On Instagram | Real life doesn’t happen in squares [Poem]

This life I lead.
It appears to you as a picture book of magical moments
A scrolling rainbow of colours
Captured through luck and maybe even a bit of talent
Precision and a dose of happenstance
And from the outside, it looks picture perfect.
But what if I told you it was all a beautiful illusion?
What if I told you…
That behind every image..
Every video..
Every moment I’ve ever captured
Is an entire world you won’t ever see
Hours spent researching, processing, editing, enhancing
Standing in the rain
the snow
the dust
the mud
All to be in the perfect place
At the perfect time
To find that perfect angle
So that you might for a moment believe that this is my reality
That the likes are the metric by which I measure my success
And that my perspective is only as wide as my camera lens
When perhaps this reality
Is an illusion we’ve chosen for ourselves
A convincing one
A persistent one
And we’re looking at the stars reflected into our eyes from a glossy black mirror
Instead of the stars in the night sky
Wondering why we can’t see the light any more

Instagram ins’t real. We all know that.

And yet our self esteem can live and die by the number of likes and comments we get.

How strange that we’ve choose a virtual world as the place our self worth now lives.

Instagram is hiding likes

This week, Instagram took the bold step of rolling out it’s plan to ‘hide likes’ on pictures in more than six countries.

Maybe it’s a good thing.

Orrrr maybe it won’t change anything at all.

But it’s a step, perhaps even one in the right direction.

By maybe we’re the problem?

It’s never a bad thing when a large and influential company takes a positive stance on a serious issue (i.e. mental health and self-worth) by actually putting their money where their mouth is and taking legitimate action to be a part of the solution.

I can’t help but wonder if Instagrm is the problem here though? Surely we are, the users, the consumers, the voyeurs are? Shouldn’t we be are the ones responsible for our consumption of media and the effect it has on us?

Or perhaps it’s not as simple as that.

Either way.

Only time will tell if it will have an impact.

I hope it does. I really do.

On creating your life | The Creator [Poem]

Do you know what it’s like to be a god?

You should.

Because that’s what you are.

You are the creator of your universe.

You’ve already met your maker 1000 times over – just by looking in the mirror.

You’re the master of the ship you choose to sail and you’re every iceberg.

You’re everything.

But you’re also nothing.

You’re nothing more than this second, this moment, this breath.

You don’t exist in the past or the present because those things don’t exist either – they’re the imaginings of a wayward mind.

And the imaginings in your head are only for you. No one else can ever experience them.

In that – you’re completely alone.

Maybe you’re lonely too, but that’s not a prerequisite of being alone – that’s a choice as well.

You’ve created it all – the chaos, the karma, the lonely and the love.

So tell me – doesn’t that make you a god?

I very strongly believe in the power we have as individuals to create and control our destinies.

You, and you alone, are responsible for creating your life.

Whether you believe in a higher force or believe in absolutely nothing, you should at least – I can’t believe I’m going to fucking say this – believe in yourself.

You are the cause, the conflict and the cure for every part of your life.

If you can just learn to take a modicum of responsibility for that you will be amazed at the new course you can chart.

You choose your thoughts and your actions – in fact this is all you choose. Everything else is utterly irrelevant in that it is completely out of your control.

So are you willing to become the creator of your own damn life?

Tell me how you’re creating your life at hello@missbethcan.com.

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

On shallow relationships | Ancient Oceans [Poem]

Finding depth

Oceans are one of Mother Natures more terrifying and awe inspiring creations.

Sometimes I wonder how lonely she is. For no-one can ever really know her, in all her expansiveness and depth.

She has so many mysteries it would surely be impossible.

I’ve felt that way before – I think we all have. Misunderstood, as though you’re a sea no-one could ever cross, oceans no-one could ever truly know..

Ancient Oceans

I’ve got the depths of an ancient ocean inside my soul

You caught a glimpse of me just below the surface

I tarried too long in the waves

I forgot how the ocean floor felt

See my lungs don’t need air like yours do

I sing in salty water

I dance through shipwrecks

And currents I can’t control drag my heart around the deep

You love the beauty of my shoreline

But you can’t possibly love the rest of me without drowning

For I’ve got depths of an ancient ocean inside my soul

And you, brave sailor, were only ever meant to ride the waves

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

On the laws of energy | It’s Just Chemical [Poem]

The first law of thermodynamics

I learned from a brilliant mind this week, the first law of thermodynamics. The transfixing notion that energy can neither be destroyed nor created – only transformed. I have since become fascinated by the idea that our universe is made of cascading energy, continually flowing between galaxies and between pebbles. Does this mean that maybe, the same energy that lives in me once lived inside a star?

Maybe this is where intuition comes from? From the chemical energy that’s been transforming and transferring across our universe for billions of years. And this chemical energy that’s been here before and will be here again and remembers it all on a deep physical level. What a magnificent thought that is..

It’s Just Chemical

We are energy, enchanted.

Never created, never destroyed – constantly cascading, colliding, (re)creating the universe.

We are energy, evolved.

For once I was you and once you were me and once we were both stars.

We are energy, embodied.

We are energy.

