Echoes of Darkness

Beware of darkness

Beware of darkness

It eats the soul

Nightmare claws attach

Voices whisper

Wild thoughts


Beyond sanity’s climax


The hopelessness surrounds you

Watch out my own sweet love

The dead of night

Darkens deeply

The shooting star

That shines



Beware of sadness

And words that linger

Deep inside your head

Memories twisted

Vain hopes


Beyond my own deathbed


The Edge

The morning dawns grey

A blanket on another day

The savage wind


Of another place

Where time stands


Like a bitter pill



Empty Sky




Where has the time gone?

The tears flow

And weeds grow

Hands both shake

Sat all alone

The wall

The hall

The call

Sad deserted shore

Friends now leave

Lovers grieve

Birds they fly

I don’t count the score


Black Dog

Black dog at my feet

The darkness drifts dreaming from another place

Been here before

But still I’m not sure

Where it all will end


Black dog by my side

The dawn drowns drinking hope from the daylight

Been here before

But still I’m not sure

What the morn will bring


Black dog on my lap

The day drags drearily to the dark of noon

Been here before

But still I’m not sure

When the sun will set


Black dog at my back

The evening draws draping dankly upon me

Been here before

But still I’m not sure

When the night will end


Blink of an Eye

Shattered pavilions

Lost in the mist of time

Broken ladders

Leading nowhere

Looking for answers

But lost for questions

Life in a broken moment

In the blink of an eye



I fought to survive the cancer

But still the boot came in

I fought to save my marriage

But still the boot came in

I fought through tears and laughter

But still the boot came in

I fought for truth and honesty

But still the boot came in

I fought with the sword of justice

But still the boot came in

I fought the nuclear dustbin

But still the boot came in

I fought to find my children

But still the boot came in

I fought for all the homeless

But still the boot came in

I fought for faith and family

But still the boot came in

I fought for Islam’s children

But still the boot came in

I fought for Labour’s heartland

But still the boot came in

I fought against Noah’s rainbow

But still the boot came in

I fought for all the others

But still the boot came in


Heaven can wait

Leaving Beersheba





In Gaza

Climbing Jacob’s ladder

Reach the top

And stop


There’s nothing



Top of the End

Head screams pain

Life broken again

The grey sky

Burning eyes

Hope that shone

So bright


Dust under the feet

My, oh my, oh my

Let me die


Laughter now dead

Words are all read

Plans for the future

Solitary torture

Life that fought

So hard


Lost and beaten

My, oh my, oh my

Let me die


The moment

I walk a fine line between sanity

And despair

Where abuse and loss


Self-confidence and self-care

The memories eat away

The small joys

Of today

And leave me sightless


In this land of the blind






The times lies in pieces

On this broken


A pathway

To the stars

Where the crescent


Doesn’t bend

Its light


And memories



Momentary Nails

Flash of anger

Howls like a


We regret the



Homeward bound

It will not last

Battles won

And souls are lost

Peace is sewn

The wind is blown

Society ponders



The sickle





Hanging by nails

Upon your cross

And Crescent



Kindred recall

Sunlight dapples

Oak tree tops

Above the leaded roof

The sky screams


Searching for the truth


I don’t know you

Kindred spirit

Lost refrain

Your eyes betray


And more deeply your pain


Victorian tiles

Line the attic

Of Dylan’s distant vision

The rain cascades


Reaching no decision


Radiators rumble

Shunning silence

With dim electric noise

The heating coughs


Humanity destroys


Window shutters

Cause shadows

Upon the office wall

The day’s stillness


No-one hears the call


I might die tonight

You smile

And your mouth says you love me

You laugh

And the world laughs with you too

You sigh

And my arms they do uphold you

You cry

And my tissues dry your tears

You break

And your eyes they see the distance

You sway

And the planet is still turning

You sleep

And I might die tonight



Oh what a life it’s been

Even the trapped ambition

The mistakes

The gaffs

The love

The lust

The diamonds

The rust

The music

The lions

The dust

What a life


Oh what a life it’s been

Even the damned confusion





The beach

The waves

The reach

The illusion

The speech

What a life


The Poplar

The lonely poplar

Pricks holes

In the darkening


As snow cascades

And quiet songs sing

In chill white


By a window

To the world


Just waiting



For the grey around


To lighten

The journey


To a place where

I can


Sweet dreams

And sing quiet songs


Punch Drunk

Punch drunk

Been knifed in the back

Punch drunk

Dazed by distorted fact

Punch drunk

Hit between the eyes

Punch drunk

Poisoned with their lies

Punch drunk

Twisted tales that they tell

Punch drunk

Stumbled and then I fell

Punch drunk

Reeling on the ropes

Punch drunk

Left with little hope

Punch drunk

One too many blows

Punch drunk

Blood running from my nose

Punch drunk

Nothing left to lose

Punch drunk

Stand inside my shoes

Punch drunk

