Saturday, August 28, 2010


This engulfing darkness

Is not from the reflection of our skin,

And the emotion that besieges us

Is of our self imposed purpose.

The bondage that forces us

To slip back into slavery

Is not from the forces around us.

We chant the need for freedom

For our souls, our race

And for the emancipation

Of our mental handicap.

Yet we sit back and dig into old wounds

Infecting our strength with poisonous

Self inflicted torture;

Poisoning our weapons then stabbing ourselves

And while still drugged in the pain of our failure,

We search for someone to blame.

Our failure thus far has been fuelled

By the fear deeply lodged in our souls

And as long as we make hatred the source of our strength

This ball and chain will not only stagnate us

But it will drag us back to where we're running from.

©Naan Pocen

That Nordic Tempest

That Sexy Nordic Tempest.

Touched the core of my heart

With that steady piercing glare

Of his deep green stare.

I had not the faintest

Idea that this obvious fine art

Of mutual flirting would pair

With his Scandinavian flair.

That my heart he'd arrest

A move rather smart

I'd say, was a clever snare

Of which I was unaware.

He was my conquest

Although a bleeding heart.

Clever bastard! I was his lair

A calculated answer to his prayer

His touch was earnest

My defences he teased apart

He could never refuse a dare

Of a broken person – to repair.

But that familiar Nordic glummest

Will, was crippled in its part

Ambition to fix a pain not rare

And my adoration he did pare

He focused on the farthest

Pain that needed to depart.

He was so bull-headed I swear

He won't listen – I thought he didn't care.

Yet I loved the ginger fur on his chest

And his kisses…oh don't let me start…

I feared my judgement he'd impair

Until logic becomes a past affair.

Our mutual attraction began to divest

For I focused on his faults in part

Looking for something in defence to tear

Before my heart he'd forever ensnare.

I decided to attest

We were slowly breaking apart

We're far from where we were

And now we are an odd pair.

©Naan Pocen

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


You are what you think. You are what you go for. You are what you do. Bob Richards

My late grandma used to say ‘Be the sort of person you want to know’. I’ve always held that close to my heart and I have always thought I was the sort of person I would want to know. However, for a very long time I have sought validation in others. I felt good about myself when someone else does. If there is a friend or a lover that reaches out to me and ‘needs’ me, it makes me feel invincible, like I can do anything I set my mind to, but the moment there is a break in that transmission, I begin to doubt my self-worth. It’s weird because in my head, I know that I am still the same person I was when I was being validated, yet that still small nagging voice tells me “you’re not really worth knowing” and it gives meaning to why I don’t seem to matter to them any more. It’s a very sad place to be really.

Sad because human nature makes it difficult to accept that just because someone doesn’t find you interesting enough any more, it doesn’t (AND SHOULDN'T) take from who you are. What we need to realize is that the people that normally get us spinning in self doubt are those we have purposely chosen to matter to us. If a total stranger tells you, you are worthless, even to your face, chances are you’d laugh in his face, or at worse call him an idiot, but people you have opened up to can just by insinuating, even if not intentionally, you don’t matter as much, and it will send you spiralling to a nasty state of self doubt.

The question to ask yourself is why are you so afraid of being rejected? Is it because you don’t like yourself and are afraid of being alone? Because You cannot be lonely if you like the person you're alone with and that is just the plain truth. So the next time you find yourself doubting your self worth, spend the time to know yourself anew and love yourself again. And trust me, before you know it, that feeling of worthlessness will melt away.

And the next time, that nasty feeling tugs at your heart because that special someone doesn’t want you as much as you want them to, tell yourself, it is okay. We win some and lose some. That’s just life. Remember "One comes to believe whatever one repeats to oneself sufficiently often, whether the statement be true or false. It comes to be a dominating thought in one's mind" - Robert Collier. So it's in your hands to chose what you feel about yourself.

©Naan Pocen

Sunday, August 08, 2010


“Divine Madness.” If you say that slowly in a whisper, it gives an almost accurate picture of our office, or to be precise, my experience of it while I was in Spain. Obviously the Spain office has a lot more staff than the Italian branch, so it follows that they handle more services than we do, plus the reason I was in Spain was for training so yes it felt like such organized chaos….no, just chaos (not organised).

