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The baggage we take
Comes along for the ride

It comes in all sizes
We take in it’s stride

Within the journey
Much on the mind

If we don’t let it go
It becomes rather unkind

It takes on many forms
That much is true

Losing that baggage
Will loosen the screws

A clear head
Is what we are all after

So throw that baggage out
And we can all celebrate with laughter!


Written by David Johnson
15 April 2014

The early notes rise
Upon the Earth so great

Building as it does
The Guitarist creates

Communicating the magic
They feel within

To the audience’s attention
With such discipline

They take us to another place
And bring us back again

A journey so rich
Just like the sweetest Champagne!

Written by David Johnson
15 April 2014

Ripples Of Iron

Ripples of iron
Shine so bright
Wilting underneath
The available light

Contrasting elements
Attract one’s attention
Mesmerising thoughts
Human invention

They tell their stories
Etched with history
That is kept alive
Containing some mystery

Gazing into the past
Looking for answers
We sit and ponder
Awaiting their next chapters…


Written by David Johnson
3 April 2014

Journey To…

Settled back and relaxed
The journey had begun

No rushing, no fussing
Time to have fun

Good book as my friend
My Spirit so settled

First pages are turned
Imagination begins to wrestle

The rain it is falling
So steady and so fine

It reminds me so well
Of a vibrant Summer wine

Delving through the pages
A story so good

Has me entranced
Like I knew it would

The clickety-clack
of the rail track

Creates a melody so fine
Feel like taking a nap

The journey is soon over
Far quicker than expected

Can’t wait to do it again
As I am I now quite rested!


Written by David Johnson
28 March 2014

Deep Within Our Lives

2011-02-06 06.42.04-1

Deep within our lives
Lie both shadows and light

Amongst the glare
And the dark of night

Sometimes clear
Other times blurred

Seldom silent
Often stirred

Searching the depths
We lay in wait

Shimmering light
Oh so bright

We wait and wait
Till the shadows abate…

Written by David Johnson
16 March 2014

Saturday afternoon
Church bells ring

Bringing wedded bliss
Queen with her King

Golden rays of sunlight
Stream across the way

Love continues to blossom
Right throughout the day

Memories are captured
Glorious settings abound

A new life starts
Love, oh so profound

Pushing Forward. Pushing Free.

Raging across the plain
Mountains in the distance
Forward is bleak
This very instance

The wind it scowls
Swirling dust in its wake
Pushing forward
Physically ache

The going is fierce
Dig right in
Up for the fight
Don’t give in

Thinking ahead
Stretching yourself
Energy renewed
With some help

Bursting forward
Time on your side
Winning in time
Thought as your guide

Savour the spoils
Drink to the victory
Share the good fortune
Be bold and push free!


Written by David Johnson
28 February 2014

Trickles Of Thought

Trickles of thought…
The rainfall starts
Settling our Spirit’s
Renewing our Hearts

Refreshed we become
As we go through our day
With renewed vigour
We go on our way

The breeze gets stronger
Aiding us through
Completing our projects
To start anew

Fresh ideas come
In rivers and floods
Is in our blood

Written by David Johnson
26 February 2014

Where are you currently in Life?

Are you comfortable? Are you stretching yourself?

At nearly 51 years of age, I look back at my life and think about all the times that I was ‘comfortable’ and then think of sudden changes that made me uncomfortable (they were usually changes I had no control over).

Like many people I think, I feared or was scared of something changing in my life.We like to get comfortable and stay comfortable, with what we know.

Being the ultra-shy person I was in my first 25-30 years I have to say that I did not cope with change well.

What ignited a bit of daring in me was joining a Church Social group as I began to meet new people and in the space of a couple of years I tried Snow-skiing; Grass-Skiing; Roller-Skating; Ice-Skating; Go-Karting to name a few.

Joining other organisations (see bio) over the years helped me gain confidence and helped me in meeting new people, and volunteering for committees gave me the opportunity to give back to the community and personally, it has given me all sorts of benefits.

Joining, committing to the programme & getting involved in leadership in Toastmasters International in March 2008 has helped tremendously.

I now look for ways to ‘get myself out of my comfort zone’ in all different areas of life, photography, public speaking, other art forms, work.

I didn’t realise in my earlier life that being placed in, or volunteering to put myself in uncomfortable situations was going to help me grow as a person. Back then I saw it as a negative. Being uncomfortable I thought was a bad thing. Now I think of it as a positive.

