snack attack

Since you started working in this office
my snack habit has started to escalate
God .. do you never ever stop eating?
Shuffle shuffle crinkle crackle
sweet wrappers, biscuits and cake
that ruddy drawer keeps opening and shutting
So I take another trip to the snack machine.

You take the bloody biscuit you do mate
you tell me solemnly of the diagnosis
it's diabetes apparently and you can't imagine
how such a thing could have befallen you
as you eat so much salad and fruit these days
I walk over silently and open the drawer
we gaze down at the evidence. 'nuff said.

A slip of paper

Did you see that? No ... over there.
Yes her ... bloody hell .. what a state eh?
There's a woman staggering along the High street
on a Saturday afternoon when I'm out for a walk
she kind of falls into the road and stops a car
hurling abuse at a somewhat confused driver.

I'm thinking of passing on by, none of my business
but then she turns towards me and I meet her eye
or I think I do, but it's a bit hard to tell
she's quite far gone this strange woman in blue.
I call across to her "do you fancy a cup of tea"
and she sneers but still she stumbles over to me.

I say how bout the cafe it's just over there
and so off we wander and I feel people staring
I am looking for a piece of paper and a pencil
as I know what I say now will mean so little
and I'm not that great at chatting on the whole
but I want to help in some way if I can.

See this strange woman in blue could easily be
someone I know, christ it could even be me
I've been known to overindulge myself at times
and I don't always completely remember things done
So I want to give this woman some glimmer of hope
So I scribble down how to get on to Bright Eye.

I saw her again the other day .. same street funny
No-one was staring this time, nothing to see
Just two women walking along and she saw me
and said do I know you? So I said no not really
I just helped you out a while back and we drank tea
She hadn't a clue who I was and that was fine by me.

Next time I saw her was in the food shop
when we were hunting through the bargain shelf
and she looked up and smiled in a bleary kind of way.
So I smiled back and handed over a slip of paper
Because I've learnt my lesson and keep some on me
as you never know when you'll see someone drowning.

To me back then

So this is where I have to write a letter to me then
... as opposed to me now. I am looking at my photo
which is supposed to help and I've chosen a nice one
of me from pretty much when I remember all this began
but you can't tell just by looking at this little girl
who is standing by a dog grinning up and that's a clue
because later on I became and am very frightened of dogs.

I sit here looking at this photo of me back then
and I'm trying to think about what I can write to her
that will in any way undo even the smallest measure
of the damage done by the scary monster man
I try to think of all that I've learnt in my sessions
but my mind refuses to do anything but look and cry.

Well this carries on for a few days which is sort of OK
as my other half is away on business so he can't see
this totally shambolic attempt to get it together
and make steps forward instead of .. christ I need a drink
And I wander to the kitchen to look at the wine rack
Full of stuff that will only make the tears run more freely.

Back upstairs in my special writing place I sit once more
looking at me from way back when the monster man first came
Dear little me ... this is big me talking to you now
and I know just how scared and lonely and bad this feels
but you know what? This is not happening because your are bad.
So what can I say it's because of then, she's waiting to hear.

Well you see there are bad people who want to hurt kids.
And they tell them that they must never tell and you know why?
Because what they are doing is really very bad and naughty
and if somone told on them do you know what would happen?
They'd go to jail and have to stay there for a long time.
I think there's special jails for monster men with high walls.

But I can't say those things to little me, because she never told
well except Daddy who got all funny and strange and called her a liar
She didn't remember seeing him there at all until later
Back to little me, I was telling you about bad people wasn't I?
And how this isnt your fault and little girls are never to blame
for this kind of bad thing happening. Will you trust me?

I must tell you some stuff that is hard to understand
about scary things that happen when we're too small to stop it.
I know that he hurt you and made you do things that made you cry
and that the hurt bits inside you still don't feel right
It was him that was wrong and not you at all, you're beautiful
and clean, bright shiny girl. I want to hug you right now.

When you grow up in the future and look back to this time
I want you to know that this was what a bad person did
and you are still a good girl even if you don't feel it's true
and what happened does not make you less than the person you are
or the person you would someday wish or even pray to be
I love you me from way back then, and I'm sure we'll be OK now.

sudden anger

Boom .. up up up comes the anger
I want to hit something
throw something, anything
I pace around the room counting
10 won't cut it this time
I could count to a sodding million
and I'd still feel this burn

Who the fuck do you think you are
to talk to me in that way
I am going to do some serious damage
to you, oh christ no ... to me then
if I don't start breathing soon
whoosh ... and in and out and in
look away for gods sake don't stare

If I don't learn to get a grip
I'll be just like they were
and I can't allow that, I'm a grown up now
so I'll breathe in and out
focus right now only on that
as the panic recedes at least
I haven't done anything stupid yet.

futile thoughts

Being a daughter isn't easy either you know
don't tell me how tough being a parent is
what sort of bloody parent were you anyway?
The words burble up and almost break loose
but thank goodness I just turn and walk away
can you imagine the fallout if I say what I think
and the hurt from finally facing the truth of it.

