Tag Archives: stress

The Curs


Some days
maybe for a week or more,
the curs sleep. I square my shoulders,
hold my chin parallel to the world,
point my nose
the next

A jaunty walk, a go-getter smile –
both come easy on days like these,
yet I never forget;

inside me
the curs lurk.

I hear them snore,
my stomach lurches when they turn,
and always
I take
a deep
cataloguing my gems
until breathing is easy again,
blinding every sense to the sighs, the snorts,
the crawling taunts
of a disturbed cur.

If it retreats into still sleep,
I have succeeded in my quest for peace,
but too often
a cur’s
leads into a curdling cry
and the pack wakes,
instantly absorbed
in its vicious intent.

Attacking the threads in my mind,
they tangle and snap the intricate design
whose painstaking lines
create a picture
of serenity.

As I am currently out of reach of the Internet most of the time, I’m unable to keep up with my reading, and my posts are sporadic, which is why my response to Kira’s Sunday Scribbles Challenge is two days late.

©Jane Paterson Basil

Winding Down


The day ends,
bringing a sense of surprised escape
from a jail fenced in by a towering jumble
of building blocks thrown from a toy box
by a blundering giant,
the bricks making jagged walls and dead-end tunnels
through which I crawled,
tucking panic under a laughing mask,
my consciousness screaming, the stubborn silence
of my brave face blinding my eyes,
showing me nothing but the next task.

I fumbled forward,
cuts and bruises blooming in the dark.
Distracted by my acts,
pain translated into mumbling ache
which I sluggishly shoved aside.

Now sanctuary melts the ice,
awakening me to the grazes that sting my mind;
in the shock of hindsight
I briefly see scarlet clots expanding
in harsh white light
that sliced between erratic shards
and sharply trimmed each blackened shadow.

A magnanimous evening
ambles in to wave an amber goodnight,
its travelling rays casually caressing carefully collected
reflections of nature,
highlighting details of prized pieces.
A slice of fresh air lifts and expands
the clean fragrance of lavender and beeswax,
banishing my ramshackle day
to the skittish world of was and maybe;
breathing deeply,
I relax.

©Jane Paterson Basil

10 ways to get your son to leave.


1. Ask him to stay a bit longer.

2.  Give him all your cash.

3. Tell him that if he goes outside he’ll probably be devoured by a man-eating she devil who will take his money and his sanity.

4. Invite your brother over.

5. Tell him they’re giving away money at the bank, but they close in fifteen minutes.

6. Tell him the police are on their way.

7. Try to have a reasonable conversation about his future, or give him some useful advice.

8. Throw his wallet out of the window.

9. Set fire to your home.

10. Throw him out of the window.


See also: Ten ways to get your son to visit you.

NB. Free with this post! A bonus Way To Get Your Son To Visit You:

  • Borrow a phone off someone, call your number, and when he answers, tell him that if he doesn’t return your phone within fifteen minutes you’ll phone the police. Mean it.


©Jane Paterson Basil



Harsh the voice that speaks to me
when eyes are closed in secret thoughts.
Harsh the voice and harsh the truth
that’s stolen dreams and heart and youth.

So true it speaks that I may hear
though I may try to close my ears..
Though past mistakes are gone away
they’ve marked me down and left their trace
and shaped my into what you see,
and though I fail all the while,
I daily try to to reconcile
those expectations forged before;
in distant schoolyard days of yore.

I cannot take the past away
and change the thing I am today,
and though I tell myself I’m well
repeat the chant “I am OK,”
within my soul I know I’m torn,
and I can never be reborn
into this life to start anew,
to stand steadfast and carry through
every happy childlike plan,
instead of being an ‘also ran,’
and though I smile and laugh with you,
it’s just a trick to see me through.

©Jane Paterson Basil


Embed from Getty Images

“I can’t listen to music, I said
there’s already too much noise in my head
reverberating from the things they say
every hour of every day
please don’t switch on the radio
not in my home
and please don’t play that DVD
I don’t even have a TV
because the noise is too much for me
and please
I can’t see you
I’m too busy
please just let me be
there’s too much noise in my head
reverberating from all the words they said
I need some peace
It’s all too noisy for me

but today I found
the quaintest retro radio, second-hand
coloured cream with chrome trim
I brought it home
switched it on and twiddled a bit
now I’m listening to it
and the noise in my head
from those things they said,
the things they did and do and still say
has been evicted by beautiful music.

©Jane Paterson Basil