Monday, 31 August 2015


“My emotional life: dialectic between craving for privacy and need to submerge myself in a passionate relationship to another.” - Susan Sontag


I always thought that becoming self sufficient was the greatest feat, the highest climb a person could make. What could be more challenging than building a life for yourself that excludes the validation of others? That extinguishes the cravings of having someone truly see you, understand you, and love you? I've grown content in joy and the daily humming of life, no other person to upset my balance, no other heart to nurture but my own. "I could do this for the rest of my life" I've thought, "I'm finally happy."

But as the days slip by and people drift in and out of the river that is You, I began to realize that maybe the greatest feat isn't being self sufficient at all, maybe the hardest thing to learn to do is to love someone else.

There are days and weeks when this is easy, when falling in love with a sparkling mind and strong hands feels like second nature, as though him and I were always just two branches growing from the same tree. I am happy - content to be parallel lines with him, as our eyes meet and blush on the opposite sides of the car.

Then there are the dangerous days, the days when I want myself.

I barricade the door, no reason or argument preludes this. I lock myself up and shut it all out. Like a switch, all that love just flips from "on" to "off". It thunders through my arteries and into my lungs, and I exhale every little bit of it out into the air - what took months to nurture and grow vanishes in seconds.  I hold myself, my life, my Kingdom tight to my chest like an upset child clings on to a blanket, fingers gripped so fiercely I could be set alight and not flinch. Like a dragon guarding her cave, glowing cinders spit from my mouth as I roar in anguish. Who DARES trespass inside ME?!

Of course, you will not see this. On these days, you might notice me go a little quiet. I might disappear for a walk, play different music. I take care of myself, and will return when I am better.

And so I sit here with stones in my chest and my head heavy in my hands. How are you supposed to love? Do I accept and embrace and forgive and treat this person like I treat all the empty others - those who I don't require their affection or validation? Or do I submerge myself so deeply in them that I lose all of my control, that they become as much a part of my being as my very own soul, that the thought of them leaving leaves me paralysed, holding on to a drowning man - installing my very own Self Destruct button straight into their hands? Neither feel right.

Learning how to love is the hardest thing I have ever had to do. 
I have no idea how to do this.

Friday, 28 August 2015


As summer collapsed into autumn
I was reminded
That there is no life without death
No light without darkness there first, silently
tapping his long fingers
No love without loneliness
And the distinct and
sudden realisation
that absolutely nothing is mine
to keep

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

The Architect (Part 1)

Between us was a faint glass. I watched him coyly over the coming months; noticing his hands, and the way they twitched. They were strong looking hands, but they were clean - I sometimes wondered if he ached for the pencil residue on his skin the same way I ached for his hands on mine.
The way he spoke to me, words softly planted in my ears, Sweetheart. I knew he was an artist from the way he spoke. Each day he coloured me blue with those words, in that voice, Little One. My chaotic mind began to unfold. He lay it down with those clean hands of his, looked at me with excited eyes, like I was undiscovered blueprints begging to be made sense of. He lay me down so gently and so surely, not quest nor challenge, just his favourite pastime.
And he began to draw.
Once a day, sometimes twice, he sketched the foundations of us. First began the digging; rooting up the soil of my past, and his, getting deep into my core, into my thoughts. I didn't like this. Dirty hands in my dirty soul, in corners that hadn't been touched before. What if my soil wasn't good enough quality for the fine house he could build? What if my ground wasn't stable? I'm the first to admit I have stones and boulders deep down there, at times I've felt the pain gush through my veins so heavy that I could give way any minute. And still I let those hands inside me, flinching as I felt them brush past my insecurities.
He was always gentle when he explored me, into the ruins of past houses I'd tried to build alone. I watched him with intrigue, as he opened up each crevice and laid down the new foundations, as though he'd been inside me a thousand times before. With each conversation we grew closer and stronger, the glass between us became fainter, it was clear he was no longer a visitor here.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Something New

After living one too many days of routine, I start to feel like I've been underwater for too long; lungs steadily filling with water. The restlessness. My feet start to kick, craving whatever is above the surface. Spend too long in the deep dark, and your soul starts to dim alongside it.

