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Welcome to my thinking out loud…



Posted on 12 October 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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Echoes of tomorrow reverberate through me
Cascading down my spine and impairing movement

I am lost

Voices call to me for help and yet I am alone
Tearing through my heart and hurting me deeply

I am silent

What was, and what is, collide in an emotional tempest
The storm clouds obscure my ability to see clearly

I am shrouded

Difficult choices and impossible decisions are required
Outcomes must be prioritised for others, not me

I am merely flotsam

Tomorrow will dawn but I do not care
The day proceeds and I am out of step

I am disconnected from time

In the absence of hope, there is what?
I feel empty and numb and disinterested

I am going through the motions

I need a tomorrow with some certainty in it
But I do not have the fight to shape today

I feel like the death throes of a candle’s flame

Where is my strength, my will, my purpose?
Where am I heading and why?

I am rudderless and I do not care

Shapes of the past whisper over my shoulder
Up ahead is totally obscured by thick fog

I am blind

I am blown by the winds of change
I am flown by the competing breezes

I am inexorably light and yet inordinately heavy

The maelstrom is loud in my airs
The air is violent as it pushes me around

I am still

The battle requires me to fight and fight hard
The requirement never seems to end

I have no desire to fight anymore

The debris of my previous fights are in my wake
Each step has been a lesson and a challenge

I am done with school

I am invisible where I need to be seen
I am assumed to be strong enough to cope

I have lost my strength to the ether

What does the future hold and how can I shape it?
Will tomorrow’s echo bring peace

Right now, I’m not sure I care

I don’t have the energy to climb

I don’t have the desire to fight

I need to escape from the responsibility

I don’t want to wait for the echo

I am empty

© Iain Merchant 2021


Posted on 20 September 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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Seven lives
Seven lovers
Seven brides
Seven brothers

Seven days
Seven dreams
Seven ways
Seven means

Seven hearts
Seven homes
Seven starts
Seven roams

Seven nights
Seven mornings
Seven rights
Seven dawning’s

Seven keys
seven locks
Seven knees
Seven knocks

Seven doors
Seven chances
Seven floors
Seven dances

Seven bright
seven strong
Seven flights
Seven songs

Seven even
Seven odds
Seven seamen
Seven Gods

Seven starts
Seven ends
Seven carts
Seven bends

Seven queries
Seven clues
Seven series
Seven choose

Seven sisters
Seven sons
Seven blisters
Seven guns

Seven times
Seven tries
Seven rhymes
Seven sighs

Seven lists
Seven chases
Seven fists
Seven faces

Seven nuns’
Seven heroes
Seven one’s
Seven zeros

Seven lost
Seven found
Seven cost
Seven sound

Seven meanings
Seven slumbers
Seven screenings
Seven numbers’

© Iain Merchant 2021

The Walls Are Down

Posted on 10 September 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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The Walls Are Down

Facets of cut stone charged by the light
I am blinded by your luminescence

The tonal qualities of your voice come to me in colour
I am humbled by your contrast

The harmonies of shade and hue are strikingly subtle
I am rewarded by the essence of your rapport

The aroma of home that emanates from your pores
I am engulfed by the scent of your skin

The whisper of your intonation and inflection
I am spellbound by your articulation

Within the walls of my world, I have importance
My words and my meanings are solid things
They direct the path I steer and shape my future
Within the walls of my world, I sail alone

Look to the horizon of your world and wonder what may be
Look beyond the vanishing point and free your mind
Existence beyond your world is:

Real & Ephemeral

Solid & Diaphanous

Opaque & Translucent

populous & Empty

Forthwith & Eventual

Allow the wind to carry the vibrations of the music of my soul to you
and feel it raise the hairs across your skin as it travels your whole body

Seek not for a word to describe this sensation, as the part of you that recognises me has no need for the restrictions of language

It is free of rules, pronunciation, and grammar, of tongue clicks and mouth contortions, of alphabets and practised sounds

It is free to sense, to feel, to imagine and to know its own kind at the deepest level

It is neither right nor wrong
Nor is it good or bad, benefit or deficit, windfall or debt

For the reality in the soul of the world is that everything has the potential to manifest in every way imaginable, and so it is all of these things and none of these things simultaneously

Reach out and sense my presence
Breath in and taste my scent
Open your heart and feel mine beating
Free your mind and touch my thoughts

Tomorrow is yet to be drawn
Crepuscular motions must play out first
Transient rotations will have their sway
The veil is cast before rebirth
Your entry will cast you anew
Your birth will come with a new sun
Your direction of travel is yet to be chosen
The rebirth will light your way

