Unvisited

 

1_Page_25

 

 

They were wrong.

All those who claimed
that love would
seek me out
in time.

I lived no bright lit moments.

No great days.

 

She went unfound.
The longed-for one.

 

I searched on.
Though with
shrinking hope.

Through painful years
while ill.

 

Now old
I’d best
just shun desires.

Or lock them from
my heart.

Then sit here
quiet.

Resigned
at such
familiar
emptiness.

 

This place
I rent.

Unvisited
for over two decades.

 

 

 

It’s getting late.

I need to sleep:

So reach, and close
the blinds.

 

Once truth recedes
perhaps
I’ll gain

companionship

 

in dreams.

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

Update

Following an internal haemorrhage (melaena) in January:
I surmounted anxiety, and arranged a gastroscopy.

After my refusing sedation, hospital nurses warned me patients retch when the long tube (containing a camera) is pushed down their throat.
But I surprised them, by enduring the whole procedure silently.

(It feels nice, as a sad old poet, to occasionally master ones oversensitivity.)

Fasting (18 hours without food) made things tougher.
Yet going six hours on zero liquids was worse.

Anyway, I’m glad that’s done, now.  🙂

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!  🙏

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

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 


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

Blogging tips

1_Page_06

 

 

Tiny things can trip us up!

Bloggers who write well, and create sites of beauty, may miss simple details.

Below are some examples:

 

(Tag-tastrophies!)

1)  Under-tagging.

It’s sad, finding good posts, neglected, and barely viewed.
Because they were cast, under-tagged, onto the WordPress Reader feed.

2) Over-tagging.

At the opposite extreme: other posts fail after adding too many tags.
Getting classed as spam, and excluded from the Reader.

3) Narrow-tagging.

Picking tags so limited that perhaps nobody follows them, reduces views drastically.
(OK: I invented a word, but hope you understand the idea?)

 

Tag tips:
Choose a minimum of one category (“Uncategorized” is the vacant default state)
and between 5-12 tags, per post.
Yet do not exceed 15 categories and tags, in total.

Devise tags which are liable to be searched for, or popular.
Unusual tags normally gain least traffic.

 

4) Blog-link your Gravatar.

Don’t be hard to find!
An unlinked avatar is like sending cards with no return address.
Your image should give curious people a route to your site.
(I discover much interesting work via new “likes” on my blog.)

 

5) Slabs of text?

Paragraphs and spaces aren’t just for wimps!
Why make it tough on your reader’s eyes?

 

6) Post bloat?

Less is often more.
If you’ve ever skimmed, skipped sections, scrolled toward an end,
or given up partway through a post, you probably know what I mean.

(Which leads me to…)

 

7) Blog-stravaganzas?

These risk overstimulation:
with multiple subjects, digressions, visual effects, GIFs, links, audio/video, etc.
Unappreciative visitors could seek a plainer read, elsewhere.

 

Of course, long-form pieces can also be great!

 

8) Check your spam.

Genuine comments get filed there, occasionally.

 

9) Timing matters!

For attracting new followers: best avoid publishing when they are at work or asleep.
I post Sunday evening, from the UK, because America is 5-8 hours behind us.
(Hence, at midday, here, it would be only 4 a.m. in California.)

 

 

Apologies!

To those familiar with the above points already.
I intended saving a few less-experienced bloggers my own, painful, learning curve.

What blogging tip do you wish you had heard sooner?

Comments are VERY welcome!

(Please feel free to share, if you think this might help others.
My audience is so small, hardly anyone will access the information, here.
In fact, not a single person, who could benefit, might see it.
But, hey, I tried.)

 

Thanks for reading.

 

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 


( art / beauty / blog / blogging / culture / ideas / inspiration / life / opinions / prose / reading / thoughts / writing )

Through fat and thin

 

Konica12053

 

 

 

Perhaps I was meant to be fat?

Always waking hungry
craving breakfast as
a start.

And done digesting that
arrived
strong appetite
for lunch.

After eating this
extended sluggishness
dragged on.

Until an evening meal
consumed

spread need
of rest

then sleep.

 

Hence
imagined workouts

all postponed.

To days
which

never came.

