I used to think living on my own was fine then the shadows moved in followed by voices, they want me out they say the house is theirs time to turn the tables I threw flour in the air The shadows vanished The voices remained They whisper in the peeling wallpaper Through the cracks in the floorboards I strip the wallpaper, filled the cracks The house is quiet I reclaim my sanity. ©AnitaDawes2022
Dark half entities Day or night, reach across the land. Breaking away from their hosts Elongated, misshapen forms Forests, great monuments. We too have our own half-life Following where we go Bending its shape to the landscape Stretching along walls, leading the way Searching along the River Thames Playing with the water Dancing with the light Teasing, find me, touch me. I have watched the shadows Shrink back into themselves As if frightened by a stranger form They return to their host. The land around is bright again Lit by the sun. When the time is right Our own earth reaches into space Like a dark searchlight. I wait, hold my breath watch Pac-man eat the moon Until the dark shadow is complete... ©AnitaDawes2019
Morning shadows dance across the fields Like children playing Evening shadows lengthen Giants disturbing time Trying to make space to linger Some, wishing they were nothing Not dust to blow away with the wind No light can cast them out They search for a place to rest, to be unseen Sounds of the river call for drowning Washing away of sad thoughts Shadows pass over shadows Entanglement ensues Shadows continue to move Within the many shades of darkness… © AnitaDawes2021
Worry is a terrible thing, it steals the quality of life from right under your nose, reducing your world into a place of doom and gloom. We have been sitting on a massive worry these past six months and have refused to start the new year until we had good news.
I have desperately tried to keep everything normal, finish my WIP and keep the website going, but have to admit it was a poor imitation of the real thing, and I apologise for that.
I have not been sharing much of this with our friends and followers and this may seem strange after all your incredible support when Anita had that massive heart attack in 2020. Your love and good wishes pulled us through that terrible time, but when disaster struck again last year, it seemed far more serious, and we really felt that talking about it might make it worse.
Anita’s heart is still severely damaged, and despite having two stents and a pacemaker fitted, it only barely functions. When a series of lumps started to appear around her neck last year, the alarm bells started ringing again.
Because of the raging virus and all the hospital delays, it took months to have the lumps investigated. The consultant mentioned cancer and after deliberation, they finally decided to remove part of her thyroid. Surgery was a problem as they didn’t think her heart was strong enough, but they said that delaying it was not an option.
A nightmare time for all the family, especially Anita for she can’t abide hospitals at the best of times. My sister has never been ill and to be struck down by two life threatening illnesses almost at the same time seems very unfair. She made it through the surgery without incident, but we had to wait two agonising weeks to get the results of the tests.
By this time, we were all terrified and sick with worry, dreading the news.
The day of the appointment, I felt sick to my stomach but somehow kept a smile on my face. I think I held my breath when she was called into the consultants office, but five minutes later the door opened and she rushed out of the room, a massive smile on her face. We watched in amazement as she ran out of the ENT department to a standing ovation from the nurses.
By this time, we knew the news must be good, but I wanted to know how good. Just before we all reached the lifts, I caught her arm and made her stop walking. ‘Well,’, I said and waited.
She stood there and laughed at me, and I didn’t think she was going to say anything.
‘THERE IS NO CANCER,’ she shouted.
All the way home in the car, she kept saying those words, and her relief was wonderful to see. Despite the odds, her poor old ticker had survived the surgery and she was cancer free.
But four days later, we had to rush back to the hospital, as Anita was having trouble breathing. She is now back home, but it seems that worrying isn’t going anywhere after all.
She is looking better, although still very weak and breathless much of the time. The list of her medications grows ever longer, but … and you may have noticed this, none of what happened has stopped her writing her poetry.
Now all I have to do, is get my own head back together!
I love the way Anita has woven the shadows throughout this poem…
My tv controls are beside me on my side table
Every now and then, they crackle
As though someone is handling it
The phone too, makes the same noise
Today I had the tv controls beside me on the couch
There it goes again, someone touching it.
I got to wondering if the previous occupants are
Still living here with me and my family
Touching strange objects and wondering what they are
Do they sit and watch tv with me?
If so, they may realise what they are touching
Trying to change channels
I often have the controls beside my leg on the couch
We might be watching something long waited for
When the tv changes channels
I get, ‘Mum, I’m watching that!’ from my son
A sideways look from Jaye
I say it wasn’t me.
I didn’t touch nor did my leg
These are old cottages we live in, built in 1887
One last thought
The people living here must be very clean
For the bath creaks late at night
Could be their time is different to ours?