The first week was scary. I didn’t know what to expect. I had never worked in sales and services before. My experience has always been in the creative art - writing to be precise, and even when I branched out a little, I taught English (not too far off since I was still dealing with language and communication). There was so many details to remember and too many information crammed into very little time. I took notes, I listened, even eavesdropped at some point, asked questions, took suggestions, analyzed, compared work methods and just remained meek and submissive. By the end of the week I had my first ‘AHA’ moment.

The whole freaking thing wasn’t as complicated as it appeared. Granted, a lot of attention needs to be paid because it is a detail oriented work and one little mistake screws up a whole lot and makes us lose money, so yes, we needed all the details and advice and suggestions and all that jazz, but the real confusion, or at least for me, was trying to merge all that with everyone’s odd way of handling the same shit.

Now, talk about impressions. Lady R in the Spares department impressed me immediately, she had her nose into every unfinished project and followed its progress as though it was a personal thing that would result in a rather once in a life time spiritual fulfilment. That was impressive I must say, to bear that kind of zeal for a job.

Then of course there was Mr S (Spares). Laid back and somewhat quiet, but every time he decides to break the silence, witty things come out his mouth and it just cracks me up. Refreshing. With him, I got the impression of a rather collected and sure-footed person. Nice.

Ms S and Mr R at management were impressive too. Ms S was always soft spoken, calm and smiley and for some odd reason seemed like a misfit in that chaotic scene, can’t say I’m sure why. Don’t get me wrong, she knows her job and she does it well. Now Mr R he had a way with his suggestions but the one thing that stuck in my head was the way he explained certain things and pointed out how easy it was to take one wrong turn and he’ll garnish that explanation with ‘what’s gonna happen?’ somewhat like ‘you do the math’. So I learned from the word go to work on every project asking ‘what’s gonna happen?’ at every turn and it kinda helped me stay focused. Good job R!!

J.C (Service) reminded me of my late uncle Idzia, and for the life of me, I can’t figure out why, and the odd thing is he isn’t much older than I am so why uncle??? Hmmm, beats me. He was somewhat like Mr S in Spares, but he retained his silences more, so I hardly ever noticed him, but he had given me some really valuable tips and very helpful notes so he certainly didn’t go unnoticed.

Now, to the real mad house. Service. JM and EDK. We have danced, and sang, and breath, and lived and talked divine madness. I had to work in close contact with these two as we were all service coordinators and I had to get a feel of what the whole thing was all about. Now there aren’t any two people as North and South as these two. Their approach to work that is. We do the same thing but differently. I got confused at a point because one person says ‘do it this way’ another say ‘no do it this way’ and when I run to Mr R he takes me through the steps and we end up at ‘what’s gonna happen?’. In the end I figured out one thing (and Mr R confirmed) - Figure out a way to do it. The baseline is knowing the goal and reaching it without screwing up along the way.

JM was a charmer though and I don't think I'll ever hear the phrase 'you're the best' again without remembering him. It was a phrase he used a lot. He'd be a great PR personel. He was a good people's person.

And EDK was actually the first person in the office to invite me out on the town, so thanks to her I had my 'tourist moment' and my kid got to have some fun and make new friends.

Then of course there was Mr D and Ms M (Service). I didn’t get the chance to work with them much as Mr D went on vacation just two days after I arrived, but I got the impression of a collected and gentle person. He did help me with accessing Ms M’s computer as I had to use hers while she was away. He even gave me his password to our protected server as I didn’t have access myself. Of course when Ms M returned, I used his computer till the end of my training and he never came back from vacation…

Ms M smiled a lot. She was gentle, the way she talked. Every time I hear ‘Naan’ in that soft voice though, I know I am going to be asked about a service or a quote or some planning I should be working on. The amazing thing was how impeccable her timing always was. Every time I punch the last key that seals the end of the project, I hear ‘Naan, what about Grand Benelux?’ and I respond ‘Check your email in 30 seconds’. I got the feeling like, as long as there was Ms M, there was no room for day dreaming during work hours, which is OK with me.

And Boss…..well, what can I say? He is like a whirl-wind. He comes and goes and moves so fast I get the impression of a whirlwind in the office, not destructive though. Besides the first day I was there and was introduced to every staff (by him of course), I had very little direct contact with him, which isn’t unusual really.

Then of course there are the beautiful people upstairs. I don’t mean that in a condescending way. Four or five women (I don’t remember as I have basically avoided them (had no real reason to go there) while I was in training. Beautiful women, all of them. It did cross my mind at a point to wonder if maybe the qualification for being up stairs was being beautiful, but of course I discarded the thought immediately as it is absolutely absurd. They manage our finances and they’re doing a great job of it….and they’re all beautiful….OK, you can tell I can’t get over how beautiful they are lol.

