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Kaye Heyes

Updated: Tue, 19 Mar 2013 10:41 pm

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Kaye Heyes writes and performs poetry. Her current work centres on her experiences of motherhood and its recurrent themes of loss and longing. In March 2013 Kaye’s poem ‘See Life’ was shortlisted for the York Literature Festival Poetry Prize. She is working on a collection – Body of Work: Body of Love – exploring how her relationship with her body has been transformed through motherhood. In her practice Kaye promotes the power of words to transform mothers’ experience of post natal depression and traumatic births. She focuses on three areas: use of language when talking about lived experience, changing self-talk and creative writing as therapeutic practice. Kaye advocates the use of the term ‘post natal transition’ instead of post natal depression: it is a much more objective way of talking about the sometimes difficult adjustment to motherhood with its overwhelming physical, mental and emotional demands. She set up Post Natal Transition ( in October 2012 as a personal blog. It quickly became apparent that she had struck a chord, both with her re-framing the post natal experience and using creative writing as a way to connect to herself and others as well as encouraging others to do the same. During her NLP practitioner training Kaye became fascinated with self-talk: that continual track running in our head throughout the day. It may be the voice of a parent or chastising teacher and very often that self talk is negative: ‘you klutz, you’re always so clumsy’ as you drop your keys or ‘you’re useless, you’re always getting things wrong!’ as you struggle to reverse-park into a tight space. She discovered how simply changing the words, tone or location of your self-talk can help instigate change at a core level. Kaye is a member of Mewe: a group of creatives making work about the maternal ( In 2013 she set up Alphabet Soup: a regular writing group for mothers to improve emotional well-being (as well as eating lovely soup!). Through her association with both groups, she plans to develop an anthology of poems written by mothers who have struggled adjusting to motherhood or have/had post natal depression. Kaye lives in the Calder Valley with her partner and two young children. She is a qualified nutritional therapist, NLP practitioner freelance writer and food features writer at Nutrition I-Mag.


THE WEDNESDAY I THOUGHT I WAS GOING TO DIE Today my insides fell out, with no warning, just like that, there they all were on the floor. And all I could think was, well, what a mess I’d best clean that up before the kids spread it everywhere. Mopped up, Fabrezed and forgotten about, except, there’s only half of me left and I don’t know how much longer I can go on like this, or who I can turn to for help. Then came a grasping, cramping, yanking pain that just wouldn’t listen when I begged it to stop. The kids are jumping in and out of the wash basket and ice box and on and off the sofa but all I can think of is the pain and how my insides are now in the bin, due for collection tomorrow. I lie foetal-curled round a hot water bottle counting the seconds til you come home and can stitch me back together again. A rough-hewn job but it’ll do the trick, keep me going another day yet. I’m indebted to you: for your work, your care though I don’t know where we’ll end up or if we’ll still be here. (c) Kaye Heyes 2012 --------------------------------------------- Excerpt from THE UNDOING OF ME - AND THE MAKING OF A MOTHER ...For two whole years I pray-long-ache for you to sleep. So why do I prowl the house by night desperately seeking a purpose to life? I miss our tender shared moments: you at my breast in my bed in the night. I’ll never love this fierce again. My breasts still ache for your pull, the deep and easy rhythm we had; your confident suck then the silent pause. The way you woke - then smelled your way home, our wordless intimacy in the dark. Your unabashed stare the language of love as you took your fill - no more, no less. At night my breasts still seek you out, they swell as I loom over you, unfurled in your cot which barely contains you. My nipples are erect with longing, with loss as I stare at that mouth they knew so well. And I count your breaths flowing in and out, in and out as the seconds become minutes become hours become Life. Somewhere in the rest of the house my son and partner sleep: abandoned and forgotten, their dreams do not concern me. The only sound in this quiet house is the ebb and flow of your breath. I match it with my own: a clumsy attempt to reclaim our past. The entire universe fits in here. In this small pink room, the space between atoms expands and expands until every butterfly on the wall is the size of galaxies, supernovas - but still they don’t fill this enormous black hole. Sometimes your eyes flicker open, search frantically round in the half-light. When they close again, I return to my bed bereft and billions of light years away.... (C) Kaye Heyes 2012

All poems are copyright of the originating author. Permission must be obtained before using or performing others' poems.

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<Deleted User> (10853)

Sun 17th Feb 2013 11:34

Writing prompts are great, yes! At Todmorden's last writing group we were given the title 'Christabelle and the Crystallised Celery' and I ended up writing a children's story - a completely new departure for me! And I had the best fun letting my imagination run away with me. May even look to finish it one day...
thanks for the support X

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Ann Foxglove

Fri 15th Feb 2013 07:55

Thanks Kaye! It is nice working with other people isn't it? I go to a couple of writing/poetry groups which are just a bunch of friends gatting together really. I don't write so much as I did when I started (which seemed like the floodgates opening!Often the way I think when one starts.) And so it's doing our set "homework" i.e. writing something on a suggested topic for the next meeting, that keeps me writing at all.

<Deleted User> (10853)

Thu 14th Feb 2013 23:17

Thank you, Ann, what a lovely welcome!

I'm hoping to do some more creative writing courses - only got one on the go at the moment. I get as much - if not more - out of the sessions than the other mothers I'm working with so it doesn't feel I'm doing anything 'worthy'.

I look forward to me uploading some new work on here too - got lots of pieces of work in the pipeline but not too sure about sharing them yet!

Oh, and a happy Valentines to you! XX

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Ann Foxglove

Thu 14th Feb 2013 13:14

Hello Kaye - a very warm welcome to WOL. I found your poems and your biog very interesting! Hope you enjoy being part of the site. The creative writing courses that you do sound really worthwhile! Hope to see more of your work on here soon :)

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