This collection embodies raw emotion and struggles with Mental Illness and Identity. They are my most personal poems and demonstrate the journey I have had with my own mental health, as it has fluctuated over the years and responded to the environments and situations I have been in. They demonstrate the lowest moments of my life and the fragility I have felt within myself.
It is important for me to express how I feel through poetry because I find it hard to talk to others. For me, it has opened up a conversation that I was scared to have and allows me to reflect on how far I have come in my Mental Health journey - I hope to inspire others to do the same.
If self-deprivation was a hobby,
she would be an artist
and the paint strokes
would be her tears.
make the painting complete
and viewers, near and far
as if they were approaching
(But without the cataclysms of broken
nights and melancholy laughter,
only spectators to madness).
If self-harm was a game
she would be a player
in the gambling fields of Las Vegas.
Rolling, throwing and spinning dice
with the Devil on her shoulder.
And the angel,
having lost its morals,
takes the back-seat, grinning from ear-to-ear.
Basking in the formality of exchange between
deep-set whispers cemented in her mind.
And yet, most peculiar, the shadow
who lies fondly behind her
sits up, walks and perches over.
Then, a sharp cut creates a fondness
for the girl who glances after.
But the pain is as sweet
as a cyanide-kiss.
As warm as hands around your neck;
impressions of fingertips.
As delicate as death is to a dying bird
whose neck is broken.
Sorrow no further apart
than sea is to sand.
Slowly breaking, day-by-day;
and as the sun dies
it is born again into a solemn world
with rain, and thunder, and hail
and an unbreakable darkness
with light shining only dimly,
cascading deep shadows and shapes
But if self-love was a person
it'd be a stranger.
Passed in the street, in the park,
on the cross-bridge between
road and water.
In a face of an old woman,
who weary and tired,
drapes her hands heavy by her side,
thick with the handles of plastic bags
filled with food; food for one, only one.
In a man, whose hoodie
shielded you from the sight of his sadness,
and blinded you to avoid him,
fearful of the stereotypes
that you made mockery of.
But the only friend you know is
in the mirror, the shattered splinters;
the icy glare; the warped reflection.
The fear in your lungs, coating your breath
with thick blood and water.
The wild-kiss of loneliness stiff in your joints,
frost in your muscles, winter in your bones
and you lay stuck on that bed, never to move,
only to drown-alone.
With only your scarred hand to hold.
And the Devil on your shoulder.
Sleeping With Noise (2018)
When sleep comes it comes with promises;
fulfilment for a mind tired,
and too alive.
Sleep tight dear heart.
Awake with morning,
rise with the sun.
all I do is sleep.
Tired mind, no rest for the weak.
But all I do is sleep.
Moments change when my head upon my pillow,
rested, falls asleep.
My mind alive with pictures, falling deeper.
Wait, am I dreaming or dying?
My body filled with nightmares,
Falling again. No rest for the wicked.
I do not wake. I am never awake.
What is living?
If I cannot escape to the moving pictures,
I am not living.
So I choose to sleep, where the worlds are only mine.
Better than life.
Filled with better people,
But still filled with noise.
A Call for Light (2018)
The cold, harsh winter.
The piercing touch of rain
but the glimmer of the sunshine
escaping through the window pane
barely touches me.
Hardly there at all,
but there all the same:
not a mask, nor a superpower
nor a way to escape the dreaded sting of time,
staring eyes, staring right through me.
Anonymity cannot save me from the daytime,
cannot spare me in the night
where the moonlight never reaches me.
Translucency cannot keep me in the picture,
not even in the dark-wood of the frame
or the nail, struck hard, grasping the wall.
I cannot even be the dents in the plaster
where paintings, defeated in battle, give way
and fall, crash onto the floor.
Not even the glass splinters, that scattered
dare to slash, gash, cut and prick.
Invisibility does not allow my scars to remain
on those that endeavour to pick me up.
Does not allow me to make my mark,
scratch out my name onto their skin;
their hands; their hearts.
It is not my virtue, not my weight
nor my choice, but certainly my fate;
it is my mockery and my oppressor,
yet it thrives in my blood,
occupies my face, breathes my lungs,
Beats in vain for it is my name.
I beg you light
unwrap my crystalline.
Thaw my transparency.
Burn my cellophane;
bless me bright, aglow, even hazy.
Gift me luminosity, brilliance, cloudiness,
radiance-but I fear-do not turn me into shade.
A Death Through Poetry (2017)
Unlocking the door and there you see a figure not meant for your
drowned in blood disguised,
arms cut so deeply by scars.
I'm sorry that this is the way you were greeted with goodbye;
pale broken lips and stone-cold eyes.
