Saturday, 28 February 2015


Time has had enough of him,
his ailing mind, his failing heart,
his withered pained contracted limbs;
will time come for him tonight?

And what of him? 
The he that is him?  
What of him? 

Synapses ripped apart
all he only knows is fear. 
He is man come neonate,
mind dissolving with each passing hour;
returning to from wherence he came,
but to no comfort of the womb.

He is a tiny bird, mouth gapes
sensing every spoon
as if willing eternal life. 
And so he lives,
lives every hungry spoonful.

Yet with each
and every intervention
he dies a little more,
screams out in pain and fear
as mouth gapes
swallows each and every hungry spoonful
as if wiling time before.

He has no place here,
time has enough of him;
will it come for him tonight?

Anna :o]

The above words are of Ted, or maybe Theresa, who was a resident of ours.   Ted had end stage dementia yet hung onto life year upon year upon year.  He had no quality of life, all he had was fear.    And for him, I wanted him to die, so wanted him to die.

And this winter, he finally gave up.  RIP Dear Ted.

Linked to:  dVerse OLN    Thanks to all at the pub.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author: Nobuddy

Thursday, 12 February 2015

General Paresis of the Insane

Midst loss of hope and deep despair
he longs to find someone to care,
but much to his chagrin he finds
there is no one who’ll tarry there. 

There in that place of troubled minds
where troubled souls are thus confined
to languish in their discontent,
abandoned they and left behind

He, the poor cad the miscreant,
syphilis made mad, he then sent
to languish in that utter hell
in hope of sins he would repent.

He left alone in barren cell
with troubled thoughts on which to dwell,
he yearns to hear that tolling bell. 
He yearns to hear that tolling bell.

He yearns to hear that tolling bell.

Anna :o]

After reading Björn’s and Claudia’s (early) responses to Gay’s prompt (at dVerse) I set pen to paper, or more accurately fingers to keyboard and up popped the first stanza.  Then I got lost so searched Wiki for an image and the rest followed from there.

I have worked in mental health since the early nineties, did my training in a psychiatric hospital -–long since closed -–and when there, vowed I would never work in such a  place (strictly against my conscience).  Don’t get me wrong, as in staff, there were many good people there - but I just felt they were in the wrong job. 

There is a definite stigma attached to mental (ill)health, a certain belief that those who suffer from it are malingerers  and there are those who indeed abuse the system for an odd sort of gain

There were certain young folk -–especially of the male variety -–who would get themselves sectioned, feign mental illness to escape prison sentences.

It is estimated that one in four of us will suffer mental ill-health in our lifetime and for a long time I personally disputed this figure - that is until I suffered from it, albeit to a low degree.  During this difficult period (for me) I found that my colleagues - who of course work in mental health - couldn’t deal with it.

Mental (ill)health - you are very very alone.

As of my response to the prompt, I know there is an extra line - but it just felt right.

Source: Web Gallery of Art:  

Thursday, 29 January 2015

Where sea flows

If she could,
if she only could,
she would walk barefoot with him
into the mirage beyond the land
where sea flows.

Where sea flows
its saltwater tides,
the oft gentle ebb and flow
honouring its comfort of the moon
til storm breaks.

Til storm breaks
she and he are one
and then are rent asunder
as sea engulfs them in its anger
and love dies.

And love dies
beneath the torrent
of the rage that is the sea. 
She so wants to sail the world with him,
but she can’t.

Anna :o]

Oh dear, for a long time I have been lost in the abyss that is apathy; so often I have tried to respond to prompts’ – but there has been nothing there.  So I guess my offering reflects this hopelessness – but nevertheless it is written!  So thank you Tony for igniting my fire – hopefully it lasts!

Tony’s excellent prompt can be found at dVerse

Image:  Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author: Slaunger

Sunday, 14 December 2014


Leaning towards the darkness
that is his and only his,
his eye captures the moon. 

Crickets chirrup evensong
as hesitant,
he takes first faltering step
into infinity.   

