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

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.

preservation

I’ve been thinking quite a lot

About the way that I might keep

Something fresh and new.

I’ve watched the love that once we had

Wither over time.

I hoped that there could be a way

To preserve what little’s left.

Maybe I could dry it out,

Rub in salt or stick it in a tin.

Anything to stop this pain,

To stop that love from rotting to the core.

If I can halt the process now,

We’ve got a fighting chance.

But any further down the line

And what we have, it will be done.

Make the choice and make it now,

Before we waste another day,

In this hurtful, hateful way.

Watching my parents go through this difficult break up has made me think about love and the way it changes over time. How can two people go from loving each other to hating each other in a matter of months? It feels like the love has an expiry date and once that date has been reached it begins to rot and quickly.

And even if you do recognise that the rot is setting in, is there anything you can do about it? I’m a strong believer in the power of therapy and talking about problems so perhaps that is the way to stop something from going bad? Whatever the answer is, I don’t think that things can ever go back to the way that they were. I think that even if things get patched up, everything will be fundamentally different. I guess that once something has started to go bad there is no undoing it even if you halt the process.

I just hope that it’s all over soon because its put me off marriage altogether and I’ve even heard my son saying that he never wants to fall in love because he thinks that it will hurt too much. It’s awful that somebody in their early teens is already scared of taking that leap of faith into a relationship.

If you’ve been hurt before or you’re watching somebody else go through the pain of a break up then I hope that it doesn’t completely traumatise you. I hope that you can move on and find the confidence to leap into a new relationship because it is a beautiful thing when it works.

Much Love

Rachel xx

just run the race

I guess it’s just like running in a race.

There’s a track that stretches out.

And just like life, I haven’t got a clue

If it’s straight or if it loops.

I just hope there is a line

That marks the end, the finish point

Where I can rest, collect a medal and a flag.

There’s only one attempt at this

And only I can screw it up.

But then again, I’ve practised hard,

I know that hurdles can be cleared.

This is my moment, never to be feared.

I used to be a swimmer when I was a kid and whenever I raced I would get so nervous because I was terrified that I would screw up. I don’t know why I got quite so frightened, but I know that I have always needed love and I was scared that a poor performance might make people hate me.

As I’ve got older I’ve seen that life is a lot like one of those races. There is so much opportunity to screw up, but there is also the chance that everything could go well and I become a raging success. But that’s life. It’s all a bit of luck and some things will go well and others will be terrible. You just need to roll with it and at least have a go. If you lose, you’re to going to die. It will hurt, but you will still be alive to run another race. Just learn from where you went wrong and have another go.

If you’ve recently tripped over a hurdle, get back up and keep running. There’s always somebody there who will help you up and get you across the line. The worst thing that you can do is let the fear cripple you and not even turn up at the start line. I hope that you enter the race this year and have some fun no matter what the result.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

little blue tent

I wonder how he got there,

So cold, it’s January ffs.

Did he have a problem with the drink?

Slipping down that greasy slope,

Nothing there to grasp, to stop the inevitable crash.

Did he lose the love of his life?

Did she stamp he stiletto heel into his heart,

The puncture wound, a fatal one.

Did he lose the job he loved?

His reason to get up each day,

His passion dissolved when the liquidators came in.

Did he have a house before it all went wrong?

Before this shabby blue tent was his home

There’s a driveway and white picket fence.

It frightens me, chills me to the core,

That this can quite easily happen to me.

And yet what do I do?

I turn a blind eye, as I draw a deep breath, shaking my head.

It’s January ffs.

This could be you.

Just one tiny wobble and you could be falling.

And where will you land when the shit hits the fan?

In a little blue tent at Waterloo Station.

I went to London today and as much as I love London it opens my eyes to so many of the problems that we face as a human race. There is so much inequality in the world but I don’t have a clue how to fix it.

It scares me shitless to think that it only takes one thing to go a bit wrong and I could end up on the street. It’s a slippery slope and once things start going wrong you never know where you might end up.