I am to your East
But the sense of my heart will be at all compass points

I have destroyed the walls of my world to build them anew
And I will not lay a single stone until your arrival
Whilst this may leave me open to attack, I care not,
for if you are not open to attack you are not open to anything new

So, the walls are down, and I wait…

© Iain Merchant 2021


Posted on 19 August 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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I am alone, and yet this place is crowded
I am invisible and yet seen by all
I am so full, and yet I feel empty
I know where I am, and yet I feel lost

I feel separate from those around me
I feel voiceless yet able to shout
I ask all if they’re ok, but no one asks me
They assume that I’m always ok

I am perceived as strong in character
Strong in mind and heart
Strong in my views and opinions
Unafraid to speak my truth and stand my ground
I am seen as combative and forceful


Why can nobody see beyond the armour?
Why does nobody care to uncover more truth?
Why is this path so hard and so lonely?
Why can I see them so clearly?
Why do they seek my support without offering theirs?
Why are they happy to take and yet less so to give?


Why can’t I find the owner of my missing wing?
Why can’t I relinquish the shield and sword for a while?
Why can’t I lay my head in a welcome embrace?
Why is there no limit to what I can endure?
Why can’t I just give in and disappear?


Tomorrow is another day
You never know what’s around the corner
Right place and right time
Everything comes to those who wait

I know these and all such well-meaning platitudes
I live them I breathe them I am them
I stay positive as much as I am able
But I feel as if I am fighting the tide

The tide is strong

Treading water is boring
I need a direction in order to swim
I need a purpose to find my stroke
I need a reason to reach land

The tide is strong

© Iain Merchant 2021

Not Knowing

Posted on 3 August 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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Not Knowing


We need it

We seek it out

We create it from what happens

It solidifies with what is said

We trust our experience

I believed I knew who you were

Out of nowhere, you proved me wrong!

You faded away under the pressure of work

I equally faded as you requested in support

You didn’t return when you said you would

I waited and worried and wondered

Eventually, concerned, I make contact

I am hit right between the eyes by a bullet of dismission

An explanation is offered that doesn’t explain

Information is provided that fails to inform

I got a reply, but I didn’t get an answer!

I can’t believe my character judgement was so wrong

I find it hard to think badly of you, even though this is not fair

You are either lying now or you were fake all along!

Neither option has any gratification

Neither option offers any salve for the wound

Should I ask for clarification?

If I have to ask at all, that is an answer in itself, is it not?

I don’t want this to be true

I don’t want this to have happened

I don’t want this wound

I don’t want what I am left with…

Not knowing

© Iain Merchant 2021

It’s Time

Posted on 27 July 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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It’s Time

Heartfelt hopes dashed on the altar of dreams
Significant wishes shattered on the shoreline of reality
Specific goals destroyed in the furnace of truth
Life’s dreams annihilated in the whirlwinds of time

Recalibration looks like procrastination
The well of despair that surrounds a lack of achievement
Joy becomes just a word rather than an experience
Self-worth transcends into history and fades

You simply can’t fail if you never attempt anything
Starting is easy, finishing is the key to learning
Learning is the key to growth
Growth is experienced through achievement

Don’t pay lip service to the process
So, you fell over last time – so what!
Stand up, brush yourself off and go again
This time, whatever happens,
go further than you did before… minimum!

If you aren’t going to adopt that attitude, you have failed already…

There is no maybe

There is no might do

There is one day

There is no try

You are either going to do it or you’re not
Each of those outcomes exists on a different road
Stop hanging out at the junction pretending
Choose a road and walk it

You have a thousand excuses
You know them all so well
Because they are always available when you want them,
you think they are your friends…

You are deluding yourself
But it is clear to all others
These liars you call on are not your friends
They do no serve you or have your best interests at heart!

They are deflectors, deniers and deceivers
They do not want you to grow or achieve
They desire one thing, and one thing only
To keep you exactly where you are – deluded

They fear losing their control over you
They use fear to keep you placated in mediocrity
They keep you craving the commonplace
They entice you with the ordinary
They convince you that near enough, is good enough

Truth is; it never is, never was and never will be!

Do you have the courage to break free of your own lies?
Do you truly want to experience more?
Do you want to fill your time with something of value?
Do you want to step up to the podium of experience?
Do you want to feel what you have asked for repeatedly?
Do you want to use your latent abilities rather than imprison them?
Do you want to achieve in action, that which you say in words?
Do you want to prove your words have meaning and value?
Do you want to honour your commitments?

Do you?


Would you rather just pretend?
Would you rather accept your own lies?
Would you rather relinquish your future to untruths?
Would you rather other people know your words have no follow-through?
What you say is not what you mean, and what you mean, is not what you say?

How much do you really value the importance of keeping your word?

