An Inconvenient Anxiety.

It’s World Bipolar Day today, or so Twitter tells me.
Here’s a poem.

 

I want to do something new that excites me.
But, when I try and think of what that might be
I’m stopped by an inconvenient anxiety.
I’m anxious to not let life pass me by
But when I think of the things that I want to try
My life’s sent the message, but my brain doesn’t reply.
It’s those around me taking the plunge
Meanwhile, I’m home and dry.
Life’s boring.
Mine’s unimportant.
I should be doing something else
instead of loading the next Netflix installment.
Brain aching.
Body shaking.
And everyone around is unconvinced
by the tracing paper smile that I’m faking.
I wouldn’t describe myself as anxious
but the general consensus
among the nexus
of family and friends
that I’m still lucky enough to possess
would be that I am.
I act the laid-back flake.
Always game to participate,
Always ready to intimidate,
or imitate,
one of your mates,
But then, I’m home.
And I’m alone.
And the booze has run dry and the drugs are all gone.
And I’m just me again.
Me on my own
Going through last night’s pictures on my phone
Scraping dust from my grinder to get a little bit stoned
Enough so I can fall asleep
And count the sheep
Then slowly together my eyelids creep
and it’s two minutes later and my alarm, it beeps.
Here’s the morning, indiscreet.
As ever, the sun glares at me
through the supposed safety of my sheets.
It teases me
It chases me
to get outta bed and drink that same cup of tea
I always drink.
Without time to think
about how each day’s the same
and each day pushes me closer to the brink.
Now, in let that sink.

There it is again
that same old trend
that plays me round and round the bend
and never does it fucking end

A broken record in my head,
to play each day until I am dead.

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Ingredients.

I am made of thunder.
Bolts and nuts,
and all the chunks,
of my ancestors.
I am made of polyester.
I am made of sun rays,
and I am made of bread.
I am made up of all the insults,
the ones you never said.
I am made of beer
and I am made of wine.
I am made from all the prickles
found on the back of a porcupine.
I am made of leather,
I am made of lead,
I am made of the women before me,
the ones both alive and dead.
I am made of purpose,
and the thoughts you dare not speak.
I am made of cucumbers,
the leftover mouldy ones from last week.
I am made of raging hormones
and I am made of dust.
I made of nervous laughter
and of misplaced lust.
I made of sin.
I am made of dirt.
I am made from all the tears,
cried by those you’ve hurt.
I am made of wires
I am made of tea.
I am made of so many things,
but I don’t know what makes me.

 

Wishlist.

I don’t remember writing this poem, but it found it’s way onto my draft messages on my phone (where most of my poems are born). I guess I was inebriated. Whatever was going on, I suppose I felt the need to write this down. So I did. Enjoy, it’s called Wishlist.

Wishlist.

I want to eat ice cream with you in the morning at a quarter to three.
I want to steal the covers
and I want you to let me.
I want to get a dog together
and raise it the proper way.
I want it to be my birthday every single day.
I want to finish that poem
and I want it to be good.
I want you to keep your promise, the one you promised you would.
I want to wear the right clothes at the right time and never be too hot or too cold ever again.
I want to play the piano without having to learn how to play the piano.
I want to eat pastry without putting on weight.
I want to get the best grades
and I want to be cool.
I want to leave my clothes on and jump into a heated swimming pool.
I want to lay on the sofa in my pants watching telly, eating crisps on a Wednesday lunchtime.
I want to finish that poem and I want it to rhyme.
I want to know what you’re thinking
and I want to get better
I want a Staffy, and a Dalmatian and a well-behaved Irish Setter.
I want to drink wine for breakfast and eat cereal for dinner.
I want to buy a scratchcard and it reveal that I’m a winner.
I want every poem I have ever written to be received in exactly the way it was intended.
I want everyone to have a nice time, even those friends that I unfriended.
I want to finish this poem with a sentiment that stays with those that hear it
but I’ve run out of ideas and my brain is full of bullshit.

