Pandas 2

Collective agony brought together with a symphony

of fingers and thumbs mashing screens we see.

We’re not alone, we can chew on this wood, together.

Nothing happens all at once

so pandas take their time.

Shared experiences and friendly faces,

voices that don’t quite fit the words,

and group chats that can last forever.

The Velvet Trigger

It’s forever November. I am hurting. You’re my medicine and my poison. It’s not working.

I cannot remember. The good times had. When the sun last rose. Now things are always bad.

The leaves have left. Everything is black. The beginning was the end of it all. The emotions I lack.

Something is wrong. I binge but I’m empty. Just a bucket wanting to be filled and emptied. Quick fixes so tempting.

I don’t trust you. But I don’t trust myself. I need you in my life so much. Is it good for my health?

The Failure Of Language

What is it?

Fuck, I don’t know. I think he’s dead… He’s dead, Sally. He’s not breathing.

Sally could hear hyperventilation through her phone.

I’ve got to phone an… Fuck!

What happened!?

Arghhh… Urgh… Uh… *thud*

Peter? Peter! What’s going on?

Answer me! Are you ok? Fuck. What’s happening?

The Storm

Crashing branches smack against the ground after the sky’s electric bolt severs the tree in two.

Car alarms are heard, dogs bark, rough pavements sink underwater in the precipitation’s deluge.

A coffin of pine holds the dearly beloved, the recently deceased, the forgotten man. His Alzheimer’s his parting gift to the ashes for a jar.

The door is shut. I want in. Please listen whilst I struggle. I can’t find the words to say. I hope my presence is enough.

English lesson

The cat sat on the mat.

I like cats. They sometimes purr when they are happy.

Cats are my friends because they sometimes sit on me and fall asleep.

Cats like to play and eat treats. Some cats like going outside. They are very clean and wash themselves often.

I love cuddles with cats.

Stuff

A floor made of bleeding mouths sewn shut by heartstrings. Each footstep a kick in the face. He gets stabbed in a dark alley. ‘Oh my spleen!’ He cries out as his attacker opens his wings and flies off into the night. A curtain a creek open lets a blade of light shine on to the wall, sending the cats crackers as a car drives past outside. I’ve had my hole sealed with super glue and I’m desperate to go. Yesterdays cooking is the smell in the air. An hourglass on its side rolls off a table and smashes in to pieces on the ground. A gently sleeping mouse is toyed with and brutally killed by my cat for my benefit.

Long Distance Relationship

You found me lost in a field of snow.
You kept me and took me home to live in your secret drawer.
No longer depressed but I always will be your blue friend.
I made a home in your posession. I had belonging. A buzzing love.
Then you left me and you moved out to be with a real flesh boy.
I am lost in a field of snow.

Trump, Trotsky, and the horses

A frostbite wind cuts across the field
Six horses gallop from one side to the other
And back. The wind does not relent.
Seek shelter horses for collapse is upon us.

My main drive has weakened I have not eaten
My food on the floor. What service is this?
It is winter and the cold crosses riot within my harness and braces tighten.
A contract to count here and stop there. My food is not orange it is silver frozen dew.

A metallic container is my vessel to a unlikely doom.
Travelling whilst trapped; a hijack of hooves and a late delivery of hay.
I career up the side. Trot my vocation. A lost dream in this nation.
The ice pick in my back is a permanent end to what might have been.

Blowing bubbles from my nose.
An infectious calamity on my back.
The ruin of all we have. Not the viruses we carry but a unhelpful destructive nature.
The weather is in my mirror this time of year. Why the long face?

***

This poem was written with a pencil held taut in my anus.

Heartbreak Of The Gut Flora

Flora had a feeling in her gut.

Stuck in a rut. She struts and hurts her foot.

She didn’t know what she did feel. Without an even keel. She didn’t feel he was real.

He wanted to cause an explosion in her life. To cut herself free from strife. He wanted her for his wife for life.

She left him for another man. Because she can. She went in with no plan for Dan.

He had hope. Her heart said nope. He felt like a dope and could only just cope.

A letter to my future self.

Dear Future John,

You have been living in a fleshy husk with some unreliable grey jelly in your head on a wet rock in outer space somewhere in a potentially endless undiscovered universe. More important than that, if you are reading this, you have survived for more than 34 years!

Well done. That’s a good achievement. I don’t know who you are, or where you are now, but I hope you are doing ok. Whether or not they still label you with Schizoaffective Disorder is beside the point. Life is tough and you’re a good way through yours. It’s time for a pat on the back.

Writing to you today, I will begin to steer a course towards you, to put in place the groundwork to become you, the person I will talk about below.

You have helped yourself by letting life flow through you like water down a waterfall. Yes, this sounds like impractical, poetic nonsense, so look at it this way. Water stays to the lowest possible path, a bit like a depressed person seemingly unable to climb to a higher mood, but it feeds plants and replenishes the soil around it, like the empathy and experience of a depressed person. It is completely yielding and weak, yet it lifts up rocks and carries branches down stream. This is you, still achieving survival and self care, even helping those around you. So, put in a more straightforward manner, with an open mind you can adapt to changes. You have learned this. You have conquered episodes of depression with acceptance and flexibility. By letting yourself be low, you can draw upon empathy for others, then help others to improve your self esteem. You have proved this by enjoying being there for your closest friends again and again. By staying to the lowest places you have met people like the heroin addict on the psychiatric ward who taught you about resilience. She taught you against all odds the worst situations are not permanent and can improve. She demonstrated the most immense strength and power to recover and become a loving mother to her child and a dear friend to you and many more. By treating her as an inspiration instead of a lowlife, you have learned from her, you nurtured her and helped her recover. You are the flowing water, John. Continue this practice and you will only grow more comfortable and content.

