Kids

Sat watching from the balcony. A stranger to them, but not an unfamiliar scene to you. Like watching a film of your childhood. The childhood you could’ve had.
They run about now. The corn fields hiding everything but the shrieks of laughter that frequent your ears.
With the sun glaring down in the baking heat, kids in overalls laugh and play, and you wish with everything you could join in.
Jealousy is not a becoming trait in anybody, but jealousy of a six year old is particularly odd. And you wouldn’t admit it to any one who asked, but the urge to join in is just as strong as the urge to laugh at the scene itself.
One little boy is now running with a bucket over his head, chasing the others, running with delight. Some older ones show up on bikes, but rather than bother them, they help the smaller kids to ride them too.
Kids.
It’s what they are.
They are kids.
You are not.
Nostalgia; that’s all it is.
But can you really feel nostalgic over something you never had?
So you’re jealous.
Jealous of kids, and it’s quite sad really.
Pathetic you almost hear your mother sneer.
You won’t join in – you cant.
It’s society’s expectations that tie you down now, rather than your mother’s words.
But you’ll sit; finish the coffee, and maybe order another.
No one looks, so no one questions.
You’re free to be a tourist in the youth you never had.

A/N: Was listening to “Kids” from the Stranger Things soundtrack when this popped into my head. Thanks for reading.

"Tourist in your youth" is inspired by a similar quote in T2.
Written 08/17
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Sophie’s Choice

This is also another one of my AH folio pieces. It is a monologue type poem inspired by the train station scene in Sophie’s Choice. The structure is loosely inspired by “Stobhill” by Edwin Morgan.

Sophie’s Choice

Nazi General
I did what I was told to do;
what I had to do.
The process is necessary.
I let her keep a child for Christ’s sake!
We are simply following God’s will;
creating the race that the world needs.
It was Jesus that proclaimed “Suffer
little children to come unto me”,
and suffer she would.
Suffer for the good of the world;
her Christian mother should understand.
We’re hardly the first or last
people to do this.
As King Herod proved –
it’s human nature to rule over
the weak.
I only walk in the footsteps
of Herod and Christ.

Nazi Guard
I could feel her tears
soaking through my jacket;
but I wasn’t unnecessarily cruel!
Look, I was simply following orders.
Do your duty for your country and
your family will be safe.
Don’t tell me you wouldn’t do the same
if you were in my position.
The Reich is only safe
for those who serve it.
I have a little girl just like her;
I kill to keep her unharmed.
Every parent would do the same.

Mother
Take my little girl. Take my
baby, my baby, my baby.
That’s all I could say. And her
tears, oh her tears. The screams, the
cries. Why would they do this? How
could they do this? I ask for
an answer I already know. Silence.
The silence in my head that multiplies as
love is evacuated. The vast space
filled with my baby’s screams.
People were silent
and now it’s too late. Too late for us, the
Jews, the communists…the list grows
every day. He said
it was for the good of God.
But God couldn’t,
he shouldn’t allow
the death of my baby girl.

If God couldn’t love, then I had too.
A shred of love left for the small boy
anchored to my side.

Son
Warum ich Mama? Why? I asked but she
wouldn’t stop crying. Her tears falling
on my wet face. I tried to make her
change her mind, to give me over
for Hanna. I was her big brother.
Ich bin stark;
I should have protected her! But
I need to look after my Mama now.
The officers like me if I speak German,
so that’s what I do.
Say I could almost be like them, if my
Mama wasn’t mine. They point at
my eyes, and pet my hair. I don’t mind if it
helps my Mama. That’s all I do.
I miss my Papa and Hanna.
Ich vermisse sie!
I hope they’re together.

Onlooker
Well, I can’t say I blame her
for choosing her boy.
The men have more worth here.
The girl was pretty, yes,
but take her to the age of twenty and she’d
still have to become a housewife for
the Reich. Women are only superior to
the Jews here.
Part of me tried to step forward;
my feet even shuffled slightly.
But no words came out.
If I speak up for this girl,
who will speak up for me?
No one.
The only thing louder than the crying
is the silence.
The girl will be sent
to her imminent death, but yet I am still
jealous. I’m a “filthy communist”. I don’t
get a choice. My children shall die
long before I do.

