The Rules Of Engagement

This is a weird one for me, but I am an honest person who thinks it, says it, so I guess I got to say it. I read a piece this week about the things “Friends” do or don’t do, which was a bit strange in itself, as surely the idea of friends does not come with a tick list of do’s and dont’s, as this is people we are talking about and not a check list for buying a car.

With that, you have to understand that we are all unique, and have our own quirks and individualities. Also, if you are going to write a list of expectations for friendship, surely it would come with a pre requisite that you at least follow this same check list yourself. otherwise the whole idea and foundation is laughable and built on glass. So let us break out and toss around the one I have an issue with. Friends should not lie!!!!!!

Well pardon me, but there is a fine line between lying, which in itself is a pigeon holing and sweeping word, and choosing not to tell someone everything. This may be determined by past, or history, or simply what you are choosing not to share is so personal, or deep, or even dark to yourself, that it is not something you choose to share. That’s not lying, that’s self preservation or protection. Now of course, you may get to the stage where you finally do share everything with said “Friend” and in the next breath they blab this to all and everyone, in which case you had a very good reason not to share in the first place, they have proved your point, and the vicious circle starts again, which means you lose, and they can brand it a “lie” all they want, but their idiotic, two faced and crass behavior have proved your point in the first instance. See where I am coming from?

But the one thing you are proud to take from this, is despite its stupidity, they are still harping on about it so long after the fact. You should be honored that they have nothing better to think about, or at least smile wholeheartedly, that you have moved on and left behind, but they are still wallowing in the puddle of crap that they created in the first place. Maybe you should throw them a rubber ring and some armbands.

Now Aesop would write a fable about this, but me I just choose to share with those I KNOW i can trust. I’ve been stung so many times. You share things with people, and the response comes in three forms. The first are those that treat your words and emotions with the respect they deserve, they are true “friends” in every sense of the word. The second are those that take what you have told them, stick two fingers up, and with a total lack of respect, do exactly as they please anyway. Then the third are those that don’t actually listen or take any notice of what you are saying in the first instance, make their own version of events or words, and act on that. Now these are the most dangerous, because they have no understanding of just how stupid they are themselves, instead choosing to believe they are better than everyone else and could never be wrong, no, seriously, never, not them. 😉

This may see like a rant, but its genuinely not. I have learnt the hard way and am in a better place for it. My point is simply this, no one can stand on a pedestal and judge from up high, when the downside is, if you have shared stuff with the person you are pigeon holing, then imagine if they blabbed that to all and everyone, that prim and proper pedestal would come crashing down and smack you in your arse, but of course they wouldn’t because given the tick list we started with, after all this, they are a better “friend” that you ever were in the first place. Ironic that. 😉


Change nothing, nothing changes

So, just been pottering in the world of IG, and what’s changed recently? Well, not much really, so here I go once more…………

To those EIC’s or Executive Editors or whatever the hell you decide to call yourselves, have you asked yourself what you are “in charge” of, or an “executive” of, because if its sitting in your ivory towers, watching and waiting for people to fall in your lap, then it’s numbers, and nothing more.

I like the words, creators or innovators, and, cheap name drop, @doortooursouls are a great example. They are asking the community questions, never standing still, re launching, refreshing, raising the bar, doing things differently.

There is so much unventured territory in poetry, we should be pushing boundaries, challenging, and coming up with new ways to push our art form. Not just sitting, thumbs up bums, watching numbers. Wake up and smell the coffee, execs or in charges or whatever title you choose this week. Your followers require respect and for us to be different. Same old same old won’t cut it.

Mirror Mirror on the wall…

So who believes they are the fairest of them all? Well it seems, still in the “community” a lot of people.

When did our art suddenly become a weapon of choice, or a tool for anonymous bull whipping. I must of missed that memo. It seems IG is not just a platform for poetry, but a haven for Chinese whisperers and snipes, and you know what, this is about so many others, and nothing to do with my historical dramas.

We have EIC’s who Lord over their power granted to them throwing stones, as the glass of their house crashes around them. The evidence and results of this over the past few months have been clear to see in so many instances.

Then there are the poetry snipers who write sticks and stones, about narcissistic behaviour and sociopathic tendencies, all the while not realising that what they write shows more of these tenancies than the people they try to brandish.

Poetry is an art form of expression, in feeling and emotion, of description and painting all of these in words that a reader can feel and taste.

That’s what the mirror should reflect, not the bitter and twisted troll hidden under the bridge.

Jonathan x

Censorship?? Mind your own.

So once again, I’m not shy in giving my opinion on things that matter to me, and that I consider important, and so here I go again, this time on the subject of censorship, or more accurately, who the hell do some people think they are.

When I last looked, Instagram was an “open stream” platform, allowing the world to more or less post, say, film, picture, express whatever they want, allowing freedom of choice, and freedom of speech, with the overall censorship lying firmly in Instagrams hands, and rightfully so.

So where do people get off thinking that it is now down to individuals to decide what is appropriate and what we should or shouldn’t allow? Of course, predictably, when one self proclaimed “super power” speaks out, like sheep or cheerleaders in a parade, others disgustingly follow, making a mockery of “open stream”.

A small account being pounced upon by huge, “for the people”, (made myself laugh there) feature accounts is actually bordering on another blog post!! It seems to me that some communities have a poor understanding of the community concept itself.

Instagram a breeding ground for Deja Vu!

Could only do this through rhyme, so here goes……….

