And As The Seconds Tick Away Towards The New Year…- A Repost


As I raise my flute in drunken glee,
I look upon what was once a live tree.
So concerned with this planet and global warming,
my resolution to do better can wait til morning.

For tonight, I celebrate with friends and acquaintances,
spreading well wishes and exchanging whispered confidences.
The wrongs of this world, for just one night
can wait a little longer for us to do what’s right.

A sick child with no health care will have to hold on
until I open my bleary eyes to greet the new dawn.
The Black man being dragged by the Ku Klux Klan
should have seen them coming, he should have ran.

Of course I care about the people who have addictions
just like I care about my neighbor who can’t afford her prescriptions.
I know about the homeless who have formed a tent city.
But for just this night, champagne will take away my pity.
And as the seconds tick away towards the New Year,
even champagne cannot stop me from shedding another tear.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2017 Shelby I. Courtland

I wrote this one because as we celebrate the ringing out of the old and in with the new, I cannot help but believe that more misery, cruelty, suffering, chaos, war and all things of horror, will follow us into this new year and beyond, for what will have changed?

As we head to our parties tonight, break out our party favors and drink our champagne toasts at midnight, wish each other a “Happy New Year,” are we really going to think that this year will be any happier than 2019 or 2018 or 2017? What is going to change to get us to actually mean it when we say, “Happy New Year?” It will be just another year of the same because we won’t change. We will continue in our old ways of ignoring those who are less fortunate. We will pretend as though there are not wars being fought just because. We will never for a minute think that we have aided and abetted in the destruction of this planet through our selfish acts as we scream, “Happy New Year To One And All!” If we really meant that, we’d know it because it would show, but when you look around, does it show? Does it look as though we give a damn about the children who go to bed, hungry? Does it look like we give a damn about the homeless? Does it look like we care about those who are in unimaginable pain because they have no health insurance? Does it look like we are going to start doing something to hold our elected representatives accountable for the way they continuously make the working poor pay for the idleness of the rich? Does it look like the ‘new year’ will bring about a change in the human psyche which seems hell bent on self-destruction? If any of you ponder these questions, I already know what the outcome will be. Exactly how you were in 2017, 2018, 2019 is how you will be in 2020 and on and on it will go until they plant you. Because we are always going to wait til tomorrow to ‘do’ better. Just like each and every year, we are bombarded with ads to lose weight and get in shape and some people actually make a resolution to do just that and then after a month, what happens? Back to square one. We’re pathetic!

And so, I will not say, “Happy New Year!” I will merely say, “Welcome to the rest of your lives!” War, misery, homelessness, joblessness, starvation, income inequality, racism, ignorance, selfishness, arrogance, greed, lust, apathy and complacency and your solutions to getting through all of this; heroin, crack, alcohol, weed, mass murder and suicide.

“Welcome, To The Rest Of Your Lives! Cheers!”

If You Are Mentally Ill, A Drunk Or A Drug Addict, The Army Wants YOU!


And no, this is not fake news. I only wish it were.

Army Now Accepting Recruits With Serious Mental Illness!

WASHINGTON – People with a history of “self-mutilation,” bipolar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse can now seek waivers to join the Army under an unannounced policy enacted in August, according to documents obtained by USA TODAY.

The decision to open Army recruiting to those with mental health conditions comes as the service faces the challenging goal of recruiting 80,000 new soldiers through September 2018. To meet last year’s goal of 69,000, the Army accepted more recruits who fared poorly on aptitude tests, increased the number of waivers granted for marijuana use and offered hundreds of millions of dollars in bonuses.

What the fuck??!!! Because the Army is having problems meeting recruitment goals, the Army has now lowered its standards even further to include those who self-mutilate, are bi-polar, suffer from depression and abuse drugs and alcohol. So, I guess Army recruitment centers will now be set up in mental health clinics all across the United States. Army recruitment centers will be set up where Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are held. Army recruitment centers will now be set up where Narcotics Anonymous meetings are held and where folks line up to get their methadone.

But according to the Veterans Administration, 20 veterans commit suicide a day. In 2014, the latest year available, more than 7,400 veterans took their own lives, accounting for 18 percent of all suicides in America and this occurred BEFORE this new ban was lifted and so this will add to those who take their own lives since they’ll already be mentally ill or be vulnerable to mental illness and suicide BEFORE they’re ever sent through basic training.

