Forgotten happiness

scan 21-1

 

 

 

 

 

When I was a small boy
at the zoo

This world seemed
fresh.

And yet

If someone told me
then
how lonely
life would grow.

What could I have done
(or changed)
to stop that fate?

 

(Hence
not finish up
as melancholic.
Black-clad
faded soul.

Like a goth in spirit.

Minus
style.)

 

 

 

Perhaps long illness shows us
who our true friends are?

With mine revealing
I had none.

Except
a loving uncle.

Close
until the end.

 

His photographs were left for me.
Preserving childhood days.

Those early sunlit trips
escaped oblivion
again.

 

 

7

 
To my surprise
he claimed I’d been
a source of fun and joy.

 

(Depression
arrived later.

Once art waned
I lost my way.)

 

His favourite picture
caught me unaware
a swan approached
behind.

 

 

Konica12496

 

 

Recently
I found an unseen image
of what happened next.

 

He’d made it known
the bird drew near.

So I turned back
delightedly.

 

 

8

 

 

Thus
these few shots

which now
survive

though blurred
or aged

might still display

their faint remains

 

of such

(forgotten)

 

happiness.

 

 

 

 

 


 

(This is my third

Birthday blog post.

🎂

After 30 years of spending them alone (and ill)
I often feel sadness, on the day.
It tends to emphasise continued isolation.

My uncle used to ring me.
But, since his death, the phone stays, mostly, silent.)

 

Hope everybody is well?

Do you like any of the photos?

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!

 

Thank you
for reading.

 


( art / blog / blogging / depression / goth / life / mental health / photography / poem / poems / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

Elusive

Konica1248

 

 

Phrases arrive.

Discrete.
Homespun.

Through various fathomless
apertures
of sense.

Like empty sprites
word-bubbles
flash.

 

Then these visitors
(vanishing)
shrink to a speck.

Cross reeling
complexities.

 

Weaving down
past deeper veils.

Where older shades
lay mingled
in their graves.

With an
enigmatic
trace.

 

And thus
(I found)
remained.

Only certain
broken

images.

 

 

Half-

purified.

 

 

By
dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

(Above is a revised poem, from when I was 23.)

I’m still unable to write fresh poetry, since a recent illness.
Post-viral depression eased, yet the creative spark’s gone missing.

 

 

 


 

 

 

I’ve spent more time than usual on WordPress in the last few months.
Enjoyed discovering loads of new writers, poets, artists, and photographers.

As a result the number of blogs I follow has reached about 240.
This is making it difficult to keep up!
(So far, I try to read every post from blogs I follow.)

Seeing my audience grow is exciting.
(I’m truly grateful to each one of you.)

Though I also feel quite guilty, for not following back all 
of those who are kind enough to follow me.
But the number (700+) seems rather large to make that practical?

 

I’d love to hear how many blogs other readers follow?

Do you think 240 is a lot?
Or am I being a WordPress wimp?🙂

Do you ever feel bad for not following people back?
Do you follow blogs you don’t actually read?

(I worry that over 300 may become hard to focus on?)

 

To be honest, I notice myself hesitate about following long-form, writers, lately.
Especially if they post more than once per day.

I’m much happier to follow those posting weekly, or infrequently.
Plus, art and photography blogs (which are often less text-heavy).

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!🙏

 

(Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?)

 

Thank you
for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / drawing / life / mental health / photography / poem / poems / poetry / reading / writing )

The summons

Konica12524

 

 

Hear our call!

Come journey
into dark.

 

Where those dead
seem closer.

And the live
more lost.

 

Sense furious spirits

Curse chasms
of extinction.

 

Feel your flesh
watched

by some inhuman
eyes.

 

Let us stalk
ruthless

and empty.

 

Through echoing
passions

 

grown stronger

 

than
minds.

 

 

 

 


 

(I created this piece on the same evening as Pale mistress.

Conceiving both as “Vampire poems.”

A similar mood recurred, decades later, when City night arrived in my head.

Yet the muse has deserted me, again, since it was written.)

 

Behind such works, lay youthful dreams of romantic adventure.
A painful time: when I adored women, with no idea how to attract them.