I seem now to be making up for lost time… :)

Written by David Johnson
17 February 2014


Weeds creep up
And wind their way
Toward the shattered sky

Silence ebbs
As light escapes
In twisted forms that scare

An eerie gloom
Spreads o’er the land
Shadows cast that grow

The rain it comes
Confronting us so
We must withstand its force

The wind it blows
With increasing strength
And buffeted though we are

As thunder
Rings around the sky
Patience must shine through

We must rise
Against the darkness
Victory is our goal!

Written by David Johnson
14 February 2014

Long Summer Days Ago…

Long Summer days ago
I hear the guitars a strummin’
Smoke On The Water rising
Along with the drummin’

The students were learning
A new song with interest
Playing and playing
With a passion so earnest

Sunny days in the playground
With a Deep Purple theme
Memories come fast
Was it but a dream?

A dream it was not
For I hear the music now
Etched in my memory
My thoughts are in tow

Long Summer days ago
Smoke On The Water rising
A long distant memory
Not fantasising!

Written by David Johnson
7 February 2014

Shafts In The Sky

Shafts in the sky
Cannot be seen
They linger in part
And are not what they seem

Light cascades through them
Not touching the sides
Bouncing off walls
Going against the tide

The shafts do not change
Though our viewpoint does
Mankind seemingly oblivious
To the shafts up above

Shafts in the day
Shafts in the night
Can you guess what they are?
Just look at the dark, just look at the light…

Written by David Johnson
7 February 2014

The Eagle

Stretching its wings
Leaving our shores
Catching the breeze
The wind in its pores

The Eagle flies
Onward to quest
To return with food
And then take rest

Nestling it does
Family at the feet
Nourished and fed
Now they gain sleep

The Eagle awakes
With great attention
The Sun looms strong
No apprehension

New day has dawned
Family is together
That’s not how it stays
For ever and ever

Eaglets move on
Chart their own course
Making a life
Being a force

Stretching their wings
Leaving our shores
Catching the breeze
The wind in their pores

Written by David Johnson
23 January 2014

Time To Shine

There comes a time in everyone’s life
When everything is on the line
When all the work you’ve done
Means it’s time to shine

Through all the thoughts
And plans that have been refined
With all the challenges and the hurdles
You know it’s the time to shine

So shine on through the day
And long into the night
Give it your best
Give it all your might

The journey is the key
Continue to strike that chord
Enjoy what you have done
And obtain that full reward!

Written by David Johnson
19 January 2014

One Of My True Pleasures…

For those that have known me a fair while, they would know that I have been a Bruce Springsteen fan for the past 38 years. Since the age of 12 in fact, when, in 1975 I listened to his Born To Run album (my Brother’s).

I saw Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band live for the first time in 1985 (Sydney) in a concert that was between 3-4 hours long. I remember, for the next 7-8 months, his music was the only music I played in my car and just about everywhere else. The only concert I’ve seen that came close to that one was in 2012.*

Over the years I have been enthralled by his music, his stories and his and the Band’s sound. With each album there is a different feel, as Bruce continues to explore life. His music resonates with me.

I read where some of his fans (particularly in the USA) did not appreciate his ‘We Shall Overcome: The Pete Seeger Sessions,’ as it was too different from his early sound.

I ask you, would you rather someone who produces the same kind of music over a 40 year period, or would you like to hear a singer/songwriter/musician grow and develop and experiment with new words and music and musicians. Surely your answer would be the latter?

It was impressive to hear the ‘Wrecking Ball’ album as, to me, it merged the sound of ‘We Shall Overcome’ album with The E Street Band sound. Magic!

I did not get to see him again until March 2012* in Sydney. It was stunning to watch this man and his band perform with such passion, such energy, love and commitment for their fans.

One of the true pleasures anyone gets who has a favourite musician/singer/songwriter, is listening to their latest offering, which is what I did today as I just purchased ‘High Hopes’, Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band’s latest offering, with a bonus DVD . (In between the concerts it is another true pleasure to listen to the music and play their DVD’s).

‘High Hopes’ is brilliant! Loved every song on it. It has a couple of covers and a couple of songs that we had only heard live versions of  before plus other material that had been recorded but not released as it was not the time. It is now, thankfully…

My wife & I are going to see him in concert next month in Sydney. Can’t wait!

I once heard Bruce Springsteen say ‘that he is in the middle of a long conversation with his audience.’

