Intruders – Poem (Based On A True Story)

I went to my drumming the night before last
Our group was small, but the beat was fast
I played on the bass and the conga drum
It’s a casual group, and we have so much fun

Someone on cymbals; another played chimes
The latter helps us to play in time
The tambourines made a jangling sound
We played together; the music profound

Passion abounded as we played out our hearts
And before we knew it, an hour had passed
Time to stop for some snacks and a brew*
Then, in walked three men that none of us knew

I was really frightened; who were these men?
Walking amongst us like familiar friends
They sat themselves down like they belonged there
I wanted to run, but I was too full of fear

They said not to move as they carried knives
So there was no way we were risking our lives
Sitting silently, hoping they would go
Was this a nightmare or a horror show?

They started to damage our instruments
Our fear and anxiety were so immense
Drunk off their faces but high on cocaine
We thought we’d never get out again

One of our group took out their phone
It got grabbed and onto the floor it was thrown
Then they suddenly left; every single one
It was over as quickly as it had begun

We called the police but they couldn’t come
Too busy, they said; we sat feeling numb
They’d call round to see us the following day
Asked if we were hurt and were we okay

We picked up the pieces; couldn’t wait to get out
What the hell was that all about?
I came home still shocked and went straight to bed
Will this ordeal ever leave my head?


*A brew is a common British word for a pot or mug of tea.



(Image – Google free images)

Writer’s Block

I’ve been sitting here all day, staring at the clock
I’m trying to write a poem, but I’ve got writer’s block
I’ve got several partly written, but none of them seem right
As I’m looking at this naked page where everything is white

I’m getting so frustrated; oh, come on, get on with it
I’m stuck on what to write, and time’s getting on a bit
Get your brain in gear, dear; don’t sit there in a huff
I know you’re getting bored, and you’ve really had enough

I could try again tomorrow, but I want to write today
There’s a lot on my mind, and so much I want to say
I’m refusing to give in and will not give up the fight
If I have to sit here crying all the way through the night

It’s coming up to dinner time; I’ve not got anywhere
I think I’ve lost the knack; at least, that’s what I fear
I could watch the telly, but the signal is on the blink
So, I sit here, mind vacant, and I don’t know what to think

I’m at the point of giving up, but I’ll know I’ll be so cross
If only I could say that I don’t give a blooming toss.
But, no, I simply can’t, as I was hell-bent on achieving
Now, I’ve lost all my words, and I sit here sadly, grieving.





Photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash

Measles

I never remember my dreams, but last night, I woke up at 2.30am in a state of panic and fear. I’d had a nightmare, only this time, I remembered it vividly. I have no idea where it came from; I hadn’t been talking to anyone about my experience, and it wasn’t in my mind yesterday. I’m left wondering why I would remember this now. As I wrote this, I was shaking, recalling every detail as if it were yesterday. These are my memories of that time.

I remember when I was five.
and only very small
I got measles and constant nosebleeds
and had to go into hospital

It was called ‘The German Hospital’
It treated contagious infections
I was scared and wanted my teddy bear
At five, I needed affection

But it turned out to be a prison
and I was shut up all day in a cot
and when Mummy and Daddy left me there
I was only a little tot

Hardly anyone came to see me
I was in total isolation
Even the nurses who came every few hours
just gave me nasty medication

I couldn’t get out of the cot
though I’d stand there and call and cried
Surrounded by four solid walls
and trapped in there, inside

And I added my own tooth marks
to those that were there before
on the cot rail, in utter despair
hoping someone would walk through the door

Not another child did I see
the whole time I was in there
Mummy and Daddy didn’t visit much
and nobody seemed to care

Not even an ounce of kindness
did I get in that awful place
and I stood for  hours, rocking my cot
with tears streaming down my face.


