Tag Archives: anger

Tramp off, Trump

Don’t tell me about zero tolerance. I can see
your compassion is at point zero.
How dare you wipe your stinking feet on UK soil,
and how could our misfit PM have the cheek to welcome you,
her skin turning pink at the thought
that her harsh measures are too gentle for your sort.
Who would think she
would ever be considered too touchy feely?
Have you seen how gives to the rich what she steals from the poor,
whistling while Brits fling themselves from bridges?
Come to think of it, that’s right down your street.
As we say around our way, with our irritating gift
for understatement:
It won’t do.

Go home; go back to the USA,
face the shame of your Texan cages.
Set the children free, give them back to their families,
then lock yourself away
and throw away the key,
or pass it to your worst enemy…
if you can figure out who that is.


He’s gone now – off on a plane, no doubt to see what damage he can do next.

This poem was a lot longer, but I felt it best to cut out a lot of what I wrote, and the clichés are deliberate…

©Jane Paterson Basil

Memo to Self


sometimes when you’re angry
it’s no more or less than pain
with a false face
agony too hard to take
so you fake rage
rage which grows, takes hold, holds sway

years may burn away
and every day the fury becomes more real
eating at your soul
while you hide the grief so deep inside
that you can’t feel it
except once in a while
at dead of night when you can’t sleep
or when a puppy dies

with each new cut the pain piles up
and you continue to try to erase it
by railing against an outside enemy
when the real enemy is you

be kind to your inner spirit
take courage from it
sit awhile with your sadness
respect its reality
allow it space to breathe
breathe with it
do not try to stretch or deny its longevity
let the tears flow freely
be patient
feel the shape of the pain
do not hide from it
it will lift in its own time

it may come and go on a whim
or take wing and fly away

whatever the future may bring
better the honesty of sorrow
than the destruction of rage


Dedicated, with grateful thanks, to Raili who unknowingly inspired this poem with one of her posts. I hope you’ll go over to her blog and read the post, though the connection may not be obvious.

©Jane Paterson Basil

The worm has turned


am I supposed to be grateful?
I’ve had my fill of men taking control of my life.
it usually begins with an unwanted gift;
some are ignorantly selected,
others, deliberately designed to bulldoze my ethics.
I told you I don’t buy new clothes; I don’t want them,
won’t wear them,
so I’ll donate what you gave me to Oxfam,
an while I’m browsing
I may find some donated thing that I like;
but even by proxy, I refuse to engage
with the wasteful side of the fashion trade.

no doubt you think yourself generous
to have presented me with these feminine jeans,
but that rare time you allowed me a minute to speak
you didn’t listen;
or did you forget what I said?
while in certain places I curve like a woman,
I have the hips of a boy;
in no way am I a Marks and Spencer lady
and neither do I wish to be.

did you think you could buy me, win me
for the price of a pair of jeans which I didn’t want
and which don’t fit?
maybe if you had listened, instead of forever waffling about
your carefully manufactured troubles and
your chosen style of emptiness,
and saying
all I want is someone who loves me for myself,
you would have had more success;
but of course, if you had to listen, for even a second,
to somebody else,
it wouldn’t have been worth the stress.

The Daily Post #Generous

©Jane Paterson Basil

Thanks for nothing Yasmin


You tell and retell the same tired old stories
about your family’s shame and your vain past glories.
It doesn’t matter that you know I’ve heard it before
you have to tell it at least ten times more.
You’ve never been discreet and you don’t really care
about a small exaggeration here and there.
For thirty-eight years you’ve never let me speak
you cut me off almost every time I squeak.
I’ve always been polite, I always had a smile
though I’ve felt like slapping you once in a while.

Now and again your verbal domination
has been squashed by me for a short duration,
and over the years you have learned
of my hatred of drugs and how I’ve been burned
by two of my childrens’ predilections
for self medicating and picking up addictions.

My son’s in prison on the brink of release
and if he stays straight I will have some peace.
It’s his fourth time out and I’m hoping this time
he’s properly recovered and will tow the line.
As for my daughter, she’s been driven half mad
by the complex cocktail of drugs she’s had,
and even an optimistic soul such as I
has to accept that pretty soon she’ll die.

My own drug history is pretty bare;
I smoked a bit of cannabis here and there,
forty years ago for a month or two,
as it seemed like the sociable thing to do,
until I found the confidence to turn my head
and concentrate on getting on with life instead;
I turned down speed, coke and LSD;
It wasn’t the right kind of life for me.
My friends disapproved, said I wasn’t cool,
but I reckoned it was better than being a fool.

I try try to keep in a healthy state,
but I can’t help worrying about my offsprings’ fate.
I’ve fought the effects for the past ten years
while my kids’ lives were crashing around my ears.
No-one know the dark places I have travelled;
is it any wonder I’m becoming unravelled?
My doctor and psychiatrist both agree
I’m suffering from a bad case of anxiety.
As soon as I relax I fall to the ground
no matter who happens to be around.
I’m not asleep but I can hear their talk,
I’m just unable to get up and walk.

