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Paradise Lost, Dystopia Found.

by Shephard

Years have now passed since that fateful time
Yet those moments still haunt me within memories I cannot forget
Ignorance at the fact and of those events
Do little to quell the emotions within
At once the fuel to the rage and fire blackening my soul
Now strengthens and guides my resolve
“Don’t look back in anger” nor let it seep into the path ahead
But let it be a part in forging the roads on which you shall travel tomorrow

Those words left unspoken should be etched on my grave
Carried to my death and burdening until the end
A centrepiece of dream scapes and many a restless night
Unable to silence nor suppress the urge to relent
Words left unspoken in fear of what I do not know
Yet inside the knowledge is already there
Here I will remain wasting away into the nothingness from which I came
There in the distance she will forever live on


Four courses down, four more to go. Barely holding it together as is thanks to the constant migraines. No time (or strength) for anything but studying and trying to look after myself. I was strong at the end of last year. Now… I’m just another fat ****. Haven’t socialised in donkey’s years, and don’t plan on doing so either.
I don’t like watching my country fall apart, rampart with poverty and suicide. A few weeks back I observed a young fella not much younger than myself digging through the bins outside the local KFC as his friends watched on; hopeful for a bite to eat. This was in the middle of the busiest road in the country, adjacent to a large shopping complex. If I wasn’t on the bus, I’d have offered to buy them something. But seeing that, and many other examples during this year… The young, the old… Men, women, and even children…

That’s not to comment on the number of suicides either. We have the worst youth suicide rate in the “developed” world, and yet these idiots down here still wonder why. Huh. That last bit in and of itself is one reason why — perhaps even the reason why. Whilst everyone else is wondering “why, oh why?”, folks such as myself are already sending tiny bits of our brain skyward.
If I commit suicide now, it’s because I know and understand in both heart and soul that I cannot continue to contribute in any meaningful way. Not because I’m lonely, or sick of my gammy leg and the constant migraines. My own self worth is measured by what I can contribute to others, and whether or not it impacts them in a positive way. But given today’s society and the virtue of “instant gratification”, that matters very little in a world where the power of one supersedes that of the empowerment of many.


Another thought: In recent weeks I’ve found myself plagued by thoughts of those from my past. I’ve made mention of them here many times through my old posts. One in particular I had told myself I’d contact again if ever I managed to get back on my feet and ensure I was in a good place. As luck would have it, this person has begun to haunt my dreams these past few weeks and it’s really starting to bug me. I do think, however, that this is a good thing. I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re reading this post right now.


With an election in a month’s time and no end in sight for my country’s suffering, I find myself disheartened at the slightest thought of this nation’s ills. Voting out the liberals and bringing back the leftist idiots who failed to secure social reforms and institute proper economic stimuli won’t solve any issues. Nor will keeping those liberal bastards in power for that matter. The Westminster style of government is a sight better than that constitutional republic you Spams have to suffer with; but it doesn’t help that we have the same idiots in power half way across the world as you fellas do.

…the fuck am I talking about anyway — I don’t even vote.

If it ever comes to pass that I jump ship to the land of smelly drop bears and horrible taste in alcohol (not to mention terrible pricing), and I do happen to put myself on a stable footing, able to contribute to the community around me — I might just be happy with that. If that doesn’t happen though… Well, let’s just wait and see, eh?

Tomorrow will come, and with it she’ll bring her own set of problems. Men and women of all ages will continue to opt-out of this frightful life. The streets and those who live off of them and the refuse they supply will remain an afterthought of all who travel by their domain. But today, as with most days in this sick nation that I call home; it’s just another day in paradise.


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KoneWone 8/7/2017 - 2:13 am

Paradise lost. Jumping to the other side of the sea may not change anything for you but I guess it’s worth a try. More in your face poverty over there. We need community minded people like you to stay here 🙂

Shephard 8/7/2017 - 9:17 pm

The job prospects are far better, along with wages which I’d actually be able to live off. Poverty is always going to be in our faces, but at least if I manage to find a proper footing over there, I’d be able to help out in some way — and maybe later on, in more profound ways too.

You’re from Aotearoa as well? You’re damn brave wanting to stick it out with this mess we’re in. Besides — the community I currently reside in is lorded over by a gang affiliated, chubby motherf*cker white knighting as a “pillar of the community”. The reality is he’s only looking after his people and sees me and my ilk as the enemy. He also happens to live two doors down from where I am. I keep hoping he’ll kick something off so I can put him and his entire household in the ground and relieve him of his blissful ignorance — but so far that day hasn’t come.

