Peering though hidey holes

Sometimes all I see are people living lives I should have, could have. Achieving the feats I mean to. Especially those working in journalism and writing for a living, or studying. Concrete aims that once felt tangible, yet over years that stone has been bashed down into rubble eventually just dust. I am left mourning a shadow, a ghosted existence. My reality is so stale, like hardened bread.

Oh, this wretched, flailing thing. It won’t leave me despite how much I try so hard to ignore it and take a stand. But my resolve is riddled with bullet marks. Rain water drips through and I become flooded, engulfed, unable to see through the clammy air and from vacant eyes bleeding smudged mascara.

I hate it. But how much is now a part of me? Ironically I welcomed it as a way to soothe my own stinging self-loathing, and yet now it is what I despise the most of what I am, what I have become.

It was all a dirty trick. I colluded with witchery, yet with complete obliviousness.

Peering through the hidey holes from this cardboard box, looking at the stars. I can’t stand the sunlight, but twilight moonshine casts a shower of promise. It’s meaningful when you are constantly surrounded by black within black within black.

I won’t fade out. Not just yet. I have more to do, more to type. Words are tumbling out again, and it’s been so long. It feels like exhaling after holding my breath for too long. It feels good. Even if just rambled musings, it’s worthwhile to me.



They may notice my weary glance, the tint of sadness,

but this trembling underneath is not seen.

Yet, It engulfs me,

in ripples and shakes, of paranoia.

Constant tides of fear, flooding

me from the inside out.


This sandy beach we walk along.

Is but a beautiful blur.

As the noisy, incessant noises

are louder than the crashing tide

against the pebble, seaweed washed sand.

Then as daylight is swallowed into black

the waves slam and burst, colliding against the cliff-edge,

Shaving away the edges of loose, crumbling rock.


You turn to me and laugh.

Pick up a stone and cast it against the water.

I smile back, struggling to move my lips.

The pool is so deep, so easy

to slip under, with rocks concealed in pockets

Virginia-Woolf-style.  She was a muse to you after all,

with those eccentric whims, long hair and floating dresses,

ink smudges marking her worn writing fingers.

The same as your own, complimenting

peeling skin, like strings of stretched webbing.

Parchment –like. One of Anorexia’s calling cards.


Today is my thirtieth birthday.

For more than half of my life I have been eating disordered.

I am alive.

I have never been a healthy adult weight.

I am alive.

I am grappling day in and out with a chronic, enduring and relentless illness.

I am alive.

I have sabotaged my body in too many ways to mention. I have starved myself to the bone

I am alive.

Inside I am black and blue, attacked with self-disgust and loathing.

I am alive.

Parts of me are faulty, others ruined beyond repair.

I am alive.

Now, I am riddled with scars and puncture wounds.

I am alive.

I don’t have children or significant other. I probably can’t have children of my own, physically.

I am alive.

In fact, I’ve never had a romantic relationship, and that brings me shame.

I am alive.

I don’t have a career in the city like X or a stable 9 to 5 job like Y.

I am alive.

I am not preparing to apply for my first mortgage or regular feeding a rising savings account.

I am alive.

I can’t say I’ve really made many people too proud.

I am alive.

I have survived, others have so sadly not. Whether sheer luck or the inability to let go, I made it this far.

These words come on the back of some good advice. A very wise woman and a dear friend talked some sense into me the other evening when I was feeling low about the upcoming big 3 0. She said: “Claire, for everything we’ve done to ourselves we shouldn’t be here.” I so easily could not be. She’s so right. It IS something to celebrate.

Looking back is futile and comparing is useless. This can be enough. My beating heart, my steady pulse. Shaky, claw-like fingers gripped around the edge of life. This life that is mine and that can be more in the years stretching on. I hope.

You – sporadic poem written in 5 minutes

Yeah okay….random and written in haste but hell I will share bc why not? Opinions really, really appreciated but ofc this will need an edit or 900. Title to be re-considered.


Like a part of my brain that is bruised,

You loom constantly.


Don’t think I will ever forget,

The timid feet stretching forth,

Then blink of red squared digits.

A sink, or gasp of my breath.

Followed by trembling grey hands,

Walking over a cold keyboard,

The relief, the comfort,

Of disclosure, of understanding.


Yet as the death toll grew,

The outsiders lingered, then

Migrated. As you stood,

Suddenly famous for nothing,

You wished to be.


This chamber echoes, with

Scribbles left on the walls.

The ones you cannot find,

The ones you call, but

There is no answer.

The lost. The mourned.



With every beat, breath, inch.

To keep on keeping on.

Valuing the small grasps,

Of sand, of progress,

Against that looming spot.


That blackness.

You refuse to give a name,

To give it space, but still it moves

Without warning, without any cause,

Aside from sabotage, oblivion.

It aims to smash your hinges,

Blow the inside out. Taking

All, everything you fought to preserve.

Hold on, keep holding on,

To the sides, don’t let go,

Trying, trying, always trying.


I’ll tell you a secret,

There’s no glamour, no shine here,

No easy way to feel better,

This outlet will burn you,

So hard you will scream,

A voice swallowed up by years,

Too many years.

You’ll be looking back,

Gutted, devastated, devoid,

As the young ones frolic

With that dark bruise,

As if it is a childhood toy,

A stuffed unicorn, or bear,

With one eye left open.

It’s a trap, a cat’s cradle,

A spiteful, trap of wicked trickery.

That only you will spin.

Untitled (for now)

I literally just wrote this. First poem in years. It’s something, I guess.


This irritant of a thing,

Lagging on my lapels,

fresh faced and starry-eyed,

too eager, a suspect stranger

& she rushes up through me,

Sweeping like a tidal wave

Leaving me soaked,

with too much feeling.


I prefer to be dry, to the bone.

Skin cracked, stretched parchment

In a space that I can click into

Like a bottle top, tightly locked

Twisted sideways, a familiar

warm cocoon of numbness.


It’s quiet and I can move

With ease, an animal burrowing

Into its territorial habitat,

I shrivel down, into myself

There’s a subtle sting, and still,

She flaps and wails, rudely

Interrupting the peace,

Of a perfect delusion.