Credentials.

I wrote this poem after a “Careers Workshop” at my University. I didn’t quite know how to feel after approximately 30 minutes of questioning surrounding “what are my employable qualities?” paired with “Any experience for this role?”, or indeed “what makes me different from other candidates?” whilst simultaneously displaying a demeanor that reeked of nicely-fitting-in-and-being-a-yes-man. Ho-hum.

So, I didn’t write a CV out of it. I wrote this.
It’s called Credentials.

I got a 1st in Worry from the University of Panic.
I got straight A’s in Anxiety.
Special Achievement Award for when I’m suitably manic,
as for my depression,
much has been said for my ability.
Oh, and I’m top of the class for irritability.
I’ve got certificates in stress.
And the medals in my cupboard are for the countless
episodes where I’ve become
an emotional mess.
I’m No. 1 at overthinking.
I’m unsurpassed at second-guessing
and not being able to see the good in things
is simply what I’m best in.
I’m a fine student of chaos
in the field of disorder.
My brain is the ring
and I’m taking it to Mordor.
I’ve got trophies for uncertainty
and a grant for my fears.
I’ve gained a lifetime of troubles
in only 23 short years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘We met at the dog park’

So I’ve got this friend called Kay. It was her birthday on the 31st October and I wrote her this poem.

Then I thought I’d have a bit of fun and instead of writing it down for her, I’d plant a note with a Youtube URL on it inside one of her presents. It’s a video of me reciting the poem I wrote for her.

It’s the first poem I’ve ever recorded myself reading (and I learnt it off by heart!) and it took so many takes that this was the first one I did without making a mistake so, yeah.

Enjoy.

 

4 + 2 = 1.

I wrote this poem for the most loyal, most-legged, hairiest, smelliest and most affectionate being in my life. Fletcher. It’s called ‘4+2=1’.

To him my voice is mute.
Unless of course, he’s being all cute
getting rewards and attention
for simply not being a brute.

But I love him like he’s my child
and for us childless wonders
who can sleep in til 9 or 1018619995_10155318474800477_1972283233689306115_n
getting up whenever we want
or maybe not even then.
He’s the world.

My world on a lead.
A four legged dream.
Insubordinate and rude
but we’re still a team.

 

Together since 8 weeks old
and the stories I was told
Trying to change my mind
But one look at you, and boy,
I was sold.

 
You’re my fur covered mate,
my night and my day.
You’re the reason I’m late
and the reason I can’t stay.

But coming home to you,
is never a chore.
And the look on your face
when I walk through the door…
it’s just love.
Unconditional, relentless, unapologetic
love.

And it hurts to remember
that your life’s not long enough.
But when push comes to shove
I just have to think of
The far too few years you’ve spent with me
are more special to me
than all of China’s tea.

So let’s go to the park
before it’s too late.
And when you catch the ball
I’ll promise to celebrate
like it’s the best thing I’ve ever seen!
If we do everything right you might make it to fifteen.

I can’t promise you’ll be my only one
I got hooked because of you
But you’ll always be my first,
and that will always be true.

 

 

37 hours.

I wonder what your dreams taste like.
Do they taste as sweet as a kiss,
after not seeing you for 37 hours?
Does it taste the same for you, I wonder.

And does your heart beat like thunder,
when we hold hands in the rain.
And does pain seem to fade
when you’re sitting with me
with a bottle of dark rum
watching whatever’s on TV.

I wonder what your thoughts feel like.
Does your head feel fuzzy
and your heart a little lost
After 37 hours of me not being around.
And am I the hot head
And you the clown?

You’re the first person I go to
when I’m feeling too much up
or a little too down.

I gave up on myself a little,
when I got into you.
Don’t feel too bad, I’m just telling the truth.
It’s not often you find someone,
who appears to be
both poison and antidote
to your own mental health.

