I wanted to get far away from you child

From your red eyes, your running nose

I wanted to run too.

But away, away, away.

Away from your tears and your brother’s too.

Away from him. Away from you.

I can’t bear it you see?

All that grief. All that pain

I can’t hold it in, can’t explain.

And I feel myself blowing up like those fish.

And it’s not my place to cry.

My father didn’t die.

It’s not mine to take away from you.

Not my sad story this time.

So I must leave.

Not because I don’t want to hold you.

Not because my heart doesn’t ache for your sad eyes

But because my body can’t behave like others and stay calm

Because your grief is mine too

Your loss mine to see and feel

Because he held your hands everyday

As I do my son on the way to school

And because we walked past you every day and waved.

He formed a familiar background to the daily grind.

His eyes were warm, his smile was kind.

So now you know why I must run.

Not for me

I run for you. For your brother. Your mother.

I run away, away, away.

I run from the desolate grief you hold.

I run because you can’t.

I run or else I’ll fold.

(C) Slumpless


Little Hands


I’ll burrow deeper into feather, into soft downy threads

Nestle and settle in a ball in this bed

Escape my head.

Escape you. All of you.

I need time at sea. Time to see.

To dream away this life of grime.

Time… so much time.

This life of traffic, of murk.

Work.Work. Work.

I’ll float in nothing for a while longer

Until I’m stronger

But little hands land on my head

Soft cheeks settle on my pillow

‘Are you ok mum? Are you asleep?’

For little voice I’m drawn out of the deep.

This time.

I hug little hands close to me

Under the cover

For now hibernation is over.

For now. 

(c) Slumpless



I just wanted to take his little hand and run.

Jump on a bus and go on an adventure.

He didn’t want to go to school and little sobs racked his big soul.

His quivering lips , his wet eyes.

I wasn’t ready for such goodbyes.

All I could think was that:

His whole life would be filled with timetables.

One day

He wouldn’t be able to run away.

So why not today son?Why the hell not.

Let’s run while we still can.

While it’s still fun

Because someday you won’t have your mum.

Someday you’ll be in a suit and tie

With no one at the gate to wave goodbye

(c) Slumpless


Hush Now


Your voice has always held me back

But now I’m ready to dub it over.

I’ll do it like in the movies

You know where the sun comes out

As the credits roll?

I’ll dance into the distance.

Become a speck on the screen.

Your power over me less keen.

I have never been able to follow my soul

You were always too loud

Judging my goal.

So hush now. Hush.

Please don’t complain

Because listening to you

Has made me insane.

(C) Slumpless




‘Oh you’re a wiry one’

She would say this without malice but the words hurt all the same.

Did she mean sharp? I have a sharp tongue I’m told and it slices strips off you.

Maybe she meant that I could never sit still

That there was a tremor in my blood

Electricity always running through my core

Well I tell you, I’m electric no more.

‘Is there a pulse?’ I hear this in the distance but all I see is her face and slow thud of my heart fading.

‘ A wiry one’. I smile inside.

I’ll ask her what she meant.

(C) Slumpless 

How are you?


All we do these days is compete

Which one of us is more depressed?

Your slouching shoulders tell me it’s your turn

But I’m still staying in bed all day.

‘How are you?’ Has become a rhetorical question.

I don’t really want to know and neither do you.

We don’t so much discuss as rant.

Shouldn’t. Wouldn’t. Can’t

No my day was worse.

No I’m more tired.

No I’m the one closer to getting fired.

To think that once we tried

To colour our days pink

To lay roses on the ground to cover the mud.

Now it’s no good.

But wait. Wait.

We can stop. We can change.

Let’s just pretend.

Fake it for a while until the smiles are less strange.

Let’s be better.

Let’s try to bring in the light

Because I’m really fed up

Of this dark depressing plight.

(c) Slumpless