isn't poetry lovely?

isn’t poetry

just the loveliest of art forms?

i can make

such a beautiful thing

with nothing but words.

no money or space

for clay or paints,

but an endless array

of ways to sculpt

the letters i love.

I was watching a piece on TV about Grayson Perry the other day. If you are unfamiliar with him, he is an artist whose pottery sells for astronomical prices. However, this wasn’t always the case. He used to make lots of clay creations for people for next to nothing and now he is looking for people to return his early work so that it can be put in a new exhibition.

Watching the segment on TV, it got me thinking about all of the art forms and how poetry is so underrated. When you think about it, we have no costs and we have endless combinations of words that we can play with. If I were a potter I would have to worry about where I could keep my more ugly creations, that nobody wants to see. And then I would have to worry about all the money I had spent to make this hideous pot that I can’t sell on.

As a would be poet I can play around forever. If nobody wants to see what I’ve written then they can just breeze over it. I could pump out fifty poems a day if I so wished and I wouldn’t have to worry about filling my house with them.

Poetry really is the loveliest of art forms.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

what should i do if there's no way out?

There can be times

When your problems appear

Far too big.

They swallow you whole

And when you are in

The depths of its belly

It feels much easier

To just curl up and let

Your life get digested.

*

But always remember

There’s someone outside

Who is willing to kill

That monster you’re in.

I’m having so many big decisions to make at the moment and it feels like I’m being swallowed whole. It really feels like the problems and choices that I need to make are bigger than me and rather than fight, I just want to give up.

I won’t because I have my son to think of. He keeps me trudging along no matter what, but when I get to one of these dark places some pretty ugly and disturbing thoughts can cross my mind. I think that other people have them too, I just worry that sometimes I’m not strong enough to fight past them. Sometimes, on my way to work, the urge to just drive on and keep going is so intense that I’m quite surprised when I arrive at my destination safely.

I really hope that you are not going through pain at the moment but if you are, do remember that there is always someone who is going to miss you if you are gone. You may not even realise it, but there will be someone. Perhaps it could just be the postman who you say good morning to every day? Whatever the case, there will be someone out there who feels sad that you are no longer there.

Stay strong and make sure that you give yourself time to step back from the problem and look at it from a different perspective. Normally, something that is stressing you out now, will have no impact on you in five years time, so don’t make any rash decisions because you can’t see a way out right now. Talk to people and reach out for help if things are really bad.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the royal drama

The wedding captured all our hearts,

We waved our flags wished them well.

The hope for future happiness?

It’s what the papers used to sell.

*

But as the years ticked by with speed,

Our hopes and dreams began to fail,

The love affair with our duchess

Had long before, set out to sail.

*

Who should take the weight of blame?

Was it them who riled the press?

Or was it us who pushed her down

Even though she showed distress?

*

But now we need to step away,

To look at what we’ve done again.

We’ve pushed a family to the edge

And not learnt lessons from back then.

*

Listen to his woeful words,

He’s lived through this one time before.

Those words, they prove that just because he’s royal,

It doesn’t mean that he’s not human at the core.

I’ve been watching the royal drama unfold with bated breath over the last couple of weeks. I love the royal couple and all I wish for is their future happiness. But I really didn’t expect all of this when I watched their wedding less than two years ago.

Watching this play out on the news has been a good reminder of what is important. Harry and Meghan never have to worry about money; some would say that they have the charmed life. But under the press scrutiny that she has been under it would be hard for anybody to live.

And then you throw into the mix the fact that Harry’s beloved mother was killed in a car accident involving the press and you can see why he is so protective of Archie and Meghan. It’s no wonder that he has made the decision to step back from everything he has ever known.

I think that we should all take from this that the most important thing in life is love. Harry looked so upset as he gave his speech about the split last night and I am sure that he is pining for a normal life with his wife and child. He is probably pining for a life a bit more like the life that I complain about. This week I will make sure that I am a bit more grateful for having exactly what I have in my possession. And I will definitely be saying a prayer for Harry and Archie and hoping that they have the life that they were probably dreaming of when they got married on that magical day.