Busy, Busy, Busy

I’m suddenly so busy; I don’t know where to start
I decided last week to try my hand at art
Monday morning came, and I trotted off to town
Got soaked on the way as the rain thundered down

The art group was crowded, taking turns with the paint
and I really do not have the patience of a saint
I left rather early as I didn’t want to wait
with half a piece of work that I didn’t think was great

Tuesday morning is my own; perhaps time to write
I’m short on ideas, so will my piece be trite?
My imagination frazzled; do I really want to try,
or shall I stop here and now and simply say goodbye?

Tuesday afternoon, I’m at the gardening group
It gets pretty chilly; I was glad I’d taken soup
But nothing’s really growing, and the flowers are dead
I’ll wait till the spring and do something else instead

Wednesday night, I’m drumming; I have a brilliant time
I’m really in my element and feeling quite sublime
Thursday afternoons, I pick litter in the park
We walk around in twos like the creatures in the Ark

Friday comes around, and I have time for myself
I just cannot settle like the Elf on the Shelf*
I ought to read or write, but my concentration’s poor
not helped by the postman who is knocking at my door

Saturday at last, and I am seeing my best friend
I hope that our relationship will never, ever end
We’ll have lunch together; dip our biscuits in our tea
We think so similarly, and we rarely disagree

And finally, Sunday comes, and I’m free to lie in bed
I sleep too heavily and wake up with a sore head
The shopping comes from Tesco; now there’s food to eat
I snuck a bar of chocolate in; my happiness complete!


*Elf on the Shelf (for those who don’t know it) is a classic game that children get involved in at Christmas. There is a toy elf, and the parents/carers place it in different places around the home every night, so delighted children think the elf is moving around itself. My youngest grandchildren are sure that the elf is magic because of this!

Image by Brian Merrill from Pixabay


Filling Holes

I feel lost without the space where I once sat
And the easy way I used to be able to chat
About so much that was bothering me
Dealing with it all in my now absent therapy

I’m now on a waiting list; I hope a place comes soon
Feelings and sentiments are confusingly strewn
What to do with all this time that goes so slowly by
Waiting for a new assessment; I hope I qualify

I miss the reassurance that I could cope
I like to think I can, and I still have that hope
I must find other means with which to fill my days
Emotion, when choked back, finds other ways

I’ve found myself with lots of empty holes to fill
I somehow have the energy; I need to find the will
Thought I’d visit a workshop to try my hand at art
A brand new shiny hobby I could possibly start

Wednesday night, I’m going to circle drumming
Listen to guitars in the next room gently strumming
Beating the drums will get pent-up feelings out
Dispelling anxious tension, I have no doubt

I don’t need to be perfect; just try to keep the beat
It’s easy to catch on to; no need to be discreet
It’s about celebrating life and having lots of fun
I’m passionate about it, and I’m not the only one

Thursday afternoons, I’ll go out picking litter
Even when the weather is absolutely bitter
I’m with a group of people; wouldn’t dare to go alone
Filling council bags with rubbish that’s been thrown

Papers, tickets, fag ends scattered in the park
It keeps us very busy until it’s almost dark
Doing something positive to while away the time
As out of my despair, I’m slowly learning to climb.


Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

My Therapy – The End and The Beginning

As some of you will know, I had my last therapy session with my therapist, Chris, this afternoon. I’m not going to say it wasn’t tough because it was. We talked about what progress I’d made, even when I felt I wasn’t making any. We spoke about my poetry and whether I was going to continue writing. I am, naturally. I NEED to write – it’s the breath from my soul, and I would be lost and speechless without it. After I got home, admittedly in floods of tears, I wrote this poem to clear my mind and express my thoughts.

I’m thinking of taking a short break – not from writing, but, just for a while, from trying to keep up with all the blogs I follow (and that’s a lot) because I need some headspace to take stock of what I’m feeling, what I need and where I want to go from here. I will still be here and will, at least, try to read some blogs when I’m able to. I hope you will all understand.

Thank you so much to each of you who have been beside me and supported me through such a difficult few months. I’m eternally grateful. I’ll be back before too long.

