Friday, 9 September 2016



I am so tense the back of my neck aches

Sinew twisting & turning

Tightening like a fast creeping ivy

Strangling its host tree

Crushing it slowly in its vice-like grip

I feel two enormous hands surrounding my skull

Squeezing & pushing down my head into my shoulders

Pressing their clawed thumbs into my forehead

As its bony fingers shove themselves roughly

Into the nape of my neck

Heavy weights hang off my shoulders

Pulling me downwards

I can barely lift my head

I have aged 40 years in an hour

My eyelids try to force themselves closed

They don’t want to see the damage

Scared to see the look of fear

& terrible bone-weariness of their owner in a reflection

Depression smacks me in the brain

I drag my gravity bound body to my bed

I don’t even take my shoes off

I insinuate my aching bulk under the covers

Pulling them over my head drowning out the terrible light

There I lie foetal & damaged I am lost in the blackness

That gnaws at my soul & spits out my gristle

My bed – a safe place for oblivious & dark thoughts

Until the tension starts to ease

I see in my mind’s eye - a slight chink of sky blue

I become less afraid of the light

The ‘hands’ pull away & the ivy rots back

The shoulder weights drop off & I can think again

Think of the things of the light

Bright things, a walk outside, a new book

The smell of fresh, scented flowers comes back to me again

This time I just lost a day

I am frightened for the next time

That this happens & it may not lift

To be permanently in a state

Of dread & fear & hopelessness simply cannot be borne

But this time I put the kettle on open a window - and breathe

 (c) Kate McClelland 2016
Photo by Pixabay



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