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For the doubters..

If it you could see what others do. You have always let doubt confuse your idea of who and what you are capable of.

I have always known you to be beautiful in all ways and I have learnt and felt you loyalty pride and strength of character. We some how picked one another and I drew a good hand.

You are the best kind of romantic and that quality needs to be nurtured and not be exploited by those who don’t understand your story and how you got to the person you are today. There are plenty of people who are not worth the bother, believe me, don’t believe me. I think you know that.

The past is way back over there. These are exciting times. Now,the future. Some of the best years of your life are waiting to be lived. You can afford to be picky. You deserve someone to ‘hug you so hard they will put all your pieces back together’.

Don’t let ass holes or wankers ruin today and the future for you. There is a lesson to be learned from everything we do and experience.

Yes, it is easy to pick out the negatives but on the plus side -you are free, you have been incarcerated, masks has dropped revealed the truth that cannot be covered up any-more, don’t take it personally. You were honest form the beginning. Take pride in that. Hold your head up high.

This is a new page, a fresh book even. You need as much light and love as possible to create the magic you want. You have not wasted time if you have taken some time to do a bit of searching within and decided what to take with you into this day and what discard what has left you high and dry in the past. I read somewhere that the thoughts we think are mantras and a form of prayer.

Be aware of what your thoughts are saying they may just turn into your reality. Take the time to find out what you are wanting from your life.

There is so much out there. There is something so rare about you. Life can be cruel but you have remained gentle and kind and it shows. You are one of the toughest people I know.

Please do not be mistaken that I think you are weak. Far from it. We are making good experiences and only the best people should be allowed to come on that journey, don’t you think?

Don’t shun all people thinking everyone is like the last person you shared your heart with. Don’t harden -don’t clam up. You are able to re define your world on your terms.

Love as much as ever. To love is never a fault. To love the wrong person is easily done when some one is not upfront with you from the beginning or who breaks your trust.
BELIEVE!

Believe that there is magic and you are creating it. Shake off the doubts and smile, glow, be who you are.

There is no fault to be found in you. I I have so much repect for you and admire you.

So many really do BELIEVE! do what must be done so that you can close this door and open to a new day.

Mumms the word

I’ve tried to epitomise my mom-in a few words. No easy feat to do.

Mom

a la mode
Bang on-trend

a Panache for transforming a lifeless neck scarf into an haute couture piece -an eye for detail that makes you a formidable fashionista Godsend.

Finesse in all you do: from baking bananas loaf’s salad Nicoise or cauliflower cheese.

Woe, the day a chef attempts a bake-off with you for he’d lose his hat, all his stars and wail, mamma Mia what a mistake ah I make a. I must have caught some disease.

Self-sufficient -you can lift your bed on your own, fix your dryer, paint your home, fix the boiler. Your tenaciousness growls especially when your body dares groan: please take it slow!

Talented at reinvigorating my moods with that eccentric, warped wit.

An example: the time you thought it would be fun to pay for me to get my entire face threaded. You laughed at my pain.
I love our giggles-the side-splitting snorts are hilarious to watch and hear. It takes me back to our flare nostrils days. Who could make each other laugh first?

Your loyalty towards me astounds me, your unwavering love for me confounds me, your forgiveness impels me,

Life gives us many hard knocks -your heart nor face betrays your past pain. It reveals your altruistic complexion. A reflection of your heart. When you give you to do so freely without seeking to gain.

I’m in awe of your spiritual journey. You think I’m not remotely interested in your opinions & sentiment. Your faith is truly remarkable- a tangible contrast to your ethereal temperament.

Remember how you tell me to straighten my crown, the world is in the palm of my hand?

Remember numbers do not define a person’s character, beauty or ability to achieve greatness. I see the talent and potential within you. You should/could become an interior decorator. No age or number can dictate your dreams, hopes, aspirations and goals. The skies the limit.

Happy Birthday, mom.
I love you xxxx

Entry three

Lo and behold!

