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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 abusing 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.

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.

 

 

 

Reckoning

The day smothers me,

With a kiss 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.

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.

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.

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.

 

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.