You’ll be the first to know when a new poem is posted

I hope you feel at home amongst my words, and I hope you enjoy the important spaces in between them just as much…

Want to hear them read for you? Click here

It would be great to hear your thoughts, so feel free to share them…

Welcome to my thinking out loud…


In Plain Sight

Posted on 25 June 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

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
1 Comment

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
1 Comment


I cry

I Am

I Become

I Manifest

I Understand

I Reminisce

I Fade

I Was

© Iain Merchant


Posted on 22 May 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
Leave a comment


Metal is already strong
but is tempered to greater strength by the flames

So were you

Water can reshape rocks
But transcends itself in the flames

So have you

The dark can build a palace of fear
But it is reborn as light in the flames

So are you

Is she a friend to the flame or just rewarded by the flame they ask?

I answer…

You must alter your thinking, for she is the flame.

© Iain Merchant 2021


Posted on 14 May 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment


If you like to preach
You ‘talk the talk’
If you want to reach
Just ‘walk the walk’

Don’t tell me what I should do
Just show me by example
Those that do are very few
An incredibly tiny sample

I like when people talk to me
Talking at me though, not so much
Maybe you need to preach to thee
And stop using others as your crutch

I don’t need your words nor instruction
Nor did I seek out your advice
Your belief’s history is full of destruction
Proved right about as often as dice

I respect your beliefs are your choice
But, you seem to assume it’s my duty to care
In preaching it is clear you rejoice
Even when nobody asked you to share

Your rights to your views should be treasured
My rights to my own are selfsame
You should try making your ministry measured
Stop making enlightenment your game

I am an Atheist seeking an answer
That has evidence attached to the claim
Not just, a shout out to an old Necromancer
With blood magic and issues of blame

Don’t dance around my questions with lies
Don’t avoid my sincerity with prayer
Don’t articulate just to sound wise
Evidence the what, when, how, and the where

I get the who, and the why, from the Bible
Some fundamental reason we’re here
A reward if we’re good and not liable
A promise that someone’s always near

I see the benefit of wanting it true
The wish that the stories are real
A world where pure love can renew
A world where a creator can heal

But whilst you continue to wait for the magic
Thousands of children will die of bone cancer
You will agree this is both unfair & tragic
But from on-high, there is never an answer

This dichotomy repeated on a global scale
Omnipotence, it would seem, just a word
Omnipresence, it would seem, always fails
Omniprevalence, it would seem, just absurd

So, please believe what you wish and embrace it
irregardless of others’ opinions
Hold firm with your views. Never quit
Your heart and mind are your only dominions

But as for sharing your views unrequested
In a tone that suggests we’re all wrong
Be prepared for your facts to be bested
When without evidence you come on too strong

Just because you speak in a tone soft and kind
It is clear that you have decided you’re teaching
When no one asked you to indoctrinate their mind
Which are the shortcomings of unrequested preaching

If requested, you are of course free to enlighten to flock
If sought out, it’s your duty to explain
When you force it upon others, it’s their right you to mock
Unwanted preaching, about anything, is just pain

Who wants a sermon, not that many I’m sure
But who wants to give one, well that’s many
You should never use love to make another endure
But apologies, well I’ve never heard any

There is a time and a place for every belief
Just as there are classrooms for each faith to teach
To stop your wares from being pushed would be a blessed relief
Just try waiting to be asked before you preach

© Iain Merchant 2021

I’m so sorry…

Posted on 7 May 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

I’m so sorry…

Seared skin smoking into the thin air
Remains of life strewn across the globe
The power of nature affords us no escape
You are reaping the rewards for our selfishness

We had choices and we made choices, the wrong choices
We chose denial, wilful ignorance & arrogance
We chose to compete rather than work together
We chose to ignore what was right before our eyes

We chose… Nature decided!

We lost… Nature won!

We raped… Nature said NO!

The planet will heal if left to find a balance
The earth does not need us at all
In fact, we are just a plaque of parasites
And worse… We are selfish parasites

Climate change had an event horizon
we knew this but decided to explore beyond it
The conceit required to take that path is staggering
There is no return once you cross the event horizon

When the fear grew big enough to pierce the bubble of normality
We acted en masse as if we truly cared
We waited too long to care enough
We are the definition of “too little, too late”!

Evolution may create future hybrids that can stand the UV
Nature is reclaiming what we stole
The earth will find a balance at some point
After all, balance is what she does best

We, if remembered at all, will be remembered as destroyers
Savage takers, selfish rapists, tribal small-minded thinkers
Arrogant about our abilities to push the limits
Procrastinating power mongers happy to screw the future for a win today

We had the opportunity to be grateful for our home
We had the opportunity to listen to the earth breathing
We had the opportunity to hear the warnings
We had the opportunity to change our ways
We had the opportunity to share our humanity
We had the opportunity to shape our climate
We had the opportunity to act and react
We had the opportunity…

Look around you as you breathe in the thin, harsh, hot air
Look around you at what used to be fertile green land
Look around you at the scorched dusty ground & failing crops
Look around you and see our ghosts lost in our selfish dreams

We took for granted what you can only hope for
We let you down before you were even conceived
We orchestrated your future by ignoring our present
We convicted you for the crimes we were committing

We had a paradise of beauty and diversity and we destroyed it

For what…?