The technicians, can’t say I really remembered any of them….Maybe Mr I and Mr JH. I because of his attempt at broken Italian and especially because he looked 18! And Mr JH because he spoke Spanish so fluently I thought he was Spanish until he spoke English with an American accent and left me scratching my head wondering…..

Now….My Kindred Spirit.

Mr J.

That’s the one person that impressed me the most in that office. Not only was he available and approachable for when I needed guidance to quote work hours and which technicians to assign the jobs. With him, I felt like I had known him in another life time which is rather odd as I had met him just about the same time I met everyone else. We had our coffee breaks and talked about creative art and writing, which was rather refreshing… I mean, everyone else saw one face of me - the meek-submissive-wanting-to-learn-all-there-is-too-learn-Naan (which is quite OK, I’m a Gemini woman, I‘ve many faces, all truly and wholly me). Mr J got to see the chatty, excited, dreamy, social Naan, and it was nice to be able to throw off the ’office robe’ and just be and with J I could do that… yes I looked forward to (and greatly miss) those coffee breaks.

Now I am back in Italy and making use of all I ingested from Spain and all I can say was that the whole experience was an explosive… (whisper it) DIVINE MADNESS.

Friday, August 06, 2010


No one's ever choked to death for swallowing their pride. Unknown

Pride goes before destruction and a hauty spirit before a fall. The Bible (don't panic I am not religious, not preaching here....just using a great quote that happens to come from the Bible is all)

If you're anything like me - wanting to be a better person - then you'd know that one of the things that makes for smooth sailing, is sailing with as little negative energy as possible. We go through life creating, and sometimes, even if unintentionally, we create more bad energy than good and we carry that aura about with us polluting everything we come in contact with. Things go wrong all the time and we don't know why. Sometimes - again if you are anything like me - we hide our heads in the sand and explain things away instead of taking a closer look and understanding the real problem.

Often times, it seems like it's a lot easier to be in denial and let things just slip away and eventually they would cease to matter. The truth is, by doing that we are incubating bad vibes and when it brews long enough it'll explode and leave a nasty sting on things. Granted, it is painful to put one's pride aside and say I was wrong but the pay off is great. It takes a whole burden off of you. What is important is not saying I was wrong BUT IN REALLY KNOWING THAT YOU ARE, that is just one step though, the next and more important step is knowing you need to fix the problem AND fixing it.

The next time you feel like you are being courted by some negative aura, instead of being quick to point the finger outward at that situation that makes your life unbearable, take a pause and look within. You might be surprised to discover that the stink inside is a lot worse than that unconfortable external situation.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Sometimes hair defines a person, or so it seems. A week ago, I cut my hair for various reasons. About two years ago, I had gone natural (no more chemicals relaxer to straighten it) and had grown it to about 12 inches long (shoulder length and wore it in braids all the time), but in a matter of days, I decided to shave it all off.

I usually make drastic changes (colour/cut) to my hair whenever I have a new direction in life. It could be a new significant other, a new or better job, a life style change, or an evolved personality. In this case it was an evolved personality. I had gone through too many changes in the last couple years that I felt I was not really the same person I was even two years ago.

I had graduated my fashion designs course and had worked on a collection for a career launch. I was going to pack up and leave Italy and start the new direction in a different environment (I had never worked formally in the fashion industry before so it would have been my first). Then I got an offer that would mean putting on hold the fashion thing and moving to a different city but still in Italy. I didn’t even blink twice before accepting the position.

Now it’s not because it was a once in a life time opportunity. But at least it was getting me out of Rapallo and for now that was my biggest ambition to get out of there. Arriving my new station proved to be a lot different than I had expected, the bunch I would be working with were cordial and accepting, but I was still the new kid on the block and I was keenly aware of that. I tried to settle in but I felt like the sore thumb and I couldn’t figure out why.

Being in a new town and trying to register my kid and I as new residents proved to be quite a challenge. The citizens were great but the procedure was too daunting and I had very little time to run around, but eventually, I had it done. I thought that should give me the feeling of settling down and maybe take away a bit of that new-kid-on-the-block feeling. It didn’t. That was when it eventually dawned on my that I was digging deep inside trying to find the Naan that was two years ago because in a weird way, I thought she would fit better in this new role. The Naan that is today is one with a bolder personality, hard to intimidate and one with specific and clear directions for what she wants out of life and especially HOW to get it.

