can’t or won’t be helped?

Your sigh is deep, you bleat your woes,

dump them at my feet

expecting me to pick them up

and hand them back, all fixed.


Something in the line of jaw,

desperation in your eye,

that carries age-old, deep-set wounds

I can never hope to heal.


I protect my ego’s sacred part

from your needy, devouring stare

forcing me responsible

for making you feel whole.


If I do that, it’s me who’s sucked

of life’s enduring force.

I trust that you can find within

a healing, hopeful resource.


You’re waiting for me to say the ‘right’ thing

while doing nothing yourself,

except switching off every light in the room,

shuttering your self from earth.


What sits in your impatient pockets

is an urge to cover your scars.

You expect me to be your fairy truth

and to wave a wand of stars.


But my truth is, honestly, more like the moon:

a beam in the night field of doom.

Take your needs, your pitiful looks:

sit, and transform them alone.

angry red sofa has its day

inktuition frayed leather sofa

The red of the leather, so plump at first

was anger at my loss of you.

A sofa bought on a whim and no prayer

landed in a space so skewed.

Seven years on, the rage has worn out,

as has the leather so sad.

What was once a feisty young thing

has withered to become an old hag.

No one wants her, she’s past her time,

that rage has burnt itself out.

All that’s left is the bits of her

that litter the vacuum’s tight butt.

my near-erasure

The pencil, always so poised,

so sharp, so in fashion,

came, one day, to feel its own lead.

The spine within became buckled,

twisted, fantasising

about its own death.

The point became lost,

worn down to a stub, where

nothing, but nothing, was left

but the scratchings of a soul

looking to transcend bereft.

A poem for day 21 of NaPoWriMo 2015: the erasure 

Loss: the unsaid

 Loss speeds alone; angry car drive

unpleasant. Duck, dive, dodge;

sneaky sideways swerve

leaves the South London visitor

outmanoeuvred. In the funeral lodge,

wishing she’d ever had the nerve

to address the issues she’s never dared.

Long-gone relatives leave memories dislodged.

Maybe black and bruised was all she deserved.

A poem: ambivalence for my dying mother

We’ve never been close

you’ve always resented that.

So you lashed out and used

the shaming sting of your slap

to keep me in my place.

Neither too clever or too cool:

I was only ever safe

as a perfect extension of you.

So now you’re close to dying.

It’s been a rapid, vicious decline.

My resentment for your blows is

twisted round some thorny vine.

I’d love to find forgiveness,

some sense your life was worth

all those prickly punishments;

that your purpose was divine.