There is something ritual about it,

the morning stock-take

of new imperfections

sleep softened but dawning

in the mirror’s first take cut.


Some can be teased or tweased

slipped beneath another skin,

of crafted contours,

folded to hide the everyday

not found anywhere but reality.


The tally builds like glass bottles,

one hundred hanging on a wall

but if one should fall

there shall be ninety-nine

and a smile to hide its absence.


When there are none left to shatter

you will see the shell crack,

hollow and so deathly dark

even the light whimpers, wanes

and withers into something cold.




Daily Post: Ceremony

NaPoWriMo – Day Nine: The Elephant Ant

You were the elephant in the room apparently.

The black seething mass of storm clouds

clustered over this house

keeping daylight out and darkness in.


Each room creaking under the pressure

of keeping you contained

when every corner was filled to bursting

and the foundations heaved

and the windows splintered

and even the roof tiles popped free

one by one

in the hopes you could be bled away.


You covered everything past, present,


Who could have blamed me

for those days I molded the mattress

to the shape of a collapsing spine,

when it was your weight

cursing every vertabrea,

turning my duvet to lead.


Your collapse was so much slower,

a reluctance I’d failed to show

when my strength shed like snake skin

and you took it for your own,

as a reminder

that you couldn’t be vanquished,

only temporarily tamed.


Recently, you fit inside a matchbox.

The size of an ant,

I carry you from place to place

in pocket or purse,

near enough to feel you scurrie

across my skin

when the sun skims behind the clouds

and shadows reign.


I know you are searching

for the gaps in my seams,

the frayed edges that will let you in

where you can grown again,

back to the size you were

when I was the insect

wedged beneath your boot.


It’s very possible you will.


This Place Is A Bog Where I Cannot Swim

I have tried to rise above but some days are like mires,


memories bubble up from the ground to catch my feet,

and there’s no pushing past the darkness

when the backs of my eyelids become cinema screens

for the voice in the my head that’s always judging every move I make.

It tells me friends are only pretending to my face,

and when I’m gone they are talking about me.

It knows exactly what they are saying when I’m out of earshot

so it repeats the words like a mantra

over the patter of memories I thought dealt with,

sealed into their graves long ago,

but somehow resurrected just when everything seemed

to be going so well.

This type of cold cannot be shrugged off,

instead it chills every bone in my body

to the point where I become brittle as glass,

ready to shatter at the slightest tremor.

Somebody tell me,

how do I rise above this?

Daily Post: Above

The Blue Days

Some days the curtains won’t close tight enough,

the mattress won’t sink deep enough

and despite clutching at the duvet,

pinning it around desperate limbs,

drafts still snake their way in.

On those days it doesn’t matter how tight

I screw my eyes shut,

the light is always there behind my lids,

prickling, waiting, demanding

that I emerge and acknowledge it.

Those were the days I didn’t leave my bed.

The ones I missed class and didn’t explain why.

A time I don’t ignore,

but I still can’t name in confidence.

I let it sit in my memory

like storm clouds on a horizon,

not close enough to worry on,

but a reminder that the sun doesn’t always shine

and I haven’t always managed to smile

instead of cry.

In The Back Of My Head

I’ve already put more thought into your next sentence than you have.

Can you hear them?

All the words chattering behind my eyes

working out a way to get inside your mouth?

I know you’re not a bad person.

Lord knows I know you would never say these things!

But there’s that part of my brain

ticking over and over and over and over

and each time it ticks there’s another snipe, jeer, remark

worming deeper into my grey matter

to the squirming core of lies I create for myself.

When I go home I will dissect this conversation.

Post-mortem my comments until I’ve found every mistake.

Run your talk through countless translations

hunting for the hidden meanings you didn’t plant

just so I can wonder what you meant by it

and who else you could have said it to?

All the while we will be smiling,

all the while we will be happy,

all the while I won’t say anything about these thoughts

buzzing in my brain.



Last week I was reading a post by Suzie Speaks about overthinking, something I have a fair amount of experience with. It reminded me of the start of this poem and I decided that it might be worth giving it another visit. Suzie’s post is well worth a read so if you get the chance I recommend dropping by her blog and taking a look for yourself. You could even write your own post on the subject. I’ve found that often with these things, the best way to tackle them is by talking about them and a single post can be the start of a much bigger conversation.

After all, WordPress is a community, and if you can’t share your experiences here, then where else can you?