We. Are. Energy.

… and energy always remembers.

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

On finding your star | Brighter Star [Poem]

Brighter Star

We thought we were twin souls, destined for each other since the first atom EXPLODED.
But we were only ever destined to implode.
Now there’s a crater in my chest.
And he was a black hole – deformed and undefined.
I crossed our event horizon.
I hopped, skipped and jumped over it, so sure that he was my star.
Instead there was nothing.
No one.
He was just a p a s s i n g moment.
A memory I must remember to forget.
The light tricked me you see –
But it was from a time long past.
From a star long gone.

So I set out to create my own cosmos
I corralled the planets that still loved me
And I spun a galaxy out of the diamonds I found living on my lashes
It was only after I stopped looking
so many years later
that I found him
in the middle of the world I’d made
– My Bright Star.

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

Why I want to be the wind | The Travelling Wind [Poem]

The Travelling Wind

I want to be the wind.

Not the sun, gazing upon the earth, omniscient and all seeing. He is forever watching but fixed, set in his ways and in his place.

Not the rain or hail or thunder or lightning – or even the rainbow after it all. They’re too fleeting, too momentary, gone too soon.

Not the clouds – the impressionable clouds that go where they’re told and are so easily destroyed by the sun’s rays or a light breeze.

No, I want to be the wind. The wind is the enforcer. The wind is the true master of the sky. Calling the shots, travelling where I please, taking the hapless clouds with me, giving them direction and dimension. Across the sea I’d travel to places I’ve never seen.

I’d whistle through the iron beams of the Eiffel Tower.

I’d curl around the copper lady that looks over New York City.

I’d bound across the curved blue roofs that dot the Santorini cliffs.

I’d stream up and down the giants of Giza after racing across the Nile.

I’d gather the snow filled clouds above the Himalayas.

I’d stretch myself across Uluru then rest with the Doctor in Fremantle Port, home at last after circumnavigating the globe.

How beautiful the world is. No waiting for lost baggage, a late bus, the next flight. Instead all I wait for is a moment of inspiration to decide where I want to go next. There’s no wondering, no wishing.

For I am the wind. I go where I please.

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

Jump, even when you don’t know what lies beyond the ledge

You’re standing at the edge of a cliff.

‘I’ve got you. It’s all going to be OK,’ said a voice on the wind. Or maybe it was your heart?

You’ve climbed so far to get here.

Some days you were dragged up – the wind pushed you, the rain beat you forward. On good days the path cleared just a little – to remind you that you are, in fact, going the right way.

You can remember how it felt to touch the clouds. At least you thought that’s what you could feel between your fingertips. You detoured off the path and climbed onto the roof of a broken house that you could never call home. When the doors stayed shut and the windows boarded up you realised – you had to keep climbing.

And now you’re here.

It’s loud.

The wind won’t stop. It carries the whispers of the past, opinions and ideas, suggestions and warnings, from everyone you’ve met on your ascent so far. They all know something you don’t, they all would do it differently. But they aren’t you. You have to do this all on your own.

It’s not the kind of mountain you can climb down. That’s not how life works. There’s only one way forward and it’s straight over the edge. You think you know what’s over there. But what if you’re wrong? You hope you’re going to land in the clouds – for real this time. But what if there are jagged rocks or deep, deep water that will never let you see the surface again?

You want to be sure and you want to be safe. But there’s no safe, there’s no sure. There’s no crystal ball and there are no guarantees.

There’s just the edge.

And you’re all on your own up here. Sure, you can phone a friend but they can’t do it for you. This is your life. And the next hour, the next day, the next month – the next ten years – will be guided by what you do next. And that’s the truly terrifying part. This is the flap of a butterfly’s wing. This is the chaos theory in full effect. What you do next will echo through the rest of your life, for all your years to come. It will set the tone and the standard, the course and the coast. Are you ready for it? Can you handle the pressure?

You’ve already survived so much worse. Your heels are scabbed, your back aches, you’re sunburnt and wind-whipped, there’s sand in your eyes and under your fingernails. You’re so fucking done. And you’ve done so fucking much. And now you have to leave it all behind.

You have to let it all go. All the hurt and pain. You have to finally move on, tackle the next mountain (or molehill) of your life. You have to let go.


It’s for your own good really.

Are you ready for it? Are you ready to jump? You can’t hold on to anything once you do it. You have to forget the whispers and the people they came from. You have to forgive the people who hurt you. You have to forgive yourself. Can you do that?

It’s nearly time to jump. To fall. To fly. Whatever happens, you have to move. You have to keep going.

Don’t look back. You’re not going that way.

Cry first if you have to. Feel sorry for yourself. Feel every ounce of hurt and pain that’s been inflicted on you and that you have undoubtedly inflicted. Sob your little heart out for the mistakes and the misunderstandings of the past. Be sad. Be sorry.

Then jump. Do it with your whole body and all of your spirit.

This isn’t the kind of thing you can fake or half-ass.

Throw yourself into the future. Embrace it. Enjoy it.

Remember that life happens for you not too you. You just have to know the difference and know that perspective is everything.



… Tell me what happens when you do?

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

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