Nobody Knows

Self-Portrait in Black and White

Nobody knows the world is ending
Nobody knows we’re all alone
Nobody knows how we got here
Nobody knows the way back home

Nobody knows the pain you live with
Nobody knows the masks you wear
Nobody knows the promises you’ve broken
Nobody knows the scars you bear

Did you think love would save you?
Did you think everything would just work out?
Don’t you know life’s not like that?
Don’t you know what it was all about?

Nobody knows if Jesus is coming
Nobody knows if God is dead
Nobody knows the clock is ticking
Nobody knows the end is up ahead

Nobody knows what it has cost you
Nobody knows the lies you tell
Nobody knows how hard it is to keep going
Nobody knows how far you fell

Did you think you would find forgiveness?
Did you think you would explain it all away?
Don’t you know some things can’t be forgiven?
Don’t you know there’s nothing you can say?

Nobody knows the war is coming
Nobody knows it’s already too late
Nobody knows the game is over
Nobody knows how to change their fate

Nobody knows the prayers you whisper
Nobody knows the secrets you keep
Nobody knows everything you’ve lost
Nobody knows why you weep

Did you think it was going to be easy?
Did you think you would just start again?
Don’t you know your sins have to be paid for?
Don’t you know there was a price, even then?

Nobody knows how the inmates took over
Nobody knows who’s running the show
Nobody knows who’s going to save us
Nobody knows how the future will go

Nobody knows why I still love you
Nobody knows why I hate you too
Nobody knows why it’s so hard to forgive
Nobody knows what we’ve been through

Nobody knows
No nobody knows

Photo: Self-Portrait in Black and White © CJ Levinson 2016
Poem licenced under Creative Commons

Sunset 17/09/17


A golden sun
Reflects off the water,
Warms my face
On this Spring day

It was a lovely warm day today. The weather was lovely all weekend actually and I thought I’d go down to the lake to catch the sunset and mark the end of the weekend.

I took this while I was down there, just as the sun was starting to go down over the hills. I’m pleased with how the photo came out. The sun was lovely and warm and the colours were beautiful. I think it captured the scene pretty well overall.

Definitely a nice way to end the day.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2017

Belmont Lions Park Sunset

IMG_5919

As the sun sets
On another day
I let my thoughts drift
Far away

I took this yesterday evening while walking home after doing some shopping. I hadn’t been expecting to do any photography but luckily I had brought my spare camera with me anyway so I was still able to take a few shots when I reached the lake and saw this lovely sunset.

The sky was really spectacular and I tried to get down low to show a bit of a different perspective and get in as much of the sky as I could. It was interesting trying to crouch down, keep my balance and compose with a camera in one hand and four bags of shopping in the other but I think it came out pretty well in the end!

Photo and haiku © CJ Levinson 2017

 

The Truth About Love

Footprints in the Sand

It’s half three
In the morning
And I find myself
Thinking of you

Lying here
I cannot help but wonder
If you still
Think of me too

Did you know that
I would have
Followed you anywhere
You asked me to?

I would have gone
Through Hell’s gates
If it would have
Brought me closer to you

But now
So much has changed
And this is one place
I cannot follow too

How I wish
I could hear your voice
Because I am lonely
And miss you

But what would I say
When it still hurts
And there is nothing
I can do?

I wasn’t looking
For love,
Never thought I would find
Someone like you

But that is love
And when it comes along
There is nothing
You can do

You made me
Feel special
Like I could do anything
I wanted to

I felt safe
And warm in your arms
And I knew
That you wanted me too

Now I feel
Lonely and cold;
It is over
And I could not reach you

We hurt each other
And you pulled away
And just like that,
We were through

And I know
That I must be strong
And find a way
To live without you

And I know
Life will go on
But in my heart
I will always love you

For you
Are my heart and soul
And whatever comes
That will always be true

So if
You ever think of me
Please think kindly
As I will of you

And if
You ever speak of me
Please remember
What I meant to you

And please
Have no regrets;
One day everything ends,
Even love too

What matters
Is everything we shared
And the joy
We held on to

And I do not know
If one day
I will ever find
Another you

I loved you
With all of my heart
And I am sorry
It all fell through

But the truth about love
Is it may not last;
Trust
Is all we can do

And so
If this is goodbye
Then I wish you well
And happiness too

May you have
A wonderful life
And find someone
To share it with you

And please
Do not worry for me
I will be fine
And find my way through

One day
I will love again;
I am just sorry
It will not be you


I wrote this poem over a few night this week. It was good being able to let it out and I wanted the poem to be reflective rather than sad, which I think comes across.