(A slightly dramatic introduction). However, it’s inspired me to write about my recipe for kindness. I went to pick up B from school and she thrust a pamphlet in my hand.

It’s magic,mom! Ok , I realised the reason she thinks it is magic:it is a map that requires a powerful

ancestor with a great recipe to fold it back up to it’s neat , once untouched form.

The theme: believe in yourself! I read this first activity and realised I need to do this activity more than my daughter does.

Kindess.

Kindness. Why not bake a cake of kindness ? Add your own ingredients?

If I had to bake my own cake of kindness this is the recipe:

4 TBSP’s of no shit taken off people who don’t reiprocate your kindness wirh the respect you value.

A generous helping of be kind to those you say no to.

3 drops of mouth sealant essence. We are born with 2 ears and 1 mouth.

Surely listening and then (filtering our words) answering is a better way of communicating because responding is more effective than reacting. Reacting is reactive. Too many reactions can become radio active. An explosion and a recipe for an unkindly disaster.

4x cherries dipped in sherbet (tart and sweet) to remind myself and others that I can be sweet most of the time but if my sweetness means they forget to sugar their cake then they may lose all of their teeth when I sweetly give them another tangy aftertaste they aren’t expecting.

The icing can’t be too fussy or too messy. Plenty colouring of all the colours I can find in my kitchen to show my values and beliefs respect all cultures, religions, genders and the rest.

1 x candle lit in the middle of the cake. So, that people who are tempted to indulge in my recipe for kindness, remember that my kindness cake will lose charm and taste if the candle dies out by being watered down or worn down with unproductive critism, respect for the effort I put into making a cake of kindness.

A solid sponge base with the ability to absorb peoples different opinions and views. It will be slightly dry to convey my dry sense of humour. Add a dollop of butter or cream ( adjust portion as needed) to subtly suggest a flavour that reminds other people that my kindness is an act based in reality My reality. Oh, and a degree of sympathy /empathy at the very least.

My dry remarks and after taste can be tempered by adjusting the measures of butter and cream to soften my natural essence of character.

The final impression I would want to leave with baking a kindness cake is :I accept that we all have different tastess and degrees of what a great kindess cake tastes like. I promise not to take another slice of another person’s kindess if it doesn’t conform to my ideals of the perefect cake. I don’t expect to force fed others another slice of my kindess if it doesn’t suit them.

The life and celebration of one Bella Bee

It was 13/10/2011. Icelandic temperatures in the U.K. We had zero cash and I was not afraid. Everyone around me; My Nan, my Mom and my Aunt were giving me advice and asking me questions.

“Have a bath. Have sex. Have a curry. Have a bath. Have a … inundated with many opinions and suggestions

My daughter was still not due until a week later. In one week I had had three stretch and sweeps. My Nan had to give us money for fuel to get back to the hospital. After my lovely bath, I went to lie down but I felt rather contrary and decided to check back into the hospital. The midwives said I still had at least 5 cm to go.

So we trudged back into our car for the seemingly long journey home. 10 minutes into the drive home, I felt something that I thought could be a contraction. It wasn’t painful but it was consistent. and it was a real ‘feeling’. I turned to my Nan and said I think I may be contracting. The car swerved and headed back to the hospital. At the hospital, the contractions started to pick up in intensity (not sore just an ‘alien’ feeling). The nurses led me to a room and said they would be back with all their midwifery gear. My Mom and my Aunt arrived.

By this time I was going into panic mode because I didn’t know what to expect. I demanded my drugs and started hitting the gas and air (That was all I asked for). If only I knew how ill too much would make me. I sat on this massive pink blobby ball, bobbing up and down like a confused Buddha. Mom was massaging my shoulders like I was in the wrestler’s seat ready for round one in the ring. DING! DING! DING!

Out of nowhere, I had the urge to get to the toilet. I don’t want to be vulgar though the feminist in me wants to flip the bird and give all the gory details. We need to get over the fact that birth can be ugly.

