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

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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

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

The crone fire

They laugh assuming her past understanding

Her youth spent

So the spirit will be damped down

Sweet old lady all lavender and powder puff

And she smiles warming her words.

She doesn’t bother saying she was young too

They neither know nor care

So beyond seeing their world and ways

Think her unable to get their snarky lines

Comments deriding while they smile

Pitying what they don’t grasp

Nor even want to.

They sit by the fire filling bellies and she eats little

The crone they think is fading and old

Living triumphs that mean nothing to them

Who was she a doting housewife?

What could they learn from her? Ha.

When she speaks their faces pale

Oh they have misunderstood the wizened one

Who breathes fire and gives life to things

They never credited her as able to do.

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

One room

It’s all there in this room everything

Almost all we have

The kids sleep in their beds happy

Clueless as to what I worry about

Thank God.

Look at my lad fast growing and so full

Of the hope children have

What can I tell him?

Things that aren’t relevant to them now?

Some things never change

Did I listen to my Dad as a kid

Don’t make me laugh

I love the auld feller

But we’re not much like each other

Well we both have a laugh and a pint

Maybe it’s why we get on

And then there’s my mother

She erupts like a volcano at times

Though the wife says I do as well

I can’t see I’m quite the same

But people laugh when I say that

Next to me is the wife and I say

Thank God

Where I’d be without her I don’t know

And the little one she’s watching me

Through cot bars and I’ll hear a giggle

If I so much as look before she launches

Over the top aimed at my belly

And then we’ll both be in trouble!

Really I want her to stay in bed warm

This is so damned cold the nets are stuck

Frozen there like they’ll snap if I touch

This spot by the window is freezing

But it’s my place to take keep them warm

Don’t tell them it hurts to breathe when I wake

A cigarette is what the doctor said

Would help me to breathe except now

They say I have to stop

Smoking or breathing?

Might be both if I keep feeling this bad

And I look around the room we need to escape

Four bodies in here is too much

It eases me to see our little family

We may not have a lot you see?

But we have each other and enough

We make sure of that ,only just

Thank God.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2018

A chance to be

I gave it back the thing I took away

From my very source

The chance to live and breathe and think

To become me once more.

First was the surrendering of all long thought things

And stopping worrying at my beings core.

I then found that to listen closely

Not just to others but to me

Never saying that I wasn’t worth

The me I’m meant to be.

So if I appear to have changed

I could sit and quietly apologise

But now I have surrounded myself

And learned to surrender nothing else

In my head I see your eyes.

They told me things I couldn’t believe

That my damaged heart was unable to grieve

The world it wrought damage needless

And we were unable to get through

Now I know I can carry on

Heard your words as you meant them

As you said welcome back to you.

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2018

Mama

I’m walking over cobblestone skin tingling

Towards the lady I saw sometime

Shared a brief hello and smiles

I was alone that day just walking

Exploring a land not mine

I’m a stranger made welcome here.

This time I am in a group and she gives

A loving smile and hugs me tender hug

To her my pale skin is cold she worries

Head to foot she wears the black garb of her peers

She points to herself and me showing we are known

To one another if nobody else

She tells my family her name

I am in a foreign land I could be rejected

I am not

She puffs out her chest and says one thing

“Mama”, and again “Mama” with warning

She reaches into her bag, giving me sweets

Giving me tissues, and rubbing my arms

To warm me as only a mother can.

She points to show me where to find her

I nod understanding to this mother

Familiar yet unfamiliar

Family but not blood

Am kissed on both cheeks lovingly

By the never to be forgotten

Mama

Ailsa

©️AilsaCawleyPoetry2018

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