Tag Archives: lies

Leave me alone

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Today you rolled into the shop
too wasted to be wise and stay out of my face;
the promised coffee cake replaced by oddly assorted items;
passata; puy lentils;
a pack of dried apricots and a jar of spice.

I refused a proffered pasta dish
(dehydrated for longevity);
I’ve tried it before and didn’t like it.

I blame myself for this intrusion –
the last time we spoke I told you I didn’t want to see you
until you had something to give.
and here you were – giving me mismatched ingredients
for a meal.

You usually take from me, so this made a change.

Your hands shook, the left one was black, as if
from that greasy ash I used to see printed on my table,
by my sink and on the bathroom floor.

Ugly images flashed by in dripping scarlet; blood
splashed across walls;
darkening drops blotting your clothes,
insulting my senses.

Needles, ripped vitamin e sachets,
little tin cups.
filthy soot, blood, blood blood.

Impossible to forget the horror borne for so long.

Here in the present, your body,
unable to keep hold of the accepted code of behaviour,
briefly convulsed, and as you recovered
you told me you were tired, but the jerks recurred,
and with them the excuses.

Why do you always think I’ll believe your lies?
I wish that you would realize I’ve seen the signs
a thousand times or more.

Your friend Slick slunk in an opposite doorway.
offering me an unknowing opportunity.
I made no comment except to suggest you go home to bed,
then I waved, and Slick crossed the road to speak to me.
We chatted about my flat, then, quick as a flash I
asked him what you were on.

Slick didn’t know what had hit him.
He batted his unthinking reply back to me:
It’s OK, Paul hasn’t used that, he’s only had Pregabalin.

As if I didn’t know.

So sad that Slick should think I’d be relieved.
He’s too deeply entrenched in the scene to face the fact that
any street drug is lethal for an addict.

I told you to leave me alone, turned my back
and returned to my work in the Oxfam shop.

Please, leave me alone.

I want you to go away;
that I may neither see or hear from you
until you are clean.

The Daily Post #Realize

©Jane Paterson Basil

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Closing off the power

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A text from Krusti’s phone;
“It’s Paul, please answer.”

I translate;
Hi mum, I need to see you
to offer hollow reassurance;
to speak of love and great futures;
to grovel and apologise.
I will offer you the richest slice
of my phoney dream;
I will promise you unbuilt castles
and fruit that I shall never pick;
I will say whatever I must
to make you jump,
and if my well-planned words
don’t persuade you to empty your wallet
into my outstretched hand,
I will find another way.

I pick up the phone
A light pressure from my thumb
closes off the power.

the sun sets.
my candle glows dim,
painting a subtle tint on the wall.
I sit on the floor, writing and listening
to the sounds of the town.
I hear Paul talking to someone outside.
the doorbell rings.
there’s no pause in the rhythm
of fingers on keys.
Paul speaks to someone who agrees
that I don’t appear to be in.

His companion is only half right;
I am in, but
I don’t appear.

The Daily Post #Jump

©Jane Paterson Basil

Thanks for nothing Yasmin

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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

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A Loving Army

This poem is dedicated to Dale, a courageous man with an inspiring blog, who led me to the realisation described in the sonnet.

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For years anger and self-pity mirrored my eyes

The drug addiction of others was my vile enemy

Trapped within mother love from which I could not flee

I was terrorised by the manipulation and the lies

Within my house: yet when I became ready to revise

And realise that addicts were victims just like me,

And we were in similar straits, still I couldn’t see

The bigger picture, and recognise all our allies

Whose rebellious chemistry confounds the brain

And their struggling families weep over a similar plight

for their beloved casualties of sex, gambling and pain.

The disease of addiction is the foe that we must fight

If we stand together and tell our truths without shame

We’ll make a loving army, leading others to the light.

© Jane Paterson Basil

I HATE ALL OF THESE LIES

This poem, written as my third assignment for the Blogging 201 Poetry course, (an acrostic poem, with trust as the theme, making use of internal rhyme) amply illustrates the reason why I like writing nonsense. It is far less painful. It could do with editing, but I have sweated enough blood today.

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I plead for release, please leave me in peace

Heartrate increasing, from your unceasing
Artful assertion; co-ertion your game-play.
Truth is a stranger, a danger to habits that
Eat at your body and feed on your brain.

And as you relate, berate and dictate
Life is swallowed by your seedy need:
Lies abound, and love makes no sound.

Only the need
Feeds your fevered mind

Truth has no answer to youth’s foolish folly when
Heroin wraps you and sucks at your sap
Every intention for future abstention
Squashed by the fever that
Evil creates

Lost by your words as they grate and deflate me
I despise all the lies that fly into my head
Every dead morning I wake with a longing
So dreadful each day: I plea for release.

© Jane Paterson Basil

CLAWING BACK INTO THE WOMB

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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