Bruce, I am still loving the conversation, and can’t wait for your next words of wisdom…

Written by David Johnson (self-confessed Bruce Springsteen tragic)!
17 January 2014

The Moon and You

A quiet late afternoon
Just the Moon and you
Silver in the sky
Against the Blue

Watching the Moon
In all its glory
Moon-dust glistens
As it tells its story

Watching the Earth
From distant Space
It sees the calm
It sees its face

A quiet late afternoon
Just the Earth and you
Blue-Green in the sky
Against the hue

Written by David Johnson
14 January 2014

Ice-Cream Summer

That familiar sound
It fills the air
The Ice-Cream van
Brings people from their lair

It takes me back
To yesteryear
Beaches, suntan
And swimwear

Single serve, double serve
Chocolate or Vanilla?
Which one will I have
Whilst under my umbrella?

Tantalising choices
They did abound
As we thought of having
Another round

Oh Ice-Cream van
Come back real soon
Let’s all hope
It is before Noon!

Written by David Johnson
11 January 2014

Ode To The Corsair

The Corsair’s wings are folded
Awaiting the call
To turn back the enemy
And give one’s all

The take-off is clean
Off into the Blue
Whistling through the sky
As if on cue

Flying in formation
Ready to attack
Fingers at the ready
No time to look back

The battle is fierce
No quarter being given
Tensions are high
For those who are driven

The enemy is defeated
Fists are raised high
The battle is over
The end is nigh

As the squadron returns
To the carrier they call home
The pilots raise a glass
To the courage shown

Written by David Johnson
7 January 2014

Some 18 months ago my Father (because of two medical conditions, one being Dementia; the other being the fact that his Oesophagus has closed up completely so he has to be fed by a tube inserted in his stomach) was placed in a Nursing Home.

Members of our family visit him regularly and Mum and I were there yesterday.

Dad is in the High Care facility and there are a number of patients with varying degrees of health challenges there as you might expect.

There is one patient there called Jack. Indeed we call him ‘Happy Jack.’ We do not know the medical reason that ‘Happy Jack’ is there. Perhaps though he is there for an additional reason…

‘Happy Jack’ (who I’m guessing is in his 70′s) has a walker and (seems to mostly) spend his time wandering around the facility, singing and conveying happy, positive thoughts or tells jokes to each patient he meets. Dad doesn’t say much these days. We were there for nearly 3 hours and he may have said five words. We might get an occasional smile from him but this is rare.

Then ‘Happy Jack’ comes along. Every time he sees Dad he encourages a smile, a grin and makes Dad’s day just that little bit better.

We have never seen ‘Happy Jack’ unhappy. He, like a lot of other patients has to remain within the walls of the Nursing Home. I wished him a Happy New Year yesterday, thanked him for what he does for Dad and remarked that he seemed to be happy all the time. He said ‘every day is a bonus for me.’

What a marvellous attitude.

Every day is a bonus for me. Every day is a bonus for me.

A thought that we should all remember….

Next time I see ‘Happy Jack’ I will thank him for what he does for me.

Written by David Johnson
6 January 2014

New Year Start?

I have seen a couple of comments on Facebook and also in the media commenting on  “why people wait till the New Year” to begin anew. New habits e.g. people attempt to start a new diet, set new goals or make new changes to their lives.

The comments/articles ask why do people do this?

It is true that we, as humans have the ability to make these changes, start a new diet, set new goals etc at any time during our year. We don’t have to wait until the ‘New Year’ to do so.

Myself, I have implemented various changes throughout the year in many different aspects of my life, and on occasions, I have started to think about my goals for the following year in October the preceding year. Last year was a little different in that we moved house around mid November so it was quite a busy time late last year. Thus, I only started to think about them between Christmas and New Year celebrations (and am still working on them).

One of the attractions of deciding ‘new habits’ etc under the guise of the ‘New Year’ is obvious. It is “saying goodbye to the ‘you’ of the old year and welcoming the ‘you’ of the New Year,” i.e. a fresh start.

This has naturally been jumped up on by the media and marketing companies over time and it has become a ritual and opens up marketing opportunities for them.

I’m no psychologist however there seems to a feeling, (real or not) around ‘New Year’ that allows us to mentally say ‘this is a brand new year, let’s make some changes and it is going to be a better year than last year…’

What do you think?

Does a change in habit in the ‘New Year’ feel better or have more impetus for you than changing a habit at any other time during the year?

