Notes on the cloud room

Before, how did I say the unsayable?
I guess I just didn't, locked it away
found a secret corner in my mind
to tuck things out of sight, out of mind
and now I say them here
except some things.

You asked me recently about some things
why I have a room of clouds locked away
like that secret corner of my mind
where I still tuck some things out of sight
things I can't say where they might be read
I'm glad you don't ask why.

Do you ever feel disgusted with yourself?
like you just shouldn't be allowed
to mix with decent people
living decent lives
and it's not an act for them
they're clean on the inside too.

Well I'm not. Not clean I mean
and no amount of washing or wishing
can ever make it so
and no amount of turning my mind
changes this fundamental belief
that I am an unclean girl ... woman.

There's a look I see sometimes in the mirror
on those days when I almost can't bear
to meet my own eyes there
darkness gathers in my already dark eyes
and I feel the howling gale within
drowning out the sounds of now.

And so what I write in the cloud room
is stuff I just can't say
or bear to have read even by you
and I'm sorry you think I don't trust enough
but if you knew me like I know me
you wouldn't want to know that about me.

The Shoreline

When I first walked here along our shoreline
I didn't realise that so many years on
I'd get used to this, make it my second home
as familiar to me as my own cloudy horizons
and although sometimes I feel quite desperate
trying to catch sight of you amongst the waves
I am learning, very slowly learning to let it be

Knowing that in time you come ashore by choice
and even if it is not solely just to join me
I can still find a measure of joy in your company
for while no one person can be the reason for another
that doesn't mean I don't wish in my secret depths
that I could be more of a reason for you my love
on days like this I feel almost invisible to you

You wander out beyond the surf, beyond my sight
infrequent visits ashore bringing towering rages
and long lonely silences I can find no way to fill
I am just me, just a person, I can not be an anchor
can not be enough reason for you to try harder
family fill my ears with advice, I should do more
force the issue, make you listen to me, my needs.

I don't think I can shout loud enough to be heard
above the surf, the pounding sound of the waves
and even if I could my love, what could I say to you
how can I reach into the heart of your misery
simply to add guilt to your overwhelming despair
if you are struggling to stay afloat treading water
will it not just add to your weight if you hear me.

Are you beyond the range of even the lighthouse now
if I add my light will that act as an extra incentive
and even if you come ashore will I know what to say
it seems that my every word grates on you somehow
justifying your withdrawal from my inane stupidity
leaving me feeling not just alone but cast aside
a reject would-be rescuer sitting here on the shore.

There are days when I feel like walking inland
leaving the shoreline to find a home in the hills
where the trees make sounds not unlike the waves
where the task of climbing gently calms the mind
and looking out from the summit the horizon unfolds
in every direction, a vista of life lived so far
I'd turn to scent the air for salt even here.

A parcel

There is nothing quite like getting a parcel
reminds me of being a child at Christmas time
a mysterious box arriving from so far away
brown paper, strange stamps, shaky handwriting
all of our names written large across the top

Under the tree it would go to sit for weeks
lifted and looked at, shaken time and again
what fabulous item might be hidden within
almost always a book, my very favourite thing
read without fail by close of Boxing Day

And so this morning I chatted to our postie
whilst removing some stamps for her son
there was a tingle of anticipation and delight
fully realised on opening it up, your gift
such amazing pictures, ah and chocolate

Well, you are right of course when you say
that no day is complete without chocolate
breaking off a piece I indulge, savour the taste
as I peruse these photos, reminding me again
that there is so much beauty in the world

And no more so than is found in your heart
I love them, they are stunning, just stunning
and now I have a small glimpse of your world
but I won't tuck them away, no I will share
jealously though, as they so richly deserve.

Your kindness

There is something about kindness
I can endure hardship and hurt
although I can totally understand
why you mightn't think so
but kindness
well kindness undoes me completely
leaves me sitting on the kitchen floor
holding onto the cupboard handles
whilst crashing waves run through
and over and past me.

I don't deserve such thoughtfulness
having not given enough of myself
and yet suddenly there it is
totally unexpectedly
your kindness
I can write words I can't say out loud
sending them on a wing and a prayer
almost trusting in your understanding
that words unspoken aren't the same
as feelings not felt.

Will you recognise yourself here
think perhaps I'm writing of another
that small acts have small impacts
but that isn't really so
with kindness
I wish sometimes I was braver
and better at putting into words
how some things affect me so deeply
that I am left feeling undone
which is no bad thing.


There are many ways to be lonely
many ways to hide the fact
that what seems to be isn't
that smiles are easy to manufacture
slipping behind the masquerade
of politeness and joviality

But towards the end of the day
there are moments of reflection
seeing again what lies beneath
an acknowledgement of aloneness
despite the seeming hub-bub
of others comings and goings

I hate the masquerade really
so why do I keep playing
padding out my isolation
this false comfort of companions
who are here only for now
and who don't know me, not really

I am often lonely through and through
though I spend little time alone
or so it would seem
people fill much of my life and time
but this feeling of separation
this loneliness persists

Except with those few, special few
who by trusting win my trust
time spent amongst these friends
is like slipping into old jeans
rambling under the harvest moon
puddle jumping in the rain

I would that there were more friends
but I am losing the knack
of their making somehow
as distance becomes ever greater
and time drives our lives apart
making me a better letter writer

I am so glad you are there
but I'd much rather you were here
in my sight, within touching distance
words on a page don't mean less
but I prefer the immediacy
of the sound of our laughter.

another debacle

You know that phrase
when you are in a hole
stop digging
well there's a problem
I can't always tell you see
that I'm in some hole

So I blithely dig down
in doing so cause hurt
not intentional
but sorrow can't undo it
and words spoken now
will ring hollow in your ears

And what words could I use
I'll only make it worse
cement impressions
add offence to hurt already felt
this hole feels pretty deep
now I realise what I've done

So I'll retire to the fringes
have another look at it
try to figure out
how intelligence and it's counter
can so blindly co-exist
making me hostage to fortune

This clumsiness of mine
gets me in too many scrapes
blundering about
shattering the silence with idiocy
before that dawning realisation
of yet another debacle

Someone once asked of me
what gift I covet most in the world
taller, richer, blue eyes
none of these things appeal
I want to be able to un-say
to undo and rewind to before

I wasn't thinking at all you see
I was just talking about me
I'd no idea of the inference
that could be put on my words
so in judging myself harshly
you feel like I'm also judging you

That's not at all what I meant
and there's that massive hole
gaping wide, waiting
where is a ladder when you need it
would it help at all to tell you
that it's very dark down here.

How goes it

Can I sit with you
by your side
not meeting your eyes
brother can I be here
will you accept my presence

Are the drugs working
do you feel safe
from these memories
walking through this pain
looking only ahead

Why are your eyes dead
where is your spririt
some kind of resistance
I rely on you even now
to lead the way

But why do I do this
you are not strong
I've known it always
hard wired by decree
much loved always by me

If you don't cope well
I needn't either
I can be a child again
ask for protection
curl in upon myself

I needn't even try
I can just give in
let the waves wash over
feel the ebb and flow
momentarily let go