the boy that was magic

We sat in lines and I

Could only see his hair

And a little of his nose

But I knew from just the way

He raised his hand and spoke

To the class who held their breath

Collectively

It was first sight love en masse

There are some people who just have that magic about them. I have no idea how they do it, but they are the people that change the chemistry of a room when they walk into it. In some ways I envy those people, but in others I quite like to just quietly admire them from afar.

Much Love

Rachel xx

coward

They describe it as yellow

But that feels too sunny

Because this is a dark and lifeless emotion

It barricades out all of the love

And what is a life lived behind the glass plate

Never to know what it could be like

To sing alongside the love of my life

In a smoke laden bar

Where nobody listens

As they patiently nurse

Their precious real ale.

But we wouldn’t care as we finally touch

Skin to skin as voices lace together

And the prison is gone.

I have been single for so long and I know that the main reason is because I’m a coward. I don’t say this because I hate myself, but because I know that I run on fear and a lot of it is because of the way that I was brought up.

I was taught that if I wasn’t perfect, I was not worthy of love and this fear has followed me into adulthood. I’m so worried that if I let my guard down a partner will see my flaws and completely reject me.

It’s all because I’m a coward and that is dark; it’s not yellow.

If you are struggling with the fear of letting down your barriers, I completely understand. Being vulnerable is so hard but I know that it’s fragile. It’s made of glass and once it’s been smashed through, life becomes easier. The first step is always the hardest, so take it.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the parent child contract

Were you aware that they pick you?

They’re up there in Heaven,

(Or wherever it is that babies come from)

Looking down and pointing

To all the parents that they may want.

They may have a checklist

And if we meet their criteria

Then they will offer us a contract

That can only be signed

With a heady mixture of love and pain.

So be careful when you wish

You had more money or time.

That babe in your arms

Picked you out of everyone else.

Don’t let them down

And don’t break the contract

They need you to honour.

I’ve always had this funny little belief that babies pick their parents. I couldn’t tell you exactly how it worked, but I definitely think that I was paired up perfectly with my child.

But also, if you think of it in this way, you start to feel much more lucky and grateful when you are starting to feel a little bit frazzled. It feels like such an honour to be picked by a person, to know that they want to spend all of their formative years with you. This becomes even more incredible when you don’t have much money and you think that your child chose you over Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Pretty cool, huh?

Anyway, I know how hard parenting is at the best of times so I really feel for you if you are struggling (especially if you are in the baby phase and struggling to get a full night’s sleep!). But stay strong and know that you are in the right place with the right people at the right time.

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 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

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