It's too easy to have an ideal view of this
the wish list is so long and still growing
the kind of parent I wanted to have
well it's like those letters to Santa isn't it?
I wanted someone warm who knew how to play
and to cuddle and make the bad things go away
and knew that a bandaid was for more than just cuts.

I wanted someone who'd come to school plays
and walk with me slowly just watching the trains
or possibly stand still whilst I held your hand.
I wanted to feel you were even sometimes there
and not gazing off in that medicated stare
that spoke of depression and deep dark despair
I wish I'd known where you went in your head.

I guess I should forgive you time and again
for I know you aren't strong and weren't back then
could you know what was happening to me or to him.
And no amount of soul searching can ever deny
that you are my mother but a parent hmm not sure
If a parent is biology then it's certainly true
but love, protection, I hardly think so .. do you?

And as I help you to bed and find your pyjamas
I think how strange being a daughter is now
for I am trying to be for you how I've always wished
you had been for me those many years ago
A time we don't talk about still, but never mind
It's time for you to get into your bed now
I'll sit here and read while you drop off to sleep.

Having a soak

I've been thinking about peace
and of tranquility too
and wondering how one finds it
and if having found it once
can the same path be used again
or is it somewhere new each time

I've tried looking at flames
and at clouds drifting by
it works to a certain degree
I've walked by rivers and under trees
I've thought and I've not thought
Not so good at it though

And turmoil's not easily slain
it rushes back into my thoughts
I push back but peace is gone
such a fragile thing it seems
but I think I caught a glimpse
of what I was looking for just then.

I was sitting in the bath
sometimes a bubbly soak
can be one of the possible ways
as long as it's very quiet
and I empty my thoughts out
and float .. just drift away.

Bang on the door shit fuck
what is that? Phone call for me
and with it, that's that
Climb back into my skin
and tee shirt and jeans
got to face the dread again.


I remember you giving me your mittens
still warm from being on your hands
and I remember you looking out for me
coming home from kindergarten school
I remember the games that we used to play
and when no-one was looking we would whisper.

We developed a secret language based on looks
and little coughs, throat clearings and twitches
so that even now I look up when you do these.
And the look we exchange makes no mistake
I know that even now you remember this too
There's nothing quite like a sister is there?

It seems my whole life that I've known you
and no-one has been a better friend
it's not just based on the memories we share
You're incredible in a way I just can't explain
It's in the way that you instinctively sit
right next to me when I need to feel close.

And it's in the way you tease me about stuff
my obsessive need to follow instructions
or when I build lego although the boys aren't home.
And you sit on the sofa and chat whilst I do
as if this is the most ordinary thing going
or the extra hugs you send down the telephone.

Sometimes you ask if I have a minute to chat
and I know when it's my turn to listen
so I settle myself down close and silently wait
to hear you talk of what weighs on your your heart
No, don't you worry I won't write even here
what you shared with me on that somber day

But I want you to know that my promise still holds
and I meant every single word that I said
and if you ever need ... well you know what it is
Having a sister means you need never be scared
To tell me exactly what's needed just now
if it's humanly possible I'll do it, I will.

I won't go all mushy and soft which I hate
but I might just take this moment to say
as a sister you rock and as a best friend too
When you tell me you don't know what you would do
without me well the same goes twice for you
For you will always always be my little sister.

Just one more

I love to get pissed
I love to get high
I love to wander off in my mind
I really like not being here

So don't look like that
when you come through the door
with that serious expression
I'm just having some fun

Well sod off then
if you don't want to drink
I'll carry on there's some left
the wine rack is full again

And then turns the mood
and the clouds roll in
tears fall and I just want to die
why then do I keep doing this?

It's that feeling you know
after a bottle of wine
when I feel almost normal
I really feel fine.

But I drink too fast
to see that point coming
and then it's behind me
I'll have just one more.

