Linking to the DWED pieces I’ve written since the new website relaunched:
Self-explanatory – all mostly from years (seriously like 5-10) ago, creative failure seems to have occurred since tbh.
Eyes Half Shut
Spinning on tiptoes,
like a broken ballerina,
over an ashen face,
set ablaze with death.
A stench of gray, sickly sadness.
Soft curls and perfume,
fall loosly with fragile tears,
spilled mascara turning the blue to black.
Dreaming instead of dancing.
Clumsy feet poised with artificial elegance,
a body poker straight, glass sculptured tension,
Untouchable, until it shatters.
A loud multicoloured blur,
moves past like a thousand galloping horses,
in shades of green and red and purple,
glints of silver spectacles and golden jewels.
They’re watching, her tight lips, her half shut eyes,
the flutter of her lashes as she loses herself,
the only way to stop the shaking.
She falters, with the twist of a weak ankle,
slippers sliding across a metalic stage,
frozen hands set hard against the floor.
Shot down with the shift from soft air
And then stares, into space, past their blank expressions.
She is not there.
Just a dressed up doll, in pieces,
with rose cheeks and sparkled skin.
Dreaming instead of living
my seams are
hands are tied
with coarse string
can’t pull the silk ribbons back
& decorate delicately with a bow
into a darkdeepdirty
by my feet
toes dipped in oil
a spirit escaping
as fabric splits
staples just won’t do
shrinks less and less
when skin has been reduced
to just gritted dust
sprinkles of a shameful past
sweep it away
brush bristles moving death aside
sing a song as you hustle
leave the remains ungrieved
Muddy knees grazed red with playground mischief.
Sand landscapes and magical make-believe.
Auburn strands twisted through branches.
Chalk and Crayola palm prints pressed against bark
We were foxes, and unicorns
Your left hand in mine, your right in hers.
Together, three as a whole.
We needed nobody else.
You were [are] both,
I cried when you left,
even as your cheeks remained dry.
I watched while she learned,
and she danced, she loved, and she grew.
You were blue, and she was green,
and i was purple.
Dark purple, mottled shadow. Bruised.
One rotten apple misplaced between prize-winners.
& Now I wonder
how did I drop, so easily,
to the bottom of the ocean?
Did you see me trip?
A wayward step, subtle slip against the edge,
My mother says,
that my hair is coloured,
with chestnut streaks and auburn lights,
but I know,
that it is just brown.
Plain. Ordinary. Nothing special
Ditch brown. Like the dirt on your shoe.
Sharp silver charms strung along my bracelet,
barbed wire guarding fragile wrists.
A clench of metal chains.
Bubble wrapped, and breakable.
Surrounded by toxic fumes,
and still, I am unmoved.
Sight pinned against a star shot sky.
Hazy, doped up. Strung out,
Skin scratched and punctured,
bullet wounds marking tainted flesh,
and i’m pressing the trigger.
Crimson hand prints against glass.
A mirror reflection smashed and shattered,
slashed porcelain, painted red.
Little cut crosses, a constant reminder,
A hollow shell, gradually cracking.
Outside exterior peeling, melted plastic.
Hunger swallowing empty space.
Charged on a false high,
a lit energy fuse ready to blow.
Brush frail fingers over jutting bones,
counting ribs, by vacant ridges.
Striving for less,
lower red blinking numbers.
Eventually – Zero.
Resistance is my heroin.
A needle scratch to freeze the pain.
Sedating a sick mind,
soothing a defeated soul.
Mould spreading over a petri dish,
Lost in curdled insanity.
Smothered by my safety blanket,
burning fibres that scorch and sting.
Yet, i cling with limp strength,
and sad eyes, that have seen too much.
Lying drowned beneath dying flowers.
Waiting, drifting, fading, falling.
Corners slowly folding in, picture dimming black.
It’s Going To Rain Today
It is going to rain today
buckets and spades are locked away in the closet
a silent air cut down with splashes, of blood, of water,
of fighting will. a halo snapped, broken in two
skeletons thrown across the floor in my wake
perceptions breed like a dabbling monster
i cannot hear it, i will not see it. Led blind and frightened.
Like a fragile old woman, a widow, once a wife.
Birds skim with malice across the water,
catching fish to rip and knaw, with their sharpened beaks
Crouched empty behind this dusty curtain, unable to move
paralysed, set deep in the dirt. Frozen, absent, gone.
watching the cold rain pour down.
Tip the milk away.
Your inch doesn’t match my pint.
Footfalls echo with bangs and blows.
