THE ORDER OF THE BLACK DOG
My family. Here we all are, sitting around the circular dining room table- flecked with bits of gold. Ma sits under a hanging portrait of this Christmas just gone. Three weeks ago. We are all smiling in it including Poppy. Poppy sits playing with her Annabelle doll, on my husband’s lap. Sat opposite from Ma, closest to the electric fire hearth is Gran. I find myself sitting across from Gran. An iciness breathes mist over us. It separates me from them, cloaks me in a fog. I try to swallow. The air is so thick it chokes me, I’m forced to put my hands to my throat. Nobody notices me. Nobody notices me the way they used to. I tune in to the conversation-taking place.
‘Of course I’m not suggesting this is your fault. I should have known. Done more…’ Nan bursts into tears. A cry out for:
I need attention I’m suffering the most.
My skin bristles. Nan pulls her scarf tighter around her neck, and then throws out a familiar comment about it being draughty.
‘You know I could catch pneumonia with my Asthma.’ She coughs. Ma gets up to put on the electric fire.
‘I didn’t take her seriously. You know what Angie was like?’ Ma’s eyes are red as the rosary beads she is thumbing; she looks over to an unusually quiet Poppy.
‘Did she just do it to spite me?’ How could she just leave her own…?’
My husband throws a warning look at Ma,
‘Marie, for Poppies sake. Our Angie suffered more than she let on.’ Ma sits back down. ‘Let’s put on a cartoon, luv?’ Poppy shakes her head.
She doesn’t look at us. I look straight at her, willing her to leave this table. Leave this conversation. She lifts her head and looks me dead on in the eyes. I instinctively smile. Eddie and me always stood together when it came to Poppy. Her face is pale, her eyes sunken, her skin is drawn in so tight I can see cheek bones protrude. Beneath her eyes-, veiled shadows betray her youthful face. She clings onto Annabelle, still looking me dead on in the eyes.
‘When’s Mummy coming home?’
Silence. Her words enmesh with the silence. Her question disarms me. Marks me. The arrow leaves its bow splintering my heart. I open my mouth to scream out as many words as I can. Condensation steams the air distilling me into silence. I reach my hand across the table to grab hers. She doesn’t see me. I glare at my family sitting at the round table. They say nothing. Smothering themselves in sorrow, they witheringly curl inwards. I urge to shake them, uproot them from winters glaze.
-Answer her! Answer my daughter.
Instead, Gran succumbs to a puddle of wrinkled tears, mechanically Ma gets off her chair, attempts to console Gran and naturally it’s up to Eddie to mediate. My calm, rational Eddie. His eyes read as vacant –his beard is wild and unkempt. It’s impossible to read his face. He clears his throat,
‘We’re gonna see Mummy when we give her… say a proper goodbye.’
Gran flounders in her anglers net of remorse. Great splotchy splashes of grief escape. She wails,
‘She’s with the angels –looking down at you, darling!’
I roll my eyes. Of course I love her! Lately, she grates my skin more frequently with her, melodramatics.
– Confess how you truly feel. Relieved!
I’m so fixated on evoking a response from Gran; unnoticed, a light flickers with an intensity to match my own. Eddie carries Poppy over to the sofa, sits her down to watch a cartoon. He covers her with a blanket then kisses her forehead.
‘We’ll see mummy soon? To say goodbye?’
Eddie nods his head, his voice cracks.
‘When will mummy come back from saying goodbye? In spring? My teacher says it’s winter – everything goes to sleep like her?’ Poppy points to ‘Sleeping Beauty’ on the television.
Eddie focuses on the image. The Prince is just about to kiss Aurora on the lips. He turns his head away from the television before he can see Aurora wake up to her true loves kiss. He grinds down on his teeth. Poppy’s eyes remain transfixed on the television. Eddie gets up, crosses the dining room table; I’m compelled to follow him, I have to stop him. Tell him I’m still here. I haven’t gone anywhere. I’ve so much to tell him.
-There is no God! We were right all along. Religion is for people who can’t think for themselves. We were right to take the piss.
Eddie flinches, puts his hands in his jean pockets. I follow him down Ma’s hallway and into the bathroom. He closes the door on me. It doesn’t ever close fully. I slip through the crack of the door that is always ajar.
