Category Archives: dysfunctional family

Charred remains

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You delivered him in pain,
yet with his emergence, pain eased
and love took its place.

His innocent face,
his little boy’s embrace –
they were sweet life to you,
and you trusted that nothing he would do
could take that away.

Slowly he grew.
You heard rumours,
but you didn’t think they were true;
each time he looked at you,
you got lost in his eyes;
taken in by his lies.

When deceit comes easy to a child,
danger can ensue,
and though he later rues his wayward ways,
he is not wired for change.

Thrills burn bright, making sparks fly;
they alight on those he claims to love the most.
When storms rage, the fire dies
leaving a lonely hole,
dusted with the charred remains of all your hopes.

You delivered him in pain,
and through the tender, loving years,
you tried to teach a better way to be,
yet failed to keep him safe.

Blackened by the flames,
flattened by the falling rain,
still you would willingly risk any pain
if you could only make him well again,
but you have no potency to deliver him
from the grip of his sickness.

.

The Daily Post #Delivery

©Jane Paterson Basil

Fickle hope

If I was death I would slay the cruel and foolish hope
which fills my brain with wicked trickery;
optimistic fiction posing as reality.

Never more would I be its slave
It would not be there to trap me on the brink,
then wait, wait a day or a week
and drop me back into the bitter, heart-rotting river of loss,
letting me hiccup and choke before sinking in tear-slicked grief;
timing it to agonising perfection,
then reaching with half-rinsed hand, grabbing me
and again lifting, lifting me that little bit, pulling me to the edge,
air drying my dripping frame with electric breeze,
showing me re-mastered images of reconstituted love ones
fully healed and smiling at their family.
Never freeing me to face the final pain
and crawl out alone, to build an honest strength;.
The tinny key to my regeneration.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Thirty Years

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So much forgotten laughter
and so many remembered tears.
So much clawing, grasping hope,
and so many losses and crashing fears.
So much mutual hurt and pain,
as with hatred you thrust the knife in your side,
and twist it again and again.
While every wound you inflict on yourself
strikes me like icy rain.

So much forgotten laughter,
captured in print when you were a child,
in those distant, sunshine summers
when the woodlands beckoned, so free and so wild.
Your heart was like a flower,
and your hands reached out, by nature beguiled;
and nature rewarded you handsomely,
leaving you innocent, undefiled,
but the clock ticked on, and left us
with so much to be reconciled

So much forgotten laughter
and so many remembered tears,
while the heedless tick of the clock
adds up the stolen years,
dropping each second into the past,
dispensing with time so quick and so fast,
while the future threatens to pass you by,
too lost to live and too gripped to die,
and every day I hope for a clue;
a vestige of someone who used to be you.
And the clock ticks on, like a clockwork train,
while I pray that my prayers are not in vain,
and someday my flower will bloom again.

Dedicated to my troubled daughter, Laura, who is thirty years old today.

©Jane Paterson Basil

If I could

Written for Calen’s Sandbox Challenge

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If I could erase anything from my persona
I would be without this sickness of spirit .
the fear, constantly digging into me.
the indignation which inflates into rage
whenever my daughter tries
to push her brother to destruction.
I would sling from my sight
the impurity of my desire for her imprisonment;
I would throw out
my pathetic impotence against the beloved enemy
as she wields her filthy weapons
in an effort to kill everything in her vicinity.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Anyone for tennis?

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   fervently they bounce me between them,
                                  their aim never missing;
   the incidental sting at each hit
                          gradually sinking to a dull ache
   before the next thwack
                  reverberates through my traumatised skin

   I think back through the years
                           but I have no memory of hearing
   either one of them say
                                      “Anyone for tennis?”
   or the subversive reply;
                            “A ball would make it too easy
   so we should use mum instead.”

                  (They both regret it now
                   and I believe them when
                 they tell each other and me
                 they want to end the match.)

                    ©Jane Paterson Basil

CLAWING BACK INTO THE WOMB

Laura poem image for blog

sometimes I can't pretend
        (with fraudulent smile
           and counterfeit jollity)
 
            expelling misery caked carbon dioxide
 
             grappling with fresh clean oxygen
 
           looping it around happy happy speak
 
         to bluff-tumble all around
 
         
        sometimes I can't pretend
        as her falsehoods
         assault my crumbling walls
 
            as conspiracy theories replace responsibility
 
               as accusations curl around lunatic lies -
 
                  today I am a victim of her inconsistency
 
                   tomorrow her absent shrug will not heal me.
 
                    
                   sometimes I can't pretend
                  (though the knife feels blunt
                 and her nails are clipped)
 
              that my best foot is alive and well
 
            you may see me walk is if I were living
 
            expansively naming my blood-warmed jewels
 
            writing false futures with a dried-up pen
 
               
                 sometimes I can't pretend
                   when softly she steps
                     with white feather wings
 
                     when she strokes my brow and bestows stolen gifts
 
                   and tries to suggest that the demon is dead
 
                   while robbing my soul to sharpen her rage
 
                     to cut me open when I'm lulled to sleep
 
                           
                            sometimes I can't pretend
                             as the demon expands
                            biting chunks from my mind
 
                        as giggle-groans echo beneath my ribs
 
             and with stained talons she crawls a smidgen deeper
 
     
     sometimes I can't pretend 
    that she is not burrowing back inside the womb
      where I lovingly formed her so long ago
 
 
                    (daily she wept at her exile
                                from that moist-hugged cave within me)

© Jane Paterson Basil