I live behind a locked door
in self imposed exile,
my room is my world
and if I stretch out my arms
I can almost reach
from one bare wall to the other.
Within these familiar boundaries
my books, with their words that stretch
the confines of my phobic solitude,
occupy the small places
behind the chair
and under the table
and on the threadbare rug
in the centre
is just enough space to dance.
Every baby is born with the potential to fly.
The world of faerie is very close by.
Children as they grow begin to doubt
their world fills with earthly facts to find out.
But this little girl was growing her wings
at night in her dreams she danced faerie rings
at school she always had her head in a book
reading magical stories, the teacher’s head shook
Although all the adults around her despaired
and muttered that she would grow up impaired
the faerie child just smiled and flew
she was doing what she wanted to do.
But faerie children living an earthly life
are often singled out for conflict and strife
Grown men have need to own and possess
that which is different, they found her address
And in the dead of night they came to her door
they took her free spirit and still wanted more
so they ripped her gossamer wings from her back
and stuffed them all crumpled into a sack
The faerie lay broken, the magic was gone
she didn’t want to carry on
better to die than live in such pain
never to fly in freedom again
The broken faerie grew up in sadness
inside her head her secret madness
All her dreams had been taken, there was nothing left
but a consuming anger for the long ago theft
Long years went by in isolation
She felt only longing and frustration
The world called her crazy and locked her away
they fed her on pills, she had to obey.
A therapist gave her a camera one day
when words had failed to help her convey
the height of her longing, the depths of despair
and how she didn’t belong anywhere
She looked into bushes and up into trees
at buds and berries and fluttering leaves
and there was the faerie world she had once known
all the beautiful places as a child she had flown.
She has a place in the world now, her pictures are sought
and she glows with pleasure each time they are bought
and on the inside she embraces a child
who was once part faerie, so free and so wild.
Finally, in you,
I have found all of my anger
from a lifetime of abuse
you have given it a face and a name.
I have nurtured the spark carefully
and fanned the flame.
I have protected it from
the cold winds of my fear
and the quiet rain of my tears
and so it grew strong.
The more you try to oppress me
the stronger you make me,
You are teaching me
and I am a willing pupil.
I learn from every raging storm
you hurl at me.
I am not afraid of you
and I will fight you
till you run from me knowing
how small and helpless
you really are behind
the bully’s mask.
will I let anyone treat me
with anything less than dignity
Dusty and faded,
brittle with age
and so fragile,
barely holding together.
I handle you with greatest care
because you are still beautiful.
The woods are on fire with autumn.
Each leaf flares bright in the sun,
then waltzes with the winter wind
as it flutters and twirls to it’s earthy grave.
The brief bright firelight
will give way to grey silence
as the wind steals the voice of the trees.
They alone will bear witness
standing in quiet judgement.
They can give no more shelter
in their naked solitude
but they will see all.
I will return to this place of lost innocence
in the bleak years ahead
and the trees will bend to whisper in my ear
We saw, you are real.
So many years were wasted searching for oblivion
walking with death at my side,
caring for nothing and no one,
but then you came
and took death’s place at my side
and I just kept going
on and on and on
though my body may fade and wither,
though my eyes cry and my heart falters
my spirit will always keep on going on,
old roses never die.
(You can now buy this photograph in a range of prints and gifts here )