Going Away

When I can’t get to sleep,
I dream about going away

About leaving my friends
And not coming back,
And what they would say

Of how they would miss me
And how they would hurt
And how in the end,
They’d be ok

I even do admin.
I make plans for the bills,
The belongings,
The projects,
The problems

I tie them all up
I put them to sleep
And I leave

And someone would even
Come looking,
And I’d tell her I’d left
‘Because I love you all so’

And this would be a lie
And both of us would know

When I can’t get to sleep
I dismantle my world,
And I make sure you suffer
And I make sure it’s bad
And soon I am sleeping,
Before I have time
To be glad.

Alabaster Deplume


It is your lover or possibly your mother,

you are four or forty four; it’s a life time away, it’s yesterday

What’s always the same is that you are to blame;

You should not have gone into the woods alone;

picked flowers from someone else’s garden or shared secrets

Now you are paying the price.

It is sudden though they must have known

You are unprepared whilst they are not.

They grow tall and you are getting smaller

as you stand there in the doorway shivering.

They do not explain and you do not ask

the question that forms curling around inside you;

there is no cover for your bewildered skin

when they are leaving.

Mary L Carr


Pick ‘n’ Mix

Charming, cheeky and unpredictable: three words that described my father’s nature more than it did his personality.

‘I used to be careless,’ he told me once when we were sat in the living room.

I looked at him. ‘So? You turned out fine. Didn’t you?’ He laughed and told me the man sitting next to me wasn’t all his doing, that years of mistakes and dozens of other people played a part too.

‘My life was a pick 'n' mix box,’ he said, ‘and it wasn’t all sweet.’ He looked into the corner of the room, smiling at something I couldn’t see.

‘What do you mean?’ I said.

‘What? Oh yeah, nothing really. I used to be a bit of nuisance, that’s all.’ He stood up stretching, ‘But not anymore.’

I looked up at him. I wanted to ask him to tell me more, but I didn’t. Instead, I nodded, and he erupted into laughter.

‘You don’t believe me, do you?’

I stuttered, but didn’t manage to say anything.

‘I didn’t learn a thing,’ he said. ‘If I had, I never would’ve got married, and I never would’ve had children.’

He chuckled, and I watched as he walked out of the room, snickering to himself.

Akeem Balogun