Category Archives: Fear


I was not involved in #NaPoWriMo (now #GloPoWriMo) last year, and while I can’t commit to the whole 30 days, this year I may dip in and out….

Here’s a poem about choice:


There is a door
at the end
of the hall,
Shut tight.
It is not locked,
but jammed
with fear.

How did I end up here?

I press an ear
to the wood,
I think I could,
I think I should,
But is an open door
really freedom?
Or just the beginning
of a razor edged wall?

Will I fly?

Will I fall?

Should I sacrifice it all
for possibility?
Or is that naive of me?
In reality the
shades are grey
And so I stay
For now…
Better the devil
you vowed
to know.

Just a Girl

lay around
abandoned in the
concrete of
my mind. there in
I’d just listen;
I could never see,
I was
a girl

napowrimo2015Today’s NaPoWriMo challenge was to write an Erasure.This involves taking a pre-existing text and blacking out or erasing words, while leaving the placement of the remaining words intact.
I took the first page of the first novel that I wrote and used it to create the poem above. You can see what the original page and the edited page look like below (click to enlarge):

just a girl

The Wolf at the Door

The wolf is at the door,
There’s no corner for to hide,
Its claws are carving rage
into the splintered wood outside.

And I could not save my grandma,
She died frozen to her seat,
For the wolf feeds on the old
who can no longer pay for heat.

And I cannot find a lumberjack,
A trade that’s now in deficit,
For the wolf made sure the local one
had to claim state benefits.

So now I’m in trouble too,
And I did the best I could,
But none will give employment
to the poor girl in the hood.

So the wolf is at the door,
And I’m going to let him in,
What good is fighting when the truth
is that the wolf will always win?

This poem was inspired by the Pooky’s Poems prompt from yesterday, which was to write a modern take on a traditional fairy tale. I went for a bit of a metaphorical interpretation.

Sticks and Stones

Here I am.
Your sacrificial lamb,
I have taken off my clothes,
So please, look close,
I was fervently reproached,
Mentally morose,
You stripped me with your lack of care,
But now I choose to lay myself bare:
You see, I was scared,
I was undeniably unprepared
for the verbal daggers that stabbed at the air.
Go on, take it in;
All over my skin is a network of unseen scars
inflicted each time you’d lambaste
with dead words
– both cold and long past –
You may not see them,
And your blindness I excuse
After all,
You are the abuser,
You are not the abused.
And the truth you may refuse,
But I think you always knew,
You threw hateful words into the ether
with not one flicker of regret,
Non-physical, yes,
But they manifested
and then they festered,
An invisible threat,
A tiny heckler behind the parapet,
Unrelenting and unkind,
You may forget what you once chimed,
But every slur is etched into my mind,
and has remained unvanquished
all this time.
But then I changed.
I unyoked myself from your chains,
Refused to play your petty mind games,
I used the pain that you inflicted,
Little man,
You see you broke me,
Sticks and stones I might withstand,
But words…
Words have the power of a burning brand;
They leave lasting marks upon a heart
Yet while I am marred,
The scars have made my skin turn hard,
And they have fortified my guard,
You want to test my new façade
with your spiteful shards of spoken fear?
You really want to test this new veneer?
Well go ahead,
Little man,
Here I am.

Image Credit: “Trash” by Richard Johnson

This poem was inspired by a photography project by Richard Johnson called “Weapon of Choice” in which he sought to convey the unseen damage of verbal abuse. I also doubled up and included today’s prompt from Pooky’s Poems, which was to write a poem in which someone takes off their clothes for an unusual reason.

Brain Storm

It’s raining inside my head.


I can feel each drop
as it cascades through my mind
forming translucent sheets
of icy coldness,
sharp as knives,
that flood the echoes of my consciousness
while a cackling clap of thunder
drowns out

Then a sudden bolt of lightning
illuminates a cavern
in the corner of my memory
that I had taken to be lost.

And in the unrelenting rain
that has now shaped a spiteful sea
and amidst the harrowing
of the storm,
that fleeting flash of light
found a minute memory
of you and me
that was vague and long forgotten.

But still it pulled me to its harbour
into the eye of this great storm
where it held me in an
unexpected calm.

All that chaos
all around me
and I found comfort
in an us
from long ago.

