Peculiar Me

The garden flat I once lived
was so quiet.
There was this old copper tap dripping
made up the only noise.
I thought of putting some cheese out
to bait some mice to create more sound.
Then I got worried
that I would make them dependent.
And that would be unkind.
Sometimes I held my breath
to listen to the tap.
Just to be sure that
I was not alone.

Cause and Effect

Why did you deny my talents
I once believed I was a nobody
trapped in my own sanity

Why did you lie about my characters
I was despised by my inner circle
to be an unforgiven failure

Why did you steal my peace
I was terrorised by your pure presence
and poisoned by your every word

Why did you betray your flesh and blood
I was entrusted to your care and protection
in a world that was already cold

Why did you twist a knife in my core belief
I looked into the mirror and saw a shattered self
distorted by your snare

“Hurting people hurt people”


Painting by Virginia Bucknell, you may see more of Virginia’s paintings via: Art Lovers Australia  Weebly   Instagram

Disturbing Event

That Summer was so hot.
Grass in the backyard choked
our footsteps.

Lying in bed next to you,
the loud crickets relentlessly
held me off of sleep.

I remembered
the panic in your voice,
‘Did you hear that?
They are coming for us.
Stay still!
They won’t find us.’
You struggled with the locust plague.
We hid underneath the blanket
on a 30 degree night.

Your panic
and the cricket midnight party
went on and on.
My brain shut down
and I slumbered into sleep.

‘Did you smell that?
They are cooking opium again
next door.’
The smell of smoke
stang my eyes to wake.

I sprang up from bed
to rush out to the garden.
The backyard was like
an abandoned camp site
in the daybreak.

You went in the ambulance
laughing in exhilaration,
‘I burned the fuckers.
Don’t you fucking mess with me.
No fucking plague under my watch.
I’m gonna get you,
you piece of shit
opium dealer,
fucking neighbour.’

That’s how that hot summer ended.

Photograph of painting of a man by Aarón Blanco Tejedor


she was a sunflower
turned her back to below zero
gave her all to the sun
whenever she bloomed
she radiated life and enthusiasm

the relentless frost
finally defeated her
a scrunched up sunflower
hung by a noose
her spirit was crushed
with no mercy

– In loving memory of A who lost her fight with PTSD on 25 October 2019


(Two Sunflowers – Painting by Van Gogh 1887)

Deep down

she shouted to the receptionist
threatened to hack us all in pieces
she screamed those words out
in a foreign tongue
her neck flushed with red patches
her hair had gone messy
her eyes were fueled with fire

in our shared language
I tried to de-escalate her rage by
offering her a cool drink
while clearly expressed to her
the options of
the police or the mental health team
if she was unable to cease screaming

she sat down
showed me photos of a hole
in her ceiling
and the water marks
resembling the world map
she told me
for six years
she have lived with ceiling leakage
for nine months
she haved stared at the hole
in the ceiling every night

she wept
for her man left her
the hole in the ceiling
is a constant reminder of
how her heart was broken
and it seems beyond repair

she is a tenant
complaining about
a repair and maintenance issue
she is a woman
suffering great despair
what is on the surface
is just the tip of
the iceberg


I had great fear of snakes
the only way I imagined
to deal with snakes
was playing dead
I coped with it
that way

I coped with pain
the same way
I played dead
to my thoughts
I stepped out of
my sense of identity

I neither resisted it
nor fled from it
I simply
acted in avoidance