Draft letter (1)

This blank page has been staring at me for hours
I just can't think how to start
Dear Ron ... Dear Uncle Ron ...
Hello monster man, remember me?
Or if not me how about my brother
my quiet, oh so quiet brother
who locked eyes with mine to guard against
what you were busy doing
and who even now suffers such anguish
that you planted way back when
in those dark days we call childhood.

I remember you, yes remember very well
so don't look here for solace
mister monster man, remember me now?
A little girl who didn't understand
this game of secrets and pain.
Or why daddy was sitting there
and the music was on so loud.
But what you did I won't describe
in case it gives you pleasure still.
May you never have peace in this life
God have mercy on you, for I never will.

Family Ties (2)

After a glass or five of wine when I had had just one
I thought I might just try and talk to you about this
See if maybe what I recall also affects you too,
as it seems to me that you weren't there in the nightmare stuff
but I need to make sure for my own peace of mind.

Do you remember dads mate the one with the ...
Oh Christ no ... I can't say that, let's start again.
You remember when dad used to drink in the basement
do you remember much from when we were kids
and that mate of his who used to come over sometimes.

My heart stands still as I hold myself I hope casually
and I look not quite into her eyes as she pauses
and mumbles what are you on about, do you mean Ron?
Yes that was his name did you ever play games with him
Do you remember anything of what he was like?

Well I remember him coming to babysit us after school
I remember him stinking of pipe smoke and ... was it beer
I never went near him he was too crazy, said he hated my eyes
I remember that. You sound kind of funny, are you all right?
I am more than all right I am over the moon. Yes I'm good thanks.

Some months later I talk to my biggest brother after too many beers
He looks kind of shifty and then blurts out that he does remember
The big bad monster man who took me and Brendan downstairs
And he cried and said how bad he'd always felt for not helping us
He was my big biggest brother and yet he was still really small.

I hold his hand while he cries and I think to myself how sad all this is
That to talk I have had to make us drink to this point of drunkeness
But still it is what it is and I must make ammends I can not leave him
thinking that even the smallest bit of this is in any way his fault,
my big biggest brother who I love, for I know he will have tried and tried.

I look into his face and tell him as much as I can bear to just then
And he sits there and listens as quietly as only a brother knows how
and the sadness and sorrow overtake us again so we drink some more
He tells me that his memories of this time have always been quite hazy
Which I say is probably for the best, so lets now talk of other things.

Neither these two mention our father and that's what I needed to know.
For whilst they might strongly suspect the bad monster man in Ron
they've no idea that he lurks also in Dad, a man they love even now.
So it's an ongoing gift that I have for years by my total silence
Given these two people the illusion at least of a loving father.


I'm sitting in this chair and she says to relax
and think of a safe place that I know
somewhere where I have been truly happy
so I'm thinking of that maple tree I used to climb
where I'd hide up high in the top branches
shielded by the leaves waving in the wind

I'd go right up as far as I could climb
with my books in a bag and my carton of juice
and stay there reading and just looking around
knowing Mum would never think of looking up
which is good as she would have a hissy fit
to see me ruining yet another home made dress

So I'm as relaxed as I know how to be now
and she say it's all OK we can start to look back
because I am only looking, I'm here and not there
and we start stepping back and first it's OK
but when Ron appears it all starts to whirl
I try to stay in my tree and just look, but I fall

Whilst falling something strange occurs I get stuck
Between here and there and also the chair
which causes some panic to come into her voice
so now I feel scared and not at all secure
and that's what happens when your safe place
is too high up and you forget to hang on tight.

So it's not just about having a safe place at all
and she wants us to have maybe one more go
this regression can help in ways that I need
but to do so will require a huge leap from me
and I'm starting to wonder if I'm up to it at all
especially if the after effects carry on like this

The dreams are back and oh how, they are
and the night time is something I dread
the days aren't much better when I think on it
is all this really the process of getting well?
I'm not so sure, you know, I think I might stop
and try to stick the lid back on ... tight.

Family ties

I remember that evening when after all these years
I had a glimpse of the true person you are
When you aren't being a mother or a wife that is
And it shook me a bit I must admit
Because beyond the politeness lies such sorrow
And the loneliness you spoke of moved me to tears

I looked over at you, and at your familiar face
I wondered how I could have missed all those signs
Of the terrible depths of aloneness you feel
Especially when spending time in our family
And there I can totally catch your drift
Because I feel that too when I'm not ignoring it

You said something about how sad you feel
When talking to me since you see him too
I can't help I look like him to a certain degree
Or that he hates to talk of deeper things
He is so comfortable with what can be seen
But emotions are not like that unfortunately.

