Broken man

A broken man skeletal but proud

Walks in daring anyone

To mention his weight loss

Haunted face deathly gaunt

Knowing each day brings him closer

To the end.

He knows what is happening

Will tell you after a drink

Wants no sympathy, fact dealing

So there’s not speculation

As he hears them discuss him

Talk about the ‘condition ‘

Coming to take the life he knew

Your words are not accurate

This thing filled him with stoicism

While eating away who he was

Wanting to tell them while asbestos eats

He can still hear every single beat.

Written about the close friend of my dad who was a fighter and battled asbestosis, a very brave man even as he was being broken down.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2019

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Cailleach

There she stood in her wrinkled peach skin

Wizened by years and knowing

That her full self would not be seen

By the people who chose fear

Of age and cunning.

She smiled at the thought of time

Playing pranks on those beautiful ones

With souls darker than any shade

That could be viewed on the bleakest

Of starless nights .

The pulling of the enforced smiles

Bestowed on those who berated her daily

Yet said nothing except sweet hellos

For fear of the old woman’s curse

Of spending eternity with her.

If they knew she thinks I’ve harmed none

From a girl to cailleach

Yet still they fear my separateness

Like it’s catching or enchanted

Or they may learn something.

If I were not a woman she tuts

A hermit I’d be and no fear would follow

But a woman who wants the same…

One day we shall have it. A world of equals

Of nothing different

Of that I can hope.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2019

Pushing

Try pushing, cajoling

Screaming and wails

Hurl insults like boulders

To get through the day.

Try threats coated in treacle

Not subtle or sweet

You’ll wait till I’m ready

I bow at nobody’s feet.

Watch through cracks in the story

Make your own fairytale end

I can see through your mask

Don’t break and don’t bend.

I may say little to you but read

You so well

I’m wary not scared

You are but a shell.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018

The black sheep

She was the disappointing one

Who could have done better

Given her chances (insert finger wagging!)

She could have given bragging rights

But dared to follow her path

A line she forged in the dust

How dare she?

Everyone else content to toe the line

Or fly really high by , well

Towing the same line but differently

Not her

Always accused of being in the wrong

Before checking she was in the right

She rebelled in the eyes of some

And her coat became that

Of the black sheep

So long spent trying to fade the colour

Change it, do something to blend

Until one day over many drinks

She met another

Also a black sheep and they decided

That black sheep were the lucky ones

The ones who escaped

The ones who didn’t allow anything

To just happen

They made the things they wanted appear

By hard work and black sheepishness

And between them they decided

That that was just fine

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawley2018

Fooling all and none

He says he’s misunderstood and made

Into a devil of someone else’s choosing

As he fists hands and his woman bade

Face in sneering but charm oozing

Like an oily glut from his mouth.

He orders her to do something small

And it’d be easier to do himself

But he’s proving it just takes the call

For him to take precedence over herself

And she even considered dissent.

His words more chilling “she’ll learn eventually ”

To me “you all do, after you’re shown..”

Cold smile and words mock me

But eyes say loudly she you own.

I see her eyes and wonder if she’s quiet always

Or if she’s learned that silence is safe

Silence is the way to survive a day

And I’m asked later at another place

How I could stay in the house of a monster

Who thought he fooled all

But just because you choose not to see

Means only that you’ve chosen blinkers

You might not see the blood he spills

He still spills it saying it’s her, always her

She made him by whatever she didn’t do/say/think/like

He is fooling only himself

Your knowledge in silence is fooling all and none.

And he carries on knowing he has accomplices

She dreams at night of peace

No escape she will maybe see she needs to

She may leave it too late, could be you or me

Does it matter if she’s fooling all and none?

It may be all that keeps her alive.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018

Cutting deep

Hailing down upon me the words cut

Deeper than any knife and I’d rather

The blows you threatened happen

Bruises I can heal and then they’re gone

Words are far sharper weapons

Cutting deep

You don the superior spitting face

Hurling untruths that matter not if I defend

Myself or agree, your mind made up.

As I trip backwards on the stairs

Land a few feet down with your face

Cutting deep

And you speak in hushed tones of my

Misdeeds that I half wish I’d done

To say I lead a life off the leash

An invisible chain that makes me start

If a single wrong word is uttered you’ll

Cut deep

So long you did that to me

Telling everyone that could hear

What a terrible person I was to you

How badly you were done to

And I see you now and think I escaped

I escaped

No more cutting deep

That wound is there running deep

Almost healed to surface scar tissue

No more cutting deep a helpless person

A woman who loved you once

Even the monster who wounded

You cannot love have to control every little

Bit of someone else but I know you’re not

Going to cut me ever again

Never again would you be trusted not to

Try and cut me deep

After sweet words and tearful apologies

Your method is always cutting deep.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018

Destruction of the threat

Words dancing like squirrels feet

Scampering through my head

They go faster faster to a frantic beat

Do they lessen the sense of dread?

The words are my words

Thoughts are my thoughts

No longer like broken swords

Never again to be dulled with phrases

Such as maybe, could or ought.

You’ve misunderstood me long enough

I’ll fight until the death

The world where you threatened tough

Has ended and you misread my intent

Let me be very clear once friend

I’ve learned how to fight by stealth

This is not a quiet warning war of words

You have never seen me angry

It’s there for the times I need use it

I have gored like an angry bull

Through bigger not stopping at blood

Carrying on to destruction and only

The leftover strands of something once

Described as human

Do not keep pushing, poking, prodding

I may be a human of faith

Untethered I can become the savage animal

Who would heed your call for mercy?

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018