Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Making Arrangements

It had been three days and a handful of hours since that man became my problem again.
I thought I’d cast him out and set myself free,
but ghosts never quite let go.

Another who wronged me, dead,
yet I’m too snowed under with paperwork to seek revenge,
worrying if resentment will give me worry lines,
and if I have enough ethnic ancestors for my black not to crack under all this mess and pressure.

Bothered black sheep,
bordering on exhaustion,
but still keeping a promise I didn’t recall making.
I tried to be strong for the weakest in my blood line,
battling the urge to undo the bottle that had become a bomb.

Ever self absorbed,
I willed myself on, wondering what the next generation of trauma traced children of this clan are thinking of me,
in this very moment,
in this latest meltdown.

Everybody (but those who don’t) gets out alive,
but nobody gets out unscathed,
and I can’t explain why the grandfather and great uncle they may mourn are the meaning of my melancholy mood,
because, it’s not nice to say,
and I am polite, even post exile.

But I’ve got this bottle.
A bottle that became a bomb when I took my eyes off it,
shaking and spurting like a rocket,
with as little self control as I have.

I think we are going nuclear.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

Forgiveness Is Never Free

I tried to cry when you wandered off.
I stood before the mirror,
staring with so much struggle at the earthy eyes you gave me,
willing them to weep,
but there was a drought,
a deficit of devastation,
no matter how much I scolded and shamed myself.

I put on an Ella record,
recalling the time that you told me that Billie Holiday was the best singer in the world,
and I, an indignant infant, disagreed in the strongest terms that my small mouth could manage,
sombrely lamenting the lack of watching over me that you actually did,
and how well I’d turned out, despite that.

I could count every time we said goodbye,
describe in detail the dark, distraught disappointment on your face as we parted.
The very last,
a phone call, late at night,
when you knew that you were about to say it for the last time.
You sounded as frightened of the wooden box that waited, as I had always been of you,
and I felt a power that made me sick to my stomach.

You were going to die,
and I had the power to deny you peace.
It was some kind of sick, heaven sent hell.

You wanted my forgiveness,
but I was not a priest,
or God,
or even just a particularly generous person.
You didn’t beg,
but I could hear the fear in each word as it dawned on you that you would die without reclaiming the daughter you gave away.

I had become my own father.
To you, that was perhaps worse than the waiting wooden box,
because you would be dead,
and I would go on living.
You would be dead, and that would be all.
You would become nothing,
and I would stand before my bathroom mirror for years,
yearning to cry,
just as I knew I should.

I cried for the one you couldn’t let me love.

I cried for the mother who rebuilt me after you tore me down.

I cried for Paddington Brown when he finally found a way to get Aunt Lucy to London.

A bear. A fictional fucking bear could find a way into my heart,
and my tear ducts,
but not you.

You’ll haunt me,
and I’ll still be standing by the mirror,
morbid and maniacal,
some kind of evil demon,
just as you’d theorised,
but, despite your hand in my canonisation as a callous cow,
I still want to cry for you.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing


I was told that I was unaffected,
and I found myself unable to agree with that assessment,
but it didn’t matter,
to the world at large,
or the small selection of very small minds who make decisions on whether I deserved some kind of clarity.
My sleep has been interrupted for a decade of Decembers,
and I spy over my shoulder, every second for the spectre and his sister.

I am unaffected,
but nobody has told my nightmares that,
so they still arrive every evening,
to remind me of the unclean feeling that was forced on me.
I am unaffected,
but danger dances on my grave every time I try to live,
and there will be no relief for the unaffected girls,
of which I am one of many.

There’s an old friend on the line,
he wants to call,
like he used to,
but I’m kept from the idea,
creeped out,
crying as he sends another message with what he thinks is a simple request,
but it isn’t anymore,
and never will be again,
because I remember the acid rain of unwelcome invasions,
traipsing down the telephone line, tactical and torrid…
but I am unaffected,
or so they tell me.

The radio talks about staying connected,
but I just want to be orbiting a distant planet,
the kind of place where humans can’t survive,
so I can get some sleep,
conversate with the cool winds and waves,
alone and unaffected.

Posted in Blog, Creative Writing, Writing

His Love Scared Me To Death

He told me, a trembling wretch, to be unafraid,
and I was uncomfortable with the request,
despite his gaze, so gentle, giving me some comfort.
He told me that he had overcome the world and all its trouble,
and I couldn’t conceive it.
The smallest things were such a struggle, that the world’s truest troubles were too much to even see clearly.
Still, he insisted, his eyes bright and brimming with unlikely optimism,
his hands held mine and I could feel the harsh winds through the holes left by the life he had lived.

How could he ask me to be unafraid?
How could he ask that of me, with thorns across his forehead and a target on his back?
Couldn’t be see what I was afraid of?
Was persecution a foreign concept to the fool with thorns on his head?
How could he ask me to be reborn, when my soul still felt sullied, despite his sacrifice?
Despite my sacrifice and all the scars that had come with it?
He saw. He saw it all and he still asked.

I had tried to lead the life that impotent, angry men had demanded of me,
fighting back against my own biology and the strange, sweet chemistry that greeted me when she and I would lock eyes across the room…
I gave it all up.
I gazed at the ceiling,
praying to Jesus as a shadow I could not look in the face pawed at my lifeless body.
I would rejoice at balled fists meeting my unwilling flesh from one of them,
because it felt less repulsive than a tender, troubled kiss of another,
and why shouldn’t I be punished?
Wayward winter child with her pudding and her pie,
kissed a girl because she was cursed,
and now everyone is crying,
so why shouldn’t I suffer?
I just stared until the ceiling burst into flames,
the stars bursting into view,
because that is what cursed, unclean girls have to do.

He would be there,
the only man I could stand,
thorns adorning his dark, wavy tresses that were wild in the night’s wind.
He simply said, again, that I should be unafraid.
Speaking to a body that was vacant,
he repeated himself as the stars span around his head,
and I thought for a second that I might be dead
(I might have even wished it),
but I was alive,
sailing through the ceiling,
dressed in pretty clothes as the stars sighed in unison.

I was unafraid.

At last, I was unafraid.