Head down. Still. He sits on the toilet seat. I kneel down before him; go to lay my head on his knee. He flinches again. Hits himself in the head. Bangs his fist on the wall screams out:
‘Why? We could’ve figured it out, you fucking stubborn mare’ I bring out the best and worst in Eddie. Till death do us part. What are the chances?
He still refuses to let me go. Stubborn.
My symptoms intensify in the days leading up to the funeral. Everything‘s heightened especially emotions that seemingly walk precariously on stilts. I can’t walk through walls or levitate. Nothing like any of the horrors Eddie and me used to watch together, on the sofa.
Unheard, I bellow continuously,
-Just let me go!
Every time I hear my name called reflections of nostalgia flash and beam over and around me. Prompted, I gravitate towards the source. Someone needs me. These past three weeks, I’ve been teleported from one conversation to another. I find myself in a room; familiar or not familiar, with people I know and people I don’t know.
Today I’m summoned to the usual bickering between Ma and Gran. The familiar sound of Gran’s kettle boils in the background.
‘I want that picture of her on her graduation day and flowers- blown up .With azaleas. And roses – she loved roses- pink.’
‘She hates that picture! And she loves- loved yellow roses…’ Ma’s wobbly voice mirrors her jelly struck legs propping her up in her work shoes. She staggers backwards. Like the black dog with a bone, Gran won’t give in,
‘No, she’s my eldest grand daughter and I know her – it is… was pink!’
Ma sits down, doesn’t speak. I go over to her to put my arms around her then she dissolves into tears. Gran bulldozes her way over to us. Intimidated, I move out of her way. Gran holds Ma and Ma lets Gran hug her. Ma calms down, mentions something about pink and yellow roses
Vexed, I shriek
– don’t back down Ma, I love yellow. Yellow roses. The kettle whistles for attention. My voice is lost to an object.
‘I’ll go make that cup of tea’ Nan retreats to her kitchen.
Another opportunity to get close to Ma again. I need to hug her, give her some of my energy. As if on cue, Mum’s tear-stained face crumples just like my heart. A poking hot iron burns a hole right through it. Gran re-enters the room I scarper.
‘Here you go, love. Lost three of my own …, as you know, mind, they never got to Angie’s age. Yellow’s more of a quirky colour like our Angie… was.’ They smile at each other. I move back, the distance seems to illuminate their smiles.
Tonight, I beg for there to be a heaven. This has to be hell. The familiar, incongruous, gravitational pull lures me out of my cavernous abyss. I blink my eyes several times to focus: orientate myself. Hung up around the wall are vintage Disney posters. My eyes settle on Poppies bed. Eddie bends over Poppy and kisses her goodnight,
‘Mummy loves you just as much as I do.’ He tucks her in.
He switches off the light before walking out. I stand and watch my worn out daughter in her bed. She sings herself to sleep just as she does every night. She sings our song: twinkle twinkle little star. With each inflection of her sweet singing voice, the words serve as a needle. Each word stipulates smelting hot ink into my flesh. My neck is ablaze. Before closing her eyes, she whispers,
‘I love you mummy.’
When I reply, scorching chains wrap and lasso me around my neck. My skin swells up in blisters. The familiar sound of her breathing evaporates the pain. I need to be close to her, I need to smell her, kiss her. Carelessly, I run over to her bed to touch her sleeping head. Startled I lunge backward as Poppy instantly wakes up screaming.
– I’m powerless
. Eddie barges into the room, throws on the light and takes Poppy into his arms. I watch her body stiffen; then relax. I watch him settle my daughter back to sleep. My hands ball into tight fists.
-She must know I’m here.
Before I can touch her face, she wakes up screaming like – like she has seen a- ghost.
-I’m that Ghost! I put my hands to my mouth in horror.
Envy bubbles inside me as I witness Eddie consoling Poppy again. I’m half hoping he won’t succeed.
What kind of a mother am I?
I’ve been telling everyone to let me go.
Where will I go?
I can’t drive, no one can see me. There are no other lost souls wondering about telling me to join the dead community!
I won’t give up on my daughter. She needs me. I have to be here.