Moving on. This immense pressure hit me and it felt like I needed a shit. REALITY PEOPLE! Though, it wasn’t the same feeling like the usual order of the bathroom purge. I ran/made a move to go to the toilet and I sat down on it. My mom followed suit and said to me,

” No grandchild of mine is going to be born on the toilet” so she and my aunt took an arm each and propped me up and headed in the direction of the bed.

I got on the bed and screamed out what I needed to do. I wanted to push.

“PUSH” they cried.

Okay…. so I pushed really hard. I heard my Mom say,

” I can see her shoulders, push! “

I gave one almighty push that started from my head (with thoughts of ‘ one more push’ ‘body will obey’) One more push and it was ‘SHOWTIME’, I felt her shoot out of me. A chill stirred by my snakelike placenta laying frigid in between my legs. No cry. The midwives burst in at this moment with a Spanish inquisition manner of urgency about them. All tooled up for their big moment.

“We need to pierce the placenta.”

My little girl was born in the full sac. My body didn’t even have enough time to send a message to tell my bodywaters you may now burst’.

Still no cry. Then a tiny mew of a cry and they placed her on my chest for a nanosecond and then took her away to make sure she was in top form. They took my girl to another ward to observe her breathing and to make sure the medication I take had not affected her in any way. The midwives broke my waters!

My Mom and Aunt were clapping like a bunch of sea lions and then kissed me on the top of my head and dashed out of the hospital to catch a bus to London! I almost looked around for any discarded popcorn.

I did grab for the gas and air because my daughter had torn me and I needed to be stitched all the way around like a hem of a skirt. I needed some post-labour-pain relief. The whole drive back to the hospital and the labour lasted less than three hours. My baby girl was born on the 13/10/2011 at 03:15 a.m.

All the other Mom’s were super jealous. The easiest birth ever. The worst part was actually having to go to the toilet and not scream out in pain when my stitches had been so cruelly awoken. She has never been a hassle from her birth right up to her fourth birthday. She is such

a placid kid, she is always smiling from morning till night. She tells people they are beautiful and she comments on what people are wearing. She sings and dances. She shares. She is so courageous. There is an old wives tale that children born in the placenta sac are ‘special’. Centuries ago men travelling at sea would wear a part of the sac around their neck as a talisman – it was thought that it would give them protection and stop them from drowning at sea.

So much has happened in my daughter’s 8 years on this planet. People expected you to act like some feral child but no you are the most chilled, charismatic, hilarious, intuitive and smart child I know. I see you blossom and I blossom too. When I hug you to my chest that connection. That surge of emotion puts everything in perspective.

I LOVE YOU!

Our pinkie promise: I promise to love you forever and ever and I will never stop loving you and you will always be my baby girl, pinkie promise.

I know a special girl whose heart is full of sunshine
She dances her way around the world to deliver her own special punchline

She laughs so distinctly that people cannot help but become infected
It is a sight to behold when this observation is detected

She is gracious and kind and is delicately inclined
the phrase 'she is an angel' are the only words that come to mind

Her name means beautiful-that  of body, mind and soul
and to have her touch so many lives confirms her title role

She is my modern day princess -so noble and full of grace
I love her with all my being and she is a person that I cannot replace 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet child. You are the true gift
I found it in your innocent eyes and that was the day my world truly began to shift

A special girl

I know a special girl whose heart is full of sunshine .

She dances her way around the world to deliver her own special punchline

She laughs so distinctly that people cannot help but become infected

It is a sight to behold when this observation is detected She is gracious and kind and is delicately inclined the phrase ‘she is an angel’ are the only words that come to mind .

Her name means beautiful-that of body, mind and soul and to have her touch so many lives confirms her title role.

She is my modern day princess -so noble and full of grace I love her with all my being and she is a person that I cannot replace

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, my sweet child. You are the true gift I found it in your innocent eyes and that was the day my world truly began to shift.

Catch 22

Fall – leaves turn shades of browns and greens.

my heart dips and I don’t feel that same sense of summer’s beams.

