Homemade Cyanide

His words are poison; they strike inside

And leave me shaken, like someone’s died

Though no one’s dead, I know he’s scared

And that’s a good thing, that someone cares

Yet each word flies like a poisoned dart

I’m the target, and they find their mark.

Everything hurts and it’s dark and I’m shaking

I try to stay calm, but I can feel myself breaking

I then try to leave, but my feet won’t move

And he won’t stop; he’s got something to prove

But why prove it to me? What did I do?

I agree this is nothing he should go through

Yet here his words seep, and it kills me inside

To my heart from his lips, it’s homemade cyanide

I’m paralysed and blind, stumbling through his pain

Even after he’s done, I won’t ever be the same


No Vacancy

There’s no vacancy in heaven for travellers, tonight

Those lost in the firmament, wandering through starlight,

Their bodies are trapped in hospital beds

Fluorescent lights shine on unmoving heads

But their souls are on fire, and they’re far more alive

Than they can remember (at least, in recent time)

So why does each heartbeat take more time than the last?

And why does each breath start and end with a gasp?

Where are they wandering, so far from home?

Are there comrades-in-arms, or do they wander alone?

Maybe it’s pretty, with so much to sight-see,

That they’re forgotten those below, still on bended knees

Watching so expectantly for when the end will come

Will your last breath be tonight, or are you waiting for the sun?

Why does it take so long for you to search out heaven’s gates?

Or were you there all of this time, and simply have to wait?

Some say there’s nothing after death, but I’m not sure that I agree

If there’s no quota, queue, or wait, then why’s there no vacancy?


They came with knives, and they came with guns

They shot my heart, and they pierced my lungs

They ripped the curtains and tore the rugs

I called it torture, but they called it love

They said, it helps to set you free

Don’t know who they helped, but it wasn’t me

Their words were lies, some common thread

Spun by men who are long dead

And they called me a ‘stupid girl’

Who didn’t know how to face the world

Well, I’ll show them, I told myself

As I wiped the blood off from the shelves

And saw the books unscathed beneath

The most powerful weapon I could finally unleash

Court of Angels

From up on high I see their lies

Wisps of air from worlds passed by

The people speak, but I don’t hear

They live their lives like I’m not here

I judge their hearts, their love , their hate,

The things they fail to appreciate

And when they die, the scales decide

The strength and value of their lives

Some go to heaven, others to hell,

Which one is better, I cannot tell.

I’ve never been to either one

I just watch lives dance in the sun

And judge them when the time is ripe

And guide them to walk into the light

God’s Work

The light from my heart guides my hands on their way

I wake up every morning so thankful for the day

Because each step I take is blessed from above

Every breath that I take, a holy gift filled with love

Everything that I do now is truly heaven-blessed

By the grace of God I’ve learnt to balance life and death

And, through me, scales are tilted in accordance with their fate

Whether they will pull through, or whether we came too late

By day and night God guides me here; I’m a vessel he commands

He teaches me the healing arts I don’t quite understand

In the night I float through halls, my head a blurry fog

But I know that I’m not alone, because I walk with God

And it is such a privilege to finally realise

How peace or grief can be achieved by just how someone dies!

This blessed art I now dwell in is a dream I never dreamt

I’m amongst the luckiest in the world to whom this calling’s been sent

I only hope that I can do justice to the will of God

And live each day in humility, through the grace of heaven’s love

Chances Are

Twenty-seven miles from where we first started

I stand alone, now that you have departed

It was all pure sunshine, a rose-coloured game,

But, like a child at play, I couldn’t handle the pain

So I turned my back as you fizzled out

Left me still yearning and struggling with doubt

Did I do you wrong? Was I not true?

Are you saying I should’ve been more faithful to you?