Originally it wasn’t meant to be a series of haiqua but eventually it took that shape structurally as it seemed to give the poem the simple, lyrical flow I wanted it to have.

I took the photo during the trip to New Zealand last year. It was one of my favourites from the trip.


Photo: Footprints in the Sand © CJ Levinson 2015
Poem licenced under Creative Commons

The Old Man and the Boy

Man By the Lake

On a beautiful clear day
Two people sat on a park bench
An old man and a young boy
Watching the world pass by

What is it like to be a child?
The man asked the boy
It’s been so long I cannot remember
What it felt like to be so young

Being young is not so bad,
The boy replied to the man
It can be hard and frustrating
But I know I have much to learn

And what is it like growing old?
The boy asked the man
Does it scare you to know
You are running out of time?

Growing old can be difficult,
The man answered the boy
But not so hard as living with regret
And knowing you have wasted your life

And how do you feel about adulthood?
The man asked the boy
Do you know what you want to be
When you grow up?

I never want to grow up,
The boy replied to the man
Just because I will get older doesn’t mean
I can’t stay young at heart

And how do you feel about love?
The boy asked the man
Have you ever fallen in love
And did it last?

Love can break your heart,
The man said to the boy
I loved once and swore I never would again
And now I am alone

Whatever you do, don’t be like me,
The man told the boy
There are few things worse in life
Than living with unfulfilled dreams

I promise, I won’t be like you,
The boy said to the man
I will make something of my life
And even if I fail, at least I shall have tried

The old man nodded and they sat in silence
As people walked by around them
Oblivious to their conversation
Lost in their own lives


I wrote this poem over a couple of nights this week. For a fairly short poem it was quite challenging to write, more than I thought it would be.

I felt the overall structure of the poem was important and I spent a long time refining each stanza. I specifically wanted to try to tell the story in a minimal way so as not to distract from the conversation and finding that flow was probably the most difficult part of the poem. I like how it came out in the end.

Something I often think about is if I could somehow give advice to my younger self, what would I say? That’s what initially inspired the poem and the boy and the old man are meant to the same person, years apart.

They are not meant to be me, however, so much as a reflection of society in general and the way we are often forced to conform from a young age and the path that sets us on for the rest of our lives.

I’m not sure what I would say in that situation but I suspect it would be a variation on some of what the old man says. I would probably tell myself to not be afraid to take chances as you’ll never know where they might take you.

The photo is one I took a couple of years ago in Sydney’s Centennial Park. I think it suits the poem well. I like to think this is the man the boy eventually grows into, on his way to becoming the old man one day in the future.


Photo: Man By the Lake © CJ Levinson 2014
Poem licenced under Creative Commons

Blood Moon

Blood Moon

A blood red moon
Hangs in the night sky,
A rare sight
Precious few have seen

The blood moon from earlier this evening. I’d been looking forward to the eclipse all evening but was a bit worried for a while as it was quite overcast but luckily it cleared up enough to see it and for me to take some photos.

Apparently it’s quite a rare occurrence and I couldn’t help thinking afterwards about how relatively few people have seen it across the centuries and what they must have made of it. It must have been quite startling for people from less advanced cultures to witness. But captivating as well. The kind of thing you can easily imagine might have created stories and myths over time.

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2014

Drifting Clouds

Cloud in Black and White

How would it feel
To float like a cloud
In the sky?
Could I see heaven?

Clouds drifting in the sky. I’ve always found clouds interesting and can watch them for hours sometimes, just sitting and thinking, watching them go by in the sky.

There are some more photos on my Facebook but I like this one the best. I thought these formations were rather interesting and I like how they came out in black and white – it reminds me of ink in water or smoke drifting in the air.

Photo details: Olympus OM-D E-M1 + 40-150mm f/4-5.6
1/500 sec @ f/5.0, ISO 200

Photo and haiqua © CJ Levinson 2014

Come Home

The Long Road Home

Sitting alone with my thoughts
I feel the tears come again
They run down my face
Like rain in the desert
And I’m not ashamed
For I’ve seen stronger men cry
For far less than this
And so I cry and I cry
Until the tears fall no longer
And then I stare at your picture
And wonder where in the darkness
You have gone?