So yeah; I want out of this fuckin’ place. I’d rather be somewhere reading a book and listening to a record, instead of looking over my shoulder every time I go down the driveway.

KoneWone 8/7/2017 - 11:40 pm

True – more opportunities over there. I’ve been back and forward a few times over the years. Have family over there but wouldn’t live there again. I’m in Chc.
Your neighbourhood sounds delightful. Don’t blame you for wanting out. This country is only holding on because of earthquakes and immigration. The wages are insultingly low. I see no future for myself here.

Shephard 8/8/2017 - 12:52 am

I never could get used to living over there. Something just feels… off about it. But as previously stated: money. I’d have my friend over there, a fairly grounded individual who regularly takes the micky out of his Australian colleagues, so there’s that.

Haven’t been down there since January 2010. Don’t think I’d head down there again either… Past fatal events notwithstanding… I’ve always gotten bad vibes from Chch.

But other than that, what does our country have to look forward to? We have substandard housing; a largely lazy and incompetent workforce; poverty and rates of suicide are through the roof; and we’re at risk of becoming tenants in our own damn country.

(My last job was atrocious. None of the other workers gave two shits about getting me up to speed, and one even purposely set me up to get in trouble over one client in particular. The other idiots who worked the desk with me either showed up late all the time, or took three hour breaks during our busiest periods. That’s not to mention the prevalence of drug takers…)

…and I know there’ll probably be more of the same across the ditch, but I’d expect better from my fellow countrymen, yeah? It wasn’t the best way to re-enter the workforce after three years out of the race.

This country is fucked. Sure, my people call themselves “tangata whenua”, but their infighting and lack of cohesion is only making things worse for us all. Then there’s those idiots up north who are too busy fucking each other and fermenting their disgusting gene pool even further to actually pull their collective arses together and save the fuckin’ region. Visiting my marae back in February… I felt sorry for my uncle having to be up there and buried near those fuckers. Talk about back woods, wrong turn bloody idiots…

Sorry. I’ll stop. You’re strong to have carried on through this all, and you definitely have my respect. But much like yourself: there’s no future for me here.

KoneWone 8/8/2017 - 1:15 am

I hear you. There is good and bad everywhere. We’ve caught the global western disease here. Progress at the expense of the people. Cogs in the machine. Riding the gravy train.
Had the same work experience as you. Picking up the slack, fixing other people’s stuff ups. Becomes tedious.
I was contemplating moving far north until I read up about the social problems up there. Chc is the pits but better than the sticks. Only came back because of family. All gone now. Tired of the eq’s. Worn me down completely.
No need to be sorry. It’s good to vent. I try to cope by trying not to care too much about anything. Numbness,

Shephard 8/10/2017 - 12:07 am

My country is dying and all I can do is watch. That’s not because there’s nothing else I can do; its that the majority of the population sees absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. Jaded by our own “clean, green, and serene” image.

Never did care for office jobs nor the politics involved. Digging holes and processing a countless number of 25kg mail bags? That’s me. Hard work keeps you honest after all. It saddens me you’ve had the same experience with incompetence on the part of your colleagues.

Where else were you thinking of going? Seems like a enterprising individual such as yourself still has the energy to kick arse a little while longer. But getting away from the quakes would definitely help you out. I’d offer to help out, but my situation is perilous already…

Apathy can only stay the going ons around me for so long. After that it’s abusing medication, and hiding from everyone.

Stay safe out there, wanderer.

KoneWone 8/10/2017 - 12:19 am

Most people live in a state of denial. Your job sounds great- if I was strong I would happily work labouring. Would help with sleeping too.

Working in an office is a mixed bag. I try not to think too hard and long on it otherwise I will scream.

I don’t know that I’ll go anywhere. Only place I would consider would be remote island set-up especially for depressed people. Not sure how that would pan out though!

Thanks for your offer of help and kind words. I’m working on something at the moment that could help me get out of this town but been going through a rough patch where motivation and drive is lacking due to a bout of black dog.

I’m trying to take one day at a time.

It is sad about this country. It could be a great place to live. Sadly I doubt there is anywhere “perfect” left to live in this world for westerners.

Remnant1994 8/8/2017 - 2:10 am

I’m glad you’re still here, I often think of you and wonder how you’re doing still.

Shephard 8/10/2017 - 12:10 am

You’ll gather all you need to know from whatever I happen to post here. Other than that… I’m surviving and not all that happy about the fact that I’m still here.

Thanks for responding. For your own sake, I hope your situation has improved somewhat, or at the very least you’ve taken steps to… improve your situation.

