I would prize Wildwood Kin, from your little sweaty palms,
I would eat more healthily,
I would dance more often,
and refuse to let you talk over me.

I would shake my former self
look her straight into the eyes
and say, is this what you think you’ve been searching for
all your goddamn life?

I would remove those tinted glasses
and see you for what you are,
an emotionally-stunted man-child
who just happens to play guitar.

I’d take you off your pedestal,
where you’d comfortably made your nest.
I’d tell you truths like, I’m not sure I want to have biological children
and bathe in the disgust your face expressed.

I’d stop hiding my truth to please you,
unafraid of causing upset
confidently proclaim my moral views
and calmly watch you sweat.

I’d grab my former self,
lace up my running shoes,
take her by the hand
and run far away from you.


Your not texting back,
was a stab to the heart.
But you were drinking cold liquor, with new friends
so you didn’t see that part.
You were already planning how our story would end.

In our story, from my side, we had endless pages.
But I guess you were just filling in the blanks,
until you thought you could escape this
and it came as a suckerpunch when I realised you’d pulled a Shawshank.

Too cowardly to tell me the truth,
that you lied when you said we had the rest of our lives together.
You kept me, like Dogtooth,
hidden from reality.
You were nothing more than a boyfriend for fairweather.

And when the storms rolled in,
and the thunderclaps boomed,
things headed the way they’d always been,
and you ran scared into the other room.

Away from my crying eyes
and into the arms of another.
Out of sight, out of mind,
safely beneath the skin of a different woman to hide under.

Someone sweeter,
someone breezier,
someone who wouldn’t call you a cheater.
A fairweather girlfriend,
and altogether

truths i should’ve listened to

All pain is temporary.
Always trust your gut instincts.
Actions speak louder than words,
pay attention to what they do rather than what they say they’ll do.

Healing isn’t linear, and that’s ok.
Time gives you metaphorical distance, but your brain is a brilliant time traveler.
Help is the bravest thing you can ever say.
And asking for it doesn’t make you weak.

Dancing is good for the soul; do it often and spontaneously.
Invest time in those who you know will invest the time back.
Know where your limits are, and be gentle with yourself.

You always have the right to say no, and be heard.

Everything will seem different in the morning.
I love you.

lies i was told

Just a sharp scratch.
He didn’t cheat on you.
No, he really didn’t.
I won’t do it again, I promise.

It will hurt less over time.
Time heals everything.
We’ll spend the rest of our lives together.
And I’ll look after you tonight.

I’ll only have one drink.
Of course I’d never do anything to hurt you.
You’re my whole world.
I can’t imagine life without you.

This is the hardest bit, right now.
Crying will make you feel better.
it gets easier as you get older.
I love you.

“She burns bridges”

Apparently, I burn bridges
or maybe it was a wayward spark,
from you burning our candle at both ends.
It wouldn’t have taken much, to raze the dilapidated, crumbling scaffolding.
Not the once strong, steady, immovable Pont du Gard.

A bridge is no longer of use, when the destination is a person you no longer recognise.
A faceless friend,
a stranger in a crowd,
an unhappy hostage.

So maybe burning it was my only option.
Save up what little was left of my sanity; cut and run.
You say I no longer light up your sky,
but maybe my light was never yours to possess and claim as your own.
Maybe what burnt that bridge, was a flicker of my fire you could no longer control.

Well, I gathered up all the remaining timber,
anything I could salvage from the blaze,
and I built myself a fucking ladder
to pull myself out of the twisted ravine you left me in.

And now I’m up high, on a cliff top
and the view and the air is clear,
and now it all makes sense.

red flags

You always said you’d eventually learn how to dance with me, but you always had an excuse. You just didn’t care for the things I was passionate about. Red flag number 10.

You never cared for, or tried to understand, my love of Taylor Swift. I know that might sound petty. But it was important to me, and you openly mocked it. Red flag number 9.

You said you didn’t like tattoos, but you would make exceptions for my small ones. Well, now I have a big one. So fuck you. Red flag number 8.

We had similar tastes in music, but only when it came to folk and country. Anything else and I felt I had to filter my music choice around you. Because it was “too mainstream”. You always took the high ground when it came to music. Red flag number 7.

Your political views were the right ones, and no amount of debating would tell you otherwise. You took the high horse there too. Red flag number 6.

I was terrified of doing my pre-flight injections by myself, so I offered to pay for your megabus and the additional cost of the flight, for you to fly from Heathrow with me. To support me. But you outright refused. Red flag number 5.

You could never have a healthy disagreement. You’d bury your head in the sand at the first sign of conflict. Sweep it under the carpet. Until it blew up in our faces. Red flag number 4.

You made empty promises. The main one being that you’d always support me, no matter what. Red flag number 3.

One night, after weeks of my mental health rapidly declining, you said you’d rather go out and get drunk with another girl than come home to me. Red flag number 2.

You cheated on your girlfriend of four years to be with me.