I would be most interested in your thoughts!

Written by David Johnson
5 January 2014

Each Year…

Each year we set our goals
For what we want to achieve
We think long and hard
If only we’d just believe

The early signs are good
As we work to our plans
As time goes on
Perhaps we need a little hand

The going gets tough
As we try to see them through
Obstacles abound
As we make our way to

The worst thing we could do
Is give up at that time
When the goal is so close
Just give it one more try

As you keep going
Remember just one thing
To achieve that goal
You just need to cling

To those plans that you set
At the start of the year
As by the year’s end
We will all be giving you a cheer!

Written by David Johnson
31 December 2013

Thank you to all those people who have read, liked, commented and/or are following my posts. See you in 2014!

On This Sunday Afternoon…

The Blue sky reigns across the land
Sounds of Summer fill the air
The breeze is so refreshing
On this Sunday afternoon

The trees move in adoration
Backlit leaves like jewellery seen
Shadows dance across the lawn
On this Sunday afternoon

The heat strikes it’s own chord
Bringing people out play
Momentous joy to be found
On this Sunday afternoon

The lightness of the moment
Fills the Soul with glee
Counting our blessings
On this most glorious Sunday afternoon….

Written by David Johnson
29 December 2013

The Spirit Of Christmas

Christmas in Sydney
We are continuing to swelter
As our lives gather pace
In our helter skelter

The shops are a buzz
Like ants we roam
To gather our purchases
And head for home

We attend one more party
To catch up with family and friends
Laughter and frivolity
Is time very well spent

It can be a great time
To look back on our year
As memories flood back
That give us a big cheer

May the Spirit of Christmas
Remind you what you have
May peace be with you
And for that you will be glad

Written by David Johnson
December 17, 2013

I Dream…

I dream of times
As yet to be
Or so I thought
It had to be

I dream those dreams
That are on their way
They won’t be held up
By what I say

The dreams I dream
Are here today
No more waiting
I heard them say

That dream I dreamt
Worked out so well
I’ve learnt my lesson
Which is just as well!

Written by David Johnson
December 15, 2013

Ready To Take Flight!

Seated in comfort
Ready to take flight
Excited for the journey
With all of your might

A goal was set
A long time ago
Hard work has paid off
There is not long to go

The journey of a lifetime
Is about to begin
It was always coming
We knew you would win

So buckle up for the ride
And lead from the front
Success is waiting
For those who take the punt

Your dedication and service
Will hold you in good form
As we hear of your victories
Which will become the norm

Written by David Johnson
December 15, 2013

[This poem was inspired by Russell Curto, a fellow Campbelltown
Toastmaster member who recently found out he had achieved his dream of getting
into the R.A.A.F. (Royal Australian Air Force) as a pilot]!

The Silver Rain

The Silver rain it falls
Cascading over imaginary walls
It’s different strengths are obvious
To most though, they are oblivious

The Silver rain calls out to the ground
For it is indeed where it is bound
Hanging loose along with it’s kind
Seeking gracefully to unwind

The Silver rain remains a mystery
Hanging there gracefully in all its symmetry
Waving gently in the slight breeze
Making all who look, feel at ease

The Silver rain, the light now upon it
Gazes wistfully at those who now sit
And watch it to relax their day
Feeling refreshed as we go on our way…

Written by David Johnson
December 12, 2013

The Silver Rain

The Silver Rain


If a challenge arises
What do you do?

Do you hide like it never happened?
Or think what to do

You should confront it head-on
Not let it go on and on…

The challenge will dissipate
Then you can shut the gate

Move on mentally
Peace restores eventually.

Written by David Johnson
December 7, 2013

Refresh your mind using your legs…

Many years ago at school, like most children we were asked to engage in a range of sporting activities through Physical Education, or P.E. as it was called.

Was I a good runner? Not at all.
Was I a good swimmer? Lousy.

After leaving school, I remember attending a gym. Did I enjoy lifting weights? No…….

Thinking back I didn’t know then that I already knew what my favourite fitness activity was. Walking.

Yes, walking. I grew up in Lakemba an Inner Western Sydney, Australia suburb. Both Primary & Secondary were within walking distance. I had best friends in a neighbouring suburb a few kilometres away. I had no bike so I used to walk there. I would walk several kilometres to watch Rugby League, and walk home again. If I was going to a party I would walk.

During all my working years I have enjoyed walking before work, during lunchtime and in some cases after work. At lunch time I would walk perhaps 4-5 kilometres.