So later on I take him for a drink
And gently try to broach the subject of talking
But only women do this and so I should just stop
And leave him to carry on as if all is well
But I must meddle further in order to try
And justify the trust of ... well both of them.

So I talk of myself and how hard it sometimes is
And he looks so shocked to be talking like this
But I persevere and take these huge risks
Because I love them so much and it's enough
I can almost see the light dawning in his eye
The knowledge it's not me I'm talking of at all.

Early awakening

There's this funny way you look
when you are trying to make me laugh
you twinkle your eyes up at me
your nose crinkles and I notice freckles
your lips go lopsided and I see laughter
bubbling up although the punchline is far off.

It staggers me how the humour you have at 5
makes me laugh uproariously at 45, and at 5.05am
which is much too early but still I scoot over
and let you in under the duvet where I hold the torch
while you make shadow animals for me on the wall
which I guess at and too often get so wrong.

Then we whisper of hurricanes and tornadoes
your latest in a long long line of obsessions
and I try to introduce monsoons, but you won't have it
they really aren't the same thing at all apparently
which I won't have so we creep down to get
the big science book to check, what do you know?

But somehow creeping back up the stairs
we make just a little too much noise
and there is rumpled William ready to play.
Let the mayhem commence clear the duvet to the floor
make room for jumping and leaping
have you danced at 5.30am with 2 small boys?

And even as we dance and sing I look over
and you shrug your shoulders at me as if to say
well there's so many ways to have fun aren't there?
And I know just what you mean, for in that moment
I see something of the wonderful man you will become
to let your little brother dictate what was just yours.

The noise builds as laughter ensues and what fun
looking at play as it should be done with abandon
and yet the wildness is somehow tamed
by the knowledge that these are loved boys
who know that fun can be had pretty much at any time
if you can just be persuaded to jump and laugh

All too soon it's time for work and I must leave
but not before gigantic cuddles that knock me down
and more clambering around to get back up
for kisses and smackeroos done with great gusto
and waves at the window which set me up
and feel better than any prescription medication.


It's just not true, I really can't have it
I must object most strongly
and yet
I do sort of get where you're coming from
and I would kind of almost agree
if it weren't for the fact that these priviledges
are not for you but for me

It's a sacred trust, and I must emphasise
that to be found worthy
it won't
be enough to just try your very best
that won't in itself be sufficient
if trying and succeeding were equals well then
nothing is as it seems

If I do my calculations wrong it just won't wash
that the workings are almost right
no brakes
that's what will happen if I don't pay attention
and focus on what needs to be done
these lorry drivers don't know me at all
but I hold their lives

Last night

I wake up to feel the residue between my legs
and frantically search my memory to find you
and yes there it is, that moment before
when you press your body towards me
and whisper urgent words of love and need

I left you then to carry on the journey into me
but outside of me at the same time as I'm not there
I've had to go you see and leave you to it
And I do know how unfair that is on us both
but really I'm not sure what else I can do.

When we argue and you allude to this
I can't think what to say that doesn't sound
like the same old reasons, the same past shit
that has nothing to do with us two at all
Should there be blame in this delicate question

How can I tell you that the woman I should be
was lost long ago by actions I've hardly explained
only in passing, those first dates when I was scared
of being rushed and hurried to do the very thing
that we are now having so much trouble with

I say it's not you, and take all the blame
and yet in my thoughts I feel a complete lack
of any will or desire to make this right
if it means going back there and fighting my demons
all over again, I don't think I can bear this

To feel like a non-woman and yet it's true
that when closeness is desired it's only by you
and that is so fucking unfair that I make the attempt
I try once again to make my body do
while my minds screams of dangerous waters

It's you and somehow him still at the same time
and I try to separate the two
but my body can't tell and sends out distress
which pisses you off and makes me retreat
from even attempting to stay here with you.

So I shut down completely and that's easy for me
it's something I'm good at still years down the line
Hiding within and waiting for you to be done
And knowing in the morning I'll feel once more
worthlessness knowing I wasn't here for you.

A late evening

You make smoking look quite glamorous
and that is exactly the right word
that I used to describe you to a friend
There's something about an eastern european accent
that makes everyday conversation more interesting
and when you talk I am listening to more than the way you talk
Honestly I am

We stay up very late in your kitchen
drinking coffee which is odd in itself
as I almost never drink it when at home.
But it fits so well and we can't drink wine we two
as we've both discovered to our individual cost
yet it doesn't halt the flow of thoughts or words between us at all
Which is nice

The ideas you have about life and it's meaning
escape me at first as I'm looking from here
and really I need to wander around to the other side
and look from quite a different perspective
and not just look but also trust my intuition
which is something I've learnt to mis-trust over these many years
Quite unlike you.

