RPG. A poem.

My game is never done
Or lost or won
Even when the final die is cast
And the last
Player upon this infinite stage
Writes their page
Another memorable tale
It’s safe to say
That lives on in mind and soul
The final
The ultimate
And ever-lasting
Goal.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

For more Laidback DM, click here.

All Laidback DM products are on sale at DrivethruRPG.

LaidbackDM AD DrivethruRPG

Upstart Photographer – Detritus

Photography & Poetry – P&P for all the RPG fans lol 😊

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Detritus. A poem.

Cast ashore by storied seas
A mishmash of memories
And undefinable surprises
From the ocean’s turned out pockets
A lost and found of salty treats
Waiting and wanting to be reclaimed

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

My Prayer. A poem.

My prayer is for today
And yesterday and tomorrow,
For every lost soul counting time,
Standing rooted to the spot.

Perhaps one day you’ll learn
To get on the road
And into the headlights
Of a truckload of realisation,
That may, somewhat ironically,

Bring you back to life.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Vice. A poem.

A tightness in my torso
In my arm and in my jaw
Unlike anything I’ve felt before

(Maybe indigestion, it’s a start)
Everything I know says fit
Healthy, young of heart

This dreaded feeling I confess
Grips me harder than the vice
Squeezing life from my chest

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Beach Morning

Photography, poetry – why not, I say? 😊

Cheers

Steve

Beach Morning. A poem.

Rainbowed cloud and
Circuitous seas
Casting ancient wisdom
Like dice upon the shore

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Depression Is. A poem.

I always work so hard, you see,
With such effort and resolve.
Working towards my lofty goal,
Another problem I can solve.
Setting the bar too high, it seems,
But reaching every time.
Again, a pinnacle achieved
And a feeling so sublime.

But then the mighty outcome,
The success which I have craved,
Turns out to be so minimal
And all the thoughts I’ve saved
Turn inwards upon myself
To a sickening degree.
And suddenly I’m burdened
By self-doubt, hypocrisy.

As if all of that endless effort
Was not it’s own reward,
As if the milestone that I reached
Was falling on a sword.
And the black dog deep within me
He just smiles his toothy grin
And laps up all the hatred,
Despair and self-loathing.

Maybe one day I’ll learn again
To take each small success
With the pleasure and conviction
That will, black dog, address.
And send him far from this place
So he will plague me never more.
But until that day, depression is
All I am and more.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

A Loss. A poem.

I feel the absence
The missing jigsaw heart
That once made me whole
And now makes me hole

I feel every teardrop
Every rip and tear
Every shake and rattle
And every distant sigh

I feel the darkness
These clouds and storms
That weather and wither
My very being

An emptiness
That can’t be filled
One day to the next
The lost suffering a loss

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Share. A poem.

Would that I could share this success with you?
All the excess and fortune
Pointing to moments unsolicited
And gratuitous and circumspect
All these worlds and words
Of self doubt and self pity
Replaced by self esteem
And confidential confidence
Would that I could share this success with you
Even if only for one last time.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Upstart Photographer – Distressed

Photography and poetry – a two for one deal, but for a short time only 😊

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Distressed. A poem.

Your interminable display
A marriage of metaphor that
Adds rings to eucalyptus fingers
As the elements play out
A millennium of bad hair days

So stand tall and despair
Oh lady of distress
For your long day into night
Is just another season of many
In your constant pantomime

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Sunlight. A poem.

Clouds upon an onion soul
A lattice of incidental grief
Whispering and blowing
Winds of contentious intent

Shimmering summer rays
Cannot pierce this veil
This black hole that crushes
All in its event horizon

Each season cries “winter”
An icy arctic freeze
Knowing no end or beginning
I’m frozen in time and place

But then the break
The dappled beams that slice
Through these clouds
And warm me to the core

Your sunlight is
The furtive spotlight
I’ve been waiting for

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

I Suck at Social Media.

I have a confession. One that’s obvious to some, especially those who know me.

I suck at social media.

Social media as a forum is both a treasure and a bane. It’s an information and networking portal and a source of disinformation and anxiety. Not to mention underhanded data collection, stalking, cyber bullying and echo chambering.

