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.

The Oblivious


I could lighten your misery.
Your darkness would lift.
Shower you with brightness.
But what would you see?

Nothing.

Blinded by light.
Untouched by night.
Howling your ignorance.
Writhing on the floor.

Narcissism exposed.

Guided by faith.
It is always a sign.
When it’s convenient.
Otherwise it’s sin.

Hypocrisy.

A cold touch.
A withered hand.
Weight on your lower back.
You could fall at any time.

Hand of God.

Whisper on the breeze.
Schizophrenia or holy spirit?
One pious rationale.
One debilitating illness.

Rulers.

A smile on the street.
A laugh and a meal.
The warmth in my heart.
Random kindness.

Inside us all.

The Soil

The wind howls through my head

Shaking the edges of my vision

Taking shelter in a garden shed

Just doing jobs there is no decision

Moonscript

The dark and the light. Stories written of land made of cheese, of a man in solitude, of scars and holes.

The full moon just gone, see you again soon, cloud permitting.

The new stars are primed on their rockets. Set to be speeding across the sky. An awful musk lingers.

The moon will always be the moon. Until it becomes the property of few. They might one day own the moon but they will never have what we have. Tales and song. Food in our bellies and drinks flowing free. A cheer and a smile.

To the moon. To the moon. To the moon and back.

Cat

Pounce, cat, pounce
Catch a beam of light
Through fields and trees
You will win every fight

The smells you encounter
Wrap round your memories
You are loved completely
So do anything you please

The warmth of your coat
Will keep you feeling cozy
So I accept that mouse
In place of a posey

Dreams vs reality

Every night I close my eyes and flirt with death.
I lose my choice, my identity, my name.
I see things that do not exist.
And occasionally scream in pain.

Every night I close my eyes and flirt with death.
But I’m loyal to life in the morning.
I look, I feel, I taste my food.
And smile at the day that is dawning.

Avangard

We will all die.

Money will become meaningless.

We will regret not doing nice things more often.

Nothing is more valuable than a smile on a loved one’s face.

Prioritise.

Underpants

Sliding down a valley.
Falling through a hole.
Tumbling over and over.
Dropping further.
Lower and lower.
Next to my broken ankles.

Underpants.

The Greatest Slumber

Sleeping on green sheets, under two warm duvets, and a thick woollen blanket.
Me and my cat are mutual hot water bottles.
Serenity is in my body but my mind is distracted by the muffled radio sounds through the wall.
A double is fine but a bigger bed is an aspiration; indeed.

Heat trapped radiating in and around us.
The day’s gone contents being chewed up gently in my head.
Fleeced of a rest by some fool shouting next door.
He turns up the radio to drown himself out.

There’s always someone else but you can be settled where you are.
Until the next trawler dredges up old bedded muck.
I’ve never been as certain although at a distance is it both easy and hard.
Letting myself drift into fantasy I notice a change.

Voices cease; a radio off.

The greatest slumber will be here soon.

Framing the picture

Trying to assess how I am
I frame a snapshot of my mind
Cropping out bits to make a good scene
This is how my sanity will unwind

An overreaching attempt to grasp a hot mug
Spillage and pain
A needed drink wasted
I put my head above a burst water main

A sea of movement
An elaborate dance
Feeling between us
Keep us entranced

Monotonous duty
I work to some trance
In vogue so I vogue
I take my chance

This Morning ITV1

Next to a holly tree
The silver fox sat on the forest floor
Hungrily thinking about visiting the chicken farm nearby
For there worked the raven haired girl

The woods were on a hillside
So the fox skulked down to the low field where the farm belonged
Roosting crows flew from the canopy branches as he rustled past below
He made his way to the field verge

It was winter and all the girls were glowing in the biting cold
By the damp wooden shelter he saw the Little Soph with the midnight hair
Soph of the field would smuggle eggs for her silver furred friend
Just as he came to collect his treat there was a colossal bang!

Down by the small piers at the side of the river
There was a pompous buffoon shooting at the birds in the sky
He wanted their shiny things hidden away in their nests
Neither he nor they had the generosity of Little Soph

At the sound of the calamity Soph and the fox made their way down
The blustering fool by the piers was so involved in himself he didn’t hear them
The silver fox barked and growled and so shook was the man
That his feet fell before him into the air above the slippy water’s edge

Splash! He had blundered in a massive way
Wet and cold from head to toe in icy mire
Soph laughed and fed the silver fox some eggs
So the fox went back to the holly tree where he spent the morning content and well fed

A quick decline

My hyper sensitivity and extreme resilience are two sides of the same coin.

