Tag Archives: self-pity


You hoard
names of the dead
like the pain of loss is yours alone;
cataloguing, quantifying, dwelling,
possessing, obsessing,
rooting for excuses
to imprison them inside your head.

Memory upgrades acquaintances to friends,
distant kin met once in your thumb-sucking days –
when you spun away in disdain –
become uncles that you always loved.

Haven’t you lost enough?
Don’t you suffer enough?

It smacks of greed for sick fame;
a wish to obtain the world’s most comprehensive
collection of grief,
as if you have a grand ambition
to be listed in the Guinness book of records,
or to become a respected expert
in your field of graves
where flowers wither
while you sift sand
in the desert of self-pity.

Clinging to the dead brings misery;
care for the living instead.


©Jane Paterson Basil

Greed and hunger


far away
a child starves
while the fat ones
bemoan their perceived poverty
filling their faces with too much food
covering their vain tattoos with the latest fashion
before going home in their fuel-guzzling metal monsters
to rooms so stuffed with luxury goods
that their essential electronic toys
have to be produced in

tinier than
the starving child’s

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Written for The Daily Post #Miniature

©Jane Paterson Basil

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.


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