Tag Archives: love

False Friends and True – a poem

Hope in Scrabble lettersI wrote this poem around the end of 2015/beginning of 2016 and last Saturday night I read it out as part of the performance poetry entertainment at the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Awards Ceremony. I was touched and humbled when several people came up to me to say that they enjoyed it and how much they related to the emotional journey it portrays. They asked me if it was published! They also told me that they thought other people might find it helpful.

With that in mind I am putting it on here. Please feel free to share it if you want to. Wishing you all much love and light.

FALSE FRIENDS AND TRUE

 

My friend Paranoia came round the other day

I hadn’t seen him for a while; he said he’d been away.

My new friends Joy and Self-esteem don’t like him at all

They say I change when he’s about, I’m at his beck and call.

 

Anyway, he asked me if I would let him stay

He’d nowhere else to go, he said, he’d not get in my way.

I said no to start with. He said I was a grouch.

How could I just let him sleep on someone else’s couch?

 

“It’s only for a little while,” he wheedled with a grin

I felt my resolve crumble: should I let him in?

I recalled last time he said this, and I let him stay

A few days turned to months and months, he wouldn’t go away.

 

So I said no again and then he stormed off in a huff

Self-esteem was proud of me. “I knew you’d had enough.”

Then Paranoia played his trump. He sent his best friend Guilt,

To plead his case, and at her words I couldn’t help but wilt.

 

“How can you be so mean?” she asked. “He’s always stuck by you.

He’s never, ever let you down, it’s the least that you can do.”

I can deal with Paranoia, but Guilt is hard to fight.

I gave in; he came to stay, but only for the night.

 

Supposedly…

  

Because when Paranoia’s there, Guilt hangs around as well,

And she brings along Self-loathing, who is as mean as hell.

The three of them get really loud and they give me no peace.

Then I can’t hear anything else and there is no release.

 

I realise I see less and less of Joy and Self-esteem

They pop in every now and then but I hardly know they’ve been.

Paranoia said that it’s because they never really liked me

They pretended, to be kind, but they’re better off without me.

 

Self-loathing told me that I am a really crappy friend.

“You’re lucky we put up with you, don’t bother to pretend

You’re doing us a favour by giving us house room.

No one else would bother with a nasty girl like you.”

 

“Yes, you’re lucky,” Guilt agreed. Her voice held quiet danger.

“We won’t desert you, leave you alone, let you become a stranger.

Another friend is moving in, don’t bother with your protests,

Because she’s been here all along and you haven’t even noticed.”

 

It was true; when I looked, Fear was curled up in the armchair.

I knew I couldn’t shift her now that she was settled there.

I wondered how she’d got in; through the back door, I suppose.

No matter how I try it seems impossible to close.

 

So now I was just overwhelmed and there was no escape,

I could only stand and watch my world disintegrate.

The four of them joined forces to wear away at me,

And together they are surely a formidable enemy.

 

Helpless before the onslaught I retreated to my room,

Curled small beneath the bedclothes amidst the deepening gloom.

It was then I heard it; a whisper through the air

So faint and yet I hadn’t just imagined it was there.

 

I couldn’t help but follow the almost silent call

It made me walk across the room to the mirror on the wall.

It was then that I saw Hope beside me standing strong.

I’d been so blind but now I knew he’d been there all along.

 

Somehow I’d forgotten Hope but he didn’t seem to mind.

He very gently took my hand, his touch so warm and kind.

Hope had not forsaken me but he has a quiet voice

And I just had not heard it over all the other noise.

 

I realised I felt calmer, more than I had in days

I knew that Hope would help me in so many different ways.

“We’re still here,” he told me, “Joy, Self-esteem and I.

But it’s hard to reach you when you’re with those other guys.”

 

“I’m sorry,” I said sadly, as I began to weep

“But I just don’t know what to do, I’m in far too deep.”

“You can let us help you to find your strength again.”

Hope was reassuring; I knew he saw my pain.

 

I let him lead me down the stairs and through the noisy four,

They didn’t like that he was there; I tailed him to the door.

“Open it,” he told me, “I’ve got you a surprise.”

Joy and Self-esteem were waiting on the other side.