For the life of me though, I don’t know why I thought she shouldn’t be put into this new situation. I suppose a part of me wanted the meek submissive Naan that was to be here to make for easier integration. Eventually, it occurred to me, that unless I present the Naan that I want to represent from now on, I would have a problem later on, so I thought, what is the one thing I want to say about me and hope it will sink in to anyone that meets me?

I want to be thought as the brave unconventional woman that is not afraid of being and especially looking different because deep down I AM DIFFERENT.

So the one quick way I thought I could portray that was to shave the head. It takes a lot of courage to be a skin head, especially because society defines a woman’s sexyness and femininity by her hair length. The initial hair cut was a disaster, but a friend of mine levelled it off for me and now I am spotting an inch long mini ‘fro.

So I guess, unlike India Ari, I’ll say I am my hair….or at least for now.

Sunday, May 09, 2010


There was a song by The Pretenders that my baby sister used to love. I’m not sure what the title was but it’s got a line that says ‘there’s a thin line between love and hate’. It took me forever to really understand what that meant but when it finally made sense, I realized that there is a thin line between a lot of things really.

It’s there all the time in relationships. The boundary of this thin line is most tested in crisis and how far we decide to push it solidifies or dissolves the line, neither of which are good. Relationships are a tricky thing to master. The only relationships we find ourselves in that requires more effort to pull away from is family relationship, anything else requires effort to REMAIN in it.

Someone said to me once that the older he got, the more defined his idea of ‘the one’ became and the more difficult it was to find her. I had asked him then if it probably was because he had become more critical and demanding with the passing of time and he assured me that it was the contrary. To a certain extend I agree with him. We learn from our experiences, certain experiences leave us wanting a replay, others leave us swearing never again, so yes, I suppose we get a clearer picture of what thrills or pisses us as we grow older.

However, I do not believe age has anything to do with common sense when it comes to deciding when and where to push our luck. Being in a relationship is all about decision. There is always the basic reason why we were drawn to the person in question and almost all the time, that basic reason has very little to do with logic, but it is good enough to make us decide we want to know them more, hoping of course to make them a part of our lives. But give it a little time and we’ll begin to see that this awesome person is human after all (full of flaws). Now this is the point where an important decision comes to play - do we want to hang around long enough to understand if the flaw if acquired and can be shed off or if it is an in build part of this person? And if so, is it something we can (or want to) live with?

Everyone has two lists of things to decide to stand or not - The list that is about the other person’s flaw - does he slurp his soup? Does he pick his nose? Is he good looking enough? Is he rude and crude…etc, then there is the other list, about this person’s flaws in relation to you. Does he criticize you all the time? Does he use you as his punch bag when something or someone else upsets him? Does he put you down to make himself feel better about his flaws? …etc

Sometimes we tell ourselves, I can put up with that even if I don’t like it because it will help me understand him better. That is just being in denial. There are a lot of ways to understand a person without putting up with their bad behaviour, ESPECIALLY if it is in the slightest disrespectful to you. If he starts off being disrespectful now, trust me, you don’t want to hang around to see what he’d do when he’s caught you in his net.

If he picks a fight with you because he is upset about something else that has nothing to do with you and you put up with that, no matter how understanding you think you are being (hey, we all get upset and misbehave and should be graceful to our loved ones when they get that way….right?), you are only helping in dissolving the line between respecting you and being able to be themselves and remain true to their emotions. What that does is, the offence will get bigger and more frequent until one day you cannot see the line at all…..on the other hand, you ought to be able to accommodate a person’s negative emotions. You don’t want him being afraid of showing his frustration before you because you’d take it the wrong way. The balance here is making him understand that as long as HE can see the line between being frustrated at something else before you AND still know it has nothing to do with you. He can break all the plates he wants.

Tricky situation isn’t it? What I am saying is that each boundary line is personal and each person has to decide for themselves what they are willing to put up with. It is important though to remember that when a behaviour gives you a bad feeling. No matter how small it is (compared to the bad feeling you got from it). DO NOT IGNORE IT. One day you’d pat yourself on the back and say “good job (Naan)”. Trust me, that’s a lot better than finding yourself in a situation that would require years of healing and possible therapy to be normal enough to cope again.

So look out for those thin lines and MIND THEM.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

First Kiss.

