When they say blood…

When they say blood means
anything other than life
I say it is all that remains.
This liquid legacy haunts
arteries and veins. They say
it’s thicker but I don’t feel it.
If I could transfuse it gone
I would do it. Like how I soften
the crease in the middle of my brow.
How I still hide the shape of my chin
when I smile. Even that temper,
like a fury, which would render me
silent barely bares a hint of resemblance
when it burns wild in the pit of my belly.
There’s no bond bound here. My blood
only runs cold in remembrance of you.
Let light split wide open any darkness
remaining. When I bleed now you would
not recognise it as anything but love—
you, a stranger.

~The H Word~

Where Do The Days Go?

So, here we are. Day 16 of NaPoWriMo and I got a little lost around Day 7. It happens and I’m trying not to stress about it (which means I am stressing about it). But I’m back and I’m sharing a list poem that I wrote back before I wandered down the path of Netflix and Vikings and not being able to do any writing! I hope you’ve had a wonderful weekend and that Sunday is slow and easy for us all.

Tips for the Perfect Day

Weather: Does not have to be sunny with its show-off shine, can be low-sky half-light with its saggy grey cloud, so long as it shows promise. Promise of what? You’ll see.

Action: Can be one or many, does not have to be fancy. Can be following a trail through some strange or familiar forest. Can be visiting a shop with no intention of buying. Can be sitting stock-still looking out and admiring. Just do something, anything, or nothing at all.

Company: Choose this one wisely. You want someone who is happy to be in your orbit. Do you know who they are? I hope you do. As the world is a lonely place without them. (NB: This person can also be yourself).

Laughter: This is essential. Can be giggle or chuckle or rip-roaring cackle. Let it start from your belly and then feel its release. If there’s tears you are winning on this perfect day but if not, do not worry, they will come soon enough.

Story: We all tell them, even if we are not aware. Each time you remember, or forget, it has story at its heart. Try to remind one another of memories you’ve shared and in the making of new ones remember one day these will also be retold.

Direction: Forward is not the only way. Often backwards can be rewarding if you know how to do it. Or detours sideways can also have joyous results. And sometimes stationary is best for revealing which direction is right.

Destination: I don’t mean where you are going. I mean how will you know when you get there. Remember aimless and clueless are two different things. You want to understand so you’ll know when you’ve arrived. Because you never know, you could be there already.

~The H Word~

Conversations with Friends

They sit on sagging sofas saying nothing. Each glance an accusation. One adjusts her position, straightens. Another, clears her throat, sound echoes off bare floor boards—polished to perfection yet stark and uncomforting. The third, leans forward, elbows rest on knees which ache after yesterday’s rain. The clock on the mantlepiece ticks each second like an ultimatum. No words pass between them, although adamant thoughts settle in the minds of those present. It should be her, thinks one. It won’t be me, thinks another. And the third thinks of happier times before conversation became confrontation.

A thin chime sounds from the clock. Its solitary note signals one in the afternoon. The three share a startled twitch, not quite a jump, they are long passed that, but a movement of shoulders followed by a prick of adrenaline at the sudden sound. How ludicrous this is, fumes one. I have things to do, lies another. And the third sighs, before resting back against the once-plump cushion which now fits the shape of her back like a passing hug from a loved one. Then, a chink of light breaks through the cloud-laden sky and shoots a butter-hued beam through the centre of the room. Dust particles dance in its wake before settling into the darkness below.

There was a time their voices overlapped. Each desperate to share news or gossip with the others. No offence taken at interruption, merely gasps of excitement or nods of acknowledgement along with words of encouragement to go on. Time would jump forward as if someone sneaked in and tampered with the clocks (there were several all around the house). They would say, look at the time! But none cared or felt hurried to cut short their precious meeting. Now, time stands still. The clocks still tick, the chimes still chime but they are suspended in this stand-off.

I should leave, thinks one. There’s no point being here, thinks another. And the third wishes she could reach out and shake sense into them all. Communicate what they could not, remind them of what they had lost and endured. But no sense could be shaken today. They knew what was lost and are still enduring the pain. This was the problem. Then, the clouds close ranks to repair the breach in their grey-gloom and any warmth in the room is extinguished. It is as if someone has flicked a light-switch. Shadows spread out and swallow the centre of the room. A splash of rain appears on the windowpane and trickles down like a single tear.