I have a lot of those coins.

I should learn to flip on demand.

Instead I want to spend them all on you.

As all my constituent parts condense into one.

As all memories of myself are gone and forgotten.

I learn the best days were the worst days

And the hardest days were the easiest.

Everything speeds up

Spinning slowly

Then faster

And faster.

Stillness.

The end

Concentration

For times longer than I have known.

They predate on our emotions.

Feeding, gorging upon our fear.

Confusion they spread.

Misinformation is read.

They want us to believe in them.

We cannot. We have our sense, logic, and hope.

With that we fight back against it all.

We’re left alone with our books

Alone with our music

Our art. Our reality.

Alone with ourselves

Alone with the truth

Of all we can do.

So we listen and we listen.

Putting mind over mood.

Living every second.

Helping as many as we can.

Stably crazy

I listen to the whispers from the rocks. “Don’t step on me. Step on the soil; it is silent.” The soil cannot speak but would it complain if it could?

The grass here grows long. Thick and dense. Stems snap and screams; more screams fill my head.

Should your voice be different? Of course, but it isn’t, at least, not always. You say “hi”. I can’t hear myself think which is just as well. I’m scared of what I might be saying.

The cars go past my window far too fast. “Honk honk honk” someone toots. I cannot see out but it has been raining. I can hear the tyres slice up the water with a harsh crescendo that diminishes into the distance.

Leaves are falling. That’s nice.

I am writing nonsense again. Good. What to say? What to do?

Why I am breathing so loud? I sleep still. All but for the bellows squeezing back and forth. Until I turn and turn and turn.

A postcard to a beloved

She dances like dust in a beam of light.
Entranced, I’m a rabbit in the headlights.

I want to sing to her but I have the smallest voice. No one can hear me whether I whisper or scream. So I delight in my silence.

So today I wrote, quietly and alone, a message within a message, for once, without my phone.

Autumnal Peacetime

The air is cool. No wind to speak of. Feeling my heart beating away in my chest.

Bright blue skies and fluffy white clouds. Every tree, every leaf, perfectly still.

My mind is buzzing with everything I’ve ever learnt. Not all at once but it’s all in there somewhere.

My cat is mellow today. Affection is going a long way. Thinking about last week’s confusion seems a long way off.

My flat is a mess but the speakers are singing to me and I have a cup of tea in my hand.

Paper skin

He’s got paper skin; peeling away, red ink and all.
The words don’t matter; he is what he feels.
He lashes out at those around him; so fragile.
Full of yesterdays news but he hasn’t read anything.

His paper skin doesn’t inform.
He won’t let you close; he’s so ashamed.
Not of himself because he’s always right.
Just ashamed of his words; it doesn’t add up in his head.

There’s a patch on his arse that once was page 3.
It’s the only bit he likes.
‘Not vulgar, this is moral instruction.’ Is it’s message.
Flesh on flesh and it just stinks.

In fact, all of his paper skin smells rather bad. Unelected and unwanted. A buffoon at 10. He’s a buffoon all day.

Looking in the mirror

(This is a very negative rant. Feel free to skip this. It’s triggering and best avoided unless you are doing some psychological investigation into self hatred or something. For the record I don’t feel like this very often and was written with misdirected anger which produced a false reflection of my state of mind even for that moment. This rant is my worst possible way to see my reflection. My worst thoughts aired.)

Fuuuuuck! Just melt away like I know you will. Droop low enough to touch the floor. Or fatten up to fill the cracks. Time will age you before you hear a tick because you are a stupid fucking idiot prick.

Don’t worry, nothing will wipe away that vapid stare. Your face aloof because no one’s there, the lights aren’t on because no one’s home, you’re slow and dumb, why do you think you’re forever alone?

You’ve never succeeded, you’ve never won, you lose on purpose because your life’s a pun.

You’re starting to love yourself. You fool. No one loves you. Why would they? You fool. Obviously they must be idiots too.

So why do you hate yourself after so much progress? You don’t achieve anything; you just have process. All you do is try to cope, everybody thinks you are a dope.

You’re not so bad, you try your best, yes you’re getting good at lying, next!
You’ve still got brains, you’re pretty smart, then why don’t you use them you boring fart.