The whole world should be laughing at US because what most of us have been saying all along has now been proven; the fact that we have a military that is so useless, it is laughable. No wonder every military action undertaken by the U.S. has failed in recent decades and continues to this very day. The U.S. military couldn’t effectively round up ants at an ant farm because the U.S. military is filled with an inept bunch of drug-addicted, mentally ill, suicidal rejects from grade school and the situation is about to get worse AND how!

There is no way in hell that I would join the military and expect some self-mutilating, depressed and/or bi-polar, drug addicted alcoholic to watch my back. I’d be more concerned with what was going on behind me in the ranks of my so-called fellow soldiers than I’d be concerned with a ‘foreign’ enemy I was facing. If I said that I was appalled, I would be lying because this does not surprise me; not in the least. I have been saying for quite some time and in no uncertain terms that our military is as ill-prepared to fight and win a war as new born babies are.

So, go ahead! Sign on the dotted line and when you’re killed, it will not be because some foreign terrorist sent you to meet your maker, it’ll be because one of your fellow soldiers, who was already screwed up in the head, went berserk and murdered his entire outfit and then turned his gun on himself because in the heat of battle, he forgot to take his psych meds. And for those who are drug addicts and are sent over to Afghanistan to guard opium…..uh….excuse me a minute, willya while I get up off the floor over laughing at that one! A heroin addict is supposed to stand guard over a poppy field and not go nuts for that opium? Are they fucking serious??!!! LMAO!!

I literally find this all quite laughable because there is no way in hell that with this shit coming down the pike, that I would suit up and head to foreign lands to be backed up by essentially, the blind, the crippled and most definitely, the crazy! Join the army? Indeed! But know this, don’t act as though you weren’t warned because even though the Army has been keeping this on the down low, do yourself a favor and research “Army lifts ban recruits of people with a history of self-mutilation, bi-polar disorder, depression and drug and alcohol abuse!” And if you don’t have a problem with someone sitting behind you taking a razor blade to their arms while you’re in a warzone, sign up. If you don’t have a problem with someone going through such a serious bout of depression as to be thoroughly useless in a warzone, sign up. If you have no problem with a drunk, shaking so bad because he can’t get to some booze and he’s holding a gun pointed at you, sign up. If you have no problem with a person who is a recovering heroin addict, guarding poppy plants beside you in Afghanistan, sign up. And good luck with that! DAYUM! I just cannot stop laughing because you are SO dead! But do you really think that those who put this all into play are going to be standing right beside you with folks such as these? Hell no! They’ll be safe in their beds while you’re sitting somewhere hoping that the guy next to you is not a heroin addict, is not into self-mutilation, is not suffering from a bout of severe depression today. But as they say, “Keep hope alive, that is…until YOU’RE not thanks to the depressed dude who went off his psych meds while in the middle of a warzone!

Don’t Judge The Things I Do!


Dunk me in a martini glass.
Shower me with LSD.
Shoot me up with heroin.
Now that is ecstasy!

Fill my champagne flute,
I’ll take another shot.
Hold the ice if you please!
Oh yes, that hit the spot!

Don’t judge the things I do
to make it through the day.
I’m not cut out for slavery
just because I’ve bills to pay.

The boss is on my back.
My fate is in his hands
I do what needs to be done
and still, he makes demands.

I need so many drugs
since life, it ain’t a beach
nor a picnic in the woods
and freedom is out of reach.

They lock me up and I get out
and I go back to my ways.
What they don’t seem to know
is that on me, the vulture preys.

Capitalism, it is a bitch
Its chains, I cannot break;
It’s killing me slow and sure,
but much faster than the drugs I take.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2015 Shelby I. Courtland

What Is Wrong IN My Life?


So many temptations to get me high,
Or could it be that I really want to die?

Sell me crystal meth, I’ve developed a need.
This shit is so good, even my demons recede.

When I drink it’s because I want to forget
all the horrible things I’ve come to regret.

And if I shoot up heroin,
don’t I know it’s a sin.

But it takes away the pain
Though, it’s all in vain.

These are the escapes that I do crave.
And yes to some, I give in; I cave.

What is wrong in my life?
Should I end it with a knife?

With so many voices in my head,
will they leave me when I’m dead?

When the pain of life gets too hard to bear,
the soul of man is filled with despair.

Note:I’ve tweaked this abit because those of us who love to write, for us, we can never get it ‘right’.

