Unlucky thirteenth?

Who knows how many times we’ve split:

Is it five, nine, twelve times, or more?


Each time, we end back right where we started:

Square one. No better, no further.

The same old reunion,

the promises made anew.

Waiting for the other to change,

and no change beginning to come.

Then the same old fights,

scrabbling down the same old paths

of recognition and delusion.

So I wonder if this time, when we finally split for real

– for probably the thirteenth time –

will it possibly be lucky for some?

stars in disguise

The melancholy moon, with a

bite out of its side,

does a smiley for the stars


The constellated night jewels

catch my breath,

lining up for their sightly


Minor. Major.

Who cares what key

they play their twinkly

chords in.

Their well-placed face,

their bling, their show,

will make the dark more


Yet the brightest one

I only have eyes for:

It squeezes my heart’s


For Day Two of NaPoWriMo: a poem about stars

what my anxiety doesn’t know

It doesn’t know boundaries.

It doesn’t understand when it’s appropriate

to flush my cheeks and inflame my chest.

It doesn’t know how to hold back

when my thoughts start spiralling

into a whirl of destructive what-ifs.

It doesn’t know it’s devouring me,

and all those around me,

with its catastrophic clauses.

It doesn’t know it’s not in charge

when it rages like a bull

in the china shop of my mind.

Even when the red rag starts fading,

it doesn’t know the exhausted angst

that still rampages my dreams.

For Day One of NaPoWriMo 2015: a poem about negation

what we learn from who we hate

The person I hate

is like a piece of sellotape:

stuck to my fingers

and won’t let go.

A voicemail vitriol

is like an online vicious troll

even from a woman old

enough to know better.

My buttons pressed

I’m trying to guess:

is it what I resist

continuing to persist?

I fear that her tone,

all imperious and throne

is what I’m like when cross.

Hiding loneliness and loss?

in the grip of my saboteur

inktuition ballerina

My saboteur grips his fist

around my waist

and shakes me.

I’m a ballerina to his giant,

his fingers and thumbs

all flesh and fear.

My head becomes his,

my voice his own,

with an added twist of rage.

As he flings me round

I’m dazed and thrown

his wrath has been uncaged.

What wakes him up

is a critical word,

a sigh, a lie, a frown.

He will crush what isn’t liked.

Work smashed, hopes burned,

darlings end up drowned.

He makes me collude

in destroying

all I have created.

Every rhyme, every verse,

every colourful phrase

he shreds until he’s sated.

My ballerina frills

are ripped and sad,

The dance is forever seated.

My pointes won’t twirl,

my spins won’t charm,

my life force feels defeated.

My saboteur thinks he’s saved me

from the shame

of mocking failure

But as I sit amidst the harm he’s done

I begin to wonder

what he’s there for.

(image courtesy of sattva/freedigitalphotos.net)

exposing the cloak of success

Achievement’s a cloak like the emperor’s new clothes

that eventually show their nude.

My success has been my calling card, through

a life of critique and rude.

My cloak was stitched with A-grades, degrees,

a career of mastering challenge.

I wore my cloak with scholarly pride, to dinner

and breakfast and lunch.

My achievement cloak hid all of my sins,

and a body that could not connect,

because feeling something might propel me back

to the blows around my neck.

My cloak brought me work, and sometimes awards

to frame and prove I was good.

Titles, money, power and glory – isn’t that how

success is understood?

Work became my pride and joy, stressy badges

to sew to my cloak.

Not knowing that what I fed myself, others,

would eventually make me choke.

‘Cos when success was robbed from me, and

I lost my believed esteem,

the cloak that fell from my puny self

exposed my bare-bodied screams.

Without my cloak I was shrivelled, a slug

on a rainy path at night,

without form or spine, or plausible goal,

I writhed with shame and spite.

My success had always defined me, gave me

light in a room of dark.

Without external validation, where the hell

would I find my spark.

I’ve been searching my soul for the answer to that

for the last six or so years.

In a cycle, I’m temped by the lure of success, and

a salary to stamp out my fears.

When that eludes, I seek something else

to fill the void of the cloak,

but without its defending, hiding role

I find I’m emotionally broke.

Yet once the cloak is exposed as fake

it’s hard to believe it was once real.

My journey now is to create a new life

out of fabric with a softer feel.

I’m facing each day with authentic intent,

Yet the urge is still there, I reckon.

Is my cloak hung up on the hook of beyond,

or does its shield have an unbearable beckon?

I can’t find my mother

I can’t find my mother in work,

but I can locate her

in the deepest of hurts.

I can’t find my mother when I drive,

as people cut me up, in the

conflict they contrive.

I can’t find my mother when I cry

for what I’ve lost

and my lungs are turned dry.

I can’t find my mother in love

that’s pretend; a glamour

that’s just a rubber glove.

I can’t find my mother when

betrayal means bereft.

There’s nothing left then.