Learning to listen, to really listen, to focus on only what I can hear at any given time, is a skill I’m working on now. Hopefully if I keep doing it enough you’ll be a master by the time you read this. Sensory experiences are often overwhelming. So let’s try and make it a skill! A rare gift, even. By simplifying experiences into component chunks and being aware of what they are, you can control your responses to them, and tame the irritation caused. First we do noise, sounds, nature’s song, music, and everything the ear likes. Then we can do smells, the residual sweetness of this morning’s aftershave, a slightly damp cat, and the musty warmth of the blankets on my settee. By processing and analysing them one by one we can make these skills transferable. First you must finish off with senses with tastes and physical sensations. Then move on to thought, feelings, and behaviours. I believe if I can control my reaction to one thing; I can improve all of them.

Allowing yourself to be caught up in the moment can make you feel like a monster. It’s ok to feel things. Let life happen! Your best friend and her Emotional Instability Personality Disorder has taught you how to laugh when you want to cry and cry when you want to laugh, and that that is valid and makes for an attractive personality! You have got the gift of an extraordinary imagination and an extreme emotional bandwidth; use these things, enjoy them while they’re there.

Self forgiveness is like taking a shower after a run. It is self care for the mind. I already use what you could pretentiously call ‘a dialectical diplomacy with myself’. I argue and debate ideas, thoughts, and therefore feelings and behaviour with myself to process and accept then return a base of unknowing unexpectation. A happy ignorance of letting things be. I would like to expand these practices to my interactions with others. I hope I’ll be able to feel more comfortable with the things I do and say. One could argue that will happen naturally with ageing and gaining experience. I don’t really know but I hope so. Nevertheless, continue doing your thing.

Only worry about your own thoughts and actions. Everything else is out of your control. Resilience is every bad thing that has happened to me can be flipped to show the other side of the coin. It isn’t just pain, vulnerability, uncomfortable experiences. It is strength, sensitivity, and flexibility. If you are reading this aged 50, remember how I already have this and how much I am growing through all the ups and downs, hour by hour, day by day.

The further back or forward you look the more uncertain life gets. Try to remember this before beating yourself up for something bad you did once twenty years ago or worrying you’ll die alone, decrepit and lonely. It is not possible to see things from every angle when you only have two eyes in your head.

Put others first. As much as your dreams might crave it at times, you are not the most important thing in the world. Practise compassion, love, and kindness. Forgive mistakes by yourself and others who show remorse and love. Practise simplicity in living, prioritise what is essential to you, live with these concepts, ideas, and things and don’t replace them unnecessarily. Humility is important, accept you don’t know it all, you will never know it all, and the biggest delights are in the smallest things. Moving forward try to learn how others see me, but ask for feedback from your most trusted friends and family only, there is no need to entertain bitter jealousy from those who don’t care about you.

Don’t take yourself seriously. You are one of over seven billion humans on this planet, and one of countless more living things, keep that in mind. Don’t let your ego want all the things that aren’t there. There is no point chasing perfection when you could chase something easy and achieve whatever that is. You can achieve more by lacking ambition and finding value in the things you can already do. That said, achievements aren’t everything, if you are happy then surely you have won where others fail every day.

Tomorrow will probably be the same as today so don’t put things off. You might feel unable to get things done but jumping to unhelpful conclusions about everyday problems will just slow you down. Try to make a small start on things right now even though conditions might not be ideal. Encourage yourself to get things done and don’t stall or criticise your motives. You’ve got this, John. Dismiss the excuses. You can do things when you need to and that is worth remembering. Yes, you can feel great anxiety before trying to do something but once you’re doing it, it doesn’t seem as hard. Tolerate discomfort, life is hard and this is a reality, even if you just do a little bit, you are doing well. When you’ve got something done, don’t stop there, do some more and promise yourself a reward for later.

Value yourself and your self care. Please. This is something you find difficult but if you apply value to the things you find difficult you can use truth as a reason for getting it done.

Never stop running. The high you get is great. Getting out of breath, and I mean really out of breath, it’s uncomfortable at first, but it really gets the endorphins flowing and makes you feel unstoppable.

Keep doing things you enjoy. You love making music, painting, walking in nature, writing, reading, cooking, and eating. Use these things to your advantage. There is so much pleasure to be had creating. Don’t focus on the end goal, that is of no significance as long as you enjoy the process, just keep putting that paint on the canvas and express all that pent up emotion. You do these things because they are essential to maintaining your mental health. Think of new ways to do things. Don’t just draw the same old things, make something different every time, be curious enough to experiment without fear. If you get stuck creatively, call a friend, tell some jokes, have a laugh, forget where you are, listen to the sound of someone’s voice and let them inspire you.