I remember a Bauhaus gig in 1979. Then wishing for a goth girlfriend.
(While feeling they had zero interest in me.)

One photograph from around those days is on the (May 2019) post A reject.

 

Due to illness, I’m even paler and thinner, now.
Though a bit old for studs or leather!

At least I can still wear black.

🖤  🙂

 

 


 

Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

Were you ever part of a musical subculture?
Or drawn to a style connected with one?

Comments are always VERY welcome! 🙏

 

Thank you
for reading.

 


( art / beauty / blog / drawing / goth / mental health / music / photography / poem / poems / poetry / reading / vampire / writing )

Secrets are for spies

9

 

 

 

Explore a face.

 

 

Mine reveals little.

 

This tired old mug:

fit only
to be endured.

 

Though
sometimes
my mouth
bears fruit.

 

 

Yet secrets remain.

 

I can’t help you with them.

 

 

 

Secrets
are for spies.

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The poem above was the last piece of writing from my teens.

Your comments are always welcome! 😊

Hope everybody is well? 🙏

 

Thank you
for reading.

 

(Any art or image on the blog is mine.)


 

 

Update:

Apologies if this post is less coherent than normal.
Disorientation prevents proper concentration and editing.

I’m really struggling, presently.
The virus, mentioned before, has flared up for a third weekend running.
(Assume it’s flu, but don’t understand why symptoms keep recurring, intead of easing?)

Feeling feverish, exhausted, and in great pain.
Very difficult sitting at my computer, or focussing on words.

Though I refuse to abandon blogging.

Starting to get anxious about the current situation.

Was too poorly for much shopping, during recent weeks.
Using limited reserves.

Venturing out midweek(after five days) I found supermarkets almost stripped of food.
Never seen anything like it.
Now I can’t restock.

I’ve largely been socially isolated for almost 30 years, due to chronic health problems. Going to the shops is the only place I regularly get near others.
Yet still catch colds and flu.
Buses are full of coughing people, all year round, in England.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / life / mental health / photography / poem / poems / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

Goodbye

scan 22

 

 

Goodbye.

Said not just
at a passing year

But for my last decade.

(I won’t survive to end the next.)

Instead
I’m quietly drifting out
toward a closing dark.

Its cold seas wait.

They’ll drag me from
all light.

Through depths that
none escape.

 

While looking back
upon a life
now seen as largely waste.

Youth’s foolish thought:
“There’s always time…”

Left any gifts
so long neglected.

Til

the chance
to track their thread
round fate’s labyrinth

grew faint.

 

Then lost

 

in
night.

 

 

 

 


 

Goodbye constant blogging?

 

Wanting this blog to grow, yet finding stats stay almost flat for two years:
I may take occasional Sundays off, in 2020, and try a different approach.

I read social media could help increase an audience, but have never used it.
Does anybody know which platforms are best for poetry?

 


 

 

Update!

 

My new year started with an extra health problem: Serious internal bleeding.

A doctor told me I should’ve gone straight to hospital, and may need transfusion.
(I already had long-term, unexplained, anaemia.)

He said that I could die if it happens again.

Was instructed to rest. (Probably shouldn’t be writing this post.)

 

Feeling really anxious, drained, and alone, at present, folks.

Clinging to the comfort of routine.

 

Please wish me luck.

 

Comments are always VERY welcome! 🙏

 

 

Thank you all for reading.

 


 

(PS:
I intend to blog next Sunday. So, any lack of post will be a bad sign.

Afraid I have no-one to update you on my situation, if it deteriorates.)

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / life / mental health / photography / poem / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

 

Seven good things about blogging!

scan 20

 

 

Blogging has its lows, I know.

Times when stats flatline, and fall.
As silence reigns across the site.
Those hoped-for comments don’t appear.
Five days go by without a view.
Followers lost
not gained.

(Third year in, I get such weeks.)

Yet there are upsides, too.
Hence the title: used above.

That said
I’ll start my list…

 


 

 

Seven good things about blogging!

1) Making connections.
(Seeing people return, until their avatars become akin to friends.)

