Stepping Up

Stepping Up

By JFarrell



The last time I worked was 31st March 2000

This Sunday, 6th August 2017

I will be a barman at Wembley Stadium

For the start of the football season

My first day of work in a long time


From waste of space drunk to the FA Community Shield

In a little over three months

Can I really change? Can I make it?

Leave my alcoholism and past behind

And move into a new, brighter future?


The stadium seats ninety thousand people

I get anxious being around just one person

I am absolutely ‘bricking it’

But if I can cope with this

I’ll be able to cope with anything


I am 49 years old

Facing fears in a major way

Forcing my life into a new direction

I am stepping up to the plate

Let’s hope I don’t suck



Author's Notes/Comments: 

come on Arsenal

The nautic art of letting go

By the side of the Sea 
She gives me glimpses 

of distance lost 
Of figures dancing 
upon mirrors beyond time 

Through thought 
I am writing calligraphic lines 
that make the water glisten 
in orbits of reflection 

Two white swans answer 
swimming closer towards me 
At first glance they offer me 
their compassion 

One by one they lower 
their ivory necks 
One sips in fresh water 

The other curls up 
resting its head 
upon it`s featheredness 

From it`s crib 
the swan 
beholds me 

It sails like a small 
white boat 
behind the other 

This moment 
was meant 
that way 

Old Dog, New Tricks

Old Dog, New Tricks

By jfarrell


Spent 20 minutes trying

To get the ironing board to stand

Without falling down

10 minutes to work out

The steam might be fun

But, that hot,

It’ll burn my shirts

And just shy of 2 hours

To iron 4 shirts

Without burning the house down.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?


I will teach myself

How to build a website;

Though, still much to learn

I did learn how to make a blog

And I reckon I can learn a language

Or three.

Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?


At 49, I’ve recently learned that I CAN learn;

And I am going to learn anything


Who says you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?


Author's Notes/Comments: 

yep, still learning

Stop telling me I can’t change the world

Stop telling me I can’t change the world

By JFarrell


Stop telling me I can’t change the world.

You know why one man can’t change the world?

Because everyone tells him he can’t.


Not me!


I am trying to act better.

How I act has an affect on how others act

And so on…



A butterfly flaps it’s wings here,

There has the monster of all storms.


You are reading my poem

That will have some effect on what you feel, what you think

However insignificant



I can and am changing the world.

And I just proved it.


You can change the world too.

Let’s make it better




Author's Notes/Comments: 

proved it



By JFarrell


Look at your hands,

No, not glance and glance away

Look! Really look!

They just look like hands, right,

Anyone’s hands.

Look again.


You know who’s hands looked

Just like yours do?

Albert Einstein; Joe DiMaggio,

Marie Curie, Nina Simone

Neil Armstrong, Muhammed Ali

Rosie Parks, Jada Pinkett


Look at your hands

What might they do

If you really tried

Save lives, change the world?

Your hands hold so much power

So much potential

Go and see


Author's Notes/Comments: 

look at your hands

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Five days

Five days

By JFarrell


The journey from yesterday to today

Has been a long one

Couldn’t sleep

My mind afire

My insides tearing me to shreds

But as the rising sun

Slowly dispels the fog of the night


I made it

This is day 5, year 0

I am still sober

Despite how my body threatens me

I know the can of beer in my fridge

Will instantly make me feel better

But I realise now

It’s relief is an illusion

With a high price


I choose to make a better choice now

Now is all I have

It’s only five days

But I have not been sober

This long

In over fifteen years

Five days!

Fifteen years!

I don’t recognise myself,

This strong



Author's Notes/Comments: 

i made it


11 may 2017



By JFarrell


(what happened? My life went mad)



I attended my first job interview this century;

And, they are giving me a chance,

It’s just astounding.



As long as I go to bed sober tonight,

Will be my longest time sober in 15 years

And, that’s just unbelievable.


I may be, finally, changing,

Becoming a better person,

Having a better life;

Equally, I may have lost the plot totally,

And headed for the biggest fall,

Just another waste of space drunk.


I don’t know,

I can’t see clearly,

It’s all too unbelievable;

But, I don’t care,

I’m going to enjoy it,

And dream, for the first time, of a really bright future.


(this is all true, every word, my life went mad)


Author's Notes/Comments: 

it's true



By JFarrell


I’ve spent all my life

Crying over yesterday

Worrying over tomorrow


They do not matter


Like the sun

Breaking through the clouds

It dawned on me

Yesterday is gone

Tomorrow never comes

Now is all I

Any of us have



Though I cannot do what I want do now

If now I make a better choice

Don’t get drunk now

And keep making that better choice

In the now

A now will come when I can do

What I want to do now


Note: this is my 2nd day on the wagon, sober; if i make it through until Friday sober, it will be the longest time I’ve been sober in 15 years.

I wasted a lot of now, choosing to stay drunk, and I can not get all that wasted time back, I could be flying to Alabama now, if I had spent that time better



Author's Notes/Comments: 

now is all we have

First Step

First Step



It’s a long way from here, London,

To Alabama;

But, I did take the first step today,

I stopped drinking.


It is the first day, who knows?

Maybe tomorrow I’ll fail;

But, here, now, I am sober,

And tomorrow will be a new day.


The end of alcohol is just the first step,

And between here and Alabama,

And there are many many more,

And many other bad habits to end.


The first step is taken;


You’re going to see me walk, run

You’re going to see me sprout eagle’s wings and fly.


Author's Notes/Comments: 

watch me, i'm gonna fly

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