where are you?

i’m anxious about my new job.
and where are you?

i’m crying because my anxiety has become so overwhelming that i don’t think i can go on anymore.
and where are you?

i’m questioning all the life choices that led me here, wondering at which turn it all went south.
and where are you?

i’m looking for a hand to hold beneath the sheets at night, when terrors wake me.
and where are you?

i’m searching a sea of strange faces for your familiar gaze that feels like coming home.
and where are you?

i’m looking for reassurance that i’ll be okay on monday; i’m looking for your support.
but where are you?

where are you now?
seven hours ahead.
almost 6000 miles away.
i left you.
on a different continent.

but how i wish things were different.
how i wish i’d never had to leave.

i’m so resistant to the idea of monday because it means that i’m definitely moving on with my life. it’s the next big hurdle.

and you won’t be there.
beside me. telling me everything’s going to be okay and
squeezing my hand.

it’ll just be me.
by myself.

and who am i?

chapters

i thumb through the pages of our old life.
stopping
on the pages
where i’ve folded over the top corner.
to revisit those memories again.

nepal.
towersey.
ten y fan.
non-descript evenings spent listening to music, drinking red wine and putting the world to rights.

but i can’t keep doing it.
romanticising the past.
religiously reading back over the pages of the life we once shared.
once loved.
those chapters are closed now. i know.
and i need to move on. i know.

the more i thumb through the old passages
the more
blurry
the words become;
i’m misremembering them.

it’s like rubbing salt into a wound
that i was tending to
and slowly
healing.
it’s like ripping it at the careful,
methodical,
heart-broken
stitches
and leaving it
open again.
ugly and gaping.

i know, i should pick up the pen and start writing
new chapters,
for my new life now,
without him.
not defined by him.
or anyone else.
but defined by me.
i choose the narrative.

i should grab that pen and start writing immediately.
but my hands drift back to the old chapters.
the familiarity.
the warmth of an old flame.

I feel like,
what’s the point in continuing writing,
when your best work is already written?

when you’ve already peaked?

heartfelt deception

i feel like i’m starting to move on,
slowly.
i don’t want to jump the gun.

but i think of you less.
and when i do it doesn’t hurt so much,
or send palpitations into my chest.

i see a picture of you now on facebook,
and i think the rose tinted glasses have been lifted, ever so slightly.
and instead i see a fully grown man
who still hasn’t learnt to be open with his emotions, and show sincerity.

and isn’t that sad?
that 4 years on you still handle your emotions the way you did with your ex, before me.
bury your feelings and hide from them,
until it reaches boiling point,
and it all gets thrown out to sea.

the pain in my chest has lifted,
ever so marginally.
that’s progress
and i’ll take that
gratefully.

because it’s taken a long six months to get here,
and i’m not even half way there yet,
not even close, nowhere near.

but i’ve put my foot on the path in the right direction,
and i feel like i’ve made a decision,
to get over,
move on from
such heartfelt deception.

A toast

On our final night together
in a little Italian restaurant we’d made our favourite,
we raised our glasses
and said
“to us”.

Just those two words.
That’s all either of us could manage
without crying in public.

But what we didn’t say was this;

To us.
To all that we were.
To all we could’ve been.
To every time we made each other laugh,
and to sweet Nepali tea.

To every cycling holiday
To all the memories we made,
To every happy polaroid
I pray that time won’t fade.

To every “I love you”
To every stolen glance,
to every morning coffee in bed, every debrief cup of tea,
and to every ceilidh dance.

To every adventure that we’ve had,
to every argument we’d right,
to every sweet guitar melody,
and to putting the world to order, late into the night.

To every birthday we made special,
to each and every kiss,
to every mistake we made,
it all came down to this.

So I hope you still remember us,
before we said adieu,
thanks for all the memories,
“to us, to me and to you”.

x

the silence & the sound

Empty.
Clean.
White.
Silence never sounds like it’s supposed to.

Silence is an echo chamber
of words unspoken,
and anxieties welling up to the surface.
Bubbling, bursting through the millpond of the mind.

Silence is an empty dancefloor
once the music has been turned off
and everyone has left
except you.
You’re left with the ringing in your ears, and a scratching in your throat
from screaming to be heard over that
deafening
silence.

Silence is an empty railway tunnel.
Gaping and anticipating
the next train of thought, coming along
bulldozing it’s way through the temporary vacancy between your ears.

Silence is a forest,
full of moss-covered rocks just waiting to be overturned.
Patches of fog hang despondently between the listless branches
Don’t peer too close, you might scare yourself
with the weight of all the things you do not know
that lie in the gloaming.

