Fortress

Who would dare to unveil,

Memories I cast into deepest corners of my mind,

Coiled up like tightly wound springs,

Hidden from prying eyes,

For fear of them bursting free.

 

I am a wild flowing river,

Capable of flooding this great city of life-

 

I’d sooner drown silently in the swells of sorrow,

Than make islands of us all.

 

I keep a close watch on defending my rights,

Hold a blind stare,

Through history I unwrite,

In a fortress, I guard zealously,

With violent pride, these wine-soaked days.

 

Sometimes I swipe the earth from beneath my feet,

Fall free through thin air and,

I dream of a soft pillow,

That might catch me.

 

Though there’s no comfort inside of this fortress,

Tears fall like rocks from my eyes,

The landslide of my pillow,

Fits the contours of my face, smothers me,

Seals me in my place like a sarcophagus.

 

How will you know my heart?

If not too tender to touch,

Pulsing the life through these veins,

To stand guard, over all I love and all I cannot.

Hindsight

How often my heart sinks, when you talk that way,

When you remind me,

How it was when I was drowning.

 

Caught in a maelstrom of emotions, delusions, and paranoia,

When I was lost to myself completely.

 

Now I watch and listen, over my glass of gin,

Tonic, ice and a slice of citrus, bittersweet,

Pondering possible cures.

 

There are no answers,

When the light leaves your eyes,

Not even a healthy dose of hindsight, and wishful thinking.

Personal Injury Claim

 

You should file a personal injury claim against your alter ego,

Who owes you happiness after causing such pain,

After all the years of negativity and blame,

Endured from that side of your brain.

 

No, you won’t get financial compensation,

Nor lawyers taking a cut,

Though you’re owed a debt of peace of mind,

Self-belief and some luck.

 

Your alter ego has lied,

For countless years,  it’s true,

Telling tales of disappointment and failure,

Pointing the finger of blame at you.

 

So you took it to heart because you have one,

While it plagued your conscience with doubts,

Till the bigger picture was obscured enough,

To appear too small to think about.

 

You’re not the sum of those negative words,

Or insults, you take onboard,

You’re a sensitive soul with a heart of gold,

Not that mountain of fear you’ve been sold.

 

You could sue your other-self for libel,

For a tarnished reputation, bad weather,

For causing you shame, shoving you out in the rain,

Never offering you the grace of an umbrella.

 

You’ve been surrendered to tears and sorrow,

In an ocean of dreams that have drowned,

You’ve been swimming against your nature,

While the tide carries you outward and down.

 

You’re in need of some hefty compensation,

Some respite, recognition, some light,

Despite all you’ve been conditioned to believe,

Why should wearing a smile take a fight?

 

The gravity of  negativity,

Has turned your face to a frown but,

It’s not and never was your fault you see,

So put your claim in now.

Pinpricks

Every little pinprick in the fabric of the sky,

Each distant star sewn into the veil of night,

Portraying how beautiful it can be to dream,

Yet how impossible dreams are to grasp.

 

Still, we gaze into those ink-black skies,

Awestruck by the majesty of the universe,

Small; almost insignificant by comparison,

Yet we weigh our tiny, whimsical dreams against the stars.

 

-Like we were miniature gods,

That we could command this night,

To fulfil our deepest wishes,

Simply by turning our eyes to the heavens and praying.

 

Praying,

For what we believe, we deserve,

Greedy enough to believe,

That the night owes us our day.

Scared of Heights

I guess it’s a survival mechanism,
If you’re up there somewhere,
You can just as easily fall down,
And that’s a long way…

Even as you place me on this pedestal,
I’m terrified I’ll fall,
It’s a precarious place,
The vertigo of such high expectations,
Such strong admiration,
The image of perfection you see in me.

What if I told you, I’m not so sure that’s me?

Writers Block OR Recharging Creative Battery

Sometimes we need a little time to creatively reset. I’ve got writer’s block currently but this is the case because I have little more to write about than my daily experiences at the moment and my daily routine has changed considerably over the last month. You see I struggle with my weight because I struggle with severe anxiety which has meant for a long time I’ve been very reclusive and staying indoors, turning to food for comfort and not burning off the calories I’m putting in. Consequently, I now need to lose about 60 lbs to return myself to a healthy weight and physical state.

The good news is I’ve had a care worker helping me to get out and about more for the past year and now I’m able to face the world with a lot more confidence. I can go out again on my own and I do, now, venture out purely for exercise. Nothing too strenuous just walking but up to about 10 miles a day in short bursts. This doesn’t leave much time for reflection on daily events or current affairs. However, it’s making me feel more energised in other ways and making me feel better about myself for finally tackling the damage that has been caused by my anxiety and reclusive habits.

I’ve overhauled my food intake and it’s much healthier and in smaller portions, but without starving myself. I’ve struggled with my weight before, it fluctuates at the best of times but I’ve been too skinny before and I know that’s not healthy either. My days then, are taken up with noting what I eat, calorie counting and walking, and on rainy days doing step aerobics indoors. All of this is a big change for me especially as my anxiety is also part of being Bipolar and depression can make you very tired and lethargic. It’s hard to get motivated, find the energy, or feel positive about making this sort of effort as you can tend to feel like a hopeless case and believe only the worst of things. Mania, on the other hand, can make you lively, dangerously impulsive and clumsy but generally end up with you burning out and sliding back into depression.

