Poem - An Autumn Day
Is it really morn?
My body still rests in heavy slumber
While my eyes glimpse fettered light as they slowly welcome the day
And my brain disputes the logic of the clock. The logic clock.
Brain adjusts to a day seemingly far earlier than it was yesterday.
But I rise; to a beautiful chill of nature’s fresh day.
Looking out of the window what will I see?
Crystallised frost on car roofs with iced windscreens?
Or rain-soaked road with droplets collected where they fell?
Or best of all, the sun slicing through natures rays in bolts from above.
A hot shower heralds the swift transition from chill to pure heat
Which stays in my flesh as I dress - to end up too hot.
How is it possible to be hot on such a fresh day?
But it’s welcome. An instant blanket of insulation before embracing outside.
The birds are waiting already, greedy for their autumn breakfast.
The car heating system roars unendingly, breathing on the condensation
Rasping, loud, constant, until the heat takes hold
And external views are only possible after blading all the glass
Front: leaning over the bonnet, mindful of keeping clothes away
Side and back: by now hands are numb, damp and cold.
Soon the car is a furnace of heat, thawing the damp
As the wheels roll over a carpet of orange, green and brown leaves
Which leap in to the air as we pass through, only to settle once more for the next disturbance.
We travel through avenues of majestic colour, like a tunnel
Such beauty only visible at this annual time.
And then we are there. Wheels crunch to a stop, and silence descends.
Stillness. Heavy air lingering, creating a muffled silence.
The car door, my boots, the russell of my jacket, my feet, my breath: the only sounds
As I head towards beauty’s call
Through the gate to a paradise of nature, not disturbed by humans since the dark cold night.
In the distance I hear the sawing rasp, in turn, melodious; deep and low
The stags are rutting, with their voices carrying through the still damp air.
What night have they had? The families of deer, in turn, themselves waking to the day
I’m an early intruder in to their solitude of badgers, foxes and pheasants.
Not forgetting the skylark, now awake, high above, so hard to see but a constant voice.
As I approach further in, my eyes can’t comprehend the beauty of simplicity around me
Cobweb after cobweb strung across gauze and thorned bushes
A world of its own, crisply visible through the struggling sun.
They are miraculously formed, with no host spider in sight
But wow, have they been busy over the past few hours.
And I continue on my walk, savouring the magic of my solitude with nature
Before I have to enter the working world and the beauty is lost to the day.
What follows is nine hours of practicality and function
Before the light shivers away, fast, once more.
And life returns to a chasm of blackness, harsh, with odd shadows of early night.
Again, I walk home from work, in dark, when only a few weeks ago
It was daylight, with warmth still in the sun’s force
But it’s with the thought of my welcome open fire with logs now dry
Hopefully having deposited the woodlice before entering my home
And so begins the evening, for a house now thawing from the day.
This is the time most sharply in contrast with summer.
Immediately, one room is sectioned off, for heating and warmth
While the rest of the house lays dormant, dead to any change.
Dinner starts to be prepared, the fire takes hold
And the evening gets ready for cocooned hibernation.
Eventually, a bath to rid me of the days damp and cold toes
A dinner to warm and still my hungry needy tummy
And a varying ‘while’ reading in front of the flames jumping
Or listening to wonderful music, while watching the live show
Of the fire dancing to its own rhythm of artistry
It is bed time once more.
With my welcome friends the hot water bottles
Sandwiched between feet and clutched to my tummy.
So, quietness descended again, with just cold nose protruding from the duvet
Until it is again time to gently open my eyes to the new autumn day, with all it holds.
Poem - Being Carin's Parent
Being Carin’s parent has not been an easy life
In fact it’s often been full of strife
From the moment her head popped out to say hello
It seems nothing went with its normal flow.
As a babe she had to sit up day and night
Because her little tummy was just not right
If she lay down for just a jot
She was promptly sick – and out it shot!
Then came the time to go to school
But she couldn’t understand the endless rules
Because she didn’t know how to read
And it was when she was eight this was seen as a special need.
The fight to be heard, the fear of doing wrong
Caught her up in endless knots. Whether it was from
Sleep walking, ticks or talking in her sleep -
When she DID sleep, after counting endless sheep!