Depression runs too deep

Punch drunk

Fighting for some sleep

Punch drunk

Trying to stay straight

Punch drunk

The fightback is too late

Punch drunk

Dimming of the light

Punch drunk

Losing every fight

Punch drunk

The game it is too rough

Punch drunk

Think I’ve had enough


This is the Sea

Swirling salt water laps at my feet

The west wind finds frailties

Of what remains from the sleep

Greyness spreads to the dark horizon

Herring gulls call me to the deep

This is the end

This is my friend

This is the sea


Memories meander around what happened before

Questions open wounds bleakly

Yet we all know the score

Emptiness echoes as hope once evades

Waves they now crash upon the shore

This is the end

This is my friend

This is the sea


Beware of Darkness

Beware of darkness

It eats the soul

Nightmare claws attach

Voices whisper

Wild thoughts


Beyond sanity’s climax


The hopelessness surrounds you

Watch out my own sweet love

The dead of night

Darkens deeply

The shooting star

That shines



Beware of sadness

And words that linger

Deep inside your head

Memories twisted

Vain hopes


Beyond your own deathbed


Childhood Sexual Abuse – Echoes of the Darkness

abused child

ALL my life I have been aware of people passing my way, who have been victims of childhood sexual abuse.

But, to protect myself, and my own frailties, I have not questioned or drawn them close to talk about their lives… I metaphorically walked by on the other side.

This was until I met one very special person, who in hindsight became the catalyst I had waited almost a lifetime to meet.

Jay (not her real name) was damaged, just like me, and when we met she was emerging from the hell of a court case, which saw her father jailed for 10 years for the vile damage he had inflicted on her when she was a child.

She wrote this heart-wrenching tale for me at the time. I am rebooting it to try and help people understand the utter hell and damage created by paedophilia and child abuse:

“It all began when I was eight years-old, and looking back on it, there was obviously a premeditated plan in place all along.

At first it was almost imperceptible.

Cleverly disguised as the occasional misplaced hand, I would ask myself if I was just imagining it.

Now I realise this was ‘testing the water’ to see if I had the guts to speak out.

But I was terrified of him and said nothing.

And from within that first ever silence was borne unwitting complicity in years of unspeakable evil acts.

From the first touch – a slowly sweeping hand draped casually over my shoulder, fingers brushing against my undeveloped chest – I knew it was wrong.

Without ever having to be told good from evil, I felt innately that this behaviour was sickeningly out of place, for someone in a position of parental trust.

From that first moment, I was frightened, betrayed and trapped.

As soon as he knew I was keeping quiet, he began his quest in earnest.

It quickly became sessions of being touched inappropriately behind a locked bathroom door.

Where was my mother? How could she possibly not know what was happening? Why didn’t she rescue me?

Even when I wanted to shower before school, he would insist on being in the bathroom to have his morning shave – watching me in the mirror, and then weighing me naked on the scales, so that he could stand over me and ‘assess’ my body fat, marking up my weight on a wall-chart, and telling me how very ugly I was. I still hate bathroom scales to this day.

When I was 12, my mother went back to work, and my father notched up his activity levels immediately.

It developed into having to perform horrible rituals for two hours at a time, whilst she worked.

Tied into activities that he’d always told me were ‘normal and happened in every family’, by the time I realised it was all very far from normal, I couldn’t say anything to anyone.

The sessions became more sinister as I got older.

He would make me use horrible equipment, and forced me to look at pornographic magazines, making me pleasure him and – well before I was even 16 – he moved on to both kinds of rape.

He would unleash the fullest extent of his anger upon me if I didn’t make a good job of everything he required of me, and punishment was always of a much worse sexual nature.

Once I had gone through puberty, it didn’t matter to him what time of the month it was, so the fear of pregnancy hung over me like a constant black cloud.

I was endlessly at the doctors with internal problems and suffered terrible depression – which I still do to this day.

I spent hours either locked away in my room contemplating suicide, or walking the streets of my town to avoid him.

As I approached my final exams, it became clear that any books or equipment I needed to make sure of good grades, were going to have to be painstakingly ‘earned’.

The horror of this broke my spirit for further education and I left home on the day of my 18th birthday, with my few pathetic possessions in one canvas bag.

I tried to make a normal life, but it was impossible.

For 40 years I felt isolated, betrayed, dirty and abandoned.

I ricocheted back and forth in a succession of disastrous relationships, unable to find any stability.