He flies without feathers. 

he will be naught but a red jewel
in an endless sea. 

He will ride with the tides,
forever searching, forever searching,

forever searching
for the lovely shadow of her face.

Anna :o] 

Grace’s challenge at Real Toads is to write a new poem or prose poem in response to James Wright’s words – please see prompt here.  The above is my response to his poem ‘Beginning.’

Also shared with the good folks at Poets United.

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons


Thursday, 20 November 2014


He has screamed
at my touch for days now,
tis as if this Rose, his Rose
has become his crown of thorns
my love his exquisite agony.

I remember once
he threw me o’er his back
(I greenstick then)
and missed his aim,
and I ungrasped
in his huge navvy hands
tumbled headlong to the earth. 
(He cried then, the same tears
I am crying now.)

He is calcified,
as old on the hills
on once which he trod. 
He is broken, does not,
cannot bend with whispering
or even the wildest wind. 
(His cheeks puff out with every breath;
breath fights egress
through his flaccid whitened lips. 
(Sometimes he just stops
and I just wish he would not start again.))

Lips lips lips. 
With painted eyes and lips
redder than the reddest Rose,
I made my debut into womanhood,
and he, he exploded     mechanical
and called me whore,
but he was evil then,
boozed up with beer,
his cheeks redder than my painted lips. 
(I cried then the tears I am crying now.)

His back is not broken but his legs will not work. 
(God’s retribution, mother says. 
(Her eyes oft painted black by drunken fists.)) 
He is timorous now like the smallest mouse,
laying there waiting for his god to whisk him up
to a heaven he hopes (to God) exists.

Despite his flaying fists, I hope it does,
for him I hope it does.
He was the morning of my life,
the afternoon, and now I, his night. 
I love him, have always loved him,
yet I touch him, afraid and happy
as he winces…screams in pain…

And I cry now –
but do I cry for him or cry for me?

Roses die don’t they? 
I am the Rose between his teeth.

Anna :o]

Heavens, how in the past few weeks I have attempted to respond to prompts – but there has been nothing there, my mind completely empty.

This afternoon I read Björn’s post, to learn he to be the host on tonight’s dVerse – and the theme that of defamiliarisation.  So I researched it and came up with the above offering.  I am not certain it fits the bill – but will offer it anyway.

Thanks Björn’ for igniting the grey matter.

I must state that the inspiration came from the thoughts of a friend – whose father is in the process of dying.  My friend is of the catholic faith – as is my handsome one.  My friend is finding it very hard to come to terms that ‘his God’ is allowing his father to die in agony.

I must also add that my friend’s father is not an alcoholic and that the offered words are a compilation of stories told to me, told to me by folks dealing with death or imminent death of those they love.  And there is a bit in there about the death of my father too.

Image:  courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Friday, 10 October 2014

Foie gras

when his heart chimes in robust rhymes
and her knee is all a-flutter,
why is it then the speckled hen
spreads margarine, not butter? 

And so it is upon first kiss
when all is lost    but all is not forsaken,
the cow is left to wonder how
and the pig brings home the bacon. 

And Deidre duck does not give a f*ck as corn
is shoved eiderdown    an ever-resisting gullet,
for it is then when speckled hen wonders (wearily) by
she knows that she can pullet.

And of the pull or perhaps the wool
of a lamb of fleecing coat,
while the prancing pig does a sailors jig  -
why does the goat gets on his goat?

Anna :o]

Bjorn at dVerse as us writing poems of no meaning at all.  Of course the above has a deep meaning to me (;o]) as in the  trials and tribulations’ of my (present) life – but perhaps I need an analyst? :o]

Video: Courtesy of YouTube

Saturday, 30 August 2014

End Times: Trilogy

Mount Sinjar

In this land

those who fight for their lives
bury their dead;
those who fight for their god
bury the living. 

God is in Heaven,
weeping, wailing,
wringing His hands,
despairing of His Creation. 
There are no virgins here

and hell is full of martyrs.

