House of Cards

Sometimes I feel such pressure on me,
This unrelenting responsibility,
A job, a mortgage, mum-in-law’s care,
No-one would manage without me there,
Scared I’ll crack, for it’s so hard,
And we’ll tumble like a house of cards…

If I commit just one small blunder,
Or one day just go completely under,
Mum-in-law and husband couldn’t cope,
Neither of them would have a hope,
The family would shatter into shards,
And tumble like a house of cards…

Of my department I’m the boss,
Must maintain the team at any cost,
So many ever watchful eyes on me,
Including parliament, press and TV,
And without me to stay in charge,
We’d tumble like a house of cards…

One false move and down it falls,
I’m the one lynchpin to it all,
So now matter what, I must not crack,
There’s no getting this formation back,
I must maintain my constant guard,
Or life will tumble like a house of cards…

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Another Blow…

Someone must really have it in for me,
Thieves have stolen my identity!!!
And that of my poor husband too,
Both received these letters out the blue,
Direct debits set up in our names,
Yet it wasn’t us who made this claim…

Half the day on the phone to the banks,
Trying to fill in all of the blanks,
Direct debit provider and police,
Plus Experian – it would not cease,
Some where helpful; some were not,
Meaning you Barclays – thanks a LOT!

This is all just stress I so don’t need,
Why I feel my life is under siege,
From such events out of left-field,
The fear and worry here is very real,
I’ve read of people much the same,
Bankrupted by bad credit in their name…

And oh, how well I see the irony!
Husband’s in Finance; I’m in Securities!
The very last people you’d expect,
Both know how to ourselves protect,
This ID theft thing is not any fun,
But shows it could happen to anyone

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Familiarity Breeds Contempt

It’s fashionable for carers these days to claim,
It is the illness, not the person, they blame,
But in this case, I’m not quite sure that it’s true,
Maybe I’m just suffering overexposure to you

It’s the hair you need to pluck on your chinny-chin-chin,
It’s your baggy old lady trousers and sad cardigan,
It’s the multiple liver marks that blight your face,
It’s the way you so blithely to our lives lay waste…

It’s the way that you act so insufferably smug,
It’s the way you sweep your condition under the rug,
It’s the way you just accept all our care as your due,
And for all that we’ve done never once said “thank you”.

It’s the way you in conversations attempt to sound wise,
In that self-satisfied tone which I so despise,
Say “Oh yes“, “I agree“, “Oh, I know“, like you do,
But of the actual discussion really haven’t a clue

It’s the way on voicemails you leave your first and last name,
And dump on me twenty messages all saying the same,
Do you somehow think you and I didn’t meet?
Now I’ve one hundred voicemails to manually delete…

It’s your voice that sounds so unbearably shrill,
It’s the way you keep us on a running treadmill,
It’s the way you lift your shirt up to show off your scar,
No I don’t want to see your saggy old lady bra!!!!

It’s an evolutionary reflex to turn your head away,
From the scent of decomposition, death and decay,
And your mind and body encompass all three,
That’s just the way we’re programmed, genetically…

Familiarity breeds contempt – I know that saying is apt,
Now in a love-hate relationship utterly trapped,
And I know caring for you for now is just how it must be,
But, mother-in-law, you quite frankly disgust me…

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I don’t believe in religion,
Am about as atheist as can be,
But I have my heaven on this earth,
With you I find my sanctuary…

Our little flat is my temple,
And you – my love – my shrine,
You are all my prayers answered,
For it’s our love that is divine…

You’re my true-life guardian angel,
You’re my refuge and my retreat,
You’re sacred and you’re sacrosanct,
You’re the sanctum that I seek…

For once we cross our threshold,
It feels we’re on hallowed ground,
Our humble home is like an Eden,
A paradise lost and then found…

You’re my haven and my shelter,
And I’ve no need for repentance,
For with our little church of two,
We’ve found true transcendence…

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Pissing in the Wind

Talking to myself out there,
Screaming into pure thin air,
The ground beneath seems to rescind,
Just pissing, pissing into the wind…

Swimming hard against the tide,
Fighting the monsters deep inside,
Just talking to myself, I fear,
Does anybody out there hear…?

