Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Running Across Broken Bridges

There she stands,

clear path,

created from necessity and staring up at me,

her body, bright under the kind light of the moon.

It is time to be true to myself,

but I take one step,

full of dread and then I hesitate,

staring at the quiet confidence of the bridge before me,

who stares back towards me,

asking what I’m so afraid of.

There may be voices beneath her,

planks that go missing,

parts of her body that will not survive our journey together,

and she has the audacity to ask,

“What are you so afraid of?”

They say that the longest journey begins with the smallest step,

but small steps feel substantial when you look down,

suddenly confronted by everything you have to lose.

I lie.

I tell her that I’m not afraid,

I’ve never been afraid,

because I am not that kind of girl.

I tell her that I am a child of the sea,

so,

if she were to drop me into the river beneath her,

it wouldn’t be such a crime.

I am, of course, lying.

I may be a child of the sea,

but I have no wish to drown,

and I may be afraid,

but something about her tells me that I can’t confide in her,

so with my eyes closed,

and my lies beneath my cheap shoes,

I rush along the bridge,

walking with such purpose that I think I may be possessed,

because if I am quick, and if I feign confidence,

I will make it across before she can convince me I can’t.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

I Have Emptied Out All My Anxieties and Presented Them In A Long Ramble, For The Ease Of My Long Suffering Therapist

I miss being bankrupted by my local cinema for a small popcorn and a milkshake. I miss being alone in the dark, as monsters make chaos on the screen before my eyes, while I imagine an arm around my shoulder and a kiss upon my cheek. I miss being kissed. Kissed by him specifically. The way he pulls away when it is over, but pulls me back closer, as if it will never end. It did end, and now I wait, with great impatience for it to begin again.

More and more of them get infected all the time, spreading it around, building it up like the walls of a prison, and it won’t stop. It never stops. I never stop pointing the finger at the public, because the government has guided me in that direction. It’s definitely not government incompetence, the greed of employers who don’t actually need staff in but insist on it anyway, or the failings of a money first, people last society. No. It’s the people who are wrong. It’s the poor, the worker bees, wings flapping around me, arranging in formation like bars. The Health Secretary, who is often wrong, is definitely not wrong about this. There’s no way out, because every time I get close to the door, it moves, slinking away like a snake, and then I can’t breathe, because the walls are so high, and so devoid of light.

I hate this cold and cruel imitation of life. I know it has to happen, I see endless death and sickness in the late afternoon, every day, and I know, but it doesn’t help. Maybe I’m selfish? But so is everyone else, and I still do as I’m told, so maybe it’s okay if I’m selfish, as long as it stays inside my head? It could be worse. I could see more than the statistics. I could see the end of life, in the flesh. The endless endings that haunt hospital corridors, broken staff who do all they can, but still feel so many numbers, that are in fact real, living, breathing humans slip through their hands. It could be worse. I know it could be worse. I am the worst.

I am a selfish girl. I always knew I was, because I always saw the world through my own lens, with my own inner monologue as the omnipotent (and kind of sultry) voice of God. I am locked up, but I am lucky, because I’m not dead and I’m not sick, and I know that currently, everyone I know is fine too, but I’m losing my mind because I’m locked away and I just want to be… somewhere else.

I just want to be someone else, and fuck, I’m scared that telling the truth is a one way ticket to being sectioned, because there’s no in between in this country, when it comes to that kind of thing. It’s okay not to be okay, but if you say you’re not okay, your family can have you locked away, and I’m already locked away, so I’d rather not be put in more padlocks, because of the lack of nuance by the National Health Service. Talk about your mental health! But not too loudly, or some overworked counsellor that it took you months to get an appointment with might get the wrong idea and tell your doctor that you’re in danger, then it’s off to the madhouse with you, because just needing a break makes you mad, these days. Needing to see the sun with somebody special makes you mad these days. Being despondent after a decade of austerity makes you mad these days. Being tired of simply existing makes you mad these days.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

The Joys Of Motherhood

I hold my daughters in my hands,

cold and full of trauma,

like their mother,

a messy scrawl that tries to be a signature on their faces,

in case one day I am worth something,

and they are too.

I just hold them,

eyes closed,

trying not to feel the blood dripping from the worn pages,

the long lists of the dead,

just my name,

repeated again and again,

because I never let my daughters take anybody else.

My daughters are vampires.

Hungry but well meaning,

sinking fangs into my soul,

as I lay still,

solemn and accepting.

This is the price for peace,

I guess?

I let my demons drink,

until I am pale and faded,

crying on a counsellor’s couch,

as the sun rises.

My daughters are my counsellors,

unqualified but well meaning,

just listening and drinking,

until I die,

and then we start again.

I am alive again,

because I have to be,

because people need me to be.

I think,

sometimes,

I want to be.

I tell my daughters bedtime stories,

about the little things that make my life worthwhile.

That little spot in my day when he thinks of me and does something about it has been my favourite for a while,

and they LOVE that story,

crowding around me,

with excited eyes,

hungry stares.

I kiss my madness goodnight every morning,

knowing that she will not sleep,

but that we must both pretend,

for as long as we can.

She is hungry but well meaning too.

Everyone is hungry but well meaning.

I am covered in bite marks.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Personal, Writing

My Father Loved His Horses

My father was always tall,

just centimeters from the sky,

I would pull on his legs,

laughing as he collapsed,

on his hands and knees,

suddenly a horse,

smiling and shuffling across the carpet,

as if he were in a stable.

I would pull myself onto his back,

a princess,

in the sky,

with the highest,

happiest horse in all of Wales.

I would imagine him,

as a horse,

while I waited for him to return.

I would sit by the wireless,

though mother wouldn’t let it play,

and I would imagine,

that when I would least expect it,

I would hear him neighing over the airwaves,

and over the oceans,

so I would often awake,

at dawn,

with a stiff neck,

and the radio in my arms.

My dreams,

filled with static,

from the stables.

When he walked back through our door,

the sky sunk around his shoulders,

he was still tall,

but the sky that surrounded him was scary,

and dark.

I clung to his legs,

as thunder rang out,

smoke in the stables,

he collapsed,

crying,

on his hands and knees,

struggling and shuffling across the carpet,

as if he left his mind,

in the trenches,

with his friends.

I didn’t pull myself onto his back,

I knew I shouldn’t touch,

as he shook,

collapsing into the carpet,

screaming,

until his throat was sore.

I just lay,

inside of his arms,

as he shook and sobbed,

and I was a princess,

on the floor,

with the most shell shocked horse in all of Wales.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Affirmed

I wrote to a therapist this morning.

Detailing my drama,

that I playfully play off as diva behaviour.

I think,

what I really want,

is to be affirmed,

for all the maddening sadness to be heard,

confirmed and then confined,

to weeping pages,

airtight cages,

where it can’t follow me.

I used to want to be rich.

I’d dream of golden rivers,

private jets and rivieras,

but I don’t think any of it would make me happy.

I used to want to be happy,

but I don’t know that I know how to do that,

and I told them that (the therapist),

but I don’t know that they know either.

I wrote to them,

to say that I don’t know how they’re supposed to fix me,

but I’d like them to (I think),

but maybe it will be just like my golden dreams,

where I wake up,

one day,

in a cold,

confined room,

to a cold,

confined life,

and realise that there’s no such thing as fulfilment,

or happiness,

just a slow,

delusional road,

that always has the same destination.