with pizzazz was certainly missing.  Notwithstanding the venue is worth visiting, eat drink and be merry here, it does have potential great music nights going on …..

Jump the L Train (Grey) to 1st Avenue and take a shrift walk for ten minutes and you shall reach your destination.

Hmmmmm a 2/5 star from me ….  ”hours waiting to be filled in any way we choose”



10.     The Tea Lounge, 837 Union Street, Brooklyn

Finally at the end of the top 10 list this one has to get a mention albeit that it has now gone to the great Open Mic heaven in the sky.  It ran for years and was as cool as cool could be.  The ‘high’ly excitable host Nigel (aka Nige) was absolutely brilliant and although there was a hell of a lot of ‘mother f**king expletives’ being used in every sentence, this night was hugely popular, and rightly so.  Nige could whip the crowd into an instant frenzy with his down to earth genuine good time for all nature. The venue was in the heart of Brooklyn and in a madly paradoxical universe could have been twinned with ‘Leaf’ Liverpool UK…. There was no cover charge, no minimum buy, no rules at all really, other than you signed up at 7pm and when your name was called you were ready to take to the stage (well, the area of flooring in front of the packed lounging sofas and low rise tables) two songs or 8 minutes for any other performance…. you didn’t know what was gonna happen at any one point as the spectrum of performers ranged from rap artists to dancers to comedians to musicians to poets to storytellers to some good ole plain darn ranting peoples…. The bar staff were buoyant as was the atmosphere in general …. There was much protest at its closure but alas, to no avail … Word on the street is that Nige has ‘popped up’ again in a new midtown Brooklyn venue so i’m heading out the door with guitar strapped to my back to go find the motherf**ker …..

The Tea Lounge receives a posthumous 4.3/5 stars …. ”motherf**king brilliant

We Are Love


We are love, yes we are, we prove it year in year out, on new year’s eve especially so… Hence let us now set the continuum, the love momentum from whence it came, being human is to be in love… Love yourself, love your family, love your friends and enemies and love their friends and enemies too… It’s easy to do…avoid falling in and out of love, instead remain with love, in love and let love in….let’s set a new year precedent..
We are love, love we are, are we more lovin’… Yes we are….


The Space between a Rock and a Hard Place


When you’re waiting on some platform after just having metaphorically turned a corner in your parallel universe and the sun is shining on the greatest habit you have…. leaving a place where you felt safe and sound, where you experienced wishful thinking and dreaming, scrabbled eroticism and mildly confusing moments of madness … where seconds stood still as you clocked off in an instant…

….and in the time it took to wipe away an oxytocin laden tear, it was all over….

That’s the space between a rock and a hard place…

….. and so you hang loose and lucid for a pregnant pause, just because you can, and because it’s good for the soul, gives that spark to remember your abundance mentality and to further think about preserving and enhancing this as your train pulls in to the station on cue to take you somewhere new…

…and as you board the carriage of fulfilling adventures to come, Commit your golden rule to memory and then commit it to your life…

Never look back, stay in the space of now, remain happy and reinvented between those rocks and hard places….focus on what you have and what you can do to cultivate your positivity and lift the eyes upwards to look forward to where you are going..


The pursuit of happiness is one of those greatest of investments…

Extract from Wake up World

New Moon Mantra

“I am allowing myself the time to reflect deeply on who I wish to be in this world and what role I will play in the contribution to the building of our new reality… A reality where we are all connected, to eachother as well as to nature. A reality where nobody is forgotten or left behind.
I will be the change I wish to see in the world. I will not look to others to do this… I will be that change myself and inspire others to do the same. I have come into this world with a special destiny to fulfil, as has every living organism in and of this universe. I will embrace that special destiny by connecting to my heart. I will act from that place of LOVE in every moment. I will shine my beautiful light on the world, for I am the light. I am the change.


Happy Rubbish Day

Wow, human beings need to re-think how to move forward in a less throwaway, consumption hungry greedy rubbish-faced race.

Can it be possible that everyone is still ignorant to their production of rubbish? Does anyone even care about landfilling this earth with waste, litter, rubbish, excrement, feces, spew, defecation, rot, shit, garbage and bins bins bins…..

Hands up, how many of you less than good intentioned people have been atop a landfill site? Uh huh, just as I thought, a no show….


Well happy holidays… Turn a blind eye for sure, that’s damn humane of you..

…. Or….

give yourself a window of opportunity, induce your soul to a good deed and take an educational daytrip to a landfill site… Ground your feet on the spot, close your eyes and tune in, learn something profound about your race….. your race to lick, bite, chomp, chew and consume your way to your grave….

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself the question of where your rubbish rests in peace…?

For those of you who are lucky enough to make it to the countryside and see hillsides where sheep and cattle graze, take a moment to visualise under hoof the layers of grass-seed, soil and lime and then….