Icicle follicles, tapping nails against hard floor.
No room in the chariot.
You’ll be on your way now.
birds stung of nectared melody.
Crossed heart, sewn mouth.
Spectacles left stranded on the desk.
Offline, Off key, Off site.
Craving the fresh taste of new.
Suck it in, spit it out.
Burrow through the timely seed.
Float amongt the marsh.
Diamonds shine like dirt, ruby grey.
Clingfilm door tight.
Bottling distilled decay.
You won’t find me,
behind the gas, beneath the creases.
at the end of the packet of crisps.
Smudges upon the land.
Wandered out of sight,
vanished from your spot-checked view.
Laid under insanity.
Leaves slowly turning.
Your tune moving further from here.
Creased, crumbled in this battered down house.
A witch lost of tricks, with space left where spirit lay.
Smashed and split windows, leaking musty dust.
Fingernails blunt and dirt-ridden, blood mingling with soil.
Tousled curls and bleary eyes, aside an empty grave,
Hands latched around this body that doesn’t want to be held.
Evidence feeding electric hatred.
Her palms are black, and theirs were red.
Static numbness nursing the unknown, the unseen.
Precious wounds hidden beneath magic marker.
A sparkling fury lights their past placid stare.
Puncturing sadness, a blue rim turned grey.
Frozen tracks marking a chalk white face.
Apologies, apologies, never spent, never felt.
Outlined with charcoal, easily smudged.
Surrounded by ghosts, chilled and harsh voices.
An icy breeze preserving lonlieness through winter.
Searching for cracks in a once white ceiling.
Silent calm burnt by smoke, torture and misery.
A broken heart indented with the flames that they threw.
I wish I was a princess
with tamed curls and a dazzling smile
sat high upon a lush green hill
watching the world float and pass by.
I wish i could turn myself inside out
to show you that I’m bleeding
prick my finger on a spindle
so you can leave me sleeping
I wish I could sing like a maiden fair
soft melodies floating through a breeze
a sparkle, a glow, a beauty blushed coral
you won’t see me drop to my knees
i wish i was an elegant dancer
with poised toes moving, gliding, twirling
a head held high, arms raised to the sky
yet a sinking heart, crying and yearning,
I wish I didn’t have to dream
so much of a new beginning
Images of escape chase me and plead
a single drop to life devoid of meaning.
This snippet of hope is fading, dissolving
like a stone through the water
I’m distantly falling.
then – falling
in a split moment
a second transfixed
twisted and bound
tipped forward –
over the sterile edge of a knife
through invisible arms
and veiled hope
first my head
second my heart
then the shallow surface
ruptured skin dashed with bruises and knicks
strands of auburn pulled from their roots
eyes shut down to shadow
screams calling through the grey
a poisoned pose
of giving in
flooding seeping swimming
up aching veins
filling gaps with i c e
struggling to hold heavy weight
throw needles against the wood
watch them shatter
a sharp edge into the air
breath pulled in so tight
a corset gathering
stemming my voice
whispers turned to white
nails dented over a clogged throat
the last mouthful of life
swallowed down with
a fingertip caught on the needle
crimson dashes across the floor.
but no broken glass.
(Posting old pieces just for reference/storage purposes.)
Monday’s disgusting front page article from The Sun Newspaper has been quite rightfully blasted from all corners. It’s scathing headline “1,200 KILLED BY MENTAL PATIENTS” is glaringly unsettling and sensationalist on first impact. The article that follows reads as damaging and woefully inaccurate. Social network users were responding to the tabloid in force last night, with many calling for a full apology from the paper.
A response penned collectively by charities Time to Change, Rethink Mental Illness and Mind condemns The Sun piece as ‘disappointing’ and ‘damageable’. They state that it “will only fuel the stigma and prevent more people from seeking help and support when they need it.”
Information that The Sun article is based upon is twisted to suit a scaremongering, screaming agenda. Their headline, while based on the message that many people have been let down by mental health provision, is distorted into an attack and focuses on minority details. First of all there is no such thing as ‘mental patients’ but instead individuals that struggle with poor mental health – sorry to break your monstrous and unstable, axe-wielding image there Mr Murdoch. True figures reveal that the number of homicides carried out by those with mental health issues, including those experiencing psychosis has decreased.
The Sun also conveniently failed to mention that suffers are in fact ten times more likely to be victim’s, rather than perpetrators of crime and violence than anyone else. They are also a much larger risk to themselves through self-harm, neglect or suicidal intentions than they are to others. Mental illness can quite often be secretive and contained with many sufferers going about their lives without ever harming anybody else. With the right treatment many can go on to fully recover.
