Hurt (happy when I see you). A poem.

I hurt when I see you,
a mad combination of anger and pride.
Selfish and shallow,
Tear-filled and callow.
So glad you’re doing well;
I know you wallowed for awhile,
as indeterminate as I.
Now, you’re bouncing,
a supercharged rubber ball,
denying the laws of physics.

I’m happy when I see you,
but know I see right through you.
Liquid transparency in our eyes,
like life and death combined.
Memories fade but the rearview
ghosts will always stay the same.
I’m glad you made your way
and left me wandering
in front of headlights,
a deer awaiting the next
bull bar and asphalt kiss.

I hurt, but I’m happy when I see you.

Maybe you do, too.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

First Man. A movie review.

First Man is, hands down, the best movie I have seen in the last five years. It’s in my top 10 movies of all time. It’s that good.

First Man is the story of America’s race to get a man on the moon before the Soviets in the 1960’s. But more than that, it’s the very personal story of astronaut Neil Armstrong (Ryan Gosling) coming to terms with the loss of his daughter, and his wife (Claire Foy) facing her husband’s emotional distance and the prospect of losing him at any moment.

Armstrong is isolated and driven, and First Man brings this home in dramatically awkward fashion—he interacts with friends, workmates and family, and never connects in any real way. He’s methodical and smart, his emotionless level-headedness ideal for missions. Gosling gives a suitably understated performance, with Foy matching him in intensity.

Director Damien Chazelle has created a work of filmic art. The opening flight scene and those in space are incredibly harrowing. The ancient tech and DIY feel of the rockets makes you wonder how the astronauts got anywhere—it’s not surprising there were so many fatalities. The use of handheld video camera gives the movie a documentary feel, with many scenes filmed in intense close up, emphasising the intimacy and tension.

First Man is not for those who thought Venom was a smart film. It’s intense, painful, gripping, intelligent and moving. It’s everything good movies should be, and it needs to be seen on the big screen.

Rating: A+

Unforgiven. A poem.

Have I forgotten who I am?

Not when every turgid thought
drags the ocean bottom,
the silt clouding my mind
with all the pain I wrought.

Not when my perpetual aching heart
is torn in two with every memory
of every rancid moment
from dusk to red-eyed start.

Not when every apology
is a litany recited over,
every prayer a reminder
of wasteland perpetuity.

No, I won’t forget myself,
and I won’t forgive myself,
until you tell me so
and release me from this hell.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Quake. A poem.

I have spoken long with you
so many, many times,
each airy conversation
measuring low on a Richter scale
that never rises much
beyond the surface—

no evidence of my success
just artful whimsy
it never shakes your earth.

Just once I’d have you see beyond
the artifice I’ve set in place,
to the real, the bold, the dreams,
the grace—
let it grind tectonically
and crumble these placid walls
to reveal what’s behind the facade.
To be a quake worth waiting for.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Upstart Photographer: Beach Cave

Photo. Poem. They sort of go hand-in-hand.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Beach Cave. A poem.

Your wailing darkness,
meets with the implacable tide
in a passionate nightly affair;

a restless sculptor of eons,
she licks your ebon sides
and strokes your clay;

makes you fit for audiences
with kings and queens
of the brightest day,

whose presumptive impressions
ironically last no longer than
the briefest of sparks.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Laidback DM: Barrow Mound – Free Map!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get.

This week: The Barrow Mound of the Ghengar Urgs

The Ghengar of the mightiest Orc War Band to ever plague the world was put to rest in a burglar-proof  barrow mound, his many Urg Leaders buried with him. Magical energies seeped up from the underworld and re-animated the bodies, changing them into Wights, Zombies and Unger Dogs; the Ghengar himself was transformed into an undead Deathlok. For a hundred years they have waited for release.

Recently, an adventuring party came across a strange Orcish statuette, one that sages informed them fits the oddly shaped depression in the barrow mound’s door…

Barrow Mound of the Ghengar Urgs Map - Laidback DM - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

P.S. I’m writing a 48-page book of dungeon maps, adventures, tables and tips! Coming soon!

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Curio. A poem.

A curio of times past,
rolling around a sea
of fingers and palm,
undulating on currents
of virtual memory
and static electricity.

Tactile and fertile,
like an ex-lover
with time to kill
and an ever-present urge
to explore old avenues.

Tempting as that may be,
some curiosities
are better cast into
the trash of entropy.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Intoxicated. A poem.

I was so into you—
every thought, every move,
was a riot of ecstasy
that shook me to my core.