I say that some of these ideas are borne of charlatans
masquerading as Givers and yet they're empty
and use empty words and promises to suck us in
to a world where promises are made but not delivered
and people's vulnerabilities become currency
to be traded and trampled on in ways I find treacherous
which makes me sad

My lost man

There was once a time
and I do remember this quite clearly
when you and I didn't argue
or if we did it didn't last
not like weeks months long silences
where I cease to exist for you.

I wonder when that started
and I cast my mind back to see
if I can remember how it was
and more particularly
how it all finally changed forever
is it forever do you think?

I used to be quite sure
that we would always be like we were
if not happy then at least content
but I'm sitting here right now
dreading coming home to you
and that was never meant to be.

I bought into this not knowing
that these dark black clouds come over you
and stop you from even considering
the desperation I feel reaching out
the risk I take doing so
to pull you from those depths.

I do know about dark places
and I understand all too well believe me
been down that path myself
I can wait as long as it takes
so long as you come back to me
and don't lose yourself down there.

This waiting is a killer though
it eats away at me from within and I wonder
if it's me you are hiding from
or do you think hiding is correct
sounds deliberate which is wrong
are you lost, or is different

Is it more like quagmired
stuck trapped within your spiralling thoughts
of utter despair and frustration
and total can't be botheredness
a place far beyond mere apathy
which leaves you, us quite where?

Smile thoughts

I love the fact that
what we say to one another
wouldn't make any sense at all to others
and I just love the fact
that you smile sometimes
that I've caught your eye

I like to talk of crocodiles
and froggie and bear knowing
that no-one could ever guess that peru
is what I say when I feel cold
because then only you will know
and offer me your coat

I wonder if you know
what joy I feel sometimes
just from knowing that you are mine
and whilst there are changes
there is something essentially
always the same in you

I look over and see the man
that said hello my lovely wife
and try to find a way to store this instant
a tiny fragment in my life
that shines like a flame
in that quiet tranquil place

You are truly my Valentine
my rock in lifes harsh storms
although I know it's all to easy to forget
that rocks have edges too
bloody hell they do indeed
but what heart eh ... what heart

What's true

It was that bloody song on the radio
which set off this train of thought
and before I knew it you were inside my head
and I didn't want to think,
I didn't want to feel again
those loathings of self contempt

I want to be new person
I'd like a trade in please
no looks are not important, and neither is age
it's the inside bit I'm in need of
just a new brain and heart
do you think I'll need a soul

And whilst you're looking perhaps red hair
I remember wanting red hair
but as I said it's not important, no really
it's the workings that need fixing
not the outer shell which is fine
I need a new improved mind

And I need to learn that what you think
is not the same thing at all
as my own values or judgement and ethics
So even whilst I see contempt
written quite clearly across your face
I know that I'm fundamentally OK

Why does it even matter to me any more
why is it that your approval or not
has a way of changing the way I believe
the value with which I hold what's true
falls silently to the ground
this fragility is astonishing even to me.

The last laugh

I wonder what you dream of
looking out at Lake Ontario
are your dreams the flip side
of the nightmares I still endure?
Do you even remember me?

How can it be that after all these years
you hold such sway over me
that hearing of you falling ill
should unravel something inside
and start that damn tape playing again

You see I thought I was leaving
all this behind me if not completely
then at least most of the time
except when, well there's a turn of the head
or a touch misplaced, a strange smell

Whisky, beer, pipe smoke and sweat
And very large hands with hard palms
Or a voice too much like yours was
Although I suspect it's quite different now
Now that you're dying in peace

And that's the rub of it somehow
that you have peace whilst we don't
and that is so bloody unfair, unjust
unwinding this tight coil inside me
might take a while yet, damn you.

I won't let it be that this continues
to be the only fucking thing I write about
or think about or dream about or ...
I shall heal despite you, you know
and then I'll laugh with my brother

A New Friend

I know a compulsive rescuer
It's not what I would have said
But then, when I say I know her
What I mean is I know something of her
As does she of me of course

And there's such comfort in knowing
That just as I know things of her
So she does of me and I let her
I let her see what I'm doing in a way
That many can't quite see

We write in a log and I feel I must
Each day update it regardless
And although I cringe and hesitate
There she is with her searing honesty
And it helps me so much

Vulnerablility is such a risk
To share, to expose those thoughts
How do you find a safe pair of hands
To hold secrets and wishes and dreams
Only by stepping off the cliff

And trusting even whilst falling
That the landing will be soft
That someone who writes of dogs
And of those who rob and hurt children
Can also be rescued by us.

