Thursday, 31 July 2014

My Simple Truth

I'm a crumpled piece of paper,
a length of fraying string.
I have lived and loved and broken,
and I will never be whole again.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

This Shadow Life - Count the Seconds

Laying in bed I wonder, how I can possibly keep on breathing.
The burden of life suffocates me and I can't conceive how I can possibly go on, how time can keep on passing, how I can keep on existing. 
I feel constantly on the brink of exploding into a million tiny ribbons of confetti. The pressure is overwhelming. 

Things always look better in the morning, but the morning is an eternity from now. The seconds stretch out before me. A marathon that I must run. 
I'm not a runner. I can't run. I fell down to my knees long ago and have been crawling ever since. I have been fighting for every second. Ever breath. Every moment that you need me here. 

It would be so easy to give in. To succumb to the pressure on me and within me. To give up this marathon and sink into the earth. It's what I want at the core if my being. There is a monster inside me fighting to get out and ruin my life. The life I have fought so hard for. The life I have crawled a million marathons for. 

But I will never give up. You know why? 
I will never give up because even as I write this, time has passed. Seconds have come and gone.
Every second that I can live, that I can keep myself together, is a victory for me. 

Some people find the slither of sand through the hourglass and the tick of the clock to be a unpleasant and troubling sound. Something that reminds them of how little they have achieved and how little time they have left. 
To me every second is a comfort because no matter what I am doing and what my life is like, time will pass like it always does. This suffering can't last for ever.
No matter how bad things are now, every second I am closer to a time when things will be better.
Every second it a victory. 

The years, as they approach bring many agreeable things. 
As they recede they take many away. 
Thus passes the glory of the world. 

Nothing can last forever. Nothing. 
Make the most of every good moment because it won't last. 
Grit your teeth and take comfort in the passing seconds when things are bad. The bad will be gone one day too. 

I love you all. 
I'll keep counting the seconds. 
I hope you do too. 

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Girl in the Night - Part 2 - Flight

<< Return to part 1 - Sarah <<

When Sarah fled her home, at first she was chased only by the ghost of her fallen love, but it was not long before men chased her too. When her senseless screams had run out of breath and her feet had fallen into a steady rhythm, she would hear the horses galloping after her.
Her father, she knew, would have sent people out to search for her. There was probably even a reward posted for her safe return to him. But she couldn't go back. She wouldn't survive if she had to go back. The salt laden air would drown her.
It had been easy for them to follow her at first. The echo of her screams as she ran had surely woken nearly everyone she passed through the city, and once in the wilderness her careless passage and constant falls had left an easy trail for all to find.

With the events of the evening playing through her mind, Sarah ran through the night and into the small hours of the morning. She tripped and fell many times, and eventually she didn't get back up. Exhaustion overtook her and she lay sprawled on her face in the leaf litter. Exhaustion and sorrow drowned her in sleep for the remainder of the night and much of the following day.
In the late afternoon she was jolted from sleep by the muffled sound of hooves, crunching trough the leaves close by.
She froze, panic flooding trough her veins.
The fear leapt up inside her and urged her to run, to flee from this captor who would drag her back to her father, to the wedding announcement that she had barely escaped with her life.
She knew her father would miss her, but she simply couldn't face it. The scenarios that played out in her head when she heard those hoof falls all ended in humiliation. She had been a queen with William on her arm. She could not return as a peasant without him.
With her heart racing in her chest Sarah took a careful inventory of her body. It was aching and sore from the unprecedented exercise of the previous night, but she discovered that the pain was bearable.

The horse was coming closer and Sarah could hear the soft hum of the man on it's back. The sound of the man struck her to the core. It was the voice of Lord Henry. The voice of the man who had stolen everything from her.
The panic had transformed into terror at the sound of his voice and Sarah could contain herself no longer.
She scrambled to her feet and fled deeper into the forest, giving no heed to the startled whinny of the horse, or the angry yell of the man as she rose from almost nothing right beneath them.

Although Sarah was sore, and the horse was fresh and sprightly, the close packed trees and dense shrubs of the forest made the horse and riders progress slow and cumbersome.
Cursing at his horse, and at Sarah's fleeing back Lord Henry dismounted and began to chase her down on foot. Being a large strong man, it was like the under brush parted for him as he swept through it.
"Sarah! Come back here girl! I'm going to catch you anyway, best not to make it harder on yourself!", the voice rang out behind her. The predator taunting it's prey.
The anger in his voice spurred her on. She couldn't let him catch her. God only knew what he would do. She might meet the same fate as her beloved and not even make it back to her father.

Despite her efforts she felt him gaining behind her. The brambles snagged in her hair, her clothes, he skin. She traded the golden strands from her head, the cloth from her dress, and pieces of her perfect flesh in exchange for each step.
Her breathing ragged, she surged through the ocean of green. Green tangles at her feet, green branches in her face, green leaves above her head, and a man, a man pursuing behind her.

