CATCH ME – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

Catch me on a good day 

And I’ll smile ivory

With polished bone,

Shake your hand or

Embrace until I find

Safety in a collarbone,

Reality in tired eyes;

I’d be happy, that’s for sure.

 

Otherwise, I won’t catch you,

I’ll be busy shouting static

Or imagining this tragic

Day would morph into some good;

I’ll worry over flea sized, pea shaped

Small fries, anxious that my disguise

Of normality will slip, that I’ll have 

To look a little mad, mental, or sick;

In that moment where I’m most alone,

I’ll drown myself in treacle tone,

Crave the crater of your collarbone and

The challis of your hips.

 

 

 

NEARING THE END, A REFLECTION ON 2017

Blog, Uncategorized

2017 has been the most tumultuous year of my existence, and has marched forward with such a pace that I’ve had to force myself to reflect upon these rushing days, and how they have fluctuated so wildly between the macabre and the wonderful.

The year began with a slither of hope; having left university due to various circumstances, I was ready to embrace January for its metaphorical clean slate, and set about trying to organise my life. After a rather chance conversation with my best friend, I suddenly found myself booking all of September off to travel around Europe, which, if I’m being honest, flooded my veins with an unshakeable feeling of dread and fear. I was concerned that I would be unable to get through it without the shadow of my anxiety swallowing me whole, and the image of me experiencing that panicky, illogical mindset somewhere in the middle of Prague wasn’t going a long way in regards to calming me down.

With that in the pipeline, I thought it best to revert from my usual reaction to such worries, and fought against the urge to shut myself up in my room, eat unhealthily, and refrain from human interaction as much as possible. I went out for daily walks with my camera, met up with friends as often as I could, and went on a beautiful trip to Pisa with my girlfriend. The latter was actually an event more significant than I originally thought; I had planned and actually enjoyed a trip abroad without any major incident, and besides from one little episode prior to the flight over there, it showed me that my month long trip would be nothing to worry about, and I let positivity control my brain for once. Upon our return, I worked part-time, and found that to be great too – I was interacting with strangers all day, and enjoying it, and I suddenly found myself free from my burdens.

However, I was pulled back down to reality rather quickly when we realised my grandmother was dying. I know a lot of my friends aren’t that close with their grandparents, yet Grandma was, ultimately, my best friend. Throughout my childhood, I had spent 5-6 days a week at her house, talking extensively about pretty much anything we could, and forming my life-long love affairs with cooking, literature, music, and cinema. She was an outrageously funny, incredibly fashionable, independent lady with a seemingly bottomless wealth of knowledge, and I am blessed to have even known her let alone be related, but that made it all much harder at the end. Watching such an energetic individual slip into their illness, unaware of anything around them, and ultimately become dreadfully frustrated with a life they can no longer enjoy, was possibly the most traumatising thing I have ever witnessed. I think a small portion of myself died with her that day.

The aftermath of the funeral was not great. By my own admission, I am pretty terrible at facing such things, yet I think I was more concerned with my mother to think too much about anything else; in a way, I count myself lucky that I was with Grandma in her final weeks, right up to the very end, as it enabled me to mourn in a gradual wave, rather than experience what others in the family had to. I just felt that everything was becoming a little bit too much, and that I had to get away.

Luckily, Europe was closing in. Before I knew it, Jacob and I were boarding our train for Paris and the journey had begun. I don’t know why, and perhaps I never will, but I did not experience one iota of anxiety throughout the entire trip (which you can see the photos from on my travel page – here). I think it was the relief of being somewhere so excitingly new that left me no time to dwell on anything from home, other than my girlfriend, but she was beginning her own adventure at university. It was, without a doubt, the most enjoyable month of my life, and I think I’ll be able to dwell on the inspiration for my writing for many years to come. More importantly, by the end of it, I was so glad to see Derbyshire, and be back in familiar territory that no longer felt like it was suffocating me. 

On the day I arrived home, however, my dog passed away. It was weird to leave a trip and return from it surrounded by elements of death, but Truffle was extremely old and frail and had given us so much love throughout the years that it felt strangely right she had gone; dare I say it, I was weirdly relieved. The next few weeks were spent writing and roaming around, visiting my girlfriend in York and reading good books on slow trains, and then I had one fateful weekend that has twisted the road of my future once more.

