Well this is a growing body of work that I've divided into 'real life' and Middle Earth inspired.
Poetry was something I thought I'd left behind long ago as I disliked it intensely at school where we were taught Tennyson and the Brownings, some Coleridge and Shelley to the point where I loathed them all thoroughly and saw iambic pentameter and various other 'forms' as superlative methods of torture. But... never say never they say and when I joined my first fan forum in 2005 I looked around a lot at what people were doing and writing and found someone I admired very much from afar for a little while. When I read his poetry thread something moved me deep within and I changed my mind.
He knows who he is and he's still my good and kind friend. One of the things that keep us that way is honesty and possibly more than that - sincerity. That is what I hope my own poetry conveys, whether it's based in fantasy or true 'real' feelings.
I've split the fantasy-specific work from the 'personal' but really they are the same in spirit ~ I like my dreaming to be authentic, but then so do most people...
Middle Earth inspired work | The 'Real' World
Poetry in the 'Real' World
The poems in this section are fantasies on my own reality in a way. Since becoming chronically ill and rediscovering my creative self on the threads, everyday existence has in some ways become quite tenuous for me. These days I tend to 'live' online a fair bit, in that I often seek refuge in there from this real world. Not in the forums so much, or at least I know those are indeed fantasy (and need to be so too) and so use them for more or less vicarious 'acting out' through Jano or my other characters for things I would never get to do or say in my 'real' life.
But I also talk to people a lot online, and some of my web friends I would almost assign 'soulmate' status upon, in that we sometimes seem to be mirrors to each other. Soulmates though may come in different guises. One person in particular would almost certainly disagree with the soulmate tag, but I get to choose who I call that and like it or not he is, in that he 'saved' my inner life in a way that makes sense to me. I can never, never forget that no matter how sticky things get occasionally.
Some of the best or most deeply felt of my works were inspired by a few of my friends to some degree. I will always have a special place for them in my heart and so this page is largely dedicated to them with my thanks and love, on or offline for constantly picking me up and dusting me down metaphorically, as I tread a sometimes precarious path still around despair and diffidence.
Some glimpses then of thoughts and feelings, some dark, some hopeful, during the last four years or so...
Imagination versus life should not be a choice
except in dreams perhaps given clarity,
when a broken mind flees in extremis,
having closed its heart to others reasonings.
Trapped by life, unhinged by duty and coin
looking for meaning and finding none.
Faith abandoned, dreams all dead,
nothing left of joy, just dread and ashes in my mouth.
......... Running from decisions imposed by ghouls,
losing the race for sanity and health.
All havens lost and no place else to turn,
Ill-prepared for the defeat of mercy and grace.
Maimed and mute, I walk the dreamless roads
seeing no one, wanting none for friend or foe.
Not looking forward and never back for misery
is all around and madness waits ever at my side.
I can see light, just out of reach that calls for me,
and a feathery darkness casts its case for peace,
with whisperings of finality and unending silence.
And my mind’s life wills me to come home to stay.
The second verse I wrote. It will not surprise you to know that I was in a very bad place when I wrote this. During that period I had insomnia pretty bad, my husband Pete had had a brush with death and had just come out of hospital and I was beginning a very long and ultimately fruitless journey to negotiate a severance from my employers. I wrote this with Jano in mind too (for she too was in a bad way, almost dying of grief and loneliness, without kin or friends to turn to) but this was firmly rooted in real life with only the dreamless roads reference for her world, as this is how Elves 'rest' in trance-like examination of memories, rather than in the free-ranging dreaming and deep sleep of mortals.
I wished that I had the same options as her and at the time longed for a night without thoughts crowding in on me, keeping true sleep - the little death - at bay. In a way this is an exercise in pushing misery to its limits - stating the worst possible case scenario and holding up current status to see just how bad it was. These days my mental state mostly compares favourably, but some days I'm only a breath away from this condition and anything might tip me over the edge.
This one deliberately spans fantasy and reality and was written for Jano, but in fact speaks for both worlds. A little more hopeful this one - a truth-saying that applies equally, though there is an oblique reference to sailing West at the end.
The concept of going 'home' to the Undying Lands for Elves is of course synonymous with an afterlife that equates with Paradise for us, so in this aspect the theme at least is positive, even though most sections are at best cynical in places. The idea of life as a journey is a familiar motif and a river's course is one way of conveying that.
I love water in its more natural flowing state. Hot water makes me physically uncomfortable (though clean of course) and my body prefers to be cool rather than heated - on the outside at least. Emotionally I suppose we all need to be warmer for comfort mostly. Human beings are herd animals and one of the essential supports of life for us is the society of others, in particular our families and then our chosen companions, our friends. Like everyone I do need my friends and family very much, but there are days where I don't want them too close.