But whatever you are
and whatever we will be,
my eyes are wide open and my arms are free.

So let’s hold hands
and walk together.
Let’s take off our clothes and walk into the sea.
Let’s salt our eyes, so we can finally see.
Who we are now
and who we might be.
Two shadows in faded armchairs,
drinking far too much tea.

Today. 

I wrote this poem in the middle of the night whilst in Kavos recently. We’d been out drinking, toasting to Tess. Commemorating her life, one year since she had passed. This poem, whilst it isn’t necessarily about Tess personally, attempts to harness the attitude she took towards life – an attitude I strive to emulate. This poem is called, ‘Today”.
We sit and watch

the world on a screen.

Putting the world to rights,

over fights and towards dreams.

The dreams we sink into,

never knowing if we do

or say

the right things to the right people on the right days.

‘Cause it’s nice to feel right and it’s right to be nice

chewing the fat, discussing the men and the mice.

Two sips of a rioja

and its anyone’s game.

Placing the blame 

of today

on tomorrow’s gains.

‘Cause today’s pains are yesterday’s mistakes.

The same mistakes that make today’s shame.

Stubbing today’s ciggies in tomorrow’s ashtray.

And today,

would be nicer,

if we were all, a little nicer.

Smile at the postman and tip the waiter a fiver.

It’s sometimes hard,

to be nice,

as we grapple with vice.

The mean things we say

when we should have thought twice.

But tomorrow will still come

and today will arrive.

When the sun and the flowers and the laughter thrives.

Looking at each other across the table and think,

I’m pretty fucking happy that we’re both still alive.

Today’s fun and tomorrow’s regrets.

Tomorrow remembers and yesterday forgets.

So let’s eat toast,

at 3.45.

As today’s drinks end and tomorrow’s hangover comes to life.

Turn on the tv

so we can say our piece.

Entwining our hands,

as tomorrow offers peace.

A piece of knowledge and a slice of truth.

The bitterness of reality and the promise of growth.

Today ends slowly and tomorrow comes too soon.

Blaming our problems on the sun and the moon.

Today is over and tomorrow is next,

and if today is the worst, 

then tomorrow could be the best.

Friend.

This is a poem I wrote about my friend, colleague, fellow student and housemate, Jayd. Jayd is one of the reasons I started writing poetry and this one’s for her.

It’s called Friend.

 

I know the idea of me falling in love
wasn’t exactly ideal for you
but the home that we’ve made together
is still the one I come home to

I know that we wanted to
sit and talk and laugh and win
we can do that
we still do that
and we always will

We’re a bad influence on each other
in the best possible way
Ordering takeaway to reward ourselves
for doing nothing all day

Concentration is key
but the thing is we
get lost in funny tangents
just to procrastinate in thought
or talk about our previous selves
and all the battles that we’ve fought

You despise wings
and I despise legs
together a team
the very best of dregs
Piece of paper and a glass
our weapons of choice
I’ve got the dog and you’ve got the tortoise

You have long hair
smoke too much
you eco-poetry geek

I’ve got too many shoes
I drink too much
A right narky neat freak

You’re deaf in one ear
I’m blind in one eye
and when I cry
you simply reply
“Are you alright mate?”

And then I am
’cause there you are
tinnie in one hand and a
ciggie not too far.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Teach me.

Teach me how to grieve,
how to love,
how to leave.
Tell me those stories,
the ones nobody believes.
The one where the damsel saves herself
from peril.
The one in the pale moonlight,
where he dances with the Devil.

Tell me the one where the Butler didn’t do it.
Tell me the one where the couple make it through it.

I like the one where the main character dies.
I like the one where she has wooden buttons for eyes.

Tell me the one where the hero fails.
Beguile me forever with the tallest of tales.

Take me away and let me be someone else.
Gift me with illusions about my own sense of self.

Teach me how to grieve,
how to love,
how to leave.
Let me be part of the story,
the one nobody believes.