The Brown Eyed Dreamer

'Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.' William Wordsworth


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One Day

One day you’re going to wake up to an empty bed
And realise exactly what you’re missing.
In between the sheets will lie the soft scent and gentle laughter
Of a girl you fed lies to, a girl you led to her demise
All in the name of a love you knew was never true.
So I hope that laughter tugs at your chest,
And that scent wraps itself around your throat
And reminds you how beautiful she was, how wonderful she was
And how stupid you are for noticing too little too late.
One day you’re going to watch her walk straight past
And realise exactly what you just let go.
Cry out all you want- curse until your lips crack dry,
It was always going to end this way;
You let her slip between your slithering grasp
And she’s too far away to get back.


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Little Monsters

There’s a monster who lives inside our heads;
A tiny demon who feasts on the doubts that
Fall from the tears and
Drip from the blood and
He grows, he grows, he gets louder.

There’s a monster who lives inside our heads;
A little creature who feeds you the lies that
Make the tears fall and
Make the blood drip but
You’ve just got to learn how to fight him.


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The Shortest, Sharpest Lies

‘That’s fine.’ ‘We’re fine.’ ‘I’m fine.’
Two short words slip off the tongue.
A feeble excuse, a weak shield
Fighting off a barrage of questions,
Blocking off a wave of sympathy,
Keeping out the quiet thoughts
That tell us we’re simply hiding.

‘That’s fine.’ ‘We’re fine.’ ‘I’m fine.’
Two short words that spring to mind.
A shady alibi, a little white lie
Whispering into the dark at night,
Chanting into the light of day,
Ignoring the quiet thoughts that know
That we’re not fine at all.


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Old Ways

She’s disappearing again,
I see her cave into her shadow like before.
Sister pretends to understand but
Loses patience in the silence,
Mum and dad speak, but never listen
To hear the whimpers underneath.
But brother strains to find the sound and
Hears it crying from the dark;
He knows, he knows,
But he’ll never say
Until it is too late.


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I Think I’ll Be Okay.

The last couple of weeks have been awful. Exam stress and my over thinking mind combined to make a minefield of angry bombs exploding doubts and fear in my face no matter how precariously I stepped to avoid their trap. I spent so much time feeling horrible and people were beginning to notice, some even commenting on it, asking me to cheer up. But it was only this morning I realised something very important. I was in a bad place, but that wasn’t a bad thing.

I realised I’m allowed to get sad once in a while. I can lock myself in my room, turn off the lights and turn up my music. I can spend hours listening to Radiohead and David Bowie and crying silently into a pillow. I can write down everything I feel, let every slice of pain, doubt and anger cutting at my mind splash onto the page before me. I can fall asleep or just lie there motionless, thinking of everything and nothing. I can stay in there all night without emerging, alone, slow steady chords rolling forlornly through my head. I can be sad if I want to. It’s normal. It’s human.
I can always be happy tomorrow. But if I’m not happy in the morning, that’s okay too. I can refuse to get dressed or put effort into my appearance. I can make myself food and go back to my room, passing half-heartedly mumbles to my parents as I pass. I can ignore text messages, Skype calls, human contact. I can refuse to see people I don’t want to see. I can shut myself off if I want to. It’s ordinary. It’s fine.
People seem to believe that sadness is a bad thing. That crying is weakness, and not being okay is definitely not okay. But let me tell you something- you don’t have to be happy today. You don’t have to be happy tomorrow. If you don’t want to be better today, you don’t have to be. You’re not weak because you’re sad and can’t face it anymore; you’re strong because you’ve carried pain this far. Everyone has a time when they’re down. You shouldn’t feel pressured to be alright just because everyone else wants you to be happy. You’re not a burden because you don’t feel your best.
You’re a person, and if you’re sad, you can be sad. Just know that even if you don’t want to be happy now, there will be a day when happiness will be a welcome friend. And on that day you can step out and take its hand and it will be just fine, I can promise you that. But until then you can cave into your sorrow if you want. To hurt is to be human. Happiness is patient; it will wait. That is the lesson I learnt this morning.
So no, today I am not okay, and tomorrow I may not be okay either. But guess what? That’s okay.


