I constructed these words from scraps of leather and bricks,
forged them in the white hot heat of love and relationships.
I wrote these words while in the Arboretum or down by the cut,
inspiration flowing like smoke from my cigarette butt.
These are words that came to me on the bus or in my flat,
I wrote them down late at night on the wrapper of my kebab.
I took words from literature and scrawl from toilet walls
I took everything I loved and etched it deeply it on to my soul.
My pen has become a viper in my hand,
each time I start to write
it shakes off its cold-blooded slumber
to strike the paper,
injecting venom in to my words.
And now I fear to stop writing,
worrying that if I even briefly pause
this viper will then turn on me.
Before I go I want to …
Not be dependant any more on my meds
End the pain within my head.
Not lie about how I feel like a fraud
Conquer the petty set backs that get me annoyed.
Remove all the monkeys from my back
Give optimism another crack
Be proud to display my scars
Escape from my illnesses’ prison bars.
Find a grain of hope in which to believe
Wear my heart proudly on my sleeve.
Recover my long lost inner peace
Have just one night of uninterrupted sleep.
Dark clouds are gathering behind my eyes,
inside my head an imperfect storm is brewing.
Black waves of thoughts froth and swell
then surge and crash
against my resolve.
A resolve that is a castle,
a castle built of sand.
Whose smooth walls have
withstood many storms and
although some of its parapets
crumble today the rest stands firm.
Once the storm passes I
lower my drawbridge, then
as for the rock pools of doubt
left behind, I tread carefully
round them.Wary of what
they might conceal.
Yesterday I forgot
that I only needed to stretch
and the stars would
have been easily
within my grasp.
Instead I scrabbled for
dirt, that quickly
slipped through my fingers.
Today I have promised myself
that I will stretch
and pull the stars down.
And even if they burn
I won’t stop until I
hold the planets in
my hands as well.
This is the poem that refused to stay dead
it clawed its way out of my head.
The words struggled and scrambled for the light,
pressed together in a shambolic incoherent half-life.
A poem eager to escape the shallow grave of my brain
a rhyme I thought I’d buried and would never see again.
This is the poem that came back from the dead
that has no heart or spirit left.
Verses that have no right to exist
an unliving, unloved family of misfits.
Constantly struggling just too even breathe
yet unwilling to die despite being so ill-conceived.
This is the poem that should have stayed dead
it shouldn’t live, it should be six feet under instead.
With no obituary pinned to a church noticeboard
no wreathes of roses and no time and place to mourn.
It will be buried tonight in another dark corner of my mind
and I hope that this poem will now quietly lay down and die.
And you know as sure as hell that your
black dog ain’t gonna let you be.
Howling outside your window
scratching at the door
impatient to be let in.
That hound can smell fear,
it’s drawn to it.
So let it in, let it come close,
then slap the lead on it.
If that black dog’s gonna follow me
the least it can do, is learn to
walk to heel.
Sometimes the world thinks you’re made of steel, when really it’s just clay
and you chip and crack a little more and more each day.
You’ve kept a lot of secrets but never kept a single promise,
as it’s easy to lie to everyone when to yourself you’re never honest.
You dragged yourself through last week and now it’s starting all over again,
It’s another Monday and you wake to your alarm’s incessant cry of pain.
You vaguely recall another weekend that flew by much too fast,
So you force yourself out of bed when your brain is begging you to crash.
Stumbling around your flat in the gloom and cold,
Your body complaining of aches and pains, you feel prematurely old.
Slumped in your untidy kitchen you eat your toast alone,
As you summon up the will to get up and leave your home.
Setting off to the bus dragging your feet,
Kicking at the dead leaves clogging the street.
The wind is like an icy fist punching you in the face,
You feel like a conscientious objector to the human race.
Hoping if you make it to the end of the week they’ll be a solution
Then maybe, just maybe to your problems they’ll be some resolution.
But buried deep within you is the thought that this isn’t true,
This will yet again be just another week of surviving as you.
And the only real goal for which you feel you should strive,
Is trying to make it to the end of another week alive.
When I finally worked up the courage
to take the plunge and ask you out,
I felt as lost as a diver
plummeting to the bottom of the inky sea.
Buffeted by currents
I panicked about what I’d fallen in to.
Until you pulled my helpless body
to the surface where
I floundered gasping for oxygen
as you pounded on my chest and
started my heart beating again.