Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

If Only We Had The Time To Help You

Are you feeling quite alright?
Would you like to tell me more?
I’d like to help you, if I can,
Just like I did before.

Except, the ‘help’ you gave was useless
You just gave me more work.
You sat and heard my problems out…
Well, you said you did, you jerk.

Look, I don’t see how to tell you
This workplace is insane
And you don’t care that it’s broken,
So, really, telling you’s inane.

You want to discuss this further
Have a meeting, talk it out.
But you’re flying off to Munich,
Oh, and once you’re back, you’re out.

Of course, my concerns are most important,
You’d like to give them proper time,
To think about the options
Without running overtime.

Is there no one that I can talk to?
Oh, yes, of course, they’re out.
On training sessions, workshops –
Well, maybe someone is about?

Underutilised, you say you are,
Well, that’s something we can fix.
Here, do more of all that printing,
Which any sane system would nix.

OK, sure, the job that you applied for,
And the one you daily do
Are nothing like each other,
But we’re sure the fault’s with you.

No, we take your thoughts, suggestions,
Very seriously, we swear.
It’s just that, as soon as you stop talking,
We lose them in mid-air.

Maybe we like to reinvent the wheel,
We love constantly hiring staff,
The revolving door’s not bad for us,
We enjoy all the extra faff.

Well, we’re sorry you don’t want to help,
By talking through your woes.
We tried to make the effort,
Active listening, heaven knows

We really value all our staff,
Without them we’d be lost,
We definitely respect them,
We’re sure they’re worth the cost.

Look. You asked me in five minutes,
To explain six years of Hell,
To people who don’t give a shit
About their personnel.

You couldn’t even find the time,
To sit and talk things through,
You want me to believe you’ll do the work
To improve the lives of ones ‘not you’?

Just go and reassure yourselves
That to work for you’s a joy,
An honour, and a pleasure,
For those in your employ.

Sure, it isn’t even slightly true,
But everywhere’s the same.
The standard’s slipped so deeply down
We can’t climb up again.

No, things are far from perfect,
But I’m sure things could be worse.
And I’ve used the remainder of my energy,
Trying to, with you, converse.

Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

Just Keep Going

I said I couldn’t keep going like this.
You gave me a hug,
And said not to be so down on myself.
That I had so much more to give.
Thank you, I guess.
You see, just for a moment there,
I was worried.

I was worried, you see,
That the emptiness inside me
Might be the worst it could get.
That I had finally reached my limits.
That my crumbling foundations and ruined walls
Marked the lowest I could sink.
That there could be no more.

I didn’t realise the digging had only just begun.

Posted in Short Stories, Uncategorized

Burnt Out

You are angry that I am not.
You take it for agreement, compliance, complacence.
My darling, I write this so that you will not understand.
Because, you see,
I was just as angry as you, once.

You are angry, that I am not.
But for you, this is new.
This anger has been freshly discovered,
The pain is hot, and searing in your hands.
My nerve endings were burnt away a long time ago.

You are angry, that I am not.
What a life you must have lived,
That you did not know this already.
Would that I had lived your life,
That this could strike me as it does you

You are angry, that I am not.
Do not misunderstand me.
I hope that your anger burns bright enough
That things at last may change.
That others need not share in your anger.

You are angry, that I am not
But once, when I was angry, you were not.
And alone, in the cold, without fuel,
My anger burnt itself out
And burnt me out, with it.

You are angry, that I am not.
But, darling, don’t you see?
I have lost myself, somewhere beyond the anger.
I am tired.
Once, I was angry, too.

Posted in Short Stories

Letter to my friends, whom I must protect from my own sharp edges

I do not know how to speak to you, sometimes. I know that my words will hurt you, but my silence will hurt you more. I know that you wish to know me, but you wish most to know the parts of me that shine and the grim polish of my serrated edges are not what you envisioned.