Daughter
Mama, where are you? I want
to ask the man holding me
but you were scared of the soldiers Mama,
so I should be too. The man smells Mama;
not nice like how Papa used to smell.
I want to run but I can’t Mama, he’s holding me

too tight. There’s a train Mama, like the one
I can see from my bedroom. There’s so many people and

he’s putting me on the train Mama and

 

they’re shutting the doors Mama

 

and it’s so tight Mama and

 

I can’t see.

 

Mama.

 

Written 04/17

Never a bridesmaid, never a bride

A/N: I’ve been off this a while writing new pieces to post. This piece has actually been finished for a long time, but I submitted it as part of my AH folio, and couldn’t post it until I received my grade for it. It’s probably one of my favourite pieces I’ve written.

Never a bridesmaid, never a bride

White and gold.
White and gold.
I always knew he was one for grandeur, but I thought she’d be able to reel him in just a bit. We used to laugh when people picked gold over silver, yet here were the pews, the altar – Christ even the doorway – draped and drowning in waves of white lace and gold ribbon. Even on the short walk to the very back pew, the glitter and gems on the floor catch under my shoes, crunching and cracking like the bones I longed to snap. The piper was playing such a pained lament, and I had to bite back a snide comment about it being like a funeral. It would be all too easy to turn around and bolt, but I owed her this much. It was supposed to be me, so the least I could do was show up and sit in the back row. Moisture built up on my palms as I checked my makeup, praying that the thick layers weren’t smudged. At the very least, I had to look presentable.
Two hours max at this ceremony. Then I could use the sickness I’d been feeling for months to fake my way out of the reception. The sickness that seeped through my veins – up to my head and around my chest. Adrenaline spiked blood pounded through my skull, making my mouth dry and my head spin, yet I hadn’t even cracked the seal on my hipflask yet. It already felt like I was going to need something stronger.
As comforting as the thoughts of fleeing were, they couldn’t banish the ghastly sight of this church from my mind. I didn’t know much about God, but I figured that someone who could throw together a semi-decent planet in less than seven days would not be impressed by the way this church was currently decorated. Everything about it was far too extravagant, and I pushed my trainer-clad feet under the pew, away from judgemental eyes. They were only half hidden when I was met with resistance, and I inwardly cursed this church for being so constricting and claustrophobic. My chest was already heaving at the lack of air, and the décor was only making it worse.
Between squeezing my legs into the tiny pew, and my current contemplating, the lilies arranged at the top of the pulpit had spewed out a cloud of pollen, which was now tightening its grip around my throat. At least any tears I shed from now on could be excused as an allergic reaction. I wanted to question the choice of lilies; both she and I knew that they were the worst type of flower, especially at an ever so classy white and gold wedding. The putrid orange pollen clung to and stained everything it touched. But I knew that he must have chosen the flowers too – so clingy, annoying lilies seemed perfectly appropriate.
Just as that realisation forced me to suppress a hysteric giggle that was quickly rising out of my chest, he walked in. In my head, I had compared him to every jack-ass jock, in every American film I could think of. None of them were even close to his level of malice.
Looking at him now, with his ridiculous white tux and – oh for the love of God – gold tie, he was every bit the arrogant school heart throb at prom. This might have well been a school cafeteria, with him and his posse of too-good-for-you groomsmen staring down at geeks and theatre kids assembled in the pews.
But unlike Andrew in The Breakfast Club, or Billy Nolan in Carrie, I knew he didn’t have a tragic backstory to justify his actions, nor did he have a horrific ending coming for him. He had a beautiful bride-to-be, a steady income with a suburban home, and the prospect of even more little jack-ass jocks running around in the future. That wasn’t how the story was supposed to play out.
Him and his minion of a best man stood at the altar – chests puffed and stupid smirks on their faces. They spent most of their time with their hands smoothing over their ridiculously slicked back hair, sniggering and whispering to each other. It was infuriating.