Go to sleep. You look tired. You have never been someone I have admired.
Wake up soon. Don’t look at me. Forget everything about yourself in your dreams you’re free.

Cliché? Touché

Life. Never to be the same again.

The last day of the week didn’t get off to a good start.

My alarm went off. I showed you my painting I thought it was red and you told me it was green.

You took me for a walk to your hills where I planted my flag. The wind was lacking but I could still feel a bite on my face. A tear. Your footsteps in the snow will be gone tomorrow.

Back home you sat by the crackling fire and sang the saddest song. I cried; became afraid of my actions and words or lack thereof.

Would it even matter if I disappeared into thin air? A faint trace of your smell left on my hands from the night before. You have gone now.

Emptiness. A new hole. The pain is back. Does it never cease? In my dreams I walked to your hills but they looked like different hills and my flag was gone. There sky was clear but there was no moon. The ground was wet. My face was dry. Something forgotten returned from the mist like a wisp in a woods. An old ghost drifting through the trees; weaving a path through the thickets. It was my worst enemy. A mirror. A chasm. Just darkness. My safe place.

Diary

An enormous furnace of radioactive burning gas just pitched up on the horizon and blasted my bedroom full of luminous energy. Fuming! It’s almost everyday at this point…

Being a bee

Honey in my throat. A buzz in my brain. A hive in my stomach. A queen in my heart.

Every thought a flower. Each memory a breath of wind. The distant hills are not our home. This brick has everything we need.

You didn’t give me my wings but you taught me to fly.

What you give to me

The sweetest taste on my tongue; a feeling my brain adores. A safe warmth in my feet spreading up to my head. A glow brighter than the sun in a land of perpetual sunny intervals. A shine from my heart that lasts longer than a lifetime.

You give colour to the trees; your leaves each more varied than the last. Your swirls and strokes have more life than the seas. Your smile feeds on pain and gives out love. Your words calm those nearby and promote harmony.

Those out there somewhere might sneer at our joy; their deficient empathy can’t slow us down. Their lack of patience can’t force our movement. Their blue and gold dresses can’t tempt us to fruitless avenues. Their misunderstanding can’t teach us otherwise.

Inner feelings. Beautiful senses. Outward protection.

Thank you.

The Memory Shack

There is a cosy wooden shack centrally housed within the dark grey garden by the torchlit woods in the left side of my brain.

She stands in there most days, warm and content, painting her mind. The canvases are ever changing maps of who she is.

Standing close to apply strokes of colour, she is a light that is always on, in an otherwise flickering domain. I smile at her as she lifts a painting and puts it to one side. It is a blue and red streak dancing on a grey background.

I look at the painting and then at her. Carried in her glowing eyes is a flame sparking comfort; affirming my affection.

She sometimes leaves to sow seeds in the garden. This time she takes out the compost bucket too. A ritual of emptying painful memories into the universe’s empty space for renewal.

Distracted and alone I look through the window, the first clouds of the morning replace the starless sky, a dawn breaks bringing a new light to the room.

I wander outside as illusions tell me there are things to be done. It is dark and she is not there. I cannot see into the black depths so I head back towards the shack’s door.

Back inside I see her by the window painting the sky. Adding trees and light to the canvas. These are her abstract memories and feelings. She paints a purple orb afloat on a wobbly grey ocean.

A bird through the window calls me. So once more I step outside. In a boat lashed with wind and rain, I see the bird flying around the opposite side of the shack, I raise the sail and follow it around. My eyes track the wooden panels and shapes around the outside of the shack. The wood, not yet aged, is just one or two years old. I am trying to look inside but there are no windows, just backs of canvases, still wet with paint and reality.

Adrift I grasp at the darkness. It is cold and unyielding with it’s ever changing silence ringing in my ears. The bird appears and for a split second I can feel her warmth once again.

Lightning strikes and I am lost. I awaken somewhere new and unreal. I touch my blanket as a hungry cat jumps up to greet me looking for his morning meal. I check my phone and find a photo of a painting. A purple orb afloat on a wobbly grey ocean with trees in the distance and a cloud filled sunrise in the sky.

I’m a dummy

I’m not sure you will like me once you have met me.
You will see I am a featureless dummy holding up a mirror to the world.
I hope you realise you are not so bad after all when you look at me.
You might forgive me for having little substance of my own.

The Roughest Stone

I am the roughest stone on the beach.

Abrasion scrapes grooves in my voice.

Uneven wire towelling scrapes at your heart.

