Archive for the ‘Blogs’ Category

Blog for Monday August 23rd, 2010 – Tour For Kids

23 August 2010 | Paul Rea

I just returned home from a four day event I participated in called Tour for Kids. A charitable cycling event which raises funds so that children with cancer can attend summer camps. I am proud to say that unlike many other organizations all funds donated to TFK are allocated 100% to the charity.

Some of you may recall that 6 weeks ago I was “out” with a compound fracture of my left collar bone. Thinking once again that I had missed yet another TFK due to a cycling injury, I was bitter, full of negativity, and didn’t even bother with attempting to raise funds given that I had received specific orders from my doctor to stay off the bike for at least 6 months. I recall laying in my hospital bed wondering if I would ever even venture back onto the bike. Notwithstanding this, I was back on the bike within a few weeks of coming home from the hospital, at first on the indoor trainer until I finally took it outdoors a few weeks after that.

Needless to say, the decision to ride the Tour for Kids was only made last Monday. I figured on riding the 4-day 100 km option so as not to overdo it. Unfortunately, I was unable to abide by that idea and by Thursday, the first day of the event, I had figured on at least riding 160 kms on the first day and see how I’d feel on successive days.

Thursday was a miserable day for me. I hopped onto a very fast group that had us riding 50 kms in just over 75 minutes. I felt completely dejected when, unable to keep up, I was dropped by the group shortly thereafter. The negativity (or ego depending on your perspective) began to creep in. I felt bitter that I had lost so much of my fitness and conditioning because of the injury – knowing full well I would have been able to keep up 6 weeks prior. When I finally crossed the “finish line” after riding 160 kms, I was so exhausted and dejected I could barely speak.

On Day 2 I felt much better and started the day off again with a fast group. Unfortunately, once again I was only able to hold on to them for just over an hour. Just before reaching the first rest stop one of the Tour Marshalls, upon hearing my story, pointed out that in the scheme of things my “troubles” really weren’t so serious. That the true nature of the event was to bring some small token of joy into the lives of children who at such a young age were faced with the prospect of dying on a daily basis. It was only then that my TFK experience changed so drastically. I stopped worrying about riding with the “fast guys” and riding the 200 km distance and began to enjoy the sunshine, the company of new friends I made, and helping others whose conditioning wasn’t as good as mine.

Those four days were a whirlwind, rollercoaster of emotions – everything from elation to abject misery, total empowerment and total humiliation, rain, wind, thunderstorms, sun, flat tires, mud and dirt – the whole gamut of the emotional and cycling experience. In short, I rode over 600 kms this past weekend the entire time thinking that the pain and suffering I was enduring was nothing compared to what the true champions, the children fighting cancer and their loved ones face on a daily basis. I met so many wonderful people along the way and I learned so much in these last few days that I am now convinced that cycling is just a metaphor for our lives. Hills, valleys, climbs, descents, joy, and hardship – on the bike or off the bike – life is meant to be lived. So much of our experience depends on our perspective – if we see that hill in the distance and decide that we cannot climb it we will invariably fail. The alternative is to grin, grind up that hill and bear it. Our lives are really no different.

When I finally crossed the final finish line yesterday after having ridden for just over 5 hours I struggled to hold back the tears – my journey was over and yet I had the feeling that it had really just begun.

I look forward to repeating this wonderful event next year.

If you are interested in sponsoring me (post event) please click on the following link:



Blog for Monday July 26, 2010: In the Winter….

26 July 2010 | Paul Rea

I recently posted “In the Winter” which is probably my favourite poem to date. It is ironic considering that it is now 30 degrees C outside. The poem came to me in roughly five minutes of inspiration without much thought on my part. I must admit that I really cannot take credit for it – the words came to me almost automatically. It is for this reason that I can comment on the poem as if I were someone other than its author.

I strongly encourage everyone to read the poem first before reading on.
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Blog for Wednesday July 21, 2010 – Down but far from out

21 July 2010 | Paul Rea

Hey folks,

its been a rough and tumble couple of weeks. I broke my collarbone in a cycling accident a couple of weeks ago. Thankfully, I’m pretty much back into the swing of things again though not really on the bike. “On the Ground Again” was inspired by the accident and in that poem I tried to capture the feelings running through my head immediately following the crash. In addition, I am happy to release a new group of poems that I mentioned about a month or so ago. Look for new poems to be released every few days or so. I’ve noticed a change in my style over the last six months – I appreciate your comments regarding whether you feel the change is positive.