The good thing is that I’ve confronted my negative thoughts and my mirror and said to myself enough is enough. I’ve pushed myself through the lethargy and pushed myself through the anxiety, pushed myself through the feelings of failure and self-hate and I can honestly say the initial struggle was worth it. I still have to make a conscious effort to go out and walk or stay in and exercise, but I have more energy through doing those things than I imagined I’d ever have again. I’m steadily losing lbs and things are starting to head in the right direction. I feel better inside and out but I do not underestimate the effort I’ve put in to start moving again. Depression is a very serious illness and struggle, Anxiety can be life stopping, I also have PCOS which causes fatigue and puts me at higher risk of getting diabetes type II, underactive thyroid which does the same in the fatigue department. So several reasons why energy as much as motivation to go out has been lacking for so long. I think it’s true what they say about endorphins mind. You do get a sense of a natural high after a bit of regular exercise and you do get pretty hooked on the good vibe and energy that gives you after a while.

I don’t see myself as a jogger or a runner in the future as I have an old ankle injury from a bad break back in 2010 that still plays up and I wouldn’t want to over aggravate it. I can always increase my walks and/or look at other forms of exercise like swimming or gym activites.

I was getting to the point where if I didn’t get moving my joints would seize up and my ability to walk would leave me. My weight would become a major health concern.

So, in a nutshell, I’m busy trying to get myself back together in health and spirit and weight. I could write endless poems about that but it’d get boring and I don’t want to go over old ground and repeat myself. I write when I’m inspired to write. There’s no use forcing it. So bear with me while I have a recharge and I’ll write more poems when inspiration grabs me. You can’t look after your creative message unless you look after yourself. I’m doing this for me now. Nobody else. Despite all the cruel things people say and the way, they judge and body shame you when you’re either too skinny or too overweight. I am doing this because I personally want to feel better both inside and outside. It seems to be working and it will be a long time before I reach my goal, but all the pushing through the barriers of my mental and physical health problems seems to be paying off. It’s made a massive change and given me hope for the future again.

 

 

 

 

 

General Thoughts on Creativity (Not a poem)

In anything artistic, be it literature, music, art, crafts, photography, acting, dancing, singing…you need to grow a thick skin because critics are everywhere, buyers are sometimes few, while admirers are many, and the personal cost to your confidence and your pocket is always high.

Even if you’re proven successful after years of trial, error, effort and paying the cost of building your skills and collections of work…there will always be some people who don’t like what you do and some that do.

Please remember the praise you receive is real and justified, don’t think because other people may think differently to that, that praise is any less valid than criticism.

We’re all wanting reassurance we’re on the right path, sure we are,  but when we get knock backs we need to just push forward harder and with more determination and rise above the naysayers. Otherwise, we self-destruct and that’s not right is it?

I’ve been a slow learner myself with these facts but I have had less heartbreak since I started to value my own worth more than the opinions of others. Yes, I am happy to hear what people think but I’m less likely to take it so deeply to heart these days that I feel like giving up. Some people can be cruel and far from constructive; to me, these people are welcome to their opinions but their opinions are not worth my time and misery.

Creative minds need to believe in what they do. They need to remain passionate about what they do. They need to hold onto the enjoyment in what they do. So sometimes what creative minds need to do is filter the incoming criticism with as harsh an approach as the criticism is given. To learn to ignore people who are being plain cruel. Learn to accept compliments as genuine encouragement in a positive direction, learn to listen to the voice of reason and constructive critique and yet apply only what rings true to you and keeps your creativity authentic. Most of all stay true to yourself, give yourself a break, we can be our own harshest critics, and above and beyond anyone else we punish ourselves the worst. So be kind to yourself. Believe in yourself, allow yourself to grow and flourish at your own pace in your own style in your own way. Remember it’s ok, to be different!

Throughout history, the greatest creative minds have been truly original, they’ve deviated from the norm. They’ve had their own voice their own style, their own dress sense, their own ways of expressing themselves. They’ve often faced criticism for not fitting into the boxes society had readily made for them. They were often misunderstood. Underestimated. Or bypassed in their time because they were ahead of their time or even created things completely timeless so they didn’t fit with fashion but they did eventually fit with the human soul and understanding and became posthumously famous on account of it.

Support your fellow creative minds while they are alive. That’s when things really matter. If you believe in someone’s creative output and believe in that person’s ability to shine. Tell them so. If you are the creative mind and you believe in yourself give yourself credit where it’s due. Never look down on yourself. Your calling to create is a precious gift. You are drawn to it and you work hard at it for a reason…it’s part of who you are.

Homeopathy

I’m a homeopathic version of myself,

Key ingredients,

Diluted, diluted and diluted again.

 

Yes, I’m your homeopathic remedy,

Key ingredients,

Diluted, diluted and diluted again.

 

Till I’m barely here at all,

In my little glass bottle,

I’m no better than a placebo,

In the grand scheme of things.

 

But if you take this therapeutic dose,

And you truly believe it could work,

I’m capable of great things.

 

One day, you’ll see,

You never really needed to take this piece of me,

Once you swallowed your faith,

In yourself.

Sing Us To Sleep

They’re putting up barbed wire fences,

Between you and I,

They’re burning down the bridges,

Raising up the walls,

They’re showering the world with bullets and bombs,

They’re tearing the peace flag down,

They’re coming for us now,

Waving guns in our eyes,

Well, how do you sleep at night?