It hurts. It hurts. It hurts. I’m sure.

It’ll heal because it feels good.

Keep me and polish me smooth.

2003

There was a man in PICU who didn’t say a word.
He paced around in his underwear flinching at all he heard.
He went out for a smoke with a coffee in his hand,
then marched back inside for medication on demand.

* * *

(This was about a month I spent living with a mute patient amongst others at a Psychiatric Intensive Care Unit when I was 16. He had a tattoo of a small cross on his leg and I tried to shoehorn the blaspheme ‘Jesus!’ into something I said within his earshot. He was in his own world until I did. He got up from the chair and marched around for a bit. I felt bad for deliberately offending him but I’d never seen him react to anything other than smokes and coffee. I guess I was just trying to get him to say something… It didn’t work.)

Brain stem clip (loop)

I find myself on the floor again. I kick myself one more time.
Brittle and unkind. No intent towards others just to my own expectations and desires.
I need to want the things I already have.

I’ve got to draw a line between things out of my control and my own thoughts and actions.

I’ve got part of my brain exposed to the world. It’s a strand. A cord. Red raw. Sensitive doesn’t go far enough.
There’s a clip on it. I’m feeling the pressure, hearing external noise amplified.
I need to make distinction between incoming sounds and outgoing frequencies.
Without this filter there is just unsynchronised resonant discord.

Detach the clasp. Ease the pain. It’s not my fault. I can handle this now.

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You climbed a tree and looked down at me.

You spoke with your face.

I could see. You weren’t happy at all.

I had risen my voice. It didn’t feel like my choice.

I walked away. Like this was a play.

But this was no act.

You didn’t want to know. What you already knew.

My temper had torn our bond apart. Left holes in our hearts.

So I wrote to you. ‘We can see this through.’

There was nothing to see.

You built yourself a new home. A new start.

So in the heat I lay. Wishing for a new day. By the tree where you looked down at me.

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Time makes the highs low and the lows high.

The esteemed are just the flavour of the month. Change occupies all.

Ambition at an all time low but I feel bliss sat next to a cat.

Adapt to the situation don’t try to change it to fit you.

Water dips and flows into every crevice of the rocky sea shore but is slowly shaping the hard, strong cliff wall.

If you are like that, you are life sustaining, the lowest of low, making all those around you feel high.

Feed your friends and treat them well and they will return the favour. A painted glass teardrop can mean a thousand things. It can be treasure. It can be crap. The value is not in the pieces you hold; it is inside of you.

A tic is an sudden, repetitive, voluntary response to an unwanted urge. It is our way of measuring time.

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Sitting by the lake. You are by my side. Looking at the cotton sky mirrored in the fisherman’s playground; a thought enters my head. I turn to you to whisper my idea but you are not there.

I watch the grass grow at the side of my blanket. Bees and flies pass by; secure in the summer’s plentiful bounty. I can’t help but feel powerless. Possibilities number too many and decisions too far away.

A cold breeze blows so I pack up my things. Leaving all as it was. If I could get you here would you even share this pleasure that hits my chest. Short and sharp, painful like a spasm, yet warm and reassuring. I feel better.

I thought I heard your voice but it is just a bird alarmed that I am nearby. Walking on the way back I see a kaleidoscope of colour on the graffiti mural on the side of the shop. I am steps away from you and my heart begins to pound.

Key in the door and the room lights up. Cat greetings with a purr and demand for food. Although just a roof over my head; the place smells of comfort. This is your welcome and I am back inside you once more. I am home.

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Take me away from this night sky I’ve inhabited for so long.

Withstanding wind and all kinds of atmospheric tension.

A shout from my past scars seeping works of sap into being.

I will leave a bare branch but it is in my bark my legacy lies.

Textured hope and virtue exceeding a butterfly’s beat.

Leaving the deceptive darkness let me live through the pure spring breeze.

A two fold cycle we’ll ride until we are within each other.

Laying my roots down in your garden. I’m sorry if I’m irresponsible.

I feel like I’m dreaming. Stable and still. In silence I’ll think of you.

Trying not to upset your environment. I’ll breathe oxygen if you need it.

Will I get visiting wildlife? Maybe that will change my course. Certainty is distant.

Cold comes from the North and East in these parts. Memories will come and go.

The sun can heal your trauma. I don’t want to cause you to suffer.

Though trees bleed and leaves fall down life pushes us forward again and again.

Is it enough to share and appreciate the good things that happen?

