Our individual futures are an evolving creation,

potentially a full projection of our dreams….

though if we decline to dream at all, or dream weakly,

we then leave our personal futures to the mercy of others,

whose dreams may be detrimental or even calamitous to us,

as unfortunately, it is not the most wonderful which prevail

but the strongest and toughest dreams which come to fruition.

To ensure that our personal dreams come true,

we must first invest them with intention, sincerity and honesty.

Our own personal dreams need not be likely, or even probable,

but they must be POSSIBLE, within the confines of natural laws.

Dreams that extend outside the perimeters of natural law

have a name, they are called FANTASIES.

If someone forces a fantasy to assume the form of a dream,

then it can only precipitate a negative end for themself and others involved.

When we dream, and dream with all our heart, much becomes possible.

When we refuse to dream, the dreams of others subsume our futures.

The process of atrophy governs the fact that unless we exercise the

projection of our dreams we will never escape our past or our limitations,

and our imaginations will wither and our dreams evaporate.

The only reliable ladder we have available to us is one built of dreams and love.

J. Coughlan ©2007


“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

Albert Einstein (in English : Onestone)


July 12, 2012

I’m sat here quite late, just thinking ….reflecting

on a few things a dear friend recently said

about the effect we have on each other’s lives

and without that connection where our lives would have led

it’s just not possible to remain unaffected

by those who change from acquaintance to friend

as we cross or synchronize each other’s orbits

and see our direction veer, tilt or bend

sometimes we feel we’re going the wrong way

we forget that in space even light can twist

and we are not going the wrong way at all

if we have faith we’ll get there if we persist

I can truly attest to all of this

and I’ve seen it happen before my eyes

where life and reality have imitated art

much to an individual’s surprise

so when I wonder ” What does it matter ?

What good does it do, all this poetry ?

What difference does it make to those I love ?”

I recall a friend saying :

” John… it matters to me ! ”


J. Coughlan ©2007

Often people are afraid to think

because when they do they start to sink

down to all those murky depths

remembering those times they stared and wept

and pondered on life’s mysteries

like why he or she ” no longer likes me”

so they spend their time seeking distraction

searching not through thought but action

which without thought is impotent

leaving them without answers but spent

now doubting action as they doubted thought

to leave their hearts so less than wrought

neither thought nor action is ever enough

to hide a fearful human bluff

they always work far better combined

because that is how they were both designed

we cannot live without mind or heart

we cannot use them both apart

they must work in tandem to work at their best

as with hearts and minds, we have been blessed.


J. Coughlan ©2007


July 12, 2012

Hope is forever, Hope is eternal

Hope is your sister, Hope is fraternal

Hope is your father, Hope is your mother,

Hope is your friend, your acquaintance, your lover,

Hope is each kindness you offer and borrow,

Hope is each bitterness postponed til tomorrow

Hope is the sum of all your dreams

Hope is realising all is not what it seems

Hope is finding a key under a stone

Hope is discovering ……..you are never alone……….

J. Coughlan ©2007

Anyone who lives and loves properly strays into areas where they get hurt. Pain and life go together like Laurel and Hardy, where Hardy is hurt by Laurel’s innocence and Laurel is hurt by Hardy’s lack of innocence. But then….after you watch sketch after sketch, you wonder …who is the innocent and who is the knowing ??? Is Laurel’s childlike innocence wisdom, and Hardy’s adult knowing ignorance ???

Pain is a very misunderstood force and stimulus. It means nothing out of context and  sometimes everything within context. The contemporary, prevalent, and I think foolish, attitude is : PAIN IS BAD. I am in no position to comment on the aspect of pain in childbirth, I am neither qualified nor gendered to answer but I can ask. I once asked a close friend, a nurse,  who bore a lovely baby girl after 11+ hours of painful labour ” Was the pain bad ? ” she replied ” No, it was painful but worth it.”

I have never thought of pain as bad……… unpleasant, discomforting, sometimes excruciating : YES, but bad ?? NO, unless it is purely for another’s pleasure, the vehicle for another to impose a sense of power, or gratuitous.

Life and pain go hand in hand, but should be in proper measure. Life without pain is diluted and usually rendered meaningless like the Eloi in H G Wells’ famous novel The Time Machine. The human being is emotionally, physically, spiritually designed to cope with pain, not excessive pain but proportionate pain.

Pain reminds us that we care about us and about others. It is a tool of life that is too easily misused and abused. Used in the right way it is life-enhancing and not just an affirmation that we are alive.

So if we live life properly and love properly, by necessity we accumulate Bio-Shrapnel, which is simply the remnants of situations where we have loved and lived. Some shrapnel works it’s way to the surface and leaves of it’s own accord while other deeper shrapnel lies deeply within us belieing it’s presence until we hear a certain song, see a particular image or smell a distinctive smell and we are transported back to a memory, reminding us that not only do we live, but that we have lived.

Bio-Shrapnel may make us wince, smile, frown or simply gaze into the distance, but it always makes us feel.

J. Coughlan ©2007

I’ve been thinking lately about the CLICHE and I’ve come to the conclusion that it is an entirely misrepresented animal.

A cliché is a phrase, expression, or idea that has been overused to the point of losing its intended force or novelty, especially when at some time it was considered distinctively forceful or novel. The term is generally used in a negative context.


Now, wait a minute there…. a cliche never let down anybody. It is we the user who doesn’t live up to the cliche, that is why it fails. The biggest cliche there has ever been is…… I LOVE YOU. Well if a 3 year old turns around tomorrow morning and says it to their mum for the first time, does it lose any of it’s force for it being the the lovetillionth time this exhausted, overused phrase has been used ??? NO


Cliches never let us down, we let them down. Time and time again.


Thank you……. ( another cliche ) 🙂

Turn the other cheek ?

July 12, 2012

Yeh, I can go with that, ” Turn the other cheek ”

I understand the bit about gentle and meek

fighting fire not with paraffin but with soothing balm

dampening down not escalating the chance of harm

yeh, that’s ok when talking on behalf of oneself

but what if the threatened is someone-else

then that is replaced by ” the good samaritan ”

standing up for another, not acting a charlatan

I leave the rest to a wise and good man

to express it far better than I ever can……

J. Coughlan ©2007

” First they came for the Jews
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for the Communists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a Communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak out
because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for me
and there was no one left
to speak out for me. ”                Martin Niemoller 1946

It’s true that cream rises to the top
that we sow what we reap whatever the crop
that the best friend to have is truly yourself
wrapped in a blanket of loved-ones and health
character is set but personality we can choose
we decide to grow and win, or shrink and lose
our best and worst aspects are reflected around
by those in our orbit through sight, action and sound
to those I love within and without, both there and here
persevere, persevere, persevere………..persevere.

J. Coughlan ©2007

Strengths and weaknesses

July 10, 2012

Reflections on strengths and weaknesses
and how they fit into our whole
how often they seem to simply swap places
switching to adopt the opposite role
So what dictates whether character trait
appears as strength or weakness thus
no trait can be seen in simple isolation
circumstances dictate it as a minus or plus
Of all the factors determining effect
timing and environment play a crucial part
in the battle involving our strengths and weaknesses
on the canvas of the human mind and heart

J. Coughlan ©2007