I'm sorry that when you lifted up that lifeless hand braided in scars,
you saw the bracelet only bought six weeks before. Birthday gift.
That painted silver-red token of your love now only paraded in the deep, dark grief on the arm you once touched,
I'm sorry that if it had been another way it would have been body parts,
concrete ground. Head half-bashed in and hardly recognisable.
Or body lying on a bed, not half asleep,
Pile of sick near the mouth you once kissed.
While the pills do their bidding. Unleashing poison into veins.
Sure enough to grasp her before you reach the hospital.
I'm sorry that I reached for the knife rather than the phone to call you,
and when matchsticks burned I'd rather consider their flame than your words.
I'm sorry that in life
I was no more living than in death.
That I chose to shake hands with darkness rather than enveloping in your hug.
And in my distress chose to remain silent.
Giving you no more than a whisper when you asked how I was,
or shook my head,
No knowledge of the demons lurking in my breath.
And how I breathed sharply in sleep,
from shards of my despair crying
'I cannot take this anymore'
and never letting you hear.
I'm sorry that girl you'd grown to love
died long before
her longest friend.
Left someone cast in shadows; ghosts, monsters
under the bed she never left.
And that my alibi:
was all you knew.
Sorry through your words, sorry through your lies to try and aid me
'You'll be alright."
I had only come to know:
Forgetting you could feel it too.
But I felt it in suffocation, drowning, burning.
Inches too deep,
Restrain. Break. Restrain. Break
Sorry I could not save me.
Sorry that you tried.
Sorry you will never know exactly
when I died.
But I am not sorry
That I am living now.
Paper Bird (2017)
It's like you're broken glass
and the shards, they last.
You're going to die one day,
might as well make it fast.
Just reach for the knife,
turn off the light,
and take one breath
as you take your life.
No point in living
Might as well stay away
from the happy memories
that flood your way.
Come on, bring it on
you just don't belong.
You better end it now
before they steal your song.
Little songbird cry,
let's hear your sound.
Better sing real high
before they knock you down.
Oh too late, you're like a
so you don't fly away.
Oh wait, you're underground.
Push the soil out.
But it's in your lungs.
Don't breathe-don't breathe.
Like a magnet to the earth
except you don't work
with the physics of existing. Oh,
you better runaway
before they steal you away.
Oh too late, your body's hurt.
Now, little songbird
make your music. But they turn it off.
Oh too late, they've already broken your record.
Smashed in, like you're paper thin
crumbled paper, in the bin
set alight, burn you up.
Open up, you're fire dust
in the ground, my little paper bird
you're soil now, can't grow back.
I know where you’ve been,
Know where you’ve been hiding.
Somewhere beneath the stars.
Catching your breath at last
And you know that everyone
Has been lost somewhere down the road before.
And you only seem to see the sun
Reflected above the water’s floor.
Then it’s all gone.
Sundown has come
And you’re resting your head on the hard ground
Thinking about times so far now,
Wondering why oceans lie
Their waves upon the shore, crashing down.
Heavens nowhere to be seen
And you’re walking down the road that leads
Come clean, you’re alone again.
Slipping beneath the stars
Only one more breath to last
Come clean, you’re lost it seems.
‘But don’t give up now’ you say;
The road to nowhere
Leads to something,
The road to somewhere
Comes from nothing
And your footsteps won’t be forgotten.
Come clean, your feet are moving.
First step, the birds are talking.
Next step, the sky is calling.
Third step, you’re nearly there now.
Fourth step, the waves are crashing down.
Last step and you’re above the clouds
Alone, beyond waters green.
Dead Funny (2016)
You killed me in so many ways.
Stood by my grave and laughed,
And they passed false tears down their face,
tore the white flowers from their vase while
you pretended to be sickened by this grief.
This death of such sweet innocence,
that they forgot in life,
oh how you danced around my coffin and laughed.
Fed the mourners with your forged pity,
while the white bells rung in their heads;
oh the sound of death,
how sweet it must sound to you.
Sickly sweet, but how you forgot.
A ghost can haunt, and that I'll do.
So just remember, before you laugh at me.
The dead can laugh too.
Closer than Strangers (2016)
In the window, the passers by
Look ahead to avert their glance,
Away the whispers become a sound,
a sound no more bearable than a heavy hand.
Through the plain and painted glass
The strangers pretend the dark is light,
And shine their lamps in the burning sun
While you tremble in the forgotten shade.
Mirrored through the transparent pane
You scream, shout, wail and cry
But the strangers, unaware begin to dance,
So you weep, louder and louder again.
But still the strangers don't hear your echoes,
Their feet still embracing the cobbled ground
So in doubt, you begin to copy their feet
Then the strangers turn and behind the window,
There your friends wave and smile.