Red flag number 1.

last november / behind a lens

Last November, I would walk down the beach
and populate my instagram with beautiful pictures of the sunsets,
all whilst crying, behind the lens.
You saw sunsets,
I saw a blur of oranges and pinks through tear-stained eyes

I would walk the beach, and mourn for what I’d lost.
My relationship, my friends, my career, my life that I knew.
I would watch the waves and sob behind unnecessary sunglasses.
My life had been up-ended in a way I never wanted to admit.

But the beach was my safe place, to cry.

I’ve just been for another walk down the beach,
a year and a bit on,
and took almost identical sunset photos for my instagram.
But I wasn’t crying behind the lens this time.

Instead, I sent you a voice note,
and over the washing of the waves and the calling of the seagulls,
I told you,
I can’t wait to bring you here and to watch the sunset together,
and maybe I’ll make you dance with me on the sand.

The beach is a pilgrimage for me; a checkpoint.
A chance to take stock, to literally bring things home.
This year, I take stock
and I’m happy with my lot ❤

come out, come out, wherever you are

(This is a difficult one for me to post, but here goes…)

“Well, when did you know?” 

It’s a question that a lot of people have asked me when coming out to them. 

I guess I knew around the age of 13. I found female celebrities attractive, beguiling, mesmerising, in a way that I knew wasn’t just admiration. Cheryl Cole, Megan Fox, 13 from House, Taylor Swift. But I instinctively knew there was something “wrong” about that. I knew it was unacceptable. I thought it was unacceptable. I wasn’t sure I was aware that bisexuality was an option, I thought it was either full gay, or full straight and nothing in-between. And I didn’t want to be gay. For one, I’d heard all the nasty comments made by my peers at school. “Gay” was a slur. And for a second, I felt I didn’t conform to what I’d been fed it meant to be a gay woman. Butch, tomboy, all the usual tropes. The openly gay kids in school all hung around together and had a similar style, listened to the same type of music. I felt I didn’t fit in. I played the fiddle, was into country music and was a fairly “normal”, if a nerdy straight-A, pupil. I didn’t know where I fit. 

When I got to college a few of my friends were openly, and confidently, out by then and had girlfriends. Part of me was jealous, part of me was curious. But all of me was still in denial and deliberately suppressing my identity. 

Then I got my first boyfriend, and started going out to parties drinking. And out of nowhere came the notion that drunkenly kissing your best girl friends was a cool thing to do. My boyfriend thought it was hot. He thought it was performative, like one of his teenage boy fantasies of watching two girls “lez-off”. Little did he know how much it turned me on. How I wanted more. More than just a drunken kiss on a night out. I distinctly remember how soft J’s lips were, and how I found that infinitely more arousing than my boyfriend’s beard stubble. 

My sexuality lay dormant for a while after college. Convinced myself it was just a phase and I was straight after all, phew. Yet still fawning over images of Cheryl Cole (why her?!) on my boyfriend’s pin-up calendar. 

The relationship ended. And that’s a whole nother story. And when I downloaded a dating app for the first time, I hovered over the toggle to say I was interested in women too. But I bottled it. I’d convinced myself for so long that I was straight, that I believed the lie. 

Then the next serious relationship happened, also with a man. There was nothing really niggling at me that I was lying about my sexuality (by this point I also knew what the B stood for in LGBTQ+). Except that sometimes I’d check women out on the street. Except sometimes I’d close my eyes during sex and picture a woman instead. Except sometimes (most times) when I’d masturbate I’d envisage a woman going down on me. But that was normal for a straight person, right? 

And then Chiang Mai happened. There were a lot of awful things that happened in Thailand. But one of it’s few saving graces, and one thing I am eternally grateful for, was it’s thriving queer community. With the drag nights, both queens and kings, with the spoken word poetry, the marches, and just the complete openness of everyone I met about the full spectrum and fluidity of both sexuality and gender. I’d make jokes to E about needing a “wet floor” sign, or a mop and bucket, when a particularly attractive female performer came on stage. And she never batted an eyelid, she just laughed along with me. And I’ve never felt more like I belonged. (It’s another one of the reasons I was so heartbroken to leave Thailand the way I had to – but again, that’s another story for another time.) 

I remember finally getting up the courage to say to E that I was bi. E had recently had her first fling with a girl and again, I was jealous and curious. It felt like the right time to finally tell someone, and I knew I wanted E to be the first to know. She laughed and said “Mate, I already knew, you kind of give off that vibe”. And that was that. 

I finally felt like I was with my people. I didn’t need to look a certain way, listen to certain bands, dress a certain way. I just needed to show up, authentically as myself. And I was accepted. 

I later told another friend, D, who was non-binary and queer. They had the same response as E – they already knew. They laughed at me (or with me) again. It was reassuring. However, they warned me against telling my then boyfriend. Because they said it’d plant a seed of doubt in his head about whether I wanted to see what a relationship with a woman would be like. 

Despite what D said, I made the choice to tell him. Through ashamed tears I told him the truth about my sexuality, and how I finally felt comfortable enough to talk about it. I reassured him I didn’t want to go off and experiment (which was definitely a lie – I had always longed for the touch of another woman, to feel her warm body pressed against mine, whoever she may be). So maybe it was a factor in him deciding to break up with me a few months later. Who knows, who cares. 