In our inner life we are all essentially alone with our thoughts and feelings, although those can be expressed of course. Thoughts however are another matter. We are selective in what thoughts stay that way, unspoken, and which are communicated. In a way this site is for my own thoughts that I hold close and don't necessarily speak them to anyone, but want to get them out there somehow. Therapy if you like, but not to a person as such. My stunted way of steering my own course 'as fair and true' as I can manage these days.
There is a river of life,
That is as cruel as it is kind.
It will take you to new places
And leave your past behind.
Its waters can taste sweet,
But just as soon run dry,
And leave your soul embittered,
Make your heart ache ‘til you cry.
There are rapids wild and white
That will toss and turn you round,
They can strand you, tear you, rip you,
Cruel currents beat you aground.
Then the river’s shallows all dappled,
Shining bold with gold sunlight,
Will dazzle you into thinking
That the future still is bright.
Then just as you are thinking
That the rough race is almost done,
The river flows on towards a void,
Cascading falls, an end is spun.
Or maybe not, if you have the luck,
You might find a calmer way,
And travel through unscarred, alive,
Fit to fight another day.
And even if you reach its end
Unbeaten, proud and wise,
There are great seas still to travel
Wide, with lonely seabird cries.
So take care on this life’s river,
Steer your course as fair and true,
As you can, to hold it steady
As you head out to yonder Blue.
Free in the sky,
skimming the clouds
and bright rainbows.
Escape from earth-bound crowds.
Fly in bright sun,
soars the wild hawk.
Cry in the heights,
O’er mountains and moor stalk.
Wait out the storm.
safe in your nest.
Stoop for the kill,
We all go to our rest.
Free as the winds,
take me still higher.
Find me my mate,
my life’s love, my desire.
More ambiguity but with a subject held in common. Birds and flying. I was feeling very much earthbound and tied down all over when I wrote this relatively simple little ditty, again for Jano - she being a bard can sing or recite as she wishes. So this one she sings of course - where she feels most comfortable in herself..
Hard to tell where my comfort is some days. Just writing for myself and Jano most of the time I suppose although I can lose myself in drawing sometimes - I don't paint much now using a brush anyway. Words I suppose I can paint too.
What I was portraying here I think was begun in envy for the freedom of flying, but also of searching? I knew instinctively what was missing in my real world by then, but I had not yet found a focus for finding it...
... where I was looking anyway. Online. I suppose I didn't know what I was looking for exactly, but that's not necessarily true, because at least unconsciously I recognised what it was I needed. I was numb emotionally when I joined the forum. Or raw perhaps? In shock anyway. I had trouble settling into the roleplay aspect of it and was terrified of 'losing myself' in a character, because I was no longer at all sure who I was anymore.
Jano was me, but not me. Me 'new' and less frightened after a while. Her friends who were like family were part of her healing and somehow hers became mine at one point. She led me into passion again and suddenly I was feeling so alive. Everything I had missed, but thought I could do without. The joy of being admired and desired.
The first time for us
So light an imagined touch
Kisses that knew no borders
Passion describing actions
Thoughts and touch united, deeply pulsing
Our minds unfettered, sparking
for the next time....
I feel you so close – yet you are far away.
I reach toward you in my mind and sigh
My need for you, all night, all day.
I feel the fever and want you all the time.
You give me joy unstinting, yet I fear I’ll get
Too close for comfort and drive us both apart.
You are the candle to my moth, my fantasy,
Both light and heat. Forbidden. free-falling
In passion and desire. I call you friend but feel
That you are so much more. And I know
I get too close for comfort, the more we learn
Each other, across the cold, wild sea.
So maybe it is best to have this distance.
Close enough in fascination and dreams
Of beauty and illusion shared, defined
Only by our boundless fantasies. So close.
So close my dear, as our passion climbs -
Unless? Until? We get too close to find our comfort?
|Typical me - no sooner do I get some passion back in my life and off I go worrying that I'll stuff it up... I did too, but I had help. Comfort zones are hard to assess with online friendship sometimes and what's good casual fun for one person is felt more intensely by the other person. For me this was like a dam burst after a drought. At first I couldn't get enough of it and I was awash with delight, and so grateful, it was inevitable that I got too carried away with it all. But because it was online and thus limited in so many ways, it was also very frustrating and things gradually slowed. In fact for long periods it became non-existent because of various misunderstandings, but the friendship was pretty sturdy in the first place and so that survived well enough because we had both found something so worthwhile in each other. We were friends first and last and it stayed that way, even though we gave the relationship some hard knocks at times. We had strong foundations and so we hung in there and propped each other up pretty well on the whole. So far as it was possible to prop up somebody you were never likely to meet in the flesh anyway.
I told you I was crazy.
Did you believe me?
Did I believe me?
I don’t know.
I fall between extremes
Of sad and glad
That I am with you
Here and now.
I know that I am scared.
That it’s far too easy
For me to fall for you?
Am I too far gone to care?