For thirty eight years I’ve called you my friend,
even though you’ve driven me around the bend.
I’ve always been loyal and I got used to it
but I no longer like you one little bit.
I could take your nonsense and your self-obsession;
I could take your ignorance of my depression;
I could take your blagging and your dirty con tricks,
but what you’ve done now has made me feel sick.
You say I’m doing drugs though you know it’s not true;
I wouldn’t take a pill if I had the flu,
I’ve even been offered opioids in the past
for raging toothache, but I stuck fast.

I don’t take drugs because it causes strife,
I don’t take drugs because I want a life.
I do all I can to look after myself,
I don’t care for money but I care for my health.
I could think of a lot of hurtful things to say
about all of your crimes, but I’ll call it a day.
I know you just couldn’t stop your yakety yak
but you’ve said it now and there’s no turning back.
I don’t take drugs Yasmin – understand this;
I’ve removed your name from my Christmas card list.

©Jane Paterson Basil




*Crystal is a ‘legal high’ drug that is considered by many to be more lethal than heroin.

Sally thought that her troubles were ending
When Beth’s long-term boyfriend had died.
Her daughter just stopped using crystal,*
As she wept and she wailed and she cried
With her spoon, vit-e and some needles
Which she couldn’t be bothered to hide.

The irony was not lost on Sally.
When she thought about all of the years
Full of shame, frustration and anger
Disgust and horror and tears;
Of the bags of brown powder that made her
Unable to smother her fears.

It had seemed that the worst thing had happened
When she’d learnt that her damaged girl
Was locked in the jaws of addiction
To a drug that made her soul curl
And powdery sand filled the cavities
Of her beautiful priceless pearl.

For years Beth had fought her addiction
And sometimes for months she was clean
It would often appear to be in the past
Or as if it never had been
But always the golden brown monster
Was lurking beside her, unseen.

Sally didn’t know quite when it started,
But the rumour, once out, didn’t stop
That a cure for this awful addiction
Could be found in the ‘legal high’ shop,
And addicts were shooting up crystal
Til their brains were starting to pop.

Now all of Beth’s friends were suggesting
It may help her a lot if she tried
This marvelous new medication
So she finally joined their side
And six months later her boyfriend
Was found the day after he died.

With his arm rolled up to his shoulder
As he kneeled on the floor as in prayer
With a bag of smack in his pocket
Quite blameles (as if it would care)
And the name of the thing that had killed him
The coroner shortly will share.

But the word on the lips of insiders
Is that crystal took him away
Because if he hadn’t done crystal
He would be walking and talking today
And no-one admits that they’re guilty
And no-one is going to pay

Although legal hits are for humans
As a cheap way of getting high
A disclaimer is put on the label
So if you should happen to die
It ”wasn’t the fault of the seller”
But a stupid thing to try.

So Beth had been crystal-crazy
Since summer had brought the heat
Her body was wasted to nothing
Because she had ceased to eat
She had cut herself all over;
On her legs and her arms and her feet.

She shouted of numbers and patterns
Of rapists that called while she slept
Of people who tracked all her movements
And knew all of the secrets she kept
And no matter what you may tell her
The facts she could not accept.

But Richie now lay on a cold metal slab
And Beth was starting to see
Amidst the pain and confusion
Just where she wanted to be;
Not under the ground ina coffin
But at home with her family.

Yet no sooner had her mother
Recovered her cautious smile
Than Beth wrapped herself around crystal again
Reverting to behaviour so vile
That Sally was left with no option
But to turn from her anger and bile.

She couldn’t take any more insults
She couldn’t take any more pain
She had reached out her hand and turned her cheek
Then she’d done it all over again
And she felt if Beth stayed another hour
It would only drive her insane.

She told her to go, to walk out the door.
To leave her, to go away
Yet no matter how she begged her
It seemed she was going to stay.
She said she was going, but stood by the door
She said she had more to say.

And the nonsense that can from her mouth
Was cutting and cruel and untrue
So Beth felt she had no option
And the only thing she could do
Was to push her outside quite gently
And not to let her back through.

As she leant on the door she was weeping
And her daughter went mumbling away.
She prayed for intervention
She prayed that she’d see the day
When her family was whole and well again
And whole and well they’d stay

And then with a smile she remembered
Her beautiful son safe and well
Putting his life back together
As he sat in his prison cell
And she thought how only a year ago
Jail seemed like a living hell.

But these last twelve months had changed him
He’d worked and he’d thought and he’d tried
He was clean from drugs and lies and theft,
And praying he wouldn’t slide
And every time she thought of him
Her heart was full of pride.

So even when life seems darkest
And there’s evil at every turn
There still may be opportunities
To grow and to heal and to learn
So maybe before Sally knows it
The Beth whom she loves will return.

© Jane Paterson Basil