One of Them

The faces drifted in and out of focus, twirling and spinning until they became a blur of colours with a lack of any distinguishing features.

In the end, they were all the same. Hair colour, skin colour, eye colour, lipstick, eyeliner, moustaches, beards … whatever. They were all the same.

Laying in the mud, I dared to raise my head enough to see their distorted faces. I did not need to be able to recognise any of them. It was what they said that defined them, but they never said anything I had not heard before.

Pathetic.

Loser.

Waste of space.

I did not need them to say it to me. I had learnt these things long ago. I if I wasn’t pathetic, wasn’t a loser, wasn’t a waste of space, then this wouldn’t keep happening to me. Everywhere I went, every school I attended, it was always the same. They were always there, with their unrecognisable faces and their sharp words.

It was nothing to do with them. It was me, I was the one who was wrong. As their faces twirled and span, they became part of a collective, the same group of people. I, meanwhile, was alone, recognisable and vulnerable, easy to spot in a crowd.

To change, I had to become a blur. I had to become one of them.

The mud smeared on my face hid me a little, and that was where my disguise – my process of blending in, of joining them – would begin.

Empty Lament

You can feel the loneliness and grief deep within this poem.

Step Into The Nightmare

I take myself off in an empty lament,

a solace I sing through the unanswered pain,

the words may be tired but they’re sung with intent,

there’s no-one to hear so my song is in vain.

I sing for lost youth and for love unfulfilled,

I sing for the sweetness I held but let go,

I sing for the castles my hands couldn’t build,

I sing for the peace that my mind couldn’t know.

My song is a thread through the story of me,

I splice a new length when there’s pain in my heart,

it helps me recall how it all came to be,

a bundle of yarn I trace back to the start.

When hearts once so gullible harden and break,

when lacklustre lullabies don’t hit their mark,

you sing your lament for your sanity’s sake,

a map to help find your way out of the dark.

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YouTube Tuesday: The Raven’s Way

It’s Tuesday again, and time for some more spoken word poetry from my YouTube channel. This week I present a poem from May 2016, “The Raven’s Way”.

The Raven’s Way

In an empty-headed daydream,
I sat and listened to the rain
And wondered without really caring
Who had ordained this harsh deluge

Enclosed in walls, I thought I spied
A raven bathing in a puddle
Washing himself, delighting in
The downpour from this almighty judge

How often my eyes wander awry
From my binding daily tasks,
But not so from his shiny plumage,
Questioning why he loved the storm

For me, it locked me in a fortress,
Home of mine, yet never home,
But he adored it, soaked in water,
Sea creature in a raven-mask

His fishy body hidden beneath, given
New lease of life in raven form;
With what I wished, but never had,
Greater than me in raven form

In Plain Sight

My window faces the street
Always busy, people rushing
Past without a glance at
The face behind the dusty glass

Do you see me here? I see
The world passing me by,
But always I am hidden
In plain sight, behind the glass

Perhaps some think I am only
Their reflection, and continue
On their way, not bothering
To turn and look at me

I build my window on the street
To see the world around me
But these sheets of glass just hold me back –
Isolated in my window world

Panic

‘It’s not the doubts that get to me themselves,’ Peggy tried to explain. ‘I know I haven’t screwed up, I really do.’

Tyler, who was handing in his final assignment of the year at the same time, looked up from the paperwork he was filling in and gave her due attention. Peggy rarely expressed her inner thoughts out loud to him.

‘I mean, the doubts don’t help,’ she added quickly, ‘but when I panic, really panic, then they’re not the reason. I mean, I doubt my sentence structure and what people think of me and whether or not I’ve locked the front door on a daily basis. But those things don’t get to me.’

Tyler put his pen down on the table that was digging into his knees and rest his chin on the back of his hand. He waited.

‘I just think: “Am I good enough? Am I worth all this? Do I deserve to do well?” And some people will say that’s stupid, and it is, or that it encourages the doubts, and it does. Other people will tell me to ignore those thoughts as though that’s a rational response – as though people can actually just squash all their doubts down and pretend they’re not there and live happily ever after. Well, I don’t believe it. Those people don’t understand what it’s like to be afraid of something and nothing.’

Tyler smiled a tight smile. He knew he was one of those people. He grabbed his assignment and the cover sheet and stood up. Peggy copied him.

‘Ready?’ he asked. Peggy gripped her assignment firmly between a pair of long-fingered, shaking hands.