To be ‘good’ at social media means taking the bull by the horns and engaging on a regular basis, making contacts, commenting, reading, and generally using up time that I would consider better used writing or reading books. But social media is an essential marketing tool for those of us with online businesses, and the time we spend on it is an essential investment in our work.

And that’s where I fall over.

Without the interest or inclination to do more on social media, my network and business contacts are meagre. My reach is limited and as a result my business is as well. This became readily apparent in my last promotional campaign, which struggled against larger and better social mediated projects. My product and materials were good, but my reach was ineffective when faced with powerhouse competition.

I know I have to make greater efforts to utilise social media the way it should be. But my naturally introverted self shies away from the narcissistic tendencies required to run social media sites properly (I’m sure many of you will disagree on this point, but let’s not kid ourselves: social media is generally about self promotion).

So, I’m going to try. I’m going to try to use social media a little more effectively. I’ll still suck at it, but maybe, just maybe, I’ll learn a bit as well.

I can only hope.

The Book. A poem.

There’s a lot of typing here,
Exposition to be done.
A hard fought war on grammar
And literacy that’s often won.
Occasionally a photo finish
(A second or a third),
Or an error left in print
That’s obviously absurd.

Another book is done
And another now begun:
Eighty thousand words or so,
The constant to and fro,
Endless drafts and rewrites
That bring confidence undone.
And, eventually,
As sure as sunrise on the sea—
The hard fought deadline battle
That’s always lost and always won.

The long night’s fever dreams,
Burning, stinging with ideas,
To fingers poised on patient keys
Just waiting to break free.
Where wilful thoughts give wilful birth
To each line’s encoded worth.
A literary child of hate and love
And inspiration from above.

And soon the war is won.
The book is finally done.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Why? A poem.

I can see your place
When I turn the corner.
I’m shifting gears,
Downshifting and slowing,
Braking and breaking
To the sound of singing tyre tread
And siren goodbyes.

Such a short time,
But what a time.
And how we wished
It would last and would be different
From all the times before,
When empty promises and vague circumstances
Made the weight of everything
So much less
Than ought.

Defences raised,
A call to arms,
And suddenly every scrutiny
Seemed ridiculous
And uncalled for.
Lingering at the door
Without a last word,
All left for text messages,
Bound to be misconstrued.

Every fire burning (b)right
Was put out in the storm
That followed.
Harsh rains
And lightning wit
To paint a picture
Few artists would admit to.

And that was it.

Another tally on the board,
But not one you or I wanted
To be scored.
Not a picture perfect ending,
Not a thank you or goodbye.
Just a shopping list
Of indignations,
And a lonely question:

Why?

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Bittersweet. A poem.

You were there
You were gone
We had sung
Our last swan song

Now a whisper
Just a pall
Just an echo
Heard in the halls

I did wrong
So did you
Two separate paths
Two lonely fools

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Just a poem
Just a memory
Of bygone days
Of bittersweet whimsy

Worst Enemy. A poem.

All the hells that we conceive
Nurture in our heads and breed
Far worse than any promises
That the end could throw at us.
My greatest and worst enemy
You are mine and whole in me.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Vexed. A poem.

Why do you continually
vex me so?
And how much further
Must we go?

You want my ear
And the rest of me
Yet all I ask
Is some interest

In the things I do
And say and need
And yet that’s too much
To ask, it seems

Far too much
For you to do
When it seems that I’m
Just there for you

It vexes me
And I cannot say
How long injustice
Will have its way

Before the sun sets forth
The world turns again
And I repeat the dance
That we all must play

Why do you continually
vex me so?
And how much longer
Until you finally

Know

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

These Tears. A poem.

These tears are not for you

Not for the moments shared and lost
Not for the conversation, trust
Not for the heat and aftermath
Not for a future that’s now dashed
Not for the glass I raise to you
Not for the player, now the fool
Not for the one who got away
Not for dreams of yesterday

These tears are not for you

Of course they’re not

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Spoke Too Soon. A poem.

Perhaps I misconstrued
The intention of content
Perhaps I spoke too soon

Perhaps I failed to see
The disappointment in your eyes
Perhaps it will always be

Perhaps the fear inside
Amplified the angry tide

Perhaps it’s best
Not to reason why

Perhaps I spoke to soon

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Together. A poem.

