Old anger

Preamble: see below for explanation that is too long to preamble here.

I didn’t know I was still angry till the day I heard you’d died.

Suddenly the old bitterness is welling up inside

I haven’t given you a thought for literally years

But now I find my eyes are filling up with tears

Not of grief, but of re-awakened pain

Reliving the sting of your words all over again

I’m not the type of person to speak ill of the dead

I guess I’ll add it to list of self-reproaches in my head

I thought I’d left behind the arrogance of youth

That always lays the blame elsewhere and won’t accept the truth.

Thought I’d forgiven and forgotten and moved on with my life

But here I am old anger burning, old pain cuts like a knife

As I read the tributes to the great man you were, for sure

And I can’t help wondering if perhaps there are more

Like me, who came for guidance, in confidence and trust

Who had your help and guidance, in turning dreams to dust.


I know you meant well. You were trying to tell me

I’d never be the thing that I’d worked so hard to be

Since I was seven years old. Clearly not hard enough

I’m not tough enough, not made of the right stuff.

Funny, that’s not what you said four years before in my entrance test

When you actually paid me money to choose your school above the rest

But I let you down, things went astray

Took on too much, I lost my way

I knew I had more to give, and was ready to do so

I thought I’d get another chance… but that day you said no.


If you’d told me I lacked the technical skill,

The physical strength or the mental will

To do what it takes to reach great heights

I’d have to admit, time has proved you right

But what you actually said was so painfully wrong

It still hurts now, even after so long

I can’t forgive how, in my postgrad audition

You turned me down by saying ‘you’re too cheerful to be a musician’.

It could have been quite funny if it wasn’t then so untrue

You told a girl who was sick and hurt, that she was too happy to make it through.

It was insult to an injury that even now won’t heal:

You didn’t say I couldn’t play well: you told me I couldn’t feel.


I can now thank myself that I found the strength within

To resist the urge back then, to carve the pain into my skin

Or even go as far as the ultimate sacrifice

To make you eat your words and pay the highest price.

But still, nor did I fight, despite you, to succeed

To show I can bare my soul, and musically let it bleed.

Instead I took the coward’s way, gave up on all my goals

Let life take me where it would; I let go of the controls.


But hey, now I’ve finally got all that off my chest

I can perhaps accept things really worked out for the best.

Your peculiar judgement, voiced so thoughtlessly

Through no fault of your own, became a self-fulfilling prophecy.

True, I’m not a musician, perhaps was never meant to be:

But I can say I’m often cheerful, and that’s good enough for me.

Post-amble: I don't normally write viscious stuff. Well, I do, but this is perhaps more than usual, as it is aimed at one person, and a dead person at that. It was written in anger and performed once to get it out of my system, then I found it again yesterday. I could never share this on other, more personal forums where people who know me might be able to identify who I'm talking about, but I'm risking it here. Why? It was therapy for me, but I think it also serves as a message to teachers, and those who have suffered at the hands of teachers.

God I hope I'm not one of those teachers.


◄ Poetic insomnia

My Wedding Day ►


Profile image

M.C. Newberry

Wed 10th Oct 2018 16:54

WOL therapy?
Better, t'is said
To speak ill of the dead
Than do likewise with the living,
One is gone,
Better then to look on
The sine qua non of forgiving.

Profile image


Wed 10th Oct 2018 13:58

A gripping poem full of feeling.Well done for sharing your open up.

<Deleted User> (19836)

Wed 10th Oct 2018 13:49

Becky, as a poem this is an exceptionally well written one! Bravo!

On a more personal note, this is the very best form of therapy to heal your pain and rid yourself of anger. I do hope sharing this helps to rid every last ounce of your hurt away! Thank you for sharing! I feel you...oh the stories I could tell. Perhaps someday I will. ????

Big Sal

Wed 10th Oct 2018 13:46

Excellent piece Becky. That emotion you put into this shines through and carries the words well. Angry poetry is the most visceral and interesting to read - as it allows us the most unfiltered, clarifying scope into the poet's head as humanly possible.

Definitely one of your best I've read so far. Keep up the great work improving your writing every day, it's great reads.?

Profile image

Becky Who

Wed 10th Oct 2018 13:23

Thanks Brian. I don't really like to come across as angry and bitter - at least not on a personal level - but I had to get this one out of my system.

It really is a slam, hence it's length, sorry.

<Deleted User> (18980)

Wed 10th Oct 2018 13:15

Now come on Becky you've had POTW already!

Seriously very good.

If you wish to post a comment you must login.

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message