It was supposed to be me.
He was constantly putting on an act for her, and if she heard some of the things he said about her when he was drinking at the bar – snippets of conversations that drifted to my ears in the midst of pulling pints – she would not be with him now. I had that much faith left in her pride; left in our relationship.
“She’s fucking useless at cleaning, but I’ll get her trained soon boys…”
“Her voice gets so fucking annoying when she’s mad. But I mean have you seen how tight her body is? It’s worth the trade; like those tits…”
I’d had to take my break early that night – before my fist met his face.
Recalling the memory had left finger-shaped indents in the hymn book I was clutching. Fumbling, I grasped for the smooth leather-wrapped metal that was burrowed in the inside pocket of my coat, ducking down for a drink. Working at a bar tended to put you off alcohol; hell, one night serving groom-to-be Prince Charming could do that. But I needed a burn to pull me through; something to take the edge off the God-awful glint of gold and stench of lilies.
I had a high tolerance – both for alcohol and self-inflicted pain, it would seem – so I didn’t have worry about passing out. At best I would be slightly tipsy, and at worst, completely sober and coherent.
But even with this recognition of emotions, and alcohol doused attempts to sort them out, I still couldn’t answer the blaringly obvious question that had been haunting me for months.
Why didn’t I just tell her? Tell her that her boyfriend was the biggest twat I’d ever had the privilege to know.
She was my best friend, and I knew she would’ve listened. But I couldn’t, and for all the thinking and stressing I did over the issue, each time I arrived at the simultaneously sensible and terrifying answer. And I couldn’t deal with the mess that answer left.
Unfortunately, thanks to my horrendous luck and apparent inability to control my facial expressions, her surprisingly intuitive boyfriend figured out the answer to my problems at the same time I did. This wouldn’t have been an issue, had he not been the complete dickhead that he was.
“I know what you’re thinking, and it’s not normal. You so much as mention it to her, and I’ll tell everyone.”
The way he had said it was so horrid that copper had seeped into my mouth from where my teeth met my cheek. I didn’t want this; I didn’t ask for it. But at the same time, I couldn’t see how I could avoid it. She was just so gorgeous – always had been. And it wasn’t just her looks – God no. It was the knowing smile she’d give me when an inside joke came up. It was the vice tight grip of her hugs and the softness of her voice when she was upset. Hell, it was even the way she ate like a child – dropping crumbs everywhere and kicking them under her chair thinking no one could see. Thirteen years had left her deeply engraved on my soul, and I was completely screwed.
And although I knew what I felt for her, it was all I was sure of. Labels swirled around my brain; names and definitions causing a hammering in my skull. I didn’t know what I was. Besides, being forced to figure out how you feel by your best friend’s fiancé isn’t exactly the best way to do it.
So I didn’t.
“Will you be my bridesmaid? I need you with me through this.”
I couldn’t.
“I…I can’t. I’m sorry.”
I kept my mouth shut; pretended my tears at the engagement party were ones of happiness, and bit my tongue for fear of saying too much. Texts were typed but remained unsent; numbers dialled but never rang. I couldn’t do this. Because even if I had no qualms about being outed, I would still embarrass myself in front of my best friend. She loved a rich, intelligent guy, with a steady job as an engineer. I was an aspiring writer who waited on tables in order to get by. Oh, and I was a girl. Completely and utterly female.
“I need you with me through this.”
If only she knew how much I needed her. Needed her to know, to understand.
It was supposed to be me.
A single C chord was all it took to yank me back to the present. Shoving the hip flask back in my pocket, I began looking at the hymn book on my lap as if I’d never seen one before. Somewhere in my brain I had a snarky comment to make about how clichéd “Here Comes the Bride” was, but I was prevented from doing so by the panic rising up through my chest, clawing at my throat. I was no stranger to panic attacks, but this felt far different from anything I’d ever experienced before. Because usually when my heart hammered and my chest heaved, my first reaction was to run as my life depended on it.