First date

I was wondering if you wanted to go for a meal
as friends of course
and with those words came a wealth of events as yet undreamed
at least not by me.
It was the start of everything.
What courage that took, and although I couldn't see it then
I can now.

And true to form it was that evening you meant
which was good for me
no time to go home and panic of what to wear, god forbid a dress
what a nightmare.
We went to a restaurant
And that very first evening you looked up and said that you loved me
Oh my word.

What was I supposed to say to this well rehearsed speech?
how could you love me
when all this time I have just been here working, just working.
Disaster loomed
I wanted to run away
But something in the way you held me, forced yourself to be still
And I knew.

It's more years ago now, more than I can quite remember
and you still love me
and with times passing I feel more comfortable in knowing that
I love you too
That I always did
So even when you go elsewhere in your head and leave me here lonely
I still know.


I was thinking about you earlier
and the way your smile reaches your eyes
such lovely eyes, very warm and sparkly
and although I never thought to say it
it is partly what makes you so beautiful

Oh yes you are, but you won't see it
you focus on the things you hate I know
because I've been doing that self same thing
for more years than I can remember
and yet you think you don't which is odd

You say these fine words and I do hear you
but your actions belie what you've said
and there's the way you move to minimise
what should never need to be hid
under wraps or makeup or any some such

I think the physical is not where it's at
certainly not when judging self worth
when I try to think of the qualities I admire
it's kindness, tenderness, generosity
and so your beauty transcends you

And yet is you at the same time
there's no getting away from the way
that your smile lights up your face
or the way you laugh at a strangers joke
or the gentle softness of your voice


Out there somewhere you live
and I know you're there because you're signed in
but for some reason you don't post
or when you do it's so few words
maybe two sentences, rarely more

And what do these words tell me
of the person at their pc
other than the obvious concern
about having too much to drink
on the very odd occasion that is

When drinking is having a drink
and not an attempt to obliterate
or submerge oneself under the fog
of yet another empty bottle gone
to make recycling so much noisier.

I know a secret

Lets try it.

Take my hand my friend and lets look at these storms
harsh thoughts
terrible, really just unbearable pressures
awful self recriminations whirling around with such violence
it seems pretty daunting I know

But wait
look in that direction
does the storm seem just a little bit less turbulent there?
lets walk in that direction
and so we can press on and find the eye in these storms

A place where we'll be aware of the storm but not feel its force.
We can rest there
the storms are not gone,
but we can gather our strength,
we can cry and laugh.

We can look at the things that are whirling around
and use our rational mind to plan a way forward.
We can gather our inner strength once more
it hasn't disappeared my friend
just rest for a bit more if you can't find it right now.

Eventually we will sense when the time is right
we can look at the storms,
and spot the area where the turbulence is not so severe,
and head off once more
renewed by the rest, the companionship

The storm will not be as bad as we thought
the struggle will not be as wearying
the sunshine is beckoning us forward
to that calmer place
outside the storms.

We can live in that place
it is inside our heads
and it will sustain us
give us an insight into other realms
even whilst we live in the real world.


It just pours out of me you see
kind of like the damn finally bursting
it's hard to live in this head some days
ideas, images, thoughts, feelings
all jostling and churning
and bloody interrupting!

I have work to do here and yet
the compulsion to let rip is strong
to write and write until more of it's gone
and the pressure will then ease
and it won't feel like a must
more like an if you please


I look at you now all grown up
and I see the baby still
and the young girl, teenager, woman
of course I see them too
and I remember how soft it felt
to hold you way back then
and waggle my eyes at you
to make you gurgle make you smile

I have a picture of us somewhere
sitting side by side
you leaning right into me and smiling
and I hold it so dear
because of that complete lack of fear
that utter confidence in me
so that no matter what happened
I would somehow always catch you

And I've tried to live up to that
being there and being true
watching and learning as much as you
I hope you didn't guess
that I hadn't much clue
I gave what I could and without care
and now there's something in you
some day a remembrance of me

You'll think I've gone soft in the head
if I tell you my heart swells
when I see you hugging small brothers
and the light in your face
the simple enjoyment of embrace
says so much to me of you
and it really is such a comfort
to know you are so fully grown


And so I wake up suddenly to cold air
To damp pyjamas and a hammering heart
My insides are shaking and I feel sick
I look over to check you haven't noticed
And crawl quietly out to the bathroom
Where I throw up and then sit waiting.