Let yourself trust people and trust yourself. Grab the opportunities you have so often missed in the past. Take more risks. Gain confidence, accept compliments, yes, it IS possible for people to see you differently to how you see yourself. Do it all. Live for love. Live for heartbreak. Live for life.

Get a job when you feel ready, maybe be a postman, walking, mostly by yourself, it’d be perfect. Consider getting experience as a support worker, you have been in the mental health system for years, you know the system inside out and have more than enough empathy and love to help others start the journey you are on.

Education is a lifelong pursuit. Until free tuition fees are a thing and you feel like university, don’t forget you can follow your desire for learning right now, read, listen, and learn. Be brave enough to read opinions of people you don’t agree with. Understanding different perspectives is vital for gaining wisdom and creativity.

You might not have achieved all your goals or even shared many of them here but that’s ok. I hope future me looks back and feels ok with the guy writing this letter and myself throughout the past. Whoever you are. Whoever I become. I wish you all the best, lots of hope, much love, and the ability to cope.

If you can, do all of these things. You are well on your way. Stay on that way and I’ll be proud of you. Of me. My future self.

The Clock

What could I say?
She let the clock do the talking.
I can’t listen to the tick.
Desperate to hear words

My mind won’t click into gear.
Cogs turning
Racing thoughts
Subdued response.

I ask myself what I want to say.
Metronomic, predictable
My mind isn’t that.
Constant chaos. Fire leaks through me.

I hope you are well.
And I do
But is it enough
Does it really matter?

Hope is the water that calms my fire.
Ticking is my enemy that winds me up.

Fate is fickle

Everything is changing.
Nothing is certain.
So
I’ll ‘hmmm’ like the Witcher
Because isn’t life a bitcha?

If you turn to stone
You’ll get weathered and old.
But if you flow like water
Your youth will never falter.

Destiny is waiting
For you to grab the reins
So I ask you my dear,
Please keep me near.

The Crocodile with Curly Hair

She’s fierce.
Set in her ways.
Knows exactly how she likes things.
And has fantastic taste in music.

The crocodile with curly hair is an amazing creature.
Unique in her outlook; she is quite friendly once she’s comfortable.

There’s an entire universe in her head.
In that vast space lives a young cat.
With her nearest and dearest; she is loved by everyone.
Quiet, but caring, she can snap at those less understanding.

Be careful crocodile. Your teeth are sharp and strong. You might just eat everything and everyone!

So I remember this rhyme:

Crocodile with her cat in space.
Will always beat you at cards.
She has up her sleeve an ace.
If that doesn’t work she’ll fire a laser from mars!

Use Lemons

I wonder what you are doing. Are you feeling good?
I hope you have a smile on your face. Are you at ease?
Call me in the night and tell me everything.
I don’t want to just live for myself.

Lemon rind. Lemon juice. Slices for drinks. Seeds for a new tree. Don’t waste your time.

There’s nothing better I’d rather do. Than spend my time talking to you.
Watch the waves roll in on a moonlit summer night. Breathe in; breathe out.
‘Sharing is caring’ I now say. Instead of ‘You will be the death of me’.
I have learned this and that. I actually learned most of it from my cat.

She would be a bad idea

Do you believe in the things you can’t see, feel, touch, taste, or hear?
Have you ever had a conversation with the wind only for your words to be blown back in your face?
Confusion and disillusion. Is this from my mood or my past?
You don’t understand anything about me. You’re in for a shock.
How can I speak sentences when you acknowledge my every word?
I get it you are listening. So why is taking an interest so one sided?
When I sleep you seem more interesting but you’re so anonymous I miss you even when you are there.

Fragments

Before we lost it all we had everything but each other.
I hope you can heal and not make the same mistakes twice.
I wanted you to be mine for forever but you assumed I did not.
Yes, you learned I am not perfect. Now you have moved on. Ask him before assuming.

* * *

I can’t write. I wish I could write. I don’t want to write. I don’t need to write. I can put a smile on someone’s face.

* * *

A flicker from a candle.
Steam rising from a mug.
A cold evening with no heating.
I’m not doing everything I should.

* * *

Experience from my fleshy brain doesn’t matter.
Material. Numb. Medicated and subdued.
People are afraid of me. People hate my labels.
I cannot convince them all.
Universal consciousness abandoned.

* * *

Typing on my laptop makes a rhythmic beat on my keyboard. Exquisite, until I need a word I can’t spell.

North Wind

Lets blow our North wind on those in the capital enjoying the fruits of our labour.
We can defeat corruption with solidarity, unity, and fairness.
Educate the masses to the hypocrisy of the ruling class.
Channel this anger into kindness and causes that cease suffering.

Cow Sick (Distance trilogy)

She wants to run away
Into a strangers arms
Weaponised love; accepted

Her parents don’t care
Grandparents say she can cook
That’s her pitch

What will happen once you arrive
Lost and stranded
Strange land; distant people

She does it because she will care
Barely an adult; thin promise
A hope of better quality of life

Cut paper; cut fingers
Blood on her letters
She’s lost control; the words are empty

She wants an empty suit
A man who works
A leaf on the tallest tree

Promises, promises
What is she after
She doesn’t know; she knows that much

Do you believe in radical acceptance?
No?
Oh.
Well think about it. It could help.