The Lost Art of Talking to Strangers – Blog for Thursday June 24, 2010

25 June 2010 | Paul Rea

I apologize that this is going to be a bit of a lecture but it is my website…. I promise that I have some excellent new poems coming very soon.

I was stopped the other day by an elderly gentleman when purchasing espresso beans for the office. I’ve had the hardest time finding these beans lately so naturally I started loading up the cart. The elderly man approached me and mentioned that the price must be good for me to be buying so many packages. Tongue in cheek, I explained my dilemna. The man proceeded to engage me in conversation for the next 10 minutes. I was amazed that this “old school” gentleman had a talent that seems to be completely lost on young people today.

At one of our recent family functions I observed that a number of the 16 – 20 year olds who attended sat at their respective tables and made virtually no effort to engage the other 16-20 year olds at the party. I recalled in the good old days being naturally drawn to people my own age and basically spending the entire function with people in my age group. Disappointingly that no longer appears to be the case. When you strip these kids of their blackberries, their facebook accounts, etc there doesn’t appear to be any desire or interest on their part of engaging people face to face.

I have always aspired to be like my Dad who is a master (inspite of a limited formal education) of talking to anyone. I think it is a complete travesty that the art of striking an engaging conversation with a stranger is fading. What a horrible shame.



Poetry is Verbal Art!: Blog for Wednesday June 16, 2010

16 June 2010 | Paul Rea

Greetings Dear Friends,

I have a number of poems that I haven’t yet published which are part of the first batch of poems I wrote. Except in a few cases, the remainder of the poems are what I consider rather mediocre so I will publish them under their respective categories – they will not appear at the top of the list. Rest assured though that I have been writing away and have been harnessing the “divine” inspiration I receive as it comes to me. I intend to publish a slew of new works in the next few weeks and am confident that these new poems are among my best works to date. In particular “In the Winter,” a poem I wrote last weekend is one of my personal favourities and have heard nothing but positive comments about it. The soon to be released “Haunted,” a poem I just completed, is also one of my personal favourites. I’ve noticed a change or evolution in my style as well. Instead of rhyme as was common in my earlier works the reader will now find a copious use of metaphors featured in my poems. Perhaps the works are now more difficult to decipher but the beauty and imagery is there for a heart and mind willing and open enough to appreciate it.

I am in the process of entering into a few poetry contests as well – I would really appreciate it if my readers would assist me in determining which poem is among the best and most likely to win a contest. Please send me a comment as to which are your preferred poems.

Until then,


Blog for Wednesday May 26, 2010

26 May 2010 | Paul Rea

“Even This Shall Pass Away” a poem by Theodore Tilton was referred to me by one of my closest friends R. Sharma. Thank you for making me aware of this wonderful poem that has a similar theme to my own “How Rich Am I?”.

“What I Am” is a poem inspired by a multitude of sources including the Beatles “All You Need Is Love”, and in particular the series of books written by Neale Donald Walsch entitled “Conversations With God”. The poem’s most basic premise is that we are all pure love and that love is all there is. We are all the same – no more and no less than anyone else and until we begin to realize this basic truth human life can not progress. Some of you may ask how a Hitler or the harshest serial killer could be considered to be “pure love” but my answer to that question is the following adaptation of a famous story:

One day a teacher asked his class if they believed God existed. Not suprisingly most of the students raised their hands in the affirmative. The teacher ridiculed the believing students by then asking them if God did exist then why had he created evil i.e., rape, torture, murder, etc. The teacher went on to say that God could not exist because an almighty God would not have created such evil.

A lone student at the back of his class raised his hand and asked the teacher if he believed in darkness. The teacher replied, “Well, ofcourse!” “During the day it is light and during the night it is dark.”
“Darkness is a human construct”, corrected the student. “What we humans perceive to be darkness is really just an absence of light”. The student went on, “It is the same with the evil that you just referred to. There really is no such thing as evil but merely the absence of love.” “God did not create evil, humans have constructed the concept to explain an absence of love in the same way they created the constructs of light and dark.”