Sometimes it felt as if it did.
This was different, for better or worse, and rather than fleeing, I found that I couldn’t move. The wooden back of the pew stuck to me like the lump stuck in my throat, and even the incessant trembling of my hands had ceased. The pollen from the lilies had crept even closer; its hand curling round my neck, restricting my air and forcing tears out of my eyes. My mask was slipping, mascara running, and I began to wonder if I was fated to spend the entire ceremony in this state.
She snapped me out of it.
Somehow, in my hyperaware state, I’d missed what was perhaps the most important part of the moment. The doors at the back of the church had swung open, and there she was. The most strikingly beautiful girl I had ever seen. Everything was on her now. The dress that was so completely her blocked all of the horrible gold from my sight. The god awful scent of the lilies was inexplicably washed away by her perfume – the same one I had bought her as a teen, and the one she had worn ever since. Before I knew it the stinging in my eyes wasn’t from the lilies, but from something far more instinctual. And then, as her eyes turned and caught mine, the numbness fled my body. Tears flowed, my chest heaved, and before I knew it I was standing on shaky legs.
I had to leave, and I had to leave now.
“You’ll always be my best friend, you know. No matter what happens, it’ll always be you and me.”
My chest ached, and I couldn’t understand why.
For all the love I had for her, and for all the longing I had for her to be happy, I still couldn’t do this. I could have her happy like this. She was meant to be with me for fucks sake – she had been since we were fifteen. He had ruined it for me, for us. If he hadn’t stood there, threatening to out me and looking at me like I was a piece of shit, then maybe we wouldn’t be in the position after all. Maybe I’d be the one waiting at the altar, with silver ribbon instead of gold, and the scent of roses filling the air rather than the awful stench of lilies.
It was meant to be me.
And maybe my anger wasn’t rational, but none of that mattered anymore. I could feel everyone’s eyes on me now, including hers, and my head neared combustion. I hadn’t said anything yet, and it would be best if it stayed that way. My inner monologue was good for keeping me occupied and all, but I’d wager that it wouldn’t be too entertaining for those in this church to hear.
On what seemed to be their own accord, my legs began to move, letting me scramble out of the pew whilst the air of confusion kept everyone silent. The longing I felt to look at her once more – to have a lasting image of that gorgeous girl in the wedding dress – was so overwhelming that I faltered on the way to the door. I was always like this with her – masochistically picking at the wound so it could never properly heal.
But I had to see her – really see her – one more time.
The thought of having to look her in the eyes almost put me off, but hell, this was probably the last time I’d ever see her.
So it was it that thought that I let my eyes wonder, seeing for the first time how the white lace clung to her chest, tickling her collarbone. How the golden waves of hair caught and glinted in the light. And finally, those sparkling green eyes – the same ones that could convince me to do almost anything when they went all soft and pleading. Much like everyone else’s, they too were wide in shock, but they still retained the lingering softness that forever made my heart swell. A flicker of something else crossed her eyes too – realisation, or something else I couldn’t quite name.
Then it was gone.
Or more specifically, I was gone.
My legs carried me out, stumbling and accidentally knocking over some of the flower displays. I’d ruined enough already that a few smashed vases didn’t matter.
My heart thundered in my ears and my stomach dropped a thousand stories, but it was almost over.
I was half way down the stairs at the front of the church, my feet tripping over each other, when I heard it – falling through the air like the confetti that was waiting to be thrown.
My name, ringing through and piercing the thumping that had muffled my hearing; softly spoken yet demanding in one word.
Footsteps thundered down behind mine – and God damn this girl – because I couldn’t go anywhere now.
Maybe this was how the story was meant to end.
And maybe that was okay.