Endings are inevitable. As the new day rolls in; I do not know what will be.

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I fear few know you. But what it is to be known? To hold faith that this dream is no dream at all. Possibly.

Your golden potential unravels day by day. An untouched block of wood being carved notch by notch. It is my melancholy pleasure to watch this process. It gives me life.

Such a gift is yours to give. But does it loosen our ties or make them stronger? That depends on my stubborn mind. My ongoing boredom and hypnotic drudge.

I want some motivation to continue my activity. You provide this. I am receptive in spurts. Like a bird flying high for a view I leave the shackles of this land momentarily. Wishing you were up here with me, you are, you are the sky.

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(I want you to tear this to shreds.)

* * *

I can be your nothing. The thing in your life that doesn’t really matter. A background feeling. An underlying thought pattern. A goose with orange striped eyelashes.

While your everything comes and goes I am there. Washing dishes on a cold day. A cooling breeze on a hot one. Repositioning things on the mantle. A horned lemon with a sweet sweet tangy syrup dressing.

With all the potential I stay still; rarely showing any form. A shadow flickering in candlelight. The feeling of ‘what shall I do now?’ An unexpected hand gesture. A silken scarf with an image of Delia Derbyshire riding a resplendent golden moose represented by colourful sequins.

My best friend

What is this chaos?
I didn’t choose to be born.
What is happening?
I see patterns that are destined to go awry.

My brain is not clear and calm.
Driven by a predetermined tick.
Pushing through the things I do and am going to do.
An addiction is holding on: Don’t stop me yet.

These stories start with a moment of intense change.
Curves flatten out and plateau.
You can be the catalyst for me to refresh.
A starting point in every moment lived.

To feel loved is to forgive yourself.
The guilt the blame the shame.
Start again and learn.
A wobbling cycle where the circles slowly get more unstable.

What is this chaos?
A dream. Nothing more.
What is happening?
Something worth experiencing.

A pleasant rant

I want to share my feelings with someone. My cat isn’t the most receptive… He was lovely this morning though. Laying next to him at night is nicer than laying next to no one. He follows me around and looks after me. He’s a good boy. Sorry this has already gone off at a tangent.

I miss holding someone. Just feeling another person’s warmth. If you were here I’d hug you as much as I could.

Life here is not idyllic. It’s grim… but the noise of burglar alarms and police cars, smashing glass and drunken kids is sporadic against the constant chirping chatter of the sparrows and the starlings. The regular sound of the passing buses is synced with my internal clock. The sound of the gears shifting down, the rumble of the engine, the hissing brakes and doors opening is like a regular tick of a clock in my head.

Not far away are rugged hills home to lizards, bees, butterflies, herds of deer and endless moorland. Once hallowed ground built upon by bronze age people, it has evolved through attempts at farming, transport, water management but now rests as wild land.

I’d love to take you on a walk around here. To have you see what I see. Smell what I smell. Feel what I feel. I hope to one day soon when we are both well and happy.

Old sayings and songs

In days of old

In days of old, when men were bold,

And paper wasn’t invented.

They wiped their arses on bits of grasses,

And went away contented.

* * *

The Birdcatchers Song

I am a fellow bright and gay

A merry fellow night and day

My name is held in great renown

throughout the land, in every town.

Where lark and linnet tunes their note

my whistle joins the warblers note

{ cant remember the next line }

For I’m the jolly birdcatcher.

* * *

The Trout

I stood beside a brooklet

That sparkled on its way

And saw beneath the wavelets

A tiny trout at play

As swiftly as an arrow it darted to and fro

The gayest of the fishes among the reeds below

An angler there was standing with his rod and line in hand

Intent upon the fishes, that sportive fearless band

‘Tis vain said my good neighbour to fish the brooklet clear

The fish will surely see you upon the bank so near

But skillful was the angler and artful too

The crystal brooklets depths defiling – he hid the fish from view

And then his skill renewing

The fishes unheeding took the bait

And I was left lamenting the tiny troutlets fate

* * *

The ballad of Lizzie Sloan

Across the loan

Went Lizze Sloan

A dueling set had she

A rifle on her shoulder, a pistol on her knee.

Now Lizzie’s eyesight wasn’t too good

Her glasses they were dim

And when she charged the bull

It shit upon her chin.

* * *

The Soldier’s Song

Arsehole, arsehole, a soldier I will be,
To piss, to piss, two pistols at my knee,
Fuck you, fuck you, for curiosity,
I’ll fight for the cunt, I’ll fight for the cunt, I’ll fight for the cunt-er-y.