I'm not sure why I can't get past this
I'm using the techniques she taught me
I'm relaxing and thinking of peaceful images
Overlaying them on top of the nightmare
Playing continually in my minds eye.
I want to crawl into a small space.

I creep quietly back into bed and look outwards
I am waiting for it to be OK to just be
The shaking is subsiding and that helps
But the images roll on and the sensations
Is there anything that I can sensibly say
Well the sensations are beyond description

Coarse sandpaper being rubbed maybe
Onto delicate private places inside me
Or white hot hard thing that shouldn't be
Anywhere near me, in me, oh fuck
Got to get a grip here any second he'll awake
He will wonder why I'm crying this time

Gather myself for the day and blank it off
I can't keep fighting this battle each dawn
I can't find the energy to do anything but drown
Which has been no real answer so far
And I do know I can't keep doing this
When you so need me to be here too.

More words

All right we've skirted around this for a while now
You want me to use words to describe how it was ... how it is
All right then here are some words.
How about desolation
Or maybe total undoing
Perhaps ... oh shit ... what was it like?
It was like having your insides repeatedly beaten
It was like being burnt
It was like a car crash of sounds and feelings
It was like trying to hold a part of me safe
Whilst the rest was left for them

You see it isn't easy to explain at all
I can't just sit and tell you words for your benefit
Unless they also have meaning to me
How about godforsaken
Or would you prefer just lonely
An isolation beyond any I've since known
It was like watching a slow death
It was like peeling your own skin
Like knowing and dreading because you are next
It was like there was no end
Like it would happen forever.

And so here I sit in front of you, except I can't sit
I must move my body and especially must move my eyes
I can not look at you when I say such words
Abandonded, bleak, bereft, alone
Nothing says it quite like alone I guess
Oh and afraid of course ... always afraid
It was raw pain that memory can't quite erase
It was like being awake in a nightmare
Trapped frozen in a dessert
It was like being a child being badly hurt
It hurt in ways I can't describe.

Emotive Words

Uh oh
there it is
out in the open
can't be unsaid or re-wound
it's the honesty game

So scared
fear rises
can't be undone now or taken back
I look, no I peak just quickly
to see your face

oh not that
I can take most things really
well other than kindness
yes pity too

that I get
I feel the sense of things gone
things never had perhaps
like childhood

And rage
that I get
it scares me how white it burns
contained within me and yet
it leaks out

hardest one
least acceptable in its affects
undermines me at every turn
where is peace?

easier now
space to think and drown my dreams
wasting time again I see
precious life

there it is
why am I not allowed to say it
that this is me right now
was me then.

Birthday Girl

Waking up with a sore head
a dry mouth, a furry tongue
a churning stomach
a cheerful grin to hide behind
that's the ticket.

No-one will be able to tell
bright smile, cheery banter
safe in the knowledge
cocktail hour is not so far off
the usual please

What a merry-go-round
funny use of the word merry
more cheerful that cheers
less obvious than dependance
or god forbid addiction

My brother

I saw him there
This small boy staring
Eyes locked, locked into mine
Why doesn't he talk
Why does he never laugh
Doesn't he see me here
Giving him my eyes

Where is his focus
His minds eye
Locked up
Remembering horrors gone by
He won't talk
He really can't laugh
He's lost in the past
Monsters stalk him there

Now this boy
Looks like a man
Wife, child
Mortgage, even good friends
Now he talks
Sometimes even laughs
But he never looks up
Won't meet my eyes

There is this secret
We two know
About monsters
And whispers, and pain
I'm glad that he talks
Even laughs now and then
One day I will smile
And he'll smile back

Just you

A look
well that is what is was
that is how it started
and I couldn't believe it
I couldn't figure how this could be

like a flickering flame
started deep within me
and spread ... oh and spread
I looked at your face and I saw

Just you
in a wonderous state
a lightness of expression
a movement of hips
a feeling almost like flying

a knowledge that it's OK
that you are into this
and I can be free
to explore this with you

that it isn't just me
that this is also just you
how soft your sighs are
and totally wonderful

So old

I thought about you today
bending and stretching
finding that part of you
that somehow got lost

I thought about you crying
and wondering why
thinking that madness
was not far away

And I wondered and thought
maybe it's the change
that very strange time
in a womans life

When you said that's what it is
and made some joke about tea
and I shook my head
I wanted to cry