As deep levels of covetous conditioning creates toxic layers of crazed consumption amongst billions of misinformed Christmas customers one sighs in realisation that another ‘happy rubbish day’ is upon us. Thus it would be both prudent and wise to remember per se what exactly is it that one is celebrating? … Indeed a less than 24 hour celebration that shall surely turn to unhappy dust faster than it will take a new moon to light up those obliterating first days of January…. heavy hearts, empty pockets, fat bellies, weary saddle-bagged eyes … Fond thoughts of the treadmill loom on the horizon…

Jesus dying for our sins done little more than create monster sinners of us all and by the very virtue of our tinsel trimmed sinning we should have heaped upon our souls such remorse that is equal to our behaviour. When it comes to our carbon footprint we are illuminated as pathetic disgraceful heathens – whichever end of the social spectrum we rest our haunches – we are all as bad as eachother as we fuck the planet over once again this Christmas …

Ah, and “blessed may your children be, for where’s the truth, you’re just a slave, forever running out of time….”


To wish a happy yuletide to mother nature could be far reaching but here in 2014 it is impossible to do so as it would be a complete insult…


Little Losses Major Advances


Tenaciously threading a silken web through the winter subways and streets of New York City can both break and fix in a split second any long-term lingering need for self recognition, purpose or mental fortitude. There is simply no time or space for fear or angst whilst flowing serendipitously through this incredulously deep tiered traffic. Atop of the mental make or break scenario is the possibly beneficial instinct to know, manifest and secure certain levels of psycho physical strength and self-trust in this concrete jungle; for instance, in challenging emergency would one be able to temporarily paralyse an oncoming ferral attack per se?…or even begin to understand it…. would one know how not to panic when panic sets in – after all, each independent entity that we are must come to terms with the fact that we are never too far from the mercy of immediate interdependent critical mass human conscienceness. One cannot possibly know how reactive (positively or negatively) any one single human being is going to be…. where will that spilt second lead to? Will it induce adversarial possessive selfish defensive mistrust or could it, if handled with a balanced non judgmental understanding guide all to a new synergistic system whereby internal self security opens new possibilities for everyone. There comes a time when you have to ask yourself ‘is the army of me prepared?’

There is nothing more disconcerting than disorientation, nothing more awakening than fight or flight, nothing more futile than loss of will.

So from all loss has to come major advances….

Getting lost in NYC can be all about becoming found.

From the Brooklyn Bridge to the Ox Cart

When you get kicked whilst you are down it sometimes makes you not want to get up again, you feel an intrinsic level of worthlessness when you’re in the dark recesses of kerbside gutter thinking and a quiet choking supercedes any teeny tiny light of hope at the end of the poxy tunnel you’re supposed to be holding onto…. if however, you’re one of those lucky bastards who has an innate will that overcomes all hardships and kickings, you’ll get up again..
Lucky for me my will seems to be unstoppable.. I’m thousands of miles from home (if you can call a defunct postcode a home, it’s the only remaining piece of identity I can actually offer as to my current definition of ‘home’) and I’m reeling from a couple of mental kickings from folk that are oblivious to having a bit of consideration to another’s sensitivity and mental state of well being, on top of which I am without that special someone to pick me up, brush me down and hug and tell me that everything is going to be alright… So it was hardly surprising that I therefore found myself not wanting to get out of bed (yes I was lucky enough to have a temporary bed, with a roof over my head so it’s not all bad).. Not like the troubled souls who frequently ride the metro from one end to the other just so they can keep warm and sleep…


Herein, on a cold NYC morning in South Midwood, Brooklyn my general state of mind was glum blue with a pinch of my stalwart tendency to ideate on the passing to the other side and thus I had to have a serious chat with myself…(due to unforeseen circumstances I can no longer allow myself the pleasure of ideation for too long seeing as one of my siblings beat me to the banister and so as not to be double selfish towards my parents and remaining sibling I must re-wire quickly)… So, I sat up and asked myself why had I flown thousands of miles to such an amazing city to not make something of it…kicking or no kicking…

I like bridges.. They inspire me to jump.. Or leap.. Not necessarily literally (although I sense it a euphoric way to go) but the inspiration to ‘just do it’ was just what I needed to get me out from under my miserable covers.
So I got up, showered (another luxury) and dressed as warm as possible.. I put my headphones on, plugged into Nirvana and took my arse to the local downtown metro and made my way to the Brooklyn Bridge…

I alighted at Clark Street and decided to go eat, I hadn’t felt like eating earlier but for some reason my appetite had kicked in (always a good sign of positive re-wiring) and so I found my self in a little cafe on the corner of Pineapple Street…
Hot chocolate and a BLT bagel for under $5… An absolute cheering bargain..