Silence is the gap between the thunderclaps.
That is all.
The rain it still pours.
And the echo of the last distance rumble
tumbles around your hollow head.

Silence is the torchlight of the interrogation.
Why weren’t you good enough?
When did it all go wrong?
Why are you like this?
Why can’t you just move on?

The silence
it never stops.

unfinished

The final few rays of a dwindling winter sun
The crest of a wave before it rushes up to meet the sand
The embers of a dying bonfire
And an outstretched hand.

A tree clinging onto the last few leaves of autumn
Breath catching in your throat
A question mark lingering in the conversation
Lying back in the Mediterranean sea, drifting and afloat.

The pips of voicemail as a phone call goes ignored
The red wine stains on the rim of your glass
Three dots, typing
A reply that isn’t coming back.

Turned down pages of a book of old poetry
The first few drops of rain before a storm
The hovering second hand of a clock as it just passes midnight
A half drunk cup of coffee, gone luke-warm.

An imperfect cadence
And a chance not taken
The imperceptible sound
Of another heart breaking.

i hope you’ve learnt nothing

I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing.

I hope, the next time you love, you love with all the reckless abandon that you did almost 4 years ago now.
I hope it doesn’t harden you.
I hope you remain soft, and open.
May your heart remain supple.
I hope it doesn’t diminish your capacity to trust another person with your dearest secrets and darkest memories.
I hope the old clichés don’t play out – once bitten, twice shy.
I hope you remain bold in the face of love.
And still grab it with both hands, fiercely.
And fearlessly.
I hope you have learnt how to love someone deeply, and to accept a sincere love in return.
I hope you have learnt love is worth putting everything you have on the line for.
I hope you allow yourself to be loved again, even at the risk of it all not paying off again.
Because time spent wholeheartedly loving someone is time well spent, and not to be regretted.

I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing at all.

no one saves you

No one saves you.
Not a boyfriend, or partner, or friend, or family member.
Or therapist.
Sure, they can help. Make you feel better for a short while.
But they don’t fix you.

No amount of love from someone else will amount to anything if you still hate yourself.
I’m not saying we all need to love ourselves.
We can’t.
It’s too much to ask.
But just being neutral would be nice.
Being forgiving.
Not hating ourselves for other people’s misdemeanors, and forgiving ourselves for our own.

Otherwise we’re searching constantly for someone else to say;
“YES! You are good enough!”
“YES! You have value!”
“YES! You are loved!”

But it doesn’t always go like that.

People leave.
People let you down.
Sometimes people just don’t know what to say.
And if you’re waiting for them to put your pieces back into place, you’ll crumble when they don’t.
And then it’s their fault.
But it’s not.
It’s nobody’s fault.
Let’s not assign more blame.

You’re just hurting.
From old wounds, re-opened.
The more you ignore it, the worse it will get.

You can exist outside of other people’s opinions of you.
You won’t suffocate.
And you won’t drown either.

try to write about what’s going on without talking about yourself

Trees miss their blossoms in the winter.
It gets dark. It gets cold. The nights are inconceivably long. The sunlight barely shines through the overcast greys.

And weeds grow.
They start growing where there used to be daisies and daffodils.
The weeds can tough it out.
The daisies can’t.
They wilt at the first frost.

But weeds can bear flowers too. Unexpected and hardy.
A flourish of colour amidst the gloom.

Weeds accompany the trees through their harsh winter.
Console them,
and offer them their own flowers as compensation.
It’ll never be quite as brilliant as a spring in full bloom,
but it’s something to cling on to.

The winter will drag on forever.
But the trees are patient.
Their blossoms will return.
When the moon and the sun
decide it’s so.

two paths

we once walked the same path.
you and i.
for four years, almost.
the same well worn trail.
well-trodden.
well-loved.
tended to.
there were small flowers growing out of our footprints.
and moss slowly growing on fallen branches.
and ferns reaching for light in the dark of the undergrowth.

we used to hold hands as we walked.

i don’t think i even realised our paths had diverged until i was clinging onto your hand by my out-stretched arm and my fingertips.
and you weren’t reaching for mine anymore.
i looked up, and could barely see you through the thicket that had enveloped the gulf now between us.

i didn’t see the warning signs.
i didn’t see the cracks beneath our feet.
i didn’t notice you veering off on your own course to avoid a fallen tree.

“two roads diverged in a wood”

it is not our path anymore.
it is not our story anymore.
it’s yours.
and it’s mine.
two separate paths winding their own course through the forests.

but for four years it was ours.
and it was magic,
because the path we walked together was golden.