I looked around me
at the men here at work
no bloody idea
no clue thank God

For there are some things
I wouldn't want known
why I feel so lost
and sometimes so old

Why? (2nd)

I'm frightened
Noises downstairs
I can hear that man again
Oh my god, he is there

My brother
Hearing this
Hiding like me
It's happening, we know it
Please God make him go

Foot falls
Noise on the stairs
Whispers, struggles, gone
Hard hands, lifting, clutching

Down down
I'm trembling like you
Why did we not run
Too frozen too little too scared

Hands on us
Whispers and grunts
I can't look, I must look
Stay right here with you

I hear you
You hear me
I will you through
I see you, you see me
It's hard this, I know

Don't cry
It's over
Let's laugh and let's sing
We'll heal and we'll live
We can lose the past

I'll hug you
And you me
You'll look in my eyes
Hold ourselves together
You ask why

Oh God why
I will try
Rip out my heart and look deep inside
There'll be no answer
I don't know why

the thing

that's the thing about intensity
it's scary
and if it's that way for me,
how much more so for others
don't talk
take it inside and push the lid down

that's the thing about talking
let go
will it be too much, i'll fall apart
better not then, keep silent
or become different to who you are

that's the thing about thinking
it's deep
it opens doors to dark corners
and I so want to run away
not me
Am I brave enough to go there

that's the thing about feeling
too hard
when once it starts it won't stop
like a play running its course
no end
and yet it's not a foreign land

that's the thing about healing
but still, let's make a start
a work in progress perhaps
I'm me
some day that will be enough

that’s the thing about intensity
it hurts
it almost makes things seem worse
like a mountain, a high up cliff
jump off
fly into the eye of the storm

that's the thing about writing
it helps
it lets me say without saying
skirt around the edges of it
but still
the meaning is there when I look

If I say too much

If I say too much
I'm afraid that you'll find it daunting
That you will turn your face away
Feel the weight of expectation
To somehow be a saviour

I have tried talking
I've described the way it was
I look for signs in your expression
Have I said enough to scare you
How brave you seem to me

So fucking fed up
This thing won't go away
How do you escape these horrors
Free yourself from past sensations
Is there a way do you think

I wake up sometimes
Feeling him on, in my body
I run fast inside my head
Try to leave myself behind
Where is a safe place to hide

I was a little girl
So small and so very afraid
I made my mind shut down
Learnt to hide inside my head
How do you stop doing that

I make my list of words
It's like pulling teeth this work
I hate the way it leaves me
I loath what I've become
This small child inside a woman.


Oh yes I can see what the problem is
Low self esteem, low self worth
It's like a door banging loudly in the distance
Like the howling wind in my ear
Of course it is you bloody stupid woman
Why am I paying for you to tell me what I already know

Well ... we shall have to see what we can do about this won't we?
I smile, I try to unclench my insides
But the rage is rising and it won't be stopped
There is panic as well ... panic at the rage
I must leave the room before I say what can't be unsaid
What a fucking waste time this all is

I suffer from what I've always suffered from
I suffer from post what-Ron-did syndrome
It's not in any dictionary or encyclopedia
It's an affliction of the heart and possibly even the soul
It's the outcome of something that's broken inside
And because it's internal there are no obvious wounds

Nothing about this is as it first seemed to me
I'd hoped for lasting peace, healing or some such
What I got were a lot of words which helped a bit
And then someone said something that made a difference
She told me that getting fixed was not the point at all
I should lower my expectations and make do as is

I'm tempted to stop sometimes you know?
I mean stop breathing, stop being
I look in the mirror and Christ I wonder
Wonder where one gets the courage to do that
And then I breathe and close my eyes and float
Life is a gift. Reject the gift ... reject the giver.

And there is that old question again
If there is a Giver why oh hell ... why?
Why would a Giver allow the unallowable.
That little children should be torn from childhood
And given wounds that just don't heal.
Or if they do ... I'd like to know how.

Something needs saying

I can't keep all this inside for ever you know.
Do I regret it?
Are you kidding me?
To regret it would be to deny
To reject even ...
No ... I can't ... I won't do that.

I just can't get a handle on it somehow
The feelings are very confusing
Troubling and at the same time
Well .... what's the word?
The word to describe how it felt at the time
It felt glorious ... that's it.

It has changed things though ... for me anyway
Not a lot ... but I wonder
I wonder if you wonder
Or if you've just filed it away
Something to treasure
Or perhaps just forget

I can't be blase about it ... or cool
Can't pretend it's not important
It's affected how I see things
Myself primarily I guess
God ... so many years
So little experience