* * *

I’m a dick a dick addicted to you

A chicken cross hare across the road in the land of Americana have a sandwich and other mutterings

Gotta comb my opalescent goat hair budgerigar to get it to lay some eggs of pure wheat flour.

Then take the elevator to the goose sky hideout above the mountain top cave where I live for the summer.

Pick elderberries before the cuckoo spit rain wets my obligatory Whisk Day gingham check shirt and shorts combo.

Finally get sweet slumber in the cave with the cat bear violin player playing lullabies into the deep black.

Religious Clout

Bend the Angel’s will. Corrupt her pure heart. Steal her divinity for your creation. Oh my dear old thing; unholy perfection is at your fingertips.

Protect your processes. Nurture your weakness. Curb your strength. For once life is not absolute truth; subtlety is awakening.

God is infinite. Your lifetime is not. Nor are all words ever written. Unlearn everything you know; virtue shall lead you further than knowledge.

Everything came from nothing. The nameless empty. The unperishing void. Not bleak nor sad; for nothing is in everything.

Create something beautiful. Crude but complex. Naive but fully layered. Give your all; save the world. Go forth.

No one

Unapologetically eccentric.
Regretfully chaotic.
Tries to see good in the negative.
Whilst experiencing difficulty in the positive.

Music, painting, drawing, writing, reading.
Sport, running, walking, playing, taking part.

Often anxious. Rarely judgemental.
Sometimes happy. Sometimes sad.
Tries my best. Likes a rest.

This is me. Down to a T.
Sitting down. Drinking tea.

Tenuous links

Fear is a cruel imposter, a charlatan, a crook of the mind.

A false reaction or part of a disingenuous conversation is a recipe for a circle of tiredness.

Cookery is playing with fire unless you have a prescription for success.

Sour is a taste that is needed to feel sweet.

Mental dexterity is needed. Requirements move the mind.

Numbers can help us understand the physical world around us.

Two people trapped in love is the best and the worst.

Keep extremes conceptual. Nothing is as it seems.

Emptiness is invaluable but so is some other stuff.

What I am worth and to who does it matter?

Another spirit

She wants someone close, to hold, to love, to have.
Though she lives like a ghost, no one knows her name.
Wants a normal life but life won’t bend for her.
Feeling like a mess because her dreams aren’t coming true.

She looked in a book for words to help her out.
The book said:

“Ȝeue þi cunte to cunnig and craue affetir wedding.”

She knew what she must do, just felt lost and incapable.
So she stopped to love herself, to grow, to learn, to gain.

So did she ever change? Well, nobody did know.
She’s still wandering the town, through rain, through hail, through snow.

Breath

Grief is the bite of the wind on your cheek. Life is the brace of air against your face and your hair standing on end.

Intertwined like two strands, they stood at the bus stop hand in hand. A familiar memory stood next to you is still there years after you saw them last. Look after your mind. Reign in fear and hate because you might be alone at the bus stop one day.

The breath goes in and out. Your breath becomes someone else’s whether you are on your own or not. Keep breathing, that’s what living is.

Vague Questioning

The things of the world hold sway over us all.
To be free from this influence is an illusion.
To be aware of it is the path.

Objects, feelings, and creatures are all included.
You are part, a mixture, not all this or that.
Position your intent well, this will point things to the path.

Relative to extremes, no absolutes are real.
Happening and moving in flux.
Change is the route the path takes.

There is a place of nowhere. A realm within everything.
Where your creation exists peacefully in balance.
This is the where the path leads.

NONSENSE, I’M OVERTHINKING. EVERYTHING IS TOO MUCH. NOTHING EVER GOES RIGHT. ABSOLUTE DOOM PERSISTS. Or does it?

Hot and sweaty

A trickle, a pore.

Sat together and bored.

Nervous energy and a hot sun ray.

Exasperated tension that lasts all day.

Droplets form in the same place, no less.

Expending nothing still a sticky mess.

Thunder brews high above my head.

Atmosphere darkens and thickens to lead.

Excitement builds inside and out.

A response so primal it sounds like a shout.

A roar in the sky with light and a boom.

Synchronised with a release pent up in the room.