Just as he reached his hand out to take her, she felt the vegetation thinning out just ahead.
The clear sunlight striking spears of gold through the suffocating green seemed like a blessing. Somehow she knew that if she could just make the clearing she would be free.
With a final leap she escaped the dense vegetation.
There was a moment when she hung in the air. Perfectly still. Suspended like a star in the endless blue sky. Then she fell.
The thick vegetation had hidden the cliff edge from view until the very second that she had flown over it.

Lord Henry was saved from the same fate by the few steps that he had trailed behind her. As he saw her falling he grasped the thick vegetation and skidded to a halt on the cliff edge. Grasping a sapling for safety he watched Sarah as she flew through the air, and the clear blue water rushed up to meet her.

>> Continue to part 3 - Insight >>

Sunday, 20 July 2014

I'm not okay

I'll paint my soul on paper,
and post it here for you to see.
The words shaped like my scars,
might explain what it's like to be me.

The words come hard and slow some times,
I try to write but they resist.
The words come thick and fast sometimes,
like the blood flow from my wrist.

I'll try to tell you how it is,
and not lie to make it pretty.
I'll not post things to try and impress you,
or exaggerate to get your pity.

The stories I write are true,
and this pain in my heart is real.
I trace the blade across my skin,
it's the only way I can feel.

Most people will never read this,
but it is important that you do.
My stories may be hard to read,
but they might be real for someone close to you.

We are excellent at hiding,
those of us that feel this way.
But most of us are just hoping,
that someone will notice we aren't okay.

So try to actually listen,
when someone tells you how they are.
one kind word from you,
might stop me making another scar.

Friday, 18 July 2014


The word hangs heavy in the air, but I don't know what it means.
I'm just me. Just like you are you.
I was born this way I guess. This is what's normal to me.
The word makes me see that most people aren't like me.
But who's to say that you aren't the ones that are broken?

The word sticks fast to my tongue.
The taste is bitter in my mouth. I know that it tastes worse to you.
I was born this way. Is that really the word for me?
It sounds bad. From the look on your face it is bad.
Do you even know that it means?
I don't want to be bad. I'm just me.

The word is stuck in my throat.
I can't swallow it down, not now that you have tainted it.
Your preconceived notions have turned me into a monster.
I wasn't a monster a moment ago.
What changed? The name?
You have defined me.

The word burns in my stomach.
The world feels different around me. All hard edges and no smiles.
I'm still just me. The same me as before.
But now a word in your brain means that I don't belong.
You are the one that has made me broken.

In this poem, the word sociopath could be replaced with many different things. Things that people are born with, things that we can't control. This poem could just as easily have the word gay at the top, or transgender, or any number of other things. 
Just something to think about. 

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Falling in Love

As the wind through the trees we will run
The world will stop, and life will end, but we will run
When nothing is everything and all that we are, we will stop
and sit in the moonlight.

Side by side the world will spin
and words will suddenly fail you.
My smile in your heart will give light to the night,
and we will have a clear view.
From nothing we will see a world of our own, brand new
and ripe for the taking.

Typical me, I capture it all, from grass blade, to hill top,
to star filled night sky.
As usual you sit and see nothing but me, through the tears
that cover your eye.
Fixated on beauty but not the same kind,
we both stare through our hearts with wonder.

Distracted by music that flows from your skin,
we laugh to the song of the river.
The ground beneath us swallows my feet,
and with your breath in my skin I shiver.
When your eyes are alight with the glow of your heart,
I find that I can deny you no longer.

At last I finally meet your eyes, I can feel
your heart beating with mine.
I have never heard your life's rhythm before, not once
in all this long time.
When the silence settles and nothing dares move,
I'll whisper your name to the aether.

You kept your secret buried deep inside
 through all these lonely years,
But now your heart is mine to keep,
you are smiling through your tears.
When the sun rises from the earth and my lips find yours,
our hearts burst into fire.

My hand will hold yours until the ending of time. 
I am a tree. My fingers are roots. You are the earth.
My life.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

This Shadow Life - Why are we Different?

Life is hard. That's true for everyone who has ever lived, and everyone who will ever live.
Every person suffers pain. Death, loss, and disappointment are experiences common to all people.
But we don't all experience depression or suicidal thoughts.
So what's different in those of us who do? What is the difference between the people who are sad for the appropriate amount of time and then move on with their lives, and the rest of us?
Are we broken from the start, down to the very core?

I don't think so.
We are different. That's all.
We might have been normal at one point, but then some trauma happened and pushed us over the edge. I wasn't normal. Never. I might have seemed normal, or at least, not strange enough to raise concern, but I wasn't really. There was always something fundamentally different about me.
Then the trauma happened and I things changed. My world was destroyed and suddenly it became glaringly obvious that I wasn't like everyone else. My reaction was all wrong.

For me, and for many other people I have talked to who suffer depression, we feel like we deserve the pain that we experience. We deserve to suffer and live some half dead version of life.
When we experience some traumatic event, we direct the pain inwards on ourselves.  We accept the pain because we think we deserve it. We welcome it. We blame ourselves for whatever happened to get us to that point.
In some cases we will even do things to make our suffering worse, to inflict more damage and destroy the pieces that are left of our lives.
For many of us, we don't feel that we deserve happiness, or health, or comfort. So we sabotage any chance that we may have of living a 'normal' happy life. This in turn makes us feel worse. We hurt people that we care about and damage anything we come in contact with. Then we feel worse about ourselves, less deserving, and we ruin more and more of our lives in some horrible vicious cycle of self destruction and depression.