The student’s name was Albert Einstein.



Blog for Monday May 10

10 May 2010 | Paul Rea

I’ve posted four new poems. “The World Stopped Turning” is a poem very much about love at first sight. I think each of us has experienced that head spinning feeling of falling love. The poem is an attempt to recreate that feeling.

“How Rich Am I” is a social commentary poem. I have never considered material wealth to be significant in my life. Instead I have sought to experience the wealth of nature and feelings. I invite my readers to do the same.

“Wars to be Fought” is one of my personal favourites and I encourage each of you to read and re-read beyond its verse. There is far more going on in this poem than a cursory reading of it suggests. The allegories regarding the Sun are there for a reason. The poem speaks to the eternal struggle each of us experiences.

“Over Your Shoulder” is a love poem. Its about watching and loving from afar. As a parent I often want to directly intervene in my children’s affairs knowing full well that I’d not be working in their best interest were I to do so. The poem speaks to the helplessness mingled with pure love that we feel.



Blog for April 12

12 April 2010 | Paul Rea

I watched the movie “Il Postino” in its entirety last week for the very first time. Those of you who know me intimately are probably aware of my love of good Italian cinema – with “Nuovo Cinema Paradiso” still ranking as my all time favourite film. Nonetheless, I admit that I rather enjoyed “Il Postino” because it appeals to me on a number of levels. For starters the main character, Postman Mario Ruopolo, is an aspiring poet who rides a bicycle – sound familiar anyone? The Postman has but one delivery in the course of his employ who just happens to be exiled Chilean poet, scholar, and politician Pablo Neruda. Without giving away too much of the plot, the duo develop an unlikely friendship which is cemented by Don Pablito’s assistance to Mario in wooing the woman of his dreams. If you haven’t seen the film I highly recommend it.

I had previously taken a cursory glance at Neruda’s poetry in the past and considered it to be slightly outside my preferred style of poetry. The movie helped me gain an appreciation of his work however. Instead of straight rhyme Mr. Neruda’s technique often involved the abundant use of metaphors in capturing images. I am now an admirer of Mr. Neruda’s work and have provided two of his poems for this week. I apologize that both of the famous poets whose works I’ve cited to this point share a name in common with myself i.e., Paul Rea, Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Pablo Nerruda – purely coincidental I swear! But hope you can appreciate the works I have provided here.

Its important to note that Mr. Neruda died in 1973 and was pretty much a lifelong Communist. While I do not agree with his politics there can be no denying that his poetry is some of the most influential and beautiful verse written in the 20th century.

Please enjoy.

PS: I was so inspired by “Ode to a Naked Beauty” that I wrote a poem entitled “Warmth” which varies markedly from my usual poetry. I consider it be written in what I call the “Neruda-esque” style and will share it with my readers at some point in the future. Does anyone notice the similar theme of Neruda’s “Poetry” and my own “Another Place, Another Time”?



Blog for April 4, 2010

4 April 2010 | Paul Rea

I have released three poems in the past little while.
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Blog for March 23, 2010

23 March 2010 | Paul Rea

I just posted one of my all time favourite poems, a work by Paul Laurence Dunbar, a celebrated African-American Poet from the mid-nineteenth century who inspite of his immense talent received little recognition in his lifetime. “If” is a poem that is very meaningful to me because it speaks about the theme so many of my own poems speak about – the fact that we as humans can rise above. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Also, a few days ago I published “Her Dark Clouds”. Yes, I do admit that I have (quite possibly in peril to my health) published a poem comparing a woman’s anger to a thunder storm or other Act of God. I invite you to overcome any dilemna or forrays the poem may have with political (in)correctness and read on to the happy ending.

Finally, I heard last week from one of my readers that I have developed a bit of a “fan-base” so to speak. I was relatively unaware of this due to the lack of comments I have so far received in the “Comments” sections under any given poem. I cannot stress enough that your feedback dear reader, is very important to me and allows me to guage the impact my website is having. Please take the time to give me your thoughts, good, bad, or indifferent.

All the best,