Walking, as you can see, has always been a favoured pastime. It is great for fitness and I know when I have done it consistently before I have felt better physically and mentally. We have recently moved house and I re-started my walking programme this week. 5km on Monday and 6.25km yesterday. The goal is to walk 20-25km a week.

Walking has other benefits as well though, although years ago I never really thought about them.

That changed with a book I bought a while ago that I have joyfully dipped into from time to time (but not often enough). This will change from this point on…

The book is “The Complete Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron. The Complete Artist’s Way contains 3 books within it, namely “The Artist’s Way”, “Walking In This World” and “Finding Water.” It contains in it different techniques to assist in clearing our minds and fostering creativity. Walking is one of the techniques.

As I walked yesterday under a gorgeous Blue sky, the Sun’s light emanating from the horizon, there was a slight breeze blowing and a stream of thoughts began to flow through my mind. Some of those thoughts were of the issues in my life and some were a reflection of what I saw in front of me…the beauty of Nature shown to us through the season of Spring, flowers blooming, trees and shrubs moving in the breeze; the way the light hit the buildings; people walking past me that acknowledged me as we exchanged a ‘good morning!’

Other thoughts and ideas started to flow with regard to things I could write about in this blog, possible solutions to problems or issues that have presented themselves.

Walking helps your fitness. Walking clears the mind. Walking helps you solve problems. Walking is a wonderful way to generate ideas!

Go on, experience the benefits of a regular walking programme. I know that I will!

Written by David Johnson
November 28, 2013

If you would like to know more about ‘The Complete Artist’s Way’ please click on the following link.


I see trickles of light glimmer on the leaves
A gentle breeze blows them with ease

A serene green endows the land
Mother Nature yet again showing her hand

Clouds creep across the sky
Covering the sun by and by

The muted coolness fills the air
Forcing the shadows from their lair

Birds chime in from far and near
Serenading each other for all to hear

The sun breaks through
To light anew

This lightened landscape
Once again takes shape

My Soul is freed to begin again
And look for a chance to stake my claim.

Written by David Johnson
November 21, 2013

The Passing Of Time…

The passing of time
The passing of ages
Creeps up on us
In various stages

All of a sudden
We look back and see
Just how far we have come
Are we still free?

We look to find
What we hate to lose
All our memories
It’s how we choose

So look to the future
And not behind
Because that’s where you are going
In the passing of time…

Written by David Johnson
November 9, 2013

Cruising In My Mind

At this point in time
I am cruising in my mind

I have left the here and now
Drifting, drifting, new seeds to sow

These seeds I sow help me to renew
So that when I return I can begin anew

It is a magic ride
Going to the other side

It knows no bounds
What my imagination has found

And whilst I’m away
My cares, they drift their own way

When I return my mind is refreshed
If I had not gone away I would have regressed.

Written by David Johnson
November 6, 2013

Creating Memories

Memories are created with each passing day
Our experiences indeed show us the way

Some are fleeting, some are long
It is after all our way to belong

As we go forth in life
In happiness or strife

Our path winds around
And opportunities abound

We seek and we find
And consciously unbind

Those experiences that make us
Or indeed try to break us

Stand fast your ground
And look well around

Those memories are like Gold
So be brave and be bold.

Written by David Johnson
October 31, 2013


I was thinking about how I could relax the other day. There are a lot of different ways this can be achieved. For instance one could:

- meditate
- have a herbal tea
- listen to some music
- close one’s eyes
- sit in the Sun
- read a book
- engage in a hobby or pastime
- go for a walk
- sit by the ocean

and the list could go on…

My mind however began to drift back to my school days whereupon I remembered doing (what I am about to tell you) at lunchtime. I also remember now that I had done it at other times, much later after I left school as well, resting as it were in the middle of a bush walk perhaps or just sitting out the back of our house.

I used to lay back in a chair, the grass or a rock platform and look at the clouds. I found this to be a most refreshing usage of my time.

Clouds are changing, they move, they form different shapes. Our minds try to form them into shapes, recognisable shapes. We look for animals, for faces and structures. Let your mind unwind…

As they drift along our mind drifts with them and we park our stress and thoughts whilst we are engaged with the clouds.

We see the tones, the contrasts, the shapes, the textures and the varieties. The best day to do this on is when there is some Blue sky in the background, however continuous cloud cover will suffice.