More than destiny,
more than waking dreams
or midnight fantasies.
You were the bottle
and I was the alcoholic
reaching for just one more drink;
just a crazy intoxicant,
a fevered dream
that burned me up,
like a tenement fire
in a city-lost soul.

But like every addict
I had to come back down.
And when I finally touched ground,
shivering and drenched,
the cold light of day
reflected in my pain,
I realised the time had come
to give up the drink
and become a better whole.

And you?
I guess you became
someone else’s need,
someone else’s game.

Someone else to blame.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Humble. A poem.

The essence of humility
Is all I ever need of be
Humble is as humble does
The other side of piety.

I am forever in Your debt,
my honour long impugned, you see.
You paved the road with grace for me
to be remade from aimless sin.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Shiver. A poem.

This shiver, a sliver
of ions up my spine,
a delectable point
of contention on my mind
shaping continuities
of ecstasy, baking
hormones in my pituitary,
activated by your touch
in mine.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

My Son My Sun. A poem.

My love for you is bottomless without end infinite it is sunbeams and moonbeams and cluttered thoughts laughter and pain you are my sun and my moon and all the cliches in between and while your light shines I will forever bask in it yeah I’ve screwed up your life at times that’s what parenting is all about but hopefully I’m not doing it as much you can be a pain in the ass but I know you’re just working things out love is forgiveness good with the bad compromise and all that always rising above like sunbeams and moonbeams and cliches but never ending and always beginning my son my sun you are my world keep the light on and shine bright

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Laidback DM: Free Cave Map/Encounter!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get.

This week: The Caves That Bleed

Find the missing kid! The Caves that Bleed await! The notes are self explanatory.

Cave Map - Laidback DM - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

P.S. I’m writing a 48-page book of dungeon maps, adventures, tables and tips! Coming soon!

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

Upstart Photographer: Things#5

Another photo. Another poem.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Lighthouse. A poem.

A hollow betrayal;
you were pushed aside
and swept under the rug
of failing and fatalistic light
(what irony, it seems).

A ship’s memory is short;
they no longer need your eyes.
The ocean, whose detriment
you did long prevent,
has had its revenge after all.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Lazy Movie Reviews: The Predator and Venom

Yep. I love movies, but I’m over long movie reviews. Maybe you are, too?

The Predator

  • Unlikeable protagonists. The gung ho military men are caricature crazy, like everything in this franchise.
  • “Let’s make the bad guy even bigger”. What is this, Jaws?
  • The world building would be more interesting if the movie wasn’t so dumb.
  • 20th Century Fox should leave the Predator franchise alone. At least the earlier movies weren’t trying so hard.

Rating: D

Venom

  • Tom Hardy is good. Shame he’s wasted on such an unnecessary and pointless story/anti-hero.
  • So many plot holes, so little time. Sigh.
  • Decent special effects. The bike action sequence is well done. The rest? Yawn.
  • No likeable characters anywhere; the villain is one-note: “I’m rich and crazy. Oh, and now I’ve got a symbiote in me.”
  • You’ll forget this movie not long after exiting the cinema.

Rating: D+

Tonight. A poem.

Am I mad and destitute
on this anxious road to success?
Or am I lost and found again
in artless vanity and regret?

Is this path I walk alone
of the living and the dead?
Or a marathon that leads me on
far from a shameful mess?

Do you hear my silken cries
or feel my sullen tears?
Do you smile all the while
or simply laugh at me?

Am I selfish or justified
to think and feel this way?
Or is it just another cross
I think I bear, today?

Will you pray for me again
as I walk the quivering wire?
Trying not to glance below
into the waiting fire.

No, You will hold me subtly
each and every time I tire.
You will always ease my pain:
right here, right now, in time.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Your Kiss. A poem.

Your kiss
takes me to places
I’ve been before
and long to revisit.

When the voyage is over
I’m longing
for that travel bug
to capture and
enrapture me again.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Haiku Friday: Unwanting. A haiku.

Unwanting
This poor man walks in
grace, so humble and contrite
and wanting nothing.

What is a haiku? Glad you asked. Click here to find out more.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Dirty Dancing. A poem.

Dance on my grave

OnE sTeP, tWo StEp, ThReE sTeP, fOuR

Pat it down and into place

OnE sTeP, tWo StEp, ThReE sTeP, fOuR

Celebrate the death of me

OnE sTeP, tWo StEp, ThReE sTeP, fOuR

Now you’re done, wash the dirt away

You wish you COULD, but you CAN’T.
You’ll always have dirt on your hands.

And feet.

