Life (Poem 2019 – 50)

I’m so out of practice in writing poetry that I sit here mentally asking myself where do I start?  I genuinely feel you can’t force a poem, it will just come to you when it wants to… and right now it really doesn’t want to.  I started writing a poem about robins (or a robin) but it had a childlike dum-de-dum rhythm so I abandoned it after two lines.  So now I’m wishing I hadn’t committed to a poem-a-day as after only four days I’m floundering (5th Dec).

9th Dec.  Life has a funny way of influencing the outcome of life, does that make it a closed loop system or a symbiotic relationship between life and an individual?  Either way it often feels as though life is guiding me rather than me guiding life.

[this poem has themes of mental distress that some readers may find distressing]


When you grow up you’d like to be…?
A question that’s often asked of me
A writer, scientist, circus clown
Maybe a lift operator, going down
Could I be a driver of trains
Or take to the sky and pilot planes?
A wife, a mum and domestic goddess
Too many choices to list the rest
Work hard at school and have a plan
Don’t get taken by a handsome man
Focus on building a fantastic career

Then watch your life disappear

As work takes control and leaves you spent
You’d like to quit but it pays the rent
You stay in a job that you now despise
Become someone you don’t recognise
Until anxiety grips your every bone
You cry in the bathroom, all alone
Hiding the truth and playing the game
Pretending you’re fine and veiling the shame

You feel
as your racing heart
Beats in your chest

You fall apart

Down you spiral to the darkest pit
With curtains drawn you simply sit

And stare

with unblinking eyes
Wondering how to escape this demise
The demon grip around your throat
Takes control of the casting vote

You lose

And life is no longer yours
Trapped behind padlocked doors
Within your mind a barricade
A fortress wall you can’t invade
There is no colour
There is no sound
Just empty hallways all around

Your life is barren
Your spark has gone

And you know

There’s no way

You can carry on
copyright © 2019 Karen Horsley

Wow!  That is most definitely not the poem I’d intended on writing and I apologise if you find the content upsetting.  When I started this poem, I was thinking of a isn’t-life-great-in-a-deterministic-kind-of-way, aiming for an uplifting and inspirational piece but somehow this sentiment was cast aside by the poem’s uncanny ability to lead me and my train of thought.

KB and SS promo poster

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Hi, I'm Karen, creator of which is home to my poetry, art and general ramblings. I am the author two collections of poetry, 'Kaleidoscopic Beauty' & 'I am the Stars in the Sky', and the children's book 'All That Glitters' (not yet published). I also enjoy running.

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