Do you think I’m crazy?
I think I must be now...
Since you dazzled me
With your rainbows.
And more of the same really but more upbeat I suppose and giving myself up to the new/old experience. And I really was dazzled by the whole thing. Blown away in fact. It had been so long since I'd been able to feel so close to someone and have them return the sentiment and feel so happy together and so I suppose I was crazy in a way. The 'craziness' of depression is partly what I was referring to here and the slight feeling of panic that I could be so happy online and then back in the black pits when I wasn't.
I worried about that too. That I was having such a good time online that I wouldn't want anything else.
This one was where I was prodding old scar tissue again. Jano told it in the bards thread as something her mother shared with her, but this is all me and it gushed out when I decided to write about it. But I couldn't write very much really which is partly the reason for the refrain.
Losing a child early in pregnancy is hard to deal with and part of my problem was that I'd dealt with it by trying to forget about it. Part of the reason for that was because I had not known for certain I was pregnant and by the time I could have got it confirmed my daughter was dead. And I thought it was my fault. It was too I still think because I had been drinking heavily around the time I probably conceived and afterwards. So what with the guilt and the confusing signals my body and the tests were giving me, I did what I'm very good at and had a little cry but then didn't talk about it much and tried to blank it out. Except I didn't.
I never got pregnant again, even though I wanted a family very much.
Her life was gone before I could have known
She grew within me. The first sign she gave
Me was as she died, infant spirit flown.
And my womb gave death, became her grave.
Lost before I knew she was there.
Before I dared to love or care.
Left this life without breath of air,
An only chance gone. Life’s so unfair.
If I had known, what would I have done?
Could have been more careful, taken time,
Seen her safe. Held her close. Taken her home.
Loved her, taught her. Neverborn child of mine.
Lost before I knew she was there.
Before I dared to love or care.
Left this life without breath of air,
My child ripped away. My soul’s despair.
Walking on eggshells
I’m walking on eggshells, crushing and crying.
I need you and want you and love you, but I hesitate, afraid
that I just seem further away from you – I feel like flying
as far from here as I can. But I don’t, despite the hurts
I give myself on your behalf - because you don’t know
how much you can - to keep you innocent and keep me well.
As well as I can be at least. I am too sick to stop this show
of internal raging and deprivation. I create my own small hell.
I’m walking on eggshells again.
And the more I try not to, the more I break
and in my heart the body count keeps climbing.
I stumble blindly, hoping that you care for me a little,
just for my sake, because to me it can seem like everything
or nothing from one moment to the next. I want you -
I can’t help myself. And you never back away from me
where and when I need you most. I still need to hear from you,
occasionally, that you feel something like this for me.
Maybe we are both walking on eggshells? Tell me that at least?
There is a danger in roleplay and it was one I had recognised instinctively almost from the outset. You either choose to have your forum character be like a better, wiser, sexier, more functional version of your own personality or you go down the 'actor's route' and take on a different identity altogether. I couldn't take the risk of acting, because I was too wounded and lost and I needed to escape, but not into something or someone I was not familiar with. So although the Elves were my favourite characters in the books, they were too alien for me at first and so Jano started out as human and then gradually morphed into my chosen solution. This was to give her all the 'up' side of being an Elf, the beauty, physical grace and immortality of course, but for her temperament and emotions to be more attuned to a human way of expression. This dynamic became quite powerful after a time and so consequently caused ripples of unease as I grew more confident and this began to change how others' characters reacted to her. Mostly this was a positive thing and Jano began to do some dazzling of her own...
... but her new-found liberation and her affectionate ways also caused discomfort to others including the person both Jano and I loved best. After a wonderful 'honeymoon' period there was a drawing back on both sides on forum and off and then disappointments and arguments. It was horrible and I felt rejected on the threads and abandoned away from them - because I had committed the cardinal sin of getting my online and 'real life' too crossed. And walking on eggshells became, for a time, my only mode of progression.
And of course the eggshell walking gradually settled down into a less anxious pattern as we got to know each other and our limits more minutely on how our characters worked in the threads and across cyberspace.
This was still good for me, getting me used to the ebb and flow of emotions that I had long given up on at work, but also somehow at home too. As my husband recovered his health, the marriage seemed to become progressively anaemic and I grew sadder and sicker in real life, whilst Jano began to soar and find her place in the sun on the threads. My online friendships all seemed to go from strength to strength, as my life away from the forum seemed to shrivel and grow more bitter by the day.
This piece applies to both existences in a way, but the difference was that I was finding I had much more rapport with the more tenuous, less solid world than the one where I should have been finding the most solace. It is hard to hold someone in cyberspace, but somehow it was possible for me.
What we have.....?
We respect each other
and each holds the other dear.
We sometimes touch the other’s heart
but then we can scorch the other’s mind.
We can be so quiet and close together
and then the silence deafens us.