Deja Vu, its such a wonderful thing,
No distinction of end or where we begin
In with the new and out with the old
No history or baggage or that’s what we’re told
But of course there are some who no matter what they say
Live firmly up shit creek same old crap different day
And after many reinventions not understanding all the while
It’s the same fake bullshit behind the same fake smile
Well ponder on this question and try to answer it
How do some smell of roses when it’s them that shovel shit
Why do some remain the victim when it’s them that play the game
Oh hell we’re back to Deja Vu, because everything’s the same.

Jonathan x

There’s rustling in the bushes.

I don’t get angry very often, but when I do, I write it out. So imagine my dismay and annoyance at some of the small minded and frankly cowardly and childish behaviour of some people.

The recent “bashing” of Sue Llewellyn, and all she does on Byme, is despicable. But its not isolated is the sad thing, it happens all too often. The least these people could do is stop hiding behind anonymity, and have some balls and discuss one to one.
I was once called a “narcissistic sociopath” because of the way I handled an issue with a feature site. I apologised and moved on. What these people do is actually the true meaning of those words.

Anyone who gives up their time, to provide a platform and a voice for others, regardless of creed, colour, genre, sex, style etc etc, in my eyes is inspirational. The Dor’s, Kuls, Sue’s, Saks, Rayna’s of the poetry community should be applauded, and not lambasted for what they do, no matter how they choose to do it, after all, if they were all the same, how boring would that be.

I will harp on about community is key till the cows come home, and the few are so outweighed by the thousands that breathe this “key” every day. So move on people, stop rustling in the bushes, you’ll get nettle rash.

Jonathan x

Roll up roll up roll up, fake followers for sale.

It is important to remember that it is not just people wanting to inflate their follower lists who have fake followers. Virtually everybody on Instagram has some. This includes genuine influencers (and probably your own account). There are many sites that implant fake followers into high influencer accounts to market there own service through you, they have an automatic audience after all, with little or no work.

What I am talking about are those poetry accounts who think that buying some fake followers will make them the next Rupi Kaur, because you are kidding yourself and the system. People like and comment on poetry, funnily enough, because they like and feel the need to comment on the poetry. If you connect with one person through what you write then you have already made a difference.

I pay no attention to numbers and surveys and engagement etc, it’s all gibberish to me, but those that do, are doing that for the right reasons, and good for them. I write, I post, times of day? Who cares. But others will spend the time looking at this and subsequently get the rewards, but through the right way, true engagement. I once had a disagreement with a writer who has 14,000 followers, and quoted that I should pay attention to grammer more, as that’s why people loved her poetry. Upon closer inspection 140 likes on one of her later poems didn’t seem that many, so perhaps work on engagement or dump the fake followers would of been my advice, as there was plenty.

My biggest gripe with this is what message it sends to new poets, those that struggle day to day building a following, with beautiful writing, after all, that’s what it’s about. Be true to our craft, and be true to yourself. And save your money. Unless of course you believe @williamfortesquesnodgrass with his 0 posts, 4 followers, 1965 following and private account is actually going to “get you noticed and out there” in the world of influencing and engagement.

(any likeness to williamfortesquesnodgrass alive or dead is purely coincidental)

Jonathan (or is it?)

Welcome to the Playground……..

So it seems that people tend to regress in mentality and behaviour when on IG, it’s laughable really. When did it shift from being about the words written and became a popularity contest I am not sure, but should you be different, outspoken, principled or actually an individual with your own ideas, thoughts and style, well heaven help you, you are doomed. 😁 😁

Individuality is a heaven sent wonder, we are all unique in what we say, do and ultimately think and write. If it doesn’t agree with some or sit comfortably with others, actually, so what, tough. I learnt that recently, when I tried to push my opinions on a feature, and I was wrong, I’m man enough to admit that, apologise and move on.

But, once again, where it falls down in our beautiful poetry community, is when opinions are forced and there is no backing down. Then it becomes a contest, where people take sides, and the whole simple thing of “writing poetry” is affected.

I don’t block or unfollow people who disagree with me, or ostracise or throw muck, I take that as being part of a community, and yes, you fall out sometimes. But where we border on playground mentality is when we jump on the bandwagon, tit tale, or become a cheerleader for a cause you actually know nothing about, or worse, only one side, and that’s the side you are cheering for.

What happened to individuality. IG is not a sheep rearing place, so why be one.

Community? Now defined by individuals?

The IG poetry community is undoubtedly a great place to share your talent in this artform, as there is ample chance for feedback and for developing and nurturing your own creativity should you feel inclined.

However, have the individual communities become to big for their boots, or all too powerful, defining what is liked and supported. Of course the answer is no. You look at some examples of individual communities and you will see people who truly love our artform, and are all inclusive, no matter what.

But, and it’s a big but, the idea of community fails when individuals seen as leaders in these sites, do not understand the very nature of the concept itself.

“the interest of sharing or having certain interests in common”

This is the textbook definition of community, and that is all encompassing, to opinions, thoughts, beliefs and covers all genres and forms too, after all poetry is a form of free expression. So where it breaks down is when individuals decide with a personal agenda. What they do and don’t like, what they do and don’t agree with etc etc. With this, the power of community is lost, and the “no effort button pressing” is the easier option, especially block and unfollow.

The main thing to note, is a community does not work if we are all the same, or like all the same. Funny that.


Create a free website or blog at

Up ↑