And in that eerie respite
at the centre of this tempest
I found my

Persona Non Grata

Look at this wretch;
The sum of all fears,
The flesh of her cheeks
bedashed with the smears
of her tears,
A salty network of roads
carved into pitted skin,
Eyes that tell of sin;
Wet with regret and raw with
self pity that roars from within.

A head heavy and burdened with thoughts
that have murdered her brain,
That houses a mind that is curdled with pain,
Agony that pulses through jugular veins,
That lumbers on shoulders
that are weaker and older
than their owner can feign.

A back that is troubled
and is sore
and is doubled
with an epoch of carrying the world and its whore,
A heart that is failing that is heavy and wailing
in a racked chest that’s not fit to cradle this war.

And the fat that’s in orbit
engorges the core
as it folds and it rolls in incredible reps,
This flesh in excess
that encumbers this ogress
is a vile and deplorable
horrible mess.

Legs that have walked,
That have staggered and have faltered,
That – could they both talk –
would tell tales of despair,
Of a path none would follow,
Of soul-sucking sorrow,
Of a journey to the depths
of a hellish repair.

Feet that are calloused,
That were hardened with malice
on the road that was travelled by
this haggard Alice
as she tramped through rabbit hole,
Down through the madness,
Through bedlam,
Through hellfire,
And ended up here.

Here where I stare
and I cry with despair,
I reflect this defection,
I regret this reflection,
And shiver and retch
at the sight of the wretch,
Of the me that is here,
That appeared oh so clear,

And it’s clear
that it’s her
that is me
in this mirror.


Let It Go

Long wooden pole
Louse infested
Makeshift hook at one end
Lowered into the water
Blindly splashing about
Knowing it’s out there
– Then –
The hook catches something
A pungent smell rising
Into the night air
Mixed with cold sweat
With last ounces of strength
Digging heals into the fresh mud
– Gritting teeth –
The thing is dragged
To the bank
Sopping lapels tightly clenched
As it is heaved ashore
A dizzying head
From the smell
From the fear
A bead of sweat drops
Questions asked:
What the
Is this?
– Two more drops –
Answers given:
The past
– A slither of pain –

Throw it back…

The Edge

Where do I go from here?
Standing at the edge of my future in fear
Reflecting my past in my tears?
The now presents itself
shrouded by a cloak of darkness,
Its stealth preventing my freedom,
Its starkness inventing the reason
that I live without breathing,
I dream without sleeping
and I’ve stopped without ceasing,
Standing at the edge of my future
– The dawn of my season –
and just freezing?
My arms are nailed to the cross of my past,
Held fast by the demons I’ve fought to surpass,
Their poisonous whispers a virtual mask,
Drowning my sanity in a tempestuous bath
of guilt and profanity,
Of destruction and vanity,
Of confusion and apathy,
And I struggle for freedom from what has gone by
From the pain,
From the disappointment,
From the lies,
But in my efforts to purify and to rectify
I realise:
I stand not at the edge of my future this night,
But at the brink of demise,
My ending is nigh.
I must revolutionise my guise.

One Drink

A tiny little pill
lies still,
Invisible in the bubbles
as they pass my lips,
Then thunder
A jolt as it slams into my brain,
The pain,
I don’t understand,
I only had one drink,
Why can’t I think?
The lights are too bright,
And the music,
Its baseline has no end,
Where are my friends?

A car, a locked door.
Where am I?
Have I been here before?
Why can’t I get out?
Who is he?
The man in red next to me?
Can’t he hear me plead?
A voice now,
From outside my mind,
Is it mine?
It begs “let me go”
Can he hear it though?
Am I dead?
Oh my head!
Where are we going?
I want to go home,
The thump in my dome
is excruciating now,
I can’t see,
I can barely breathe,
Why is he next to me
touching my knee?

A room now,
A room with a bed,
It still makes no sense in my head,
Oh my head!
This isn’t my house…
The man, the man in the red,
He’s breathing on my neck,
Am I lying down?
I smell the beer on his breath,
Feel the breath on my hair,
Why is he touching me down there?
Why can’t I scream?
Is this a dream?
Then a tearing pain between my legs,
My arms and legs are dead,
Am I only fighting in my head?
Oh my head!
Why won’t it stop?
When will it end?
And then…
Then he is gone,
I see the dawn,
It is over I think,
In a blink,
After just one drink.

I feel sick.