Pilchard Paul

Pilchard Paul washes his wellies in the rushing river.
The skies sadden as the wintery wind keeps coming.
The sodden soil is certainly saturated this stormy stroll.
The loud lion roars raucously as the gloomy grey clouds close in.
A clap and a crack as frightening fracturous light lands on the loam.
Lion licks his colossal coat, wringing wet from the ridiculous rain.
Suclulent scent sniffed by the Lion’s lust for fantastic food.
Pilchard Paul runs and rushes toward the car on the corner.
Crafty clever cogs Lion lives not far the pride in from the periphery.
Low lionesses spring sporadically seemingly out of nowhere now.
RIP Pilchard Paul. Fishermen. Father of 2 bonny boys. Tim and Todd.

Bus

Sorry yes. That’s ok. I just walked in a tree because I was looking away. Sorry. Errrr. Where was I? Oh yes I’ve got to walk around the tree. Errr yes. Ok. Oh no sorry I got a text, one moment. Oh sorry tree again, I was looking at my phone. Oh the bus is here. Oh sorry driver I don’t have change will a note be ok. Oh wait.. errr. A £20 is my lowest. Sorry. Oh blimey it’s a busy bus isn’t it. I’ll have to stand up. Maybe I should just squeeeeeeeze past some of these people. Sorry. Oh I’m not getting off for a while and these people might be getting off sooner. I’ll squeeeze past another oh sorry. Errr ever so sorry are you getting off now? Sorry I’ll move out of the way so you can get out. Ah. At least there’s a free chair to sit on. Oh sorry my knee just touched your knee I’ll try and close my legs so I take up less room and sit on the outside of the seat. Sorry. Oh sorry you want to get past. I’ll swing my legs back around. Oh sorry you’re getting up, is it your stop? I better let you out. Ah at least I’ve got a window seat. Oh you’re sitting down next to me sorry I’ll tuck my legs in. Sorry, your bag is touching my legs. Ah it is my stop, can you press the bell for me please? Sorry. Ah excuse me you’re still standing, can I squeeeze past? Uh. Sorry. Right. Sorry driver, I mean thank you. Sorry.

Note to someone else (and to self)

Try to remember even the cleverest people are just advanced apes trying to conform to an ideal that is in their head.

The mind is a big place to get lost. The world is bigger. Space is unmeasurably bigger. The unknowns beyond are infinitely bigger.

You can paint tomorrow, today.

Living With My Cat

Things aren’t all bad.
Things are mostly bad with some good.
Nothing is absolute.
Everything can change.

Relativity and uncertainty.
Are how I understand.
Focusing on the process.
Not the result.

I remember things I do.
I forget things I’ve done.
Improving without knowing.
Happening by it’s own accord.

Seeing with my eyes open.
Doesn’t halt my dreams.
Holding you with warm regard.
I am living with my cat.

The Psychosis Bird

The psychosis bird swooped, lifting me up in her wings, she took me up high away from everything I knew.

Drop me off at the submarine port please, love. I’ve got to get to my wedding, I’ve got to look good while everything is falling into position.

I think I’ve forgotten everything. Everything I’ve ever known. Nothing is in it’s place and I can’t feel pain at the moment.

Nothing is everything and everything is nonsense. I’m floating in the air but I think they are taking me to the circus to put me in a cell.

The clowns are here every night terrorising me dreams. It feels so real. I’m taking it out on the guy next door what have I come to?

The filmstar across the way looks like a junkie. My god she’s gorgeous though. I could stare in her eyes and get lifted up all over again.

Am I still in the sky or am underground with the whole of existence settling back down on top of me?

This pond will take a while to clear.

The Valkyrie

It was raining in Fishguard for what seemed like an age.
She lived in an old wooden hut that had been built in days.
From a distant land, she was a raider from afar.
Settled down with a lobsterman she met at the bar.
In an outpost quite ancient – it had it’s own ways.
Their calender would deal celebrations on different days.
Blue rocks lined the valley – significant this stone.
Used to build henges and circles unknown.
She knew of this tradition but was a warrior by trade.
Settled dispute without force, with the wit that she made.
The lobsterman was abusive – he took her by force.
So one day she killed him – self defence of course.
The next day the sun shined and flowers did bloom.
Yet she was put in a prison to face her ultimate doom.

Happy

The shadows of the leaves
keep moving
as my face feels the breeze

The sky is as blue as it gets
My face is flush and warm
Momentum carries me along
Breath feeds my lungs

The rustle of the trees
keep sounding
as the birds do what they please

One foot then the other
I’m feeling light and free
Bounding across a stream
Happiness heals the past

Looking for the lost sock…

Sometimes our emotions are like when we look everyday for that sock we lost 15 years ago.

