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,




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.

the anxiety of an adult orphan

There’s no one now older than me.

That makes me top of the family tree

There’s no one below to catch my fall.

I’m alone with old photo albums to trawl.

Thought I’d be fine after decades of their stress,

but from their loss there’s now an emptiness

I never expected to feel. After years of abuse

I honestly thought I had nothing to lose.

I hated for so long, resenting them fully

never feeling free to be what I could be.

And yet, without them here, my cellular sense

is vague and unsupported. Money matters clench

my tummy tight, as fear snakes up my throat,

my heart feels hard against parented people who gloat

at their mother’s day, father’s day cards and meals.

Quietly I know that one day they too will have to feel

what it’s like to lose and never get back that chance

to appreciate, to forgive, to enjoy the dance.

a poem for my pointes

inktuition pointes

You live in a box of 70s plastic blue,

a doting reminder of

what I quickly outgrew.

Opened, it exudes a scent of resin

that transports me back

to being eleven.

One touch of your fragrant satin

and I’m back on stage in

a pirouetting pattern.

Your robust pointes are carefully sewn,

your ribbons a symbol of our tie.

To you my love I’ve always shown.

From that first day you were moulded to me.

You are singularly mine, today,

as I was back then: size three.

The day we met, I became whole.

I wept when ballet lessons stopped.

Only the smell of you, now, helps console.

This is for Day 7 of NaPoWriMo

A poem about a miscarriage

My heart went out to Gary Barlow and his wife Dawn when I heard how their baby Poppy had been stillborn. In my work as a therapist with women who have lost babies to miscarriage and stillbirth, I know there are intense feelings of loss around what might have been – the dreams that have been so cruelly taken away – mixed with intense gratitude for the blessings they do have.

A friend of mine recently miscarried her baby. She is a young, healthy woman, who already has a child, so she is baffled why she miscarried. She said: “When I heard about women who had miscarried, I used to think of it as matter of fact. But now experiencing it myself, it is a whole different world. It’s almost like I now belong to a club, where there are so many of us but no-one talks about it and women suffer in silence. Now I think: was there a spirit? Where has it gone? What was God’s reason to take my child away from me?”

I wish I had an answer. The way I chose to respond to her pain was in creative writing, via a poem:

To the twinkle that blinked Continue reading

why feeling iSad brings up all my other losses too

I’ve never understood widespread mourning for a public figure. Famous people die, and I think it’s sad, but I’ve never felt the loss before of someone I’ve never met, yet who has touched, inspired and enhanced my life in the way that Steve Jobs has.

I may change my skirt length, accent colour, heel shape, belt width or lipstick shade to suit the season, but there’s one thing I’ll never change, and that’s my Mac. I may have put up with a PC when I’ve had to, but its clunkiness, slowness and downright unsexiness has me sprinting back (yes, even in my high heels) to my thing of beauty: my Mac.

I secured my first job as a journalist on one of those square, tiny-screened Macs, which somehow made writing an article as an intern feel so Continue reading