Carbon Copy

There’s not a single sincere bone in me

All that I am and have been, has been carefully woven and moulded to perfection 

Studied under the lens of scrutiny

Precisely arranged and polished to gleam

And then the day clocks out and night creeps in

I begin to unravel my skin. 

Funny, I become real when I dream

When I leap out of myself and touch the ceiling

Then, I am true to my feelings

All my decisions are another’s 

My dreams echo my mother. 

Thoughts About Self-harm

“And there on my palm,
was the troubling need to cut something. 
Preferably myself. 
More practically, a piece of paper.”


I finally understand what it means

to slice your hand and bleed from a wound you can actually see

The urge to drop ill from some terminal disease

That meant some microbe had seeped through my skin

Burrowed its way in

And festered and spread all through my body

That meant I could point and say, there! 

There was the source of my pain 

That if it could be explained, it could be healed

Than to stand perfectly whole, but shattered into splinter

The Debilitating Pressures of Being a Snarky Bitch

“So what if this house should burn down?
For once there may be warmth 
inside these dreary walls…”


And you! 

Why are you so cold

Why does your heart never thaw

Who should I be where should I go

For your anger to be satisfied

Would it matter if I brought bread down from heaven

Why do you despise me so that you can’t even hide? 

Why don’t you ever look at me? 

Approval…disapproval

The pendulum swings. Both ends sting

But not love. Never love

I’m tired of making excuses, hiding behind you

I’m tired of you hiding behind me

Come out and show your true skin

Perhaps it were better when your anger wasn’t suppressed, yes. That’s it.

When you snapped, and mocked and spat and scolded

Maybe you got tired of trying and closed your heart completely

Now you look my way and don’t even see me

I know it must be true. I’m barely alive, I’m dead to you

You wrote me off long ago

And now I’m just an errant ghost invading your home

I’ve seen you do it before, to others

How do you forgive those who mean you harm and resent me for accidental slights

How I’ve tried, sliced 

And tested my words in fire

Still they taste to you sour


A Different Story

I know I said I was doing well

That all the jagged pieces were falling into place 
But I’d spent so long shining my mirror
When all I yearned for was a different face.
Here’s what happened 
I’d finished my book, the epic adventure east
Or journey north
the story of my life etched in A4
Took a good long look at it…
And all at once, longed to tell a different one
Sing a different song
Here’s what happened.. 
I had ten new pieces ready to be published 
But were they actually new, or just the same old routine told in different ways? 
Some underlined in sharpie, some draped in italics or shouted in bold. 
Suddenly it wasn’t enough to fill the pages
But to transform them. 

The Little Boy

Left out of group hugs

Made to walk alone

with no hand to hold

because they don’t worry he might be stolen 

But what if he were just cold? 

Who counts the hours till he gets home? 

Not to make sure he is safe but simply that they were eager to see his face 

Who will know when to hold instead of scold him

Who can he tell his fears, where can he let fall his tears

“Boys are easy, they pretty much raise themselves” 

What if we treated our sons like flowers instead of weeds? 

Covered them, pruned their leaves, watched after them day after day 

Asked them their needs, allowed them to be shy unsure soft kind human beings

Unfinished Work

Like a character out of a children’s story, I set out on a personal quest. An adventure East, a journey North. Except I would write it myself… An actual book. Can you believe it?
I imagined I would sit and throw all my  thoughts and life experiences on the pages and hope something would stick. And then, almost too easily, it did. Like the words had been silently waiting, ever ready. 
I’d started this journey to challenge myself and prove I could do it. Amazingly, the real challenge became how to stop. How not to write. How to go about life again outside these lines…to sit at a desk and work for an invisible prize.
How had I let any of my days pass by unwritten? How did anyone?
Suddenly, it wasn’t enough…one mere book. 
I needed to write a new one every week, everytime I went to sleep. Another as I woke up. A fresh chapter each passing moment. Nothing could go to waste. Every day under the sun was an armload of stories I hadn’t begun. 

My Mother’s Daughter

I’ll never be my mother’s definition of beautiful

Graceful and tight-lipped

I’m all hard lines and sharp angles, 

I could never find the right way to sit

I can’t help but fidget, tinker and question

My mind is scattered in every direction. 

Still, I pose just right 

Hands clasped in my lap. 

I wonder if I will ever fit in my mother’s shoes 

Or perhaps it is that I fit too well

Maybe the one she couldn’t accept is herself 

That’ll do it…

A sneeze. A sniffle a smidge too loud

A crease in my bed sheets

An unexpected phone call

A load of laundry

That’ll do it. 

That’s all it takes for the stillness to break, for the peace to shatter

The roof to curl in on itself 

And erupt into flames

Like the camel that broke the straw’s back

Your eyes can find a haystack
In a needle

Eggshells walk around you

Still you make traps, for us to fall into

In Defense of Brown

Delicate shades of brown

in the softened ground 

Teeming life. 

In decay, as the leaves begin to rot

In your mother’s boiling broth 

The colour of the distant sands

The back of my father’s hands. 

But brown is no one’s favourite colour

For it is not red with anger 

Or pink with love

As cool as blue

Or green with greed

Or sparkle as gold…

But it sits in the undergrowth 

Holding up our foundations

We hide in the deep dark wood

And eat overly ripened fruit

The rainbow may brighten the earth

But brown holds it firm