I still dream of it
Wanting to be recognized for something
Yearning to be seen
By someone who could change my life
I've come to an understanding that my life
Isn't supposed to be like that
I was made for another purpose
One that I couldn't always see
I always wanted to something I was never good at
I tried my hardest to be better
But it wasn't meant to be
The way it speaks to me
I wanted that to be my life
And it still can be
Just not like how I still imagine it
I'm holding onto a dream that I know I should let go of
But it keeps me going
So maybe it's okay
I just can't keep holding onto the hope that'll only be let down one day
I need to leave all my love, and my longing behind.
I can't carry it with me if I want to survive.
It weighs me down.
It drags me under forcing me to drown.
It's a figment, I know. But fear cements my grip, and I cannot let go.
An eating disorder feels safe, until it tortures you. I can't give it up- how can I give it up? And I just don't feel sick enough.
The path I'm walking is one of discovery. Somewhere past an empty tomb, I've met a Man whose love I can trust. He makes me want to loosen my grip, sigh, lean into Him. He makes me want to let go. Of this thing we call control.
My son so innocent could lose everything with one wrong word, our fear his autisum.
I know you're always there, as if you were a chunk of pure terror that had been chilling in space but had one day decided to dive down to Earth and had buried itself into my heart so that it became a part of it. Sometimes I feel like I could cut open my chest and cut it out and it, and all its heaviness would be gone and everything would be solved.
Sometimes it's fine, we're fine dude. I forget about it, I get distracted, and for once, I feel okay. But even though I feel as fearless as a lion, and on the top of the world, it pulls me back to the ground and I don't know who I am.
Sometimes, it takes control of me, melting down into a liquid and entering my veins, flowing through my body like water on a prayer wheel, powering it even more as it flies with my red blood cells. It makes me go crazy, and I feel as though I was going insane, and the world is bent and swirling around in ways I do not understand because it looks the same but it doesn't.
Sometimes I feel like it is the only thing that makes sense even though it casually drops a bucketful of irrationality into my mind and that doesn't make sense. But it's the only thing that's keeping me from going over the edge and I cling onto it until it becomes who I am. Which is terrifying to be honest. Yet, if I let it go, I'd crumble into dust as the rubber bands that had been holding me together the whole time snap.
Mirror mirror out the door
Why am I holding onto you, when I should let you go? Why am I afraid to let the real you show? She made me this way you know, (Mother), it was never me... I never had the chance to know you not at all, not since you were three. My dear friend, my only truth, my mirror, my honesty, can you see the real me? Of course not, but that's not true, I stand before you with a plain naked canvas, every morning! You are the witness to my before, my process and my perfection. Who am I without this exquisiteness? Who is beyond this reflection, if not the made-up make-up dressed in pretence?
It's you that has to go, you that draws me near, you that I pose to, that I sing to, that I smile falsely to - It is you dear mirror! I will hide you for a moment, into the background you shall fade... But I know I shall be back for you because where would I be, without the one constant in my life, who shelters me from my faults and sends me on my way out the door, looking flawless.
The Church I Left
It’s been a few years since I left them. I loved my Church, I had many friends and really grew in my walk with God. They taught me so much and for that I will be forever grateful. They taught me about family, and working together for the greater good, how to help others in a way of understanding and healing. Accepting we aren’t perfect, even those who are in leadership and those we look up too. They taught me to use my gifts of patience, mercy, praying for others and healing through understanding. I also learned I was not great with young kids, and assisting in Sunday School. So why would I leave and why would I need to let them go??
The longer I was there, the more I began to feel like a worker bee and not really involved as a person who belongs. They spoke a lot about being a family and being apart of the core group. However I felt more pushed to the side as being older, even being only two years older then the pastor. My bible study group was older then me, and while it seemed petty I was not included in some of the social activities with my age group usually due to my daughter being an adult, most of them had younger kids still and that I was single. I want to believe that wasn’t the case….and it was just shrugged off as we didn’t think you would be interested.