Just look and view and wonder. Let your mind drift and let the clouds relieve you of your stress.

Let yourself unwind, let your mind go free…

Written by David Johnson
October 28, 2013

The Winds Of Change

The winds of change
Sweep through the land

First by our thoughts
Then by our hand

The path is in front of us
We see our way clear

Our steps take us forward
As we make our way near

A reward of most substance
Calls us from afar

Each step we take
To a brand new start.

Written by David Johnson
October 25, 2013

Flower Dance

Finders Keepers

Finders Keepers

Pink flowers like toothbrushes
Wave about in the wind

They dance and they prance
As the bees go about their whim

I see red flowers closer
As the breeze increases

The Bees do their dance
As the pollen releases

The dusky pink flowers
Of a tall tree besides

Waves also in the breeze
With oh so much ease.

Written by David Johnson
October 16, 2013

Spring Song

A sweet sound it is
Varied in pitch and in tone

Sweeps through valley
Relaxing you to the bone

First there is the chorus
Then there is the verse

The pattern is repeated
It is anything but terse

It seems so enchanting
And sometimes even bold

As if being conducted
By Mother Nature we’re told

It rises and falls
And is so refreshing

The Cicadas Spring song
Oh what a blessing!

Written by David Johnson
October 15, 2013

The World Is Waiting…

I look into the distance
And the background appears blurred

That’s because I’m focused
On the job at hand
When there are too many things
Going on in one’s mind
It pays to take a step back
And hit Camera Five
Focusing on one thing
Will pay it’s own dividend
Step back and review
And you’ll surely win through
If hurdles are in front of you
Patience is a must
The quality of persistence
Will help see your way through
Pull up your socks
And get stuck in
The world is waiting
To see you win!
Written by David Johnson
October 13, 2013

I Have An Addiction…

Yes, I have to admit that I have an addiction and it’s one that I have had since my school years… Well actually I have two!

The first one is that I love Libraries, and probably too much!

Yes, I have a love of books (as I had mentioned in a previous post) and this began at a very early stage in my life. I can remember being taken to Lakemba Library by Mum. In 1974 (aged 11) I won the Library Book-week Award.

Libraries for me were such fun places for a young mind to be. I remember being interested in a number of subjects, Geology, Astronomy, Aircraft, Ships, Science-Fiction, Movies but to name a few. Libraries are a font of information and (these days) some have questioned their relevance with the ever-present Internet now wound indelibly into our lives.

Our High School had a library (originally in an old classroom, but then a more modern separate facility was built up on top of the Science labs from memory). As soon as practicable after an assignment was given, I was off to the Library to do research and disappear into the ‘World of Books!’

I could quite happily spend hours at a Library when I was younger. As I grew up I would enjoy spending more and more time at the Library, taking as many books as I was allowed, and then enjoyed sifting through them at home, exploring and discovering worlds that I had not seen, experiencing (through books) things I had not done.

Fast forward to when I started work (1979, 16 years of age) wherever I was working I would search out where the local libraries were and join them, particularly if I was in an area for a while. Over the years I have been a member of Lakemba, Burwood, Earlwood, City of Sydney, North Sydney, Aim (Australian Institute of Management), Penrith, Parramatta, Bowral, Customs House, Campbelltown, Camden, Wollondilly, and most recently I joined the National Library of Australia.

I’m currently a member of Campbelltown, Wollondilly, Camden & the National Library of Australia. Why still so many, and particularly when the Internet is such a force for information gathering? The Internet is a wonderful source for information for sure. Sometimes though it is overwhelming in its choice of what sites/people to take notice of?

For amount of information, the Internet obviously wins hands down, so have Libraries lost their importance, their place in the world at large or in my world?

No, I don’t believe so for the following reasons:

1. When you walk into a Library it is like walking into an ‘inner sanctum.’ You are physically surrounded by knowledge, by the experiences of others and a sense of imminent discovery. Books, waiting on shelves, waiting for someone to accept them into their lives, to share their knowledge and wisdom. Often a library is a place of minimal noise and it   is a place of relaxation for the mind. At least that is how it is for me.

2. The Internet has many people airing their views and information for all to see. Is everything on the Internet correct? There is no-one or body vetting the information before it appears there. From what I understand, the individual library will choose the books that they will have in their library so at least there is a ‘control’ to a certain extent.