When her dad went to bed, late at night
He always heard as he turned out the light
‘Goodnight’ again as a last-night call
Its safe to say he wasn’t exactly enthralled!
Then came exams, oh my oh my
How her little brain struggled and tried
She kept up in class with no problem at all
But when sitting the tests there was nothing to recall!
But Carin had developed by this early stage
The art of determination and a vibrant rage.
If anyone told her she maybe could try less hard
She would push that extra hundred yard.
‘Become a secretary’ her parents cried
The more they said it, the more she tried
Until her poor parents just shook their heads
As she took a post grad exam, instead.
Boys were another story altogether
She never quite seemed to get their measure
So broken-hearted wherever she was
Her parents were quite at a loss.
Australia gave her a chance to be free
A chance to be as she wanted to be
With people saying ‘go for it’, ‘give it a go’
Instead of ‘I wouldn’t Carin, it’s risky, no’.
Here she excelled in work and life
But like anyone growing up she had some strife
With cancer at 28 and then profound fatigue
She had now hit the typical Type A exhaustion league.
Her poor parents were worried and very far away
And couldn’t help her day to day
Instead there were short-term visits and long term calls
Where they did their best to soften her frequent falls.
But Carin has a backbone of steel and bones of grit
And it wasn’t long before she tried again to find her fit
She volunteered, travelled, retrained and studied
And true to form, excelled, and pushed back times previously muddied.
She was in demand, earning well but bored
So she got a job in San Fran, and her courage once more soared.
But just when organised, it all fell through
And she had to think, again, what to do!
Back to the UK, to spend time with her family
She had years of bliss before another calamity
This time, it took everyone, even she by surprise
And from the ashes, she had to once more up and rise.
Her poor parents really had now been socked in the jaw
And her big concern, was not just for she, but that they suffered no more.
But this is where the difference came
Because it’s now that her life, once and truly, finally changed.
She was no longer the child, the little girl
Trying to please others and look out for their concern
She was now at last grown up, an adult and on her own
Instead of striving, feeling all alone.
The parenting could finally stop
Because she found herself, from her bottom to her top
She was she. Her art, her words flowed easily out
And it was with joy and laughter that she could be seen about.
Her parents and she were at last good friends
And it was here that their painful parenting was at an end.
Carin had learnt who she was and that she was OK
As she was, with who she was, every day.
So up she picked herself once more
And dusted herself off, up off the floor
But this time with a confidence and a spring in her step
And a grin and cheeky wink it was to her future she set.
She now had the focus to look after herself
With enthusiasm, confidence and a new-found stealth
Because she had learned that nothing ever in her future life
Could be as bad as her recent strife.
And she had come through, with strength and courage
She shook off her bad days with a flourish
And took herself off once more to the land of Oz
Where she knew she could save her pennies, because
She wasn’t now going to find herself and be free
Because she had learned that she was free wherever she would be.
Instead the move was purely practically based
And it was practical things, not emotional ones, she faced.
Carin’s parents had had a long hard rocky road
And it was their endless love, support and faith through which she now flowed.
They had been there, for her, at the most important time of her life
They had listened, and cared, and provided support through her biggest strife.
She could never reconcile in herself the pain they’d been through
And would rather have lost both arms and both legs too
If it could have stopped their pain on her behalf
But she could hear them now saying ‘don’t be daft.
‘A parent’s role is to support, love and care
No matter what age or what tragedy life lays bare’
‘But’ says she, with a sincere frown
‘There comes a time, when parents are not around.
‘And the child has to be the adult, in body and mind’.
Her parents could at last find
That their life was theirs, to enjoy, to savour
With their own special pizzazz and flavour.
Carin’s parents had cared as much as they could
And she and they knew that they always would
But she also knew that instead of ‘are you sure?’
Her new cry was ‘I like life! Give me more!’
Thank you, to her parents for being resolute and strong
And supporting her for so long
Thank you, for their love and care
Thank you, for giving her the courage to dare.
Thank you for valuing her determined streak
To do things not intended for the meek
Thank you for accepting her free spirit
To embrace everything and everyone important to her in it.
She is now a woman in her own right
With confidence, and a giggle, and an ability to fight
But, whether near or far, their parenting will always be her mortar
And she, in turn, with love, will always be their daughter!
Poem - My Darling
What have you done?!
