gratitude

of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most
the myriad of other loses don’t even come close
jobs, friends, relationship, all gone
but it doesn’t take long
to forget them

these thoughts stem
from the fact
that I lack
the capacity to care

I’m not really there
a lot of the time
and the effort it takes to climb
out of that pit
to keep the fire lit
inside
may turn the tide

but it’s hard
so, tarred
and feathered
I measure
my life in a different way
in those who stay
despite my absence
to help me make sense
of my madness
and sadness

I have found
that, all around
there are new friends who understand
who hold my hand
through the bad
and are so glad
to celebrate the good
because they have stood
where I stand
they too fall, and, cat-like, sometimes land
on their feet

but life’s not always neat
and then it’s my turn
to return
the favour
not to be a saviour
but sometimes you have to be shown
that you are not alone
that this is not the end
and what’s broken will mend

we do this for each other
going far and further
to support, lift up
drinking from the same cup

and I wish we didn’t get it
that what’s been broken could be knit
back together
but no matter how clever
we are
it’s a step too far

so we cope, for better or for worse
a blessing or a curse
to have such friendship
along with the hardships
we endure

and I’m sure
my life is blessed
by these messy
mixed bag
of a rag tag
bunch of misfits
and I’m grateful for it

 

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today

yesterday was difficult
so I was cynical
about what today
would bring, but I may
have been too quick to judge
because the sludge
in my brain?
the pain
it caused?
has been paused
today
the grey
giving way to colour
which, though duller
than it could be
is more me
than I have been
trapped between
fear and despair
today is a rare
gift
a much-needed lift
a reminder
that days can be kinder

torture

it starts with a choice
that voice
in your head
as you lie in bed
the bed has not changed
all of your bedding arranged
just so
but you now know
that letting down your guard
allowing that shard
to get through
means it will pursue
you deep
into sleep

so you make that decision
that biological collision

no more sleep

as time goes by
you realise
you have been misguided
but now your mind is divided
you long for rest
but the repressed
fear lies deep in your brain
and you remain
devoid of sleep
as the monsters creep
out
make you doubt
what’s real
and what your mind’s trying to steal

they say sleep is necessary for being
but I can’t help disagreeing
cos, despite all evidence to the contrary
and my best efforts to be functionary
I am not alive
I merely survive

festival

tourists flood the Mile
smiling
for photographs
taking up half
the pavement
with a flagrant
disregard for those for whom
this city is home

this invasion
leads to evasion
being planned
the frustration of standing
behind a massive crowd
of loud
happy people
brings longing for peaceful
mornings
when falling
out of the door
and onto the number 44
bus
without fuss
was the norm

now, the swarm
dithers
unsure whether
or not to get on
while you yawn
as you wait
knowing you’ll be late
again
looking forward to when
the festival ends

gravity

gravity
weighs heavy on me
these days
in all sorts of ways

being upright
is a fight
showers
take hours
because to stand
raise my arms and hands
to wash my hair
wears
me out

and the fallout
which follows
is a bitter pill to swallow

swimming through thick air
dragging myself, hair
wet
I get
back into bed
collapse in a heap
not to sleep
a desperate attempt to alleviate
the weight
of the nothing I feel pressing
down on me, messing
with my body and mind

but resigned
to the fact
that though at times I can act
like things are okay
downplay
the energy it takes
to scrape
together the wherewithal
to trawl
my reserves
get up the nerve

gravity is increasing
unceasing

snow

overnight
white
has covered the world
flakes swirled and twirled
to the ground
sound
is muffled
and that, coupled
with the bright
light
casts a magic spell
that you’ve heard tell
of, but never known

now, so far from home
you stare in wonder
as you discover
this new land

you stand
in the doorway
the driveway
is perfect, untouched.
do you dare disrupt
it with your feet
or retreat?

A letter to my younger self

Hi there.

I know things haven’t been going so well
you fell
and don’t know how to get back up.
your cup
not half empty, but half full
– of poison you want to drink
but don’t sink,
don’t fall down that rabbit hole.

I know he stole
something from you
and you don’t have a clue
how to fix it
that you don’t fit
in with your friends
and just want it to end.

Now is the time to tell
how and where you fell
this is not for you alone
a stone
lodged in your chest.

I know you’re trying your best
and you are good enough
it’s just tough.

And I understand that you’re scared
to bare
all
you’ll stumble and fall
again, ashamed
but you’re not to be blamed
(and I know you won’t believe me)
but trust me
talking is best
and you won’t have confessed
to something awful
cos it was unlawful
what was done
you were just the unlucky one
it happened to
it wasn’t about you
so whisper, talk, shout
but get it out.

peace and goodwill

winter brings a chill
and peace and goodwill
to men (and people of all genders)
just makes me remember
all the bad things
the season brings

the anticipation of joy
and piles of toys
that parents share
unaware
of the shame
and blame
felt by those
struggling to clothe
their little ones
when the money runs
out before the presents
that are meant
to show how much love
they have, and I’m sick of

the pressure
which we will never measure
up to
an untrue
version of ourselves
which we are compelled
to act out
throughout
that time
to be fine
though we’re not

we’ve just been caught
up in expectations
of celebrations
and it’s hard
to discard
them and just be
which could be the key

I don’t

I don’t miss you
I miss the idea of you
of coming home
and not being alone
of sharing my life
maybe being a wife

I don’t miss you
I miss the idea of you
of having someone see
all of me
and stay
anyway

I don’t miss you
I miss the idea of you
that became clear
when things started to veer
off track
and there was no going back

I don’t miss you
I miss the idea of you
and no-one’s to blame
for the way the end came
about
we just burned out

I don’t miss you
I miss the idea of you
and I have no clue
how to start something new
because the idea of you
was never true

sounds of Autumn

the leaves crunch
underfoot whilst walking to lunch
breath puffing out in a cloud
I turn my music up loud
creating my own sound track
to drown out the crack
of fireworks far away

children play
on the swings
as my heart sings
along to the tune in my ears
calming my fears

as I get on the train
the rain
starts
and the sky gets dark
as drops pelt the glass
and trees fly past