Free?

With a sickening squelch I pulled myself free

Letting the remains of that which had engulfed me

Fall heavily    and shatter

Into delicate fragments

Plinking and pattering

Like so many pills strewn across a worktop

I pushed forward

Hardening my heart

Ears straining to hear

The pieces being picked up and slotted back together

Eyes forward. Do not crack.

Do not waver. Don’t turn back.

Do.

Not.

Look.

Back.

 

So of course I do. Of fucking course I do. I have to.

I peer carefully over my shoulder.

And shatter.

 

When I Was Seven

“There is great stupidity in this, or at least minimal imagination, which is more or less the same thing only morally worse.” -Stephen Fry, Moab is My Washpot

When I was seven they sent me away

Away from the country in which I played

Off to a place where my parents would pay

To give me an education

 

I got on the train, rattling and roaring

And perched myself next to a man who was snoring

And sat for two hours, long stiff and boring

Until we arrived at my school

 

Tucked away in a green and pleasant land

Closer to mountains than seaside or sand

Where every day was drawn up, closely planned

And they would teach me to study

 

When I told others they said it was cruel

To send a child to eat bread and gruel

A hundred miles away at a school

How could parents do such a thing?

 

I smiled politely, for they were dumb

To think it cruelty on the part of Mum

Even though I was still sucking my thumb

When really they hadn’t a clue

 

I retorted, “why ever should that be?

To private school went my mum, dad, bro, me,

So punishment would be school primary,

I would wonder what I’d done wrong”

 

But they shook their heads, and tutted at me

That I was damaged and I couldn’t see

Ever so sad is a private school boy

Defending a place that beat him

 

Well yes I was beaten, and rightly so

A terror I was, the whole school would know

Wherever I went trouble would follow

I could hardly complain my lot

 

Though I was naughty, though I was bad

And later my mind couldn’t overcome the sad

For my schooling I can be nothing but glad

To be given an education

 

 

 

 

A note:

Another from my University archives, written sometime in 2011, this is loosely based on some experiences relayed by the legendary Stephen Fry in his first autobiography, Moab is my Washpot. For the longest time I had the audiobook on my iPod, and would listen to it over and over whilst walking the dogs in the summer. Good times.

Dark Walls

Dark walls against the grain

Lonely tables take the strain

Cues bend ‘neath failures pain

And clear spirits take me

 

Slapped backs and kindly words

Barbs blunted, once like swords

Words try cross barren fjords

But veiled punches bruise me

 

Faces I try to control

Lash out with vitriol

No faith, face, lost it all

The mystery confounds me

 

Sunshine and happiness

He sings, takes the piss

Laughing yet hit and miss

Feeling overtakes me

 

Slurred attempts at kissing

Draw sour parents hissing

Don’t know what their missing

When were drowned in vodka

 

 

 

Context

One of the oldest pieces in my archives, this is from 2011 and  is one of the most coherent examples from my “writing poetry on nights out, whilst drunk” phase. This phase covers the latter part of first year, and most of second year of uni, a period involving sheer quantities of alcohol that would render me useless for days now.