Posts Tagged ‘reflecting’


It’s May 2001. I’m feeling down, depressed. I go to the doctors for help for support. ‘What do you want me to do?’ ask my doctor. I sit there in shock. What do I do? What do I say? I leave with a box of tablets. Take these and don’t bother me again is the message I get. Go and sort yourself out.


watching people go by
like rats in an
overground sewer
scurrying around
searching for their
next morsel of life


i watch people go by
like rats in an
overground sewer
scurrying here and there
searching for their
next morsel of life
to gorge themselves on


rocks huddle together
keeping each other warm
watching over the bog
the sun shines on them
casting disappearing shadows
so that knows it is passing


I’m in the new flat. It’s so different to the old house, smaller, no gardens, just bricks. Outside it’s rows and rows of houses. Big, small, terraced, semis, detached. Houses of all shapes and sizes with equally different and diverse families in them. It’s all so different to what I’m used to, to what I know. It’s overwhelming my senses having to learn a new area, meet new people, start life all over again. It’s all I can do to just get out of bed. I’m finding it difficult to cope, don’t know what to do or who to turn to. I pull the duvet over my head and take comfort in the dark. I’m happy now.

washing life

Posted: November 3, 2019 in poetry, Uncategorized
Tags: ,

he watches intently
from the comfort
of the leather sofa
as his mother carefully erases
the memory of another
meal prepared and eaten
pots, pans, plates
knives, forks and spoons
all reflect back at her
a beauty now long gone
she passes them to his father
who with several sharp tugs
wipes clean what has been
replacing it with the drabness
of the present
reminding them both
that nothing last forever


The middle tier at school was easy. The tests for the top tier were easy. Life in the top tier is so different. Everything seems harder to learn, more intense. I’m struggling to take it all in, to understand what is happening, what is expected of me. Maths is especially difficult. Algebra make no sense at all. I’m lost in a sea of knowledge and learning. I don’t know who to turn to or where to go. I don’t want to be at school anymore. I wish I hadn’t passed the tests.


Getting to the top grade at school was a big achievement for me. Maths and English tests and I was selected above everybody else, just one person, me. However I soon began to struggle and was overwhelmed by the harder lessons and tougher expectations of me academically. In the grade below I was near the top of the classes and was effectively cruising at school. I coped with the lessons and homework and had plenty of time to play with my friends. School was not a worry for me. Moving to the top grade was a very different matter for me. There was more homework, tougher questions, algebra was a new concept for me, how could you do maths with letters? I’m still confused by algebra but I can add up, subtract, divide and multiply, what more do you need for life! Moving home didn’t help either. Everything happened at once, moving home, moving up a grade at school and looking back I couldn’t cope. It was all too much for me I was overwhelmed and collapsed under the weight of everything that was going on and retreated into my shell, unable to talk to anyone about how I felt because I didn’t understand what was going on and I couldn’t even begin to put into words how I felt. I felt lost in the world and took to my bed as the only place I felt comfortable and safe in the world. Maybe if I hadn’t moved away from everything I knew I would have been fine in the top grade. Maybe if I hadn’t moved up to the top grade I would have coped better with the move. Life is full of if’s and but’s and so many unanswered questions and we all have them and all we can do is think about what might have been and move on as best we can.


my eyes do not see you as you see me
they do not see the emotion and fire behind your gaze
nor the hopes and heartache you have endured
your fears for the future
the anguish of your past
are all lost to me
i only see your eyes as
two round objects in a
face full of features
a nose, ears, teeth
they are all the same to me
i try to read the stories behind them
and what stories they must hold
but i cannot know them
to know them i need to read your eyes
and that i cannot do
all i can do is sit here and dream
dream about the sights
your eyes have seen
the places they have been
the memories they hold
i wonder if you can read my eyes
tell me the stories they hold
read me in ways i cannot read you
open the pages that are in my eyes
see the sights and visions i have seen
just by looking at my eyes
if you can then you are so lucky
and truly gifted
at least in my eyes


Teaching in the 70s and 80s at state run schools in the North of England was a vastly different experience to the ones I read and hear about today. Teachers were in charge and they let you know it. We called them sir or miss, no names to ensure there was an invisible barrier between us that we could not cross. Yes the teachers were in charge and they let us know it. I remember one teacher who would trip you up if you ran down the corridor and simply say ‘don’t run boy’ as you lifted your face off the floor. Another teacher would hit you over the head with a piece of wood covered by a newspaper and when you asked him why he did it he replied ‘because I can’. One incident I remember is being in maths and the lad behind me was talking so the teacher threw the board rubber at him which bounced off the desk and smashed the window. The teacher just pointed at him and said ‘that’s your fault boy’! and it wasn’t worth going home and complaining to your parents because you just got a clip round the ear and told to behave yourself if you did. There were plenty of other experiences that I have forgotten now and a lot of the teachers were very nice and didn’t do anything they shouldn’t but it was a very different time and I’m glad I experienced it.