Category Archives: loneliness

With me #haiku


you said you would stay

and spend this Christmas with me

but you went away


©Jane Paterson Basil


In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Helpless.”


I saw her yesterday
a few paces away
sitting on a bench, back straight,
chin up, eyes staring towards hell

in twenty-nine years
since unhappily slipping from
the dark safety of my womb,
she had never looked so lost
and yet it was as if I
had been expecting that look
since time had begun

knowing that my intervention may
trigger a dangerous reaction, I
crushed my desire to swoop my child
into my arms.
I stood back and watched.

the man by her side
spoke soft words of comfort as
re-assuringly he caressed
the small of her back

her unchanging demeanor
told me she was all alone at
the bottom of the deepest well
all she could hear was the hollow
echo of his voice, as it bounced,
downward, against cold stone walls

I walked away unobserved
fear heavy within me
blood trailing from my heart

©Jane Paterson Basil

Bryony’s Doll

tired 2

Every Saturday evening they
stand in line outside her door
the stud at the front waits his turn
exchanges a bold look with an
exitting daredevil
grins at a braggardly remark
mirrors a lewd visual suggestion
then enters, to eagerly defile
her famished love vessel

Stag nights guarantee
increased proclivity
expanded activity
vile cockerels stride away
crowing” I gave her what for”
“I’ve had better, but at least it’s free”
ostentatiously zipping their fly
sniggering her latest nickname
brash in their virile manhood

between the last
grunt and the dawn
she lies awake, alone…
turns onto her side
unsticking her thighs
from unsavoury seed
spent by uncaring bedfellows

remembering what her teacher said
“it’s what people do when they’re in love”

those unkind girls taunted
“nobody would love brain-dead Bryony
because she can’t even read or write”
but they must have been wrong
because every weekend the men
queue up to love her

but then they are gone

no one stays to share her daybreak
no one plants kisses in her hair

and when the slipping sadness tries to surface
when the hurtful, hidden question
the secret un-acknowledgeable knowledge
the glaring staring quickening sickening truth
threatens to burst from her brain
the echoing cry of a baby breaks through

dragging moist cotton in her wake
she dashes to the phantom sound coming
from the cot in the corner
gently she reaches beneath the blankets
soothingly she whispers words of love
sweetly she kisses the tiny head
softly she caresses the cool plastic body

insidious fluid rolls down her legs
indifferently vacating her barren womb

© Jane Paterson Basil

Sea Mist


twenty years have passed since
we walked along dampened sands
hands clasped but hearts far apart
the sky a grey parasol
remorselessly dulling the sea
reflecting my inner misery
expanding my need
to be free of this foolish fakery

nearby, a glimmering
sea-smoothed scrap of green glass
offered opportunity, excuse
to extricate my hand
from unwanted grasp
and to hunt amongst the
refuse of the waves, away
from unwanted contact

lost in the flotsam trail
the atmosphere adjusted

beyond my consciousness
misty droplets massed
unnoticed in my hair
as I stared towards the sand
searching for worn down
nautical treasures

a close spectral lull
compelled me to glimpse up
the sky had dropped its
neutral cloak
to mill around me
smoke like, a muffled mystery
that damply carressed my skin
the world had faded away
and all that remained
was me, briefly elated
in my tiny cosmos

I inhaled deeply
revelling in the vapour
of that flash of freedom.

the sky lifted from my skin
bringing visibility as it receded
I watched the waves wash the shore
the scene remained the same
but peace, like a warm breeze
had brushed against me
imparting the ability
to survive another day

© Jane Paterson Basil