 

 

 

 

 

Since writing the above lines, in 1981, I continued avoiding the gym.

Later, chronic illness deterred exercise.
Yet I remained fairly slim.
Until around 2014.

Once consulted, doctors said expanding waist size often happened during “middle age”.

Next, an unusual type of vertigo attacked.
The scales went into reverse.
Whatever I ate, weight loss persisted. Alarmingly fast.

(From peaking at 87kg (192lbs/13.9) I dropped 27kg (60lbs): to 60kg (130lbs/9.2).)

By 2015, very weak, it became harder lifting my feet.
I began shuffling along.

A few people wondered if I was dying.
(Such thoughts also worried me.)

A test revealed severe pancreatic insufficiency.
I had been wasting away due to malnutrition.
Literally starving.
Because my stomach failed at digesting food.

Doctors focussed on this skinny state.

Though I haven’t gained the weight back, despite years of enzyme supplements.

 

There are positive sides:

Being nearer a semi-goth look.
Without makeup.

My cheekbones show more.
I quite like them.

School uniform could fit again.

 

So, that’s something.

As an M.E./CFS sufferer
(across three decades)
I’ve moved from ill and fat.

To ill and thin.

 

Thin seems better.

 

But

 

I’d sooner be well.

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

Hi everyone!

Frankly, I felt too sick and depressed for blogging, this week.
But, didn’t want to give in, and miss a chance of interacting with you all.
So decided on posting, anyway.

Comments are always VERY welcome! 🙏

Art on the blog is mine. Hope you like it?

Thanks for reading. 🙂


( Anxiety / art / beauty / blog / depression / illness / life / mental health / poem / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

Inspiration

 

1_Page_11

 

Words form

on the lips
and tongue.

One writes them.

Yet
it’s never done.

 

Lines come
from the fingers

spun
by mind
they wind brief
curves.

Signs waxing
fast.

 

Before their fade

resumes

more hidden
growth.

 

Which shapes
or rends

some
fundamental

vacancy.

 

 

That void
we sense
through fruitless
days.

 

Spent listening

to

our sighs.

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

The above suddenly arrived in my head, on Christmas morning (2019).

Despite not desiring rhyme, I find myself being pushed toward it, recently.

Perhaps a muse is making sport of me?
I fear rejecting inspiration, in case it disappears again (recalling 13 barren years).

This poem resisted attempts at erasing certain words.
So, feeling the piece wasn’t bad enough to destroy: I let rhymes remain.

I worry about becoming too old, and ill, for reliably judging my own work.

Do any other poets experience falling involuntarily into rhyme?

 

Comments are always VERY welcome! 🙏

 

(Art on the blog is mine. Hope you like it?)

 

Thank you for reading. 🙂

 


 

(PS:

Following my internal haemorrhage (see note beneath previous post “Last love”)  🙁  🏥
I underwent a medical procedure at local hospital (urgent gastroscopy) earlier this week.
May discuss it when full results are back.)


( anxiety / art / beauty / blog / depression / inspiration/ life /mental health / poem / poetry / reading / thoughts / writing )

Last love

 

1_Page_21

 

 

There’s no-one here to tell.

Of
still remembering

my last full love.

 

How

after she was gone
the same old places
seemed so empty.

 

Or

out walking those
familiar paths

(their gravel sounding
its low crunch

compressing
underfoot).

 

Aware of others
looking on.

Who saw my
downcast steps
raise dust:

Not knowing that
I felt as if

some windblown ash

now lodged
inside

 

this

 

desolated

heart.

 

 

 

 


 

(2018)

 


 

 

(Please note

 

Hello everybody!

My New Year hasn’t started too well.

Am feeling quite drained, anxious, and low, since suffering an internal haemorrhage (melaena/black blood), on Jan 2nd.

Struggle to focus on blogging.

Doctors told me I should’ve headed straight for A&E (it’s classed as a medical emergency).
Instead, experiencing no pain, I just went food shopping!

Saw a GP next day.
Being informed that I could die, if bleeding recurs, left a weight upon the mind.
(From lack of clarity about cause, source, or state any wound may be in.)

Also had a fall, at home. Which shook me up.