I sleep well,

Because I never truly wake up,

The nightmare will be there,

Eyes open,

Eyes shut,

I should be terrified,

I should be truly afraid,

But they’ve numbed my senses,

To their violent reign,

Day in,

Day out,

The news channel speaks,

Of war,

Like it’s expected now,

Any day now,

But never on our doorstep,

Who are we kidding,

To think we’re safe,

Wasting life away on Facebook,

Or watching trash TV shows,

Where our main concern is how popular we are,

To the online freakshow,

In a quest for a taste of fame,

We’ve been conditioned to crave,

While they,

Put up barbed wire fences,

Between you and I,

And everything we’ve been dreaming of,

Was a wicked lie,

They’re coming for us now,

Waving guns in our eyes,

How do you sleep at night?

How do we sleep at night?

How do I sleep at night?

The nightmare is real,

Eyes open,

Or eyes shut.

 

What lullaby do they sing?

While they send us all to sleep.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cracked Paint

hjspoems

Cracks in the paintwork will show,

No matter how many times you gloss over memories,

The rough grain of turbulent thoughts,

Will never be smooth,

You’ll feel the splinters penetrate your skin,

Your nerves raw, as your mind fragile,

No matter how many times you redecorate the room,

You’ll conclude that old woodchip wallpaper will simply have to remain,

Stuck fast to the plaster, beneath the new.

Your mistakes, regrets, and resolutions,

Follow you,

All your doing and undoing,

Will undo you,

For better or worse,

Fractures in the sky will appear,

Sunlight will shine in,

Rain will soak you to the bone and,

The cracks in the paintwork will grow,

Like vines of ivy on abandoned buildings.

Where nature reclaims her own,

Your character takes on new meaning,

You survive, you thrive,

Through it all,

Some flakes of paint,

May crumble and fall away,

Let them fall,

It’s the…

View original post 7 more words

For the Lost

For the ones who stagger drunk,

Down dim lit alleyways, 3 in the morning,

Past graffiti-stained walls,

Through piss scented subways,

Those who blow smoke rings at the moon.

 

Those, blown from one disaster to the next,

Like yesterday’s news blown in the wind,

For the ones rocking back and forth,

Cold sweat running down their backs,

Head in hands, worried for their sanity.

 

For those crouching in shop doorways,

Asking for spare change,

From passing strangers,

Smoking cigarette ends off the concrete pavements,

Eating leftovers from supermarket bins.

 

For the addicted and the abused,

For those scoring pills and powders,

For those in the aftermath of the fight,

Bruised and grazed and believing the lies,

Circled by the redness of tearstained eyes.

 

For those hanging around dingy flats and broken homes,

With nowhere else to go,

For the dealers, for the whores,

For the things that brought you here,

Whether you were rich or whether you were poor.

 

For the losing, for the lost,

For battles fought at the greatest cost,

For the countless ways, you’d wave goodbye,

For the countless reasons a new-born cries,

You’re still worth the fight to survive.

Regrets

Regrets don’t define me,

They have a conscience,

They remind me,

They refine me,

They guide me,

They adjust me,

Redesign me,

They find me,

Walk beside and behind me,

They change me for the better,

They wise me up,

They shake me awake,

They shock me real,

They turn me around,

They make me turn on my heel,

They drop the hints,

They push me forward,

They give me reality checks,

They give me the facts,

Behind the lies,

Behind the eyes,

I’ll never deny them, but,

They’ll fuck me up,

If I repeat them.

The Day I Was Born

This life is a book I shudder to read,

Characters enter and fade from the text,

As I turn the pages,

There are fewer characters,

Fewer friends, now,

Still, I read about myself, in the past tense,

And realise it had the makings of a Hollywood movie,

With special effects and original soundtrack,

With the camera panning from one scene to the next,

In a fantasy world that never truly existed,

Because it never could.

 

I played the part of numerous characters,

None of which looked like me, at all,

I was trying to find my place in this big picture,

I was trying to find my face in the crowd,

I was taking off costume after costume,

Peeling back layer after layer,

To find myself,

I often forgot my lines, missed my cues,

Botched the stunts,

I was a bad actor.

 

With every costume, I left strewn,

Behind me,

The more I exposed of myself,

My tough exterior, gone, my bravado, done,

My confidences and my strong words,

Struck dumb,

My health failing and my bones aching,

My energy to fight falling away.

 

My past was a sham marriage,

Between who I was and who I always dreamt I could be,

I had nothing to prove to anybody,

Except me,

I had big dreams and ambitions,

I had curiosities, made some bad decisions,

I was writing this book for half of my life before I realised,

Half my life was gone, and I had not yet found myself,

I’d never truly lived at all.

 

In the present tense now,

I unwrite the book, word for word,

I peel the layers down to the bone,

I take off my face paints,

My glitter and gown,

I strip myself down to the soul,

And letter by letter,

The words fall from my pages,

Chapter one: (Reading)

The day I was born, I was 42 years old,

I’m just starting to find my feet now,

One day I will stand up on my own.

 

 

 

Caricatures

Sitting in the Tavern,

Waiting for food to arrive,

The table next to us,

Was massaging its ego,

Six people in total,

Four doing the talking.

 

One of the four,

An outrageously camp guy,

Whose effeminate mannerisms and voice,

Made him obvious,

He was the more sensible conversationalist,

-Most the time.

 

Another was a lady with a posh prim English accent,

Who, over-accentuated words,

Clearly spoken full of upper-class pomp,

She seemed to like to maintain her idea of personal status,

Boasting about her education and upbringing,

She had an air of self-importance that was insulting, to watch.

