Pencils – an Audience Song by Odds and Ends

30 September, 2020

The Song – Pencils

Only a boy my whole life before me.
Till my feet were swept off the ground.
Woke up in a new world where strangers were my friends.
Nobody I knew was around.

And all that I can feel is pencils in my hand.
I don’t care if it hurts, you don’t understand.

Life is full of blood and tears.
Memories, they fade with the years.
I am saved by my own kin.
Pencils in my hand, I’ll start again.

So I left home, half a man.
Looking for a way out of town.
30 years a slave to my own brain.
Can’t let myself down.

And all that I can feel is pencils in my hand.
I don’t care if it hurts, you must understand.

Life is full of blood and tears.
Memories, they fade with the years.
I am saved by my own kin.
Pencils in my hand, I’ll start again.

Nightmares used to fill my head.
I’ll understand, I’ll understand.
Empires are built from sand.
I understand, I understand.

Life was full of blood and tears.
Memories, they stay with the years.
I am saved by my own kin.
Pencils in my hand.

Life was full of blood and tears.
Memories, they stay with the years.
I am saved by my own kin.
Pencils in my hand.

The Story

“I wrote that poem when I was 16. I was alone, depressed and high on a cocktail of weed and alcohol in an empty flat in Auckland. When I was 13 I was hit by a drunk driver. The ‘accident’ left me with physical scars and disabilities. I started having seizures in the hospital. My body was in constant pain and my head was a mess.

I spent months in 4 different hospitals

When I was released I had no idea who I was, who my family were, or where my home was. My parents had separated due to the stress I caused them. I bounced back a forth between them not knowing how to cope. 2 years later in art class at college, I was stabbed in the eye. I lost most of the vision from my left eye and I’m left-handed.

So half-blind, uncontrollably crazy, and feeling very alone

I left small-town Hawkes Bay and headed to Auckland. I spent the next 35 years traveling around New Zealand. From one adventure to the next. Trying to stay out of trouble. It hasn’t been enjoyable but I never gave up. To this day I battle with PTSD, temporal lobe epilepsy and pain but I never gave up. 11 years ago I became a father.

My son has saved me

I named him Darius after the old Persian kings who built empires out of sand. Like me, he loves to draw. Back in ’84 when I was in Wellington hospital I woke up and asked for some pencils and paper and I started to draw. I’ve been drawing ever since. My son and my art saved me from prison, hard drugs and certain death.”

I call my studio Kiwiportraits. It is my therapy. Samples of my work can be seen at www.instagram.com/kiwiportraits

Check out Grace Duncan’s mini song that she also wrote for this story here:

Audience Song is a collective of songwriters who compose songs inspired by stories that speak of overcoming the challenges and adversities in our fast-changing world.

FOLLOW THE SONGWRITER:
https://www.facebook.com/odds7ends
https://www.instagram.com/odds__and__ends/

AUDIENCE SONG is a project by Song Conversations

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