The world will be out to get you wherever you run. You cannot hide from yourself. Where can you go to seek shelter from pain? Within. In peace. In constant love. Conceptual romance. No bonds or knots. Alone or together. You will be fine. You will be at rest.

Foul hole bog (Distance trilogy)

Ghoul under my skin
Tell her my secrets
Make me question everything

Ol’ time radio 1998
Worn out side B
Digital watch never ticks

Fuck me sideways
I’ve forgotten my glasses
Lost resting on my head

I let you out
When I shout to you
I say nothing

I keep my mouth shut
Stapled; filed away
Along with the false and fragile

Agonising about the future
I feel pain in my shoulder
No sleep ever again

I slept well
Last night I sewed
Embroidering life lessons

Scarf face mask
I will not steal
Closed shop. Too much wind.

This Miserable Virus (Distance trilogy)

Walls and mazes
dead ends
forgotten beginnings

Just let me
finish licking my fur
Then feed me

Petal in a book
sacrificed
for future reference

Give me a smile
not mine to receive
a delicate frown

Saved from myself
by myself
alone

Patient picnic
the same meal
yesterday’s best moment

With a friend
time passes
quick to react

Weight
gain and loss
seek balance

Playing a game
holding aces
never letting go

Rain

Comatose hair
Frazzled ember
Fire red
Burning November
rain.

Blood drops
You hold it in a dream
With a cry
A stifled supressed scream
silently.

Year of the pig
The cleverest beast
No future is clear
Even looking east
sunrise.

Mountain top
Isn’t my body
Not good enough
Feeling myself shoddy
workmanship.

Grasped chance
Lost ruins
Opportunity knocks
Wait ten mins
later.

Honest broker
Keep in touch
Doesn’t understand
Isn’t much
use.

Forgotten memories
Already missing
I’ll write them down
Still pissing
rain.

What will we do?

A rainbow opposite the sun as the rain patters down on my yellow coat.
As I splash through the puddles rings erupt radiating from the drop’s root.
A brown tree drinks silently in this weather its inhabitants shelter, mostly, from the damp.
The purple plastic pollution that litters the ground looks like a human horror show.

We will wake the mammoths from the permafrost. The lakes will rise from the glaciers. The oceans will grow eroding all before them. Youth will suffer. Their children will suffer more. Will we do nothing?

Let’s drown our hatred and anger.
Seeing red mist float above the ever swelling sea.
No fish left. A bluebottle flies over plastic soup.
Let’s get in the water and swim for our lives.

Equality further away. Social division. Maths ignored at school; replaced by patriotism. Debt ever increasing. The few are taking control. Support is falling apart and our health is taken for granted. Will we do nothing?

Watching the world from your white house on the hill.
We hate you and all you stand for.
Wet from your ignorant spew we can turn you green.
A change from the orange burn of your hostile heated hatred.

What will we do?

Relationship Autopsy

A ghost in my left hand. Air in my right.
A fight for my mind starts and lasts all night.
Why should I do this? I don’t have to do that?
A cat gently breathing. Waking up. Emergency lick of it’s leg! Back to sleep.
I’m sorry if it seemed I didn’t care.
I really did. I just didn’t know I had to lick my leg.

I have new plans but I miss you.

A light is on in the bedroom

A boy watches silhouettes walk around the neighbour’s house.

The light’s on in the bedroom. Are they alone tonight? Or tomorrow or any given night this week?

Night windows show the post declutter calm. A sad anticlimax and an empty room. Lonely footsteps back and forth. A wait of the modern age.

They don’t care if they don’t reply. He can’t see the tears landing on their phone. Waiting for a message while they sleep. It is folly.

Who am I?

In the past I have been described as all these things by friends, lovers, relatives etc.

Pure evil
A gift to womankind
Creepy and weird
A god amongst men
Pathetic loser
Really strange
The most genuine man alive
Cunt
Prick
Dickhead

It’s a mixed bag

Reflective rant

When noisy adoration turns to quiet respect, what can I do except try not to repeat old bad habits, accept what I have and make the best of it. I’m in a good place despite feeling loss and melancholy.

There is something to be said for being alone and happy, even if have the company of my cat, I should appreciate what I have achieved to feel this contentment. It is a great standpoint to fight any unwanted thoughts.

Emotions that were nurtured by a significant other can easily unravel when they have left. There is an argument that God has left us at the big bang or whatever happened back then. Is she dead? Is she bitter and ignorant ? It is of no consequence. Look after what we still have left of that creation and create for ourselves.

Love is from nowhere and if any potential higher power can use it so can we. Plucked from the abyss like a hair from my never ending eyebrows. What is it that smells so good. Something that satiates our satisfaction for life. Petrichor after a summer shower. Or rotting leaf mold in the crispy autumn calm. It’s all worth appreciating.

What the fuck am I talking about? I may be uttering pretentious high powered nonsense but I’m just clearing my throat.

You (me)

You cannot block the flow of life.

You can regulate it or change it’s future course.

You cannot change where it has been.

You can choose to focus on the bits you really like.

