black butterfly – how would you feel

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How would you feel

if you were in

my position:

I’d like to see how you handled it.

 

People called me out

already, I’ve only known you

a few months.

It’s not what I feel

that bothers me. It’s the fact

that I do feel for you

at all.

I guess this letter

is going to be bitter, because I can’t stand the fact

that you’re with her, when I know I could give you

so much more.

 

I can’t stand the fact

you’d rather be with someone else

than with me, who lives

right next door.

 

I’m bitter because it makes me think

we could have had

each other, we were almost there.

I’m bitter because you’re getting the fairy tale

and it isn’t with me.

 

I wonder why

I feel this way, when you give me so much pain.

You’re scared

You’re shy

You’re insecure and yet

I’m scared

I’m shy

and insecure.

 

Do you remember that time

across the dinner table, you looked

at me.

You held my gaze

for a second longer than necessary. I hold onto the smallest things.

You looked

gorgeous that night, too.

 

I cried over you

and I hate myself

for it.

Great Reads: Poets

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I absolutely love reading poetry, and being a poet myself it would be silly not to love them. For me, poetry is as good as reading a short story, as whatever you’re doing, whether you’re snuggled in bed or on the tube to work, there is always time for a poem. Poems are bite sized chunks of emotions, with the ability to make you feel grounded at any time during the day. Below, I’ve listed some of the poets I think are great!

Sylvia Plath

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Sylvia Plath is not only the most famous female poet on the planet, she’s also the most famous poet, period. Born in Boston, MA, she was diagnosed and sort treatment for depression, which inspired her to write her only novel The Bell Jar as well as many poems that were published in the eight anthologies she penned. Her most famous is Ariel that was published after her death by suicide. One of my absolute favourites from her collection is a poem titled Mrs Drake Proceeds to Supper, which you can find in her Selected Poems anthology, edited by her husband Ted Hughes.

Charles Bukowski

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Another poet that struggled with mental health, and alcohol addiction, was Charles Bukowski, who’s dirty realism of life in Los Angeles was captured perfectly in his poems and novels. In 1986, Time Magazine called Bukowski the “laureate of American lowlife”, which seems to perfectly resemble not only Bukowski’s outlook on life but also the tone in which he wrote. In 1962, the love of his life, Jane, died, which resulted in a lot of poetry as a way for Bukowski to cope with the bereavement. Like Plath, Bukowski also wrote an autobiographical novel about his life in the American Postal Service, aptly titled Post Office. One of my favourite poems that Bukowski wrote is a short and simple one titled Dark Night Poem. They say nothing is wasted / either that / or it all is.

ee cummings

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Another Massachusetts born poet is Edward Estlin Cummings, who was better known by his pen name ee cummings, and styled as such in most of his publications. Cummings is known for his unique style, abandoning any structure through favour of fluidity. He also wrote an autobiographical novel in 1922 titled The Enormous Room about his experience of being imprisoned in France during World War I. Throughout his life time, Cummings wrote approximately 3,000 poems most of which were chronicled in anthologies. One of my personal favourites from his collection comes from the selected poems of 1923-1958 anthology which begins “if there are any heavens…”

Carol Ann Duffy

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Moving onto one of the more contemporary poets on the list, we have the current Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. I first was exposed to Duffy’s writing at school when studying for my GCSEs where I read and loved her poems on Anne Hathaway and Miss Havisham, but many years later I found a second-hand anthology called The Kingfisher Book of Poems about Love where I was blown away by her poem titled Words, Wide Night. Lets just say, there is a reason Duffy is the Laureate of Poetry.

Roald Dahl

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Roald Dahl is the pioneer of children’s literature, having written seventeen books over his lifetime. He also wrote two poetry anthologies for children, one titled Revolting Rhymes, which gave a new spin on original fairy tales like Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood. The other anthology was called Dirty Beasts, and in true Dahl fashion, made us feel sick to our stomaches in a way only Roald Dahl could achieve.

So there we have it. Here is the top five list of poets I think really are worth reading. Are any of these poets in your favourites list? Or do you have a recommendation for me to get my teeth into? Let me know in the comments!

Feeling Craft-y: Journaling Ideas

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I never realised until recently, but I’ve been journaling my whole life. Even before I knew what journaling was, or before I could write, my mum has been keeping chronicles of pictures I’ve drawn and notes I’ve written throughout my years.

I then kept diaries when I was an angst-y teenager, which I eventually ended up throwing away or ripping up because I was too embarrassed about my feelings and thoughts. But now I’m older, and have developed a love of writing, and have gained confidence in owning my own feelings and thoughts, I have found a beloved hobby in journaling.

I love nothing more than putting on some music, or a film, sitting back with a pen or pencil, and letting my hand roam freely across the page. Sometimes when I’m on a train, I’ll put my headphones in and write down my thoughts and ideas, or how I’m feeling today. It’s great to look back on, especially when the pages are linked to significant life events, or strong memories.

So what do you journal about? I agree that there is nothing more daunting than a blank page, but that shouldn’t be what restricts you, it should be what frees you. You can put anything you want to on that page. But just in case you get a bit stuck, here are some ideas for pages in your journal to get you started.

About Me

What’s your name? When is your birthday? Where were you born? Are you left handed or right handed? What colour are your eyes? What colour is your hair?

Journaling is all about YOU and everything connected to your identity, what you think, what you feel, how you see the world and more. Don’t be afraid to be selfish with your journal.

Bucket List

Before you die, what do you want to have achieved? Do you want to donate blood? Sky dive? Milk a cow? Learn a language? Ride an elephant?