‘I’m good. It’s good.’

‘It’s good,’ he confirmed, unsure what to say.

‘Thanks,’ she said. She turned away from him, then turned back. ‘It doesn’t help,’ she added. ‘But it might in time.’

My Mechanic’s Broken Thing 

Really enjoyable, a great read.

allison writes

Photo by Allison Bedford

He patched and painted the ceiling in the dining room after I took a step in the attic without the knowlege that one must only step on the beams.

One year, our Christmas tree just would not stay up. Until he screwed the stand to the floor.Right through the carpet.

I’ve watched him open up computers, fiddle around, button them back up and suddenly they work again. But once they’re loaded up, he’s got no use for them.

He has six children. Six times (Daddy, fix thistimes the number of toys each child has owned and/or touched and/or played with) plus (the number of friends who have visited our house times all the toys they’ve broken while here or brought because the toy was broken and they wanted him to fix it)equals roughly a metric fuck-ton of broken.

No child has ever walked…

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Anxious Bones

Normality, they say.
It’s normal
To feel nervous
In new situations,
New locations,
When journeying to new destinations –
But I can’t help feeling
There’s nothing normal
About the uncontrollable shaking,
The sweat,
The tears,
The taste of vomit in the back of my throat.
Those tickling sensations
With unknown causations
That leave me frozen in stagnation –
Just trying to say
A simple “Hello”,
But the word won’t come out
Because I’m wrapped inside
Normal skin
Decorating
Anxious bones

The Walls in my Mind

The walls are paper-thin.

I can hear them talking about me on the other side, the sound of their voices a little muffled but their words – and intent – perfectly clear. I search for the source of the noise for a few moments before I realise that they are speaking to one another on the other side of the wall.

As I listen, I notice things.

I notice how they say my name, with an air of disdain curling around the final syllable. I notice the sneer in their words, the way that they talk about me as though I am below them, a worm that they can step on and squash if they only wish. I notice the words they use to describe me: slow, dull, stupid, dumb, and how they are all things that I have heard from them before.

When they pretend to me that they are joking.

I notice that the walls are grey and the paint is peeling off to reveal wallpaper underneath, decorated with clowns and childhood toys. I notice the way that the walls themselves seem to quiver with every bad word said about me, as though they are threatening to crumble under the onslaught of cruel comments. I notice how my emotional welfare is irrelevant as long as I can be the subject of a few nasty jokes.

Then I notice that the walls are only in my head, and they are stood talking about me on the other side of the room, making no efforts to keep their voices down. Chipping away at the grey mask coating my lonely childhood.

They are painfully close to bringing me tumbling down.

Of Man and Roach

A cockroach crawls across the floor
Twitching this way and that,
Avoiding the movements of my shadow;
I trap him beneath a cup
And watch him spin around in circles
Trying to discover a way out
Of his prison. I stand and note in triumph
That there is no escape for him.

Where he is trapped is physical;
For me, fate is not so kind.
In my head, the glass is there, unwilling to
Move when I place my hands
Against it and push, for I have become a
Prisoner of my own thoughts
And must now retreat to a place where I
Can try to wear the glass thin.

I tower over this cockroach, mighty in
My physical presence, but no more:
He has no reason to become a sunken,
Nervous wreck despite his cage;
But me, though I once beat the discontentment
Down to a pulp, can feel it rise
Once more into the forefront of my mind
Where it threatens to remain.

As I move the glass and crush him with my foot,
I see myself crushed alongside him;
How strange that such a pest can remind me
Of my personal vulnerabilities.
Inside, I have a broken body too, which has
Crawled across the ground, in failed
Attempts to turn myself into a strong woman again.
And as he dies, in part so do I.

© Laura Marie Clark

Excerpt from the book “City Of The World”

Please visit my author page and share in my adventure:
http://www.ctupublishinggroup.com/laura-marie-clark.html

Self-Abuse

Windswept on the porch with eyes as cold as steel
Jacket torn to shreds by the bitterness of night
I have returned to you again
As apparently
I cannot escape from the sphere of your influence

A face somewhere there, settled between the bruises
Shoes soaked in the blood that fell from my wrists
I am incomplete without this
So it seems
Because I come crawling back every time

Cheeks dripping from the torrent of tears
As the self-hatred washes over me yet again
I am the recluse who sinks
Back slowly into
The dark corners of my mind

You, who has controlled me
You, this other me
My soul of misery