With a renewed sense of self I put a spring in my step and made way to the stairs that would lead me onto the bridge..
Immediately upon stepping out onto the bridge I felt recovered from the ‘kicking whilst down feeling’ and again re-learned and understood how important ‘will’ is on the road to survival… Had I stayed under the sheets in darkness I would have missed the recuperation process of this milestone crossing…




… And the love locks


Made me think about whose love I’d like to padlock (if indeed that’s a healthy hearty thing to do),…

With spirit lifted I did then decide to text a newfound friend and enquire as to their Friday night plans and if I could tag along…

Through the course of the day and the power of the will my rather bleak start transformed into one of exhilaration and fun… I met said new friend and followed him to ‘The Ox Cart’, described by said new friend as ‘the nearest thing to a pub as you can get round here’… Turned out to be quaint and served better food than any UK pub I’d been to in recent times…


I liked the quirky menu and the cross continental eclectic mix of employee too… I laughed a lot and, for the record, have laughed a lot since… All’s well that ‘will’ allows…

Next bridging venture shall be the manhattan to get a shot of the brooklyn from the other side…

The Owl and I


The Owl is indeed a magnificent creature, I used to have a small trinket type one made of many little shells that had somehow made its way into my possession when I was in my first decade of life, probably from one of the seaside resorts I’d visited or maybe it was from The Isle of Wight… Well I remember how much I’d loved that novelty owl, how it had sat neatly amongst the other knick knacks on my window ledge, how I’d stared into its beaded eyes and wondered and imagined all sorts of greatness…that was until I overheard someone somewhere saying how unlucky and foreboding it was to keep anything resembling an owl indoors. Being so young and easily influenced and indeed scared of most of the big bad world I remember throwing my beautiful shell owl away and have never ever kept one in or near me since (apart from of course admiring their beauty on such occasions when they are put on ‘captive’ show for Joe public to hoot and coo over).
That is until now.
Oh how the conditioning of our young mind can stay with us a lifetime, ominously for good or evil.

For 16 days now I have been in the USA, have seen a fair bit of brooklyn, midtown manhattan, passed through washington DC, gigged in rockville, got spoiled in pennslyvania, had my feet tickled n pampered in Lititz, drank margarita’s in baltimore city, back with a bump to Lancaster and saw the arse end of the train station at philadephia to returning to south midwood. The one and only thing that has truly linked each place together, no matter where I’ve stayed or passed through is the fact that I have continously seen the symbol of ‘Owl’… In so many intriguing and intricate incarnations too, on bags, in mirrors, on barmaid’s t-shirts, as badges, logos, their feathers on hats, as cushion covers…and I have felt the need to know why I keep noticing this particular creature of mother nature.. I have kept meaning to look up its definitive role in my conscience.

Then two days ago I had what I deem to be a part breakdown of my mental state of health, it’s been a long time coming, I’ve been covering cracks and smothering smiles for a good while (pretty much during my whiskey ways I propose).. Anyway it did culminate in my ejection from lodgings and the unsurety of where I would rest my head in this big metropolis apple that I’m in…
How so it happened I have managed to end up in an attic in an amityville style looking house in a suburb of brooklyn close to its self named college, and here in this attic is a relatively small scale yet masterfully colourful and quite breathtaking library of books….


Small part of the whole library

And I have been given the privilege of being able to make use of it to my heart’s content…

Within the first hour of settling into my new lodgings I opened my mind that was crying for help and was drawn to the paperback “destined to be the personal leadership handbook of the decade”.. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R.Covey. This gem of a read is already proving to be a source of sound fundamental assistance and my frazzled sense of self is having several ‘aha’ moments.. I’m learning (and re-learning) about choice and how to be aware of the build up of years of conditioning that gets you thinking that your life is ‘just how it is’ cos ‘it has always been this way’, ‘its who I am’… Life made me this way jeeeez.. But uh oh, I’m living such a lie, it’s my reactions to the stimuli presented to me that is ultimately hurting me… I’m relaying devastating notions to myself which, in turn, have, over time ruined every single relationship I’ve had and continues (on a pretty fast turnaround scale nowadays) to crumble all current relations I’m effectively not having… I’m so independent I’m no longer necessary to anyone, who needs someone who doesn’t need anybody?

Ok, so after my tears of yesterday and my realisations of today I just took the time to look up the value of the Owl…

… a magical spirit who will help one to see through the darkness, through the illusions and see a real meaning to one’s state of mind, one’s actions… The Owl wants to guide toward fulfilling self potential… Because of its nocturnal self it can attribute to death, not always literal, moreover symbolic as with a major transition in life, important changes taking place or about to happen…

There was much more insight than the small soundbite I gave above but ultimately…
I’m to pay attention to these winds of change, leave behind my old habits of a destructive nature, and to not return to situations that are no longer of a positive service to my well being…

Now is the time to bring something new into my life…

The potential is far reaching… So. I’m going to spread my wings, flap around a bit and then settle down to get on with some magical creativity in the wee dark hours of this night…..