3. The Library of the 21st Century is in the continual process of change to ensure it maintains its relevance in the community. Whilst at times the there is still a quietness about a Library, it now welcomes more and more groups as a meeting place. Craft, reading, discussion groups, retirees as well as the younger folk use the library as a meeting place. It is continuing to bring individuals and communities together.

It is pleasing to see change happen in libraries for without change they could quickly lose their relevance.

My second addiction unfortunately does not stop at ‘being a member of multiple libraries.’ My thirst for knowledge remains unabated and sometimes I have books (or other items) out of 3 or 4 libraries at the one time so consequently I could have between 5-10 items out in total, and in the past had even more out!

Whilst I read fiction, a lot of the books borrowed are reference books on all manner of subjects e.g. Photography, Art, Oil Painting, Drawing, Cacti & Succulents, Sketching, Travel, Astronomy, Music, Business, Self Development, Poetry, Verse, History and so on…

The challenge for me is to reduce the number of items (and in particular, books) that I borrow as I don’t always get time to refer to them as I lead quite a busy life.

Alas it is a challenge for me to walk into a library and only take one book out, but I did that this week!!! I just have to return the other 4 from the other two libraries…. :)

Written by David Johnson
October 9, 2013

Late Afternoon…


I can hear the leaves rustling
And hear the birds conversing
I feel the breeze upon me.

I can see the branches move
And see the afternoon light
I feel a calmness inside.

The sounds and sights of the late afternoon
They invite repose
Replenishing the Soul.

One’s thoughts drifts away
As the sun completes its arc
To signal the end of another day.

Written by David Johnson

October 4, 2013

The Tanker

The TankerThe tanker glides effortlessley through the blue
Dwarfing a passerby
Moving against the breeze
As it bids our shores farewell

The waves form an undulating pattern
An expressiveness that is ever changing
But then one so familiar
To our eyes that view

The vastness of the ocean
Never fails to amaze
Dreams begin at the shoreline
The horizon our visual limit

As the tanker moves closer to the horizon
The Captain can see further
As it is with our own horizon…
We must advance to extend our vision

Written by David Johnson

September 27, 2013

The Street Lights Glow…

The street lights glow
As I look through the window.
It’s early in the morning
No traffic around.

I peer through the window
At the stillness outside
It looks so peaceful
Such a silent world…

There is something so magic
About the darkness and solitude
I wonder oh wonder
What tomorrow will hold?

A Creative Mind

A creative mind sits and waits
Thinking it’s thoughts, deciding what to do.

It lurks in the backwaters of the mind
Awaiting a chance to show through

Many a time it tries to gain advantage
Working it’s way to answer your request

Nurtured over the passing of time
It looks to the future,always subject to test

Stronger and stronger, as time goes by
It seeps through your subconscious

And comes to fruition
An idea is borne through creative tuition

Embraced by your mind
It is certainly one of a kind…

Written by David Johnson
August 27,2013

When I first joined Campbelltown Toastmasters 5 1/2 years ago, the last thing I wanted to go in was a contest. I remember when I was asked if I wanted to enter I said ‘Are you kidding me!? I didn’t join Toastmasters to enter contests!’

I have since realised why it is a good thing to enter contests.

In joining Toastmasters, you are immediately stepping out of your comfort zone. You do your first speech, your ‘Ice-Breaker’ as it is called. You receive a standing ovation from the audience and an Ice-Breaker ribbon to mark the occasion.

You do some more speeches, then members are encouraged to enter contests. Contests are a way of further to step outside your comfort zone. Each time you do a speech, when you enter a contest (and regardless of where you finish) you have ‘grown.’ This is the most important benefit of going in a contest. Yes you will also receive a certificate and/or trophy, applause and let’s face it, we all like to be recognised in a positive fashion.

I used to get very nervous in the contests. To backtrack, the night before my Ice-Breaker I could not sleep, and on the day I could not eat. Just before the meeting I ran into some of the Toastmasters and one asked was I feeling ok? I said no, because I was about to do my Ice-Breaker. One of the Toastmasters uttered some famous Toastmaster words that helped me, have helped thousands in the past and will help thousands in the future, which was ‘Toastmasters is a mutually supportive environment, all the members in the audience had to do their very first speech once as well. They know how you are feeling.’

Now, my nerves did not go away totally but I calmed down and was able to deliver my speech and since then I have entered quite a few contests and delivered approx. 30-40 speeches at the Club etc.

