Sunday, 25 October 2015

Forest Song

If we'd but time to wander through,
The forests of our minds anew,
What fairytales would there unfold?
What secrets of our souls be told?

In whispered rustles mighty trees
May yet enchant their erstwhile leaves,
To tempt us from our narrow paths,
Lead us to glades where danger laughs

At timid eyes which dare to glance,
See hidden truths amid the dance
Which heaves and sighs and calls us on,
While we play deaf to nature's song.

For in that wood of soul-filled spires,
Which stretch and bend with sheaved desires,
Are many trees of light and hue,
No cloned or man-made avenue

Can capture hearts transformed with seasons,
Respecting not the need for reasons
To either bloom, or fall in turn,
Be evergreen, or yearly burn,

And yet be all, though none complete,
To choose one branch would yet defeat                                
Our spirits flight from soaring high,
Or laying still to watch the sky,

That filled with stars, yet loves the day,
Adores its rest but longs to play
In undergrowth of Autumn fruits,
Whose fallen jewels will send spring's shoots

To live again, though dreams be broken,
Hopes be drowned by strorms which soaken
Every wish we'd see come true.
We'll drink their power, and hence, renew.

Friday, 23 October 2015

Wha's Mental???

Wee bit of poetry in Scots for ma twa wee witches. #poetober continues...

"Ken, yer maw's mental!"
That's wit the bairns a' cry,
Tae ma twa queans,
Wha climb up trees,
An' jump oot tryin tae fly.

"Ken, yer maw's a loony!"
A've heard the bullies say,
While twa wee lassies
Squelch in mud
An' hunt for sticks tae play.

"Ken, yer maw's a nutjob!"
The bored wans fret an' tease,
But laughter fills
Ma sweetheart's ears,
As they imagine a' they please.

"Ken, yer maw's a ____"
But they've caught the wee yin's eye,
An she's stuck them wi
A look sae fierce
It'd make the de'il die.

"Ma maw's no a nutter,"
Her cackling voice explains,
"She's a witch,
Who brews up spells,
Tae transform nasty weans."

"Intae a' sorts o' monsters,"
Her sister comes tae add,
"That eat their taes,
An' breathe oot smells,
That couldnae be mair bad.

Her powers are Tremendous,
Yer right tae look sae scared,
For come the night
O' Hallowe'en,
Ye better be prepared."

An' noo they've got them runnin',
As they shout "She's after you!
But the thing ye'll wish
Ye'd ken't the maist,
Is that we are witches too!"

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Daughters of Chaos

Well, you can't really post a poem about the wonders of insomnia in the middle of the day, can you?!? October poetry month continues with a wee Spenserian Sonnet I rather like actually! You have to make the best of the talents and curses you're blessed with after all....

Do not lament for me my endless night,
Dear Friends who feed your souls with fruits of day.
The Darkness sends me wings for spirit’s flight,
And whispers words which sunlight cannot say.

For while you sleep my senses dream their way,
Through waking trysts of clarity so pure,
The colours of the night are never grey,
But paint with fired tongues that do endure.

Yet blessed with Nyx’s gift some search a cure,
To dull our wits, our visions, grand and true,
Recant our pow’r, submit to ‘Normal’s’ lure,
Hide madness in the dusk as others do.

Surrender not my curse of chaos child,
Embrace the stars, I must, and blaze them wild.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Seeds of Neverland

What fog filled furrows fuse my dreams,
Of summer rains, while autumn gleams,
Into a mist of mem'ried pain,
Of seeds, I shall not sow again.

Now Gravestone bails that stand so bold,
In lonesome fields of fog so cold
It steals my soul as I ramble through,
Engulfs with pain and bond like glue.

What do they know, what could they tell,
Those rolls of hay, wrapped up so well?
A summer's store of sunshine blessed,
Enclosed within a love that rests?

Such heat that lives inside those swirls,
Cannot escape, nor yet unfurls,
Into my heart to live forever,
Grows only in the Land of Never.

I seek the sun to burn the sorrow,
Drink up this veil and light tomorrow,
But the haar enrobes as dark descends,
And my tears ask when the torment ends.

For, what looks so gentle, hurts to touch,
To wander bare foot asks too much
Of a soul that searches but knows not why,
In sharp cut fields of fog filled sky.

As dawn approaches I drink the dew,
Of a hope that's promised each day anew,
And I try to believe, with a cynic's heart,
As I smile at the world, and walk on, in my part.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Patient Prayers

There are so many misconceptions about depression but many are not products of malice or mistrust -  they are simply that for those lucky ones who do not suffer, there is no logic in seeing a heart that is breaking, also be capable of producing a smile that lights up a room.

That a soul who has so much to live for and wants desperately to survive illness to see their family grow up, yet feels torn apart by that struggle and is haunted by the desire to take their own life so that the fear and torment ends.

I wrote this poem originally for one of my friends who desperately wanted to understand the depression of those around her. It is my eternal hug of strength to her. Depression is an illness that affects even those who are not not depressed themselves. Those people need support too because it is hard to know what to do when you cannot begin to reason a way forward.