In spite of the reality, sadly the stigma against those suffering from mental illness is still rife. Research by YouGov revealed that people with mental health problems are regarded as the most discriminated-against group in Britain.
A petition has been started by Twitter user and psychology teacher Rhiannon Lockley at Change.org. Miss Lockley requests that The Sun “Recognise that they have acted unethically in misrepresenting information about the mentally ill in this harmful way, and to print a full correction to this effect.” while also asking them to “Make a donation to mental health charities to cover any profit made from this story and to apologise to those misrepresented.”
So in fitting with my blog title, I found this very old piece I wrote at college for English Literature homework. So we are talking 2005 here. Likely to need a lot of editing now but I was proud of it at the time so hope it doesn’t seem too amateur. Basically we had to devise a stream of consciousness for one of the characters in ‘Mrs Dalloway’ instead of Clarissa herself as Virginia Woolf does. I chose Septimus Warren Smith. For those who haven’t read it he has come back from the war with shell-shock and is mentally deteriorating. I am not even reading this through, just straight posting as it was, so please don’t judge the writing skills of my 17 year old self too harshly! Note this was before the creative writing degree!
Stream Of Consciousness – Septimus Warren Smith
Here she stood before him, Lucrezia, his wife of many years, a stranger. With an expression that seemed to have been marked there, engraved with a scalpel through soft flesh, as though she had been born that way. She wore a sunken look of disappointment, framed by weary tear filled eyes. There she was, mixing up eggs for his breakfast, acting like all was normal, asking him if he wanted boiled or scrambled in that shrill voice that felt like a cat clawing at his throat. For a moment he just stared, behind the white surface with its dusky blue smudge he could see the fury she hid. She was angry, frustrated, her inside conscious sending him secret messages, knowing all well that he could hear. “Get out. Leave” she said “Leave me in peace”, in this pristine house with its sparkling washed surfaces and buttercream bed-linen, pastel violet walls that concealed the putrid air of distress.
He wondered slowly out of the kitchen and through the living room, pausing at the surrounding walls as he passed. There were her paintings, landscapes to which they had never been and portraits of people they hadn’t met. The characters there were laughing at him, laughing at his confusion. Yet perhaps it was their way of affection, the only means to which they could yield a connection – as surely they realised who he was?
He paused by the window, its open mirrored panes displaying his reflection like a harsh slap in the face. He did not recognise himself, just an empty shell protecting the magic within. His attention shifted to the garden, trees were billowing in the breeze above the grass that had not been cut in so long, a subtle hint of chaos contrasting against the flower baskets and shrubs placed so delicately in the soil. Tulips were spinning and dancing in the wind, like ballerinas on their tiptoes, an array of different colours waved and called to him, in purple and blue, white and dusk orange, with their petals raised to the heavens. Luring him, teasing him, with such fragile prettiness, and telling him to go, to fly like a bird to the sky that would land in warm and comforting territory.
But he was sure now. He would join Evans. He would not leave by the backdoor, piled with garbage and yesterdays papers, scuttling like a filthy insect through the soil like they wanted him to. Instead, he would crash and bang and scream, fall like a dart embracing gravity. Leaving a distinct mood of shock, realisation over the signs they had missed.
He did not belong here. Placed like a martyr amongst sinners, a Dickens slipped into a bookshelf next to mere manuals and transcripts. Back in the heart of the town, he was the one shrouded in black, dripping with difference. He did not understand why Lucrezia insisted on dragging him there to the doctor, a horses cart pulling a heavy, reluctant load. They were caught among an irritating commotion of excited civilians thrilled by the presence of some shiny motor car and guessing wildly at the famous faces that might be sat behind the darkened panels. So naïve, as they did not realise that he Septimus, the Messiah, was far greater than any Queen or Prime Minister?
Suddenly, as if shifting from one world to another, he heard her again. ‘Septimus, Septimus’. Could he not get any peace? These calls likened to that of his poor mother. He could clearly remember her lined brow and chapped, down turned lips, so close to that of Lucrezia now. She was no longer beautiful, and it was this beauty that he had been attracted to at the party, where he took her hand for the first time and asked her to glide with him. Against the music and the iridescent moon, she had seemed so perfect.
I am going to start using this space to post creative writing and links to the blogs I am writing at DWED and perhaps elsewhere in the future. A portfolio of sorts?
If I put this here it should hopefully make me more likely to stick to it!