Stop looking. Something else is in front of our eyes now. Do that instead, even if it’s new or scary…

At least learning will come from trying new things.

We will grow, improve, and get better.

Shy

Everyday, I say:
It’s ok to be shy.
But it’s ok to talk to people too.
It’s ok to be shy.
But it’s ok to contribute your view.

Leaving things alone can let things happen.
I don’t have to be someone else, I’m not.
Comfortable at home with the cat is my fashion.
I can do this whenever I want: A lot.

Everyday, I say:
It’s ok to be shy.
But it’s ok to talk to people too.
It’s ok to be shy.
But it’s ok to contribute your view.

Being still and listening to the world around me.
Brings me more comfort than a hug or a chat.
I know for you it’s different, it doesn’t astound me.
So I can speak up and help you out like that.

Everyday, I say:
It’s ok to be shy.
But it’s ok to talk to people too.
It’s ok to be shy.
But it’s ok to contribute your view.

Questionable CBT

Situation:

“I was feeling bad because Mr B reacted unexpectedly.”

Thought: ‘I must have annoyed him.’

Feeling: ‘I feel like a bad person for annoying people.’

Behaviour: ‘Not going to social occasion at the pub.’

Physical symptoms: ‘Feeling anxious’.

Alternative:

Balanced thought: ‘Mr B might have issue of his own, maybe he’s got a lot on his mind, or something stressful happened recently to him. I may have annoyed him, but it’s more likely that was not the sole cause. That could be why he reacted like he did.’

Balanced feeling: ‘I feel empathy for Mr B and will check he’s ok tomorrow.’

Behaviour: ‘Go to social occasion at the pub and have a good time.’

Physical symptoms: ‘Drunk.’

How I improved my health.

  • Eat more fibre. (Check nutritional information on packets or go for wholegrains/fruit/veg.)
  • Eat less sugar. (Reduce refined sugars – try to limit yourself to less than 20g refined sugars a day. Feel free to eat what fructose and lactose you want.)
  • Eat more protein. (I am vegetarian and wasn’t getting enough. Might not be the case for carnivores.)
  • Don’t starve yourself of fat/non-sugar carbs.
  • Fast for at least 12 hours everyday. (Eg. Between 8pm and 8am.)
  • Make breakfast your biggest meal of the day. (Provides energy when you need it the most.)
  • Eat more resistant starch. (Wholemeal bread instead of white bread, wholemeal pasta instead of white pasta, brown rice instead of white rice, etc.)
  • Drink more water/sugar free drinks.
  • Exercise. (CouchTo5k, walking, swimming, cycling, anything that isn’t sitting down all day.)
  • One (or more) day a week not thinking about any of the advice above.

Disclaimer: this guide isn’t gospel, it is 100% anecdotal, but it has worked for me.

A poem written on the bus home from counselling

Dreamlike imagination stems not from a wilderness, but the void. All ideas come from this same source. Ideas may arise from each other yet can remain separate concepts.

Memories exist like lucid footprints in the snow. The fall of expectations meets the pressure of a successful outcome, covering past happiness in a lack of nowness.*

In the present I’m a star seer looking out through the window at the night sky. Enjoying the moment for what it gives. Sadly, this will change, but I must accept it. Acceptance is the root of all self improvement.

*I apologise for this monstrous sentence of pretentious twaddle in particular.

Winter

Sitting at my table drawing because I don’t want to pay my TV licence.
Everyone’s overdrawn. I’m lacking inspiration. I’m losing patience.

Draw the curtains because the night is closing in.
It’s too cold to go out. I’m sick of living in my own skin.

People are being encouraged to do it for themselves.
Where has the community gone? Where do I belong?

Not knowing what is going on in the age of information.
This is the new normal. Caring is becoming informal.

Pandas

Pandas are solitary creatures,
who sit around and think until it hurts.
They feel stress more than most,
as they ponder over problems and worries.

There is a place where pandas gather.
Together stronger, not facing the world alone.
Sharing hope, helping each other recover.
They keep in touch and give one another hugs.

Attempting to heal can be simple.
Support can be the smallest thing.
In their minds, they begin to thrive.
In their hearts, ever closer they come.

Pandas are solitary creatures,
who sit around and think until it hurts.
Never will they suffer alone,
For all pandas help those in need.