Alone. I look to my left. Creativity shines- glitter, stilettos- latex, white faux fur coats. All legs.

Like a string of pearls flung across a room,  a musky scent wafts across my midst.

Temptations persist. Glamour. Warmth is all I seek. Summer, why do you have to be so cruel?

I know if I cross over to the other side – I’ll be feeling the warmth – it will be pimped out inbox ring styles – I won’t have time to dodge the fists.

My body will burn up an exotic shade of hues. I will have no rest.

Hell is the other side of Summers gluttonous jazz bassline.

One hit. One vein. Blood – artificial nirvana could infiltrate my being.

I won’t have to think of the biting cold that is ringing in my ears. Muffled will be the ice cone, frozen on the edge of my nose. It doesn’t matter who sees that I have been seen.

Bus shelters full, spikes erect from the corporate underground – I can’t sit down. I know it takes fewer muscles to smile than frown.

Energy is all I have to see me through this cycle of undomesticated abuse. October may be  Domestic abuse awareness month.

If I hadn’t left my keeper, I would still have a roof over my head.

A blanket.

I would still be touched.

 Roughed up.

Better the devil you know – I know every one of his moves. I know when to dissociate –

detach my mind

from my body.

Floating above the marital, martial art stylised bed – I see myself and that devil I married, grabbing folds of my skin. He doesn’t notice the smell of the new conditioner I bought at Asda or how soft the sheets feel now they have been newly spun.

Dryer. I’m dry. He doesn’t notice the lack of moisture. He doesn’t notice that all of that fluid has shot up to my eyeballs. I refuse to let them free flow – I am not her. I’m floating.

Fly on the wall. Caught up in a spiders web. I have to watch. It doesn’t matter if I have a crick in my neck – oh hang on a minute is he choking me?

Leftover food languishing in the sink drain. He switched the waste disposal on to automatic.

Arrested, I am back in bed, under him. Time to vogue with my lips and give him a little pucker.

These white sheets have turned red in his need to let off steam. I come out in blisters hovering underneath his vapour.

Turn my neck – feels like I need a box of throat lozenges for having to get all deep throat.

5 am flashing in stimulant green.

I’m 5 months pregnant. I am going to be late.

Grab the nearest decent clothes. Pull-on my Adidas trainers. Scrape my hair up into a ponytail.

Finally the motivation to go on the run. I don’t have to time myself. I know his schedule well.

An Olympic torch passes into my hand. I’m running for freedom. Liberty is my destination.

I can start over.

Spring – blues, violets, colours in a perfect union – uncompressed. Naturally dressed.

For the first time in months, I feel like I belong. I too am a medley of colours. I blend in.

Natures milkshake collects in my breasts –  4 months to go until I give birth to a miracle of pure life.

Not branded a colour – just innocence – a chance to see a light – work on my soul and tackle it all. This is the only cure.

Vanilla.

I am no Killer.

Life goes in cycles. It passes by fast. There are no traffic jams when you have to pick up your feet and walk.

Eyes cast down, belly protruding.

Christian volunteers crouch down next to me- hand me a card.

Die and be reborn.

They can help me. I just have to give my old life to our saviour. I’ve never met him but he sounds

Forgiving, comforting, caressing- a handwash with extra Aloe vera – calming properties.

All I have to do is offer my unborn child to him and I can enter paradise with the rest of my weary comrades.

Eyes raise up to the bitter sky. I’ve always thought whatever is up there twinkling and winking down at me is having a far better time than me.

My unborn deserves a place in heaven. Earth only promises scars and wild jungle roots to keep it grounded to the spot.

The ultimate sacrifice.

Did I fold in with this cult out of cowardice?

I will drink my poison.

Maybe this winter I will be reunited with the one that let out a sudden cry.

Lead me not into temptation. I lie down, no need to be afraid, child. I close my eyes and sigh.

Hope is my last premise.