 

The next guy sitting adjacent to her,

Had a bunch of witty anecdotes,

For all occasions, most of it ridiculously unlikely,

Most likely bullshit,

He was one of those popular guy types,

Alpha male, one of the lads,

But it kept the conversation fresh,

His lies, well-rehearsed.

 

While across the table an American woman,

With a blunt and self-righteous humour and manner about her,

Had an over the top ‘put on’ laugh,

That was embarrassing to listen to,

The laugh would last for a while and then stop abruptly on cue,

It screamed through everyone in the bar,

Fake as hell, but ridiculously loud,

Loud as a fog horn,

We couldn’t hear ourselves think.

 

When their food arrived,

It silenced her a while.

 

The waitress could barely keep a straight face,

She tried so hard, she almost managed, but she cracked a little.

 

 

 

 

 

Shape-shifters

The agreeable sort concern me,

Those yes men and yes women,

Who’ll bend over backward,

To grab your attention,

Shape-shift to fit the mood,

Chameleon skinned slippery little critters,

If you’re in the right crowd,

At the right time, with the right face,

If you’re popular if the pieces fit,

If you have anything they want,

Anything they crave,

They’ll suck up to you like leeches,

They’ll wear your mark of approval,

Like a flashing neon sign,

With sirens blazing,

Arrows pointing at them,

As you stand in silhouette,

Whilst screaming look at me! Look at me!

And they’ll follow you like a lost hound,

Everywhere you go,

In case you might adopt them,

Or throw them a bone to chew,

They might even share it with you,

Something you can both sink your teeth into,

You’ll begin to wonder,

At the bones, you’re picking,

You’re living, but who’s living it,

Who are these imposters?

 

Whoring for attention,

On your time,

Sneaky opportunist bastards,

I don’t trust them,

They don’t like me so much these days.

 

Fade

Days pale into insignificance,

Dreams fade with the first light of day,

I remain like driftwood,

Waiting on the shoreline-

 

To be washed away by the tide,

Lost to time,

I leave no impression in the sand,

Nor bruise on your heart.

 

My bottled dreams cast aside,

Our picture is torn in two,

Heartfelt words laid to waste,

This page is a blank canvas now.

 

Drunk with the heat of the sun on my brow,

You are no more than a mirage,

This too will fade.

Hypothermia

The thin ice where we danced together,

Had been weakening for a while.

 

I watched your smile and mine,

Slowly turn to a frown.

 

The cracks appeared swiftly,

Once they began to show.

 

We had shared the same dream, but,

We were competing for the same ray of sun.

 

So, the icy water gripped our bones,

And together we drowned.

 

We pulled each other under,

Struggling for air in the deep deep water.

 

Nothing is ever solid as it seems,

We murdered the dream, that day.

The Remedy

I close my mouth and listen,

To words unspoken,

They shout louder than silence.

 

Dissolve on my tongue,

Like bitter pills,

I am reluctant to swallow.

 

I take the remedy,

Like a worm in my gut,

Eating me inside out.

 

You might thank me,

For what I didn’t say,

If you knew how it felt,

To feel.

Reckoning

The day smothers me,

With a kiss of empty of promise,

The hours bleed out from the dawn,

Sunlight shifts across the sky,

Casting shade on my sorrow,

Blinding my eyes so I cannot see,

Unready for the reckoning, to come.

 

My stubborn heart,

Bends toward the day,

Seeking a fool’s reward,

For seeing through,

This list of disappointments,

Written in solitude,

I check the time,

Seconds tick by,

I remain, motionless.

 

A storm rages in my heart,

With each breath entering my lungs,

A violent pulse moves me,

Toward the inevitability,

Of day folding into the earth,

In her veil of black,

I am paralysed,

When the hungry earth,

Wraps me in her blanket of thorns.

 

Cold sweat,

Of the night terror remains,

Anxiety rushes through my veins,

Day pierces the shade,

I stare into the light of the sun,

Unready for the reckoning,

To come.

Sentimental

These strange things that hold sentimental value,

Like my great grandmothers’ pocket watch,

It has one hand only to tell the time by,

It no longer winds or ticks and the silver case is badly tarnished,

Family jewellery engagement and eternity rings,

Gemstones missing,

The big old seashell my grandfather kept in the hallway,

That I used to hold up to my ear to hear the sea,

The old pencil sketches he made of his allotment,

Where we used to plant vegetable seeds together and watch them grow,

Kitsch ornaments that play musical tunes,

Old teddy bears, threadbare and stinking of age,

Knitted hand puppets made by my grandmother,

Stitches weak and unravelling,

A moth-eaten old Robert Burns Poetry book,

Dated 1896, with yellowed thin and fragile pages,

A rhinestone necklace that used to grace the youthful neck,

Of my grandmother when Clark Gable was her favourite actor,

The last time my grandad held my hand before he died,

Sometimes I can still feel his grip on my fingers,

I don’t think we ever truly let go, do we?

Get Passionate

If you get easily angered by passion,

You’ve become part of the problem,

Your apathy is a valuable asset to politics,

Lay down at the doorstep and watch them walk all over you,

Wiping and dragging their feet as they go.

 

They love that you can’t muster the energy for debate,

Your boredom and disinterested glances,

They appreciate your lack of intelligence,

Keep switching channels, till you fall asleep,

Big brother has you on camera 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

 

Your every move is scrutinised and monitored for surveillance and your ‘protection’

They keep their own world top secret as much as possible,

They choose words of convenience smoke and mirrors, cloak and dagger,

Social Triggers.