Ian Ellis was the coolest boy in school. He had promised me a kiss for my birthday, it would be my very first kiss and I was excited. I turned 13 yesterday. I've thought and talked about the kiss, with my best friend Tania, for the past 2 weeks. I had also told Auntie Melissa. I couldn't tell mother, she never understands such things. I didn't sleep much all night; I kept feeling funny in my stomach, like a tickle, like butterflies. My very first kiss from the boy I like the most in the whole world! It would be during the school dance and I was looking forward to it, I even had my best dress ready, a week before; just to be on the safe side. I saw him across the hall, he was talking to Henry Paul and looking at me, I wondered what they were talking about. Maybe Henry knew Ian would kiss me. I was standing right next to Tania and my palms were sweaty.
"Wow, your very first kiss Maria," Tania gushed, looking at me, rather excited. I tried to smile at her but I was so nervous, my mouth felt dry. I tried to look calm yet I could feel my body tremble lightly. Auntie Melissa had given me tips about kissing a boy. I think she knew that I liked him very much. Tania and I saw him coming towards us and she quickly vanished, leaving me standing alone. I looked away, pretending to wipe something off my wrist.
"Hello Maria," he had said. I feigned to look startled.
"Oh, Ian." We stood there in an awkward silence for a moment. "It was my birthday," I said nervously and almost kicked myself. How dumb.
"And I am here to give you a kiss."
I was looking at his lips as he said it, he must have just eaten something, he had crumbs at the corner of his mouth. I hoped he’d make it quick before the dance ended. Oh I'll be embarrassed if anyone saw us. It was dark enough and no one was near the entrance but us. Just then, I remembered that I had just had a tuna sandwich! Oh no!!!
"One minute," I said, looking away, I felt myself blush, I reached into my pocket and pulled out my lip gloss and some chewing gum. He stood there smiling at me, making me even more nervous. I chewed the gum for a few seconds then swallowed it - I didn't know what else to do with it. My hand was shaking as I began applying the lip gloss; I hoped he didn't notice it.
"Is it flavoured?" he had asked.
"Eh? Oh, I don't know," How dumb; of course it was flavoured and I knew it! I didn't realize kissing a boy would make me that nervous. Ian seemed calm and that made it even worse for me.
"Ready," I said folding my arms in front of me, then folding them behind my back. Arms. What nuisance, what should I do with them? Auntie Melissa had said to let them hang loosely by my side at first, thank goodness I remembered that just in time. I let them drop, but I held them so stiffly I felt like Uncle Barney in his military parades. Ian was still looking at me, at my mouth actually, and smiling, at my mouth actuall. Oh no, maybe I had put on too much lip gloss, I thought. I quickly reached up and wiped my mouth.
"Ready," I said again. It felt as though I waited forever, I glanced around quickly, we were still unnoticed, I hoped he’d make it quick before the dance stops and someone sees us. I should close my eyes I thought, so I shut them up really tight and waited like forever. First, his lips touched mine very gently. I had that funny feeling again in my stomach, almost like a painful tickle, I wanted to laugh and cry all at once. I held my stomach with one hand and my skirt, really tight, with the other. Suddenly he thrust his tongue into my mouth. I gasped. That was what Auntie Melissa had called a French kiss, I think. She also said it was supposed to be nice, but all I felt was his tongue wiggling furiously in my mouth, from side to side. How do you respond to that? He began thrusting deeper, as though he wanted me to say "aaaahhhh". I just let my jaws dropped lower and his saliva ran down the side of my mouth – that was very distracting. Should I let him have my tongue? I stuck it out a bit and he quickly sucked it into his mouth.
His mouth tasted like fermented taco burps and he had too much Saliva drooling. How gross. He pushed his tongue back into my mouth again, this time, as though trying to touch my tonsils, My hands instinctively went up to his shoulders, I wanted to push him away, but this was Ian Ellis and I liked him very much! Auntie Melissa did say something about holding his neck or his face while kissing him, so I did, hoping it would help me feel more in tune with the whole thing. Now he's exploring my gum, teeth and whole mouth with his tongue. I could smell raw onions on his breath; I wondered what he had eaten. I didn't have that nice feeling in my stomach any more. Our teeth rubbed a few times, it was rather unpleasant and all I could think was ‘unhygienic’. Suddenly the music stopped and we jerked apart. Ian had a goofy smile on his face; he seemed quite pleased with himself, as though he thought he had knocked me off my socks, and I had never been more glad about the end of something like I was about that kiss. I smiled at him; He was Ian Ellis after all and I still liked him.

© Naan Pocen