We are sometimes a mirror to the other
and then a word is said or not said
and we shatter the reflection that we see.
You and I. I and you.
We can merge and pull together
or else tear apart and fly away.
I say far too much. You speak words
that are like fog – no meaning.
I dream of you.
Do you dream of me?
Just let it be…..
What we have…..?
....and more besides.
My haven from the storms
in my head and in my heart.
You are my strength,
my desire, my pain.
So much, much more than just....
....who holds me through the nightmares
and fuels my fantasies.
You are my hero,
my hope and faith,
even when you fall
from grace, you are still
much, much more than....
beyond words and touch,
deceit and pride.
I am your haven too,
what I want to mean to you.
No questions, no debts.
I will always be really
much more than your friend.
Even when you fall from grace... my friend-brother-hero was human too and made a big mistake and at last I could return the favour as I helped him through a very tough time. We emerged closer friends than ever in some ways, but in others it was hard to put what had happened behind us.
We did get there on a personal basis. To a place where there was mostly honesty between us although sometimes a hesitancy in expressing our feelings on both sides. We weathered the initial storm well enough, but the experience did effect things between us as his interest in the forums began to wither away.
Everything changes of course. In some ways we became closer, but in a quieter way. I was starting to become ill again in the real world and he grew sadder with how things were with other people he was friends with online. In some ways we were sharing the same life-belt and just keeping the other enough afloat to carry on and not give up. Caring for each other and trying not to be too demanding of the other's energy, not to push at wounded pride or exhausted spirits.
No questions. No debts. We were still much more than friends, although sometimes there were doubts on both sides.
The older twin of Beloved Elf. An odd mix of sentiments in this - my heart's on fire - make no demands - both true and often at the same time too. Mingling resignation with soaring hope. I was still addicted to the sensation of passion that had been missing from my life for so long.
He probably did not feel the same, or not all the time. His admiration for me was still there but he was moving away from me in some respects and doing the admiration from a distance I suppose. I was too much for him to handle perhaps? He admits he finds it hard to understand how my mind works at times - he isn't the only one of course. I have trouble some days...
Magic man. That’s what you are.
Inside my mind, within my blood,
I feel your call spun through the air.
You touch my spirit with your wise man words.
You are my truth, my one desire.
My magic man. My heart’s on fire.
Where will we end my magic man?
We are close to love. It seems so real.
I can feel your touch and trace your smile.
Even though it’s a dream, our minds can fly.
I can live with sharing, make no demands,
to be as close to you as I know I can.
That’s what you are - my magic man.
Lost and Found
Lost in fog. Unheard. Unseen.
No beginnings and no end.
All obscured in grey sorrow and soft tears.
It matters not if I am still
or walk aimlessly. To nowhere.
Towards nobody. Nothing will matter here.
Not action. Not speech. Not purpose.
There is nothing. Just the fog and me.
It lifts a little. Now and then.
The fog. And the light will enter.
If I let it? If I want it?
Is there a way to let it in?
I can find a reason given time.
If I want to. If I let myself think.
And then the wind changes, fresh and cruel.
It blows the fog away and I am exposed
to others view. Still lonely. Still silent.
Just not alone. I want to move but can’t.
Too hard. Too fast. Too soon.
I drift along to others speech.
Just listening. Just thinking. Just quiet.
I feel life around me, but not within.
And then I see you and hear your words,
as light does enter, and I let it,
and I want it more than I can say.
I find a reason to take your hand.
And another to follow where you lead.
Because I want to… now you have found me.
Another exercise in misery, but looking back on it rather than venting in the midst of feeling it. I'm beginning to see a pattern in these dark pieces and am thinking of heaping them into a group called 'Fantasy Suicide Notes'. Depression is a killer condition, although it's not a disease I suppose. So many 'grades' of feeling involved and I'd be lying if I said I had never felt suicidal. I have felt that way several times but in a passive way I suppose.
I would not kill myself - well I don't think I would because you have to be brave to do that and I'm not particularly. But I can get to a place where I don't care much what happens to me and lose interest in everything and everyone. I wouldn't try to kill myself, not just because I'm too afraid, but because I don't want to hurt the people who do care about me. Because that's what taking your own life does - it hurts the people you love and they can't do a thing about it, so they have to live with the pain you couldn't deal with.
No matter how bad you feel, there is always someone out there, many someones even, who do care very much whether or not you live or die. For the people you leave behind, it's hard enough to cope with death because it is inevitable anyway, but to take things into your own hands is a form of rejection, an ultimate form I suppose. So I won't do it, but getting the feeling out of myself helps, and so in a way I find a reason to take my own hand... and find my own way back from the brink.
I should blush at this perhaps - but I won't. Starts out nicely enough, but it doesn't last. Passion includes jealousy I think, so somewhere in here it turns sour. And then there's resilience which kicks back a little with a bit of hope.