 Uttar Pradesh

Two girls:
sisters:  innocent, virginal:
bar that soft space between their thighs.

Debase, driven,
testosterone alive they came,
that sordid band of sordid men
took turns in their defilement.

The mango tree bears witness
and gives its boughs in testimony,
those boughs whereon those sisters hang,
a noose around each neck,
heads forever bowed in shame.


Here, in this land
vultures wait,
vultures both bird and barely human,
they wait;
wait to pick at the bones of children
of a lesser God.

Here too hyena howls
as he tears at the viscera. 
No clean death here,
rather that to distil a final dread. 

The child (smiling)
holds a decapitated head. 

His father:
nihilistic psychopath, smiles, proud,
as he stands knee-deep
in that primordial soup from whence we came.
How did it come to this?
What have we become?

(And God weeps wails distraught at His Creation.  
There are no virgins here and hell is full of martyrs.)

Anna :o[

I don’t know about you good folks – but I despair of/am (so) afraid for mankind.  I do know (and realise) that we human things are and have been capable of the most barbaric and grotesque atrocities since we slithered out of the primordial soup.  We are whether we admit to it or like it or not – tribal.  That is what we are. 

We cling to our identities, what we thinks make us who we are.  We cling to our class our caste our religion our colour our gender our intellect– whatever we thinks makes us superior to the man standing next to us.  We look up to our God in the same way we feel easy in looking down on those we think inferior.  We are tribal.  That is what we are.

Accepting diversity – hell no, we are afraid of it, afraid of them.   We don’t understand their different ways their different cultures  their different way of thinking, no more than they wish to understand ours.  We are tribal.  That is what we are.  We are afraid of what we don’t understand.  (And sometimes we should be sorely afraid.)

I must admit that of late I had become Islamaphobic – fearing those zealots’ who purport to follow Islam.  Please understand I don’t fear all that follow Islam – yet I am (still) afraid of it.  I fear/feared those who wish the entire world to bend their knees to Islam would have their way – for this crazy thing of human rights and the fear of offending others will leave us weak and vulnerable.

Yet this article in The Telegraph put me right.  For those in Isil are nihilistic psychopaths and it up to us in the rest of the world – whether it be east or west – to rout them out – for if not, if we stand back afraid – they will overcome.  F*ck whether there is oil or not – we must preserve humanity.

Tis true that in our sordid past, much evil has been done in the name of Christianity – so we (who are born into this faith) cannot be smug and sit back in judgement.   We must admit to our own branch of evil.  

We must admit to what is front of our eyes NOW.

The world is now a tiny space, what with the Internet and the freedom of travel. And (because of this) present day evil is so easy to leave at our door, no, enter it.  Whatever the guise, evil is and always has been ever-present and we must pull ourselves out of the primordial soup and stamp it out.  But we will not, for some – the majority(?) - of us in the west are so wrapped up in the touchy-feely of ‘human rights’ we forget what human rights truly mean.

Off on a tangent: whilst watching the (horror of the) news at work with a resident, she remarked:  It’s always men isn’t it?  And I had to agree with her (as I had thought this myself) – for 99.9% of the time – it always is.

What say you men?  

Shared with the good folk at OLN at dVerse

Image: Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author: Rennett Stowe from USA

References:  Mount Sinjar:

Uttar Pradesh:


Sunday, 3 August 2014

Bleeding Hearts

Sometimes (no, it’s often)
she hangs there, just hangs there,
a string of bleeding hearts
slowly tightening round her neck. 
I loved you once y’know she says
(she whispers it, pulsates it out).

I know he says as
he sits there drowning
in a blood red caring sea.  
(Those bleeding hearts bleed out
for him and not for her.)  
They come for me he says,
they come for me.

And so they do.

She is collateral damage
in the strange battlefield of care. 
She is expendable.
His needs string the noose around her neck. 
He will be the death of her.

Anna :o]

This is a re-write of my previous post which was so convoluted I don’t really understand it myself.