Much Love

Rachel

the drama queen

It had taken her hours to find the keys.

The shed had been locked for more than ten years.

It was filled with tools and mowers and shears,

Nothing of use, until this day bloomed.

She wiped away pain along with her tears

As she fervently searched for the rusty old can.

The cap was tricky to prise from the top,

But she needed to do this, they all had to see.

Tears weren’t enough to show what she felt,

They wouldn’t dredge up the love that she needs.

She emptied the can, until she was drenched.

She smiled as she thought of the shock they would feel,

Of the kind words they’d say when she became dust.

She struck her one match, closing her eyes.

It didn’t take long for the fire to take hold.

Flames licking up over her head,

Becoming a torch, a warning to all

That people won’t rush to save those that choose

To make their own dark and devilish mess.

They’ll watch as she burns, down to the ground

Shaking their heads at the terrible waste.

She could have had quite the incredible story.

If only she’d needed far less attention

She wouldn’t have gone out in a blaze of glory.

I know so many people who seem to chase drama. While I was drinking I was one of them. I always needed somebody to be feeling sorry for me or to be jealous of me or to be in awe of me. I didn’t know how to just be.

I see so many people who are on that same destructive path, just inventing things to make people look in their direction. I wouldn’t be surprised if they did something really dangerous one day. And the sad thing is that they are so wrapped up in themselves that they don’t seem to realise people will only care about them for a limited time. Eventually we will be forgotten, so we need to savour the moment for our own benefit.

Therapy has taught me that I am enough on my own. I don’t need other people to tell me that I’m good or that I’m nice, I’m learning to know that from the inside. And I hope that the people I see needing this validation can find some peace. I hope that they can learn to live with themselves and that they don’t end up reaching some of the dark places I went to in my journey.

Take care of yourself and know that you are loved by God. Unfortunately people will let you down so don’t put your future happiness in people alone. Enjoy your time in the world, be nice and don’t chase likes and followers (there’s far more to life than those arbitrary numbers).

Much Love

Rachel

Coincidence?

What does it mean when the book falls open

On exactly the page you needed to read?

The words that you needed to soothe your soul

Or lift you up when you’re on the floor?

What does it mean when the butterfly lands

Or the rainbow emerges

Or your numbers come up again and again?

Is it just chance?

A little coincidence, just down to luck?

I am not sure that it’s as simple as that.

Perhaps I am searching for order in chaos,

Hope in amongst the darkest of days.

But what if there’s more to all of these signs?

What if they’re pointing to the place I should go?

Maybe they’re gently nudging along

A girl who is lost and desperately searching

For a little more guidance, a little more love,

From the greatest I am, high up above.

I don’t believe in coincidences. I believe that everything happens for a reason. I really think that when I’m going a little bit off course there is somebody or something that is watching over me and giving me a gentle push so that I get back on the right path.

For me, it’s a Christian God that does this, but I know that people believe in other beings, some of them not connected with any organised religion. I think my point is that, as humans, we all need something bigger than us to love us and guide us. Kind of like a parent, but not human. Because humans are always going to let you down no matter how hard they try. It’s comforting to lean on something that will love us unconditionally. It doesn’t matter if we fail our exams or don’t do well in our sporting event, they love us anyway.

I hope that you can find something to have faith in because it helps comfort you in times of distress. And next time you feel a bit lost, ask for a bit of help. You never know when a sign might turn up.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the supermarket frozen aisle

The frozen food section at a quarter to twelve,

It’s a lonely place to be.

The only sound, the humming of the freezers

And the distant beep of check out girls

Scanning chips and apples, loaves of bread.

It is the place I’ve always come

Since that day you left in June.

The cold it keeps me from expiring,

Earlier than I ever should.

The sad and lonely men who drift on by,

Holding empty baskets on their arms,

Are a sad reminder of what I have become.

Their vacant eyes and down turned mouths,

Reflect with painful accuracy,

The person who I’m bound to be

A few years down the line from now.

I wish that I’d tried harder,

I wish that I’d clung on some more.

And then I’d come on shopping trips

With other couples while the sun is up.

