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

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

Blood

It’s what we share I hear you say

We have the same blood

So….we have some DNA

Is that meant to make it good?

They smile no clue what I mean

But it ties us loosely together (you said)

Now surprised you’re not seeing

Or want connections lasting forever

Know all about it they strut

It ties our lives like string

Don’t you feel it in your gut?

This deep down caveman tribal thing

I nod …like a string you say

That holds down a balloon?

Yes you have it, that’s the way

Sharp snip cuts the cords

And that’s none too soon!

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018

Eliza’s escape

Her years of living downtrodden

Were over she’d decided

Careful where she’d once been carefree

Words measured to be sure

The desired reaction will occur.

So Eliza spoke slowly eyes darting

To the faces in the room

Gauging the changes that said

Enough now give it a rest!

Then she’d laugh at herself before them

And when they said she’d no idea

Her head nodded in agreement.

Inside she’d fade a little more

Fake fixed smile no sad face here

When she’s the clown after all.

So used to hearing “you’re crackers ”

It was a stock phrase used

If she dared offer an opinion

And avoided the darkness that lurked

Behind their smiles, their eyes

In their savage minds.

She knew what happened in the evening

If she over stepped her bounds

So much when it was someone else

Whose cries she would hear

She’d order the sound turned down.

Eliza was so used to this world

Where she had to tag along

She decided after a few more years

That she could disappear after all.

Managing a believable illness

Only see through to a few

She held the gossamer curtain in place

Until she left the world by fading away

Slowly over the years and when they stopped

Taking notice, and her every breath

Into account . Her last revenge

was to bring the curtain down.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry 2018

Hitching a lift

It’s heavy work when you’re a kid

Carrying all this bread on trays

So I hitched a lift

On a passing trolley bus

And slipped

In one end out the other

I saw my mother striding out

Face went white to red

You stupid lad she said

As she’s slapping me on the head

Then she kisses me and wipes it

Like she’s never done it

It was like skating on the road

And I don’t see the problem

After all I never dropped any bread

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2018