the garden of self-doubt

Shade

The only metaphor that works, right now,

is a plant in a corner of the garden

that’s always known its inner-most colour,

kept secret, to adapt and fit in.

 

This plant isn’t stretching to reach the sun.

It’s been content with its lot on the lawn,

accepting that others will burst and bloom

while it keeps to itself, forlorn.

 

Imagine this plant could transplant its space

to a patch that was easily lit,

giving a chance to grow like the rest.

But it flinches, retreats as though hit.

 

Why would a plant not take a chance to grow?

‘Cos it’s forgotten it really can?

Or has its true nature been buried beneath

those decades of soul-sucking soil?

 

Sun

What if the gardener was calling time

on the plants that had real worthwhile?

What if there was a ruthless deadline,

on the blooms with a chance of life?

 

What would our shady plant have to say

about the finite ­– the limit of time?

Would it continue to rot in the safety of shade,

or risk the scrutiny of sun?

 

Given a push, it will feel the sense

to die, to shift, or move out.

What’s no longer left is the chance to risk

the outcome of years of self-doubt.

 

So, time to make a shift towards

a sun that could no longer steal.

Trust the gardener of this gorgeous space

where the thorns could ultimately heal?

being left without warning

Tell me when you want it to end.

Don’t just gift me, compliment me,

and say I was brilliant, while it lasted.

Then leave.

 

I need a beginning,

middle,

end.

 

I trusted you, felt we had a connection,

built part of my diary around you.

To deprive me of my wind-down time

feels cruel, unfair.

 

And honesty was your core value,

so why not square up to me

when endings are why you came

to help you find your answer.

 

Leave me without a proper ending

and I hold the unprocessed story:

wondering about your (and my)

happily ever after.

a boundary and a butterfly

you mess me about, afraid to commit,

and I let you get away with it.

 

I’m scared that if I pin you down

you’ll punish me by flying away.

 

So do I let you flit among my flowers,

skim the best of my summer blooms,

 

while deep in my roots I feel unrest

as I’m sapped of what keeps me whole?

 

Or do I insist you choose a stem to sit on

that won’t always bend to your whim,

 

and risk losing your custom for good –

though at least I won’t be short-changed?

when people compliment my writing…

 

I shrug and say it’s normal:

what’s so special about what I write?

I also kind of feel a fraud

‘cos it comes so naturally to me.

I just sit at the laptop and type,

without having to re-read back.

I know that what’s come out

is final, total, complete.

So, when people add me to writerly feeds

I wonder what they see in my words.

It’s as natural to me as breathing and dressing.

So where’s the speciality in that?

clawing the courage to say no

The agony of my indecision

had done my head right in.

The hurting of my inner child

had left my true self wilting.

The logic part had made up its mind.

The fragility, it was a fraying:

teetering in, about to give way

a lifetime battle drilling.

So, where could the courage come from,

to say a crucial ‘no’ some time?

Perhaps it stemmed from dark-down stuff

that finally said ‘enough’.

Reasons to stay, urges to go

Reasons

Walk in, chat, feel welcomed and held.

I’m rated by bosses, part of the meld.

Means a lot to belong, when everything else

could be me, alone, days become dense.

 

Urges

It’s regular work, though boring old admin

that takes me away from what I’ve been yearning.

Bored. Hate it. Feel something else is calling.

I can teach, write, blog, and be free.

 

Reasons

Fear of unknown is what keeps me here

and a deep-down blankie of safety.

If I leave, what’ll become of my time:

squandered, wasted, wishing-well drowned?

 

Urges

I can meet new people, be open to new things

Be alert and fit, not a slave to alarm rings.

 

Reasons

Can’t trust myself to follow my dream.

End up bereft, broke, regretting my tears.

 

Urges

Run out of urges. Can’t remember the pull

to be free of misery, detached from the dull.

 

Reasons

Perhaps there’s a part of me that isn’t done yet.

Maybe a lesson to learn, an unspun pirouette?

 

security versus story

How much longer will I pad the dreams

of others who pay me daily.

 

Why is my vase full of distracting sand

instead of pebbles that count, that matter.

 

My true life skills, my singular gifts

are stifled in admin, thoughts of bills.

 

Striking out, writing stories down

feels impossible, crazy, waste of time.

 

And so I count, I help, I fix, I support

the sorry souls of others.

 

But when will it dawn that I could die

with my stories still inside me.