lost in a memory, you cower,
sometimes for hours
on end
and it seems never-end
-ing. riding the waves
of flashbacks that pave
the way to that part of your mind
that they’re trying to find
but you’re hoping to lose.

it’s old news
trying desperately to make
itself ‘current’, and though you fake
your way through life
it cuts like a knife
would, and did, in the past,
so the pretence cannot last.

the smile slips from your face
as you go back to that place
that time
that crime
and relive the silence,
the violence.

it’s so easy to give up
your cup
overflowing now
it’s hard to see how
things will get
better, and yet
you’re still here
fighting that need to disappear.



human beings appear to have gotten
an obsession with not being forgotten.
there is a need
for remembrance of your deeds,
of your name,
for fame.

I just don’t get
the need to be known by those you’ve never met.
an unremarkable life
spent as ‘just’ a wife,
mother, daughter, friend
of days spent tend
-ing your flowers
sometimes for hours
enjoying the simple things
and the joy they bring
of minimising pain,
would seem a better aim.

when we reach for the stars
too often, the marks we leave are scars.
so perhaps treading lightly
is better than grasping on so tightly.
better to bow out with grace
and disappear without trace.


it starts as a small bubble
the trouble
is that it grows
everything in its wake
then suddenly, you’re awake
at 4am, eyes wide
with nowhere to hide.

my thoughts are a train
and the facade I maintain
is slipping fast
as the world slides past.

I am a passenger caught
in one spot
waiting for the destination
the final station
on the line.

people tell me I’m fine
and I agree
because I’d like to be.

but I’m not
it’s just that experience has taught
that nothing can be done.
I am undone,
and the tracks will end
it’s just a matter of when.


an aerial ballet dancer.
never stopping,
never still.
leaping, darting
here to there,
there to here.

it does not simply fly
as the name may suggest,
but shimmers from one place,
glimmers to the next,

wings beat almost imperceptibly
as, lighter than air,
this wee, iridescent beastie
moves through life
heedlessly delighting onlookers.

it thinks nothing of
humble beginnings,
of those longs days spent waiting
for this short moment of light,
because today
the sun is shining,
the sky’s the limit,
and life is good.


first walking.
then talking.
things pass by in movie-style-slow-motion.
-less, I stand,
try to reach out my hand
arms limply hanging.

still standing,
I have stopped, dead
on the spot – my head
mind pacing
forwards and back, centre stage
an animal in a cage.
until that too, slows
and the thinking goes
one thought at a time
no longer mine.

the last thing I think
before I go on the blink:
what could the matter be?
it seems I’ve run out of batteries.

me, as a box

I am empty, but full up.
not a cup,
my contents boxed in
held by thin
sides, battered by time.

a sign
of all that’s gone on
of how I’ve been strong
because, though I may look
flimsy as I sit in this nook,
I was fashioned from star
dust, watched from afar.

the whole universe resides
within my nine sides.
though I am small
I contain it all.

lift the lid, take a peek
can’t you see it? your eyes must be weak!
it’s there in the dark,
making its mark.

but now…maybe I’m wrong.
it’s been such a long
time since the beginning
and my substance is thinning.

oh! a small hole let it out
so it’s flying about.
I have burst at the seams
I’m not sure what that means…


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.