Because we acted as if we owned it as if it was ours by right!

We needed to wake up and realise that it owned us, and were only sharing it

I’m sorry you have been left with the debt of our borrowings…

I’m sorry we caused you this hardship

I’m so sorry…

© Iain Merchant 2021


Posted on 1 May 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment


A collaboration of similar minds
A host of exhausted party planners
A reciprocity of ‘paid in kind’
A consideration of impeccable manners

A chasm of travellers drawn to the bridge
A flash of photographers clicking
A silhouette of walkers atop of the ridge
A separation of anything sticking

A moment of watchmakers checking the time
A wound of surgeons repairing
A shout of performers acting in mime
A blind of people just staring

A blade of spoon makers selling their wares
A bowl of plate spinners, spinning
A terror of dare takers, taking their dare’s
A loss of winners, still winning

A float of submariners under the waves
A flame of ice skaters skating
A disbelief of churchgoers standing in knaves
A solo of people out dating

A nonsense of intellects boosting their brains
A passive of warmongers, warring
A static of commuters catching their trains
A home of explorers exploring

A shade of sun-worshippers boosting their tans
A covert of extroverts laughing
A confidence of worriers wringing their hands
A stagnation of dancers choreographing

A stillness of movers gyrating their limbs
A movement of statues in town
A silence of singers projecting their hymns
A smoothness of furrows that frown

A welcome of enemies baying for blood
A sentence of words never spoken
A dryness of rivers threatening to flood
A repair full of things never broken

A wallet of poverty felt by the poor
A fullness of nothing to show
A reduction of things, for which you want more
A lacking of all that you know

A torment of lovers
A waking of dreams
A sisterhood of brothers
A dehydration of streams

A candor of lies
A falsehood of truth
A myopia of eyes
A senility of youth

A mutuality of the individual
A mass collection of the lost
A necessary of residual
A retribution of a cost

A yesterday of tomorrows
A comfort of pain
A gladness of sorrows
A madness of sane

A concealment of exhibits
A weakness of effective
A facilitation that inhibits
A division of collective

© Iain Merchant 2020

Reality is Fluid

Posted on 25 April 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Reality is Fluid

The compass needle spins wildly
Losing all sight of its true purpose
Offering no sanctuary in its reading

 I may be lost

I look around for something I recognise
A landmark of memory to steady me
I have no past reference
I am in the shadows of what is to come

Maybe I can retrace my steps

I feel panic slowly starting to rise
I push it aside… I am in control here
This can’t be happening
I know my world and my place in it

I really thought I knew where I was

I really thought I knew who I was

I really thought I knew

The reality I relied upon yesterday
The certainty I had about today
The comfort of my imagined tomorrows
The reflection I expected with each shave
Wiped out completely by four words!

I’ve met someone else…

© Iain Merchant 2021

Slap Me

Posted on 22 April 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment

Slap Me

The juxtaposition of belief and truth
Evidence is only required for truth
Belief requires no such foundation
Faith in your belief is all that’s needed

Truth is truth whether you like it or not
But a belief can be tailored to suit
Can be moulded to fit
Can be shaped as needed

Facts and research can be so distracting
They throw up questions no believer can answer
They throw the darkness of doubt over assumed light
They raise the requirement of thought

Where thinking for yourself is discouraged!

Faith is not a reliable pathway to truth
This is why it is never used to cross the road
But there is something even more distorted than faith
Blind faith is its lowest form

Destroyer of minds
Curtailer of individual thought
Deceiver of the masses
Tithing the misled for personal gain

They say that the biggest trick the devil ever played, was convincing you that he doesn’t exist… Not true
The biggest trick being played is the one that convinces you he could!
Myopic delusion on a mass scale

When’s the last time you checked you were right?

When’s the last time you sought evidence?

When’s the last time you decided that faith wasn’t a sufficient answer and that you would rather have the truth?


Would you rather be slapped with the truth or kissed with a lie?

© Iain Merchant 2021


Posted on 16 April 2021 by Iain under Thinking Out Loud
1 Comment


What once was, is now a memory
Lifted on the wings of the mind
Nurtured into colour with the heart

What once was, is now your history
Flown on the winds of time
Illuminated in the eyes of the old

What once was, is now a reflection
Mirrored through the prism of the past
Shimmering on the haze of certainty

What once was, is now yesteryear
Given breath through the stories told
Kept alive through constant repetition

What once was, is now an absence felt
That no story can fill, nor memory sate
The reliving can’t conjure up & the tears can’t soil

Absence makes the heart ache
Time magnifies the sorrow
Arms reach out for one last embrace
Nothing but air and the memory can you grasp

Make memories today that are solid & strong
Stable & robust, sturdy & potent
Own them, recall & relive them often
Let them play in your mind on full volume

One day they will be all you have
You will need to close your eyes to see
Shut out all noise to hear and feel
Be alone, in order to be together

One day they will be…


© Iain Merchant 2021

All Images © Iain Merchant  2021
All Rights Reserved
  Tel: (0)7745 331613
Artist / Photographer / Author Leicestershire UK