I spent a lot of time trying to prove to myself it didn’t matter and I made excuses for it. Then I moved into justifying why I left and why it was ok to be angry about it….both accounts I do realize didn’t make me very Christian minded. I then moved into the phase of just simply trying to replace them in my heart, which never worked. Finally I tried to make them the villain in my own mind, that they were not very good Christians….
I laugh now because the problem was my own hurt feelings, I could have handled it better and most of all just see I didn’t fit in in that way. Holding on to the anger doesn’t serve me, and it doesn’t hurt them. Moving on and remembering the good is what I needed to keep, and to remember we are all human. Christian or not, we are human and sometimes we just don’t fit even when we try and convince ourselves different. Letting it go, and just sitting with the hurt was tougher then I had expected. But it was needed to move on and be able to try again.
An Addiction To Confession
I was an open book - without the faintest glimmer of hope that someone could still be interested enough to pick me up, blow the cobwebs from my spine, and read my dusty pages.
Now I am a dog who’s been told to sit, squirming betwixt the two desires; to please my master with obedience, or a lick to that warm callused hand.
Gah! ...Get me to a nunnery, that I may flirt with my god in chaste innocence!
A sign of change
It was another Friday night in the flat on the canal. It had become my second home after my catastrophic reentry from Greece and four months of boozing and working for pennies and falling from churches and nearly dying. It was warm and full of characters, not a lick of privacy, a mini commune if you will, but there was no other place I would have rather been. I had gotten used to the constant comings and goings and on the quiet days when I found myself with only one or two friends, I felt nearly lonely.
People started arriving in dribs and drabs , each one helping themselves to the kettle and to the dwindling supply of tea bags. Some came from work, or study or like the majority who were on the dole from the day drifting in and out of pubs waxing philosophically about life and trying desperately to find a point to it all. The evening got underway as usual, from tea we moved onto tins and flagons of cheap cider. We were waiting patiently for a very important person to arrive, Fergus, he was the man who brought our smoke. A quiet fella with piercing eyes and a tough yet gentle way about him. Of all the people who passed through that flat, he was the most interesting. He had a respectful day job and just did this on the side and did enjoy the company even though he wasn’t part of the ‘inner circle’. We had become a rather large clan and as happens with clans, cracks in the equilibrium were starting to show.
Within the group a few couples had formed over the years and through no fault of their own, simply growing up and changing direction and perspective they began questioning their futures together. Some had gotten together after a drunken night together, I had been victim to that. Two wasted years thinking that was what you were supposed to do. A one night stand can’t just be that or can it? The girls seemed more together, some were nurses, others studying and working and others still planning on the all illusive and difficult immigration to the paradise land of Australia. The lads seemed to be stuck in a sort of limbo, the refusal to accept jobs they deemed beneath them left them on permanent dole payments and angry discussions about how things should be.
It was about ten o’clock when we heard ranting coming from the front garden. I ran to the bedroom window and looked down to see Brendan, probably the most charismatic human being I had met up until that point in my life, arms wide singing a Neil Young tune between laughter and senseless ramblings. He had obviously made a few pit stops before his arrival and was looking worse for wear. We welcomed with the usual camaraderie and swiftly handed a pint. Brendan had dropped off the radar recently and from what we knew had some family things to sort out at home in Tipperary. Dublin then seemed as far away as London. Some of the group we had already lost to far corners of the world, Phil, who had actually witnessed the taking out of non other than one of Irelands most infamous criminals, The General, had disappeared to New Zealand. Antonella went to Australia and others joined the long line of ferry immigrants to London. Totsie, the scruffy, mousy and mouthiest of the clan had gone to New York with high hopes of becoming a barman. He bragged that he already had a job set up and that he would never set foot again in rainy old backward Ireland.
My former best friend Nathalie arrived with a couple of new acquaintances. We had had a massive falling out, typical girl stuff, random jealousy involving a guy. I hadn’t seen her in quite some time so we sombrely saluted each other then went about revelling with others. The flat was full to the brim with people and the smell of smoke and drink had thickened the air. Conversations that night were intense. The country was at the tail end of a long recession and we were all weary from it. The shine had gone off the suffering melancholy which had inspired many of us over the years to write poetry, songs and to share moments of solidarity. We now wanted a change and the anger and anxiety over our futures had begun to show its horns. Waves of laughter mixed with sharp sparring of ideas and opinions cut through the evenings atmosphere. I spent a good portion of that night talking to the smoke man, Fergus. He wasn’t either way about anything that night, just observing the spectacle and I was in need of a quiet corner to myself.