How can you be?

In a universe of complex biorhythmic uncertainty,
Where chaotic tides dance
And random polarities flicker
Like afterthoughts,
Where silken geometries
Defy natural orders
And ebb and flow and dance
To fundamental and existential
microcosmic transmissions

You are the one thing
That makes sense

Part of the subtle weave
That binds both of us

Together.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Wait Outside. A poem.

The wait outside
With city lights and vacant looks
Of passers by and wannabes
Perhaps the tune we’ll sing tonight
Will change the course of mediocrity
And reverse this season of discord
With discourse so ebullient
That fire and ice could not compare
And could not even try

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laugh. A poem.

It builds, it shudders
Creeping its way up
From gut and soul
Slicing through proximities
Of weariness and ennui

Now

Surging up so easily
No Marathon or Thermopylae
Stretching wings of fearsome resolve
And filling our worlds
With promiscuous promise.

I laugh with you
Like no other.

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Hanging on a Message. A poem.

Hanging on a message
And a welcoming tone
So distinct it’s almost surreal
And blistered ears and eyes
With next to no regrets
Should seek its welcoming crèche
As a baby seeks a bottled breast
And the fulfilment
Of a cherished goal

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

A Letter.

Hi SS,

I know you’re not going to read this.

I know these words are simply an elegy sent out into the wires, read by strangers and not the intended.

I had never before connected with anyone the way we did. We saw the best and, ultimately, the worst of each other. The ending, like so many convoluted stories, was hopelessly misconstrued. Two uncommunicative communicators and a texted aftermath swathed in hurt and regret.

(Such irony: knowing what we know now, we would sync even better than we did.)

I tried to persuade myself it didn’t matter. Just another stopover on life’s insistent highway. Time to move on, move forward – the urgency of age demands continuity.

I didn’t know until today, but I’m in mourning. And trying to lose myself in other pursuits provided no catharsis. Not even writing this.

I find myself wondering what you might be going through, whether you might feel the same. Purely projection and wish fulfillment on my part.

I know you’re not going to read this.

But I miss you.

More than you will ever know.

Sincerely,

SSS

To the Ground. A poem.

Reap the whirlwind of your faith
The circuitous tirades and malcontent
Of a tyrant fettered in disbelief
Hyperbole and untruth
May it shake you to your core
And tear your existential mockery of existence
To the ground
.

#BlackLivesMatter

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Night Conversation. A poem.

The ebon flame burns
Long and fulsome
Requited and requisite
Melding two minds into one

The art of conversation
Once lost, now unearthed
We discover the profound
While digging for treasures
Our holy grounds desecrated
In only the best of ways

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Last Word. A poem.

The last word
Is a flail across my back
Stripping flesh bare to bone
A blood eagle worthy of Vikings
Exposing heart and soul
And ready for the killing thrust

Your pain mingles with my own
As you strike again, again
And I’m drawn and quartered
On the yoke
Hung out to dry
A pendulum in the wind

Blithely embracing my only friend
His scythe scratching my cheek
He who lingers, unblinking and unmoving
And always waiting in the wings

The black dog growls and snaps
In the background
And I’m underground
My coffin little comfort in this repose

Today I die a little more
Today I take one more step
Towards the door
Where Death beckons to me greedily
“Perhaps today,” I say
“Why not?” He replies

He offers the silvered razor
So many have admired and aspired to
His gift in memoriam
An everlasting metaphor
Of our misbegotten friendship

And I reach with greedy, outstretched fingers
And lonely, fettered veins

For more Poetry, click here.

So Many Ghosts. A poem.

So many ghosts
Pleading from the past
Negotiating with the future
Throwing off chains
And screaming from rooftops
For attention in a sea
Of ignorance

Don’t shut your eyes and ears
For these many ghosts
Are deserving of respect
And hope and love

Or do you prefer
Not to learn at all
Like so many before you

#BlackLivesMatter

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

March. A poem.

Your clubs and fists
Your horses and mace
Cannot quell or diminish
Voices united as one

To drown out despots
And desperate hypocrites
Who would hold us down
With guile and inequity

We march and pray
We cry for justice
And will not be overcome
Because

Black
Lives
Matter

#BlackLivesMatter

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Sum of All. A poem.