2) The thrill of an arriving comment.
(Especially if you get very few. Often the case for me.)

3) Finding a fascinating blog.
(The pointer glides toward that “follow” sign. Resistance growing futile.)

4) Being first to “Like” a post.
(Or boost an unfairly-neglected one. Giving encouragement.)

5) Wishing a new blogger good luck.
(Sparing them commentless months: whence I began.)

6) Assisting someone to overcome a problem.
(Particularly mistakes I once made myself.)

7) Being deeply moved by a piece.
(Having my worldview changed.)

 


 

(One memorable example of (7) occurred in discovering a post about Ehlers-Danlos Syndromes, called The Reality of Living with Chronic Illnesses , by Julianna.

Her sufferings were far worse than I’d imagined.

Next, I found a video on the subject. It was upsetting to watch.

Then a wave of shame spread through me.
I recalled moaning over my own symptoms, to Wendi (from Simply Chronically Ill ).
Who endures Ehlers-Danlos.

I regretted avoiding research, instead of lazy vague ideas.
Too late, now.
(With luck, she’ll forgive me.)

Hence, if a single good thing might come from these thoughts, it would be
an increased awareness of EDS.)

 


 

So, what do YOU most enjoy about blogging?

Any of the points mentioned?
All of them?
Or none?

Have I left something out?

Please add a comment.

THANK YOU!

 


 

(PS:

A note to regular readers surprised by an outbreak of uncharacteristic positivity.

My spirits were raised after interacting with several favourite writers and supporters, namely:
River Dixon, Mike Campbell, Yassy, Larisa, Luna, Wendi, Linda R Davis, Elan Mudrow:
who visited a festive comment section, last week.
Which helped the Christmas period feel less isolating than usual.
(For a person spending his 28th Xmas alone.)

But fear not! Eccentric order may soon be restored.
Strange art and sad poetry, remain in the pipeline.

I also continue to class myself as a failure on WordPress.

Just between us (don’t tell!).
My guiltiest secret desire during 2019 was for someone to push that “reblog” button.

It never happened, of course.

Ah well: perhaps I can write content worth sharing in 2020?

(“Dream on!” says an inner voice.))

 

 


 

I shall end by wishing a

Happy New Year!  🎉

to you all.

 

Thank’s for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / depression / humor / illness / life / mental health / photography / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

The Aunt I never had

 

2

 

 

Thinking of her

(now
the family’s dead).

A little girl
I never knew
who would have been my Aunt.

 

Grandparents didn’t discuss this.
The pain remained too deep.

A daughter taken
by diptheria.
Aged just five.

When fearful poverty
delayed their seeking help
until a crisis stage.

Then doctor’s fees were paid in vain.

They blamed themselves
for hesitance.

Though not much could be done
to treat such germs
in 1929.

 

Next I recall
as a teen
discovering
Granny’s cupboard hid
(below stacked papers)
one fragile yellowed page.

On which a childish hand
had practiced ways to write
and sign
“Kathleen KATHLEEN
Kathleen“.

 

But the fragment later
became lost.
I don’t know how
or why.

Today our world
contains no trace
of her.
Except
a birth certificate.

 

Yet, sitting here
I brood alone.

Still wishing we had met.

Or that some photograph
survived.

And ponder if
those eyes were
brown
(like mine)?

 

 

At least these lines
revive her name.

The only thing
my art can save.

 

From cold

oblivion’s

grasp.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kathleen Webber  1924-1929.

 


 

 

Hi all!

Some of our ancestors believed the dead prefer we continue speaking of them.
I had that in mind when writing this.

My own name could soon disappear, once I stop blogging.
(Being last of the family line. With no-one left to mention it.)

My grandparents were very poor. They went in fear of debt. Before state welfare.

Coincidentally, I also live on the same street my grandfather arrived at, over a century ago. After he fled the coal mines of his homeland, aged 14.

So I may end my life on the exact spot our (local) family history began.

Though, as remnant.
A lone, forgotten, man.

 

Please let me know if you think the piece works?

Comments are always VERY welcome!

 

Thank you for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / mental health / photography / poem / poetry / reading / relationships / thoughts / writing )

Losing my uncle

 

12

 

 

A phone rang through my dream.