The stroke of our clock announces its time; a primitive realisation slithers down my very core. Nausea spirals up into my throat. I run into our bathroom, heave over the toilet, nothing comes out. I catch sight of my reflection in the mirror; I see vicious V-shaped welts where the noose of the rope has cut into my neck. This is what Eddie came home to.
The cloying black dog of depression haunted me. Its delivered dose of pain was exquisite- nothing took it away. Not drinking, overdosing, drugging myself, talking-nothing. Eventually, I told it to sit down. I told Eddie repeatedly,
– I just want to disappear.
– How can I help you? His eyes pleaded for an answer. I would always lash out,
-Unless you help me disappear, you can’t!
I remained imprisoned in our bed and he would go back to work and look after Poppy and the house. He could walk away from me. I couldn’t. I resent him for that. I can see myself now, googling the various ways people commit suicide. One article struck my eye ‘Men are more successful at committing suicide’.
-They don’t mess about with poisoning themselves –they resort to more violent means.
That is the moment I reached out to the wrong Alpha.
The black dog and I began sleeping together. It became my obsession. Up-close, I could analyse it, experiment with it. As a couple, it didn’t take much to find that Alpha rage. One phone call from Ma,
-Just snap out of it. If you’re going to do it, get on with it.
-Fine, I will! I hung up on her before she could hang up on me.
My impulsiveness finds me trapped within this mirror. It’s cold. Everything I read is back to front. Everything I do is back to front. It doesn’t reflect my true intentions. When I reach out, in fact, the more I reach out the more pain I inflict. I back away from the mirror until I’m pressed up, with my back against the bathroom wall.
What have I done?
What right do I have trying to tell my family how to deal with their loss?
Eddie will never know that I was messing about; I didn’t know if I could actually go through with it. From a great height in a corner of the bathroom my body feels cut loose from itself. I can see it happen in front of my eyes. Like a rerun episode, I can’t pause. The noose around my neck, in the shower. Steam shrouds the mirror, with slippery feet, I accidently knock myself off that chair and in that moment I realise,
– I don’t want to die.
I can’t scream and tell anyone. I made the decision when I decided to sleep with my enemy. I’ve interrupted the natural course of life. A lost soul in life: a lost soul in death. There are no bright lights to come with this epiphany. I exit the bathroom, stumble down the staircase, out the front door, and walk aimlessly down the street. I sense a familiar pair of eyes examining me; I look up and see the black dog in its true form. It waits for me to catch up. We walk side by side. I don’t look back. I am the one preventing people from moving on. I have to let go.
*If you want to find out more a bout the inspiration for this piece and raise awareness against all forms of violence and abuse-Trigger pictures of me looking bruised -HEAD OVER HERE
If not read below.
It’s not Saturday and I’m feeling non conformist. I guess its kind of my way.
Haven’t done much this weekend — except nursing bruises, swellings, scrapes and down right painful blisters on the mouth.
The lows of last week found me beaten to a pulp like a survivor from a war jump.
Didn’t get no gangrene or scurvy-I suppose that’s better than dying on a row boat at Dunkirk – on sheets of ice.
Spinning around not a La Kylie Minogue mode.
I’m over the worst of the beating-
I “secretly” hope these two bastards gets their come( t)uppence.
It would be easier to get high and escape from the down side-
Look out my window and the skyline is blocked by housing estates.
Crumbling – it’s always a better view at low tide.
Three a.m. wake up calls for months-every time.
The creative freaks come out so, I suppose I’m in good company and I will be..
just fine. 😀
Physical strength is the only thing that let me down in this fight against the Alphas.
If guns were legal I think I would use the second amendment to plea —
Give at least one of the limp cocks a belter.
Only one would be laughing — this bruised weed — always making sure her brood is out of the firing line;
Standing in the shelter.
Ballroom blitz and shammy with my king.
Oh how we will dance!
— cowards should carry around organ donor cards.
On second thoughts, who would want the innings of someone who can’t fight to their own strength —
Run little boys to your Audi and drunk mommy-
The one you beat up on a regular basis.
You think this is a female annihilation version of the crusades?
I’m low not in mood but my body says — sit down and feel your boo boos
My head says life is for living.
I don’t want to walk out of my house,
like a beast or looking like a victim of domestic violence-
Here comes the freak in an endless hued complexion of distracting tutus
The highs are the times when I hear my child laugh, my husband he bathes me and kisses me tenderly,
loves my sense of spirit when I look bloody unsightly.