My trip just got me thinking about how somebody can end up in a little tent outside the station and what their life might have been like before. I hope that the guy I saw at the station can get some help. I hope that he can get a place to stay and get a job that he can hold down. I know people can pull themselves out of these situations but I know that it takes a lot of hard work. I pray that they get the support and help and that they have a future that is bright and that they can look forward to.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

Donate and show some support by visiting the Shelter website.

time travelling

I like to think of this thing we call time

As fluid, elastic and stretched across space

Ready to snap when the tension’s too much,

And our fingers are finally ready to touch.

The reason we’ve not made contact before

Isn’t because we were not meant to be,

But rather we’ve had to travel so far

On a journey that raises this galaxy’s bar.

I started a thousand years forward

And you were a million years back.

But when two people are so meant to be

The laws of physics are loosened and free.

And so we are hurtling through time and through space

Until the deep impact where we did first meet.

Remember that bone jarring crash on that day

When fate and good fortune came into play?

Russian roulette according to Britney

I’m trying my best to weigh up the risk.

It’s a gun to my head with a five out of six

Chance that there’s nothing I can possibly lose,

A throw of the dice I can hardly refuse.

But what if it all goes horribly wrong,

The pull of the trigger, my final swan song?

What is the risk that this leap could pose?

The answer to this question, only God knows.

But oh when it works, it’s like nothing on earth

The fear, it evaporates with the new birth

Of a love that can feel like the very best drug,

A kiss on the lips and the tightest of hugs.

With love, you should go ahead and take the risk of getting hurt because love is an amazing feeling.

Britney Spears

the sideways glance in a supermarket

It can start with something so simple.

Just two people standing in line,

Paying for groceries, side by side.

A glance and just half of a smile

And then the journey it starts.

An intricate dance through the years

A million more laughs and a sprinkling of tears.

And then in the blink of an eye,

It’s all over and together we lie.

It could have been luck, merely by chance,

But I guess we will never know if magic did spark

Because of that sideways glance.

I really do believe that everything is written out in the stars, our journeys already mapped out before we are even born. And when it comes to love it is no difference. We are put in the queue in the supermarket at the right time so that we can be there at exactly the same moment as the love of our life. I don’t think it’s an accident that they are there.

I sometimes find it funny though, that something as monumental as a lifetime of memories built together can rest on something as simple as whether we bought our bread and milk at the right time and in the right store.

So often we can be with somebody for decades and when we look back at that first meeting we realise how easy it could have been to miss that moment altogether.

And it really does pass in the blink of an eye. One moment you are twenty and making eyes at somebody in the next line and the next thing you realise you have grandchildren and you’re both slipping away from this earth.

I think it’s Christmas and New Year that makes me think this way. Something new could be beginning in the next twelve months and it’s a lovely thought. But at the same time there will be people that we lose over the next year and with them a whole load of memories will vanish.

Make the most of the time you have with these people. Enjoy the dance, even when it’s a little tricky. And most importantly, make sure that 2020 is filled with memorable moments and strong relationships that are good for your soul.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

the kettle is boiling and now you need to f**k off.

Sometimes it is a little too easy

To forget the damage that was done by you.

It is far too easy when the heat is removed

To forget that pain once the water boils over.

To forget that pain as it scorches my skin.

The hurt, it fades. But the scars, they remain.

It’s only when memories bubble to the top

Breaking the surface with a deafening pop,

Do I see what can happen when I let you back in.

I can see in each sphere, as it fizzes on up,

The clearest of pictures, perfectly held.

It is just enough to induce a terror

I feel every time I think of my error,

In trusting you, in loving you, in letting you in.

But bubbles, they burst, and so do these,

And as I pour these memories from my kettle

I know that all you did was test my mettle.

I often picture memories as bubbles that are settle on the bottom of a container and when they are ready to be released they boil to the top. I try to imagine that each memory is contained inside the bubble and I can almost view it as something that I can hold. It’s fragile though. It can burst at any time, and sometimes that’s a good thing.

As I was writing this I wasn’t sure what the heat represented, but I think that it’s therapy and working on myself. It’s meant that I have had to turn the heat all the way up and let those memories simmer away. It’s quite relieving really.

Maybe you should try boiling away some of the bad things tucked away in your mind. Just be mindful that sometimes it’s hot and it can really hurt when you get burnt. But it’s never quite as painful as your original trauma, and one day it will all be better. I hope and pray that you get that relief.

Much Love,

Rachel xx