I woke to darkness, hearing sound persist.
Reached the living room too late.

No message. Number unknown.

Who’d call at one a.m.?

I fell asleep, again.

By dawn, a recording has turned up, after all.
My uncle is in hospital.

 

I arrive on the ward. A nurse asks our relationship.
“Nephew: next of kin.”
“He’s been telling us what a lovely person you are,” she says.
“Must be taking strong meds!” I almost quip; but,
unsure humour is appropriate, only emit a subdued
“Really?”

 

Ray halts eating dinner. Complains about stress.
“Finish your meal,” I say, “I’ll go and have a word.”

Staff wheel his bed to a single room, I’d noticed.

“Wow! This is more like a hotel. Own lavatory. Lots of space.
How did you manage it?” he exclaims, delightedly.

Being intense in his enthusiasms, future visitors would endure
loud praise of my resourcefulness.

I imagined their eyes glazing over.

 

 

Discharge dates revised, his stay extended toward seven weeks.

One evening, as I readied to depart, Ray’s face changed.
Looking oddly young and vulnerable.
A small, unfamiliar-sounding, voice implored:
“You won’t forget me, will you?”
“Of course not,” I answered, tenderly.
His hand, that had clutched mine, relaxed.

A strange impression rose, of having glimpsed some inner child.

 

A few days later, gripped by an abrupt urge to visit, I suddenly stopped.
And found myself talking softly, as if he could hear me.

“Ray, I don’t want you suffering any more. I know you have to leave, soon.
There’s no need to hold on, just for me.”

Ten minutes passed.
The phone rang.

A matron from the Cardiac unit says Ray has died.

“When did it happen?”
“Ten minutes ago. He quietly slipped away.”

 

Blue curtains surround the bed.
Behind them a nurse declares,
“I’m going to give you a nice wash, Raymond. Is that OK?”

I felt briefly disconcerted.

“Excuse me!”
She peeks out.
“I’m Ray’s next of kin.”
She allows me private moments.

I kiss his cold forehead, one last time.

“So sorry not to get here sooner for you, mate. Late as usual. Hate to say goodbye.”

I lift his lifeless hand.
Then place it, carefully, back upon the blanket.

 

I walk down shiny corridors.
With Ray’s belongings stuffed in carrier bags.

Trudge out, to chill November air.
Squinting at car headlights, amid bustle and noise.

Irredeemably alone.
In a city full of people I don’t know.

 

 

6

 

 

I had four weeks to clear his flat.

“Here I am again, Ray!” I say, stepping inside.
Light fell on his favourite chair.
I half expect to find him sitting there.
Everything is as it was.
Yet he is gone.

I kiss the spot his head would rest.
It has no scent.

 

Before obtaining a death certificate, I detour.
Along St Thomas Street, where he was born.
This day’s for him.
I brush each post and wall with fingertips.
The road’s deserted. No one sees.

I am hallowing the ground.

 

As I exit the register office, rain begins.
Seeking shelter in a covered market, I scan local papers.
“Day of the dead,” their headline reads.

Ray sought coincidences. I cannot show him these.

 

Back home, my mind replays our conversations, on the ward.

“You’d hold my hand all the way to the shops,” he said,
“and talk to everyone. Full of life. A joy to be around.”

“I thought I’d always been depressed?”
“Not til your teens. Once you gave up art.”

I asked his earliest memory of me.
“I came in from work, and there you were.
A baby. Lying, peacefully, on the sofa.
It was love at first sight.”

 

Thus, hand in hand, we neared the end
of our long togetherness.
As he moved beyond my grasp.

 

(Meanwhile, I could now anticipate
a bleak decease
without shared family stories.
No bedside visitors.
Nor human touch.
Or child.

Having failed to win a woman’s heart.

An experience for others.
Never mine.)

 

Next, recalling when
he’d gazed into the distance,
sighed, and said,
“I wish you’d been my son”.

At which
we both fell silent.

Ray, who often talked profusely
lay, just staring upward.

 

Here the silence seemed
quite beautiful to me.
I didn’t want to break it.

