Eyes Down, Heads Up


A message for all students entering an exam period, and the teachers and educators supporting them. You’re all incredible… Believe in yourself, and to yourself be kind. Best wishes, and good luck! Whatever happens, it’s just another stepping stone.

Eyes Down, Heads Up
Clickable lyrics

“Adulting”: it’s not easy
Take it from me
The relentlessness and necessity doesn’t stop
Whether you are 23 or 63
Going through puberty
With fire and chaos inside
Is challenging enough for you and those you touch
Yet, you are told to take it in your stride
You feel you can’t hide
Crowded and alone
But you’ll cope, won’t you?
Take shelter under the blue light of your phone
Eyes down, head up

Adults have been there; done that
Or so we say
Having morphed away from adolescence
We forgot how it could feel this way
And so day after day
The system buries you
Places you in a realm of order when you feel entropy
But your friends can come too!
Out of the window your dreams flew
As we forgot to teach you to hang on
Were you compelled to get left behind?
Do you fear, that badly, you’ll get it wrong?
Is it so important to belong that you gaze
Eyes down and
Fight the tendency to get your head up?

Adultly expectations placed on you
Is it such a surprise then
That you’ve grown up so fast?
Your youth is the ink in the pen
That just ran out
When you needed it most
Borrow a pen; ink full of energy and vibrancy
Only to find they too have become ghosts
Those pens don’t even work anymore
Words become scribbles
You feel them fade away
But you’ll trade them from freedom
To hang on for another day
So you can get your eyes down
Got to keep your head up

Your teachers appear unadulterated
Holding all the keys
Or so it seems, as only one unlocks the system
One door: behind it are reams
And reams
And reams
And reams…
It invades their sleep
Reams for dinner, reams in the windshield
Reams over their child’s bedsheets
Reams producing hollow yield after hollow yield
But, they are your shield
Truly they fight with all their heart
So you can make it eyes down
With heads up

Believe in yourself
This time will not define you
Don’t let it define you
You will get through
And don’t fear failure too
Failure is more nurturing than you think
Failure protects you from fear
Puts bravery in your ink
So don’t shrink
Rise up, be yourself, your whole life’s ahead
You are young, you are incredible
Don’t be consumed by dread
You have the power to change your world
Your eyes may be down
But keep your head up

Those single desks look like desert islands
The hall is your cage
Laid out like a chess board
But it’s just a stage
It won’t stop you coming of age
Those brown envelopes only contain broken dreams
In your mind
Opening them won’t shatter you
Believe in yourself, and to yourself be kind
By all means give it your best
But you need not destroy yourself
Don’t let the system destroy you
Your dreams are still there on a reachable shelf
Eyes down
But heads up
Keep your head up.

Steve Rackley (c)2018


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