 

“It’s really good to see you.” Words came with an embrace.

“Now let’s get this lot sorted out, and give you back your space.”

Paranoia grumbled as he left, Self-loathing raged and ranted,

Fear screamed and whimpered as she was forcibly decanted.

 

Guilt was the hardest one to shift; she went eventually.

“OK, I’m off for now,” she smirked, “but look, I’ve kept your key.”

Self-esteem just laughed at her. “The locks will all be changed.

She has true friends around her now, and you should be ashamed.”

 

Guilt was dawdling on the path; Hope turned me to the room

To Joy and Trust and Happiness and Love and Light and Truth.

Self-esteem brought Confidence, quiet and assured

And Gratitude is also here, helping me applaud.

 

So next time Paranoia knocks, I’ll have the strength to fight.

Next time I will be saying no. I’m claiming back my life.

 

 

 

 

 

Three Words

Three Words coverOn 14th February 2017 my second book will be making its way into the big wide world. It took me two years to write Three Words and get it to the point where I was happy to submit it to my publishers, Magic Oxygen. They’ve also put a lot of time, effort and love into it, from the editing to the amazing cover photography and much more besides. A big thank you is due.

It’s a romance at heart, exploring love and those things that pretend to be love but are very far from it; possessiveness, manipulation, guilt etc. It also encompasses love and relationships in the wider sense of friendship and family.

And of course there’s a magical element – because how could there not be? It’s very (and I do mean VERY) loosely based on The Little Mermaid, but the fairy tale rather than the film.

If you want to read the blurb on the back cover, click on the picture above. For now, here’s an excerpt to hopefully whet your appetite.

 

Tia and Serena left the cavern and swam through the wild ocean in silence, overawed. Tia was the first to speak.

“Did it hurt?” she asked. “When you gave up your magic?”

“A little,” Serena said. “I feel empty now, hollow. Room for a soul, no doubt.”

“Are you afraid?” Tia’s eyes were worried.

“Yes,” Serena confessed. “But I know this is the right thing to do. The only thing to do, for me. I’ll never meet the expectations of the mer, I’ll always be found wanting. At least this way I have a chance. I know you understand.”

“I will miss you,” said Tia.

“And I you,” Serena replied. “But I will always remember, all of you but especially you, Tia. I think you’re the only one that’s really ever understood me. Don’t think that some of the love I hope to find over there won’t be held for you.”

Tia said nothing but she didn’t have to. The crystal tears that slipped from her eyes told their own tale.

Happy New Year – How Time Passes

Happy New Year. May love, light and magic surround you always.

And now… a little thought about time…

multiple pocket watches

Photo by Guilherme Nicholas

You have been prescribed TIME. Please read these instructions carefully.

What TIME is for:

TIME works by progressing a life. This facilitates a multitude of possibilities for EXPERIENCE, and the related benefits of GROWTH, HAPPINESS and KNOWLEDGE.

How to take TIME:

TIME is administered as a single dose, its slow release mechanism ensuring continued cover until death.

What you need to know:

There are no rules. Time affects everyone differently. Make the most of it and try not to worry.

Warnings and precautions:

Apply common sense to situations that require it. Whimsy will take care of the rest.

Possible side effects:

Beauty, books, dreams, family, friends, good health, hugs, illness, laughter, learning, loss, love, opportunities, sadness, stress, silliness, wrinkles.

Some side effects are more common than others and some are more pleasant than others. There are many more (unlisted) that may occur depending on your personal reaction to TIME. Please do not be alarmed when you are affected; they are all transient.

Final note:

TIME is a precious resource. Please do not waste it.

Third Runway – a short story

 

Photo of oak tree

Photo by David Tucker

The oak stood, remembering; slow memories rising from deep within, flowing like sap to nourish branches, bark, roots and leaves. It recalled its embryonic acorn self, saved from the forest floor by the son of a farmer, who carried it over his heart until his true love agreed to marry him. How he and his new wife had planted it tenderly in the field where they would build their house, and how it had thrived in the rich earth and put down roots as they did.