* Inspired by domestic violence awareness month*

mainimage_0

OCTOBER 2016 (IMAGE SOURCED FROM GOOGLE)

HERE IS A LINK TO A  POST I WROTE,ON 11TH MAY 2016 , ABOUT MY OWN PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN A D.V. RELATIONSHIP , TO RAISE DOMESTIC ABUSE AWARENESS IN MY COMMUNITY AND   SOCIETY.

CLICK ON THE PINK HIGHLIGHTED LINK BELOW

THE FREEDOM PROGRAMME

*photo credit Rhode Island Francesca Woodman, Benjamin Moore *

Grace full of distate

I’m not always distasteful

Some bluds might call me graceful

No more graceful than dying hair red

Taking a bath

thinks

A pic of fake Menstruation on social media seems needed as its relatable.

Those who don’t know how it feels when your daughter whispers sweet nothings in your ear

Until you can’t deny she is you blood.

Veins pumping genetics down to her very veneers.

Unlike a gangster with a knife

She can disarm me with one word.

Fallen tears
More tears to fall.

She is my life and I feel shame to be told I am a failure according to ‘the perfect mothers’ bible.

Secret whispers in the night with my Bee and our cat

I’m elated by delight of their sight.

Clandestine

I pretend I’m tired

all I want to do is listen to an 8-year old tell me about her life

Virual is alright.

Her self made granny

The architect homes she designed

The way she does things back to front

Kisses her cat before wiping her face

Is it so bad

she has character?

She is a person with grace revelling in her precious nature.

I love her

Forget the love me not.

She heard me say that her dad needs a shaggy cut.

She screamed out in jest that his Mario sweater is replaceble.

Cut and dry

Wife with a belly full of fire.

She lived with an advisor

Who clouted her with words

She holds herself like a raw diamond.

Blonde

Blue-eyed eyes

Diane

Shy girl.

With all my strength I wish I could embrace her with my words

Take away the miscommunication.

She is my blood

She gave birth to me

How could I truly hate her?

She gives advice and tips

Tells me: I’m wiser I’m wiser I’m wiser!

Tell her: I know I know I know!

Indulge her fear to check her memory

Alzheimer’s runs in the family it may not happen to my maternal

Mom and I disconnect because she thinks I’ve misplaced her mind with my mind chasing speedballs

With out thought

Impulse

Nor thoughts of a future.

Denounced my victories
Declared I should be recovered nor heeded her advise

Disrespected her pain

Her growth

Her pain

Know

Her life

She pays

She laughs.

I wish she could put her life onto paper

For now, I see she wants recondition me to remember where I come from.

I hadn’t forgotten.

Save my daughter who will never forget her cumbersome roots

No respect

No Respect for a mothers love

When the child has not lived an age of daughter & mom with 38 years and odd some

Living apart.

Not for the grace of any God did we want the same for outcome for my child of surprise.

She is the one who has become our saviour.

Breaking up the pieces of our past.

How can I tell her to choose between mother or grandmother?

Who’s life is already unstable

20 years from now perhaps she will be a disorderly

Drunk or solicitor with letters after her name.

I’ve has enough of her being held at ransom by the past, ifs and buts

all the songs screeched from

The rabid rats

The stray cats

We once loved them.

I live in a place that’s to become my home again.

Ive sinned in mothers eyes

Because neither being clean off coke, weed & MDMA nor alcohol is enough to placate her that I’m enjoying recovery after waking up from a 5-day coma.

I believe I’m trying my damn hardest to get better.

She doesn’t care when I explain the recovery process.

You have too many issues.
Time to find a semi used snot filled tissue

We powwow with our words

Resulting in bad art titled ‘the splatter’.

I’m not trying to berate her.

My heart breaks.

She falls apart into pieces of bloody flotsam

Salty droplets of water flick her face at high tide.

In another room

A child washes her hair
Cuts out the words she doesn’t think she wants to hear.

She doesn’t understand the possible dynamics of life that awaits.

I hope life and fate won’t degrade her.

My child’s soul is pure.

Please, higher power embalm the one I call my graceful dancer

For I do I love her.