 

They prefer you don’t stand up and be counted in peaceful protest,

Showing solidarity with your fellow man, woman, and child,

They’ll contain you with an underfunded police force,

They thrive on your ignorance, fear, and inability to fight.

 

Do you comprehend,

They dumb you down, they count you out,

They abuse your human rights, your dignity,

Now they want another war and they want you to fight it,

Want to spill your blood and mine, so they don’t get near to it.

 

While they sip champagne on the side-line,

Delay your pension, grab at your earnings,

They want you to turn the cogs of the machine, as they,

Victimise those in poverty,

The mentally and physically disabled,

To the financially destitute.

 

Now they want to cut back on school dinners for kids,

They want to dismantle the NHS as we know it,

Want to raise your taxes, protect the rich,

Make health care a privilege of the privileged.

 

Cut your benefits, limit your housing rights,

They want to criminalise homelessness,

That their system caused; is still causing.

 

They want to attack refugees for seeking safety from terror,

While waging war on ‘terror’ with more violence,

They need their scapegoats, a group of people to blame,

They breed hate in the community,

They breed racial violence and intolerance,

They rely on your hatred.

 

They kiss babies and promise change,

And with every baby, they kiss, another lie is born,

And with every positive change they promise,

The more promises they break.

 

With every scandal, they deny or invent,

Another parliamentary abuse moves out of the radar,

Their violent hearts drop bombs to cause distractions,

They do not feel the bloodshed, they see gold.

 

No, they don’t feel it like we do,

They do not feel the aftershock,

They rely on our vote,

They rely on our gullibility,

They rely on our silence,

Our stupidity.

 

Fuck them,

Fuck them,

Fuck them,

Get passionate.

The Music Box

She was the ballet dancer in a music box,

He discovered sitting in the corner of his hotel room,

With curiosity, he twisted the key till it would turn no more,

Opened the lid and dutifully she began to dance,

Singing the same song over and over,

Dancing around and around in circles,

Against the backdrop of her vanity mirror,

He left the room and left her alone,

Becoming dizzier and dizzier and more lightheaded,

Singing to herself, for hours on end,

Desperate to please, with an urgency to enchant,

Even though he wasn’t listening,

Even at distance and-

 

The mirror watched her enthusiasm gradually slow,

And every time she faced it,

A teardrop slid from her cheek.

 

When finally, he returned,

He closed the lid,

Silencing her song, and returning her to the dark loneliness,

Of the music box,

He didn’t spare her another thought,

She was little more than an ornament to him,

A curio, a toy,

Her song was too sweet to be trusted,

Her dance too predictable.

 

That’s what unrequited means baby-

 

One day a stranger will open the lid of that music box,

Excited to hear her sweet music for the first time,

Only to discover she’s been waiting around,

Long enough for the key to rust,

Her clockwork heart to become brittle,

and the only tune she’ll have left,

will be a remnant of a broken dream,

A slow fractured melody,

Her favourite song ended with ‘once upon a time’,

She’ll struggle to find the notes,

That made her sing,

She’ll remove her ballet shoes,

For good.

The Room

Before I moved here,
The room was clean, neat and tidy,
Pristine, there was a corner for guitars,
A corner for creating music,
A TV set and a bright sunny window,
No dust, no cobwebs,
No love.

I arrived and tidied up of course-

No!

I came in and trashed the place completely,
I gave it that shabby chic touch,
I hung the cobwebs and sprinkled the dust,
I gave it that squatters paradise look, with added glitter,
I left my muddy footprints on the carpets,
I left my lipstick on the rims of cups,
I made the cracks in the paintwork more apparent and,
I moved in to add that, left-overs-on-a-dinner-plate appeal,
Yes, I gave it that lived-in quality.

I gave it; me.

The fresh outlook on life you found my love-
Was me in all my chaotic glory,
No pretence left in my bones,
No appearances to live up to.

I turned down the silence,
Turned on the music,
And dimmed the lights.

The house is a ruin-
A few years’ have passed now, and the room is a pigsty,
Me, my stuff, my creative flair, my late-night brainstorms,
My creeping up the stairs.

 

While our guitars have been replaced with photography magazines,
Camera club paraphernalia stacked under the windowsill.

There’s a large artist’s easel, paint brushes in jam jars,
A desk covered in paint spatters, loaded with clutter, like-
Old compact discs, hairbrushes, tape measures and diaries,
Old books, new books, paperclips and lens hoods,
Cameras, hair scrunchies, keyboard, and mouse,
I can barely move about this desk let alone the house,
Trinkets and craft bits and microphones and a wool hat,
Jewellery wire, beads, and a cinnamon bun; half eaten.

There’s a corner dedicated to paint pots and tubes,
Art inks, pens, there’s art on every wall in this room.
You know I turned your world upside down,
Inside out and back to front, but,
This is home, and every room knows we’re alive!

Yeah, we should tidy this place more often than we do,
But the same chaos inside of me,
Is inside of you,
This room is a reflection,
Of a mutual truth, and affection,
Of passion and creation,
Of becoming and undoing,
Of unravelling and renewing,
Me and you.

Sociopath

 

Whenever I felt your hands delve into my skull,

I knew how you needed me most.

-Like putty in your hands; malleable.

 

If you were to reshape the things that make me, me,

Go in and fix what wasn’t broken and smash up the things you fixed.

-You needed me; vulnerable.

 

Always acting like the one with all the answers,

The first to speak up, last to shut up.

-You needed me silent; gullible.

 

To play me like a puppet,

Make me dance at your command,

-You needed me reliable; agreeable.