Shephard 8/10/2017 - 1:00 am

…or they outright suffer from an unwillingness to accept what is staring them right in the face. I used to work those jobs (civil engineering, mail centre coolie) but can’t work those types of jobs anymore due to injury. But yeah, it did help when it came to getting enough sleep.

I never want to find myself inside another office again. But sadly I have no choice in the matter… Some days I felt like getting physical and punching some heads in. Not that it’d solve much, but at least it would’ve suppressed the non-stop bullshit coming out of the mouths of those other idiots.

This country doesn’t have a good history with islands meant for reforming members of society, or even helping them in other ways. Though, with someone that has your understanding in charge, it could work well for itself. Sign me up if you ever decide to annex Waiheke Island and make it a haven for us depressed suicidal folk. 🙂

Keep at it, and I’m wishing you the best. That’s all I can give you… One day, and all throughout the night. Until the sun greets you in the morning to do it all over again. Wouldn’t life be grand if each morning the sun came up it’d bring you up with it?

D’you remember Paul Holmes’ girl? Millie? She’s back at home on the Greek island of Lesbos. I keep abreast with her food blog every now and then, and the pictures she shares of her home and surrounding area are divine. Faenza in Italy is another place I’d love to visit. My cousin was KIA there whilst the 28 (Maori) Battalion were fighting to kick the Krauts out. He’s buried in Cassino at the Commonwealth War Cemetery. I’d love to visit there, too.

A quiet countryside with beautiful views, lovely food, and not a single person I know in sight would be my ideal getaway. Sigh… A man can dream.

KoneWone 8/11/2017 - 2:53 am

Know what you mean about having to listen to the BS at work. My last job I had my own space so could shut the door and not have to listen to the rubbish.

Haven’t been to Waiheke but hear it’s lovely. I’ll make that No. 1 on the annexation list.

Thanks for your kind wishes.

Greece and Italy are well worth visiting. I hope you get there for a visit and it doesn’t remain only a dream. There would enough to occupy you in both countries for weeks. Great food, history and architecture but you may bump into someone you know- has happened to me twice whilst travelling!

The famous Maori battalion- fearless warriors 🙂

Shephard 8/18/2017 - 2:45 am

I wish I had that same comfort, but no — I was right in the thick of it. Thank goodness you had some respite from it all

Very good. I’d suggest Tiritiri Matangi, but since its a nature reserve, it’d be best to leave it be

You’re welcome 🙂

I don’t doubt that one bit. Ever seen “A Roman Holiday”? I’d always imagined touring through Rome and the Italian countryside with someone like Audrey Hepburn, enjoying the food and wine, immersing myself in the culture. Heh, I don’t really know that many people, but it’s possible that I’d bump into someone I know.

Indeed they were. Suffered the highest casualty rate amongst the NZ military forces and were always at the front of the battle. My great-grandfather and cousin both served with the unit. It’s nice having that kind of heritage.

Hope you’ve been well.

KoneWone 8/18/2017 - 10:20 pm

Hi- hope all/most is well with you?

Thanks for the heads-up about the nature reserve-I shall leave that be!

Saw Roman Holiday years ago – probably in black and white. Driving around in a sports car, top down, coastal roads – bliss (maybe). Hope you get to do that 🙂

You know about your heritage which is fantastic. I know little. I don’t know if any of my family where in the battalion. It’s strange but family history wasn’t really discussed (that I can remember) and my GM never lived close to me so I never really got to know her. It’s a shame. Some info has come down the line but names without context give no sense of a person. I am about 1%(?) Ngai Tahu specifically Kati Huirapa.

I have a 6 week temp job starting Monday. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house. I think I’ll cope- comfortably numb to everything at the moment and constantly working on not giving a f**k. We’ll see.

Have a good weekend.

Night In Atlantis 8/10/2017 - 1:59 am

I’ve begun to consider the inescapable influence of those around us, how we either unwillingly adopt and reciprocate prevailing tendencies and attitude, thereby ebbing away and subduing our own inspiration, or persist with ideals that may bound our contentment. Nobility, fighting for what we deem as right is fraught with uncertainty, if the toll is misery which we bear and unintentionally reflect then we risk perpetuating what we’re trying so desperately to rid.

I suspect part of the answer lies in people, if we surround ourselves with those with a positive yet similar outlook we can recharge to a point where we’re effective again. Attitudes of people alter who we are, an approach then is to find the people conducive to our well-being. Change what we can, let the rest go (for the time being). Through influence we can effect change by portraying what we seek in others. Actions/behaviours ideally will not belie our true self, with little contradiction. Character influence will improve and help people, in a similar way that the pain and hurt they’ve inflicted has affected us. You’re making a difference already by genuine and kind words.

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