In truth I look hideously ghastly—
Green beans and asparagus — home made by La Bonne chef, ma Mere.
I struggle to eat more than ever, but I won’t let two stomped out cans put me off the future horizon I’ve cut out —
The scenic view from here is a — plethora of orgasmic sight sees.
Lows inevitably come with highs.
I’ve accepted a hand
taken that step off the top roof.
The next time I’m up their , I’m going by lift.
To dance and rub shoulders with people channeling the same level — hearing a sub woof.
Clearly better days ahead.
Wasted time on talking pin heads.
Its fine, its mine, Its life.
Yesterdays news is on current recycle mode.
This Mary Poppins has already started making UP fresh linen beds.
A break from the toxicity of incurable idiotism — helps me see far up the winding road.
Perspectives easily imagined —
There goes a heavenly striking stair case.
It may not lead to a conventional heaven .
I’ve already stated my unorthodox ways right at the beginning .
I missed the word that rhyme ending three sentences up,
So, I’ll close SOCs by stating:
I’m recharging my load.
I’ve missed LINDA G’S. SOCs -today’s prompt -High and lows
Good to be back – Take part its fun – heres a link!
how to be a good wife. 😀 😉
Cause less sorrow.
Talk less tripe
scissors, or masking tape
love free from doubt
Decline an upgrade of
buying into a get one free argument.
Another year passed.
Still eyeballing the ferocious stye of the hurricane.
numerous days swept by
side by side
Manage to keep one another extremist sane.
Paper kites or paper cuts?
Endure and expand on our own perceived ins and out.
A test to keep harmony on a scale
Genetically modified pesticide free.
Take one for the team
Roll over Beethoven.
Parasite recoils – breathless corpse.
Rise scientific soul mates
Abandon host in search of a live love that remains.
Keep it organic
Atrocities often committed when primitive bare feet leave a trail mix of impulse.
Picking out unsavoury nuts in an odourless panic.
pause on moments passed
lovers instinctive need to recreate
Recapture the beast of time.
never once dawdling – unaware of its power to desecrate.
Maple honey squeeze leads to a scent of forget me nots
Souls connect – diffuse the trigger wire in the brain.
racing against accruing
from the memory bank.
to the knees,
‘please cease fire’
When you’r feel you’re hanging on the vine,
remember- a seed push forth a mighty sign.
You must take the sunbeams and treasure what’s thine
Wild Kansas City is but one destination on the sign
Take hope, light and lose the animosity ,
for inside there is no monstrosity
Get yourself caught speeding in high velocity.
It’s not a train smash — no not a catastrophe.
When you’re stuck in the middle of time.
Jump off the fence ‘cos that’s doing yourself a crime.
Don’t you let commoners think your words cannot define,
Your value , worth and dreams are not benign
Take it from the apple tree
He allows fruit to aid in his victory .
oh don’t , hide yourself like a willow tree
Cry, but remember you have a destiny.
Everything will be fine — look up — allow the clouds to throw some shapes.
Open them wide , mind expand — understand the lessons from life’s true greats.
You’re already one them-slightly chipped — still most valuable of porclain plates.
Never doubt what you can do — take a leaf from natures golden ratio
You radiate when you guide the fates.
Lets’ lasso this up and keep your spirit wild
Grow tall — never lose your inner child.
A silly poem to spread to the crowd
Accept her quirks — light hearted ,silly sap — never lose a day when she has smiled.
*I’m feeling less heavy hearted and more like my old self these days. I was inspired by the song ‘This little light of mine’. live, love, don’t hold as grudge. Remain true to who you are and you won’t stand alone for long.
A song a mate shared with me. Happy vibes. I defy you not to feel happy listening to this.
What a difference 7 days can make! The only way I know to keep myself out of trouble is to scare the shit out of myself – ha ha!
Write to recover and then perform to recover. ;D
I’m moving forward again.
‘Fight the good fight’ as Charles Bukowski said.
Go big or go home.
The video isn’t great quality but I’m. sharing it more to reaffirm to myself that I have just as much to bring and give as the next person.