I am no cheater, I just love the world

And,  at the end of the day, I’m still a little girl

I’m not meant to be tied, but to dance in the sun

And your choice is to leave, or to come dance along

So it’s not my fault, no matter what you might say

And I won’t be sad now that you’ve gone away

I’ll go on dancing, just like I always do,

For it’s just to myself that I have to be true

Miss Movin’ On

She swears that she’s done nothing wrong

Of course that’s so, Miss Movin’ On

You see his flaws, but you have none

You just count the things he’s done

Oh, he’s not faultless (yes, we know)

I agree that it was his time to go

But why’d you push him, Miss Movin’ On?

You brought in the next before he was gone

Single and free, that’s what you say

But you were in love just yesterday

You say you’re happy, that he did you wrong,

But I think I know better, Miss Movin’ On


His eyes were closed, but I opened them

Shined a light from the tip of my pen,

Closed them again, but they wouldn’t stay

I found myself trapped in his unseeing gaze

Pupils blown up as I’d not seen before

Cold, dark, and soulless; the pen dropped to the floor

Everything I knew flew out of my head

This is what it looked like, when someone was dead

His chest didn’t move, and his eyes didn’t blink

I tested his reflexes, but not so much as a wink

I tried for a pulse, but there was nothing at all

The nurse looked in: “There’s family to call.”

So I covered the man with a clean, white sheet

Walked out of the room, as my job was complete

The phone call was short, yet it somehow seemed longer

I was embarrassed to struggle; I’d thought I was stronger

I signed the all papers and initialed the charts,

Recorded the exact time when his heart had stopped

Went back upstairs, but didn’t make it two flights

When my heart started clawing, putting up its own fight,

Banging on its chest cage, trying to come out

No idea what it wanted, but it filled me with doubt

Had I done something wrong? Was there something I’d missed?

Did he pass as he wanted? Was it just as he’d wished?

I broke down crying, in the stairwell, alone

Fumbling with buttons I couldn’t see on my phone

Just to hear a voice, to hear them tell me it’s okay

Hear them say, don’t worry, it’s another hospital day

But my fingers weren’t working, so no voice appeared

And I turned to the wall to hide my face, full of tears,

Until I’d cried it out, when I turned to the steps,

Tried to go forward, but plunged back into the depths

Of darkness, despair; I was lost in a maze

Unfamiliar and scared, a frightening craze

How could I go on, with this burden of guilt?

It was as if I’d pulled a trigger, his blood I’d spilt

I knew it was nonsense, in the back of my head,

But nonsense is convincing, when the subject is death!

So I took a deep breath and tried to calm down

Forced away guilt; otherwise, I’d drown

I thought of my mother, who holds her head high,

She knows how it feels to watch someone die

But she never falters, she can stay strong

When others are lost, she helps them carry on

And then I thought of the others still in my care

And my teammates and students. They needed me there.

There’d be time for tears, but this wasn’t it

Get my head back in the game, had no time to just sit

So I ran back upstairs, only five minutes late

Rounds had just started; we were on bed #8

Thus my day continued, and I carried on

Forcing myself to, somehow, stay strong

This is the cycle, when somebody dies,

Stay strong, move on — and don’t look into their eyes

Angel of Death

Deep in the night, I float through the halls,

The Angel of Death, by some I am called,

My thoughts are a dream, and a misty gaze coats

Every glance, every look; the dim light turns morose

Wherever I go, death seems to follow

The bitterest truth, though it’s not easy to swallow

Deep in the bowels of a hospital ward

Or in my own bed, gripping the headboard,

I hear its soft growl as it prowls through the air

Seeking its prey, seeking to cause despair

Such is the life of my shadow, my friend,

My one true constant, a beloved life’s end.

So be wary of my presence, lest you yourself find

Your Life and Death inseparably intertwined

I don’t try to do it, but it’s a mistake I repeat

So run while you can, lest Death your presence seeks


Your words are toxic, their meaning, obtuse,

So I turn down the volume, and put you on mute

You’re a waste of my time, hate the air that you breathe,

So I leave you behind, searching for some relief

Will you ever stop speaking? Words like yours don’t last

They’re lost in a memory. What’s past is past.

And you’re past, I know, but I still can’t move on

Though your voice stopped, your words hurt; you’re not really gone