After attending an interview for what I thought was a two-week volunteering position, I accidentally left the room with an internship and, looking forward, the prospect of a full time job in something that enables me to work with the terminally ill, conduct creative writing groups, and work within PR and marketing. This should all start in January, and because of all that has happened this year, I don’t think my anxiety is going to fuck this one up. I am much stronger, happier, and healthier than I was this time last year, and I can’t thank the people around me enough. 

Let me know in the comments how your year has been – what were the ups and downs, what affect do you think it has had on you?

Anyway, here’s to another metaphorical clean slate, may it forever be chalked with positivity. 

Fred x

 

LAUGHING AT ROSES – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

February, in bitter cold

we found ourselves

staring upon shelves

upon shelves;

glaring rows of roses,

roads of crimson cut with white.

 

Your hand tore away

from the cuff of mine,

you laughed, howled at

the inadequacy of thorns,

fingered the blade and

mocked its rust;

you saw no beauty in the blunt,

no mirror for your trust.

 

Pulling past pallets, stacked

and packed in plastic wrap,

suffocating them all,

we hid in the glass house,

bathed in the warmth;

cacti, ugly leather staring

from the eyes of needles, fine.

 

Stood in grainy earth, dry

desert, clumsy cucumber length,

you couldn’t resist

the itch to test the spines;

a drop of blood, blushing

on your finger, now in mine,

I want one

I could hear you think

I know it can survive.

DIVORCE – A POEM

Writing

The bed grows cold, a slab

Of stone so crudely cut,

Torn out from the gritstone

Rough, pulled apart from whole.

 

I withdraw, collapse, tuck

Shivering knee to chin,

Curl foetal, harness limb to limb,

They fracture, split my hold.

 

My arm stretches

through thick night, clasps

nothing but the albite light

Thrown down from foreign skies.

 

I weep for familiarity, fight

the rip of mourning tides, seek

to rise upon my feet,

And tread this great divide.

 

MY OTHER WRITING

 

POETRY COLLECTION – 20/10/17

Blog

I like writing blogs because it means I feel like I’ve written something useful, even though I’m 90% sure that isn’t true. Anyway, today I have started work on a rather exciting project that I’ve wanted to get done for a while; I’m writing my first collection of poetry.

The collection is intended to be a journey through loss, and I have called it, for now at least, “Laying down the bones”. Poetry can be an extremely therapeutic and cathartic release, and a lot of these poems will deal with various elements in my life that I find particularly hard to reflect upon/discuss, yet I am determined to stray away from the purely personal. I am aware that sounds slightly contradictory, so let me clarify; I want them to have a universal relevance, not just for me, so they’re taking a whole lot longer to write than usual. 

As I am intending on hopefully getting these published, in some respect at least, I won’t be putting them on here, but I am determined to keep you guys updated and I will be writing some poems specifically for the blog.

If you guys are working on anything interesting at the moment, tell me about it in the comments section below!

Happy Writing!

Fred x

LINK TO MY WRITING

THE DAY MY DOG DIED – A POEM

Writing

We map the ground,

Frozen hard as twisted bone,

Woven antler on father’s knife

That crests our fireplace

At home, waiting, violent-still;

We cast ash to dirt,

Watch it settle in paw prints,

Turned to stone, brushed by breeze

That used to roam

These hills, the grainy moors.

 

We sit around the fire,

Licking heat with orange tongue,

Crackled coals barking from

The depths of shattered lungs,

We coil into the armchair,

Vacant leather, fur still clung,

And wonder where the grass

Now is, that you bound among.

 

MY OTHER WRITING – HERE

 

 

WAITING OUT THE FROST – A POEM

Writing

Ground level, voided earth

Bound to streaks of coppered clay,

Open hands of branches

Robbed by seasons,

Morphed emerald lime to bronze,

Still to be stripped by frost

on the heave of menthol lungs.

 

A cotton tundra rapes

The blue, holds sunlight

Stuck in smoke, its hue

Hazed static, wedged,

Boundaries of sky and stone;

The valley clasps, constricts,

Pulls tight, a duvet for

A child at night

Without blankets of stars,

Naked as the morning dew

That seeks to wet the scars,

Retreating past the

White damask

That coats tomorrows heart.

