Wednesday, October 20, 2010


The trees that line the twisting road, 
lean in to drop their words in bright red flurries.
Silent sentences, unheard by speeding cars.
I watch one almost curtsey to me,
slender limbs in silhouette.
And I forget the fifty things that filled my head,
that chased me from my Sunday bed.
I need this distance.
Miles of asphalt moving me away from Monday.
Driving far enough to hide me from the glare
of screens and stares and acronyms.
Out here I can resist the grip of blackest boredom
burrowing through my brain to leave me numb.
I photograph each precious moment,
trees and sea and sky and him.
And when I must return to that dark shadow of existence,
I keep the pictures near enough to glimpse,
my bliss, my hope, my small resistance.

Look at me (Stockton Stigma Stories-Mind Me Project)

Look at him.
He sings in the street like the world is his stage and
his life is an opera.  Arms outstretched, head held high,
Pavarotti of the pedestrians.
It’s summertime and the living is easy.
Does he notice them laughing and shaking their heads?
Does her hear their cruel whispers?  She does.
She clings to him, guiding him forward.
He turns to her.  Have I told you lately that I love you?

They walk together through the ruins,
peering into rooms they cannot reach.
Touchstones crumble as they reminisce
in this, the house of the cosmic joker
who changed the rules and left him with
a thousand books he cannot read,
a million words he cannot write.
He paints instead, the colours of his mind,
the memories left behind,
and shouts across the vast North Sea,
look at me.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman (Stockton Stigma Stories-Mind Me project)

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.
She sings the song as she scatters the flour
and traces the name her family gave her.
Words in white dust,
misery guts.

She kneads this therapy.

She bakes, and takes her gifts
to those who understand,
her group, her new-found family.
It’s here she laughs, and shares her stories
paints the pain away.

But when the door and curtains close,
she’s locked with loneliness inside,
abandoned with her memories.

She passes time with poetry
and picnics knitted just for bears.
She turns her music up and sings,
sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.

If all the world's a stage (Stockton Stigma Stories - Mind Me Project)

If all the world's a stage,
she'd rather stay behind the scenes.
She'd paint the sky with birds
and prompt the actors with
the words she dare not speak.

She'd rather watch from velvet seats
with chocolate treats,
all cosy in the dark,
invisible to eyes too blinded by the lights.

And at the end, the final act,
she'd hurry back to friends,
and tell them of the drama, romance, songs,
somewhere that's safe, and she belongs.