There are certain remedies for a dimming soul, and I truly believe the first to be Newness.

Get up at a different time. Wake up at 4.30am, when it feels as though the world is still rocking in a deep slumber, and it's just you and the universe. Walk out of your doorway, leave your orange-glow porch for the burnt amber streets. Your mind hasn't mapped this place before, even though you've stood here a thousand times. And when you breathe, really breathe. It smells like a foreign but familiar place, in a foreign yet familiar time - maybe somewhere in your muddled childhood. You inhale with a shade so deep, you almost believe that if it travels far enough inside you, it might just transport you right back to that moment you'd misplaced. And instead, a new moment forms.
Go walk through a ghost town, race the sun to explore the corners first. Facing the dark side of the solar system has always been romantic for me, everything is painted in human nature, human convenience. A canvas you can walk inside, unintentional art. Standing quietly everyday, unacknowledged. Just how it likes to be.

When my soul begins to dim, I go somewhere new. It dusts the cobwebs from my eyes, washes the mould from my rotting mind. Newness is an antibiotic you can't develop resistance to, fresh eyes clean from the washing basket in your mother's bedroom. I built my memories on the foundations of the chords from the songs I'd never heard before, there's a reason you cry when it plays so many years later. There's a reason why that perfume makes you think of him, there's a reason why life once felt so big - once upon a time. When it was all so New.

Wednesday, 19 August 2015


You kissed me and filled my mouth full of spiders. And every time I thought of you, they effortlessly spun poetry from my tongue..

Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Wild Girl

Wild Girl
You stand small in the wind
Eyes like whirlpools
Hair unpinned

Wild Girl
What is it
that makes you run?
I know your shoes can't hold your feet any longer
They're raw at the sole

Wild Girl
I didn't catch your name
Your shadow didn't hang around
But your reflection lingered in my mind

Wild Girl
I've longed for you for years
Kept you in my small cramped dark
Paying for my fears

Wild Girl
You move like a river
Dirty feet, grass stained clothes
Freckles of chaotic constellations

I turn around in my doorway
And look back at myself
I always knew who I was
Who I was born to be

Wild Girl

Thursday, 13 August 2015


Undressing for men
I didn't love
Was easy, fast and grey
But with him
I must undress my terrified soul
Let him gently pull the loose threads
Dangling at my waist
Knowing I could unravel in an instant
back into the chaos I once was
Let him ease the zipper
and glimpse the scars
of past mistakes, those defining moments
It's hard not to have regrets
When so much hurt caused so much growth
When strong hands held me
And squeezed the life right out of me
The dried blood under his fingernails
that once pumped through me
that rushed to my heart
made my knees weak
and my soul collapse
I undressed for him, once, too.

Saturday, 1 August 2015

A Recipe for Being Single

We go through life alone. Eternally in our own heads, eternally stuck in this one body that we didn't choose and can't swap out. Every person in the history of people has been alone their entire lives, and yet somehow the world has convinced us that we are in need of something - someone - else. My other half, my soul mate. 

You Are Not Alone

Around a year ago, I'd finally read enough poetry to realize this wasn't true. I was single, and I was whole. I filled up my days with learning, documentaries, friends, laughter, reading, adventures, thinking.  On Facebook I see friends hurdle from relationship to relationship, I look back at how I so desperately craved someone to validate my worth by loving me. I want to tell them, I want to go back in time and tell myself that I am already capable of being whole - no other half missing.

I've had a year of wholeness. I've had men come into my life and into my bed and my heart hasn't awakened. Not for want of hopefulness - but I realized that I cannot bend for people any more. Someone is either a perfect fit, or they are someone else's entirely. I'm still not sure whether it's a good thing to be able to switch off and shut down so easily... as they say, to avoid vulnerability and to avoid feeling is to avoid life, and miss out on the one thing that makes us human. 