But now I’m destined to drift around

This ghostly version of the life that I once had,

Where sad and lonely folk all pass

Underneath the buzzing lights

Of the frozen aisle.

I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a supermarket in the middle of the night, but it can be a little bit depressing. If you compare it to the hustle and bustle of a Saturday morning, when all of the young families and loved up couples are out in force, there is a stark contrast.

I always think that the people who go shopping in the middle of the night go there to avoid these happy people because they are sad. They don’t want to be reminded of the happiness that they are missing out on. And sometimes I wonder if they are deliberately avoiding it because they once were one of those happy people and the pain of what they lost is too great for them to bear? Perhaps they went through a divorce and now they can’t even entertain the idea of going shopping in amongst all of those happy families?

I always wonder how people end up in the places they do and I feel a great deal of empathy towards the people who I think might have a story to tell. People tend not to choose to be alone and drifting around the supermarket at midnight. There is normally a story to tell and this poem scratches at the surface of this.

If you are alone and wandering around the shops at a ridiculous hour then I hope that you can reach out and find some companionship somewhere in this world.

Much Love

Rachel xx

to be like charlize theron

I’m thirsty for something.

I want to fill that gaping hole.

I want to find the thing that’s missing,

The piece that’s missing from my soul.

Perhaps I need to buy something?

That perfume they’ve been advertising,

That could be the thing I’m looking for.

Surely if I bought more stuff

My problems would all go away.

I’d be just like the models that I see,

The ones they use to show the stuff

To all of us who are upset

With where our lives have taken us.

If I was like Charlize Theron

And spritzed myself with damned Dior,

Then I could look like her, and be like her and have her perfect life!

I wouldn’t feel so thirsty

And I wouldn’t have that hole inside.

But I cannot afford that scent

So I’m not worthy of a place,

Among the blessed, the super models and the super rich.

Instead I’ll just go back to work

And spur the cycle on and on.

As humans we are thirsty for something and this world is so broken that we just chase all the things that give us instant gratification. I know that I’ve used alcohol to fill that hole in the past, but people can use all sorts and companies use that to their advantage. They know that we want to be happy and beautiful and by using a perfect looking model to advertise their products they are sending us a very clear message: buy this, and your life will be perfect. Buy this and all of your pain and your hurt will go away.

But I think that there is a way to fill that hole without chasing all this stuff. I think that we can fill it spiritually and it is far more effective. I know that not everyone agrees with organised religion but I think that a lot of people believe that there is something out there that is bigger than us and that offers people a lot of hope.

There is a reason that in 12 step recovery there is mention of a higher power, and that is because we can’t control ourselves without the help of something greater than ourselves. In times of stress and unhappiness, it is a great comfort to lean on something greater than any human.

I hope that you can find some way of connecting with your higher power because there is sometimes so much temptation in this world that it’s difficult to avoid doing yourself any serious damage. If you are struggling then maybe at least try picking up a Bible and having a read. I find that the Psalms are really encouraging. Even if the Bible is a bit scary, you might find that getting out in nature and connecting with a higher power is easier, or perhaps meditating. However you do it, I think that it’s worth at least exploring these ideas as we are bombarded with so many things that cause us stress.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

sorry seems to be the hardest word

In the dark, deserted loneliness

Of the place we once called home,

You whispered several thousand words,

That all expressed how sorry that you were.

But when the day crept into view,

Those empty words began to scatter,

Like spiders when they scuttle

For the safety of the nooks and crannies.

It seems that when the world awakes

And sunlight streams in through the cracks,

You don’t seem so sure you’re wrong.

Or if you are, you’re too ashamed

To admit that what you did, it hurt.

Better to pretend it’s me

That should be shouldering the blame.

Ever been blamed for something that wasn’t your fault? Or had someone change their story when they start to look bad? I can sympathise and I know that it hurts somewhere deep inside.

The problem is that as humans we all have our own story to tell and our own truth. A lot of the time we don’t even know what the truth is because we can make ourselves believe the story we have made up in our own minds.

What really hurts is when someone admits that they have hurt you and say that they are sorry, then when they get out into the public domain, they change their story and say that you have hurt them. It makes you feel like you want to go out into the street and shout so that everybody knows YOUR truth.

