Tag Archives: poetry

Grateful To(o)

Grief assailed me, unawares,

As much as I was unprepared,

While (much less) people (than imagined) stared.

A fountain outside became a memory,

Becoming another fountain inside of me,

A force so uncontrollable, from a depth so inconsolable,

Unreachable through human touch.

A violently tender expulsion, channelled through trembling shoulder convulsions.

Alien energy rose from my gut to my chest,

And clamped it hard, each breathe short and jarred.

Grateful I was, to the hard wooden bench I sank onto;

Grateful I was, to the anonymity of this urban London square,

where couples immersed in embrace,

dog owners were lost in chase,

and focused fitness regimes followers flurried and hurried past.

Grateful I was, to the squirrel perched on a stone.

Unaware, unaffected: Its preoccupation with survival itself a comfort.

Grateful too, for the incessant sound of the fountain,

Monotonously speaking its constant purpose:

Water forever lost and replaced; uncatchable, in the eternal flux of chase.

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Night-time Brain Storm [a poem]

Another set back;
Another shake up;
Another break down… What happened?

The answer lies in the prepositional verbs: ‘Back – Up – Down’
Not steady but hurled around;
On life’s rollercoaster.

My anchors were not firm,
Under waves of emotion they squirmed.
I try to breathe, return from mind to body as I’d learned.
Let the ripples be superficial;
Ground myself, stay steady, don’t cripple;
Try to be solid like the Zen stone;
Impermeable to weather: never roam.
But no:
There’s nowhere to rest, no sense of home.

Now the waves grow taller, the winds turn to gusts;
And my anchor shifts, weakened by rust.
My roots, thin and feeble, had not yet entrenched themselves into the earthy nutritious networks;
Not yet reached that rich layer of resilience and resources.

So the battle’s lost.

All perspective’s gone, whisked into whirlpools of worry;
All rational replaced by recklessly rampaging self-criticism,
And threatening high tides of cynicism.

stormy sea

I abandon my mind to the high seas of self-pity;
To be tossed into turmoil, tugged at by illusions of alone-ness and capsized by catastrophic untruths of my inability.

Until…

Negativity’s had its fill.
And in the morning’s balmy light,
The calm after the storm comes into sight.
With relief, it dawns that the set-back-shake-up-break-down,
Is nothing more than a thorny crown;
Now gently detaching from me,
Becoming,
As day unravels, a blurry night-time memory,
Persisting only in the stiff corners of my body.

Now leaving the bedroom fog;
Leaving the set back to reset;
Leaving the shake up to up-rise,
Boarding the lifeboat of morning with new eyes.

Now making a cup of tea,
Maybe step outside and try to breathe:
Up, down and back in normality.

Back Set Back [A poem]

Oh, there you are again
That old chestnut, that niggle, that pain.
I just thought I’d do some shopping, get my haircut-
Like normal folk do, –
Of course… I forgot – That would remind me:
I’m stuck in a rut.
Even dreams and ambitions now cut…
By you.

Despite precautions, carefully planning how to manage the day;
Pacing myself to keep you at bay,
You’ve sneaked in again, uninvited, literally through the back door,
Which I left unguarded today,
Since painkillers have their flaws, and rest becomes a bore.
Today, all I wanted was to walk home from work.
The sun was shining, birds going berserk.
A gentle half hour’s stroll, not too much to ask…
But after 10 minutes you assailed me.
You sent bees to sting my lower spine;
You pressed your claws into my muscles, already tight and confined.
I defended myself with deep breathes, musical relief on my headphones.
But you struck again! Jarring joints, buckling bones;
Pelvis now misaligned;
And so I resigned,
Myself, as you rugby-tackled me onto my back, and lay on a park bench to rest,
Even though I must have looked like a tramp making a nest,
In her Sunday best.

Enough?

Oh, there you are again!
I guess I should try to makes friends;
Since you persist in hanging around, since we’re so intimate now.
Try to accept you; Not fear you but face you,
Not numb you with ice but try to embrace you.
But your unpredictability doesn’t make it easy.

When you cling to me, even small tasks make me feel frail;
Short distances appear to be of Himalayan scale;
Even the pub is an ordeal – No simple pint of ale;
For I am distracted from the conversation by your incessant WAIL!
You’re like a nagging wife, reminding me not to sit there too long;
Well I’m tired of fighting back with drugs;
I don’t feel so strong.
And then, when you’ve got me vulnerable, you chisel at my confidence;
Make it hard for me to belong.

Ah, it’s you again:
Restricting my body, grey-tainting my brain.
It’s been over 2 years now, that you’ve been haunting my life;
Like a gloomy spectre intent on turning my fun into strife.
If I so much as think of advancing in life;
Of planning new ventures or channelling energy in some fruitful direction…
You slap me hard.
You make my body feel beyond correction,
Unleashing inflammation like an incurable infection,
Immobilising me with your vertebral dissection.

Ouch!

Oh, so you’ve returned… Yet again.
What else can you take from me?
There’s nothing left to drain!

You took my career and prospects, my sources of joy, my groove –
Once-upon-a-time, I could really dance –
My travel bug, my fitness, my chance,
Of romantic bliss; Urges to bear children gone amiss;
Plus my energy, my future plans,
And
My
Freedom.

Pain, oh omnipresent pain!
I know, some people have it worse, I should not complain;
But let me keep my sanity;
I’m begging you for 2 months’ break,
I cradle my dear old brain.