beginnings, like endings, bring a certain fear,
because how on earth will things be any different this year?

people speak of hope,
a renewed resolve to cope
– to explore a range
of strategies for change.

the end of this year echoed the last,
as I was visited by the Ghost of New Years Past.

an unpatient patient in a familiar place,
my mind transcending time and space.

I had not slept
in days, but kept
watch carefully,

and that had been my unravelling
in the end, had led to my travelling
unexpectedly to this place of healing.
which left me feeling
my night mapped
out for me
as I struggled to be
in my skin
felt something akin
to defeat.

I’m discovering that endings are not neat,
that there is no such thing as a clean sheet.
life is a mess,
and though I try my best,
the pain in my chest
refuses me rest.

beginnings mean pressure
that I won’t measure
up to, and unlike other folk
I lack that hope.
I have almost no spark
to kindle in the dark.



what is truth?
is it something for which you need proof?

for years I was a closed book
on the receiving end of reproachful looks
and words
as I was not heard.

‘start talking’ was the advice
and so, reluctantly, I let the truth slice
up through my throat
and float
in the dead air
as I pretended not to be there.

but I learned that your truth
is not my truth
not without proof.
and that the professionals Chinese Whispers game
said I was to blame.

and who would you believe anyway?
the person who may
have lost their mind?
or one of your own kind?

I get it, I really do
but the truth is, I know more than you
about me
in fact, I may be
an expert on myself
and my notes on your shelf
contain third-hand
information. so when you stand
there saying that my truth isn’t real
I feel

I want to take back what I’ve said
keep my truth in my head.

No Man’s Land

I am a country, divided
everything is double-sided.

I am plagued by opposites
down in the pits of no man’s land.

fall down, stand
up. stay, go.
yes, no.

but the divide is not equal
and so I free fall
a lot.

‘you don’t know what you’ve got
’til it’s gone’
that’s a line from a song.

and I wonder if it’s true
I wish I knew,
but my mind is filled with clutter
and my heart flutters
so often these days,
while I think of ways

and I shout
try to break down the wall
but again, it falls
on deaf ears
and that steers
me further down the path.

you almost have to laugh
– almost, but not quite,
because the question is, do you continue to fight?

I have been told

I have been told I’m wise
but that’s a pack of lies.

I’ve been told I’m clever
but only cos they’ve never
seen the contents of my head
because really, I’m brain dead.
I go through the motions
without any notion
of why.

I’ve been told I’m shy
timid, quiet
that I let
people talk over me,
but it’s hard when I fail to see
the point of the interaction.
there is a fraction
of me, buried deep
as though asleep.
it occasionally breaks through
and I want it to
though the effort it takes to make it happen
more often makes me batten
down the hatches, weather the storm
and this becomes the norm.

I have been told I’m kind
when the fact is that in my mind
I’m not
I have fought
to maintain this facade
of a trait I never had.

I have been told I’m a great many things
but very little rings
and I have work to do.

not what it seems

they say that it’s not what it seems
that the dreams
don’t mean I’m to blame
but I feel the shame
all the same

it’s what I believe
though I’ve tried to leave
it behind
to be kinder
to myself
for the hurt I have felt

but late at night
when I have to fight
for breath
with what’s left
of my resolve
I dissolve
yet I’m advised not to involve
others, so I don’t
or maybe it’s more that I won’t

cos when I get that urge
when I need to purge
myself from the world
I stay curled
fighting those demons nightly
as though by being quiet and still
by taking that pill
by resisting the thoughts
I have fought
a great war
but what’s it all for?

yes, I am strong
but it has been a long
since I had control of my mind

and I’d like it to stop
to drop
this pretence
for my life to make sense
and maybe then
not pulled apart at the seams
I’ll accept that it’s not what it seems.


cooried in,

the outside world
slips past
and you know
you should engage
join in
be present
cos that’s what they tell you
time and time again.

but with that connection comes the danger
of dark thoughts
and the possibility of acting
on them.

so you protect yourself
the best way you know how
stand back
lie down

cooried in,

I did something

sometimes I think I did something bad
and that is what cause the mad-
-ness in me.

I’m not sure what it could be
but I’m convinced that somehow I’m to blame
for fanning that flame.
and I want to begin the fight
to put things right.

but I don’t know how to fix it
because I don’t know how it got lit
not really.

when I think clearly
I know it’s nothing I did
that I just slid
into this role
that in fact someone stole
something from me.

but that can be hard to see
cos of this thought I’ve often had
that I did something bad

love yourself

they say
‘you have to love yourself before you can love others’
but if that’s really true
then I haven’t a clue
when love will find me
because, you see
love for myself is a foreign concept
something I have wept
over, but cannot fix
I have tried, but it never clicks
into place
I just fall on my face
time after time.

maybe one day I will find
love for me
but must it be
I’m alone ’til then
not even deserving of friends?

I think we must take care
how and where
we spread this idea
and be very clear
that, even when ill
a person can still
love and receive love in return
– it is important to learn
gives hope
can help us to cope
in the darkest of times
and perhaps even find
out how
to turn that love inward now.

train tears

sitting on the train,
a blubbering mess
trying, and failing, not to let the tears spill,
hot and wet,
down your face,
under your chin,
into the collar of your t-shirt.

others stare politely
straight ahead.
allowing you to feel your pain
in peace.

you’re in pieces,
and you want to shout
about it.
but you don’t
and the tears fall silently.

will you cope?
you hope
that this won’t last
but the tears don’t pass
as the miles stretch out
between you
pulling you apart at the seams.

when it came to leaving
there were no tears
and any sentiments would have fallen on deaf ears.
so you left it.
left him.
quietly, without fuss
caught the bus
to the station
for the final time.


they say it’s all about the climb,
that it just takes time.

sometimes, surefooted,
you spring up – shoot up,
almost unaware of the obstacles you pass,
but that can’t last.

and suddenly, imperceptibly, it’s harder,
the farther
you go.

progress is slow
you slip, fall,
grab on one-handed,
you’re stranded.

but when it causes so much pain,
you’re under such strain,
you wonder what the point is
– whether you want to live.

and so you have a choice,
you can use your voice,
ask for help,
for the hurt felt,
grab on with both hands
and eventually, stand.

or you can open your fist,
decide you won’t be missed,
and fall,
you’re not important after all.

but what if that’s not true?
they say that there’s nothing new
under the sun.

you’re not the only one
to ever feel this way
and the decision to stay,
hang on,
though torturous, is the stronger one.

and so you try,
you cry, but don’t fly,
swiftly to the ground.
you rebound,
restart the climb,
take your time.