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I Promise.

When I promised them I was getting better, I wasn’t lying. I am getting better. Food doesn’t lodge itself venomously in my throat like it used to, and calories and calculations don’t swim before my eyes anymore. I can face mirrors and have learnt to ignore most of the screaming taunts from my mind; the urge to shatter my mocking reflection into a thousand tiny pieces is mostly gone. I’m learning to ignore the judging eyes and smirks that play upon muttering lips as I pass by, and snide little comments are beginning to hurt me a lot less than they used to. I’m finding my feet and picking myself up again, and I am getting better, promise.

But sometimes, when I look behind me to where I used to be, temptation grabs me like a rope clutched around the neck and pulls me backwards, and suddenly it seems okay to make excuses and ‘forget’. Suddenly the mirror wailing out my flaws for the world to hear seems like almost like an old friend, helping me find perfection by pointing out the imperfection. And in the depths of my wildest thoughts, I can’t help but cave in to the pleasure of wrapping my arms around my body in the cold air, rubbing fingers across flesh and feeling the ridges of bones protruding where they really shouldn’t. And in those moments, I can hear a distant crack that sounds vaguely like a cry into the darkness or the slow breaking of an innocent heart, the gentle wail of a promise slowly breaking.


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The Smoke & The Dark

Last night I dreamed I was standing alone in a cold, gaping darkness. A darkness that seemed unending until the harsh click of a lighter echoed through the abyss and filled the shadows with its intense light. A single enormous flame spurted upwards and flooded the plane around me with relentless waves of heat, flickering at my body with red-hot tongues. Using my jacket sleeve as a protection for my eyes, I peered forward into the flame to see where it had come from.

Suddenly from behind a cigarette appeared and leant forward into the lighter, thirstily lapping up the fire until the end had stolen some of the flames. Then from behind a face appeared, one I vaguely recognised but in my slumber was unfocused so as to hide from me. Lips latched around the opposite end of the cigarette and inhaled deeply, greedily feasting on the contents within. The embers flared a blood red that gleamed mockingly in the darkness, and as the user exhaled a rush of ash and smoke tumbled out of the edges and surrounded the both of us in a dark, menacing cloud..

A storm of thick ash engulfed me, filling my lungs and pricking at my eyes until I was bent over coughing, tears streaming out of my eyes in tiny waterfalls. My throat wailed and shrivelled in pain from the torments of the smoke, and as I looked up to call out to the looming face in front of me my voice caught and came out only as a raspy whisper. Desperately I coughed to try to clear my throat so I could warn the face of the smoke’s dangers but it simply poured through my throat, seeping through my blood like poison and scratching and scraping at my insides. I forced my eyes open despite the burning hot ash that fluttered dangerously around me so I could watch the huge figure above.

His face was covered in ash that engrained itself like an iron-master forging fiery patterns into his skin until it was gnarled and sunken. The flicker of flames against his cheek gave him an almost skeletal appearance as he suckled ravenously on the seemingly never-ending cigarette. Smoke coiled and curled around his features, creating a thick noose around his neck that slowly tightened with each breath of smoke that quivered outwards from his wrinkled lips. His pupils had nearly swamped his whole eyes and were as dark as our surroundings, filled with a malicious desire for the devilish taste of the cigarette.  He was drawing his own death sentence without even realising it, and as I tried to call out to him I noticed suddenly the smoke held me in a noose too and my throat was clenched so tight I could not utter a single syllable. I flailed my arms and legs around me in a frantic attempt to free myself from its iron grip to no avail.

Terrified, my eyes widened as tears prickled behind the eyelids and I tried to capture a few clean breaths. My body was slowly becoming weak, the smoke infecting me with its slow taunting spread. Suddenly the smoker stopped; lowered the cigarette to stub it out. The last few embers were beaten down, and I felt the noose around my neck tighten one last fatal time. As I felt a last splutter of breath escape my lips, we plunged into a cold, unending darkness and I closed my eyes, waiting for it all to be over.


