Poverty 

Instead of pennies it rains bills, 

Debts trickle then pour
Drenching me against my will, as hands tied I try to wriggle free
from my financial captivity.
Lenders circle, eager for their share, a pound of flesh,
As with impassioned pleas, I fall to my knees and beg
Like an impoverished dog for more time.
For a single dime of my own.

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London Weighting 

Our worth is valued by the weight we weigh,

The flicker of the scale as a femme the antonym of a feather steps on to the steel frame, disclosed without name on to the podium.
Consumed by the number on the screen, we fail to see the figure behind,
The sweet, meek smile and kind disposition hidden by our fixation on fat.
Beauty is measured by BMI, restrained by society’s obsession with small.
We’re defined and rated,
Publicly berated by a soulless number
printed by an unfeeling machine on to the back of our shirt.
Our value is calculated by the lowest denominator,
Who equates plus as a negative,
as a blot on a book of ideals
Of how the perfect woman should look.

Fairness 

Tell a dying child that your life is unfair,

That you somehow have a cross to bear
While others die from one missed drop of water,
While others are maimed and left out for slaughter.
Tell those uneducated girls who aren’t allowed to write,
That paying for extra tuition is somehow not right.
After years of education that was completely free,
You still expect something for nothing, without any fee.
Injustice is not having to pay for your own bills,
Or paying the prescription for your nonessential pills.
It’s the millions of children wiped out by their own,
It’s the adults who have to starve, thin skin on top of bone.
Tell the man dying from malaria that your plight is worse than his,
Or the man who can’t afford to feed his children as you knock back the fizz.
Let’s get some perspective and realise what we’ve got,
Not focus unhealthily on the things that we have not.

Suicide Mission

What is to be gained by the tortured, the maimed?

The innocent folk struck down, left dismembered and lame?
What kind of God would call for a rise to arms
A charge of violence, a mission that harms?
Why listen to these voices, these words of hate?
Whose sole aim is to watch on as you blow and dissipate?
Fingerprints clean, they will live the life you gave in vain,
Breathe your air in their lungs as they walk on without blame.
Your body’s broken, your soul’s damned for hell,
While your puppet master moves on – to another gullible life to quell.
You’re no martyr, just a sacrificial pawn,
A coward who kills the defenceless, leaves his own community torn.
It’s not too late, to reject their poisonous creed
To lower your flag of bloodlust, to deny their greed.
Don’t let these charlatans steal your mind, body and soul,
Don’t let yourself be deluded by the lies they extol.
No matter our colour, our beliefs and age,
We are all in it together, we are on the same page.
Don’t tear our union apart with a serrated blade,
Let us live and love together, happily and unafraid.

Protection At Any Cost

Fearful, we’ll change our well-trodden routes,

Clutch our briefcases close, huddled in our suits.
Outwardly we say love will win the day
But in the safety of our home, we will silently pray
For a future free from massacre, free from slaughter
Where you could guarantee the safety of your son and daughter.
Invisible barriers will close down, block our path,
We’ll add security to every body and staff.
Our freedoms will be protected by a man armed with a gun,
Past times will be policed, there will be a curfew on fun.
We will be chained up tight in a bid to be saved,
While the cowards, the sadistic, the mentally depraved
Will walk and stalk the earth in plain sight
Freed by our terror, released by our fright.

Never-ending Rain

I want to be free – free from this never-ending rain.

I want to start over, begin my forecast again
Away from this cloud that shrouds me in despair,
Away from this place where there is just dampness in the air.
I want to walk in sunshine, feel the rays on my skin
Long before doubt tainted me with its sting.
I want a way out, a drought of my tears,
A cloudy disposition to mask all my fears.
Numb my feelings, put my misery on ice,
Change my misfortune with the roll of your dice.

Failure to conceive

Drowning in a red sea

That pushes me under, pulls me to the depths of its darkness.
I can’t see the shallows
as blind, I try to breathe
while I heave from the pain,
A pierced membrane and rush of blood
Pour like a waterfall as the recurring nightmare begins again, an unwelcome reality,
An unwanted strife, as I fail again
To be the perfect wife.