This one is about the ‘demons’ that many of us try to escape from. Life for many is just too damn horrible to contemplate, sober and in the U.S. alone, escapism by way of drugs has become an epidemic. Regardless of socioeconomic factors, it has crossed all barriers. It is not respective of income or education or even geographical location. People are using/needing drugs to escape from pain of the body, from the pain of the mind.

Written by,
Shelby I. Courtland
©2014 Shelby I. Courtland

Domestic Violence

domestic violence
Unfortunately, too many of us know about domestic violence because we have been or are being beaten and raped and degraded. Some of us may have been witness to domestic violence as a child. I was. I saw my mother being beaten by my father many times. I saw my sister grabbed and handled by my father. For some reason, I was the only one who could stop his attacks and yes, I was the eldest of three girls.

I do not write this because I am proud of having gone through domestic violence and gotten out. I write about it because I want others who are living this to know that there is hope and for those who suspect they know of someone going through this, to try and get them to see that there is a way out.

If any of you have read my previous posts, than you know that I considered myself to have been fairly sheltered from the harsh realities of life and that I had never known hunger, homelessness, never saw anyone begging and walking about in rags and I would have said that I had never seen drug abuse, only I realize now that I have. My father abused alcohol. He was usually drunk when he beat my mother.

One night, we were all in bed, all except for my father because it was a weekend and he usually drank with his buddies. What woke me was the sound of loud cursing and then cries from my mother. I covered my ears, hoping that it would soon cease. It did not. Her cries continued and increased in volume. I got up and went down the hall to their door. It was open and I will never forget the sight. My mother was lying on the floor and my father was kicking her. I ran in and grabbed him and pulled him back. I looked up at him and yelled for him to “stop it!” We stood nose to nose. He had a wild look in his eyes, an uncomprehending look and he just stared at me and I back at him. Meanwhile, my mother lay whimpering on the floor. My father backed away from me without saying a word, he left the room, went down the hall and down the stairs. I went to my mother as she was still sobbing. She asked me to call the police. I did. They came and said that they would be on the lookout for my father. In the ensuing days before the court date, they got back together. My father would come in and bring my mother gifts and be nice to her and then he’d be back in the house. Until the next time, that is.

You see, domestic violence is going to continue. We hear from our abuser how it will never happen again. We hear about how sorry they are and they don’t know what came over them. Some will even blame the victim for causing them to get angry by suggesting that it is something they did. It’s called, ‘not wanting to take responsibility for their actions’.

Unfortunately, domestic violence can be learned. When I was dating my now ‘ex-husband’, he would tell me of the times when he would pull his father off of his stepmother. He was actually shot in the leg for coming to the aid of his stepmother. And yet, before I married him, he beat me up in my parent’s house because my cousins wanted me to go with them to the club and he did not want me to go. My parents were at home at the time and it did not occur to me that what they should have done was to throw him out and call the police because he had beaten their daughter. What they did was to encourage me to go home with him and talk it over and things would be okay. Oh, I was young and dumb. I did just that. And yes, he promised never to hit me again. We got married and one evening I was talking on the phone to my sister and he came in the room and told me to get off the phone. I refused. The next thing I know, I was seeing stars and everything went black. I left him and went back to my parents. I had him arrested. We went to counseling. We got back together. He hit me and choked me and dragged me and did other things and he was arrested again. I finally left him for good. But he wasn’t having it. He would have his friends park outside my new home and just stare at me coming and going. He would come and bang on the door, demanding entrance, threatening me. I called the police. Then I heard about how with getting restraining orders, there’s no guarantee that it will stop them.

I had no choice. In the dark of night, I snuck out the back, left my car and walked to the bus station. The next bus leaving was bound for Baltimore, Maryland and I was aboard it. I could not use my credit cards. I was terrified and looking over my shoulder all the time. I felt beaten twice over and yet, somehow, through perseverence and determination and finding inner strength and enduring setbacks like the fire, and the subsequent loss of another home, I survived.

To those of you who are going through this, I know what you’re dealing with. I know the pain, the “what am I doing wrong?” It is not you and it is not going to stop. I do realize that if you are not working and you’ve got young children, you feel that you are stuck. There are shelters for ‘battered women and their children’. No, it’s not the Ritz or the Waldorf Astoria, but it will not be forever, just until you can get things sorted out. Just get out!! Go! I know it is not an easy decision to make with so much at stake, but your life is at stake and possibly that of your children. I wish that I could tell you that it is going to be easy. I cannot. But I will say this, you can do it and I have said this before, some where else, “you are stronger than you think!” Never doubt it for a minute!