I don’t mind the noise,
It has been said that houses can speak to you
Do they also have the odd shadow
Passing you in the hall?
The creak of your bed, long after you have left it.
I have the feeling they know I don’t mind them being here
Sharing our space
After all, they were here first…
© anita dawes 2020
Who are you?
I hear the voice, as if someone walks one step behind me
The words unformed, the sound of an angry bee caught in a web
I turn, face the empty street
Keeping my voice low, I ask, who are you?
“I am your shadow, here inside you
Where no light shines.
Most of your life you have taken no notice of me
As if I don’t exist.”
My shadow is nothing more than a trick of the light
“You think so? I am here to tell you I can be free of you.
Let someone tread on your shadow, while you continue to walk away
You may feel lighter without me.
You will feel slower, your days will take longer to pass
Each time you allow someone to step on me
A small part disappears
Soon I will be gone, you will miss me, wish me to return
This I will not do; I will have the freedom I seek…”
© anita dawes 2020
Anita has always wanted to see her poetry in print, and I think this is because they mean a little bit more to her than her fiction work. Probably because they are closer to her heart and soul.
Now, I was an editor long before I became a writer, so I thought compiling a book of poems would be a walk in the park.
I started with the eBook, which as you know, doesn’t have pages, it just rolls along until the end. I uploaded 100 of Anita’s most popular poems from last year, all suitably separated by a fancy divider. I wanted to use colour for these, but thought it might be too expensive, (or complicated)
As I was scrolling down the poems, it occurred to me that this system wouldn’t work for the paperback version.
The one thing you don’t want, is what I think they call Widows and Orphans, where you have half of the poem on one page and continuing the next.
The next problem that hit me was that all these poems were different lengths, so fitting them all neatly on the pages was going to be difficult, complicated to say the least.
One problem lead to the next, when I realised this book would need a TOC, or table of contents.
I haven’t done one of these in ages so had to scrape my morale of the floor and search the house for my thinking cap.
Which leads me to the last problem.
At least I hope it’s the last!
My brain keeps letting me down right in the middle of a procedure. Every time I have a good thought, half of it seems to vanish in a puff of smoke and I’m left with just enough to drive me crazy!
I tend to write a lot of notes these days because of this new development, but it happens so fast now, I often don’t get to the pen in time.
Sometimes the rest of the thought pops up again later, but then I must remember the first part and marry them up!
So I would be grateful if you find any howling errors, to let me know, so I can fix them!
What with one thing and another, I haven’t been able to do any marketing, so I’ll be playing catch up forever with this one. I have tried to add the link but unfortunately, it doesn’t feel like behaving. The link on the cover in our sidebar isn’t working either so not having a great day! I seem to have done everything right, so must be this new editor. Methinks its time to ask WP for help…
There will be more about this book, but feel free to add some feedback in the meantime…
When morning shadows fade, I shrink back into darkness
Forgotten until daylight when I can once again search
For the one who stole my lifeforce while I was dreaming me.
Yet, he has no face, not fully formed
I must be quick before he takes more from the shadows
To become the one I am meant to be, leaving me in darkness
Never to step into the light to find my own form
To live outside my own form, my own shadow
The faceless one will not give back with ease
The fight will be fierce, I must protect the little I have
I am forced to hide in darker shadows, wait to find help there
from those who wait to live outside.
Not an easy thing to ask, each life force is a precious jewel
To find one that is jaded is my hope
One who has lost desire for the outside.
To borrow from this being is dangerous,
as I might forget my own desire
A risk I must take if I am to live outside my shadow
For there is one there I dearly wish to beside
I have watched her from the shadows
Planned our wedding, seen the birth of our children
I have yet to make it so,
to breathe the same air, I must find the jaded one
plead my case, steal his life force if I must
She is worth the evil I would carry to the outside
A sin on my new-born soul.
It can carry many more, not that I intend to
I will escape the evil voice that haunts my shadow life
Lay down all previous sin as I take form from the jaded one
As I do so, he will fade into eternity
There he will live again, in a better form of self
There is no way back, still, I will send him
His sins may be as fleas on a dog’s back, too many to count
I care not, my need is greater
I see him now, crouched in the darkness, a lone wolf
Waiting his own demise
I am here to help him on his way, I will ask first,
if his answer is unfavourable, I will steal from him
Gather more from those who hide with him
They have given up, I shall not
I will find what was stolen from me
I will live again, outside my shadow…