 

MY OTHER WRITING – HERE 

YOLK – A SHORT STORY

Writing

*

I promised myself that the days weren’t cold. Beyond the fabric cascades that covered the windows, I knew the sun was shining; I saw it once. Puddled deep into the cushions of my armchair, I meditated, tried to breathe as lightly as possible so I could catch each echo of birdsong that managed to slip into the room. They were symphonies; the music of a world unknown. Mother had gone. She always tried to go unnoticed, but I had learnt to listen for the slide of locks, and the faint patter as her boots struck against the stone steps that ran a spine down the garden. Then nothing.

I rose from my seat, my heart a war-drum, beating ever faster as I begged myself for courage, tiptoeing across the carpet, a ballet dancer, free. Pausing every few seconds, I listened for her return. The curtain was in reaching distance, I stretched to stroke each thread, woven thick like matted hair. I trembled; on the other side, the window lay, each pane of glass painted in coats of black so dark it seemed to bleed. I gasped. Through a pin sized hole, where the paint had somehow flaked away, a beam of gold shone, blazing. It did not seem real. Perhaps I was imagining.

My hand, pale as milk, hovered closer and closer; I stopped so near, a single slip would have thrown my skin into the light. The smallest hint of warmth began a fire in my chest. The bolt slid back on the door.

Flying across the room, fuelled by fear, I leapt onto my chair, immediately resuming a position of innocence. The curtain rolled with movement, a breaking wave that seemed to stop as soon as mother entered the room.

“Good morning.” I smiled. She placed her bags down, each one brimming with enough food to last for weeks, and kissed me delicately on my forehead.

“It’s ever so dark out there, Florence, you wouldn’t like it at all.”

*

I was not a hostage. She was not my captor.

“It’s not safe out there; remember how it killed your father.” She used to say, her eyes bursting with tenderness, glossed with tears of nostalgia. I embraced her, she draped her arms around me and sobbed quietly. Her skin was warm.

“I know, mother, I know.” I reassured, looking around the room. I knew every inch; the dust that settled upon the coffee table, the imprints, pits and falls, on cushions that still clung to the aroma of tobacco, the perfume of a man I could not remember, but loved all the same.

“It’s not safe out there.” She repeated, this time in whispered tones. Her head found safety in my collarbone.

*

They were happy, again. I did not know who ‘they’ were; they did not exist beyond the sounds of joy; faint shadows of laughter and muffled traces of names all burst through the bubble as if they had somehow morphed into a knife edge.

I felt tormented; other than mother’s, I could not recall a face that did not lay trapped within the paper prisons of pages. Sometimes, if I was particularly lucky, I could imagine the faint outline of their lips, or conjure a glimpse of their hair, flowing as they ran. They were not porcelain; they had seen the sun, bathed in it, I had even seen a photograph of a boy with skin as dark as the old mahogany desk that cowered in the corner of father’s office.

They had gotten louder, then stopped altogether. I wondered what had happened to them, whether they had become bored of their game and sulked their way home, or if they had run to the fields instead.

“Are you okay?” Mother asked; I had forgotten she was in the room.

“Yes.” I lied. The fire in my chest returned. I wanted to run, but not from her. I wanted to taste the air.

*

Her silhouette lay, morgue-still, with nothing but the hum of breath to prove she was alive. My hands were shaking as I reached over her sleeping form and fingered the keys from the bedside; she twitched, moaned some indecipherable lyric, and rolled onto her side. I froze, a statue of pallid complexion, a sinner in the darkness. I crept backward, soaking up the image of her face.

I felt strong as iron as I stepped into the night.

*

The woodland heaved with every lick of wind that ran a hand through the trees. There was rhythm to the madness that I could feel resonate deep through every bone; trunks swayed in synchronised ranks, leaves bristled in percussive harmony. I stopped running and dug my hand into the earth, letting the ochre clay run deep beneath my fingernails. Under the freckled cheek of stars, I marched on, upwards, rising, toward the mountain made of stone.