Dear Mama

Dear Mama, I’m sorry I couldn’t survive,

Thrive in your world
One minute more.
Don’t beat yourself up,
Pick yourself up the floor.

It’s not your fault,
You’re not to blame.
I’m sorry you didn’t get the chance to give me a name.
But I wasn’t ready,
Or able to be born.
I didn’t have the strength to face a new dawn.

But even though I didn’t take my first steps on this earth, even though I bypassed my birth,
You’re still my mama.
And I’ll live on, inside your soul.
I’ll be the beating of your heart,
the rainbow after the rain.
Don’t worry mama, time will soon heal your pain.

Two Blue Lines

That remembered pain returns as huddled over, I clasp my legs,
And loudly beg
For relief
from my sudden all-encompassing grief.
As I deliver you, on tissue not towels.
There’s no scream of joy, just the primal howls
Of my soul as I know that you’ve gone,
That our dream of your childhood was just a ill-made con.
My excitement shatters and disappears out of view,
As I look on, temporarily blind at those two lines of blue.

The stars seem less bright tonight, as I gaze at the sky
Wondering why
my two blue lines have faded to grey,
Why you couldn’t hold on for another day
Or 240 more,
Why again I’ll have to pick myself up from the floor
And pretend everything is okay
That tomorrow is another day
To try and brave the rollercoaster again and risk a tumultuous ride,
When all I want to do is disappear or hide.

I clear the debris of anticipated life,
Those reminders that cut through me like the edge of a knife.
Those two blue lines now line the bottom of a black liner,
As like a miner,
I’ll burrow and bury my tears,
For a life I’ve awaited for so many years.
Now I’ll have to pretend you never existed,
Like some twisted
stroke of fate
to convince myself that aunt Flo was just a little late,
Though all those signs: the sickness and aching,
They linger on, though my body’s stopped baking.

I’ll have to keep calm and carry on, hide my suffering in plain sight,
Even when an unwitting person asks me ‘are you feeling alright?’
As I’m British and this is what British do,
Because miscarriage is still a secret, an overdue taboo.
There’s little understanding, little support for women like me,
Who want nothing more to extend their family.
They’ll say I’m lucky already because I already have one,
That it’ll happen again, that I should be grateful I’m a mum.
A death however early should never be glossed
Because a life is a life, no matter when it is was lost.

 

Sleepless in Sittingbourne

In my little terraced house in a little terraced street, 

I hear the clod-hopping footsteps of heavy-footed feet
stomp in the corridor as I retire to bed;
My mind a whir and saturated with dread.

Just a thin piece of paper separates my bed frame from theirs,
As I hear them bicker and spit on the way up the stairs.
Slumped and sloven, they cut the ambiance with a knife,
The bellowing husband along with his petulant wife.

My shutters rattle, my window panes shake
As the inconsiderate son’s drum and bass snakes
through a crevice, and sneaks in my room
Terrifying and incensing with an all-surrounding boom.

I bury my head in an underfilled duck pillow,
praying energetically that the wallow
will be muffled, under my ruffled sheets,
As any hope for rest disappears and fleets.

I at last fall to slumber, dreaming of life before they came,
Before my sanity was dragged out, shot and left lame.
But my self-enclosed tranquility pops, and is startled and stirred
As a dawn chorus of bawling toddlers and birds breaks out in the rising sun
As sleep-deprived, my weary legs give up and go numb.

Still dark, I peer with stuck eyelids into the blackness of my room,
begging to pacify the noises and keep them schtum
So I can sleep, not sleep walk en route to the office
while tiredness pours and seeps from every orifice.

Like a ninja in the night, I slip out in guise in a grey gown and slippers.
Snip goes my scissors
as I cut off their power,
As desperate just for another hour
Of undisturbed sleep
I return satisfied to resume counting sheep.