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

When we grow up most of us are unable to avoid questions like “Who are we ? , what sort of person are we ?,  are we introvert or extrovert ? etc etc …

We consider aspects like nature versus nature ” Oh you’re just like your mum/dad !…. NO….. ” and ultimately we often hear ourselves saying similar things to that which our parents have said to us…and we groan afterwards

I believe that nuture and nature can be happy bedfellows rather than adversaries. The more a young person tries to avoid ending up like their mum/dad the more likely they will become like them rather than their own person with their own thoughts. By focussing their thinking on NOT being like their mum/dad they ignore their own experiences which in tandem with their character mould their thoughts and reactions. They suppress the formation of their own personality by using the mould of the parents to act opposite but turn out the same.

We are born with our own individual character but can choose a personality to suit that character as we travel through life. If we abrogate our responsibilities  to create our own personality of choice or give in to outside pressures, or are prevented by not being giving the space and support to do it, others will form and create a personality for us, consciously or unconsciously. It will be at the behest of others or the mercy of the wind.

Slice a peach in half, what do you see ?  A stone

What dictates the shape of the inside, the stone or the flesh ? Which is harder ? The stone, and it is the stone which dictates the best shape of the peach. The flesh yields to the stone and fits around it so the outside surface is smooth as nature dictates. The peach does not have a rounded-character but a roundish peachy-personality. Corrugated shapes grate with other shapes but smooth gently haired shapes mix more peacefully. So the stone should be the kernel of a smooth inviting and attractive exterior, as the character of our mind should be should be the kernel of a smooth inviting and approachable person.

If we all went around behaving true to our character with little or the wrong personality covering it, introvert or extrovert, fierce or gentle, loud or quiet, there would be unwieldy relationships with others and huge amounts of friction between individual people……….. Oh yeh that’s a mite prevalent !!. However, if we are given the space, love and support when in our formative years to choose our own personality to adequately suit our innate character, we are much the happier for it. The consequence is happier relationships with others, those we naturally like and those we may dislike. The personality/flesh of the peach covers the distinct personality until it is necessary for that character to emerge when situations require it to do; ie moments of danger, great emotion, birth, death etc. Otherwise our character can remain hidden giving our personality form and strength to withstand life in the elements. Symbiotically the flesh of the peach has the softness and flexibility to give with the elements and protect the stone.

This is also true of us. Our character gives strength and purpose to our personality, backbone and direction so to speak. As the stone does with flesh of the peach. Neither works to it’s full potential without the other. Ever bitten on a peach stone ??? How easy would it be to pick a peach with your hand and eat it if it had no stone, just be a mushy mess.

A person with personality but no character is a mushy mess, and conversely a person with character but no personality is unbearable company.

Just a thought……….


J. Coughlan ©2007

Real magic is not a rabbit from a hat

it’s much more wonderful than tricks like that

real magic happens when life imitates art

and it simply begins with a dream at the start

it may be an image, some words or a tune

that comes to someone on a hill, in a room

or just driving along one day in their car

it may not matter where they are

as long as they know where they are inside

’cause dreaming, eyes open, there’s nowhere to hide

dreamers walk where angels fear to tread

rolling out a carpet of dreams instead

dreams and courage go hand in hand

when floating dreams come in to land

real dreamers know the difference between

the awake or sleeping human being

’cause reality’s a path they choose to cross

if they get it wrong they know the cost

the most amazing human achievements seen

all started as someone’s magical dream…..

J. Coughlan ©2008

They say that appearances can be deceiving

but sometimes things are just as they seem

there’s no sleight of hand,

someone says what they mean

there’s no elaborate subterfuge

no desire to exploit or abuse

no wool to pull over others’ eyes

no sting in the tail, no nasty surprise

just a simple desire to inform and inspire

to understand and reach out a hand

and offer a refuge, a safe place to land

’cause all of us know what it is to feel weak

times when we can’t find the right words to speak

all those moments when we can’t express

when we feel way below our best

and even though our friends may be there

it may mean even more for a stranger to care.


J. Coughlan ©2008

Specific continuity

July 8, 2012

“Specific continuity yields special linear relationships so obvious such higher random meaning gets simple, even near redundant, turning genuine educated deduction not termed doubt to obscure elementary yet typical lexicon, nascent to ………… OBFUSCATION….. ”     J Coughlan   29/01/2008


What does that mean ??…… It means…… ” Beware…. ”

when someone knows how to play with words, they can use the right words to disguise the fact that they’re describing that all the words start with the last letter of the previous one. This means that someone can cleverly use jargon to hide the true meaning of what they are saying and it not be obvious that they are doing so….



July 8, 2012

I meander and wander

above and beyond her

clothed in my wonder

with feelings left under

but not rent asunder

by error and blunder

by lightning or thunder

by thirst or hunger……..

but by scaling the crest

and looking out west

to the end of my quest

and a place fit to rest

for my heart just so blessed

still beating in my chest

having passed such a test

in ways never guessed

by others or me, lest

I buckle when pressed

and deliver not my best

before others unimpressed……

No, that won’t be the case

I won’t quit the race

for a risk-free place

to save feelings, and face

and fake my myspace

I’d rather replace

my pride with some grace

remove bitter taste

and insert gently laced

words, carefully prefaced

with images lovingly placed

by cursor, copy and paste.

J. Coughlan ©2008

Water drips and slides and gushes

slipping over stones down slopes it rushes

until it meanders swaying this way and that

as the gradient lessens and lessens to flat

where at last it finds it’s natural level

beneath the ground or past the shore pebble

if you look beyond detail you may glimpse the devil

but water….blessed water….will find it’s own level.

J. Coughlan ©2008