Christ’s Emotional Instability

The crucifying pain I carry in my head.
I’d smash it against stone walls until I drop down dead.
The pulsating murder of horror in my brain.
If only it would drown; deep in never ending rain.

I cannot walk. I cannot see.
Humanity’s hatred rules do not dare blame me.
I cannot hear. I cannot pee.
I’m fit to burst with rage; unforgivingly.

I want to die.
I can’t continue.
My mind has gone.
My rotting organs, a congregated retinue.

Let me go. I cannot wait.
My hatred burns all my mates.
I ruin everything. Don’t let me go.
I need you more than you know.

A lovely, fluffy, fuzzy dream

What whispers do you hear in the wind?
When your mind withers and you are just a bag of meat.
An object of lust for envied eyes.
Or a welcome companion to a loved one.

Horses canter through the field.
Playful nights and days in the elements.
Cold in the outside setting sun.
Moving brings health and warmth to those who come.

Such a lovely place.
On a hill with trees, bracken and heather.
Lone cow wanders.
Such solitude is healing.

Shared adventures postponed.
Lives split and shared more thin.
A calloused finger runs down my chest.
I don’t recognise this touch.

What is darkness to those lost in the wilderness.
A habitable home full of comfort and hope.
We survive here.
A solace of familiar weather.

Home at last.

*Until we all inevitably die, alone, suffering in the tremendous agony of what feels like an wasted eternity.

*Added for a friend who prefers a sad ending.

Sand

Time falls through my hands
Sand on floor
By the door
On the scratched stone tiles.

Never coming nor going
The circular bus
Drives on a round route
Serving as many streets as possible.

Never ending or beginning
What really is space?
What is brain activity?
A switch to be flicked on or off.

A journey of recovery
Doesn’t take time
It never ends
It is time.

Raindrops in my head

This is to be read in your head
Or appreciated in bed.
Like a flood of information
from every nation
For your brain to be fed.

I don’t want to move.
My situation won’t improve.
Lying here will rest my brain
not moving an inch just listening to the rain.
There’s always something out there to sooth.

*Sooth your arse as it gets rubbed with steel wool!

*Added for a friend who prefers a sad ending.

Voice of the abyss

The faceless voice that follows me around.

It is the nameless power that fills everything.

An anchor that roots me to my upbringing, to the places I lived, where I survived.

I want to share it with you.

Palindrome

How did this story unfold, let me tell you…

A pal in Rome took me swimming, she said she liked to be afloat, gliding with the current.

Now in the depths of the river; water flows lowly and in this place it was lifting us softly.

Neither strong nor solid life’s liquid fed the luscious growth on the river bank.

As we swam, it occured to us that water is the universal solvent, wearing away at everything it meets.

How we laughed after our day; laughter bubbled up spontaneously like a hillside spring.

Drown

Ice struck hard. Cracked mirror melts. Sea levels rise. We all drown.

***

What could happen between us. If we could watch the tide. If waves would roll over us. If we would never die.

Some people live on stilts, knocked over by the breeze, the lapping sea gently lilts, as we fall to our knees.

Not one of us is in control. Never acting out our intent. Don’t worry for what you can’t control. Your iron will is still there hell bent.

Trees

Planted by squirrels, we march to life’s whistle

Together in mud, we tower above

Spring bulbs below and birds in our hair

We all have some bark but make no sound in the air

What goes on beneath anchors our feet

We bind the land is how we play our hand

Leave us breathing well and oxygen we will sell

For we are the trees that build your society’s deeds

Hazel

Three lifetimes ago I was born.

I came from a strong nut, one of many, my mother groaned as I fell from her grip.

My name is Hazel and I am 200 years old. I live by the water’s edge, where I drink and swim, stability my pledge.

I feel my dear old Russell run his presence through my hair, day to day, a familiar face of nature’s affection.

Seasons come like a day night cycle.

Polly rides past on her bike and stops by me for some shade, deserved mind, she just isn’t fabulous yet, dahrling.

I will feed and shelter until my day is done, be it lightning or blight, my day will come.

Observing the woodland is a hobby of mine, we tend to it’s upkeep, bird’s homes combined.

When I was young I didn’t know myself but was full of potential. When I was mature I peaked with doubt but was rash to show my strength. Now I am old I know all that matters and what happens, happens.

You are the Lily in the pond and I am Hazel in your reflection. Treat me well and I will reward you.

Small Hope

Amid pandemics, corrupt governments, mass inequality, mass poverty, mass fear, unprecedented climate change and ecological damage. There is still hope and there is still love…

That’s what I’m living for

The Strength of Water

The cow stood alone, crunching on the cud, one field away from beach.
Dividing the field from the beach were wind carved dunes; obscuring the sea from view.

The sound was immense. Crash after crash.
The cow didn’t know what it was. It came again and again. Like the never ending tide of love between two lovers exploring what they could be.

The grass was long enough to rasp a quiet rustle in the breeze. The cattle’s table spread. Yet there was only the cow around. Night rolled in. Thunder struck.

As the rain fell the cow sought refuge in a rocky cave by the lake at the top of the field. Only to discover an inhabitant was already there. A weight was lifted from the cow’s heart at the site of a bull.

