Nowhere and back again

This poem talks about the journey into and then back out of depression. I’ve been there, read the book, got the T-shirt, cried the tears. Oh Yes – I know the way to nowhere and I’ve had to learn the way back.

Anxiety skulks in
Through the chinks of normality
Lurking un-noticed
Hiding in corners of the mind
Gaining strength
Feeding on itself
Undermining reason
Just a small spark
Fuelled by uncertainty
Consuming belief
Doubting even doubt itself
The spark ignites a fuse
Bonfires in the soul
A dark rocket bursts
Showering its shards of despair
A nebulous crescendo
Of pain, of fear
Of nothing, of nowhere
A blinding flash
Of darkness
Leads you into
The void
A place of nothingness
Not even fear
Just darkness
A living death
With no way back
Imprisoned in oneself
Nowhere going nowhere
One day hope steals back
Seeping through the pores of despair
A silent blossoming
A faint whiff
A ghost of a scent
A little healing
A little light
Almost lost against the enormity of hurt
Given time, lots of time
The scent of hope pervades
Settling in corners of the mind
Gaining strength
Feeding on itself
Undermining nothingness
An exit
A way forward
Something grows
A vision
A future
It will come
And maybe
Just maybe
It might linger
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Another poem for Maggie. Don’t need to say anything more. 

There’s something about your eyes, 
the way they move, 
the way they smile, 
something about the way they look at me.
There’s something about your voice, 
the way you talk, 
the way you laugh, 
something about the things you say. 
There’s something about your hands, 
the way they hold mine. 
Something about your hair,
catching the light, 
catching my eye. 
There’s something about the way you walk, 
the way you stand, 
Something about the things you do, 
and there’s something about …. 
Something about, 
the who you are, 
the who I am, 
the who we’ll be. 
And all the somethings, 
about everything, 
about anything. 
All the somethings, 
they all add up, 
add up, 
to everything, 
And that’s what I love about you.
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This poem is about how things were when I was at primary school. I’ve changed the name of the teacher but he could be one of thousands. We no longer see his harsh methods as either acceptable or effective but when people were brought up in such times and did as was expected of them did it make them bad people? I don’t really think so.

Mr O’Brien
Sir to you and me
Had a strap

A collection of straps
Different colours
Different lengths and widths
All stung outstretched hands
When Mr O’Brien spoke
Everybody listened
And he drank warm milky coffee
With skin on
And he had seahorses

Mr. O’Brien

Stood straighter than straight
He had two pens for marking
Red and green
Hard and soft
Red crosses stung hands
Green a chance to correct
Good! Meant good!
In any colour

Mr. O’Brien
Taught right from wrong
Imposed his discipline
With fairness
In an old fashioned
Outdates, discredited way
Mr. O’Brien was never wrong
And he drank warm milky coffee
With skin on
And he had seahorses

Mr O’Brien
Taught what he knew
Knew what he taught
Held his beliefs firmly
Led by example
Cared deeply
Seldom showed it

Jack O’Brien
Was an old man
With steely eyes
Age set free a thin
Wry smile
And bent his once
Rod straight back
And his hands shook
As he spoke
and he spoke of the past
and the pupils he taught

When Jack O’Brien spoke
Everybody listened
No more straps
And he drank warm milky coffee
With skin on
But the seahorse
Were gone

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Yes I can do romantic – wrote this one for Maggie 

Happy Valentine’s Day XXX

I’m awake
Not un-sleeping
But awake
More awake than ever
Awake to today
Awake to tomorrow
Awake to life
Awake with your voice in my ears
Awake with your smile on my face
Awake with your hair in my fingers
Awake with your fragrance in my mind
Awake with your taste on my lips
Awake with your wonder in my heart

You may sleep
Wrapped in my arms
Head on my chest
Breathing shared air
Skin under my skin
Scent on my body
Warmth by my side

I’m awake
Watching, dreaming
Hoping, holding
Shielding, protecting

I’m awake
Don’t ever let me sleep

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Not Like the Rest

A true story, very sad and a reminder of how society (government really) can let someone down. This was the ultimate failure of “care in the community”. It still happens.

Young, slim, pretty 
Shiny black hair
In satin waves
Freshness of youth
Delicate features
Fragile like the mayfly
A shy nervous smile
Flickers briefly
She looks much like the rest
And she walks and talks
Just like the rest
She tells me her story
Reads me her poems
Glimpses a future 
Inside she struggles
Stresses and worries
Insecurity, plagues her like locusts
Eating confidence, consuming spirit
An empty bottle, beached
On life’s shore
Forgotten, a lonely, abandoned lamb
To face her wolves
And she hurts
“What about me?”
“What about me?”
“How should I feel? I don’t matter”
Not like the rest 
Doctors diagnose, plan intervention
Prescribe medication, a hospital bed
Nurses monitor and report
Administer the treatment
Provide some care
Nobody really listens
Nobody really knows
Or understands
So she remains
Hospitalised, medicated
Pacified, stabilised
Tranquilised, desensitised
Monitored, protected
Contained, controlled 
How does she feel?
She can’t explain
Then how could she
Doped and drugged
Her feelings blanked
Smothered and flattened
And they
Can’t explain
Then how could they?
She doesn’t look ill
She carries no mark
She wears no badge
They say she’s recovered
Finished her treatment
She’s not so sure
They send her home 
Parents plead
A mother knows
She’s not ready
She’s still hurting
She still needs help
Her bed’s allocated
Her budget’s spent
Her resources gone
Released, discharged
Just like the rest 
Her care in the community
Her one brief day 
Of freedom
They came too soon
Unwittingly created
A torment too far
On a bridge
She pauses
No samaritans
No witness
No mothers arms
She’s gone
A solitary column inch
She didn’t matter
Not like the rest

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And did those feet?

Here’s my newest poem. I’m not what you could ever call a patriot, I’ve always felt that it is people that matter, not a state. This poem says a little about how I feel.


And did those feet in ancient times?
Well did they?
Did their walking
Their fighting
Their belief
Bring us here?
To a land of boom and bust
A land of us and them
A land of me, me and me
And did those suffragettes
Fight for our excesses
And did those soldiers
Die for our bankers
And was democracy
builded here
for the haves?
And does the state protect
The have-nots
And like the small child
Asking forlornly
“are we there yet?”
There could only be one answer
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