But I never gave up hope of justice being done, and now that evil man is serving time for his crimes, which is a small compensation for what I endured.

And also, I never gave up hope of one day being, loved, valued and cherished.

These words mean nothing to those of us who have had a lifetime of being used, broken and disrespected.

Now I am slowly picking up the pieces and putting a life together. It can be done. No matter how late on in life, and how badly damaged we are, we are all worthy of being loved.

And if I am living proof of anything at all, it is the fact that there is always a tiny flicker of hope out there, somewhere in the darkness.”

Sadly, Jay’s and my relationship, which was always mutually caring, did not last.

In hindsight I guess we were both too damaged and the time was wrong. But I will always love her because she gave me the courage to face my own demon.

But it took another few years and a nervous breakdown for that to happen.

When I did come out and publicly write about my own abuse, the pressure was released and a recovery of sorts began.

Since then many, many friends have come to me and told me of their own harrowing stories of childhood sexual abuse – some had been friends for many years and had never breathed a word of what had gone before.

Other confidantes are complete strangers. One such person is Sam Hill, author of An Oath to Hell whom I met simply through a Twitter friendship. You can read more about Sam’s abuse and her battle to be heard here:

Gradually we survivors have become a network of sharing, and in doing so are helping each other along the road to further recovery and strengthening.

And that network keeps growing.

Over the past few days I have been reading, editing and transcribing some poems written by one of those people… a new and lovely friend who was abused for six years by her own brother.

I will called her Justine for the sake of this article, but again I have protected her real name.

I am entranced by the power of her words and the hell from which she has emerged.

More than twice she has tried to end her own life, but keeps going for the sake of her own children. And throughout it all she has documented every moment with poetry.

This particular one brought tears to my eyes:


Release these chains, pick this lock

Try anything you can

Please don’t give up

See me for who I am

Please stay patient

I know I appear to be spiteful and cruel

Don’t be blinded by my reputation

There’s a good person inside, a hidden jewel

Just because it’s lost doesn’t mean it can’t be found

It screams and screams

But that doesn’t mean you hear its sound

Hidden reality that lies in dreams

Something that’s old can be renewed

Princesses are awoken by a kiss

I just need to be rescued

Returned to what I miss

I can change the hand I’ve been dealt

I know I can win But I also need help

Please, don’t give in

Her poems remind me of my own, but are so much more powerful and tell a different story. Now she is beginning to write her own harrowing autobiography, which I am sure may one day become a best seller. whole

This reading/writing/editing process could easily have brought me down, but crazily instead it is uplifting and warming. Because, you see, we are never alone.

So for anyone who may have suffered sexual or physical abuse as a child, the salvation is to reach out and speak out… we are here.

We are always here.


Darkness and Light (a lot less dignity than you think)

Look in their eyes and then you’ll see

Love or murder in the first degree

Friends last forever but the lovers just lust

And the demon’s glare turns it all to rust

I went down to where the vultures still feed

I would’ve gone deeper, but there was no need

Heard the tongues of angels and the tongues of men

Taunting my back and corrupting again

So many roads and so much at stake

So many dead ends, I’m at the edge of the lake

Sometimes I wonder which path to take

But I cannot return from the last mistake

See my blue-eyed boy run cross the mud and sand

We keep going down into that forgotten land

I heard the songs of darkness and the songs of light

In the emotional avenues of despair

She smiled and sparkled and I just laughed

Duplicity never been photographed

I went down to the bottom and back it seems

Into the valley of those electric dreams

Running fast and moving too slow

Now at the end, there’s no place to go

Just bite down hard on the next bitter pill

And follow sweet fairies to the top of the hill

Poem: From a Distance

The day it dawned in darkness
The door it was slammed shut
The candle which was burning
Had all but been snuffed out
I fought with all my senses
Against the hope that was so clear
I hear a young dove crying 3,000 miles from here

I waited for 4,000 days
At times it seemed much more
I looked up to the evening sky
Counted shooting stars by the score
Your own flame shone quite brightly
And my hope it was so clear
I hear a young dove crying 3,000 miles from here

An asteroid exploded
On a Sunday back in June
A father’s love rekindled
But someone blew it out too soon
I waited for each message
My heart still swelled quite clear
I hear a young dove crying 3,000 miles from here

(with thanks to local singer/songwriter Ian Hunter for borrowing the last line refrain)

Poem: Darkness

Death where is thy sting?

You came and took

Her away

And still you haunt me

In my darkest


You sit like a cactus

By my window

In smothering


In my darkest


I wake in the night

Still crying

Cursing the name


In my darkest


You reach out darkly

And remember

It was you who died

Not me

In my darkest