Then Ray gave my hand a gentle squeeze.

 

And this is how
I’ve chosen

to remember him.

 

 

 


 

stonehenge-1

 

R.C.H. Webber (1923-2017)

 

 

 

 


 

 

Hi everyone!

I’m blogging the above work to mark the second anniversary of my uncle’s death,
this week.

Apologies for writing an unusually long post.

Comments are always VERY welcome!

(Especially on such a personal piece.)

 

Thank you all for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / life / love / mental health / photography / poetry / reading / relationships / writing )

 

Giving up?

5

 

 

Do you sometimes feel like giving up?

I do.

Almost every week.

Here is my 200th post.
Which finds me, again, unsure, over going on.

 

This blog was started, as it will probably end, in sadness.
From being unwell, and the last of our family line.
Painfully alone.

Realising the flat would simply be cleared
(thus art, poetry, writing, totally destroyed)
after my death,
I decided to commence a cyber memorial.
For lost life, ruined by chronic illness.

 

I did not know enough about blogging to notice the flaw in my idea.

People normally only visit around the day of publication.
Then, until adding new material, views fall away toward zero.
Resulting in that very oblivion I hoped to avoid:
A dead site.
Sinking, forgotten, beneath the vast digital ocean’s surface.

 

Recently, I have another worry: political correctness and censorship.

Since thrown (by poverty plus sickness), into an inner city underclass environment,
my prose reflects lived experience.
Language is often raw.
Subjects include anti-social behaviour, abuse, aggression, bullying, crime, noise nuisance, stupidity and violence.

I’m a victim of all these.
(Eventually driven from three different homes as a consequence.)

 

Now, perceiving such topics contain potential to offend,
when preparing to edit past work involving them most
(while seeing reports of entire sites deleted without warning),
makes me quite anxious concerning how much I should self-censor?

 

As this blog is my sole public voice, I don’t wish to endanger its survival.

Fearing a return of that silent isolation, where the journey began.

 

 

 

 

 

It would be interesting to hear your opinion?

 

 

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 


 

( anxiety / art / blog / culture / depression / life / mental health / photography / poetry / prose / reading / thoughts / writing )

 

Another birthday lost

 

scan 17

 

 

A youthful finger
points the way.

But looking back on
where things led

what could I really
say to him?

 

Now fragile words
are all there’s
left
that tell

about
this life.

 

Which
faded

so completely
from

the world

of human care

 

 

or touch.

 

 

 


 

 

Birthday update

 

Since diagnosed with an incurable, progressive, and dangerous medical condition
(tending to require mind-numbing painkillers (e.g. morphine)),
I’ve focussed on editing a 47-year backlog of writing.
Before mental clarity declines any further.

At times, blogging has felt like a race against death: saving my art from oblivion.
No-one is here to preserve it, after I’m gone.

Unfortunately, multiple illnesses leave me little energy for networking, or growing an audience.

However, by around the 200th post (September), a great majority of my past output should be online.

 

As a lonely person, existing in painful obscurity, I still imagine being popular, one day.

Thus, beyond forming a tiny, neglected, cyber-memorial for my lost life,
I actually wish a few more people would visit this site.

 

Successful bloggers often recommend social media to raise stats?

 

(Presently, dependant upon the WordPress Reader, posts quickly disappear down the feed. Then views fall away, until a new piece is published.)

 

 

Yet, perhaps those other platforms might be too distracting?

 

And

there’s also a novel I need to finish…

 

 


 

Does anyone find Social media helps grow their blog?

Or have an opinion on which platform is best for writers/artists?

 

Comments are very welcome!

 

Thank you all for reading.

 

 


 

Hi guys!

 

My thumb and finger infection persists. The nail is hanging partly off.
Still oozing pus. On 10th day of antibiotics.

Am quite anxious, and fed up with it, after almost 4 weeks.
Hardly able to write due to pain.

 

Another birthday alone in my flat, feeling too ill to go out.

Which, for me, is the norm.

 

Hope you are all well?

 

 

 


( anxiety / art / blog / depression / life / mental health / photography / poem / poetry / prose / reading / thoughts / writing )