It's hard to hope when you're depressed, but it can be done and being able to find a smile no matter how low you're sinking is a great weapon in a way. Better than frowning, which we are told also gives us more wrinkles - so the choice between looking grim and grinning like an ape is in some respects a sane option. Anyway, sometimes a smile is defiant in some obscure way. Donned as a piece of armour perhaps to show you're not letting what's happening upset you? Or is it just a way to kid yourself into not bursting into tears?
Do I smile too much?
I so like to smile at you,
that much is far too clear,
as my smile says ’I love you’.
I do smile too much....!
you make me feel so raw.
It’s too often smiles through tears
when my heart is sad and sore.
Am I smiling in confusion?
I can’t see why it should be
that you’re choosing to go elsewhere
when you could be loving me.
I’m not crying, only smiling
Just to make sure you can’t see
That I know your heart is restless
but might one day rest in me?
I had a different life?
instead of what I have….
less sorrow, more passion?
feel better in my skin….
touching you, not tasting ashes?
working to my own beat….
knowing my heart is safe, not sad?
let my mind fly free….
soul soaring, not confined to frozen death?
not wasting my time….
on those who do not care, or hold me back?
not spend my day longing….
for the sight of your voice, watching for your words?
if we could meet….
and really show and feel the love?
if life was how I imagined….
when I was young, not how it’s come to be?
life imagined 2 ….
what if I had another life?
…. not wracked with pain or guilt.
could I be happier then?
…. live alone in calm tranquility.
would I see or hold you still?
…. just often enough to know you’re there.
could the gentle care of friendship flame?
…. be something we both want to grow and share.
would we get closer yet?
…. knowing hurt is in the past, not howling all around.
could this really be real?
…. I can imagine how that might be.
What if I had the nerve to see that through?
…. if only I could be strong a little longer still.
I can imagine all of this but could it come to be?
Sliding very badly here. I had got to the stage in my bid to disentangle myself from my employers where I had to get out as quickly as I could. It was an easy enough decision in the end - I resigned. If they had sacked me it would have taken three more months to leave. If I had been able to stick it out I might well have been able to file a lawsuit for constructive dismissal, but by this stage I had no fight left and I just had to get away from it all.
So lots of things in here about where I was and how I felt about my life and what was happening to me in the real world but also online too. On the one hand letting go and on the other wanting to take control back or at least say what I wanted.
Still and deep
Outside I am still.
No ripples. Deathly calm.
Inside the depths pull
and spiral, claiming
responses I cannot bear.
Within I am deep
and currents twist and turn.
Without, the façade
watches, silent, still,
thoughts only sinking in.
My mind. Still and deep.
Surface quiet and mute.
But sink down beneath
and the maelstrom swirls -
a riptide of the soul.
Deep and still. My love
deep like a vast blue ocean
undisturbed by waves,
that burns my lonely heart.
Still and deep. Life hides,
while cruel currents
erode my spirit.
And still waters run deep…
Not quite a fantasy suicide note this one. Getting there perhaps, or maybe probing as to how bad a wound I have? I expect the sort of sensation I describe here is one that people who have taken anti-depressant medication might recognise... That is what I think I was implying here - when outwardly everything seems 'normal' and you appear to be quite calm and content but underneath you';re hurting so much you could scream on and on with the pain or sorrow? The medication I take is powerful but then so are the moods that I take the pills for. There have been times when I know that I would be weeping ceaselessly if I was not medicated. Times when I will want to cry and do, but then something will kick in and after about 30 seconds or a minute, all of a sudden I'll stop. Worse is when this happens every few hours and I know then I'[m far too low and I bless the pills, but also curse them for stemming the despair that well and keeping me a good little stabilised zombie. Mostly I am stable I suppose, but it can only take a very small thing for this feeling of having my emotion dammed up or walled off to return and I wonder then if I really do need to stunt myself in this way. A lot of what I feel comes of anger and sometimes when I've not been on the medication I have literally wanted smash or harm the object or person that is upsetting me. That terrifies me more - they say that everyone is capable of being a killer and so I take the pills. But still the tears come, if only for a while...
This is another ambiguous piece and Jano has sung it to or about her love for family and for friends and lovers, but I think I had it more in mind for this less kind world where all is stone sometimes, even hearts. But then you turn to a place where you know you will find the warmth and comfort you crave - like coming inside where a fire is roaring away and the smile that greets you warms you as much if not more than the hearth's welcome.
So an easily recognisable situation for both my worlds, where winter is coming, but at home all is cosy and comforting. Never more so than when your love is waiting for you...
We watch the cooling sun low in the sky
and see the birds fly south in skeins
The leaves they glow in hues of warmth
and fall on furred white frosty ground...
We gather our harvest of fruits and of nuts
and store the kindling for the long cold...
The woodsmoke rises thin in the dusk
our windows lit with candles and flames...
