Saying goodbye to the year
That almost took me down
A year that broke my spirit in ways
I could never have imagined
But I feel like a phoenix rising from the ashes
Or maybe more like an exhausted pigeon
Rising from the pile of trash
To this year's credit
It has given me Edinburgh
It has given me Hope
It has given me the feeling of aliveness
I thought I have lost
It all did come at a significant cost though
Paid well in advance
When I didn't see the value in what I was going through
And briefly, bitterly considered the Universe to be simply cruel
Was it worth it?
In a heartbeat I'll say yes
But that comes with the perspective
Of additional couple of months of staying alive
Of pushing through what I thought to be unbearable
I'm glad I survived you
Heck, I even managed to live a little too
EL LLANTO DE LA SANGRE
by Sonia Arab
Llevo en mi seno angustias que se extinguieron
cien años antes de que yo fuera concepto.
Se me agarran al pecho miserias que germinaron
para acompañarme hasta el último aliento.
Me miro las manos y, de tan mojadas,
parece que las hubiera lavado en el río.
Tanta lágrima lleva el cauce de mis palmas,
que la pena me llega a las muñecas.
Bajo el velo traslúcido de la carne que habito,
¿cómo pueden tan endebles afluentes
contener el insulto de tanta sangre ingrata?
Cada gota, esclava de cada despertarme viva.
¿Qué se oirá a la orilla de mis venas? En su garganta,
¿se ahoga también el llanto mudo de mi sangre?
Escruto las muñecas empapadas y, por un instante,
pienso en abrirlas, como puertas, y marcharme.
Luego, el tañido de una voz punzante que recela:
No creo en el suicidio, ni en un reino allá en los cielos.
No concibo que una nada mayor que esta duela menos.
Aguarda y, de la noche, acepta un óbito pasajero.
THE WEEPING OF BLOOD
I carry in my bosom anxieties that went extinct
a hundred years before I became a concept.
Clutching at my breast, miseries that germinated
to accompany me until my last breath.
I look at my hands and, so wet they are,
they look as if I had washed them in the river.
So many tears flow down the course of my palms,
that sorrow has come to reach my wrists.
Beneath the translucent veil of the flesh I inhabit,
how can such flimsy affluents
contain the insult of so much ungrateful blood?
Every drop, slave of every waking up alive.
I wonder what can be heard by the bank of my veins. In its throat,
does the quiet weeping of my blood too become stifled?
I scrutinize my soaked wrists and, for an instant,
I think of opening them -like doors- and parting.
Then, the twang of a wary, piercing voice:
I neither believe in suicide, nor in a kingdom up in the heavens.
I can't conceive of a greater emptiness than this hurting any less.
Wait and, from the night, accept a transitory death.
The old familiar bitterness
Knocking at my door
So easily let in
When you see it all around you
Looking at you from every face
Painfully reminding me
Of what was
And what didn't come to be
When coldness took hold of my heart
There's a strange kind of comfort there too
That feeling of stepping into the warm embrace
Of the past me I know so well now
The now me, on the other hand
Being a mystery
Day by day
It would be so easy
To give up and turn back
But I have outgrown
Breaking my own heart
And finding excuses to prevent me
I wish it meant that fear has no place in my life now
Alas, it's still here
It has evolved with me
We seem to be on friendlier terms now
It being more of a guiding light
To opportunities for growth
Life lessons worth knowing
That an enemy
From moving forward
Masking With/Without A Mask
by Sarah Marie Graye
Wearing a mask
Made of fabric layers
And elastic loops
To protect others
But she is exempt
Because she is sensitive
To her skin crawling
It’s no easier than
Labels in her clothes
Or seams in her socks
Wearing a mask
Made of a scramble
To protect others
But she struggles
Because her everyday
Camouflage is fakery
It’s no easier than
Understanding the joke
Or making eye contact
by Hannah Ost
Blackout poem by Hannah
PTSD by R S Kendle
It was hard at first
To think I’d feel whole again
After existing as something
Broken for so long.
Accrual of disorders,
Gallimaufry of letters
To explain me.
My life condensed
To four characters.
But I’ve grown
Around the cracks.
Anxious by Maisie Ryan-Wareham
That fear of missing out
when you make no effort to take part.
That want to love
but the avoidance in letting yourself to do so.
The need to cry
when you feel nothing.
The need to be alone
but wanting someone when you are.
Seeing yourself working hard
but feeling like you are never doing enough.
The desire to call someone
while convincing yourself that you’re a burden.
Having nothing to say
while your thoughts race and race.
Retreating from your friends
because you’re scared of one day being left behind.
Everyone seeming to like you
but knowing you don’t fit in.
Wanting to grow up
but feeling like a lost, scared child.
Cutting people out
and being haunted by their memory every night.
Sonnet for the Neurospicy
by Sophia Murray
For the things you said in a white hot rage
And the nights spent on too much wine and fags
For never getting past the title page
And ignoring all their fucking red flags
For thinking that you deserve all of this
Taking what they say as holy gospel
You break and they hold you in their abyss
On autopilot, living like normal
For pretending everything was just fine
Because that’s how they want you to behave
For treading on eggshells, that thin white line
But praying in bed for an early grave
Live without this grief, inhabit this body
We only get one. Forgive me. Love me.
by Kiera Hayles
Lindsay Eales and Danielle Peers speak of ‘embodimindment’. When we are forced to take caring for ourselves into our own hands, we find our ‘bodymindbeing under threat’, that ‘care is most dangerous when (others deem) it is most needed’. Is it most dangerous when it is most needed? Or most dangerous when others deem it most needed? What about when I deem it most needed? Coming out of lockdown meant crawling out of my happy cave. Suddenly all the nights of tears and obsessively checking daily covid death rates were forgotten. I hadn’t spent days crawling in circles around my room, clambering over the body of the person I once was. Suddenly, I was happy here, realising that I couldn’t be here anymore. I had lived in a bubble that was everything my bodymindbeing had wanted, no responsibilities but to care for myself as much as possible. An automatic excuse to feel rubbish, finally something other than myself to blame. The outside world had been a threat to me long before lockdown, but now the outside world was a threat to everyone, we were united, were we not? I wasn’t alone?
Waiting for me outside my cave,
a mad mess
I can consume you too.
Let’s feel this one out.
‘thaw this panic’
Hold hands for a moment while I sit on the train.
‘hold this hand’
I know, we hate the train, but hey look we’ve found a common foe. How about we join forces, you and me?
‘What happens when sick people are the only ones who do not forget about eachother, but we are all extremely, extremely tired’
What happens when I (the mad girl on the train) forget the Me (the mad girl in the loft) that made my peace with myself, but am extremely, extremely tired, too tired to remember her (my) advice
I’ll promise to stop the leg shaking
if you swear you’ll stop the mind racing.