Something I jotted down last night. I’ver lived in big cities and many small towns in different countries (maybe some people can relate) and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m done trying to show others (especially people who live in small towns) I too have my own ideas and share similar interests etc…
It doesn’t mean I’m better or anyone else is better than me It means I am who I am and the world is bigger than where I currently live.
I’ve been looking for a genre for the kind of poetry I do. I couldn’t find anything that I fit into. So I introduce ‘in yer face ‘poetry. Inspired by ‘in yer face’ theatre. That’s me and that is how I write and I’ve found a niche and I finally feel okay. with not being everyone’s favourite read or person. ha ha!
IN YER FACE POETRY – first coined by me, Daisy Willows aka Natasha Bodley – taking 100% full credit for it. ha ha!
I’m finally going to take the advice of other people and get something published- not because I want to make loads of money but because it shows me that nothing is impossible.
So far when I’ve applied thais mantra to my thoughts and life -It has worked.
My definition of in yer face poetry
‘ poetry that is blatant, honest, provocative ,emotional and not pretty or fancy or written to hide reality. ‘
‘ Don’t be disappointed if you get rejected especially if you have made an effort to fit in. Farms are driven by human chains to contain. It’s highly unlikely that an animal bred to serve will accept you , especially if you are an animal who was born in the jungle or the savannah. Adapt , be resourceful and keep your spirit wild and free.
March to the beat that allows you to walk side by side with others, to lead others, be led or walk alone. Acceptance is but one way you feel secure and shouldn’t be a reason to stay in one place.
Remember those who wander and drift out of their comfort zone will always find kindred souls who get the idea that acceptance can be found in those who know security comes from within. Choose to roam and meet other spirits who remind you why you live life
. Don’t stick around waiting for people to get you or accept you. Keep moving and you will never be far from those who accept your different attitude, culture and traditions.
Embrace the misfits . They are the most intriguing and loyal spirits who will make an effort to teach you their ways and be as eager to understand your ways.’
The one word summary to the above is this.
Back on track…. Thanks to those who have been so supportive.
I’m still a newbie at doing open mic but what a great crowd and I’m so honoured to have had a chance to share a space with so many incredibly talented singers, comedians, poets/artists who welcomed this blooming weed into their little home and embraced me like a friend who had been away travelling.
Apologies for the poor quality video. Will try and upload a better one but tbh all you see is the back of me ha ha! Not very exciting.
Still waiting for my MA results but I’m ready for year two!
With my husband’s permission. I will let his words dominate this post. Not easy being Mr willows – just kidding. Slightly…..
No one said that life is easy, no one said that marriage or relationships are easy or perfect.
It’s been hard for me to write about my feelings on my blog lately,because of all the shenanigans going on in my life. It never stops, does it?
There is a lot I want to say before I pass over my blog to my other half. I talk and type way to much for my liking.
We are all struggling and we are all working on our dreams. It’s easy to give up and I don’t know many people
-anyone -who has ever done this to show how much he respects and wants to know me and understand me .
I will not hide that we have problems and we both fuck up. I’m not proud of some of my actions or my behaviour.
I do know that the man who is so different from me brings out the best in me and the worst. Mostly ther best.
Usually, the men I’ve chosen have brought out the worst in me. ( they got issues just like me.)
For the first time I can say I chose a good man and some guys have been proper knobheads to me.
I’m not making excuses for those men.
“You are wankers, no more making excuses for you. I hope you get what you deserve. I don’t know what you deserve. Karma is not something I have power over, or even wish to have. ” Daisy aka Natasha Bodley
I have a man who has shown me what is feels like to be loved,respected, cherished and who wants our happiness.
Here is a man, who I get to call my husband.
I’m uber emotional.
I didn’t know he was doing this. Our marriage has been crumbling from the start tbh… (laughing, nervous laughter)
I’m at a loss for words.
So this Mr Willows
This is a rather difficult situation to talk about; my wife and I are at odds with each other, she suffers from a horrible illness call Anorexia, it is a controlling and manipulative entity. Anorexia has taken a lot from my wife and maybe even our marriage. Through researching this illness I have realised I will never know truly what my wife has to go through on a daily even hourly basis, So to truly understand what she suffers through I have decided to walk a mile in her shoes. I know that Anorexia is more than just restricting foods and liquids, but I aim to try to discover more. The last time I had anything to eat was two days ago (12th May 2017) and I will try to document both my physical and mental states through this journey of discovery. This may not be enough to save my marriage, but at least I will have a greater understanding.