Fast forward to earlier this year. I entered the International Speech Contest. I had never entered this particular one before. It is a 5-7 minute speech that has to have a message. It is a more serious speech but sometimes humour is used to get the point across. I had never entered it before as I had not been able to come up with anything that I thought was suitable.

That changed this year. I entered and came second. I was elevated to first place after the winner withdrew his representation for our Club (to represent another Club in a different Area) in the Area 40 Contest. I competed for Campbelltown in the Area 40 Contest and won. I competed for Area 40 in the Phillip Division Contest and was unplaced out of 6 contestants.

This was an amazing experience as I had gone well outside the bounds of my comfort zone. At the Club, the audience in number was 25. At Area level, 50. At Division level, 100 people.

This from a person who had so much trouble with nerves before his first speech in 2008. This is the power of a ‘mutually supportive environment’ like Toastmasters.

Last night our Club had it’s Humorous Speech Contest & Table Topics (Impromptu Speech) Contests. The latter I had entered in previously however I had never entered the Humorous Contest. A Humorous speech is one of the hardest types of speeches to deliver as not everyone can put over the humour in a speech. These speeches are also normally prepared.

On the spur of the moment last night, I decided to challenge myself and enter the Humorous Speech Contest. I had no speech prepared, just a few random thoughts and I had to come up with a title very quickly to write on the entry form.

Basically I was entering a prepared-speech contest with no real idea of what I was going to say in the next 5-7 minutes (apart from trying to join those random thoughts together in a humorous way).

I delivered a speech of approx. 7 minutes, gained quite a few laughs along the way and was very happy to come in, in third place out of 5 contestants. On the night I came second in the Table Topics Contest.

Before the contests I was a bit nervous still but nowhere near as nervous as in the past. It is good to still be a bit nervous as to me, that means I am focused.

The experience I had in the International Speech Contest has given me tremendous confidence and this is built upon the confidence I have gained through my 5 1/2 years as a member of Toastmasters International. Last night’s decision to challenge myself further came from the confidence I gained at the previous contest.

I no longer fear contests as I once did. Bring them on, for they are a chance to grow.

I no longer fear public speaking. Bring it on as public speaking gives you the chance to communicate your ideas.

Ideas, aren’t they what the world is all about? Ideas can make the world a better place.

Why not share your ideas with the world and make it a more positive place!

Written by David Johnson

August 22, 2013

And I Know That I Will…

I sit and I watch the day unfolding,
Shadows creep in, shadows creep out.
The Sun dances across the sky,
Partnering with clouds as we watch the day go by.

As I sit and I wonder
What the day will bring
With each passing hour
It brings no more than a shower.

The day goes on
The light changes hourly
I sit and watch the day unfold
A promise of more I surely am told.

I dream and I dream
I watch and I listen
The day speaks to me
And I listen intently

The message is clear
How could I have not seen it?
It was there all along,
Perhaps I was just trying to belong

I begin to understand
And try not to question
What life was telling me
Again and again

All along it has been saying
What I should do
Had I have not been listening
I would’ve missed it today too.

The Sun it goes down
Beyond the hill
The path is clear,
And I know that I will.

Written by David Johnson

August 14, 2013

The Experience of Reading a Book!

I’ve always had a love of books and bookshops. The trend away from the ‘book’ to electronic media has its advantages in some ways however I have always come back to reading an actual ‘hand-held, flip the pages, paper book.’

I’ve tried reading books on a device but it always seems like I am reading a really long email (and to me that’s not much fun)… I’ve spoken to other people (both young & old)

Before electronic media came along, did we ever really realise just what we had our hands on?

There is something indescribable about the feeling of holding a book. It is comfortable and reassuring. It holds a promise; it feels strong. Turning the pages is a wonderful feeling.

These feelings we used to take for granted prior to the computer, endeavouring, (and succeeding in changing our habits of reading), are now held in high esteem by some. It is sometimes seen as old-fashioned now, sometimes as a burden by those who favour the electronic media.

Those who think reading is just about reading the lines in a book are simply mistaken. Not only is reading about ingesting and digesting the written word, to truly enjoy a book, you must feel comfortable doing it. It is an experience, and it is an experience that only gets better when you realise that to read a book, more than one of our five senses are involved.

Most of us read with our eyes, (some with our fingers), but we feel the pages, we smell the paper, we hear the turn of the page.

Reading is not just a visual experience, it is a multi-sensory experience and reading from an actual book is an experience I am not keen to let go of just yet…

Written by David Johnson

August 13, 2013

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