We also inflict more pain on ourselves because we need it.
After a while the pain  or the emptiness left in its wake feels like home. We need it to survive.
Often our trauma comes from loss. The loss causes pain, but as the pain fades we begin to feel that we are losing our connection to that moment, that moment of feeling and connection to someone and something that was most important to us. We inflict further pain on ourselves to renew the connection. The regain the feeling that connects us to the most important moments in our lives.

We are not broken in the beginning, we are just people who interact with the world differently. Everyone experiences pain, and loss, but when we feel these things we reflect them inwards onto ourselves.
We blame ourselves, we punish ourselves.

I'm not sure what the message behind this post is. I'm not sure that anything can be done to  change the way we are, the way we react, the way we feel. I just want to help you understand what it is like for me, so that maybe you can better understand yourself, or the people in your life who are experiencing depression or suicidal thoughts. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014


When you have a lot of dead bodies to bury, the task of digging so many graves can seem impossible.
Fortunately the earth seems to have this infinite ability to swallow up death. It doesn't even take long for the grasses and wild flowers to reclaim the bare scraps of earth beneath which silent faces cry into eternity. It doesn't take long for the earth to forget.

Once there was a massacre. My family and I were the only ones to survive. Our hands blistered on shovel handles, our sweat poured and our skin burned as we dug their graves.
There were too many dead and not enough dirt, not enough light, not enough time.
We didn't dig a grave for everyone, but some we dug extra deep.
Standing in the earth with the critters, the soil, and the damp air, I reached up to the sky. The first body was lowered down into my arms. I embraced it, him, one last time and placed him gently down on the soft crumbling earth. He looked peaceful, but so empty. Just a shell now. He was too young to die, but old enough to have seen death as it took him.
I climbed out of the hole and took up the shovel.
The noise that a shovel full of dirt makes when it lands on a dead body is something I cannot describe.
It is something that one can only know from experience. I have too much experience. It is a sound that constantly echoes in my ears. A broken record. Stuck on repeat.
With the rasp of the shovel in the pile of dirt, the fly of soil through the air, the thump as it lands in the hole, I got lost in the never ending rhythm of life an death. With each shovel full I covered his body, I let him go, I released him from my concious thought.
With cool black dirt, the only thing visible in the bottom of the grave, it was time for the second body.
I lowered myself back into the grave ready to receive him.
Standing in the grave I forgot myself for a moment. I laughed to myself and thought, "Haha, the ground is so soft and bouncy here, how weird is that."
The next second I realise why. I'm bouncing on the bloated stomach of the kid I just buried.
With a sickening crash the gravity of what I was doing hit me again. I reached up and took the next body, and placed it down at my feet. Two boys, two brothers, laying together in death.
At least they aren't alone.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Wishes in the Rain

I wish today were rainy,
it would reflect the way I feel.
I could sit and cry and wonder why,
this is the only thing that's real.

I wish that I could forget you,
and the life and the love that we shared.
I wish I could forget how you left me,
so alone and unprepared.

I wish that some day I might find you,
so we can be together once more.
We could have life and love and happiness,
just like we had before.

I wish the days would go faster,
and bring me close by your side.
I always said I would live for you,
but I'm starting to think that  I lied.

I wish the blood would flow faster,
as my veins begin to run dry.
I'm drifting off to see you again,
my tears are happy as I die.

I wish today were sunny,
it would give me hope for something new.
I could sit and think of happy things,
like my future life in heaven with you.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

A new day.

Get lost in the silence inside you,
and the sound of your slow beating heart.
In the darkness of this old day ending,
a new one is preparing to start.

I'm still trying to figure this life out,
still trying to get something right.
But I know I'll get there some day,
I'm not ready to give up this fight.

Though every breath is a struggle,
and every day brings torture unknown.
I'll fight to make something from nothing,
to build a life of my own.

From the shadow of death I will rise,
into golden sunlight once more.
I'll find beauty in all that surrounds me.
I'll find something worth living for.

I'm still lost in the silence inside me,
but there is life in my quick beating heart.
I see the light of the sun almost rising,
this is the day when my life will start.

Farewell to you, my love

I'll take the train to nowhere.
I'll leave my heart behind.
There is a whole world fading behind me,
but still so much more to find.

Endless possibilities before me,
a million decisions to make.
A broken man beside me,
thus far my only mistake.

I have learned to break a promise,
and how to cleave a heart in two.
I have seen and done most everything,
as part of my life here with you.

But every end is a new beginning,
or so they have said to me.
It's time to close this chapter,
this is no longer where I should be.

I thought you were the cure,
for this lonely restless heart.
But the end of this relationship,
is where my real life will start.

I'll bid farewell to you, my love,
and the life that we have shared.
It's time to sever all these ties,
and travel forward unimpaired.