15th May 2017
10:15: It has been a struggle this morning, it is very hard not to eat when things are very automatic, the struggle with suppressing hunger takes a lot of energy and mental fortitude. My physical state is that my hands are shaking, and used caffeine as an appetite suppressant. This is my second day doing this and will try and document often when things change.
10:30: I have been aware that this illness is also about body fixation, I have been aware for some months that my inner legs chaff when I am warm; I am going to use this as a point of fixation because it genuinely makes me unhappy and uncomfortable.
11:00: Housework is both a blessing and a curse. The blessings are it takes up time so you get to switch off the brain for a while and you are doing something so it takes up part of your day. On the flip side I know it is taking up valuable energy and that is going to leave me very weak in the days to come. I know it is going to be hard to hide my non eating but Anorexia is a selfish and manipulative illness. The coffee I had over an hour ago has hit me like a truck, I feel jittery and my heart is racing. I will be doing a small shop for some bits, this is going to be very different because I am no longer free to just pick up an impulse buy, I feel a little anxious about going to be far but I feel I can handle it.
20:07: The household shopping was hard when it came to doing the food part, my stomach ached so bad. I managed to force myself through it. I guess this is something my wife has to often, it takes so much energy to get through all you want to do is hide away and sleep off the hunger. It fails in comparison to having to cook for my daughter, it was hard not to pick at the food or fall in to what I have always done (cook a little extra for myself. I just want to see this through because I need to understand what my wife goes through on a daily basis. The fuzziness in my head feels very strange; I will stop if I see it going too far.
22:28: I understand why she chooses to binge on bread and cheese, right now, it is looking very tempting just to grab some bread and cheese and just go mad. I hope that I get better night’s sleep tonight
11:34: I feel very shaky today almost hyperactive. Finding it very difficult to focus on one task when you have so much running through your head. I can see why this feeling is attractive because you get a big buzz when you complete a task, even if it is something you do regularly. I can see in my face that bags have become to form under my eyes and have a yellow tinge, I look a bit more washed out and drawn. I dare not weigh myself because of both fear of seeing the numbers change. I can’t believe how hard it is to battle with something so simple as standing on something, what I can understand even more now than ever what those numbers represent. I promise myself that this cant continue to long.
9:30: Yesterday afternoon I had a large hyperactive spurt, I was walking round the house very giddy and wanting to spin people around, this lasted for about a half hour, during this I was running up lists of all the things I can do with the business, being a success at finding work, been a good partner and farther.
So to conclude what I have discovered doing this is this, Anorexia has a lot to do with control and hating parts of yourself both physically and mentally. It takes a lot of energy to get through the day and do simple things. Managing moods has been very difficult, riding high can be very addictive and the slumps take so much away from you. The stress on the body is frightening and I have lead a very active life. Sleeping is valuable if your body and mind can rest, this is because I have found when you are asleep you are not thinking, it breaks up the day and it conserves energy, plus I suspect that when someone is in full anorexic mode they don’t have to worry about eating. To think about food is a pain, caffeine helps supress appetite, gives your mind and body something to do and the caffeine and sugar gives you something to get through the day. Being around food can kick off a lot of anxiety because all you want to do is eat, and you feel disgusted and ashamed of these feelings. It feels like you are in a constant battle with parts of mind and body. I am unhappy with the way my legs chafe when I get warm, when you become uncomfortable with how you feel, you become very fixated on that area, you notice every time you move, get dressed and when you look at yourself. Weight gain and weight loss play a key feature because upon weighing myself for the last time I had lost 0.02kgs, with how much effort it has taken, I can see this been very devastating to sufferers because the results do not match the effort that is put in, this will lead to a big drop in confidence and mood. In a final note, I have a newfound respect for people who suffer from this illness because it is a minute by minute, second by second battle with what can only be described as fighting an intruder in your own mind. I know I will never know the true extent of the illness but I have a better understanding of how I can better support, listen and what actions I can take.
MASSIVE RESPECT FOR YOU, WE DO HAVE A STRONG CONNECTION ,AND SOMETIMES WE NEED TO REMIND EACH OTHER.
Dealing with life 😀