You signed up for my public self, and although you say you wish to discover my inner hollows, you flinched from the echoes of the chasms the first time you heard them, and I will not offer the location of the entrance up to you a second time. You will discover it of your own accord or not at all.

I do not know how to speak to you, sometimes. Our tongues are the same, but we speak different languages. You look for light and order, and I seek out the chaos and dance to the beat of dying hearts. The things which I cradle in my heart and soothe me into sleep keep you awake and screaming – how do we find common ground between us? Surely there must be some? We laugh too much and smile too frequently to be too different to touch, but I fear that our bonds must have been forged through a strange mishap, and I worry that seeking out the answer will break the links, not strengthen them.

I am sorry, my friend, for you are my greatest treasure, but I do not know how to treasure you as best you would like it. You are a festival day delight, and I am the dull contentment of wash days and daily duty. We are both important, but perhaps we were meant for different calendars?

I do not know how to speak to you, sometimes. Our pasts were as one, but our presents have drifted. Do you cling to me for mine own value? Or because you do not wish to lose yet one more thing? Are these two things so very different, in the end? Does it matter? Must everything in our lives have value to be valued? Do I take up space in your heart which might be better used? If you cannot wield the knife yourself, ought I to cut myself away from you, for your own good?

Oh, but my darling… The times when I know what to say! The golden, shining times when I speak and it brings you joy, when you laugh just as I had hoped that you would…

Those times, when it is not the brush of our fingertips, but the solid connection of our palms. When the words bounce between us, in some strange, joyful dance, with no drummer and only the high notes of the pipes…

You are the clear, sweet music of the Tower, and I am the deep echo of the cavern, but my darling, do not doubt how my halls resound to your voice.

I do not know how to tell you, all that you bring to me, and I do not know how to repay it.

But know that I treasure you, all the same.

Posted in Short Stories

The Lone Hawthorn Tree

We do not shout at the hawthorn tree,
That which stands alone in the middle of the path.
The path came after the tree, they say; wise men made sure none cut it down,
Rather, they built the path around it, and left it due recompense for the imposition.
The hawthorn tree is the peace-keeper, the steady presence,
To lose it would be a bitter blow, for hot-heads need little reason and less excuse.
Do not stand long, by the hawthorn tree, do not bring notice upon yourself.
Do not sit beneath it, no matter how the rain pours, or the wind blows,
It is not for your shelter that it stands.

The warring clans of Fae meet there,
A sacred place where none may fight.
It is there where peace is brokered at last,
Paid for by the broken bodies of fallen fairies,
Shattered bodies of creatures from an Other World,
Bought with the wretched tears of the grieving,
For how much worse is loss to those who do not age?
At long last, a debt paid in blood, a lasting agreement which says,
‘Enough.’

But if the hawthorn were to no longer stand,
Where then shall peace be made at last?
Where shall the queens entreat their lords to call a halt,
And say that the times comes for something new?
Peace is not spoken of at wells,
Where echoes steal the words away and drown them.
Peace is not whispered upon the heath,
Where the wind may freeze the tongue,
And snatch the chance for change away from reach.

They say an oath sworn beneath to bows of the hawthorn tree
Cannot be broken, nor taken back.
They say to approach it upon the Death Day
Is to hear it groan with remembered pain.
When all fruit fails, welcome the haws,
The hope and healing springs forth for the faithful,
The careful keepers, the respectful bearers.
Do not fear the thorns, if your heart is pure,
Only grave-wights and wicked things are destroyed by its prick.

So the hawthorn tree must stand,
Stand for peace from forces greater than our own,
Stand and grow strong, strong as our own hopes for peace.
A lone body, with no voice,
But an ever-ready ear, waiting just to listen.
Ready to hear that first and final word,
‘Enough.’
Do not disturb the peace of the hawthorn,
Do not raise your voice.

Never tried free-form poetry before, but I got a flash of inspiration and I wanted to share! Always good to try out new things, no?


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