My mom too.
I love her

More than the blank stares and words that are hidden in my mind riddled with bedlam made cancer.

The order of the black Dog

My family.

Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold.

Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran.

I find myself sitting across from Gran. An iciness breathes mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog.

I try to swallow. The air is so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me. Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune into the conversation-taking place.

‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault. I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears.

A cry out for:

I need attention I’m suffering the most.

My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, and then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.

‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.

‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’

Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.

‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’

My husband throws a warning look at Ma,

‘Marie, for Poppies sake. Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’

Poppy shakes her head.

She doesn’t look at us.

I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy.

Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes veiled shadows betray her youthful face.

She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.

‘When’s Mummy coming home?’

Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart.

I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers.

She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.

-Answer her. Answer my daughter!

Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s up to Eddie to mediate.

My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt. It’s impossible to read his face.

He clears his throat,

‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’

Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse. Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,

‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’

I roll my eyes. Of course I love her! Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.

– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!

I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own. Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.

‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’

Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.

‘Aye, love.’

‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.

Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.

-There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves. We were right to take the piss.

Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.

Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat. I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:

‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?

He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.

My symptoms intensify in the days leading up to the funeral. Everything‘s heightened especially emotions that seemingly walk precariously on stilts. I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horrors Eddie and me used to watch together, on the sofa.

Unheard, I bellow continuously,

-Just let me go!

Every time I hear my name called reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me. These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.

Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.

‘I want that picture of her on her graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’

‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,

‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’

Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses

Vexed, I shriek

– don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.

‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen.

Another opportunity to get close to Ma again. I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum’s tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room I scarper.

‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’ They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.

Tonight, I beg for there to be a heaven. This has to be hell. The familiar, incongruous, gravitational pull lures me out of my cavernous abyss. I blink my eyes several times to focus: orientate myself. Hung up around the wall are vintage Disney posters. My eyes settle on Poppies bed. Eddie bends over Poppy and kisses her goodnight,

‘Mummy loves you just as much as I do.’ He tucks her in.

He switches off the light before walking out. I stand and watch my worn out daughter in her bed. She sings herself to sleep just as she does every night. She sings our song: twinkle twinkle little star. With each inflection of her sweet singing voice, the words serve as a needle. Each word stipulates smelting hot ink into my flesh. My neck is ablaze. Before closing her eyes, she whispers,

‘I love you mummy.’

When I reply, scorching chains wrap and lasso me around my neck. My skin swells up in blisters. The familiar sound of her breathing evaporates the pain. I need to be close to her, I need to smell her, kiss her. Carelessly, I run over to her bed to touch her sleeping head. Startled I lunge backward as Poppy instantly wakes up screaming.

– I’m powerless

. Eddie barges into the room, throws on the light and takes Poppy into his arms. I watch her body stiffen; then relax. I watch him settle my daughter back to sleep. My hands ball into tight fists.

-She must know I’m here.

Before I can touch her face, she wakes up screaming like – like she has seen a- ghost.

-I’m that Ghost! I put my hands to my mouth in horror.

Envy bubbles inside me as I witness Eddie consoling Poppy again. I’m half hoping he won’t succeed.

What kind of a mother am I?

I’ve been telling everyone to let me go.

Where will I go?

I can’t drive, no one can see me. There are no other lost souls wondering about telling me to join the dead community!

I won’t give up on my daughter. She needs me. I have to be here.

The stroke of our clock announces its time; a primitive realisation slithers down my very core. Nausea spirals up into my throat. I run into our bathroom, heave over the toilet, nothing comes out. I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror; I see vicious V-shaped welts where the noose of the rope has cut into my neck. This is what Eddie came home to.

The cloying black dog of depression haunted me. Its delivered dose of pain was exquisite- nothing took it away. Not drinking, overdosing, drugging myself, talking-nothing. Eventually, I told it to sit down. I told Eddie repeatedly,

– I just want to disappear.

– How can I help you? His eyes pleaded for an answer. I would always lash out,

-Unless you help me disappear, you can’t!

