Must Try Harder

You must try harder, he says.

Harder to smile,

Harder to laugh,

Harder to forgive,

Harder to forget,

Harder to live again,

Harder to love again.

You must try harder, he says.

I can’t, she whispers

I’m sorry.

18 Years & 290 Days

Did I ever really know you at all, I wonder?
There was so much about you that I found fascinating.
Dark, brooding and mysterious.
Inexplicable in so many ways.
The expanse of your mind knew no bounds.
The depths of your heart the same.
You were so enchanting and intoxicating to me.
Such a fragile beauty.

I'm glad you didn't linger.
I'm thankful you didn't wither away.
I'm honoured I was with you, in those final moments.
Because I may never have really known you,
but I knew that look in your eyes.
I knew that grip of your hand.
I know my face was the last thing you saw.
You knew I was there, with you.
You knew I wouldn't leave.
You knew you were loved.


I roll over to your side of the bed.

My limbs search for yours,

My lungs for your scent,

My mouth for your kiss.

But all that’s left is your imprint.

And my tears seep into your pillow once again.


There is no better place.
Those we love don’t walk beside us.
There are no other rooms.
You will stand at that grave and weep.
There are more than five stages.
There are more than two parts.
Tears are not silent.
There is no peace or comfort to find.
Time heals nothing.
You’ll always walk alone.

And grief is like a fucking tsunami,
so good luck learning to swim in that.



Sometimes it's easy to think about you.
Our memories overwhelm me,
I feel the touch of your hand in mine,
and my eyes sparkle with joyous delight.

Sometimes I can't think about you at all.
My brain shuts off the pathway to the pain, 
My lungs stop taking in air,
and my heart, momentarily, stops beating.

Sometimes it's easy to talk about you.
Words fall from my mouth,
stories flow like vintage wine, 
and my smile is as wide as the horizon.

Sometimes I can't talk about you at all.
Sentences fail to form in my head,
my voice dries up like a parched riverbed, 
and my mouth is clamped like a vice.

I Hope You’re Happy Now

My eyes violently weep
My heart aches like a mother fucker
I hope you’re happy now

My mind irrevocably breaks
My guts bleed like a mother fucker
I hope you’re happy now

My soul eternally scars
Fuck you for leaving mother fucker
I hope you’re happy now

Still Hear

I still hear your key rattle in the door,
I still hear your footsteps across the floor.
I still hear your rubbish music playing,
I still hear your awesome temper fraying.
I still hear you impart your innate wisdom,
I still hear you berate with fierce criticism.
I still hear you sing your daft wee songs,
I still hear the bubble of your endless bongs.
I still hear you chew too loudly when you eat,
I still hear the thump of your heart beat.
I still hear your laugh and your wry chuckle,
I still hear your beloved belt unbuckle.
I still hear your enticing voice roar,
I still hear your thunderous snore.
I still hear your exasperated sigh,
I still hear your exhausted cry.

I Wish You Were,
Still Here.


Your words help guide my wayward step
and shine light in to my darkened heart

Your smile breaks my fall to the kitchen floor
and stems the tears in my haunted eyes

Your touch quietens the incessant voice in my head
and replenishes my embittered soul

You allow me to believe that love might be possible again

One day

Country Roads

I should stop driving late at night.

Especially on country roads.

It’s becoming far too tempting not to press the foot brake.

And I’m not afraid of the darkness…



Who Goes First?

It’s better that I’m living without you

Rather than you living without me

You’d never cope with this pain

It has wrecked me

But it would have destroyed you

And I would have hated that


Falling asleep is hard 
Waking up is harder

Getting showered is hard
Putting on clothes is harder

Making breakfast is hard
Eating it is harder

Leaving the house is hard
Going home is harder

Crossing the road is hard
Looking both ways is harder

Listening to people is hard
Talking to people is harder

Smiling in general is hard
Laughing at jokes is harder

Living with you was hard
Living without you is harder


You should be here with us.
Reciting these stories, 
reminding us of the facts. 
Pointing out the details,
bringing these memories to life.

We didn't realise
we should have been trying
harder to remember,
as one day you wouldn't be here
to connect the dots.


It’s like you’ve been round at your pals house for the evening, and you’re going to call me in a minute to tell me you’re on the bus home…

But you never call…

The Only One

You said I was the only one who made you laugh.
You said I was the only one who made you cry. 
You said I was the only one that made you feel safe.
You said I was the only one you could trust.
You said I was the only one who made you feel special.
You said I was the only one that mattered.
You said I was the only one who taught you patience.
You said I was the only one who taught you to be happy.
You said I was the only one who taught you to love.

Then you left.

And I was the only one who cried.


‘Blue Sign’

I was doing really well today you know.

I got out of bed at a reasonable time.
I sang to myself in the shower.
I put on different clothes.
I remembered to fed the cat.

I cleaned the bathroom.
I threw the stale food away from the fridge.
I washed the bed sheets.
I took the rubbish out.

I went for a swim.
I started listening to a new podcast.
I went shopping in the afternoon.
I even flirted with the man who served me.