I just hope that
Wherever you’ve gone
You’ll come home soon

All I wanted was to help you
But you pushed me away
Time and again
Like I meant nothing
Until my tears became fortresses
To protect me from your armies of pain
You hurt me so much
That I didn’t think it could hurt any more
And now I know I was right about everything
But it brings me no comfort
I just wish that you’d heard me earlier
So that perhaps we wouldn’t be here today

And I hope that
Wherever you’ve gone
You’ll come home soon

And I know that deep in your heart
You didn’t mean the things you said
And I know that in your right mind
You never would have done it
But something deep inside
Has got its hold on you
A monster eating away
That’s filled you with lies and deception
But I know it’s not you
And so I forgive you
I just hope that in time
You can forgive yourself too

And I hope that
Wherever you’ve gone
You’ll come home soon

It would break my heart if you ended your life
So we’ll find a way through this together
I can’t promise not to be angry
Or not to cry or feel betrayed
But I promise to still be there
And I’ll take your hand and lead you forward
And walk with you through the darkness
Into the light
And whatever the future brings
We’ll face it one day at a time
And get through it together
So please come home soon

Please
Wherever you’ve gone
Come home soon


I wrote this poem over the course of the last week. I wrote it in two sessions and it’s probably the fastest poem I have ever written; it took about two hours to write and each time I sat down, the words poured straight out and needed very little editing, which is unusual for me.

The poem really started as a way of processing a very difficult situation my family has been going through these last few weeks. A member of my family tried to commit suicide two weeks ago; while I don’t want to say who it was publicly, it was someone who is very close to me and it was an extremely close call and it has left me absolutely devastated.

It came without any real warning and I’ve been going through a mix of different emotions since, predominantly shock, and also anger. The anger isn’t necessarily over the attempt itself but over other factors as well and while it’s a natural response, I realised several days ago that I haven’t really been processing it properly and the anger has been making my pain a lot worse as well and it’s something I have to try to let go of. So writing this poem has been my way of trying to do that and to accept what happened.

The poem is probably the most personal one I’ve written and is based on my own thoughts and feelings but I’ve also tried to make it so that hopefully everyone can see a bit of themselves in it too. I wanted it to feel personal but unique as well so that hopefully everyone who reads it can get something different out of it.

The photo by the way is one of the first street photos I took, of a man who seemed a bit lost in his own world. He didn’t even notice me taking the photo and I thought the scene suited the poem.

I hope you like the poem and that it brings some hope and beauty to a dark situation, one I know many people find themselves in. Mental illness and chronic depression are terrible ordeals, not just for those suffering them but their families as well. ~ CJ.


Photo: The Long Road Home © CJ Levinson 2011
Poem licenced under Creative Commons

Sleepless Night

Crescent Moon

A long, sleepless night:
My mind wanders far away
In search of answers

Another shooting
More death, violence,
And tears:
Will it ever end?

Life, love, death,
A never-ending cycle –
Is this truly
All there is?

Good and evil
There is no such thing:
We all hide monsters
In our hearts

The clock strikes midnight
Shadows spread across the walls:
Time waits for no one

Silence surrounds me,
An ocean of
Nothingness
I cannot escape

My heart aches –
I loved her more
Than words can say
But it was not enough

Moving on
Is a long and winding road:
I must find
My own way home

A warm summer breeze
Whispering through the treetops
Like a lover’s sigh

Another Christmas
Bright lights shining
On the tree:
It is not the same

Morning:
Haze hangs in the air
While music drifts
From somewhere far away

In the distance
A yellow sun
Begins to rise:
At last I find rest

Birds sing in the trees
Children laugh and play outside:
Life goes on once more


I’ve been working on this poem for a few days and finished it while I was still awake early this morning. I’ve been feeling quite down the closer it’s got to Christmas; I guess I’ve had a lot on my mind after an eventful year and writing this poem has helped me to sort through a lot of what I’ve been feeling, as well as trying to make sense of the terrible events in Connecticut from earlier this week as well.

The poem is inspired by a lot of things – the shooting in Connecticut, the end of a recent relationship, my grandmother dying – but it’s primarily meant as a collection of thoughts and feelings, the kind of thoughts that enter your mind in the middle of the night when you can’t sleep and your mind just wanders. In that way it’s also a bit of a companion piece to another poem I wrote, The Sound of Midnight, which explored the same idea at a different point in my life.

The photo is a photo I took of a crescent moon last year. I haven’t taken many photos of the moon as it’s one of the more difficult subjects to capture as it’s so bright and you need a very long lens to capture it properly. This was actually the first shot I took… not too bad for a first try. I’ll have to take some more at some stage now that I know what to do!


Photo © CJ Levinson 2011-12
Poem licenced under Creative Commons