Friday, July 26, 2019

The Pursuit of Contentment

—Poems by Ian Lewis Copestick, Stoke On Trent, England
—Anonymous Photos of Trentham Monkey Forest



I sit here tonight thinking of all of the
Friends of mine who are no longer
With us. It's a fucking sad roll call.
The one I find myself thinking about the
Most is Steve, who drove himself into
An old stone bridge at high speed.
I suppose it's like they always say,
It's always the ones you don't expect to
Do it that carry it through. I know
Some people that have "attempted"
Suicide loads of times. Suicide isn't
Something that you “attempt”. You either
Do it, or you don't. Another Steve I know
Used to slash his wrists at 4:25 knowing that
His parents got in from work at 4:30.
If you're going to do it, and I'm not
Condoning it in any way, you just
Fucking do it. You drive into the wall
At 80 mph, you hang yourself, you
Take the pills, whatever. As I say,
I can't condone it, I've seen too many
Times the destruction it causes to the
People left behind, but at least he
Fucking meant to do it, and he did.
He wasn't playing at it. Of course he
Was a selfish bastard, he had young
Kids. Just think how fucked up they
Will be. I don't know, I don't know
What to think, I don't know what to
Say, and I don't know how to finish
This poem.


It's a long, long
Time ago now
But I wonder if
She ever thinks
About it. I know
That I do. Not all
Of the time. Not
Even often, I'm not
A freak. Or obsessed
Or anything. But now
And again I'll hear a
Certain song and I'm
Back there again. I won't
Say what song it is,
I don't want to embarrass
Anyone. I just wonder if
She gets the same kind
Of bittersweet feeling
That I do when I think
Back to those days
Nearly 30 years ago.


I'm getting soft
In my old age.
I was watching
A T.V. programme
About the RSPCA
And the work
They do rescuing
Mistreated animals.
There was this
Puppy and some
Fucking sick freak
Had been putting
Cigarettes out in
The puppy's eyes.
I'm big enough
To admit that
I broke down,
I was inconsolable.
My wife tried to
Cheer me up.
"Look, Ian, look.
It's completely
Cured." Still my
Body was shaking
From my sobbing.
I'm getting soft
In my old age.
There's nothing I
Can do about it.
I don't know if I
Would if I could.
If there's anything
The world has
Never had too
Much of, it's


I was thinking about it earlier
And really, I've got to thank
George W. Bush for saving
My life. Back in 2001 I had
Been addicted to heroin for
Nearly 10 years and I was
Reaching the end of my tether.
I had been trying to give it up
For a couple of years with no
Success. Then of course in
September of that year, the
Al Qaeda scumbags flew the
Planes into the World Trade
Centres. George W. declared
War on Terror and invaded
Iraq and Afghanistan. In doing
So, he must have really fucked
Up the smuggling routes for
The heroin trade because, for at
Least 4 or 5 months, it was
Absolutely impossible to get
Hold of any gear. I remember
Days of driving around all day,
Trying every dealer we knew, or
Had even heard of. But it was
Impossible, there was nothing
To get. It must have all been
Stuck in Afghanistan. Well, I
Got so fucking sick of trying to
Score that I just gave up and
Started buying methadone off
The black market, and after a
Few months I had finally broken
The back of my habit.
I’m not going to lie and say that
I've been clean ever since—I
Haven’t—but I have never had a
Habit since.
So as much as I despise his
Politics and everything else
About him, I've got to thank
Him for getting me clean.
Thank you, George.


When the sorrows
and sadness of
life start to get you
down, all you have
to do is think of
the miracle of life.
That's what it is,
whether it's an
act of God or
a fluke of nature,
it's a true miracle
either way. That
life has sprung
up on this blue and
white ball of rock
whirling through
airless, dead space.
There isn't any life
anywhere else in
the universe, as
far as we can see
anyway, yet here we
have air to breathe.
Trees that grow
naturally take our
waste C02 and pump
out oxygen that we
need to survive. Fruits
and vegetables grow
naturally to give us
food to eat. It really
is a miracle how
lucky we are to be
alive. Whenever I
feel depressed, I
should remind
myself to re-read
this poem. The odds
against it are millions
to one, yet here we are.
It really is a miracle.


It's a good night, for a change
It's been a good day,
The first day in a while where
It's been sunny and warm
With uninterrupted blue skies.
I feel, not so much happy,
But definitely content.
I couldn't ask for more,
I feel like I have just eaten a
Huge meal, roast beef, Yorkshire pudding
Roast potatoes, the full works.
Mentally, emotionally, I mean.
Satiated, that's a good
Word for it. To ask for more
Would be greedy.
I'm not a greedy man.
I'm content.
That's good enough for me.

Today’s LittleNip:

—Ian Copestick

It's suddenly hit me, an epiphany,
A realisation. After all the years of
Depression, drug addiction, misery,
Anti-depressants and grim existentialism,
I now know that all I need to be happy
Is a hot bath, a strong drink, a good
Book and a some good music to listen
To. I don't know if this equation would
Have been enough for me back in my
Younger days, but it certainly does
The job for me now.


Our thanks to Ian Copestick for returning to us with his tough poems from over the sea. His new book,
Detritus Of The Drunken Night (Cajun Mutt Press), is available through Amazon ( Congratulations, Ian!

As for the monkeys, well, maybe we’re all just monkeying around… For more about the Trentham Monkey Forest outside of Stoke on Trent, see

—Medusa, celebrating first books of poetry!

 Ian Copestick’s new book!

Photos in this column can be enlarged by
clicking on them once, then clicking on the x
in the top right corner to come back to Medusa.