And then I drove past the blue sign.
And the sky fell in.
And I remembered everything.
And my heart shattered all over again.


I Can / I Cannot

I can forever buy token things,

But I cannot answer my phone if it rings.

I can try to plug the cavernous gap,

But I cannot avoid that same old trap.

I can seek out frames for your daft wee photos,

But I cannot keep all of your old clothes.

I can find different ways to while away the hours,

But I cannot keep watering those dead flowers.

I can pray today will be warm and sunny,

But I cannot walk around and pretend to be funny.

I can look for answers in the cold grey sky,

But I cannot continue to painfully cry.

I can avoid scenes of actual violence,

But I cannot ensure my wilful silence.

I can try with all I have to get myself through,

But I cannot ever stop myself from loving you.


I wish I’d never met you.

Life would be easier then.

If I’d never met you I’d never have to forget you.

And I would be happier then.

Three Hundred and Sixty Five Days

It is unbelievable to think that trip 
was three hundred and sixty five days ago.

Just one anonymous face in a sea of many.
My twenty three year old dream realised.


There was no way to know then where I would be now.
Here, three hundred and sixty five days on, alone.

I would trade every second of that trip,
to have just one more minute,
with you.



Out of Space

It's like I'm an alien.

Cast adrift on the wrong planet,
slowly waving cheerio to the spacecraft as it departs.

'Please, don't leave me behind...'



I am broken
I am hurt
Words unspoken
Emotion curt

I am sad
I am wrong
Mind mad
Tears throng

I am tired
I am lonely
Memories mired
Despair only

I am weak
I am frail
Burning cheek
Limbs fail

I am down
I am done
Brows frown
Love gone

‘It’s still early days…’

I wake up with Harry the cat walking over my face. Fuck, is my first thought. It’s Saturday.

Saturdays have become the most difficult day since you’ve gone. Saturdays mean at least forty hours must pass before I can go to work and have something positive to distract my mind from my impenetrable sadness. I count the days in my head – you died 13 weeks ago today.

I push Harry off the bed and turn onto my side. I pull the duvet around my neck and scrunch up my eyes, trying to block out the daylight from the window. If I can just go back to sleep, even for a little while, at least I won’t have to face being alone with my thoughts. I try hard to think of nice things and drift off back to sleep. Of course, it is to no avail. Apart from the fact that my toes are poking out from the bottom of the bed and are in danger of being shred to ribbons by a predatory Harry: I need a piss.

With a heavy sigh I sit up. Carefully keeping the duvet around my neck to ward off the impending chill, I hunt around the bed for the remote control and turn on the TV. I’m amazed at how reliant on the TV I have become. It’s now on more often than off – the inane chatter of random game shows preferable to the otherwise morbid silence.

When Harry’s cute but fucking annoying meowing finally becomes too much to bear, I haul out of bed. Pulling on yesterdays t-shirt and joggers from the floor I walk through to the kitchen. Harry weaves in and out of my legs nearly causing a catastrophe more than once. I look in his dish – little bastard still has half a meal left from last night. There was no need for him to wake me up at all.

Poor wee thing. He’s been finding it hard too. Since you died. He just doesn’t like being alone. I top up his food and water bowls and he tucks in appreciatively. I give him a pat and head to the bathroom.

As I move my hands in and out of the water coming from the tap I examine my face in the mirror before me. Just look at the fucking state of me. In my late thirties I’m not exactly in the prime of my life but still…really? Jesus. I’d like to think I’ll look my best again one day but I’m not sure I ever will. My hair is greying, my face is blotchy and bloated and my eyes are like piss holes in the snow. Thankfully my clothes hide the worst of the hideously overweight, stretch marked, cellulite ridden body that I know fine well I live in. To have to look at that this morning would really push me over the edge.

I go back to the bedroom and jump back into bed. As I get comfortable Harry comes to join me, settling on top of the duvet for cuddles. At least I still have this little bugger I think. Without him I would truly have no one. I know it’s sad to view your pets as humans – but I’m taking all the friends I can get right now. I need them since you died. I reach for my other friend – my vape – and I am momentarily soothed as the nicotine rushes through my blood stream.

I consider getting up, getting dressed and going in to town to buy some shit I neither want or can afford. It’s how I’ve tried to fill the gap since you died. It hasn’t worked the last two Saturday’s though, so there’s no point trying again today. I set the TV to put itself to sleep in half an hour and settle back down again. I pull the duvet around my neck and close my eyes – Harry still purring away beside me.

The days news is burbling away in the background. Some cold and unfeeling male voice is revealing that, apparently, the country is only a week away from World War Three. Definitely best not to go out today then. I drift off into a restless sleep.

I wake up with Harry the cat walking over my face. Fuck, is my first thought. It’s still Saturday…


When you are misunderstood is when you are alone.
When you are alone is when you have no one to talk to.
When you have no one to talk to is when you are silenced.
When you are silenced is when you suffer.
When you suffer is when you cry.
When you cry is when you are in pain
When you are in pain is when you erase yourself.
When you erase yourself is when you cease to exist.
When you cease to exist is when you are dead.
When you are dead is when you are happy.

When you are happy is when you are dead.