Life at the ranch is pretty bad and has been for some time.  Handsome one was hospitalised for two months earlier this year and his needs have increased five-fold.   Before hospitalisation I was finding it increasingly difficult to cope, what with meeting his needs and holding down a full time job.  Due to financial commitments giving up work is not possible, nor do I want to.  I have my needs too.

I did not expect him to come home, rather enter care, and with this came a sense of relief.  However he was deemed to have capacity and expressed a wish to come home – so he did.  My needs and my ability to cope did not enter the equation.  He came home with an extensive care package in place – its supposed intention to help me.  But oh how I hate it – it is so intrusive and my right to privacy is gone.

The carers are good folk – but in their caring are drowning any independence handsome one had, pushing him deeper into the sick-role, deskilling him and giving him entitlement, an entitlement he feels to do less and less for himself – and thus increasing my burden.

This feeling of entitlement has brought about a personality change and he has said some hateful things to me, this from my best friend of many years – I can honestly count on one hand how many times we have rowed in our married life.  And now I no longer love him.  I cannot forget what he has said, can’t deal with how selfish he has become.

When I was a student nurse, I had a sixteen week placement with the Community Psychiatric Team, my mentor ‘Dave.’  We regularly visited an elderly couple – Charlie & Margaret – Margaret having dementia and Charlie finding it extremely difficult to cope.

Across the weeks I saw Charlie’s mental health deteriorate rapidly but Dave was determined to keep them together, keep Margaret out of hospital or care home.

I informed Dave I thought he was terribly wrong, in that he was sacrificing Charlie’s mental health for an egoistic unreachable goal.  He smugly said I was wrong.  (Both Charlie & Margaret ended up in care…)

In all my years as a student, I only received one bad end-of-placement report.  It was from Dave – he thought I was opinionated.  What really annoyed me was that he didn’t have the balls to discuss this whilst I was on my placement – rather hide behind the report.

And now I am Charlie.  For the first time in my life I am depressed.  I have no rights to determine my future whatsoever. I hate my home life – but I am expendable.

The above shared with the good folk at Poets United – hosted by the lovely Mary.

I must admit to not reading everyone’s posts in other prompts I have entered this year – and for that I apologise.  It is just that other things get in the way or I lose heart motivation due to my oft miserable state.   I will endeavour to be a good girl and read yours – if I don’t, sorry.

Image:  Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Author:  flemming christiansen from hammer, denmark

Thursday, 24 July 2014


Sometimes she hangs there
throttled by a string of bleeding hearts
I love you y’know she says
(she whispers it, pulsates it out).

And here he sits,
drowning in blood-red horizon.
He says: I know I know.   
And slowly suffocates,
longs angel lust, last man standing.

She is the noose around his neck,
the spittle on his arid tongue. 

She is the death of him.

Anna :o]

Due to life circumstances, I have a serious case of writers block.  Claudia at dVerse has us writing bold metaphors and images.  I don’t know whether the above quite fits the bill – but after weeks of a dying thirst in an arid desert – I have finally completed something.  So I shall offer it.

Perhaps it is a metaphor for my present circumstances…

Image: Courtesy of  Wikimedia Commons
Author: Sander van der Wel from Netherlands

Sunday, 15 June 2014

He Sees Not Gain

Not To Be Reproduced, 1937, Rene Magritte 

Errare humanum est, perseverare autem diabolicum

He sees not gain from broken hearts
yet ‘gainst himself he stacks the deck.
All hopes of love he pulls apart
and ‘gainst himself he turns his back.  
Hope nullified: compulsion marks
a broken heart as love he wrecks.
(And persistence perpetuates
as self-destruction replicates)

Anna :o]

Posted for Real Toads - Yeats Octaves, Magpie Tales (image) and shared with Poets United.
Thank you Kerry, Tess & Mary

Saturday, 31 May 2014


Prognathism: mandiblular: his chin juts out –
like Beachy Head (he thinks) or barracuda;
juts out defiant neath tight upper lip.
He hates this.  He hates his tiny tiny little mouth,
wishes God had given     more thought to his creation.   
He has weighed up the odds,
the odds the risks of complications;
surgery – nervous (as he is of it),
he will sit it out, indefinite. 