With my love, Ellie Xx 💗🤍💗

~~~

My last session left me feeling distraught
I’m not being brave like I know I ought
Just before leaving, I asked for a hug
The answer was no, and I felt like a mug

She did, momentarily, hold my hand
Just briefly, though, as hugging was banned
I thought that this was so very kind
It calmed my heart and soothed my mind

I duly filled out the last questionnaire
To see, on the whole, how well I’d faired
I could see my progress, and more than a bit
I was somewhat surprised; I have to admit

Now, I have to wait for quite some time
I’ve got an awful long way to climb
I won’t be with Chris, but someone new
I hope I can bond with that person, too

She said it’ll be months before I’m seen
I’m wondering what I can do in between
I’m trying to find some way to cope
without completely losing all hope

I owe it to Chris, and I owe it to me
Not to turn this day into a tragedy
I hope I’ll be able to continue to write
It helps me to battle, and it helps me fight

I’m debating whether to take time out
To let myself fully get over this bout
I want to write, but less time to read
Right now, I have to do what I need.

“The last time always seems sad, but it isn’t really. The end of one thing is only the beginning of another.”

― Laura Ingalls Wilder, These Happy Golden Years

(Photo by Rowan Freeman on Unsplash)




Please Don’t Label Me

Please don’t label me

Let me grow up tall

Let me choose for myself

Who I want to be

I was labelled a difficult baby

Subsequently so, a child

Then an awkward teenager

An adult with disorders of the mind

I don’t like labels

If I am labelled

It adds to my load

Emotional baggage

Which goes charging

Through my life

Like a buffalo

In the Wild West

Or like a stranger entering

The Last Chance Saloon

To encounter a low-life

A corrupt villain with a blade

Who stares me out

As the midday sun gleams

And catches my eye

Through semi-closed shutters

Let me choose

Whether I live or die

If I choose to live

Let it be my decision

Don’t pin me down

Or tie me to a post

With shackles and chains

And take my options away

Don’t take my choice away

Don’t take my voice away

Let me shout out loud

My opinion counts

Let me run free

Across the dusty plains

Let me choose who I am

Don’t label me.

(Photo by Erwan Hesry on Unsplash)

An Alternate New Year’s Day

I know it’s New Year, and much joy abounds
but I’m full of despair, and it’s really profound
I’m trying to enter into the spirit of things
but I know this week is carrying the sting

Last night, bells rang, and glasses were clinked
I sat here alone, and all I could think
was the fear inside of me is here to stay
It filled me with utter and complete dismay

At Christmas time, I had my family here
and just for a while, it allayed all my fears
The children were great; I was thankful to see
Then, darkness descended, crippling me

I’m trying to hang on to a morsel of hope
when the whole of me is fighting to cope
I feel like my world will collapse forever
as my therapy ends; our relationship severed

I’ve written a letter to say thank you so much
I’m longing for a hug or a gentle touch
I know it’s unlikely; it’s not meant to be
Boundaries are there for Chris* and for me

I’m dreading Wednesday coming this week
I can’t see a future, not even a peek
My body is shaking; my head full of fear
The feeling of grief rises up to appear.


* Chris is my therapist/counsellor (until Wednesday)




NOTE: Forgive me a while if I can’t read your writing
I love you all, but I’m tired of the fighting
.

(Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash)

My Belated Christmas

Christmas Day was miserable; completely on my own
I really felt the odd man out, just dwelling all alone
But Boxing Day was different, with family being here
My son and the little ones; I hold them all so dear

The children’s eyes lit up as they saw all the wrapping
Both of them excited, and Charlie started clapping
Off came the paper, the ribbons and the bows
Imogen’s gifts all lined up in neat, tidy rows

The afternoon was spent playing with their new toys
I didn’t mind for one minute all the chat and noise
Tom brought their dinner as they wouldn’t eat nut roast
We all enjoyed our food, and Tom ate the most

It was a joy to have them here; they stayed overnight
New pyjamas, bedtime stories and all tucked up tight
Tom and I got chatting – it made a welcome change
It didn’t seem quite natural, so felt a bit strange

We ironed out our differences, which did us both good
My Christmas Day sadness seemed to be understood
The next day, we got up very early in the morning