And also, separate note, but after everything I had to endure with my first boyfriend, and a subsequent rape and various sexual assaults, sexually I didn’t feel comfortable around men anymore. I didn’t feel safe. I associated sex with pain, I associated it with it being a performative act solely for the benefit of male pleasure. I started to lean more towards the safety of a woman, rather than the fear, embarrassment and degradation I associated with heterosexual sex. I constantly felt the pressure, no matter who I was with sexually, to always give them what they wanted. 

After that relationship ended, and I moved back to the UK, I ended up in a tumultuous “relationship” with an old school “friend”. He told me my sexuality was a phase, or I was just using the label to seem edgy. I’d told him I was unsure whether I was bisexual or pansexual (because I’d been attracted to a non-binary person in Chiang Mai), and instead of being supportive, his response was “Vegan? Pansexual? What other quirky labels do you want to add?”.

Thankfully, I cut all ties with him (stupidly after having sex with him twice though – truly appalling sex at that), and moved down south. When some new work colleagues persuaded me to download Hinge, this time I had no qualms about clicking the toggle “men and women”. 

The men I matched with were a disappointment. I was more fascinated by the fact that for the first time I had the opportunity to explore dating women. Still most of my home friends didn’t know, except maybe F. She knows everything. And I still experienced some prejudice even from within the queer community. I had one girl tell me I didn’t look gay enough, or looked like I was “new to this” or some other bullshit. I couldn’t believe that in this day and age, in 2021, people were still trying to typecast a gay woman (or a bisexual), and from WITHIN the LGBTQ+ community as well. I brushed that remark off though and stopped speaking to that one particular girl. 

There were plenty of other girls I matched with. And then along came H. And something clicked into place almost immediately. It was easy, it was effortless. (See previous poems about how much I love her). Our first video chat date lasted almost four hours. 

After we’d made it official, on 6th February, before we’d even met up with each other (cheers lockdown, you massive cockblock (the irony that I just used that phrase)), I knew I needed to be honest with my family too.
My sister was initially quite quiet about it. But sure enough, the next morning all the questions came. The main one being “Well, when did you know?” and I guess that’s where I was at at the start of this piece of writing. 

My Mum and Dad didn’t have too many questions, they were just happy I was happy. But over the coming months I felt I had to repeatedly come out over and over again to different people or groups of people – friends from work, old colleagues, friends from school. It got a bit draining, and then it got a bit boring and eventually I’d whittled it down to “Oh, I have a girlfriend now, by the way” and that’s the end of it. 

I can’t express how much more comfortable I am being with H. Maybe it’s because we’re both in the exact same situation (we’d both never been with a girl before) or maybe it’s just her. I feel safe in bed with her. I trust her completely. I know I’m never going to be put in a situation where I feel uncomfortable sexually. Maybe it’s because we’re both female, or maybe it’s because I trust her enough to be completely open and honest with her. 

So yeah, that’s where I’m at. 

Also, boobs are great.


It’s mad
that it’s not even been 365 days yet
and yet
you feel like home.

And not like “four walls and a roof over my head” home
like a place deep within my soul feels like it belongs again
and I don’t feel so alone anymore.

You’re a warm cup of tea to my cold hands in winter,
You’re an extra blanket thawing the still frozen parts of me,
You’re the first sip of a cold beer on a hot summer’s day; refreshing and reminiscent all at once.

You’re an old book, with turned down pages to mark favourite spots,
Your body is poetry that I know line by line, off by heart.
You’re the last satisfying piece of a jigsaw puzzle; completing the picture.

No, I don’t want to say I was half a person before I met you,
because I like to believe we are born complete.
But you certainly made me realise I was living a half-life before you,
but unaware of it.

You think you’ve experienced love before,
you think you know what that word means,
but then someone comes along and
completely rewrites the whole script.

For me, that person is you.

You are all things that are good in this world,
and I still don’t know what I’ve done to deserve this.

You are the coffee that wakes me up,
and the warm bath that winds me down,
and above all,
you are the call of the seagulls,
that finally remind me
I am coming home

to you.


There will be plays you will see, poems you will read, sandwiches you will eat, new friends you will make, new dance moves you will learn. There will be hugs, and there will be kisses that stop time. There will be cups of tea on a balcony with a beautiful view of the sunset. There will be sunrises. There will be holding hands, running through the rain, sheltering under trees, and more kissing. There will be music you haven’t heard yet, that doesn’t even exist yet, that will move you to tears, or become your new favourite track to dance to. There will be weddings, your own included. There will be swimming in a clear blue sea. There will be cold, crisp glasses of New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, on hazy summers evenings. There will be dogs to pet. Films to laugh at. New mountains to climb. There will be warm cosy jumpers and mulled wine at Christmas. There will be a time you see your big sister again. There will be new books to read, that will take you on new adventures from the comfort of your bedroom. There will be more answers than questions. There will be poetry that flows out of you. There will be ceilidhs, and so much dancing. There will be gigs so incredible you lose your voice from screaming the words so loud. There will be new tunes to learn, and to pass on. There will be late nights you never want to end. There will be early morning runs that enrich your soul. There will be new songs to sing.
There will be a time when you no longer remember how bad it got.