I remained imprisoned in our bed and he would go back to work and look after Poppy and the house. He could walk away from me. I couldn’t. I resent him for that. I can see myself now, googling the various ways people commit suicide. One article struck my eye ‘Men are more successful at committing suicide’.

-They don’t mess about with poisoning themselves –they resort to more violent means.

That is the moment I reached out to the wrong Alpha.

The black dog and I began sleeping together. It became my obsession. Up-close, I could analyse it, experiment with it. As a couple, it didn’t take much to find that Alpha rage. One phone call from Ma,

-Just snap out of it. If you’re going to do it, get on with it.

-Fine, I will! I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.

My impulsiveness finds me trapped within this mirror. It’s cold. Everything I read is back to front. Everything I do is back to front. It doesn’t reflect my true intentions. When I reach out, in fact, the more I reach out the more pain I inflict. I back away from the mirror until I’m pressed up, with my back against the bathroom wall.

What have I done?

What right do I have trying to tell my family how to deal with their loss?

Eddie will never know that I was messing about; I didn’t know if I could actually go through with it. From a great height in a corner of the bathroom my body feels cut loose from itself. I can see it happen in front of my eyes. Like a rerun episode, I can’t pause. The noose around my neck, in the shower. Steam shrouds the mirror, with slippery feet, I accidently knock myself off that chair and in that moment I realise,

– I don’t want to die.

I can’t scream and tell anyone. I made the decision when I decided to sleep with my enemy. I’ve interrupted the natural course of life. A lost soul in life: a lost soul in death. There are no bright lights to come with this epiphany. I exit the bathroom, stumble down the staircase, out the front door, and walk aimlessly down the street. I sense a familiar pair of eyes examining me; I look up and see the black dog in its true form. It waits for me to catch up. We walk side by side. I don’t look back. I am the one preventing people from moving on. I have to let go.

*TMA Submition for Open University- Year one MA -Creative writing- fiction genre

The clarity of insanity

And at  the peak of my insanity

A moment to glance away from my apparent  reflection gunning down with its eyes of La Mort

I know that if I am able to glance away

at that reflection

of utter fear and self-loathing

See

my child in her stark purity dancing in front of the mirror.

If I found myself standing over her

pick up the comb, attend to her dutifully then

This motion is fuelled by a fierce love.

A fierce refusal to allow her child to be abandoned

by her own mother

The same mother who flees from her Self every day.

If this is not a demonstration of love

then it is a moment of clarity

I see the reality I have created.

Sweet bitter

I’m ready to tipple

Tears or bourbon

I’m no longer sure

Does it matter?

Then it is a moment of clarity.

These are my words.

Inspired by reading a passage of  ‘Memoirs of a daughter’, written by Simone Beauvoir and her relationship with her mother.

A poem from a strange daughter

If  foresight revealed you would  always  remain  my biggest fan

then in retrospect, I’m certain you wished that you had made a better escape plan.

I type these words weary & mothered out.

Wondering how I can still love a child who dismisses me without having to shout.

I do.

Mostly love

Mostly nag & figure motherhood out.

Is it worth it?

Life is fleeting.

these words would sound better if interpreted by a Geisha learning how to interpret the I Ching.

Silver linings

strive to find a purpose.

Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you may make you stronger

It also makes one weary and often a bit teary.

 I carry on the tradition

light  your cake as a reminder

that without you there would be no fire lit in my belly savouring the meaning of meaning.

Life is a celebration, a trial and cursed blessing.

I have no words to convey how much I have sinned.

To quote a wise lady I’ll be happy if I can be a quarter the lady my mother is when…

she draws the curtains on her solo performance of a life lived.

life would have been sung by the haunting blues & myriad cherubs singing ‘Elysium exists’ hymn after hymn.

Happy birthday –  psalm 58 to the creator of  hope & faith

a celebration to your mortality.

Insightful are those who keep a track of the moments lived in the presence

& know how to make all of it count.