The fearsome warrior

I don’t care what you think about me, I don’t think about you at all – Coco Chanel

Just a woman she’d heard it said, no good for much except a bed!
She worked harder than any man she knew
Proving herself daily as her confidence grew.
Always knowing she was an almost son, respect forever hard won.
As she grew old and retained her inner fire
They looked and saw just a woman filled with ire.
Her favourite saying “you’re as good as everyone else, and in some cases better, but keep that to yourself!”
For when she was a girl you hid your light so deep
You’d forget it were there, a secret to keep.
She heard the comments, formidable, tough, hard, unforgiving
Except that she knew at the end she was winning
As woman, mother, sister, friend
You took your hurts she still found a way to mend.
Feeding you plenty, asking what no one else could
Because it was not nice, or not something you should
So every time I hear a mention in comparison I swell
My pride in her always will dwell.
A warrior she was and will remain on a green hill
A fearsome woman ahead of time then and still.

Dancing to the tune

Watching them as they give you tasks to join their world
The one you’re desperate to be part of
You move slowly, anguish crushing your features
So faster turning, swooping, diving, anything
Anything that gets them to see the steam rise from your breath
Making them aware ‘look I’m alive, I breathe ‘you smile
They laugh at your confusion
Braying, pointing to the marionette who dances for them
Despite everything still wanting, needing to be on the inside
Ever willing to be laughed at
And the bells jingle loudly, the fools bells
But you wear them proudly like a badge of honour
To say you made it and got noticed
Even if they make you dance and sing, at heel like the puppy
Whose eyes will adore you while you kick him
They can smell the desperation pouring from you
See it shining manically in your too bright eyes
They have a clown, jester, puppet
Don’t try to break into their enclosed heartland
For the hearts are withered and lands are barren.
Stop dancing, close your ears to the tune.
Leave the dance mid-turn, with some pride intact

Haunted by

I walk to the bus and you are there, not by me
Never by my side, following incase I speak to a person unchecked
Someone not through your process.
Which is that you ask? Surely speech is free?
You might think, but
I’ve to watch my step, my expression, my interest
Smile and say hi for a moment your voice says
But as I half turn looking over my shoulder slyly
For all the world a spy in my own prison world
I see you shuffle-dive into a doorway
Once I used to ask you why you followed me, always
You laughed, huffed, got angry
Except it wasn’t me alone who saw you, was it?
Jokes masking the serious questions of why, just why
Did you need to know my every second and try to breathe for me
If I tried to do it alone I was closing you out
So you followed sometimes nearly stumbling into me
Or you called telling me I had been away long enough
And if I loved you, really loved you
I would only want you and it would be enough
Till the day you issued a threat up close
When up she stepped, the hidden one, usually being timid
Always wanting to see you happy, or just calm
You threatened me the last time then didn’t you?
When I looked you in the eye and told you to sleep awake
Keep your eyes open forever
You hurt me before, but never again
I have waited, and like the snake who strikes
You will find you cannot time my attack, nor will I stop!!
Would I have ever been able to do it?
I simply don’t know, but it stopped the onslaughts
Every day.
But the strength began to build a bridge
Not between us, but to a new song where you don’t feature.
And I am not haunted by
Day, night,you.

The day you change your future

It can be done although it seems too hard
I looked at mine and accepted things
Then I decided to say what if…
If I open my mind aswell as my eyes and just wait
For the path before step by step to show clear and true
I don’t expect it to be easy or simple
But since when was a new walkway mapped in safety
And would I choose it if it were?
I’d rather learn a little at a time daily
Than think I know who I am and all maps are charted
Irrevocable,  unchanging
Living in fear of difference and change
Shouldn’t you allow the path to show you
What can be,  a life of promise,  change
A future
Or get old and wish you had done all the things
In your mind
But ignored studiously because it wasn’t on the chart
Whose directions were written wrongly anyway

©AilsaCawley Poetry 2015

Feather touch

You turn to look behind you and see nobody there
A hand upon your shoulder that does touch
whenever  burdens weigh
Convince yourself it’s wild imaginings
And you’re being fanciful today.
Shake your head impatiently,  yes force it from your mind
Tell your soul your heart is bringing those feelings
Force it to pay no mind
What is it you’re afraid of, thoughts you do not speak?
Allowing the comforting arms at your shoulder
Or a missing other that you seek
Why be wary of the feather touch from those in shadowlands?
Has there been harm within the warming hands
The ones who help and guide you will return day on day
Give them the grace of acknowledging a shield
That by you will always stay.