 

To validate yourself, in your own hour of weakness,

-You needed me.

Saturday (Explicit)

The nightclub toilets,

Are full of staggering heels,

Tight dresses, short skirts,

Fake tan and lashes,

Loud shouting women,

Fixing their makeup, and hair,

With as much care as possible,

After several shots of happy juice,

There’s a heady mix of perfume smells,

Sweat, and booze,

That hits you as soon as you open the door.

 

You stand in a queue of women desperate to pee,

You can hear every word of,

Gossiping about the dance floor incident,

Where some random cow threw lager,

Over Angela’s new dress, in her face, in her hair,

It was completely unprovoked says Sharon,

Bitch was trying to stir shit says Kerry,

She was trying to flirt with Ange’s fella says Laura,

This fucking dress is ruined says Angela,

Dry clean only too for fuck sake, fucking bitch, fucking slag,

-She mops herself up with toilet paper,

Wipes the mascara into a tidy smudge,

Plotting silent revenge.

 

Pissed up women are hell in a handbag,

For losing the plot on the sudden,

Stacy is crying her eyes out in a loo cubicle,

Kicking the door like a mad head,

Refusing to come out after an argument with Richard,

Cursing the tosser, for choosing tonight of all nights,

Next door,

Jane stands in a toilet cubicle with the door unlocked,

Half swung open,

Snorting a line of coke off the top of the toilet cistern.

 

Done, she folds the tenner note back into her purse,

Along with the credit card,

Sniffs and wipes her nose before shimmying her way,

Bold as brass past the toilet queue,

Back out to the banging tunes,

The flashing lights, the ultraviolet,

A crowd of fucked up happy fools,

All jabbing at the air with arms and hands,

Wiggling their asses,

Dancing up close and personal,

On a sticky dance floor.

 

This is Saturday Night,

Heaven for some. Hell, for others.

Summer Roses

She turned a cold shoulder with all the usual cutting charm,

Of a butterfly with razorblade wings, fluttering gracefully by,

Moving through the scene, a silent tornado,

Slicing petals off my summer roses,

To leave me with this bouquet of thorns,

To remind me that the petals scattered at my feet,

Would never last.

Trainspotting

The baggage we arrived with roots us,

We try to walk away, leave it behind,

Yet our wrists are handcuffed to the handles and,

The handles are made of thick solid steel,

The luggage weighs us down to the spot.

 

People on the platform hurry by and never seem to notice,

At least they never stop to ask why we’re standing here,

Not moving,

They’re too busy with their own concerns,

They push past us like we’re invisible, insignificant.

 

We watch the trains come and go, while over the speakers,

We hear destinations listed, platform numbers announced,

We watch the clock change at an alarming rate,

Day turns to night and the platform is a ghost town,

Still, we stand here hunched over our baggage.

 

Seasons change, and still, we’re stood in the self-same position,

Weather beaten, frozen in winter, blue from the cold,

Thawing out in spring, sunburnt in summer,

Collecting the shit of passing birds on our shoulders like statues of long dead heroes,

The only constant here is us.

 

We’re waiting here all this time for the keys to the handcuffs,

To set down our burden once and for all,

To wander free of this open prison of guilt, regret, and worry,

But our keys are in the suitcases we hold,

Locked under a combination code that we can’t crack.

 

We can’t remember how we made it to the platform in the first place,

The luggage is too big too heavy to shift on our own,

Did somebody help us? Can’t recall-

They must have grown tired of carrying our dead-weight,

If they left us here.

 

Why leave us on a platform?

With so many destinations to choose,

So many journeys we can’t make,

To watch other people, get on and off with ease,

Watching trains arrive and trains leave.

 

We never consider the content of the baggage,

Grows heavier the more we put it out of our mind,

Tears well up in our eyes, we ache from the burden of all this stillness,

A child passing on the platform loses hold of a balloon on a string,

All we can do is watch it drift away, weightlessly.

On a Broken Wing

Can’t fly far on a broken wing,

Can’t hit the right notes when they sing,

Can’t see the forest floor for the trees,

My angels fell and bruised their knees.

 

Halos slipped around their eyes,

As they stumbled on an idea less wise,

To hitch a ride from the roadside,

They thumbed a lift and stepped inside.

 

One red devil, in the driver’s seat,

Was totally baked on high-grade weed,

Said I’m going to hell for the company I keep,

And just before he fell asleep-

 

He winked at my angels with a grin,

Said so are you for the shape you’re in.

 

Can’t fly far on a broken wing,

Can’t hit the right notes when they sing,

Can’t see the forest floor for the trees,

My angels fell and bruised their knees.

 

 

Itch

You know I’m well acquainted with your smile,

Having known you a long while,

So, no matter how sweet you wear it,

I can tell when your pretty face lies.

 

When your “See you in the morning, sleep well, sleep tight,”

Really means, “Goodnight forever, good riddance, goodbye”.

 

If I feel an itch I’ll scratch it, every time,

I’ve scratched this one down to the bone.

 

Yes, and I’m well acquainted with my flaws,

I went through living hell to be collapsing at your door,

I owe you my apologies for the fallout, I know,

All I ever gave was honesty.

 

Yes, and I’m aware of how that might read,

When you’re looking in from outside of the book,

When the story isn’t the fairy-tale it seems,

Well, the story wasn’t a fairy-tale to me.

 

If I feel an itch I’ll scratch it, every time,

I’ve scratched this one down to the bone.