But as much as it hurts, it’s always best to remain quiet and graceful. Mouthing off in the street (or on Facebook) doesn’t do anybody any favours and it particularly reflects badly on you. It’s so much better to sit quietly, smile and make everyone think that nothing is hurting you. It’s the hardest thing to do EVER, but it’s so worth it.

Remember that if you are on the receiving end of this, you know your truth. The person on the other side of the fence has their own story and their own reasons for their behaviour. Just try to smile and send love their way. Keep your dignity in tact, you’ll be grateful of it further down the line.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

lost

I stared at the map, limp in my hands

It looked like a scrawl of red and blue lines,

Impossible to read with my heart in my throat.

You had your hands on the wheel,

Gripping so tight that your knuckles turned white.

“Tell me what’s wrong,” I said.

My voice wavered and it sounded like more of a question.

“Just keep your eyes on the map.”

I wished that I hadn’t told you the truth.

The set of your jaw told me just how you felt.

No words to describe the fiery hot hate.

The text was still open, the phone on the dash.

I wish I had known what strife it would bring,

Two people together, in a little tin box,

And yet acres between them because of this wedge

That’s been driven between them without his permission.

“Will you please slow down,” I begged as I crumpled the map.

He could scare me at times in an average day,

Glass hitting walls when those teeth start to grind.

Last time it started with a stain on his shirt

And ended with bruises on delicate eyes.

I held the map tightly and wished I could find,

The place where we were in this tangled up mess.

We weren’t slowing down and I cried out for help.

I knew that the end was almost in sight,

Closing of eyes and extinguish the light.

the mental health plague

Do you want to know why we don’t tell a soul?

Do you want to know why it is kept under lock?

Do you want to know why we scuttle through shadows,

Licking our wounds and patching up gashes,

With dirty, torn rags and useless, worn plasters?

It’s because we’re ashamed and it’s all down to you,

Making us feel like we’re meant for the corner

With the rats and the vermin,

The creatures that nobody wishes to see.

Because you are worried that we may infect,

That our weakness will claw at your shell that is cracking.

And once the disease is inside the body,

There’s no fighting the symptoms with rainbows and smiles

And all of the things you suggest all day long.

Better to turn a blind eye to the darkness,

Or maybe just shout at it, bully it out?

Because you are respectable and can’t have our kind

Clouding your doorways and draining your bank.

You are rich and above all this death and disease,

But herbs and spices stuffed in your nose cone

Will do nothing to help when the fear comes a-knocking.

It knows not the difference between master and slave.

So you’d better be kind while you still have the chance.

To take part in this deathly and gruesome last dance.

There is a lot of shame involve in telling your boss that you have a mental illness and many people choose to not divulge that information. Unfortunately a lot of people have had bad experiences and it is really sad that this means that they are then scared to get the support they need in the future.

I’m guessing that the reason some bosses are so unsupportive is because they don’t understand mental illness. They think that because somebody has anxiety or depression, they may be taking time off constantly and costing the business as a result. But many people who suffer are really hard and conscientious workers and it’s just cruel to treat them in a way that’s so disrespectful.

When I see managers treating their staff poorly because they have a mental illness, it makes me think of the illness as being a bit like the black death. I imagine these people being frightened of getting infected themselves and shunning the sufferers. I imagine them tucked away in their ivory towers thinking that they’re safe because they have money and power and status.

But the truth is that we are all vulnerable and it only takes one traumatic experience or a bad run of luck for a few weeks and we can all find ourselves on that slippery slope downwards. So if you are in a management position, show some compassion. Don’t just try and bully out the weakest link, because sometimes that ‘weakest link’ can be the one that is brimming with the best ideas if you just give them a chance and a bit of support when times are hard.

And if you are struggling at the hands of someone who is bullying you at work because they know you are weak, stay strong. You have nothing to be ashamed of and you never deserve to be put in the corner if you are feeling sad or anxious. I’ll say a little prayer for you today and I hope that some of that positivity reaches you in some way, shape or form.

Much Love,

Rachel xx