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The Clear Out

In a cold, cluttered study dimly lit by a bulb encased in a thick layer of grime, a man stands surveying old, flaking walls filled with bookshelves and cabinets, head cocked on one side as he impatiently tuts and looks around him. A room once the hub of his home and working life now sits dormant and forlorn in the cold October sun peering through cracks in the yellowed blinds. A room once so lively and loved now seems as alone and lost as the man standing within.

He takes a step forward and roughly glides a finger across the nearest shelf, leaving a bright trail of mahogany standing stark among the surrounding layer of dust. Lips curling in disgust and rubbing his covered finger on his jumper, he sighs. This room, now of no use and an annoyance to him, needs clearing desperately.
As a plan forms in his head, he leaves the room only to return a few seconds later armed with every cleaning utensil he can find. He then starts clearing out the room. Initially, he takes his time, taking each item off the shelves and inspecting it before deciding what to do with it. But as each dog-eared novel and notebook full of scribbles is salvaged from the dust and dirt of the shelves, old memories resurface themselves to mock and taunt him. Memories of days where writing was his life and words tumbled out of him like droplets onto a page, and the world around him held the fascination of a child. But too many rejections from snotty publishers can make a man bitter in his ways, and soon his bubble of ignorance was torn as the world became cruel and unforgiving. Suddenly the passion of the world was gone, and a dream to write died along with this room.
Memories flood back like flames, taunting him with their flickering, fiery tongues. Fury filling his core, he flings out his arms and pushes every item into bin bags, grabbing books, ornaments and ornate ink pens and throwing them to walls, ignoring the glass smashing and ricocheting off the walls. Ripped pages fall like burning ashes to a floor filled with shattered glass and puddles of blue ink stains sinking into the carpet.
His crazed cleaning does not stop until he grabs hold of an old glass photo frame and a jagged edge catches his skin. He curses loudly as it draws blood and looks down towards his cut, only to be stopped short by what he sees.
It’s an old frame, a photograph within that had been blocked and almost faded from memory. He sees himself, a young man of only twenty, standing beside his childhood hero, a published author whose name he cannot recall now. He looks upon the uncontrollable smile on the young him’s face, the eyes shining with childlike eagerness, and that day comes back to him like a bolt of lightning. He remembers meeting this man, and sharing with him the hope of one day joining him with the esteemed title of ‘author’, his love of writing and wanting to write forever. And most of all he remembers the author looking at him with an almost fatherly smile, patting his shoulder and saying, ‘If you want it enough you can do it. Never give up on a dream like that.’
The statement echoes through the man’s head and around the room, bouncing and echoing off the bare walls. Never give up on a dream like that. The frame drops from between his shaking fingers, landing with a dull thud below him. He stops; sinks slowly to the ground. Everything is too much. How could he forget this? How happy he had been then, how full of joy and life… memories flood back once more, but this time like rushes of water coaxing the tears from his eyes as he falls forward onto his hands, sobs rocking his whole body. He balls up his fists and beats the ground, yelling to a man who is not there, who cannot hear him.
‘Never give up?! You can’t even begin to unravel an idea before reality shoots it dead now! I’ve been shot down one too many times, I’m wounded. I GIVE UP. I can’t get back up this time.’
The cold, empty shelves stare at the man sunken and broken in the centre of the room with blank, harsh stares. Tiny speckles of blood spurt from a cut in his hand, but that short, sharp pain is nothing compared to the tearing of his heart, the thumping of his head, the desolate thud as his stomach drops. No pain could compare to that of a man falling apart from the seams. Tears fall relentlessly from his eyelids, and his body lurches forward and back with pain, as emotion floods out of him in a tidal wave of desperation, total loss and turmoil.
‘I can’t get back up this time,’ he whispers, his eyes shut to try to bottle in the pain, ‘I can’t get back up.’