 

Hush

I need room,

My brain rattles my skull with white noise,

Basket case conversations, wastepaper words,

I’m tangled in a creative knot,

Trying to unravel, unwind,

My days used to have a beginning and an end,

Now I can’t recognise either,

The markers for awake and sleep keep shifting,

Weeks bleed into each other around here.

 

I’m tethered to this Wi-Fi lifeline seven long days a week,

It offers me life signs from cyberspace,

Where everyone has their finger on the pulse,

Checking they’re still alive,

It makes my head hurt, and destroys my vision,

Inward and outward,

Still, I’m hooked like a hungry fish,

The continues to be surprised at being reeled in,

Time and time again.

 

I need hush,

Shush,

Silence,

Nothing.

 

I need nothing at all; to inspire me,

Switch off, disconnect,

Breathe and reflect on nothing,

A deep concentration of nothing,

I drift out into a sea of nothingness,

Until I am nothing, going nowhere, thinking nothing,

Until something comes along out of the blue and stops me,

From drowning in the wonderful joy of absolutely nothing.

 

Something worth living for,

Something that reminds me I’m alive,

Something that makes me smile,

Something to unravel me.

 

Like those days when we laughed and danced,

Campfires and guitars,

Those nights when we talked till we lost track of time,

Like those years when everything filled our eyes with wonder,

Hopscotch and skipping ropes,

Ice-cream and bubble-gum,

Discos and celebrations,

Family, friends-

When the human touch meant something.

 

Shush,

Hush,

Silence,

Let me remember you.

 

Out of Sight

Out of sight, out of mind,

Out of the way, I had no say,

So, you were free to entertain,

The notion I could not complain,

Some witty anecdotes were made,

My misplaced trust of yesterday,

You think its funny game to play,

When I can’t stand my ground,

When I’m not around,

To defend or to explain,

To cut you dead, correct your claims,

As you placed my picture in your frame,

You think you’re perfect, what a shame.

 

Out of sight, out of mind,

How fucking weak of you to dare,

To make a comedy of my despair,

To sit and smirk and gloat and stare,

At my expense, and start to laugh,

You find amusement, in the past,

I lick my wounds, switch you off,

Conclude enough is enough,

Knowing you’ll juice it all you can,

It doesn’t make you much of a man,

To confide in someone real and true,

You can’t be trusted, to tell the truth,

I may be broken, may be bruised,

But I don’t have anything to prove.

Convenient Parking

We’re not getting any younger,

We’re losing our looks,

Losing our minds, gaining body fat,

Our bones are tired,

Our spark has died,

Friends are too busy to socialise,

Jobs, kids, date nights,

Holidays and lives,

Don’t get out of the car yet,

Yes, I know it won’t start,

But we need each other,

To conveniently park.

 

 

No-one Can Hear Your Heartbeat

No-one can hear you talking girl,

They have their own dialogues,

No-one can hear you breathing,

No-one can hear your heartbeat,

No-one except you,

You stand on the periphery of the social circle.

 

Your sob story sinks you to the lowest rank,

We only want the good news today, but,

Your happiness is too loud to deserve airtime,

Check in some other day,

Your world is on the other side of the screen,

Not here in a social media dream,

Go away, entertain yourself,

Go away and fuck yourself,

But do something productive.

 

No-one can hear you talking kid,

We’re all talking to ourselves,

We’re all talking about ourselves,

Don’t have time for anyone else,

I like your funny picture,

I glanced at it between rants,

I smiled at your meaningful meme,

On my way to my inbox…cynically

 

-Hmm no reply

 

I saw you posted music videos,

But I don’t know the band,

So, I won’t listen to it,

I won’t waste my time,

It’s not Ed Sheeran,

No-one can hear you talking mate,

No-one can hear you scream,

No-one cares when you’re cut up,

On the other side of the screen.

 

We can switch you off, report,

Block your updates,

We get to pick and choose the content,

We can edit conversations, delete our guilt,

We can deny everything,

Claim we missed your news,

No-one hears your heartbeat stop,

No-one here can hear a pin drop.

 

The chatter is too loud,

The news feed clouds the view,

No-one can hear you weeping babe,

No-one except you,

This is nothing personal,

We hope you understand,

We love you, but we just don’t care,

We just don’t care.

 

Count on That

I was not the enemy,

Yet I walked blindfold from the precipice,

As darkest dreaming smothered me,

I knew I couldn’t count on you.

 

Now, I wake from the blackout,

To admit my foolishness to you,

Feel I owe you an apology,

And a piece of my pain.

 

Sorry, never good enough,

For your shell-shocked heart,

And moral judgement,

As foolish as I am,

I knew I could count on that.

 

I was not the devil that tempted me,

I was not the reflection that cracked me,

I was not the darkness that took me,

I was not the faith that left me.

 

Sorry, never good enough,

For your blind anger,

But I don’t blame you,

For you were not there,

I knew, I could count on that.

Soulmates

When you find your soulmate,

You’ll know.

 

Your eyes shine,

You remember how to smile,

When you fall in love,

For the first, and final time.

 

You feel you’ve known each other forever,

Can’t imagine ever being apart,

You are two bodies,

Sharing one heart.

 

No matter how many others,

You have known and kissed,

And used the word ‘love’,

To describe it.

 

You have never truly loved,

Like this.

Waiting in Line

You reach a certain age and you realise,

We are all just waiting in line,

Watching people die,

Waiting for our number to be called,

The only certainty we have about life,

Is that life is a death sentence,

So, enjoy it while it lasts.