Just having the strength to stay the course, be patient and listen, over and over again. Know when to leave someone alone, when not to, when to talk and when to be silent. It can be torture to a desperate heart who wants only to help. For all those who try, this is for you.

Patient Prayers

The secret fingers of despair,
Who hide in smiles their unmouthed prayer
Of gloved emotion, raw and stained
With blood soaked tears of hope that waned.

How silently your whispers grow,
To flood the ears of souls who know,
That from your tide they're doomed to drown,
With each gaze up, you drag them down.

Not to a depth that sees no light,
Nor ignores the pain of others' plight,
But swallows sorrows as if their own,
Til self sown prisons are overgrown,

With helpless vines that twist through hearts
And knots all hope before it starts,
Though love surrounds the ones who cry,
That voice inside will never die,

That one day soon they will not wake,
Hear not the pleas that others make,
In desperate love, to fire their soul,
For despair's inferno has no control.

Though perfect days of joy and bliss,
Can visit yet and send their kiss
Of happy tears, of sheer delight,
Still yet cruel thoughts do come at night,

To hunt all hope of happy years
Ahead, instead replaced by tears
That cry inside but seldom show,
Respect not logic, and will not go.

No matter if the sun's rays share,
And fortune favours all that's theirs,
A wound un-found is hard to heal,
Spirits so crushed refuse to feel

That future's dance reserves their place,
That life will e'er forgive with grace,
And yet it will, it can and should;
Depression never goes for good.

Heart's prisoned chains were locked by them,
It is within the cruel keys stem,
With patient wings they'll find what's lost,
Would you dare to stay, at any cost?

For they do not wish to leave your side,
To lose their hope, to run and hide,
But time is what their sorrow needs,
To heal the holes that sadness bleeds.

Do not despair, show them the way,
Lend patient prayers in every day,
And they will try, though the climb is steep,
To banish gravesides where loved ones weep.

Friday, 9 October 2015

Quantum Love

Over the years I have observed that it is precisely the things which are so exquisitely impossible to understand, which capture my desire to try to more than anything. For example: 

1. Love 
2. Quantum Theory 
3. Why the hell I should adore Andrew Purdon so much and continue to share my life with him when he persists in EATING EVERYTHING LIKE A FRICKIN COW!! 

 So this crazy Petrachan sonnet is for him. An impossible form for an impossible subject matter. Quantum Theory is just like love after all! 

Our quantum love whose waves do break each test,‎ 
Cannot be tamed, explained, by those who look, 
Theories which cry their tears in every book, 
Have answers not, for particles who jest.

Dimensions string their way through hearts at rest,
Realities which term our love a fluke, 
Infinities of chance were not our hook, 
The pattern of our souls will not be guessed. 

And yet entangled as we are we try, 
To know the things perhaps we never should. 
Photonic love will never answer why, 
Into a box must live desires which would. 
What matter shares with light that will not die,
Dualities like love, which never could.


 (and if you don't know anything about quantum theory...don't worry, your 1st response was correct...this is a ridiculous poem...but then, that's exactly the point!!)

Thursday, 8 October 2015

National Poetry Day 2015: Michelle

So National Poetry Day - Nothing like putting yourself under pressure with 2 hours to go. Same Old!

I wish I had it in me to write another witty political ode as I did in last year's offering. However "And Here's to You Mr. Robinson." will be forever one of my favourite hastily penned poems and certainly my favourite to 'perform'!!

However this year has been a very different struggle and grief comes tapping on my shoulder to whisper those sad stories all too often. At times I have found it hard to laugh and be my usual nonsense fuelled self!

But though I have found it hard to laugh, words are not such traitors to the soul and I have taken comfort in being able to express the changing stages of grief through poetry, however imperfectly that may manifest itself.

This year's theme is supposed to be light, so it seems only right to offer these simple verses to the memory of a beloved soul who certainly lit up the lives of many. Her love of rainbows gives me reason to be thankful for every sun shower, as I am for each moment of friendship we shared together. I very rarely title my own poems but perhaps this one should simply be...


Sweet Light which splits the spectrums arc,
And fires souls ‘gainst skies so dark,
You bounce through drops though shadows run,
Caress the rain and kiss the sun,

To bathe your babes in blissful rays,
Bring back the song of happy days,
That yet laments unfallen tears,
But blazes precious thankful years,

In blinding gifts of solar calm,
Into our souls you spread your balm,
Of soothing hope, though ne’er to touch,
Colours which fade we strive so much,

To fuel our hearts, you paint the sky,
Your sun-kissed canvass shall not die,
Though light may change and storms rage past,
We’ll shine one day, once more at last.

Saturday, 29 August 2015

Daily Mail Doughnuts!

Dear Daily Mail,

Thank you.

With all the serious stuff going on in the world - you know, like children dying whilst fleeing horrific persecution, the global financial crisis, the collapse of democracy, the destruction of our environment, the ransacking of society by massive multinational corporations motivated only by profit - I had almost forgotten that tomorrow I need to do my daughter's Gluten Free prescription before the end of the month.