Despite his sore self-seen affliction –
he has it all (he thinks) –
he has the sea and she and Lucky Lady. 
She?  He has this notion she is leaving. 
Is she leaving him?  
He feels her withdraw,
a moody ebbing ocean leaving,
leaving in its wake a lonely barren shore.

She: distressed, stress manifests cutaneous,
her silvery scales remind her of the fish;
that fish (bass she thinks) that flapped and flailed,
hooked as it was to certain death,
its tiny tiny little mouth gasping gaping drowning.

It simmered on the galley stove,
simmered in its briny waters. 
He herbed and lemoned it,
seasoned it, hot alive with peppercorn. 
He savoured it, the smell of it. 
Succulent, it melted in her mouth just as his kisses did. 

His kisses did, and then it came, came horizontal,
(as she had always lain before him (always always wanting him)),
came horizontal rolling fogging up her mind;
lost in it    she found herself    almost invisible. 
Distracted then (by it) she slowly drifted into it;
no, it took her hooked her reeled her in (flapping, flailing).

He is losing her;
lost she is to some lonely barren shore,
where darkness offers itself     the infinite,
ebbing as she is,    towards it,

gasping gaping slowly drowning.

Anna :o]

Entered at Open Link Night at dVerse – hosted by the lovely Mary.  Thanks Mary.  
Also entered at the Poetry Pantry at Poets United - again hosted by the lovely Mary!

Image: courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Author: Gillfoto

Thursday, 29 May 2014


My birth brought no joy, for I was not boy.  Yet I felt loved, my mother taught me my chores, showed me my place,  gave me my future.  Father even allowed an education and my mind and spirit shined as I became alive!  Then came puberty and I was a little afraid, a little afraid as buds blossomed into breasts and blood showed the possibilities of motherhood.  And father became afraid, mother too, and my femininity became the chains that bound me.

Mother and father chose a cousin and I could not, could not love him – for I wanted a man that would excite my heart and he was not he.  I did so need to be loved rather than acquired, wanted to happily drown in the wonder of it all, the wonder of love. 

And I found him, my true love, at the very same moment he found me.  And deep within me, within my womb, beats the tiny heart that is my country's future.   For whether this tiny heart beats in girl or boy, this wonderful child will be loved and will be free, as free as the birds that soar above us and touch the clouds with unclipped wings.

Yet my parents are not happy for me and are bitter with hatred.  They say I have dishonoured them…

A stone as a heart,
my life blood wet on his hands:
this a father’s love.


Björn at dVerse has us writing a haibun and the horrendous murder of Farzana Parveen remains fresh in my mind, refuses to go away, and my words are based upon it.

I must admit that I am almost immune to the pain of our world, swamped as we are by gruesome images that fill our television screens, so much so that the unbelievable the unforgivable become the ordinary.  I may despair for mankind upon viewing, listening or reading, then the mental images and memory fade and I return to things personal in my life.

However Farzana’s murder refuses to go away, be consigned to the past, for try as I might, I cannot understand how a father can murder his daughter, firm in the belief that her death returns honour to her family.  I cannot understand the mindset.  I really really can’t and I felt physically sick upon hearing of it.

I do so fear for mankind, for it is my belief de-evolution is upon us as we fast return to our primitive past, our thinking primitive as we step backward towards the swamp from which we came…

Further reading that might interest:
Global Health Action: Gender roles and their influence on life prospects for women in urban Karachi, Pakistan: a qualitative study 
BMC Public Health: Male gender preference, female gender disadvantage as risk factors for psychological morbidity in Pakistani women of childbearing age - a life course perspective
Quranic Path: Stoning to Death:  A Violation of the Qur’an 
AljazheeraPakistani women stoned to death by her family

Video: courtesy of YouTube