My Head

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I don’t have a multiple personality disorder,

I just have several voices in my head.

And why would I try to navigate this fuck up of a life,

When I can just live here in my head instead?

See, in my head, the world is shinier.

People say the words they mean –

At least, the ones that I’ve invented do.

The residents there say things that are none too clean.

When they’re in full swing,

It’s like being host at a house party

Full of people you don’t want to be around,

But who feel they have a duty to belittle me.

My skull becomes steamer,

But there’s no vents to let it all out,

And so the pressure, the volume, builds

And it takes all my strength not to shout

Above the noise. But then sometimes, they lose their voice,

And instead of the cruel vitriol

I live in my dream world, happy, full, content –

Where I have full, unquestionable control.

So you tell me, why,

Why would I want to join the waking world?

Leave me here in this self-induced coma,

And in this foetal position, curled.

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Can We Go Back

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I remember the first day you held my hand.
Your fingertips paused at my wrist, waiting, hesitant,
Then caressing their path across my palm.
You slipped your fingers through mine and held on,
And I could talk of magnetism, electric,
Forces that for us have no name or meaning,
The very air settling, wrapping around in embrace,
But it would mean nothing.
Would not capture how it felt to belong,
To not doubt, to know inner peace for once.
I cannot find the words. I don’t think there are enough of them,
And my tongue’s too simple to pick the brightest, bejeweled ones out
That would do any justice to you.
Besides, you’re the one with the magic;
Maybe not always in words, but forever in gestures,
So when I say that it is you who are magical,
Know it is something far bigger. Brighter. Bolder.
More than just the simple stating of a fact.
I want to go back to that.
Feel the warmth of your spine pressed against my chest,
The certainty of your skin there beneath my fingers,
The knowledge that we are each other’s,
And that nothing can ever take away from that.
I want to get back to that.
Please. Can we go back?

Unforgiving

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Apology doesn’t bring back flesh and bone,

Or beating heart,

Or the promise that was living.

Nor does it restore faith,

Uncry tears,

Unhear words.

So what I’m saying, is that forgiving

You,

Would be to forget all who have been lost to your choices.

Whose voices can never be heard,

Hearts can never be won,

Hopes can never be clung to

Again.

By forgiving you,

I dishonour

Them.

So I will not forgive you,

Not even for a second,

For all you that have done.

This is my shame,

My weakness,

My sorrow.

And for what’s to come,

We have only to blame ourselves.

 

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Beware

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There’s no need for technology to know that he is there.

Even in this pitched darkness, you are ensnared in his stare.

When they warned this place was haunted maybe you should have had a care,

But then, you always did disdain at those who cautioned: beware.

 

You moved into this old house and replaced corroded locks.

You blamed the age and creaking wood for all those unknown knocks.

Whispering scorned, footsteps dismissed, unsettled feelings mocked

Until you woke from slumber, startled by a chair that scraped and rocked.

 

He lingers in the shadows, grows more arrogant at night.

By day, he’s lurking, creeping just upon the edge of sight.

You tell yourself he does no harm, and at worst, causes fright.

But when he bars all exits, your heart still hammers in flight.

 

Accounts record that his corpse was found not so far from here.

He watched you as you looked him up; over shoulder, he peered.

Cause of death: bludgeoning of skull by object from the rear.

They never found his killer, so he can but linger here.

 

History tells the story of a violently led life.

It whispers of whipped children and a meek, thin battered wife.

Stories of all his wickedness are harrowing and rife.

You try to forget what you’ve read, yet grip to chest a knife.

 

And now the doors are bolted but the danger is within.

The monsters aren’t out there hiding; there’s only one. It’s him.

Excuses for your sleepless nights are becoming too thin.

You recoil from the thin air, feel his breath upon your skin.

 

So now the lamps are lit and you sit, sipping Bristol Cream.

Perhaps by the morning light, things will not be as they seem.

Maybe you’ll wake to tell yourself, ’twas nothing but a dream.

But through these thick stone walls you’ll call. No one will hear your scream.

 

Three days passed in your absence; then the village deigned to care.

They creaked your door wide open, and by torchlight crept in there.

Many a back of neck pricked under the weight of his stare.

Nothing of you they found but clawed floorboards reading: beware.

 

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Mask

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That mask you’re wearing is slipping.

The sheen of fear on your cheeks leaves you gripping

Tightly to it, trying to keep it there in place

And not reveal what’s behind it – your true face.

What are you so afraid of?

It’s not like you believe in anything above

That will smite you down for your sins.

No. You just don’t want people to see what’s within.

To show you’re just as fragile as the rest

Of us. You love, you fear, but keep it to your chest

Only revealing your inner thoughts to very select few.

And even then, even they have questions long overdue

Answering. It’s paralysing, letting someone in,

How do you choose who to trust, or where to begin?

I’m not the one to ask,

Clutching tightly at my own lurching mask…

 

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Sparse

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So lost today.
I want to run, but my legs are marble.
I want to hide, but I’m too exposed.
I want to be, but I’m done with living.
I want to go, but I have no home.

I’m broken.
Normally, so happily fragmented,
Scattered far, and sparse, and wide,
Running from a sense of being needed,
Desperate for something, but what, I cannot decide.

I do not belong.
And I’m going nowhere.
But I don’t fear that I’ll drag you along.
Because it’s been an age since you have been there,
And now I question all that I’ve done wrong.

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Seek

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Imagery alone is not palette enough to describe the feeling.

But without paint to brush or chalk to smudge, it’s what we seek.

Clouds roll in like slickened driving wheels on freshly greased tracks

Gaining momentum, distended bellies threatening birth of something bleak.

A cluster of voices clamber and cackle for attention

Like crowds gathering before gallows, awaiting death,

Jostling and judging and goading into actions

That rip flesh apart, leave lungs gasping for breath.

Silences screams shrill, each one tearing and tricking

Into false beliefs and cruel untruths,

Propagating the propaganda of self doubt.

Silent replies fuelling these as proof.

The pressure builds, rattling like stove-top kettle.

The whistle chasing its tail within the skull,

Knuckles find home in depths of tender temples,

And on kind days, the whistle calms, the senses dull.

On brighter days, the sun is welcome,

Bathing the world in gentle light,

Peace descends like comfort blanket,

And for a moment, all feels right.

Living with the tick-tock of time bomb,

The chest is poised for fight in fear,

Shadows can swoop and shroud at any time,

Rationale and reason derail, decamp, disappear.

There is no seeking for understanding.

Wordless responses hidden in folds of fear, pockets of pain.

Doubting all becomes the ritual

Gas-lighting the self-hate campaign.

 

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