Thank goodness for your ridiculous front page (lazily recycled from a previous story you published weeks ago) which yet again seeks to sensationalise a serious issue & make headlines out of something which is a matter of being able to live a normal life for so many.

I attach below a picture of my daughter eating some NON-prescription GF porridge. She was very happy. Having it meant she was able to join her friends for a holiday breakfast at the soft play, where, like 99% of cafes, there wouldn't be Gluten free cereal / toast / anything suitable for me to buy at that time of day for her to join in. It cost me three times what the equivalent non GF product might cost another parent but I bought it because not making my already different daughter feel 'excluded' is really important.

That happens a lot. Every party, every lunch date, every cafe you meet friends in - mum is there with a trusty bag of sandwiches, biscuits, cakes and crackers. It mustn't be news to you that my child has to eat but perhaps you haven't considered that if as a Coeliac, every time you go anywhere, you have to worry about whether there WILL be anything for you to eat and whether it will taste like cardboard, or cost an arm & leg - and if that's how you experience eating and food and going out and happy things, like parties, going to a friend's house for tea, having a sleepover, or even getting a new teacher - full of stress & anxiety - perhaps, just perhaps, you might like to change your tone?

Or should I attach another photo instead. One of the horrible anal fissure (sorry Erin!) she had at 10months old because she couldn't go to the toilet for 8 days as her digestive system had packed in and she was in terrible pain from successive constipation & diarrhoea . Or one of the photos from our holiday when she was aged 2 and so miserable on her gluten trial that she stopped eating all together because she felt so ill from the food we were forcing her to eat. If only I'd got her dad (also Coeliac) to take a picture of me crying at the time, you might have posted that, I know how you like that sort of horrid voyeurism!

What is it that you have against my child that you don't think she should have pizza as a treat on the odd Friday night after school? Or don't you think I should be able to bake her cookies or a cake to take to a party from GF flour?

Now, yes I admit, I can buy most stuff she needs in the super-market but there is more than one issue with that.

1 - Coeliac families do not magically earn 3 times as much as other families to pay their food bill.

2 - Because prescription food is made fresh, it has less additives & salt in it than supermarket food & when this is your staple food source, that's a really important factor, esp. for children.

3 - Supermarkets often run out - before we had food on prescription, we often arrived to find the last loaf of bread had gone. It meant driving around more shops with an unhappy toddler. Often it meant having no bread at all. Would you like a tantrum photo of a hungry toddler, I have lots of extra cute ones - she's a wee smasher you know!

As for the doughnuts! Really? Because I've got the prescription list right here and I've looked again & again and definitely - no doughnuts. Which is a shame, because she'd love that, I don't think she's ever had one. Just like she's never had a cone from the ice cream van or been able to have a piece of cake from a party bag or go for fast food or any of a hundred other experiences that 'normal' children in this country take for granted.

Don't feel sorry for her though because there is no way on this earth I am going to let her miss out on fun. All coeliac parents know the effort it takes to constantly have back up food in every bag, to plan every journey, to know when every kid in the class might bring in a cake to share on their birthday. To organise your life, to stay up late baking, to shop in 10 different shops to get all you need.

And yes - to FIGHT for the treatment and medication they NEED. So they are not ILL! So they are not MISERABLE! So that I can go to bed and sleep at night knowing I have done all I can to prevent my child developing bowel cancer and dying before me.

The prescription service is not perfect, we all know this but it is vital for people who would be very ill without it. My daughter is entitled to a number of units based on her nutritional needs, her dad is the same. Unsurprisingly he gets more because he is an adult male!

Our prescription tomorrow will be for bread, rolls, cereal, pasta, flour, crackers, and yes - absolutely 100% - we'll be ordering pizza bases. I might even throw in a packet of plain tea biscuits. My daughter thinks they are the business - they come with her name on the box and it makes her feel reassured, no one else will touch them.

Maybe you'd rather she had a prescription for 'real' medication like she had when she was ill and unhappy before her diagnosis. Maybe you'd rather she developed an eating disorder through unhappy associations with food? Or ended up on antidepressants perhaps? Maybe you just won't be happy until she, or her Dad, develops bowel cancer and then they'll be bleeding the NHS dry for sure.

Oh...I see, that wasn't the point of your article. It's just that nobody made out on the 1st night of Celebrity Big Brother and desperate mothers dying trying to save their children from persecution shows too much compassion for a Saturday morning front page.

And you're damn right if you detect it makes me angry, because being Coeliac is hard enough as an adult but when you are little, you have to be tough enough to go to your first school party, look all the delicious cakes in the face, watch all your new friends eating them, and still say NO, because even at 5, you know it will simply make you ill.
I'm so proud of our wee Erin, she understands how important being well is and she has the will power and common sense to do the right thing.

It's a pity your journalists haven't been quite so lucky in that respect on so many issues - but when our prescription pizzas come in, do pop by for lunch and she'll be happy to enlighten you.

 Oh - and bring the doughnuts - the gluten free kind that is - not your editors...