I should have brought an umbrella, thinks one. I knew it would rain, thinks another. And the third thinks this can’t go on despite knowing it could and probably would. How many years has it been since these three shared anything other than a grudge? Why had she believed an hour in this room would be enough to repair the damage? The shower outside becomes a deluge. The view from the window, an impressionist painting and the trees and flowers a melting pot of colour. At least the silence is broken. The pattering of raindrops dash against glass and various objects in the garden. It is soothing. All three feel its calming meditation. Muscles relax, jaws unclench, fingers uncurl. Eyes meet. Then tears trickle down cheeks as the rain did only moments before. They increase in intensity and create their own downpour. Sobs heave in chests, escape mouths once guarded now ready to speak.

But no words are required. Hands are grasped, fingers entwine and in that moment, another break in the storm clouds allows sunlight to illuminate and envelop all in such relief. A combined exhalation breathes life into friendships. I miss you, thinks one. I love you, thinks another. And the third thinks only of how lonely life would be if they did not have each other, through the good times and the bad.

~The H Word~


Someone nearby

has lit their fire.

Smoke smudges

the edges of everything.

In the garden

green hues muted,

my view, dream-like.

Streamers of rain

dampen, leaves shine,

pools gather in celebration.

The window a vision

as I sit and wonder

about life that has happened

and all that is to come.

~The H Word~

Friday’s Commute

The passing glare of headlights

Is interrupted, through the side

Window flames lick the horizon

Like dragon’s breath has set alight

That perfect point where land meets sky

And it is beauty, breath-taking,

Enough to make you want to stop

And pay attention. A new day is dawning.

You should celebrate, do something

Significant, mark the moment,

But you have work to go to, so you drive

On, reluctant, take one last glance

In the rear-view mirror as the sky

Explodes in crimson colour, hues

Which seem to scream murder

As you round another corner

And flee the scene.

~The H Word~

Fear Not My Darling

We wait together, you and I

as night falls, light dies, extinguished

day’s death never grieves us

illuminated in moon’s torchlight

we navigate night’s crippling darkness

find shelter in its blank canvas

and feast on fear, you and I

swallow bitter disappointment until

satisfied enough to try again.

~The H Word~

Slipping Through the Cracks

How much more can we possibly take?
Before this life we have built will come
tumbling down. Our homes made with love,
gentle hands, how can they withstand
all that’s expected of us? Our collective
stress evident on every street, in the faces
of strangers and those that we love. The
crumbling has already begun. Dust clouds
around our feet as we trudge through the rubble
of collapsing society. Trying to pretend everything
is okay. When nothing is okay or ever will be again
any time soon, or so it feels. Yet, we hope.
For hope is all we have, that kindness and
compassion will win through in the end.
I hope for you now. For me, for all of us
existing day by day, week by week, wondering
How much worse can things possibly get?
Knowing only too well what the answer could be
and gripped by fear of what comes next.

~The H Word~


The gatekeepers are working overtime,
again. They’ve polished their swords
with blood, sweat and tears collected
from those they deem less than themselves.
They’ve upgraded the locks, see how
they capture the light. Let them stand
for attention, guard all they can.
No-one wants to gain entry
to a poisoned domain.

~The H Word~

Where You’ll Find Me

Used to being on the outside
looking in   observing all who
seem to fit with no difficulty
how I wish it were me   just
once   to feel like I belonged
not bystander or onlooker or
never truly part of it   maybe
my time will come or maybe
it won’t   so for now you will
find me on the edge   waiting
patiently for a sign it is okay
to come inside and join you.  

~The H Word~

Tomorrow is always another day (with audio)

Each morning arrives like clockwork
lightened with love the sky opens up
offers new hope like candy   take a handful
stuff pockets with endless possibility
it’s no-one’s fault we tend to waste it
fail to embrace its blankness   insist
on carrying forward yesterday’s garbage
such a waste of a new beginning
maybe tomorrow will be different
maybe tomorrow we’ll take that sweet
potential and decorate our day with fresh
perspective   hope that others do the same
welcome this gift we are given each morning
regardless of whether or not we feel
we deserve it.

~The H Word~

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