I am an English Literature student at Leeds University and a poet/spoken word artist from Wigan. I am also an editorial assistant at The Stand poetry magazine. Achievements include: National Finalist of Poetry Rivals (Junior) 2013, runner up of the Superheroes of Slam Wigan heat, finalist of local slam - The Papercut. Regional finalist of Poetry by Heart 2015. Top 100 of Poetry Rivals 2016. Published in: National Anthology Competition 2015 Poetry Rivals' 2016 Anthology. Great British Write Off 2016 anthology. Regular performer at: The Old Courts, Wigan. Verbal Remedies, Leeds. Crowd of Favours, Leeds. Also performed at: Cadence Festival 2015 Mind Matters Mental Health Conference 2015, LSR Sound Sessions. Wigan Digger's Festival warm up 2015. Open to feedback...
Growing Up A colouring book becomes Facebook. A tweet isn’t the sound from a bird. Mobile devices hold us hostage to high definition when ambitions are blurred. Light up trainers become stilettos that shush insecurities and tightly crush toes, flashing in the strobe lights of newly found adventure, that makes us drunk on possibilities and hope. But dazzled by choice, dazed by possibility, we become lost in life’s kaleidoscope. Where plasters can’t heal heart breaks. No “kiss it better” can sooth mistakes. Twinkle twinkle little star. Nursery rhymes become bass guitars that rattle parents’ patience with every beat, every unmade sheet, every stumble home late, every bittersweet sight of growing wings. But we carry childhood with us, a valuable antique ,the teddy bear that hoards dust at the back of our shelves. And our days are a game of hide and seek, coming ready or not to find ourselves. First Date She paints her lips with a false confidence, smacks them together and sits and waits. Her apprehension perches beside her on the lonely park bench. She pushes it away, an embarrassing parent hugging her outside the school gates. She stitches her words together to avoid the inevitable stumble over ragged letters and shards of silence and talk so small it could be shattered underfoot by one false step. She takes a last, discrete glance into her compact mirror, at a smile she’s tried on nine or ten times, and rummages in her hand bag for the girl she wishes to be. He slips out of the door before his mother's confetti of compliments. Cologne clings to his shirt with a fastened top button that suffocates his bad manners. His mind floats on the image of what she will look like, what she will wear. He sculpts messy-smart hair and a stare that wants to undress her every insecurity. To see beneath those painted lips. He sits. And he waits. EVERYDAY BATTLES Right now, there is a battle being fought which you won’t be aware of. It isn’t the war to end all wars, but it’s one you will have heard of. It’s called anxiety. Like a wolf spider, it lurks beneath the surface of society ready to catch its victims off guard, often leaving their mind permanently scarred when it chews them up and spits them out. Worry, anguish, fear, self-doubt seem to have invaded my brain, it’s not as infamous as D-Day but it’s a landing all the same. Anxiety set up camp in my mind, it looks like the kind that is here to stay. I send in reinforcements but it will not be drove away. At least not today. Pendulum mood swings, worries replaying like a broken tape, broken tape, broken tape, there is a constant search for distractions, writing poetry is my escape. My brain and body battle but there’s no referee, I try to smile but it’s as vacant as a hotel in Leigh. It’s hard to see that when I appear to be concentrating, I’m secretly complicating the fears that are already dominating my thoughts. The mountain of law revision that must be done with precision, won’t get done watching television, UCAS won’t get finished by chance, I can’t delay with my essay, then there’s student finance. I just wish that I shut my brain down like I do a computer, but it continues to function. Thoughts speeding round my mind like boy racers at a spaghetti junction. Tick tock, tick tock, one o’clock, two o’clock, I seem to be immune to sleep; at night I swim in the deep end of my regrets and pain. Going out of the house feels like an expedition, an unwelcome addition to the worry I already haul round in my rucksack. My condition, seems to be a permanent resident, like my head’s the Whitehouse and worry’s the president. Not that there’s anything wrong with Obama, Roosevelt or Truman, I’ve come to accept my flaw because flaws remind us that we’re human. So remember not to judge strangers in the street so fast, mental health doesn’t come with a wheelchair or cast. Behind each smile is a story, each poker face an enigma, so don’t form an opinion sorely on society’s weapon – stigma. PAPER DREAMS On a grotty Northern Rail from Manchester to Leeds, a poet feeds his love for words by pouring his heart out onto crumpled receipts. A baby bleats. The clink of the track as rhythmic as heart beats. The nasal voiceover floats through the carriage and bloats the ears of tired commuters; spiral eyed from a day in front of computers. Nothing but a coffee cup to see them through. Feeling as blue as the torn fabric on the seats where teenagers with scuffed trainers lazily plonk their feet. Coughing, wheezing, sniffling, sneezing, your breath dances before your eyes. The wave of the home time rush is a sea of washed out jackets and ties. Lives are interwoven like spider webs on the window, sparkling through the condensation. Fate goes about his usual business as you drift from station to dismal station. Women juggle designer bags as children wearily trudge behind. This carriage, this station, this town, this world, together we all are confined. The ordinary, the outcast, the eccentric, the poet are all much more than they seem. They’ve a pocket full of ambition and a notebook of paper dreams. BARBIE DOLL It’s scary these days what girls will do to become thinner, drown in protein shakes, eat nothing but Vogue for dinner. Why is the ideal woman seen as thin? When bones visible through cling-film-like skin is not my idea of healthy. You can have a size zero waist but have a size zero brain. I’m not saying that when you gain weight you gain intelligence, I’m saying that when you preach hate and don’t appreciate that weight bears no relevance then you’re not going to get very far. So don’t let a number on a label, label who you are. It’s bizarre, that girls starve their confidence, let alone their body, because small minded people have bullying as a hobby. So this one’s for the girls who cry in front of the mirror when the only thing that’s cracked is their mentality. This one’s for the girls who dream of being serene when in reality they’re beautiful. Inside and out. Without the need to pout or throw their fake features about. I’m not trying to be sarcastic but I’d rather be genuine than plastic because Barbie Dolls get pulled apart, what makes a truly strong woman is what’s in her heart. For a start, you can change weight, complexion, features you wish to hide but one thing stays constant and that’s what’s inside.
All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.
A Conversation with Cocaine. (24/11/2017)
Jam Sandwiches (03/10/2017)
Child's Play (27/06/2017)
Cardboard Boxes (27/06/2017)
Just a Nurse (27/06/2017)
An Evening by the Mersey (27/06/2017)
The Last Night with Grandad. (27/06/2017)
One Love (23/05/2017)
Far Away (06/09/2016)
Growing Up (29/08/2016)
- 2015 (7)
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