I have no tears

For mum I have no tears,
As each year passed we faced
Her slowly becoming less
From being someone
Who laughed and smiled and danced
Her recipes lost before we knew they’d disappear

Her name is Sarah Vieda Veronica
But Sarah is all most know
She responds when I pretend to be her mum
Telling her off “Vieda!”
The way Grandma Annie did
Under the Caribbean sun

She looks lost like a child
Sitting there
Not really seeing
But hearing all the same
I have no more tears for the woman lost
She’s still here
Mourning seems unseemly
Too early I fear

As the process chips away
Like deletions random access only
Emptying her mind of data
Making space for nothing happened lately
Contented? That’s what they say
But tears run down her face sometimes
When I say my name

Her eyes brighten in recognition
A warmth would greet my arrival
Then she would enquire
Have you seen Yolande?
Yes I’d say she’s well
Now there are no requests
No responses to try to understand

Except music penetrates
Through the fog of incomprehension
Her feet tap her hands move in her lap
She closes her eyes
And smiles
Lost in a moments inspiration

I loved it when she used to sing along
But that stopped a while back
Now and then I see a response
But it’s only a throwback
Of a shadow, of a glimpse
Of the woman who loved
And the way she lived

She was alive vibrant pleasant
She touched those who knew her
Her workmates in the carehomes and residents
Said they loved her smile
A smile which returns
When a visitor comes

Her beautiful dresses self made in her youth
Her winkle pickers
Gloved hands cigarette in a holder
Lipstick smeared
Elegant – she was going to be ‘someone’
And then she became our mum

The wayward teen gone
Dependable reliable
Always supporting
Always caring for others
In occupation and at home

And then
It slowly ended
She ebbed away and faded
Her dignity gone her passions a dream
My mum the woman who used to be
No longer here
A shadow residing inside an earthly shell

I hold her hand
And she senses me near
I see a light of recognition in her eyes
Just a flash
Then it’s gone
Like I must accept
So has the woman who is my mum


This look is not for show

 Noises from the boat long abandoned 
 Looking in and see an old man
 Exposed pleasure on his face
 Shouting kids all around the place 
 Without a chase just freaked out fun 
 Needed no excuse a proper reason to run
 Would you like a fig roll?
 Shuddering backing out and saying no
 “You look good in those jeans”
 They fit right I like them is that what he means?
 Won’t let me pass
 I can’t breathe
 He touched my body
 Ran away got home then released my screams
 Music joy carnival
 Wait - was that deliberately intentional? 
 Did he really try to meet my gaze
 To add to the excitement of his day?
 The tube the bus the train
 Not my imaginings it’s all a game
 Dodge assess work out where’s safe
 Should l just walk instead and risk being late?
 When will you turn
 When does happen the switch
 When you go from being called darlin’ 
 To stupid bitch
 So before I was too young
 But now it’s time for me to learn 
 And how to set the tone
 Is to gain my trust offer tea
 And stick on a bit of porn?
 The after hours fun
 Not fun anymore
 You knew what would happen 
 What else were you there for?
 A Pool table
 A private lounge 
 A selected room 
 Padded walls 
 No sound
 Lucky escape
 Always escape
 Never knowing next time
 Which one of them the least to trust
 On guard
 Always on guard
 Until the steel settles in the eyes 
 Then it becomes known
 Don’t even try


Forever the Child

The ruined Child
Setting the tone of our value system
Rules condemnations
Exclusions & denied resistance
Conformity justified by definition as ‘a game’ 
It’s no play a life defined by rage 
Misdirected want and unfulfilled greed 
Worth not reflected by the
beauty of what we could achieve 
Rules most oft broken by the rule setters      Contradictions undermining & upsetting
the foundations shaking upon which their house stands 
A constant swirl of shifting sands
Abuse of the power that lies in immature hands Immediacy satiation with no future plan 
Tone began at the stage of emergence
Unstable beginning balance fighting constant disturbance 
Askew off-center, skewwhiff
 Floating untethered & cast adrift
 Exposure to elements of eternal confusion
 S’posed to navigate with no guide
 Ruined instincts cause most to float with the tide 
 Left right progressives forward thinking 
Backwards travelling if compassion shrinking 
No foes just combatants in Egowar
Taught at birth it’s Me you fight for
 Me me me
 Related to, rationalised
 Always justified
 Forgetting never learning
 Forever the Child 


In front of a mirror once more

 Breathing in
 No hesitation
 Open eyes lights blinding
 It’s time, no need for invitation
 Practice over now time to give
 Soon its over alone and now dismissed
 Empty room
 Glasses clinking nearby sounds
 Alone now just want home now
 The list ahead is long
 Heading to a new town
 Another city
 A full room hall space
 Like a repeat of yesterday
 But nothing, no day is ever the same
 Random encounters
 Random names
 Shared smiles in photographs
 The instant gone once turned away
 Sleep is luxury
 Of that so few successes
 In front of a mirror once more
 Getting ready
 Splendid dressed
 With arranged tresses
 Repeat. Pause. Repeat
 A day for nothing
 No plane no train no car no wheels
 Awaken same place fell asleep in
 Without jolts brakes turns constant moving
 No snores laughing banging
 A different feeling
 Simple pleasures
 Clean linen hot bath
 The indulgence of peaceful dreaming
 Walking the streets without destination 
 Curiosity inspiring direction
 Stopping here then there
 Choosing somewhere with strategic seating 
 Observing strangers as they pass
 Savouring the moments of freedom
 Never lasting time to leave approaching too fast 
 Few aware of what we speak
 Readying the mind
 Preparing the hands
 The drug performance the ecstasy
 Stepping out always in motion
 Mind body never still 
 In front of a mirror once more 
 Always in flow harmonious devotion 
 A life spent in support
 Nothing that can be taught
 Only learned through dedication 
 Survival of life on the road 
 Music the salvation 

Bravery of the much maligned

 There is no throwaway
 Only moved to another place 
Things caught, bought, made 
 The mess we make
 That floats and sails to the lands beyond 
That flies with the wind and is never gone 
 Specks, dots, flecks
 Not leaving us alone
 Following in our bodies now their new home 
 Enlightened but helpless
 What to do
 Changing costs, losses unprepared to lose 
 Technology our saviour
 So we can stay the same
 Deluded into thinking we can be unchanged 
 Values alter
 Emphasis on something else
 What is this new world we must make for ourselves 
 Learning from before
 But using what’s known now 
Growing into adulthood somehow 
 Fortune is a state or perspective
 Altered eyes accept the previously rejected 
Unconvinced cynics deeply dejected 
 Hope and dreams to be realised 
Stepping forwards
 Bravery of the much maligned 
 Immune and ready to be criticised 
Hands dirty, brow sweating 
Unmoved at being pushed aside 
 Finding purpose an attractive prospect 
In achieving Humanity’s goal 
Happiness as a side effect