The door is opened as the day slips away
as a welcome voice is heard close within...
Y our eyes watch mine in the fire’s glow
and speak of warmth far into the night...
You exist wholly in my head but my feelings are real
All I have to do is shut my eyes to see your face
In my mind I see you smile and feel the air you breathe
I have not heard your voice but your words touch my soul
We find paths into the other’s mind and truly know we care
We are far apart yet it feels like you’re so close to me
I speak of sorrow and love long gone - you send warm comfort
You are there for me I know - even when I cannot reach out to you
Although you say you’re ‘just’ a friend - you mean much more to me
I wonder if we ever met - would it maybe set us free?
A dream becoming real - fantasy slipping into a tangible world
I settle for what you offer - yet would give more if I could
My love is true that much I know, but how do you feel for me?
Can you take the last step off that bridge into fact from fantasy?
But my life is in such doubt and yours is filled with duty - no time
We have different worlds unless we make one where it all can rhyme
I dream we are together - your imagined touch passionate - light
I write my love back to you and my words you say are hot and feel so fine
Do they touch your heart? Can they only go so far - skin deep or to the core?
There is more - I can feel it - taste it - want it to be so much more…
You’re not afraid but only have so much to give - I fear to ask you for it all
I would give you anything I can… everything… all you have to do is ask
And you know this but will not say the words - understand I have no terms
My wishes - your pride – what we have within your comfort… is this enough?
It must be because my senses are brimful with you…
I surrendered long ago…
I just love you...
A truthsaying this one. I was obviously not a happy bunny here, but needed to state my case very plainly, strongly, unable to keep the feelings pushed down a moment longer. I got no reply to this. But I got no rejection either. It was too much I suppose, but if that was the case there must surely have been some response, if only to tell me not to be so bloody silly...
Maybe there were no words. I did feel better for expressing how I felt - had felt all along I think. It didn't do any good, but then it didn't drive us apart either and so, as it says, it must have been enough. I don't think there is such a thing as unconditional love, not even between parent and child, although that's generally cited as the one that can take anything thrown at it. There have to be limits. A cut off point. Here I think I was nearly at the capping off stage for this particular fire in the hole... But having got it out in the open, yet again I could go on with very few conditions. Maybe just the one? If you stay you don't have to say you love me back and I won't force it on you? It doesn't really work but perhaps it gives just enough of a gentle let-down for it to become bearable.
I am in a warm place,
but there is ice in my heart
that will not melt away.
Diamond clear. Freezing hard.
I loved well but too long.
Far past the point of no return.
Always friends, no longer lovers
You vow you love me still
and the ice is honest,
clear and true. It crushes hope.
Time changes deepest love
If it cannot grow in light.
Like a flower in frost
love can die, fade in the cold.
It needs the touch of warmth,
of delight, to fire the senses.
Soothe away sorrows, fears,
with the gentlest caresses.
Without love’s nourishment -
a tender kiss, or just a glance,
a touch, often and enough -
and the cold takes hold and grows
in spite of outer warmth,
even if it comes from a friend.
So my dear, the end comes.
My love is shrivelled, quite dead.
Time to write another tune.
Still friends, you’re not in my blood.
Winter’s come for our love.
I am so sorry - it’s long gone…
Definitely offline. And definitely a cut-off point here and past 'time to write another tune', even though there was and still is a good friendship. Long term illnesses of any kind put relationships under a lot of pressure and that can come in different forms of course. And it's hard to see sometimes where and why love ends, especially where there is dependence on both sides for whatever reason.
With a mental affliction (a much better term than disease or illness) the realisation that you no longer bear love from someone can be slow in coming, but once you do see it there is little you can do to repair the situation. Just as well love does come in many aspects and what doesn't work as a marriage may still work perfectly well in other ways... 'still friends, you're not in my blood'.
Maybe nobody else is in your blood, but that doesn't mean you can overlook the absence of that undefinable 'something' that is the difference between loving someone in a greater or lesser degree. It doesn't have to be anyone's fault - and if it is then it's highly likely you're both to blame even if you don't want to admit that. With us it had been a very, very slow process of neglect - or maybe an inability to try hard enough to put things right. Fear too - of pushing too hard for something too painful to face.
Stress plays its part and you reach a stage where you have no more resources to keep up the pretence that everything is OK, when in fact it's anything but. Even if one of you feels you could make it work again, it's a hopeless case if the other has no more energy to spare - and no interest in retrieving something that, for them has faded away from existence.
And of course the answer to this is - yes...
However much I might wish it otherwise, I reached the end of the road as to what I could tolerate in the working world. I'm 'scared and raw' - scarred raw in fact. I didn't fit any more. Not anywhere. And however illogical and intransigent that sounds it's still how I feel.