The bull was neither young or old, he was in his prime, not extraordinary, not plain, he was unremarkable. The bull stood next to the cow in silence for some time until the rain stopped.

An almighty torrent came from the back of the cave. Both the cow and the bull were swept up in the water. The lake had burst its banks. They clung to each other for dear life, carried along towards the dunes and the beach, they were dropped, wet to the bone, to the sands of the beach.

The cow mooed at the sight of the waves, seeing what caused crashing sound for the first time was a revelation. It felt like her brain was alive with discovery. The bull stood and gently put his head next to the cow’s as they watched the sun come up over the roaring sea.

Water fills every empty gap. It is the universal solvent. It always seeks the lowest places to lift us up. Natures bounty bringing the cattle together.

Show off

Flexing my self worth to my friend showing off 15 years of momentos.
I’ve never had a time when inspiration don’t stop the flows.

When I walk down the street, I don’t turn heads, I turn hearts.
So polite and so kind you’ll never to smell the odour of my farts.

I laugh and I joke but am real when you want me to listen.
And if you look me in the face you’ll notice my eyes always glisten.

Be real to me, I’ll reward you with your dreams, that’s a given.
When we touch and you go; you’ll always wonder what you are missin’.

Ok, so maybe I don’t believe this but you can fill the emptiness inside.
So, be true to yourself and live your best life on the outside.

Ex musings

Does the sun make a noise?
I can only but wonder as her silence speaks volumes.
Broken promises and a broken mind.
There is no fixing but we continue living.

Hush. I hear rain. I hear the onset of autumnal hope.
A cool breeze makes a warm hum on the window pane.
Traffic planing on lying water on the road.
A whoosh of joy as memories warm my heart.

The same horizon; the same place.
Things are somehow different.
A catalogue of comfort is no help.
Too different. Too unknown.

A carrot can be a treat for a hungry deer.
What I’d give to hear from the trees.
Living a slow life, perfectly still.
I can only be ponder what life has in store.

Living young is full of strength and unknowns.
Maturity brings adventure and misplaced confidence.
Old age brings acceptance and certainty.
I feel old before my time.

Sleeping aged 15 in a room full of heroin addicts.
I can appreciate the kindness of the inn keeper.
The night before in the cells did me no good.
A life of deserved mistrust for those in authority.

Fast forward eighteen years and I walk past the shops.
Police racially profile black children for a stop and search.
I walk slowly so they know I’ll be their witness.
We cannot let our friends live with this injustice.

Gathering bilberries on the moors is therapeutic.
A small handful may take five minutes to pick.
A five second chew, an explosion of juice and flavour, they are gone.
Time well spent.

My Disabled Heart

Why did her words mean so much to me?
– Were they empty?
How do I fall out of love?
– Do I really want to?
When will I feel like this about someone again?
– How will I trust them?

When will this pain ease?

Is she in any pain?

Let’s forgive each other and forgive ourselves and live our best lives.

Unnoticed Potential

I feel like a Nissan Micra with a Ferrari engine stuck on a 20mph road.

If I start I’ll be stopped and if I stop no one will notice.

Playing with the constraints of my mind.

I can keep hope but it seems only of use to spread.

A Damaged Cord

I hold on to cords of my dream.

Fraying fabric felt through my fingers.

I’m holding tight but gently to the memories.

As to not to sever the bonds.

But they cannot compete with reality.

A dream is a dream. Nothing more.

Yes, dreams can be real, and it was.

I need to repair and make new cords.

Healing my connections to the outside.

Untitled by Ася Орешкина

You’ve never been loved like that.
I’ve heard that before, somewhere.
A refrain after every disappointed verse.
I loved you, does that make it better or worse?

I’m a lesson you needed to learn.
The well-worn silver lining of mine
That won’t keep me warm as I walk all alone
Through the storm that I summoned to never get home.

Lovelost poet

I will fly my kite atop the heather filled heath. The wind will blow my fear across continents. And turn it to love. The thrill of suspending reality in the sky.

My home is where I am happiest but I get lost here. I know the moors like the lines on my hand, yet the wilderness is no home for love.

Transformation exists in every element. Change in every concept. Doubt cannot trap truths that might tear us apart but it keeps us safe. Safe in our homes where nothing can be permanently wrong.

Happy Birthday Rosie!

Everything gets better when you’re 30
You can stop worrying about things out of your control
Anxiety is less when you’re 30
You’ll feel like things are easier to accept

Now that you’re 30 you don’t have to be ‘cool’ anymore
No one will care if you don’t know the score, for sure

Your friends will still love you when you’re 30
You can stop worrying about things out of your control
Pain will subside when you’re 30
You’ll find everything easier. That’s all.

Now that you’re 30 you don’t have to be ‘cool’ anymore
No one will care if you don’t know the score, for sure

The Dust Hare

Everything is particles and waves: Energy. Dust.

A conscious thrust. A conscious thrust.

The dust hare kicks its legs and forces are transferred.

The pull between us is what it preferred.

Thank you Dust Hare for working in mysterious ways.

You keep the sun burning, even at night.

If anyone sees you they are in for a fright.

For you are beyond comprehension, these words not enough, to describe your beauty, to talk about your dust.

Adjustments

I need to adjust how I see you.

You came to me with love.