OnE sTeP, tWo StEp, ThReE sTeP, fOuR…

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Laidback DM: Free City Quarter Map!

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get.

This week: Poorside – A city quarter map

You can use this map for any overcrowded area in a walled city. It’s nestled against the ramparts and includes lots of back alleys for shady deals and ambushes. Many buildings’ floorplans are exposed for you to use them as bases, lairs, safe houses, taverns, inns, etc.

Poorside Map - Laidback DM - stevestillstanding

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

P.S. I’m writing a 48-page book of dungeon maps, adventures, tables and tips! Coming soon!

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

The Real Book. A tale of two formats.

Remember that poetry e-book I released a year ago? Yeah, I thought not. The All or the Nothing is a book I’m very proud of, but it’s only sold a few copies so it’s safe to say my grand dream of being recognised for my poetic talents (real or illusionary) has fizzled somewhat.

Then I realised, as a book reader I still prefer hard copies. Maybe my readers (or at least my Mum) would want an actual book?

Being a redoubtable (yet depressingly down) fellow, I decided I would get a print copy together. So, after labouring hard in Adobe Indesign, I’ve put together a 96-page book version of The All or the Nothing on Lulu, which can be printed on demand.

I’m a bit proud of it. So much so, I’m preparing my second book of poetry for release in hard copy before Christmas.

Want a ‘real’ copy? Get it here. Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

This Morbid Fascination. A poem.

What is this morbid fascination
I have with the prospect of my
own uncertain and certain
demise?

It reeks of gentle desperation,
a perfidious need to know
the outcome of a life lived
in unconscious and conscious
vigilance.

No hangman’s noose for me,
no liquid death or razor’s end,
no toxic pills or silent sleep,
no horrors all too reticent
or bleak.

Or perhaps I am too pleasant.
Perhaps the end will see me
choking on bile and spume
as my heart clenches tight
around a half-crazed mind.

This morbid fascination
will be the end of me.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Spring Clean. A poem.

The thinking mind is such a pain.
But wondering isn’t much to gain,
and wandering round in there, you see,
gets one lost in pointless reverie.

I want to arrest those layabout thoughts
loitering on my old street corners,
take them off to gaol where they
can loiter somewhere else, to play.

My plaguing dreams reveal the cost
of all the ones I’ve loved and lost,
that took a turn, are worse for wear,
now clutter and forlorn despair.

And so, a compromise of sorts,
in which all the things I’ve lost and sought,
my memories, all gone to seed,
will fade away with the next spring clean.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Drifter. A poem.

When all the
                 lonely
                 drifters
                          are sleeping
                                         in their beds,
                 I will be out there
           drifting,
                   still no closer
                                   to my final goal.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Plague. A poem.

Why do you still plague me, so?
To inhabit me like a parasite,
gouging out my pale insides?
Churning up my hopeless dreams
like milk into aromatic cheese,
to accompany sides and crackers,
all the pieces left of me.

I tried to clear you out,
to tear up those thoughts
of you that lingered in
the shadow of my doubt.

But you are a constant here:
no razor can cut you free,
no serpentine threat can take
you away, as far as I can see.
I suppose that I am stuck with you,
like a whittling scar, or cancer tumour,
to eat me up in my pretence,
to despoil my thoughts
while I am lost in bitterness.

Your brilliance, it seems, forever blinds,
through my mind’s venetians,
you will forever shine.
I’ll long for you and wait for you
and die for you, as I always do.

A constant plague in my infected soul,
a longing and a long-lost goal.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer: Things #4

A photo. An accompanying poem. ‘Nuff said.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Wall. A poem.

You blocked the way,
a cantankerous old crone,
bleached, cracked and worn,
bitter-boned and sun-dried.

What use are you when
your gaps in memory
provide brief passage,
your purpose undermined
and inconsequential.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Free Map/Encounter – A Simple Trader

Time for a free map! I love drawing maps for D&D adventures. I have far too many, though, so I give them away any chance I get.

This week: A Simple Trader

The text on the map contains encounter information, compatible with D&D 5E!

stevestillstanding - A Simple Trader

Above: Just right click and save.

This map is free to use for non-commercial purposes, as long as you acknowledge me and my website stevestillstanding.com. If you want to use it commercially, please send me an email and we can talk terms.

Happy Gaming!

Steve 😊

P.S. This is just a sample of some of the stuff I’m writing for my 48-page book of dungeon maps, adventures, tables and tips! Coming soon!

For more Laidback DM posts, click here.

The Risk. A poem.

The wash of highlights
on your face
illuminates more
than worry in your eyes.