So I try to find other ways to 'make myself useful'. What I do online is part of it, possibly the most important part. Not with what I write so much as who I meet on there. It's hard to take in I think - how you can feel close to people you may never meet, but it happens and most people who are part of an internet community of most sorts will understand the support and positive friendships that you can find online.
And it's a two-way street - I'm as good a friend back I think and part of that return of understanding and support is in written material, not just with email and IM but in my roleplay and my poetry and fiction too. If only I got paid for it...!
So I may still be broken but I do fit in some places and with certain people. So that has to be a good sign doesn't it?
I was broken.
broken and torn
torn and worn
worn and tired
tired and sad
sad and broken…
I think I’m alone.
alone and mad
mad and quiet
quiet and lost
lost and forlorn
forlorn and alone…
I am still numb.
numb and apart
apart and scared
scared and raw
raw and broken…
Am I still broken?
Can I tell you?
Can I tell you that I love you?
Sometimes I think it is simple and I can
But when I try - I can’t.
Can I believe that you want me?
I wish I could know we were that close.
To feel you care and love me too?
Can you know how deeply I feel for you?
I fear I want too much and have no right,
Unless you feel the same way too.
Can I tell you that I love you?
It is not simple and I know it.
Can you instead say that you love me?
He loves me, he loves me not - and the petals fall and curl in death on the floor... Maybe it's just playing at being in love and if that's online then you can kid yourself as much as you like? And if one of you likes to play games, blow hot and cold, then it gets confusing.
Sometimes you feel so constrained you feel it's best to leave things unsaid, but that's something I can't really do anymore - it's partly leaving things unsaid that stripped any joy from my life and left me numb and almost mute with sadness.
So a paradox for me. The person who showed me I could feel again, doesn't want me to feel much for him. So is it any wonder I end up confused about what I can and can't tell him...
And then hope triumphs over experience? Maybe. Maybe not. Who knows? I certainly don't, but I know how to keep a good friend at least. Feelings are strange beasts and they don't get any easier with age it seems. Has to be that way I suppose because everyone has baggage and the older you get the more of it you have.
So this is wishful thinking and again Jano sang it after one sad New Year when thing weren't so good all round and yet again we were life-belt sharing. On the surface it seemed quite a good time as I'd come through yet another bad patch but it had left me exhausted, and online Jano was in much the same state. So this is hope after heartache I guess.
Let us begin again?
Both knowing more
Of depth of feeling and of pain
To mend the other’s heart so sore...
Can we be happy yet?
Find enduring balm
In words and faith within us set
So strong and sure, in love so calm…
Will we still find our peace
In sharing dreams?
Nestle deep in our pods like peas?
Can we still find those mountain streams…?
Would our souls twine and grow?
Our passions reign
Bright and fair in love’s heady glow?
Oh can we please begin again?
It must be me? Who else could it be?
I want everything, but feel I have nothing to give.
I crave the truth, but know it will most likely hurt.
The one I do not want, wants me.
The one I want to be with, doesn't want to be with me?
Does he? Doesn’t he? Only I can torture me.
I think I face the truth, but keep on looking for lies.
Try to play it cool and end up holding too fast, aim set high.
Long for real closeness, but ask too much and must step back.
I want to love so much, but cannot find I am loved in return.
Or worse - that I can only give empathy, where once a passion burned.
Must it be me? Who else could it be?
And then yet more crises of confidence as I felt my support systems were falling down all over. In a way I shouldn't have been so surprised by this as I was still trying to adjust to finally being freed from all ties to my old employers, plus a new situation at home as the relationship settled into a new era as friends sharing a house. In my online 'life' Jano was feeling very sad as one by one her friends were called away into the demands of offline life in University and careers and familial obligations.
In the midst of all this I had come off my medication and after an initial period where I had been feeling pretty happy about things, I had finally gone into a downswing and was having a job coping with all the things that the pills had kept at bay, so consequently my state of mind was at best confused and at times a good dash of anger was right up there - and I don't handle being angry that well...
Every shackle and tie I break
Trying to find some liberty
All the dreams and hopes I grab
They never seem to set me free
Do I ask too much? Lose faith in reality?
There are no answers it seems
And my life is this gaping void inside of me
I take my comfort where I can
Find people I trust and rest in calm
But even then I dream too hard
Lose myself in wanting more
Wanting things to move too fast
Except I’m waiting still for nothing much
But maybe hope is there, just testing me?
So no answers, only steps on a trek
A journey that seems to be a cycle
Repeating dashed hopes and full of fear
I want too much too soon I know
Forget I still have time and faith
Because I still have trust in my ability to love…
I only need to know this can be justified… or not?
And more of the same - I wrote this and It must be me? at the same time actually - doing the angst-ridden poet thing beside a lake on Bodmin Moor. I rather spoiled the effect by sitting in the car writing these, but it was February, windy and raining hard at the time and I was so screwed up I didn't want to add pneumonia to my other maladies and problems...