I’ve never been loved like that.

Now it’s gone, or on hold, or changing.

I hope this is just act two.

There are things I haven’t said.

Things I haven’t done.

Maybe I should look for someone else too. It will not be the same. That scares me.

This is my life

I’m powered by tea.

Fallen dreams and new realities.

Corruption and lies is not exclusive to governments.

I hold my head high.

A new caffeine start.

Self care is my priority now.

This fleshy husk on a rock in space needs a shower and a walk.

I will always take a new leaf over the ending of the book.

In her shoes

The slow burn of a heartbreak injection

Injected first thing this morning

Fight or flight was truly tested

A heavy weight of pain hangs around my chest

I must let myself love again

Rebel against the fear and doubt

I’ll choke up getting ready for bed

Using help to shut my eyes

Closed doors in an empty house

A fresh breeze awakens my face

A few days sleep needed for self care

I may have administered it myself in her shoes

Alas, a healthy dose of pain may just be what I needed

F in the chat to pay respects

I looked down at his cold dead face. It was tilted slightly to one side; up against a lumpy plain white pillow. It was not the first time I had seen him in make up but this blushing powder pink was not his style. I didn’t want to stop looking at him knowing this would be the last time I could see him with my eyes. Thinking about the last time I saw him alive I felt a prolonged pang settling in my gut. Tears welled up in the corners of my eyes causing me to blink. A long, slow, heavy blink. For a moment he was gone. It hadn’t dawned on at that point that this would be the norm. As darkness set in with clouds blocking the little light that was seeping into the room; my consciousness returned to the moment, hearing a sudden muffled shriek from a relative, I turned quickly, not really knowing what to do, I looked back me at the queue of mourners waiting behind me and uttered a gentle “F” under my breath and walked onwards towards my seat.

Memory of a new start

Petals fall. Seeds drop. Leaves loosen.

New growth is still some way off.
A forgotten celebration of life in the distance, springing forth like laughter from the diaphragm. Until then, winds rise.

Discomfort. Aching muscles and tired eyes dried by the breeze. Columns of light cascade through the window, occasionally, when the sun manages to poke through.

A fireplace stoked while music plays. Folks well fed and drinks flowing free. There is still cheer in the air where there is water and warmth, where the memory of new lives is fresh.

A roof over our head, we clothe ourselves in autumn colours, waiting for the next thing to break and be fixed. Creature comforts from little routines keep us going. And listening.

Lost in the moment

Staring into space somewhere in front of your eyes I give an extinguished sigh. A stifled noise. One moment in time. Forgotten.

This happened but won’t be remembered. Following the glazed look was a spark of life. Face muscles contracting commitment to a smile.

An out of place hair on your brow brushed away by a fingertip’s gentle touch. I looked at the strand and placed it alone in your palm. I learned forward. Silence. Before I received a kiss so pleasant it will stay with me forever.

This hasn’t happened yet, but when it does, I’ll remind you that I love you.

The old boat by the sea

I take my old boat ‘Ася’ down the Serpentine River. She’s a glorious craft. She’ll do for a lifetime.
The water laps and whirls around her freshly oiled rear. I duck a branch to live another day.
Safe surrounded by her streamlines. A temple on holy ground. Security.
The ebbs and flows as we stay the night in the estuary. Bobbing up and down. A lifetime at sea awaits.

Let me out

Frying fat sizzled sound ears pop.
Jelly wobbles worse sugar sweet burst spot.
Often colours blend and swirl mix up make a new one.
Simple sayings sickly sink into deep thoughts all gone.

Purple picnic mountain side rain is here.
Hide the food mood has dropped take me home.
Sometimes squirrels eat our crumbs in the sun shone.
Now we’re home weather fine itchy John.

Good for you

How much food can you eat while someone else is starving?

How much can you sleep at night while someone else has no home?

How much can you cope with your friends while someone else is being beaten?

How much can you do in a day when a supercomputer could do it in a second?

How far can you run while someone drives on past?

How do you breathe with all the pollution in the air?

Why do you do these things?

Do you enjoy them?

Plucked before time

Dense, fine hairs on a leaf like fur.
He purrs until I pluck him off the tree to put in my book.
Saved or sacrificed? He lives with the letters I sent to this page.
A message just to say that all leaves fall eventually.
But don’t worry, they’ll soon spring back.

Spears and needles

Nettle tea.

Give me iron.

Steam my engine.

Rocket to the moon.

Riding my cognition cycle.

Beetroot and sour cream.

Warm and wet.

I fall off my bike and tear up my knee.

A door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway to a door and a walkway.

Put down the book. Get back on.

How’d you like them clichés?

I’m tired of all this sunny weather. Give me perpetual autumn. Cozy nights wrapped up in thick jumpers next to warm fires. The movement of falling leaves. The cold breeze against my face. The washing up a treat for my hands after eating some comforts.

A fallen star is just some grit to harden my chicken’s egg shell.

A positive move. Just smile more.

Just smile more. It’ll make you happier.

Smile more. It’ll please them.

Smile or forget.

Brain fog.

Nothing is forgotten because it was never remembered. Not truly.

…give me strength.

Feeding friends

I feed you food in hope that you produce compassion if not empathy.