The antecedent
calls you back
to an enigma,
cold-cast in lies,
a veil that gently
mocks and knocks
upon an antiquated door,
whose wood-rotted timbers
hide a mystery
without clues or sleuths
to solve them.

Your obligation
to reveal these truths,
to open Pandora’s
rough-hewn box
and release the thousand
clawing, cloying
secrets within,
could be far less invasive
(you surmise) than

          a haemophiliac wound,
          bleeding endlessly,
          painfully, righteously

Are the scars worth the risk?
Is it just another enigma
dying for you to solve?
Just another way to get your fix?
Or should you leave
well enough alone?

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Moss-less, or begging ain’t so bad…

‘A poor man gathers no moss’, to coin a phrase.

Okay, that’s probably a bit stupid, but hopefully it got your attention. For those of you who’ve read my bio or have been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that I am a mature-age university student, struggling with depression and living on the poverty line (so what, some of you will say, so am I). For those of you who are slightly better off, I’m appealing to you to help me keep my site running.

As you know I write poetry, short stories, take photos, reviews, create maps for games, etc. Whilst these creative endeavours are all well and good, they don’t help me pay for the sad, yet humble, lifestyle I am accustomed to (baked beans are expensive, after all).

So, I’m appealing to you for help. At the bottom of my main page and to the right of this individual post you can find a button to donate a small amount to help keep me going. Every little bit helps and anything you can do is much appreciated.

I produce a lot of content, publishing something new everyday, and eventually I’d like to earn some sort of menial living from my creations. It’s a wonderful dream, and I’m certainly not there yet. I’m hoping you can help me keep going another day or two.

Even if you can’t afford to help, thanks for supporting my fragile ego every day!

Cheers

Steve 🙂

 

Nothing Less. A poem.

I left myself in such a mess,
recovery mode and nothing less.
Drowned my sorrows in emptiness,
succumbed to my own thoughtlessness.

But now I see the road ahead.
You light my way to more than this.
I guess this all was just a test,
Your way of saying “Just do your best”.

Now, I rise above the rest
to face the world, my sins addressed.
I’ve become, I must confess,
a better man and nothing less.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sleeptalking. A poem.

Lying here
              Thinking
              Thinking
              Counting
                             Minutes
                             Hours
                             Sheep
A pretence
    rendered
       Black and blue
In ultraviolet

Hate my head
       For it hurts
                 Hurts
                 Hurts
Me so

Breathless again
Foggy-eyed and foggy-headed
          Branded
          Fool
Shake
Rinse
Repeat

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Winter of Our World. A poem.

Winter wanted one last bite
of the red, red cherry,
and so it returned
with steely vengeance,
to strike with icy blades
that shimmied through my skin
and took root within my veins.

The frost dusting the lawn
was a plague on both our houses,
and a sign of forlorn vendettas
lost to bitter hearts
and aching bones.

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer: Things #3

I like to write poems. I like to take photographs. Sometimes I take photos of things.

Here’s one, with an accompanying poem. I don’t normally write poems about things, but for my photos I can make an exception.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Rocks. A poem.
Rocks awash
in sea-salt dreams,
caressed in pleasure
until they spume.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sweet Nothings. A poem.

Head down
Black entrails entwined
Around my throat
Choking the life
And whispering

Sweet nothings

Of mindless contempt
The residue of years
Of churning anger
The spittle of malice
And undisputed loathing
Clawing its way
Up from within
Until it’s without
Plastering the walls
Layering the floors
With enmity

Sweet nothings

And condescension
Are all that’s left
For me

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Step. A poem.

One
Foot
In
Front
Of the other

Every day

Step
Forward
Trying
Not
To step back

Every day

I
Move
A
Little
Further
Forward

Every day

I move a little further
To where I need to be

One
Step
Closer
To you

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Lazy Movie Reviews: ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ and ‘Teen Titans Go to the Movies’

Yeah, I’m lazy. But I just love seeing movies. Here’s a couple of reviews.

Crazy Rich Asians

• Bright and colourful Singapore setting

• Conventional story with average acting

• Much of the humour falls flat

• Some great actors wasted in minor roles

• I know this movie was considered a breakthrough for Hollywood because of its all-Asian casting and storyline, but Asia and England have been making these sorts of movies for decades, and better than this

Rating: C-

Teen Titans Go to the Movies

• A cartoon that often seems more for adults than kids

• Lots of movie parodies and references that many kids just won’t get

• Very funny at times, only the occasional fart jokes

• Gorgeous and bright animation

• Better than some of the live action superhero movies of the last few years

Rating: B

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