Journals are a great way of keeping focused on an idea or thought. You can dedicate a whole page to the idea that someday you want volunteer or own your own house. You could even fill your page with wallpaper samples!

Wish List

If you had all the money in the world, what would you buy?

Journaling is also about escaping reality and letting your imagination roam free. If you wanted, you could buy a quad bike to ride around your mansion. The possibilities are endless and your responsibilities don’t exist inside your journal.

Things to Learn

Knitting? Photography? The Off-Side Rule? Perhaps you just want to write down the definition of a difficult word that you keep forgetting.

Things to Buy

The latest season of your favourite TV show, or the dress you’ve had your eye on the past few weeks? Even if you can’t afford it, money knows no boundaries in your journal.

Road Trips to Make and Countries to Visit

Do you fancy trailing along Route 66, or driving across Europe and back again? Where in the world would you go if you could go anywhere?

Job Titles I Want

Professional bed tester? Professional tea and coffee taster? Professional Netflix watcher? I know these are three jobs I would jump at the chance to do.

Those are just a handful of the pages I have in my journal, along with lots of free writing, strands of poetry, novel ideas, character names, narratives, letters to various people, list of books I want to read, films I want to see, notes, plans, ideas, favourite foods, my favourite types of coffee, celebrities I love, wishes, hopes and dreams, and much more.

Ultimately, journals are all about having fun. Let me know down in the comments if you love to journal, and what is your favourite page?

blue butterfly – the story of us

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The first day I met him, he was

in my coffee shop on the corner

of St. George’s street.

 

It was Friday, at just gone 4pm

and I was drying latte glasses

putting them back on the shelf.

 

He could have gone

to McDonalds across the road for

‘Caution: Extra Hot’ coffee,

but he didn’t seem like the kind of

extra this or that guy.

 

The rain came down

like shards of fine, broken up,

smooth by the time it hit the ground.

Rain always made me want to dance,

but I had other glass to clean.

 

It spotted his grey zip up,

with a hood he never took shelter in.

The ends of his long hair,

rat like and straight

down his back.

 

Hands dug deeply

into his pockets, he ordered a

‘Coffee’

I asked, ‘what kind?’

And he shrugged.

Most people ask for

A skinny shot extra hot combination

lock to unlock their tired eyes

and mac computers sitting hunched,

so over, hung, over,

one by one like single strands of unnumbered days,

wired up to their life support

with spaghetti strap beat makers.

Click

But he just looked at me

With his brown eyes

Like he just needed something,

And so I poured him a coffee.

 

I made him my favourite.

A caramel macchiato,

Sweet and to the point.

He paid in silvers and sat

at the window

counting the droplets on

the smeared window pane.

 

He even took out a notebook

and pen, a walking cliché

except for his hair.

His hair, I liked.

 

I served a trickle of other

non-people, and eventually forgot

all about him

sitting in the corner of my coffee shop, half hidden by

A peace lily

until just before closing when I had finished cleaning

the glass. He got up and returned his cup.

‘Thank you.’

And I watched him go, reaching

for the handle.

‘Hey,’ I called after him.

He turned, biting his lip gently.

‘Got time for another?’

He shuffled, momentarily.

‘On the house.’

With a smile, he sat

at the bar, I placed down the last glass

on my shelf, fresh and warm from the dishwasher.

 

We laughed and talked

about our pasts, our backgrounds

in music. I thought about how I would find

the words to write all of this down.

‘Aren’t we just a pair of clichés?’ I laughed.

He shook his head, sliding over a piece

of paper

of his heart

with his name and number

tattooed onto: our fingertips touched.

‘Stories always have to begin somewhere.’

 

He showed me the West End.

We walked, arms linked, side by side, together, smiling

up at the lights, darting between

the dark clouds spitting

into our eyes.

‘Somehow, it’s always raining,’ I mused,

thinking about other places

he might take me.

 

We hop-scotched

shots of single malt

our expensive taste

of what was not

us,

smoke and mirrors,

fake names, dinner and a show.

We skipped the show

to walk along the thames,

dropping pencil to paper scratched

dreams and fears

into: the current.

 

We watched them float

away, holding the idea

of them in our mouths, the same warm taste

of the day we’d had. And even then

I missed him. I missed the way he didn’t

even need to look at me before

his hand held mine. I knew then.

I knew I wanted to tell him

what was written on my

float away dream.

How I’d found the words

to write and tell, how all of this began.

 

In the sea air, I breathe

him in, and feel

the weight clasping against my back

bone. The shore whispers,

“he’s gone, he’s gone, he’s gone,”

and I throw stones to silence

them, until my arm aches.

 

First was his throat,

sore, and with the occasional tissue,

covered in blood. His light,

The second, when he could not express

his need for solace

in the dim darkness

of his bedroom,

where the curtains hung limp

like peeled skin.

 

I just lay beside him,

my arms wrapped around

and entwined my fingers in his silky hair.

But that was just. It.

The third.

I knew then, the moment

the first strand came apart, still laced

through my fingertips.

I knew then how he would leave me.

And how the day I met him

could never be described as a tragedy

and how it could never be a loss,

because from him, I had gained more

than a life, more

than his heart, more

than just another cup of coffee.

This time I didn’t need to find the words.

And neither could he.

‘Our lives in turn will always become great stories; it’s just finding the person to pass it on that matters.’

 

The sea never gave me any comfort.

Not before today.

But somehow it tells me,

with the gentle to and fro of the tide,

that nothing in this world will ever really leave us,

and if it does, it will always come back,

one way or another.