©AilsaCawley Poetry 2015

Withered within

It was empty inside like a shell long devoid of the snail
The bits that made me strong and capable
Felt like a tangle of too many crossed wires
And then I met you and I wanted to stand there
To talk all night about everything and nothing
No ulterior motive just to feel human
To say what I thought,  debate all night
Didn’t matter who if either was right or wrong
Only to know I counted that I had a place
It didn’t have to be anything big or wondrous
Nor did it have to mean much to anyone
And I never expected it would or could
But it was there, a reed with the water of life
Taking away the vinegar I always tasted
The sourness of feeling wrong and cursed
Or stuck in a never ending maze with the way out barred
With my insides dried up,  like old fruit
And my heart which beat only because it had to
It beat only for my child who I was afraid to lose
Change and lose
Stay and lose
Suddenly my head told my heart it was time
And the drumbeat began in earnest
It played a song I didn’t understand
Still find difficult sometimes as it’s still new
It’s a long song,  a forever song
A song of circles,  rings and returning home
To a present and future
To the freedom and togetherness which I never knew
Thought of as faery tales and myths
And know now they can be real
If you believe
Do you believe?

©AilsaCawley Poetry 2015

Where do you go to?

You locked the door so long ago that you misplaced the key

So where do you go to all locked away in your head, is it lonely?

I think you brought down the shutter with such a clanging thump

That your disappointment in an imperfect world left your heart a icy lump

Full of brazen bluff and blunt rebuff, and generic words of prudence

Platitudes with no substance giving yourself the false assurance.

You cant let anyone inside even were they to pick the locks now

Inside the shutter is a gate, and a wall, so nobody’s going to be let into the show

That you put forth as real

No one will see that the husk can still feel

So afraid of losing and being left behind all alone

You cast all the shadows and yourself in stone.

©Ailsa Cawley poetry 2015

By the Lord Larry

Walking home from school one day I found a tiny bird lying on the ground

What could I do and how to help this helpless baby that I’d found ?

When in he steps, Lord Larry, with his red hair all a mess

In painty clothes and smelling of turpentine, dirty boots at best

But to me, here you were because you could solve it all

If my dad was elsewhere, it was you that I would call

So minus shining armour, and steed of gleaming white

You smiled and said “I will help you, and look after him tonight ”

You told me I could dry my tears , you would take him with you

Nurse him if you had to , and he would make it through

I believed for many a year that you had set him free

imagined that you nursed a fledgling on your knees

In a way I guess you did, when you eased his suffering.

And you eased his end so pain could not bring.

I never got to thank you for being that shining knight

For that was the last time I saw you as you died after being my light

You had no wife, family, children of your own

but a gentle gentleman you were and that had always shown.

So to you my Lord Larry, I raise a goblet filled with cheer

For giving others help and erasing any fears.

To some this was just a normal man, but it means an awful lot

When you take the pain of others and give all you have got.

You always stayed a hero, I guess you always will

Lord Larry was a good man, Lord Larry you are still.


To some it’s like a drug they crave
The more they hand out, others they’ll save
Their acid barbs and twisted tongues words
Are given for the good of health they’d heard
If they break you down with loaded spears
Just get over it, it was best you know never fear
They will smile in fake apology and get on their way
Feeling good that they took the time to say
What others are saying because it’s of crystal clarity
And you didn’t say a word so there’s no disparity
Between what they said and what you’re thinking
That chalice of poison given for drinking
Remember one thing if you challenge or don’t
Theirs is jealous insecurity covered and honed.


The changeling who would not

You misunderstood my stilted words
Thinking I had nothing to say
When I walked in to find my possessions strewn
Clothing, books, letters all sorted
Not by me.
You had looked at every last thing
Decided in my absence, without my knowledge
What was acceptable
I begin to look for this or that, randomly
Certain clothes, photographs, letters and books
All gone
They didn’t fit the picture puzzle you’re building
The play you imagine you live in
For a moment I was hopeful
Till you told me what you removed is gone
Taken to the dump with the rubbish
You beamed a smile
Waited for thanks for your help and direction
I could only nod,  wonder what possessed you
To try and wipe me out
Like a dirty smear on a looking glass
Without a by your leave,
But you didn’t wipe away the memories
You couldn’t do that.
However hard you tried to change me.
Hurt with your array of weapons
You taught me well
To fight back, become as rock
Hard and impenetrable when I have to
Show only what I want to those I can trust
And allow in only a chosen few
Who always have my back.


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