You’ve lost me
You don’t know what you’re doing
You know you’ve done wrong
But you seem incapable of facing it all
Never will I stop loving you
Never will I stop caring
You hurt me more than words can express
You ripped my heart out
How I wish I could help you
But I have to survive, myself
My pain knows no bounds
To think of you lost, without me
I’m trying so hard
To separate from you emotionally
I have to, to survive
Paddling hard, rescuing myself
What have you done?
You will always be in my heart
But not in my life
Poem - Coming Back to Life
You’ve escaped the lions clutches
Claws tearing, teeth snatching, ripping you apart.
You’ve made the break, you’ve broken free
How do you stay away from the jungle’s heart?
Fear descends, panic, pain, tension
At the thought of returning to the lion’s den.
Eyes wide open, pre-empting the attack
You don’t want to go back to that space again.
Tears cascade down your face
Tension jumps in to your bones.
Please learn the skills of how
To stay in your new-found safe internal home.
Your friends all know the real you,
They were shocked to see you dissolve.
They know you as strong, proud and fun
They don’t understand what evolved.
Please let them never be in that space
Where they’re told they’re loved but are wrong.
Where they’re bullied, then loved, then slammed down, then held
Where they’re actually not respected all along.
Where their life doesn’t exist
And their thoughts are muddled
Where their needs are on hold, where they cannot express
Because their focus is always on ‘the other’.
Don’t let the hammer slam on your head
And crumble your stable ground.
How can you open up the tangled fronds?
And retain the peace you’ve found
How can you do this when you return?
To the life you’ve been in, so jagged and dense.
You’re fearful of what is around you there
Dense foliage, oppressive, dark, silent, tense.
How do you stay free and calm?
How do you stay with who you are?
How do you remain happy and light?
How do you mend your scars?
You don’t go back. Ever.
You stay in the new place you’ve found.
Even though the geography and landmarks might be the same
The people around you are different and sound.
You don’t stay with people that damage
You think of yourself, not them
The one act of leaving is hard, I know
But with time, you will rise and be strong again.
There will be times where you feel the tension crash in.
Recognise the damage that’s been done.
Look at what’s happening, give yourself a hug
With work, what’s been done to you can be undone.
Learn new skills of how to think about yourself
Take time, be patient; the best learning is slow.
Be kind to yourself, don’t worry about mistakes
Just stay on that road, and grow.
If you slip, don’t feel inadequate or hopeless
Don’t let your confidence wane
All learning involves mistakes
But, always, get up and continue, again.
So what is this language and country that’s foreign
What are the skills you will learn?
They involve self-love, boundaries, assertiveness, respect
All qualities you will learn to discern.
When you next feel threatened, look from inside.
Remain strong and pure.
Face it full on with integral strength
If you stand still, and peaceful, you’ll avoid the lure.
It cannot reach you if you remain true to yourself.
It will slip off and not stick.
No matter what anyone says or does
Your mind will give it the flick.
If anyone attacks you, breathe slowly and deep
Stay calm, strong and true.
Smile and hold onto yourself
Keep your mind strong, peaceful and free
Your soul open and huge.
Don’t let it be shrivelled, constricted and small
This is something you will lose.
Have no fear of criticism, attack and disapproval
Deflect it like water bouncing off stone.
Respect yourself first, hold on to yourself
Because your soul will have opened, it will have grown.
Be you, because it is who you are
Say what you think and feel without being hurt.
Have confidence in your thoughts,
Without being on edge, frightened, alert.
Look to your dear friends
They know the real you.
They love you for who you are
Share their respect; for it’s true.
Be free, to be the person that shines
Be brave and put your face to the sun.
Show your immense love and strength
Integrity, honour – and fun.
You are fine as you are, you are good, you are OK
You don’t have to justify any more.
You can smile, you can give, you can be open and true
You have your feet firmly planted on the floor.
Life is so precious, time is so short
Be what is naturally you.
You’ve been given a gift; your life to share
With someone that respects you through and through.
Stand up for what you believe in
State your needs with pride.
Look after yourself, first,
And strengthen what’s inside.
Have courage. Have faith.
Stand strong and tall.
Be who you are with clarity.
And you won’t fall.
Like paintings, words have the power to connect. I share my poems here with you in the hope that they benefit others.