 

We dream,

As we pace about our waiting rooms,

Of perfect lives, perfect bodies,

Nice house and garden,

The perfect love story,

We work, in varying capacities,

To achieve great things,

Weighing ourselves against the competition,

Comparing notes.

 

We get by,

Shuffling our feet, slouching in front of TV Sets,

That feed us dreams and bullshit,

We buy the bullshit-

Hopeful of success but clueless on what it takes,

Mortality creeps up on us,

As we sleepwalk,

Carelessly stumbling on addictions, habits, and greed,

We dance across the tightrope of time,

As though immune to danger.

What a waste,

To spend a lifetime finding our balance,

To slip, fall and find no safety net beneath us,

What a tragic shame,

We don’t love each other enough,

To show respect, understanding, and kindness,

Don’t appreciate each other,

Don’t care until it’s over.

 

We turn a blind eye until all hope is gone,

Wake up suddenly regretful, feeling sorry for ‘ourselves’,

Tears are reserved for the living, my friend,

You were born to ‘feel’.
You’ll reach a certain age and realise.

 

Cracked Paint

Cracks in the paintwork will show,

No matter how many times you gloss over memories,

The rough grain of turbulent thoughts,

Will never be smooth,

You’ll feel the splinters penetrate your skin,

Your nerves raw, as your mind fragile,

No matter how many times you redecorate the room,

You’ll conclude that old woodchip wallpaper will simply have to remain,

Stuck fast to the plaster, beneath the new.

 

Your mistakes, regrets, and resolutions,

Follow you,

All your doing and undoing,

Will undo you,

For better or worse,

Fractures in the sky will appear,

Sunlight will shine in,

Rain will soak you to the bone and,

The cracks in the paintwork will grow,

Like vines of ivy on abandoned buildings.

 

Where nature reclaims her own,

Your character takes on new meaning,

You survive, you thrive,

Through it all,

Some flakes of paint,

May crumble and fall away,

Let them fall,

It’s the cracks in the paintwork,

-That make you.

 

Footprints in the Frost

Soft sentiments, poetic,

Heart-warming verses,

Neatly written by innocent hands,

On pristine pages of tidy notebooks,

No torn pages, no crumpled paper,

No dogeared corners, nor crossed out words,

No bend or break in the spine of the book,

With certainty, and self-assured peace of mind,

Soft sentiments, poetry,

Heart-warming verses,

They belong to a character, in a book,

I’ll never write.

 

Because I’m starving for words,

Shivering and shaking at the back of my rented home,

It’s winter at 4am,

Starlit in pinpricks of white,

Against a deep black sky,

Clear night,

The silver moon in full bloom,

Thick frost glistening, crunching underfoot,

A dog howls in a neighbouring yard,

My breath wheezes smoke rings,

That curl, drift, fade, soft into the cold air,

Like ghosts.

 

 

I wonder why I’m out here,

With you,

On a night like this where the currency of ink is all spent,

And the soul shrinks back into the landscape,

Unseen.

 

I admit you caught me out,

Whispering at solitude,

Screaming silently,

Cursing shadows,

Caught me-

 

Leaving footprints in the frost,

For you to follow,

-Before you dare lift your pen.

 

 

 

Dreaming

The dust and detritus of daily life,

Burrows deep into the crevices and cracks of pavements,

We once walked as children,

Dragged at the hand by exhausted mothers,

Smiling at strangers with childish curiosity,

Pointing at random objects of interest asking, “what’s that Mommy, and why?”

Always why-

 

Daydreaming about everything but the harsh reality,

Of our future adult lives,

That we could barely grasp the concept of by observation,

From the comfort zone of parental love,

The safety of not having an inkling about it,

With a vulnerability enough to crave it, pretend,

We dressed up in mother’s high heels,

Put on her makeup,

Played dress up like we were already there.

 

Whilst here, now,

-If only,

I wish it was still a game to us now.

 

These streets are now walked with eyes cast down,

Into mobile screens,

We block out city noise,

Wearing headphones leaving a tinny hiss behind us,

We collide, and brush shoulders,

Strangers all,

We rarely meet eye to eye,

Rarely meet at all.

Till we’re home and dry,

Behind the walls, we build around us,

That seem higher and higher,

Every day,

Watching the door to the outside world,

Slip further and further away,

From our grasp.

 

Like the childhood innocence,

We barely recall,

Though it seems it slipped from us,

Only yesterday,

When we slipped off our heels,

Washed off our makeup,

Staring into the distant silence of our mirror world,

Wishing for dreams to come true.

 

We never had a clue what the game was,

We were playing.

Grace in Surrender

I lost my naivety,

Learned what it meant to fall,

From the dizzy heights of innocence,

To no longer be blind.

 

Too wise before my time,

I lost my sense of danger,

As I tied myself to the railway line.

 

The oncoming train,

The reality I never anticipated,

Slammed on its brakes to spare me knowing,

What it would be like not to feel,

My heartbeat but-

 

For the rest of my days,

I had wasted my prettiest years,

On tears, born out of wanderlust.

 

I had wasted my breath,

Whispering into the night,

Lost in fantasy world,

With no hope of mending,

Such fractured dreams and-

 

I’m a burnt-out shell of a former grace,

With the truth etched on my face,

I’m a disgrace, but isn’t everyone,

I know.

 

Now I’m scared of everything,

And I think too much, too often,

As do you and so does everyone,

I know.

 

Maybe there’s grace in surrender,

Grace in hindsight,

Grace in surrender to next time around,

Grace in surrender to being still after all,

Grace in surrender to the fall.