That said, on the other side of the coin... I feel freedom for the first time! I can finally plan a life that I feel excited to live, and wake up every day to. There is no pain, there are no bruises on my skin or on my heart. With the exception of the possibility that I'll want children one day, there is absolutely nothing stopping me from carving out a life entirely my own, and enjoying every single moment I was given. 

The Painter

So, here is my Recipe for Being Single.

1) Validate yourself, don't wait for someone else to validate you.

Your self-worth is so important. First off, if how you look ranks highly on your self worth, then by all means - throw yourself into the gym, the salon, the tanning booth - do whatever it takes to make yourself feel happy when you look in the mirror. BUT. Facewipes will wipe, and water will wash, and one day we're all gonna get old. It's great to feel beautiful, but it's even better to get your self worth from things like intelligence, kindness, talent and depth. And best of all, these are things you can know about yourself without having anyone else need to approve it! Be kind to people, let people in when you're in traffic, open doors, ask a cashier about their day. Be patient with people when they are upset, have a joke with someone in a bad situation. And then you can say... I am kind. And kind people don't deserve anything special and don't win any prizes in life, but man it feels good to be kind. 

2) Design a life you want to live

I'm a next-weeker. Next month I'll do this. This summer, I'll go on all these adventures. Next year I'll go travelling. And it comes around, and hey look - I'm sat on my phone swiping through tinder looking for someone to do it all with. This had to change.
I think it's human nature to want a partner, a witness to your life. For me, I wanted so badly to bring the magic I had found and to pour it into someone else's eyes... who knows what for. But, as we refer to paragraph 1 - we're going through this trip alone regardless. 

So I stopped planning, and ran up the hills behind my apartment and through the fields. The amount of times I have cried with sheer overflow of magic, feeling and humanity on these runs alone is hard to count. To be alone is to be human, and to belong deeply to yourself is the most incredible thing you can ever own. These runs gave me the ability to travel alone, to eat alone, to walk myself home alone at night and, most importantly, to live my life alone.  People who are excited to live their lives don't deserve anything special and they don't win any prizes in life, but man - it feels good to be excited to live.

3) Kisses aren't contracts

It sounds cruel and unfeeling, but learning to see every budding romance as something that will come to an end has helped me hugely in my quest for wholeness. I set my standards for my suitors high, but my expectations very low. This did not leave me disappointed. Instead, weirdly, I'm now on good terms/good friends with all the guys I've dated, and my heart didn't get injured one bit. People are human, they will not always love you, even if you're fucking awesome. You will not always love them, even if they're fucking awesome. Being strong doesn't mean you deserve anything special, and strong people don't win any prizes in life. But man, it feels good to be strong. 

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you this poem:

After a while you learn the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul.
And you learn that love doesn’t mean leaning,
and company doesn’t always mean security.
And you begin to learn that kisses are not contracts,
and presents aren’t promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead...
With the grace of a woman,
not the grief of a child.
And you learn
To build all your roads on today,
Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans,
and futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight.
After a while you learn that even sunshine burns
if you get too much…
So, you plant your own garden,
and decorate your own soul...
Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers.
And you learn that you really can endure…
you really are strong,
you really do have worth.
And you learn, and you learn…
with every goodbye,
you learn.

4) And finally

When you do give you heart to someone, after you have spent all that time on your knees, gluing the broken bits of your heart back together. There will be no red flags. There won't be quiet police sirens in the distance, the smell of smoke will be one you don't even remember. Because when you are finally whole, when you truly love being alone, when you belong so deeply to yourself that sometimes it hurts, that's when there isn't room for anyone but the right person. And if the clock strikes the midnight in your life, and they haven't shown up, you'll know they were there the entire time, looking right back at you in the mirror. 

Whole people don't win any prizes at life. But man, it feels good to be whole.


Shut Down (It was all in my head)

We were dancing in my living room
Whilst she sat quietly in the corner,
I didn't notice her for spinning
I think I was somewhere underneath your tongue