Written 04/17

 

Anorexia Sonnet

To make things very clear – I do NOT like this piece. I wrote it early on in my course when I was experimenting with what sort of poetry I liked best. Needless to say, sonnets are not a favourite. However, I’ve decided to post all the old stuff of mine that I can find, and that includes pieces I don’t particularly like. Whilst I hate the piece itself, it is about my battle with an eating disorder, so is personal to me.

Anorexia Sonnet

It starts with an unconscious decision
You wanted to be healthy but not lose.
Watch what you eat with constant precision.
Soon you’ve lost the ability to choose.

Started with food but now exercise too.
No night you do not run so you are sick.
You can’t feel, can’t cry, you can’t even chew.
Try as you might; can’t get rid of this tick.

You realise one day when you hear that song
Happiness is possible – you are free!
The voice in your head, it’s been here too long
You’ve shed your blindfold, and now you can see.
Your head does not spin, your chest does not heave
You have stopped drowning, and now you can breathe.

Written 06/16

Tales from another broken home

This one’s pretty personal to me. The album in reference is Green Day’s American Idiot. All lyrics are italicised. Creds to the band for such a great album.

Tales from another broken home

Bought in a shop before it shut down
(Like your life)
The last thing he gave you
And it would seem significant now
How this foreshadowed the next years of your life

Like my father’s come to pass
It’s like you expected it
He was dead before his heart stopped beating
A ghostly shadow of himself

It’s not over ’till you’re underground
Or so you thought
It went on for weeks
Unresolved pain that you couldn’t share

Thought I ran into you down on the street
Then it turned out to only be a dream
Even now, it’s the only way
You can see him
And years on
The anger still churns in you when
You’re reminded of the wasted time

The musical connection you lost
Try and seek it with anyone you meet

But this album itself
Could carry you for years
Changing in meaning as your life does too
Laughter, sadness, hope
This album’s seen it all

Like the man it so reminds you of
The blackness of death
The purity of hope
Of the red pain and love in between

A heart shaped grenade
Clutched by a ghostly pale hand
And like the aftermath of a war
Disaster brings you together
Family
United by pain and love all the same

Frayed over time like the love that you hold
Cracked like your heart
Worn like your brain
You will never hear the songs the same
As you did
When he gave you it
Four years ago

Written 11/16

Freckles

Little thing I wrote in my notes when I was looking at the stars. I saw 2 shooting stars that night which was pretty cool. Warning: gay as hell.

Freckles

They form a familiar map
Across the space of her skin.
A trio creating Orion’s belt
Dotted along the shoulder.
Celestial clusters hiding in
The crook of her arm.
A dusting on her back.
Hundreds scattered over the galaxy
Of her face; blooming when her smile
Radiates sunlight.
The darkest located just to the right of her lips;
The North Star to guide me home.
It would take a light year to count them all.
Even longer to kiss.
But it never stops me trying.

Written 03/17

Sally

I’m not too big a fan of this one. Was gonna do a Jack piece then a Jack & Sally piece to continue to the story, but I kind of gave up. Maybe one day. Creds to Disney/Tim Burton for the creation of Sally, though I feel my character deviates nicely from the original.

Sally

People say they didn’t ask to be born;
Well honey, I didn’t ask to be made.
Because even if you hate everything
You have, you are you.

I am not me.

My heart belonged to a kindly carpenter;
My brain to a Dark Knight.
Ripped out shortly after death.
The body that carries me made
From the piles of dead.

The stiches that hold me together
Work, but only for my limbs.
My mind is a different story,
And my heart a different tale.

The darkness manifested in my brain
Doesn’t stay there like it should.
It flows out my mouth and through my fists
In a torrent that I can’t control.

White light from my heart
Often tries to compensate. But the battle
Hurts like the needles that made me,
And stabs like the cold at night.

Sometimes the darkness is like
The blood that I don’t possess.
Approaching my heart, steady as the tide.
Unstoppable.

When the darkness crashes over my heart
The light goes. And that’s the worst part.
Because whether I love you,
Or if I hate you,
I’ll hurt you all the same.

Because the heart that loves you
Is gone; no longer mine.
And if we’re being perfectly honest
It was never mine to begin with.

The only way snuff the darkness
Is to drown it with the light of love,
Or succumb to it, and welcome
The blackness of death.

Death is rather hard to achieve
When you’re made from the dead.
And love,
Well love is truly laughable.

This isn’t my fairytale.

In the battle of Heroes and Villains,
Us Villains always lose.
And I find it funny that ending I deserve
Might just be the death I so crave.

But this isn’t my story to dictate.
So I sit – sit and wait.
Dates and years blur as I await the day
That the darkness comes to wash me away.

 

Written 04/17