to my younger self I gift..

To my younger self I gift

a sense of knowing I have a right to exist,

imperfect and scared as I am

it’s alright to be me.

 

To my younger self I gift

a trust that life gives as well as takes,

that the blows and hurts won’t destroy me,

but will make me who I am.

 

To my younger self I gift

a self-belief that’s humble as it’s confident,

that the words I eventually write

will soothe me and touch others.

 

To my younger self I gift

a pen that scribes my truth.

 

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 7: write a poem of gifts and joy.

a mind-reading villanelle

Second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.

Yet I spend my life seeking approval from outside.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.

 

I’ve begun projects then ended up frozen,

unable to complete an abandoned idea.

Second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.

 

Reading minds is a skill I think I’ve mastered

but it leaves my creative output empty.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.

 

I’d love to roam free in the land of imagination

freeing my thoughts to dance on the page.

But second-guessing makes me lose my own mind.

 

I can’t take the critic, it pierces and bleeds

my fragile self to the point I submit.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.

 

I’ve spent my life waiting for the outside judge

to give a thumbs-up to my latest fudge.

Second guessing makes me lose my own mind.

Pleasing others is a fault in my design.

 

NaPoWriMo 2019 Day 5: write a poem in the form of a villanelle

a poem for my flames of fear

 

On a good day I see in the flames

a dancing horse, swishing tail

head upright, ears aloft,

prancing to the heat of the fire,

soul alight with joy.

 

On a bad day I see in the flames

a devilish anger that burns down

all my hard work, a ghoulish glee

that turns my dreams to ash,

hope depleted, plans destroyed.

 

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?

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?