I’m due for an endoscopy.
This sounds rather stressful, given my poor health.
Going without food, and especially drink, over many hours, is hard when one is already very weak.

I hope you might wish me luck?)

 

Comments are always welcome!

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 

Thank you for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / beauty / blog / depression / life / love / mental health / poem / 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 )

Blogstars!

 

1_Page_24

 

 

Oh, to be a blogstar!

Yet that requires an audience.

Which is where
(for me)
the problems start…


 

But I’m taking a festive break, from sad poetry, this week.

To celebrate the role models and supporters, who have enhanced my time on WordPress.

 


 

Role models

 

Blogging guru Cristian Mihai is a great source of advice. ( Though I don’t know how he produces so much high-quality content, while also finding time to eat and sleep!)

 

Poet stars!

First to enchant me with her words was Candice Louisa Daquin at The Feathered Sleep .

Next came

Tosha Michelle at Everything I Never Told You .

Elan Mudrow

River Dixon at The Stories In Between .

Linda R Davis at Bits of Poetry .

Miriam E at Another Wandering Soul .

Devika Mathur at My Valiant Soul .

 


 

Art stars!

Josephine R Unglaub at Lemanshots .

Mike Campbell at bongdoogle doodles .

 


 

Stalwarts!

These are the most vital people of all.

Without their continued support I might have lost heart long ago, and given up blogging.

By liking my work over an extended period, they encouraged me to go on.

 

River dixon, Josephine R Unglaub, and Mike Campbell are already linked, above.

Thus I shall begin the section with:

Wendi at Simply Chronically Ill .

Dawn Autom.

(Those two ladies are my “Comment Queens”.
Their feedback has been very valuable.)

 

Other important stalwarts include:

Gary J Steele at outofwak (artworldwar) .

Pooja Gudka at lifesfinewhine .

Luna at lunaiswriting .

Megan O’Keeffe at Debatably Dateable .

V at MillennialLifeCrisis .

Claudia at Between the lines .

Peter Edwards at Little Fears .

João-Maria at Caliath .

Chris Nicholas at The Renegade press .

Michelle Nguyen at elleguyence .

Caralyn at BeautyBeyondBones .

Larisa at Ebony and Crows .

Yassy at Yaskhan .

Yazzeus at ALYAZYA .

Tetiana Aleksina at Unbolt me .

Word Fandom .

(THANK YOU, ALL!)

 


 

 

I hope readers will discover a new blog to enjoy, on my list.

Lots of writers could be added, but I won’t make this post too large.

 

(If I’ve left you out, please mention yourself in the comment section.
Or cite your own favourites.)

Feedback is always welcome.

 

Wishing everyone a Merry Christmas! 🎅🏻

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 

Thank you for reading.

 


 

(PS, I shall be spending the 28th Xmas alone in my room, due to chronic illness.
It would be nice hearing from anybody else on WordPress. 🙂)

 


( art / blog / blogger / culture / drawing / illness / life / mental health / poetry / poets / 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 )

Pictured flesh

1_Page_02

 

 

 

Desire torments
long solitude.

 

Like a scrape from
tiny nails.

Inside my prison
formed of skin.

 

Illness showed sad truth.

Where I’m just stuck
existing prospectless.

When also badly lacking
vigor’s poise.

 

But sexual hunger lingers
by default.

 

Athirst for beauty.
Not portrayal.

Left observing
pictured flesh.

These lovelorn eyes
can only scan
across dry surfaces.

 

Or grieve a
once-touched body
now far gone.

 

 

I breathe, disconsolate
at silence.

Seeking mumurs held within.

As day drifts away
through hours.

 

And word’s varnish
sets

on loss.

 

 

 

 


 


 

Hi everyone!

 

Above is the last of three poems (see “Lost words”/”Necropolis”) found on a single sheet, which lay forgotten, amid unused printer paper, for 27 years.

They all date from that one dismal March day in 1992. When, feeling ill and depressed,
I forced myself to write, breaking a barren spell.

(My illnesses remain incurable. And not much has improved, creatively or physically.)

 

I love to get feedback, via blogging:
so please do let me know if you think the piece works?

Also, any art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

Comments are always VERY welcome!

 

Thank you for reading.

 


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