Struggling to keep afloat,
No life jacket or rescue boat,
Used the drowning parallel before,
But still, it’s an apt metaphor…

Screaming into pure thin air,
That’s what it feels like to “care”,
Feeling like I’ve somehow sinned,
Just pissing, pissing in the wind…

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Warped Logic

Twenty years on, looking back,
To the decade that was black,
The origins of my demons I now see,
I wanted my parents to notice me,
See the pain that I was going through,
And starving was the only way I knew,
A cry for help, a desperate plea,
Understand, this was subconsciously…

But now that I am thirty-two,
I can better see things through,
But just because I have insight,
Doesn’t mean I’ll do things right,
It was a strategy that got results,
Could work again as an adult,
Though in the process I went quite mad,
There were concrete benefits to be had…

My parents stopped warring quite so much,
Focused more on parenting and such,
As a family, we got through the worst,
Parents finally put me and my brother first,
So though it came at such a heavy cost,
It was not a cause totally lost,
The logic here is warped, I know,
But that’s how eating disorders go…

Part of me thinks the same may apply,
To husband, mum-in-law and I,
In this battle that I just can’t win,
A voice says that if I get too thin,
I could somehow force my husband’s hand,
And in this way get him to understand,
That I just can’t do this anymore,
Some concrete action is called for…

By which I mean some kind of home,
So we can get on with our lives on our own,
It’s not like we wouldn’t still visit her,
But of her safety we could there be sure,
Achieve some kind of final resolution,
To four years of problems – the solution,
For both her and us some real respite,
An end to this fight, blight, constant plight…

These are all thoughts – I may not act,
No wish to scheme behind my husband’s back,
And if it sounds like of my diet I’ve real control,
Well, that is by no means the case at all!
But desperate times call for desperate measures,
I need to free myself from all these pressures,
And though it won’t win me any friends,
Sometimes the means justify the ends…

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I’m not depressed – I’m apathetic,
My whole lifestyle is pathetic,
Work and care and drink and sleep,
Wake up the next day and repeat…

Can’t motivate myself to change my ways,
Get myself out of this “joyless” phase,
I want to change for the better but,
It’s safe here in my little rut…

Only wine serves to improve my mood,
That, and sacrificing food,
And if I try to do something else instead,
I just want to go back to bed…

I just want to get back to the “old me”,
Not crippled by this constant apathy,
Regain my long-lost joi de vivre,
In my own self be a believer,

You say that I’m depressed? Well fine,
It’s all just a symantic fine line,
Call it “listlessness” or call it “stress”,
Either way I’m in a total mess…

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The Driving Lesson

Mirror, signal, manoever,
Handbrake, first gear, clutch,
Find breaking point, then pull away,
Eye out for pedestrians and such…

Hoorah! Am on the open road!
At first set of traffic lights I stall,
Get myself all in a fluster,
And honked at by one and all…

Ok, that was just stage fright,
Such wrath I didn’t really earn,
I know that one was my mistake,
But didn’t they all once have to learn…?!?

Right, I’m moving – back on track,
Move into second, then third gear,
Approach a major roundabout,
And still get round despite the fear…

Breaking distances and road signs,
A chapter of the theory test each day,
The road rules, hazard perception,
And knowing who has right of way…

1.5 tonnes of lethal metal,
Of which I’m now behind the wheel,
With only husband to guide me,
In this on-road automobile…

Still hill starts and reverse to learn,
Three point turns and all the rest,
Oh, there’s so much to learn with driving,
How will I ever pass my test…??

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When I’ve walked my final mile,
Will I think this all worthwhile?
A better person for all this be?
Or – as I suspect – the same old me…

When the sun sets on my time,
And I look back on this life of mine,
Will I have any lessons learned,
My place in heaven through this earned?

When my clock strikes it’s last chime,
Once I’ve written my last rhyme,
Will I look back at this time and think,
How close I came then to the brink?

When I come to breathe my last,
Please let all this be in the past,
I don’t know what’s in store for me,
But when I die, let me die free…

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First World Problems

I don’t have the Ebola virus; I don’t live in Palestine,
I’m gainfully employed and I am physically fine,
I don’t live in the third world, with not enough to eat,
I’m not a homeless drug addict a-begging on the street,
Instead I have my husband; I have my health and home,
And so I ask you really – who am I then to moan…?

I’m not a citizen of Donetsk; I am not Syrian-born,
I live in safe old London – not anywhere war-torn,
I don’t live in a country where I’m forced to take the veil,
I don’t have terminal cancer, or any other cause to ail,
I don’t have an addiction to heroin or crack-cocaine,
And so I pose the question – who am I then to complain…?

I don’t drink dirty water, for which I have to walk for miles,
I live in a law-abiding country – no kangaroo court trials,
I won the genetic lottery – I know that to be right,
Born into advantage – middle-class, educated, white,
So many problems in this world that are greater than mine,
And so I ask you all again – who am I then to whine…?

My only problems in this world are all inside my head,
Carer breakdown, eating “issues”, a mum-in-law I dread,
Apples are not oranges – maybe you just can’t compare like this,
And either way – for all of us – life is “just what it is”,
But so many poor souls out there, my life instead would choose,
I guess that I’m just suffering a case of “first world blues”…

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