Sunday, 3 August 2014

Let the ether take it all: 30 Minute Poetry

Yesterday was a rough day. Even drugged up I was curled up ball of pain and nausea on the sheets. Another social event fell through and Mr Grumpy attended alone. I tried. I planned. I got up early and took even more pills. And still it wasn't enough. I can push and I can plan and I can still be defeated. A can do attitude just doesn't cut it on days like that. So I lay home alone in our bedroom exhausted and in pain unable to function and hating that I had let him down again. Some days I can take it and accept that this is simply how it is at the moment. And some days I spend my day in tears of  pain, frustration and self-recrimination until the drugs finally kick in and let me sleep. And days like that I put pen to paper. To let it all out. To cauterise the wound. And keep going. 

Write out your pain. 
Let the ink pull the poison from your veins.
Let it draw the hurt
And claim the burden.

Scratch the page
Tear the fibres
Break the nib.

Get it out
Get it out
Get it out.

Watch the ink flow
Watch the pain swirl
Black liquid
Absorbing all.
Watch it conquer the page.
Printed lines and the hurried script alike.
Watch the white page disappear.

Watch as it soaks up the bile and anger.
The fear and pain.
The pain of a broken body
Remorseless and enduring.
The pain of a bruised soul
Tired of the war without end
The fight with the self.
With a body intent on tearing itself apart.

Pain in letters.
In spilled ink.
Every letter, every line.
A song of wounds, raw and festering.
Sharp edges and elegant swirls.
Jagged, angry script pouring across the page.
Pouring from your veins.
Let the dam walls break
Let the torrent free.

Trace the letters
Again and again.
Harder and harder.
Make them stick.
Make them shout
Make them scream.
Make them the vessel.
For all that you bear. 

Let the spell be fulfilled
Let the ink be your blood.
Let it suck the pain from your soul
Let it take the sickness from your body.
Present your burden
And let it be taken.

Let the tears fall
Let them spill on cursive and print.
Let them blur the words
And wash away the pain.

Watch them soak the page
Watch them break down the fibres and the ink. 
Let it wash you clean
Let the ink work its magic
Let the ether take it all.

And when the ink is spent and the pen run dry
Let it fall from your hand
Onto the rubble of paper and ink before you.
Rest your weary head
And let your soul uncurl
Let the tension leave your body.
And sleep take you to dreams of sunlit rooms and the warm glow of peace.
Let the burden be lifted
If only for the now.

And line up your sheaves 
And line up your pens
For when the pain comes calling once more.

You will remember the spell.


For those who prefer to listen to poetry than read, here's my audio of the same piece. 


  1. Beautiful poem Michelle. Thank goodness for the pen. Thank goodness that your self has the gift to vent your pain through this medium. You are extraordinary, your pain is excruciating. Thank you for sharing your painful poetry with us. I wish you more of that warm glow of peace. Arohanui X

    1. Thank you Rach. I always feel like I can process and dump when I write. It means I can keep going rather than lying here just re-running it through my head again and again, I know it's not perfect and I'd probably change things if I wrote it again, but I try and stick to the 30 minutes and just spew it onto the page and see what happens. it's weird I used to write poetry when I was younger and then it stopped and sometimes now it seems the only way to write xx

    2. I used to write poetry too. Haven't written anything proper for years and years. I'd love to get back into it sometime. Maybe! Teaching poetry writing to kids was my all time favourite unit. Just to see their joy at finding the perfect phrase, the perfect pairing of a few words and the realisation that until you find that 'just right' combination, there is no way to say the exact thing you need to express. Poetry really is about finding the best distillation of words. I just love your poetry Michelle, and I am so glad it brings you such relief.

    3. Until this year I haven't really written any since my early 20s. I used to write all the time before that. It is a "distillation" as you say. I hadn't really thought of it in that way but it really is. I hear it in my head as I write, as if I'm speaking it aloud. I don't do that so much with prose. Not sure why. It usually feels 'right' when I am having a particularly tough or emotional time. A consciousness blurting perhaps?

  2. I am also really in love with the shapes poems make when you centre justify them! LIke gorgeous turned wood pillars or sculpted towers. So pretty. Each so individual.

    1. Okay so it's not just me then. I always thought I was a little weird liking the shaping too. :) To me it's part of the lyrical nature of poetry. The shape of the breath of each verse.

    2. I'm right there with both of you! I feel like it gives it its own unique identity, something that is applicable to that particular set of words only.

    3. This is what I love about blogging. I've been thinking I was weird and here I find I'm not the only one :)

  3. beautiful poem, Michelle. painful and beautiful. thank-you.

  4. "A song of wounds, raw and festering.
    Sharp edges and elegant swirls."

    That is really profound imagery. It speaks to my heart.

    1. Thanks Cassandra. I'm really glad you could relate xx


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