It grew with their children and grandchildren and countless generations since; was glad when it was tall enough to shelter them. Joy coursed through it when people sat beneath the boughs to laugh and chatter, to whisper secrets and stories or just leaned back against its rough trunk to dream. Humans were full of mysteries and tales of far away lands, strange creatures, heroes, villains and thrilling adventures. Sometimes it felt a great longing to wander and see. Most of the time it was content to stand and watch, its presence giving comfort and stability to those around it. It watched as the tiny hamlet became a village and the village grew into a town. Observed as the garden it knew became the local green, with houses and roads ranged around it. Saw the old forest slowly cut down to make room for new buildings.

The oak shivered – the loss of its kindred left it saddened. And yet it endured, instilled with a deep peace from the earth and taking solace from the stories of the lives around it. Even as the other trees were lost and the green spaces dwindled and the concrete spread, it was content. Even as the horses became few and the cars multiplied and the developments obscured the sky and the air became heavy and toxic, it could still feel the healing power of the earth.

Yet sometimes, as it watched the humans, especially the children, it wondered. About how lovely it would be to run and laugh and jump and climb, free of roots and cares and the weight of change. About exploration. Discovery. Freedom.

It was glad of the children. It had seen so much change and they, although different, remained the same, full of laughter and love and questions and stories. Even now, as the adults became more angry and hardly stopped to draw breath, as its new roots struggled to find a path through concrete and tarmac, the children still came. As it stood on its tiny postage stamp of green, amid dark rumours of further destruction, it looked forward to the visits of the children. They, like it, knew nothing of business, profit margins, speculative investment and stimulus. They lived for the moment. And it understood observation, listening, stillness. Although now that was more difficult. So much light, noise, rush. So few of the wild creatures left.

The little girl was a good friend to the tree. She came almost every day, telling it what she’d done at school, at home, about her Mum and Dad and Gran and baby brother. She knew that the tree was her friend too, and so she told it secrets – how she had fallen out with her best friend and how when she was grown up she was going to discover an entirely new species of dinosaur. One day she was upset. ‘Dad says we might have to move,’ she said. ‘Everyone who lives round here. They want to build a new runway so more planes can fly in. So they have to knock down all the shops and houses. But I don’t know where we’ll go. Or you. Where will you go?’

The tree didn’t know. Trees don’t usually go anywhere. But fleetingly it wondered. ‘Could I?’

It was no more than a passing thought to begin with. It could not believe that the humans would destroy all that they had created. But there was anger tainting the air, tension tightening like bands around the community. The people marched and shouted and waved banners and signed petitions.

And then the girl said ‘They won’t stop. We all have to move.’

The tree watched the huge yellow machines in the distance as they ate the buildings away, leaving rubble and clouds of dust. They came closer frighteningly fast, the landscape flat and lifeless behind them. It could feel the rumbling shock waves of destruction as it moved its roots in the soil, but even that gave no comfort. All it could taste was bitterness.

When only the last few rows of houses stood between it and demolition, the girl came for the last time. She wept. ‘We have to go, they’re going to knock our house down. You have to go too. Please go, tree. So I’ll know you’ll be safe.’

Her tears fell on the roots of the oak as it stood, and it waved gently as she left, even though there was no breeze. A deep sadness flowed through it. And as it stood that night, alone with a few desolate houses and the drone of aircraft and traffic and the urban sky-glow hiding the stars and dimming even the moon, it surveyed the emptiness that had once been full of life.

‘Go.’ The realisation rippled through it.

‘Nature alone holds power, yet humans seek control. But they cannot control what they do not understand and that will be their destruction.’

It reached its being deep into the earth for strength and wisdom. Then, with mighty force that shook the ground for miles, it tore its roots free of the cancerous ground and set off in search of a better place.

Candles

CandleCandles have a magic all their own. From the time before electricity and gas when they were the light in the darkness, they have come to symbolize so many things for us now, love, reverence, remembrance, hope. They are used in celebration, relaxation, meditation and probably a few other -ations that elude me now, not to mention their importance in romance and their supreme usefulness during a power cut. Candlelight has that mystical quality that is comforting and a little eerie at the same time, so lovely as the darkness covers us earlier, and the clouds blanket us from brightness. Here is an ode to the candle, a spooky little poem in the run up to Halloween. Continue reading