I was indisposed
And exposed
And all my fears
And dreams
And insecurities
Came home to roost
Like a feast of crows
That consumed me
And spat me out
The sum of all
My many woes

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Real. A poem.

I awoke from my slumber
Waves lapped upon the beach
Gulls cawed and the ocean called
I walked upon sands pristine
And smelled the salt upon the air


But perhaps I still dreamed
And this was merely a holiday

From the real

I awoke from my slumber

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Smack Down. A poem.

Smack down
And the floor
Is sandpaper on my cheek
And the scent of sweat
And dead skin
Permeates my senses
Until I’m up again
And punching
Way above my weight class
Again and again
No more canvass
Only the fight
Only the win
And I’m alive
To fight another day
Until the next
Smack down

For more Poetry, click here.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Laidback DM: Virtual Tabletops and The FTF gamer.

So, you’ve never played D&D or your preferred role playing game online before? Now’s the perfect time to do it.

I was a virtual tabletop virgin. All my games were face-to-face (FTF) and the idea of playing a game specifically designed for FTF social contact on a computer didn’t appeal to me at all. I enjoy being with my players in the same room—the sights, smells, the interaction—and the joint feeling of community that brings. Then the pandemic hit, and many of us were socially isolated to prevent the spread of the virus (and despite the opening up of many countries and industries, many of us will continue to stay in isolation). So, I decided to wet my feet in the online gaming ocean via Roll20 and Discord (there are many virtual tabletop applications, such as Fantasy Grounds and Astral Tabletop, but I’m going to limit my comments to the platforms I’ve used).

When I first started DMing online with one of my regular FTF groups, not everyone had PCs (astounding, I know). We used Discord and I displayed maps and tokens in Photoshop, screen sharing with my players. Eventually everyone migrated to Roll20 and we continue to use Discord for audio (as Roll20’s servers don’t always handle audio/video that well).

Role playing online isn’t so different from role playing in the same room. If you use video you can still see everyone’s reactions (but never take your Discord/video link on a phone into the toilet with you. Especially if you forget the video is still on). If you just use audio you can generally still pick up enough vocal nuance to know how players are responding/reacting.

The benefits of online tabletops include access to a larger and more diverse player base and a broad range and style of games from all over the world. There is less chance of having too few players for a game as you can set your game to allow players to drop in at a moment’s notice (not everyone will like this function as it may impact on player continuity, however it can be useful to maintain regular game impetus). You get to interact with players with a broader range of skillsets and experiences. You have the opportunity to build a new circle of contacts and possibly access your ideal player group, one that’s suited to your ideal style of gaming. You can also easily drop games or players who don’t suit your play style.

The biggest downside of the virtual tabletop is also the bane of online computer games—bandwidth and dropout. Some countries have great internet infrastructure, others don’t. Some players have better connections, some have better computer hardware and headsets. No matter how good all the tech is, drop out can happen at any time. Dropout is where a player’s game is affected by significant lag or loss of audio/video. Communication is vital in any game, and having players dropout or their audio dropping so low no one can hear them reduces the quality of the play experience. As a result you as a DM need to be constantly aware of volume levels and interactivity, even more so than in an FTF game. And at their worst a game can be called off due to poor internet connection/PC issues.

I currently play 20-22 hours per week online (some of this is work related, as I’m a full time RPG product designer and run product play tests). All of this is as a result of the current pandemic, and I’m sure when it’s all over I’ll probably go back to a smaller amount of FTF games. But online will remain an attractive option. Now, I find myself wanting to play a more diverse range of RPGs because I have the option to use international players rather than being limited to my home town (where non-D&D players are few and far between).

Covid-19 has had a tragic and horrible impact on so many. Those of us who are only marginally affected can learn to grow from our experiences, in ways we might never have previously imagined. If you haven’t done so, why not try out virtual tabletop gaming? You may never look back.

Game on!

Steve 🙂

For more Laidback DM, click here.

All Laidback DM products are now on sale at DrivethruRPG.

LaidbackDM AD DrivethruRPG

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