The children were still tired; Charlie couldn’t stop yawning

They piled all their presents high in the car’s large boot
They waved out of the windows and headed on their route
I came back indoors to start clearing up the mess
I really wasn’t bothered as I felt so very blessed

Tuesday morning came, more excitement on the way
My daughter and her family came; we had a lovely day
We went to a restaurant, had lunch and some pud
Stuffed to the brim, as the food was so good

I hadn’t seen them all for much more than half a year
So, it was such a pleasure to have them visiting here
They didn’t stay that long; they had a fair way to go
When I’ll see them again, I really don’t know

As long as the love between us is always there
There’ll always be memories for us to share
I love both my children; they bring me so much joy
My five-foot-nothing daughter and my six-foot-two boy.


Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

Lonely This Christmas

‘Lonely this Christmas’, the song sung originally by Elvis Presley. Here, sung by MUD. Lyrics shown below text.

It’s Christmas Day, and here I am, sitting all alone
while my son plays happy families at his ex-girlfriend’s home*
I woke this morning – early – as I very often do
feeling pessimistic, low in mood and deeply blue

No cards on the table or presents on the chair
No tree in the corner, no tinsel; do I care?
I speak sternly to myself, for does it really matter
I’ve eaten all the mince pies and am only getting fatter

I miss talking to my Mum so frequently today
She passed away six years ago, almost to the day
I miss our laughs, shared over long-distance cups of tea
My heart hurts without her, my darling bonne amie

I cooked a Christmas dinner; I ate enough for two
I really should have guessed it; that’s what I always do
I haven’t had my pudding yet, served with vegan cream
I’m bursting at the seams because I go to the extreme

My friend was going to phone me, but she hasn’t got the time
so I replied, ‘don’t worry – I’ll be absolutely fine’
I’m sure that she believed me, my every single word
But I knew that my sentiments had gone totally unheard

Pull yourself together, girl; it’s really not that bad
I’ve plenty to be grateful for; I ought not to be sad
I wonder if the future holds any more of the same
I honestly don’t want to play this lonely, tired game

Peanut [cat] isn’t well; she’s completely off her food
Or perhaps, she is only picking up on my sombre mood
I’m longing for my bedtime to finish this long day
Tomorrow will be better when the children come to play.


* Explanation for this line …

I really don’t know what I’ve done wrong this year. I feel very excluded and ignored this Christmas. My son, Tom, is separating from his girlfriend (now ex-girlfriend). He’s found a new partner whom he loves very much, and they are buying a new house together. Tom and his ex. have been trying to sell their house, but it’s proving difficult in this present economic climate.

For no apparent reason, Tom decided to spend Christmas with his ex., his ex’s three adult girls and his ex’s parents. I met them all before on a previous Christmas Day about four years ago. We all got on okay. I don’t understand why I wasn’t included this year – I just know that it hurts – it hurts very much. Tom only has the children every other year, so the next Christmas I can spend with them will be in two years’ time. By then, my granddaughter will be at secondary school! Children grow up so quickly.

LYRICS

Try to imagine a house that’s not a home
Try to imagine a Christmas all alone
That’s where I’ll be
Since you left me
My tears could melt the snow
What can I do
Without you
I’ve got no place, no place to go

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

Each time I remember the day you went away
And how I would listen to the things you had to say
I just break down, as I look around
And the only things I see
Are emptiness and loneliness
And an unlit Christmas Tree

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

You remember last year, when you and I were together
We never thought there’d be an end
And I remember looking at you then
And I remember thinking that Christmas must have been made for us
‘Cause darlin’, this is the time that you really need love
When it means so very very much

So it’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be so very lonely
Lonely and cold

It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It’ll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It’ll be cold so cold
Without you to hold
This Christmas

Merry Christmas darlin’, wherever you are