See - I'm definitely not the suicidal type and even my muse has a very practical bent! Neither of these are fantasy suicide notes but a strong streak of self-analysis in both which I suppose is good. Humour is a great weapon isn't it? I find it very easy not to take myself seriously, but the more morose writing is a valid outlet I suppose. Most of the sad stuff seems to write itself very quickly actually and it's the same with my fictional writing too. This is quite strange really because when roleplaying I enjoy writing comedy more. I suppose that also fits the profile maybe - sad clowns etc? Life is very strange and on the whole I think it deserves to be laughed at for being so weird.
Is this the end?
Or the beginning?
Or maybe just a choice…
End of the road?
Or a twisting turn?
The way is never clear…
No more sad tears.
No more of pretence.
No hiding from the truth.
Time to move on.
Reach out with all my heart.
Finding a new way now.
No settling for less.
Time for change. Time for me.
I think here I was feeling quite strong if a little tentative. Ready to get back in the swim of things perhaps. I wrote this on a flight to Newcastle to meet some of my forum friends, most of whom I didn't know too well at the time, so for a stay-at-home depressive this was quite an adventure.
A lot of my anxieties seem to lessen when I'm on my own and comfortable in my surroundings which makes this and the next piece rather atypical as being on a plane (I loathe flying, but couldn't afford to overnight) with a lot of strangers would not generally have me writing away. Also I hadn't written much for about 3 months at this point as there had been all kinds of disruption online and I had left my original fan forum to join the one these new friends were on.
Anyway - despite the flying I had a most enjoyable away day and those new friends are some of the dearest I have made these last few years.
So two variations on a theme and I suppose more or less facing up to reality and wanting to be honest and trying to find a new path to be the person I needed to be. Twaddle quite possibly but positive - no mean feat for me. A lament too because of course, although I wasn't 'alone', I was on my own and free for a few hours of everyday company that I was looking on more and more as an irritant.
Admitting that to myself, however mean and ungrateful, did at least confirm my instincts that I needed the separation and space. On the return journey I almost wanted to miss the plane, but I went back to normality with these two pieces to remind me that I wasn't making these 'adjustments' to the way I was living my life for the hell of it.
I still don't know where I'll end up but slowly I'm getting my bearings and have a better idea of where I want to be and why. Writing poetry, happy or sad, helps me to see my way more clearly and so I will always be glad I rediscovered it. And be thankful to those who encouraged me to write.
The light died.
I don’t know how
Or even why.
Was it too much?
Or not enough?
There are no answers.
So what now?
What way to go?
Seek out new life?
Cling to the old?
No place to hide
Stand strong on my own.
My love went.
It’s gone away.
No real reasons.
Just faded out.
I don’t know how.
It just failed and died.
What is it that you want of me?
Or maybe what I want of you?
We miss the friendship that's for sure
and maybe more than crass desire?
I sense potential that you deny,
or will not look for... reason why?
I understand I think, but maybe not
and what use pushing a door that's locked?
Is it fear or just distance,
measured in the mind and by ennui?
There are flashes that lure me on,
though I know a rebuff waits on your lips.
I am bold enough to hope
whilst all you do is refuse to see...
Settling for my lesser gifts
I would give more if you could break free.
So what is it that you want of me?
'Cos from where I stand it could be more
than just a passing moment, sharing heat
and facile lust that leaves too much
unsaid, unshared. Maybe I see it wrong,
read too much, too far, too warped...
Still I can dare, where you will not?
I offer love perhaps? Your choice. Your shot.
There's a huge gap for real world work between this and the last piece. And I publish this on here after another 3 months in which I have written no verse at all. Timing and mood have been strangers I guess. Not a good time for all kinds of reasons, but also of hope in other areas, even as some look far too black and unbearable almost.
The cyber and physical world at this time are growing closer it seems. When I wrote this I had re-opened communications after 5 months silence on both sides. I was angry of course and had been determined that 'this was it' - the end. But it wasn't. I am a stubborn person in lots of ways and mostly in that I will not let go of something or someone to the point of idiocy at times. If there is a good enough reason to I can however, walk away from the situation and 'stay walked'.'
And that is what I had decided to do, because I knew 'what we had' was damaged and was not worth the energy I was prepared to spend on him. I was convinced that I would not be giving in and return to a relationship that evidently meant too much to me and nothing much to him. But situations change and 'life is too short' as they say. I saw that he had not cut me out of his 'contacts' and one day I decided it was too silly and that the friendship was worth continuing with and so we spoke again - briefly but enough to open doors I thought I would leave locked. And I wrote this a few days later. And life and death kicked in again, but we were talking at least, and were of some kind of comfort to each other.
Little and enough...
A textual roleplay and leisure/pastime chat forum
founded by myself and some good friends
or ~ if you're an author or illustrator
then you're welcome to come and see us at
Jan the Diva 2003 - 2015