Doing nothing, doing something and doing the right thing at the right time, will all generate results…

The first two will generally keep you in the cycle of failure because they are neither focused nor pragmatic

Only the latter will drive you forwards, increase your learning and understanding, produce achievements and self-worth, along with the enthusiasm and motivation to repeat the process to experience the joy again!

This truth requires no long drawn out thinking, which is simply a pathway to avoidance and deflection…

This truth requires only action, diligence and commitment to finish the process, and the rest, amazingly, will simply take care of itself…

Now you know this, there is only one other piece of information you will ever need


© Iain Merchant 2021


Posted on 15 July 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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The farther away I go, the closer I feel
The further I feel from you, the nearer we are


When I close my eyes, I can see you
Only in silence can I hear you
Only in my solitude can I feel you


In my dreams, you are a reality
In my reality, you are a dream


You live only in my memories
Yet you exist in my future


You were a passing moment to the cosmos
You were the universe to me
You shaped the world that I inhabit
You filter the thoughts I entertain
You critique the words I use
You feedback on the attitude I display

You are not with me, but part of who I am


I cannot recall who I was before you
I cannot recall a time without you

I cannot, and I will not


Evolution does not operate in reverse
Progress does not head backwards
Expansion does not result in shrinkage
Transformation is metamorphosis and renewal

I was, became, we are
We were, became, I am


Intertwining the double helix
Genetic mutation complete
One plus one equals three


© Iain Merchant 2021

In Plain Sight

Posted on 25 June 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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In Plain Sight

To hear you talk it’s all love & light
You desire only to inspire and please the Lord!

The truth is very different though, isn’t it?

Your presentation is a slick, well-practised demo
of who you wish you were

Sufficiently convincing to get the benefit of the doubt…

Sufficiently dazzled by the spotlight,
we can all mistake an act for a reality!

Theatre relies heavily on this deception…

The truth is very different though, isn’t it?

Once the cracks appear, the façade quickly falls!

 The need to dominate conversations
The need to micromanage until you become the bottleneck in any project

The need to deflect responsibility when things unravel

Your patterns are easy to see once the fog has lifted

And, once seen, they are easy to predict

What to do when you are caught in the light?

Belittle, demean, condescend and insult,
but all from a total pretence of considered advice!

The ‘holier than thou’ stance of the weakest of
intelligent and articulate individuals

Making yourself feel better about who you are,
By trying to make someone else feel less about themselves

The worst of deceits!

The truth is an unremitting mirror, isn’t it?

I see you…

And, it is only a matter of time before others do too

Your mask will slip as it always has, whenever there is a critique!

It will come and you can’t fight it, because that is the real you

The truth is a nightmare at times

 But for the moment, the deception is still alive for some,
and fading for others

It is a sadness that you feel so little yet project so much
It is a sadness that you offer stories of your ability to be humble,
to convince yourself that you are
It is a sadness that you are unable and unwilling to face your truth
It is a sadness that you hide behind a faith, rather than use it to grow

Be cautious with your theatre, you are in plain sight!

© Iain Merchant 2021

Lockdown Harbinger

Posted on 19 June 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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Lockdown Harbinger

Empty streets & quiet roads
Even the bird’s sense something has changed
Their tunes hold a note of question in their rhythm

Personal space no longer applies
We all have the same two-metre dance
Lip reading a thing of the past

The dystopian drama playing out throughout the land
28 days later seems more possible than ever
Waiting for the infected to turn!

Lockdown fever raised the demons in your head
Gives them a voice and the room to use it
Offers their devisive words credence
Chip, chip, chip away at your sanity

What do I do with all this silence?

Solitude from the crowd is my raison d’etre
My basis, my rationale, my very purpose
But solitude, when there is no crowd, is strange
Solitude transformed into feeling alone

Alone is sometimes lonely

Formed thoughts can deform in the vacuum
The empty reply in the echo
The soulless silence of solo

The general hubbub of the coffee shop
The idle chatter of people seeing old friends
The banter of the market traders hawking their wares
The bustle of the sale in progress

I miss avoiding those places

I miss skirting the crowd

I miss seeking out the silence

I miss my choices

When the big one comes,
this is how it will start
Our weaknesses on show, for all to see
Our arrogance providing no armour
Our lack of humility & empathy will offer no resolution
Our efforts to find a vaccine will not always succeed

Virus’s like a host, and they very much like us…






The question is not whether

No, no, no!

The question is…


© Iain Merchant


Posted on 29 May 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
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I cry

I Am

I Become

I Manifest

I Understand

I Reminisce

I Fade

I Was

© Iain Merchant

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Artist / Photographer / Author Leicestershire UK