May hope be a by product of staying alive.

May staying alive be easy and of value.

May ease come to you as an instinct.

May your instincts be kind.

Five one nine

They let their intelligence detach from their sense of helping others and helping themselves. Their needs and reactions.

If you lose yourself in knowledge you must first build yourself up without knowing anything.

I sink lower into my chair. Both slouched and hunched. Uncomfortable but listless. Aggrieved, I listen.

It sounds correct in their example context. Yet I apply this to things unexpected and I cannot react. It would seem like wisdom to seek the truth but how can they see it with eyes closed. I cannot react. I am lost.

Washed ashore with the driftwood I look for patterns. Repetition. Things to get used to. Things I can cope with. Trust in virtue. Trust in self. Be disobedient. Disregard all you know in the moments it gets too much. In the moments you need to.

The war of semantics in my thoughts can be tamed with acceptance. Temporary as it may be. It is a machine. It needs maintenance.

Putting square bricks in round holes, no longer. I can fly. I am abreeze the clouds. Lifted.

We seem to pick up those still afloat. Let’s do this.

Ignore it now and eat some chocolate.

There are bellies to fill. A tiger on a wall. Fire risen from the wood. A roar of thunder. A torrential downpour. Feeling shaped from thought. Not from knowledge. Survival.

Autumnism plague

The pages turn as the trees shake off old growth. A quiet melody plays whilst she reads by the fire. The plates are full. The cheer is here. In this moment we have no fear. October nights glow in our memories with smells reminiscent of smoke and warmth. When the nights are cold and strange and all the pets sleep on, and all the light has gone out and we go to dream new songs. I’ll think about the time you stayed with me and kept me as your own.

Ghosts

I am just a ghost in a ‘morbid dreamland’ but this is where we congregate now.

This is how we meet up and provide each other with the help we need.

My imagination will help power yours and yours will help power mine.

Let yourself drift.

Slide down every watery path until you reach the sea.

You can overcome everything you need to.

The sun and moon will glisten and the darkness will contain.

Books will expand the world if you are a prisoner. Food will contract it. Use them well.

The rules are simple but best forgotten.

Welcome.

The French Connection

The garlic sellers hands had an all day smell.

Stale from yesterday when the garlic sold well.

The hands were large.

Fat fingers like sausages.

Her date for the night was a crêpe suzette.

He said your scent is great come sit on my baguette.

My Dream of your Dream

Softly the feather cushion supports your skin.
Naked on the settee, free, otherwise not concerned.
A patterned patchwork dream in your head.
You want to act it out in 4K HDR colour before you’re dead.

Pretence and arrogance.

Often your day is long and you are tired.
There is housework to do and everything is unattractive.
What falls eventually rises again but not tonight. Fuck that.
Something soft is still relatively hard because I can’t do it. Shit.

A Plaice In Mind

There is often a case of caution with plaice. Leave this fish be in the ocean. A hazardous race of engines at pace is done by the boat as precaution.

But a potion is drunk by the sailors who stunk of fish kept in ice like lotion. It comprised of rum and felt like fun but sleep became their eventual notion.

Furious rage woke from drunken haze as the night turned to day and all the fish swept over. No luck, no clover, the drunken seaman went over as the seas demanded attention.

The trawler was ruined. The seagulls were stewing their plaice with salt water and kelp. The fishermen died without help and the shorter straw was drawn by the fish and the men who passed with a yelp.

The sea calmed it’s waves and said goodbye to the days where boats would claim it’s bounty. The wind had dropped. All the corks had been popped by nature who never would die.

So goes the story of catching plaice and men snoring drunkenly into the night. Their vessel had failed because they drank too much ale. Natures debt was dealt without commotion.

And so this tale is sung as warning old and young to people at this charity. Don’t be greedy, reward the needy, and the world will find it’s own parity.

The centre and the periphery

The periphery is the container where I keep all my knowledge, my memories, and my habits. Everything I can conceptualise lives here. Who I think I am, who I think you are, and my cat.

The centre is where my waking state lives. My feelings, my senses, and everyone else’s. It is nicer in the centre than the periphery.

I don’t know what this is meant to be

What can I say?

Great green swamps of the East.

Nutritious algae looks unappetising.

Sniff a beaker of soil, my friend.

The smell of Earth is your base.

Surely a rainbow would brighten your day.

It’s starting to rain.

We’re all in pain.

An empty stomach is a shame.

Let’s eat.

Forever beginning

At the start of things the Earth eats the sun. It feasts and brightness is forever tarnished.
We then retreat into our minds and feast on moonlit imagination.
With each subsequent thought the darkness grows.
Reality dims to the point of the original source.
Hopefully we can send our selves there and dissolve as brightness reigns again.
Just so the mountains can once again eat all the light and grow trees on their peak.
The cycle goes on to this day.
Forever beginning, we are helpless, as the skies and the soil do battle.

99

99% of humanity’s tears are yet to be shed.

99 buttons in my box but no thread on the reel.

99 reasons for ice cream still I deprive myself.

99 carved decorations but I keep looking for the blank block.

99 possible outcomes started from the same place.

99 colours would make me go blind.

99 thoughts but I have to choose which to use.

99 steps but no dance, no stairway, and no instructions.