*

I had waited for hours at the top of the world. Below me, the valley stretched lazily into the horizon, and the damask of night began to slip away. I rose to my feet, anxious that the day would never come, furious at myself for ignoring the wisdom of my mother, who would soon realise I had abandoned the safety of her nest. I turned, ready to run, weeping, already practicing my apology, already envisioning the shock in her loving, dimpled face as I announced my return. Suddenly, I felt it filter through my tissue paper blouse and settle warmth across my back.

Turning, I watched in awe as the sun, big and bold and bright, rose a slow yolk over the boundary of the horizon. Glorious, unimaginable light oozed, heavy honey, across every atom of my being.

In an instant, I was gone. A feather, I floated skyward, swam in waves of azure blue; below me, the stone edge of the land stood perplexed, embarrassed by the way it could not rise. I made out the ant sized shape of my mother scrambling wildly to the crest, flailing her arms, screaming until her lungs began to ache.

I watched as the light touched her skin. She turned silent; we drifted together, weightless, under the medallion of the sun.

 

 

MY OTHER WRITING – HERE

NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS (IN OCTOBER)

Blog

After my return from travelling, I had a long mental list of things I needed to change or do in order to get my life on track and achieve my aim of living beyond the age of 25; like most things, these are simply small adjustments to routines rather than monumental changes, as I find it much easier to adapt to a new way of life if it’s not too obvious how much I’m changing.

Firstly, I need to be healthier. I enjoyed the European lifestyle of wine, abundant food, and cigarettes, but my body didn’t, and thus I have pledged to eat healthier meals, run/exercise daily, and stop smoking. It’s actually quite encouraging writing this all down as it means I have the added pressure of keeping promises to you guys as well as myself, so thank you for being there to judge me. I threw my cigarettes out two days ago and currently don’t feel like throwing myself through a wall, so that’s a positive.

Secondly, I need to write more. After trawling through a few sites, I found out that I could write news articles and get some form of monetary compensation for them, so I now have a profile at Blasting News, which you can go to here. It would mean the world to me if you went and read a few of my pieces; I’ve written one about Saudi Arabia and women’s rights that I’m quite happy with, so check that out.

In addition to that, I have this blog for poetry, short prose, and travel posts, which I hope to continue to update on a daily basis, and my novel, which I’ve started to fully work on in recent days. Planning it has been quite fun and I’ve stumbled upon a way to make the plot so much more amusing than before; I don’t want it to stray too far into humour but I want to keep a balance of comedic action/depressing event; I’ve never particularly tried to be “funny” in serious work before, so I’ll have to see how that goes… I need to conduct a fair bit of research too, so I’ve had to send off a few emails and talk to a few people in order to set up a line of communication; I really hope this goes as well as I want it to, but I can only try my best, wait, and see.

I’d also love to get involved in some small scale poetry/fiction publications, so I have a few magazines I’m planning to try and get into, as well as a couple of online ones that have caught my eye. If you know of any good sites/great places to submit to (physical and digital) I would love for you to leave such information in the comment box below.

Anyway, I’m going to go and write an article about supermarkets wasting food instead of seizing the opportunity to help the homeless. I’m enjoying these little journalistic pieces; it’s a free pass to be as cynical and grumpy as I want (which might help with the lack of smoking). 

I’m working on something cool for here too, but that’s gunna take me a little while. I’ll upload some poetry soon.

Happy Writing;

Fred x

MY OTHER WRITING – HERE

 

PIXELS – A POEM

Uncategorized, Writing

Pixels portray an age of screens,

Vision envisioned through light

in flight from stars

long forgotten,

Projected are the neglected,

An emerald bosom bleeds

and weeps as hilltops burn to

scar the feet of those that learn

to yearn for peace,

They are whispers on the breeze.

Tarmac traps, grabs heavy hearts,

Soles of souls walk roads

that glow with golden

hopes promised,

Aspirations of a nation,

Instead young faces drown in fear,

Ears echo with the sound of jeers

that creep up closer ’till they’re near

to shape new paths and make it clear,

They are cracks of thunder.

Daylight draws a happy few,

Once idle eyes see skies of blue

they idolise the world they knew

from their age of screens,

blossom from the billboards

that try to mould their dreams,

and fly with might out of their plight

with truth so loud it screams.