Gus arrived home around eleven and he was well oiled as usual. His thick accent, often mumbling half arsed tales and floppy hair which covered his eyes made him our groups teddy bear. Many an evening was spent laughing uncontrollably at one of his nonsensical stories. We asked him for news about Totsie, they were best mates and we expected him to have an update, it had been 4 months since he had left for New York and no one had heard anything since. Around the room there were several joints being prepared. I was working on one next to Fergus when I realised I ran out of papers. I tried to get Hillary’s attention but she was in fits of laughter over something and the music was too loud so I went across the room to Brendan. Someone started knocking on the door. It was the flat downstairs. There was a phone call for Gus. He staggered downstairs closing the door behind him, trying not to let the smoke waft out into the hall. Brendan hand me his last two skins and I finished my joint with Fergus. We started sharing before passing it around to the others.
Gus came back and closed the door. He also turned off the music and appeared to have lost 5 pints of blood. He typically pale skin had gone three shades whiter and he trembled while he mumbled something about just having received a phone call. We all stopped what we were doing and asked him what was going on. Totsie had been found dead. Beaten to a pulp outside the pub he had been working at in New York. His father was on his way to identity the body. We all sat in silence. The news just wouldn’t sink in. Gus stood and cried. The room seemed to fade in and out. It was as if a ice cold wind had come in and blown us all frozen. Someone went to put the kettle on. Gus sat down on the couch and we gathered around. He had apparently pissed a fella off that evening, the wrong fella, by drunkenly hitting on his girlfriend. He was set upon after hours, alone on the footpath with no one to defend him. We had always said his mouth would get him in trouble one day. It chilled us to think that he died like that and so far from home.
The flat that night had begun to feel claustrophobic and after the news of Totsie I started to look around the room at the faces that had become my day to day for so long. The habitual meetings, the pub crawls, the nights spent aimlessly drinking and smoking until the wee hours of the morning only to sleep in and get up and do it all again. It wasn’t just me, the others felt the same I know they did. The looks on their faces said the same thing that was going through my mind. ‘Its time’. For so long we had lived a cloistered existence, protecting one another, maintaining this safe little world. Exploration had become our enemy and we were stifled. I started remembering the dreams and ambitions I had before letting myself lull into this placated state. A writer, an artist, going back to university. Everything had been put on standby, yes by the economy, the country our circumstances, but also by fear. It was easier living this way, the clan moved together, thought together, drank together and stagnated together. The phone call that night had brought a clarity that I was not expecting.
It was about four in the morning when we all crashed and I found myself nestling in Fergus’s arms. Reflecting, we had spent nearly the entire evening together. And it was as if this ‘new’ person, different from all the rest, symbolised my break. A breath of fresh air, a light at the end of a tunnel that so many of us had created around us. I was saddened for the loss of one of us. But I thanked that moment for setting me free. That morning when I woke, the bodies strewn about the place and the stale smell of smoke and half drunk tins made my stomach turn. I wanted nothing more than an empty house. Fergus awoke and grabbed his hoodie. I walked him downstairs and it was at the door that he asked the question that would be the key to the rest of my life: “Do you fancy meeting for a coffee later?”. And the answer that would seal my fate: “Yes”.
one day we’ll die
a toll from under, a peal of thunder, a deal unheard of,
a half sole blunder, a hole in a soul torn asunder,
a secret scroll plundered - a hundred men muster,
a childhood monster, a toy bunker, a plastic lead dumper,
a roof jumper, he slumped her,
fell upside down on a nun in a gown,
survived so he learned sin,
ever since he arrived, tethered wings sunken in,
slack and demon black, feathers drip ink and wax,
crimson tracks stack like lightning cracks,
whips and snaps, slaps and claps, hands on straps,
knives in the back