Hiking 2 – R.W.

Out on the mountainside
Exposed to the elements
As the wind whips the sweat from my skin
Leaving it chapped dry and salty
I remind myself
Despite the burning in my muscles
As they make moves they’re not used to
This is what I signed up for
A break from my normal routine
A little bit of hard work
For a reward unachievable
Through a different route
The endorphins from the exercise
Coupled with the views from the peak
Well worth the climb up
And the blisters on the descent

Numb – R.W.

Reaching, always reaching
For the one that isn’t here
Repition may result in familiarity
But it also makes us numb
Under sensitive to that which is in our face
In favour of the less regular
You are my every day
So we miss our big events
The important one offs
Slide by one day by one
Then an event is made
For the one we don’t see
A fuss and a party
Simply because they are here
A shock to the system
A blip in the line chart
Amplified until its all consuming

Anxiety – R.W.

Choked up
A big ball
Made of nothing
And everything
Air and spit
And anxiety
And dread
I can feel the shape
Filling the gap
Between the back of my mouth
And my throat
Solid and slimy
Perfectly round
With its own veins pumping blood
Sustaining the life
Of this imagined anomaly
The physical representation
Of the worry inside my brain

The Internal Struggle – R.W.

I feel it
In my bones
In my soul
Energy and feelings
Come in a dream
In the middle of the night
Jumble and roll
Fight to get out
Turn my internal organs inside out
As the power tries to translate itself
Into something that can be understood
Then the words come
And from abdomen to page
Following the curve of my arms
And the tip tap of my fingers
As that feeling that woke
In a cold sweat in the night
The anxiety I’ve struggled with all morming
Finally leaves me
To its final resting place
Here on this page

Nightmare – R.W.

Hold the air
Arms engulf
Feel it there
A cuddle in the night
Comfort of another
When no other is there
You’ll grow out of nightmares
But when
I’m already twenty three
Tightening my snakes grip
My pillow is my saviour now
A friend in the night
Filled with air


Was it even a hike
If one of you didn’t get mad at the other
For length or duration
Maybe it was how hard it was
On the muscles in your thighs and knees
A burning followed by an ache
As you realise
You’re not as fit as you thought
Or it could be my inability to follow
The route marked on the map
For my favourite way to hike
Is the I choose this path
Fuck it and see
Navigational method

Do you feel like you should be doing more than just bartending?

Do you feel like you should be doing more than just bartending? A friend asked me this as research for an article she was writing. Its an interesting question. One that, as I told her, I could speak for days on given the chance. The short answer is no, there’s no where else I’d rather be. But its not as simple as that, there’s also so much more I want to do with it.

While I was at uni, before I was working in a bar full time, I didn’t understand why real adults would choose this as a career not just a gap year or paying your way while you pursue something else. Obviously I  don’t think that way now but it’s definitely a mind set I used to have. When I started in the industry it felt like a quick fix, something you do for a bit just to earn some money but not sustainable as a long term plan. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Now I’ve been working in this industry for over 7 years and it is my long term plan.

I do go through cycles of feeling like I should be doing more especially anytime I’ve taken a step back from management. Although there’s always a reason why I’ve made the decision to step backwards, like when I went from a bar manager position in a gastro pub at age 20 to a supervisor at a high end hotel restaurant. The point of that was serving at a higher level than in the gastro pub and learning to do it properly rather than sort of learning things as I had to. For example I learnt to line clean because the only manager who knew how went on maternity leave and I learnt to run a training session when there was a new cocktail menu coming out and no one else had enough of an interest in bar to train it so I left doing that for structure and training on how to be a manager. In the end I didn’t receive the development I was seeking, instead I was working long hours and burning myself out.

This time around I’ve chosen to stick with an unintentional return to bartending rather than managing because I spent last year working on restoring my mental health and now this year I’m working at finishing my degree. So although I often feel like I’ve taken a step backwards and I should be doing more I can also rationalise it with there’s an alterior motive and I’m doing it with a purpose in mind.

Besides I bloody love just turning up to a shift throwing some drinks around then going home again.

Dream Home – R.W.

Waking up in a panic, a cold sweat
I wouldn’t call it a nightmare as such
Much closer to a dream
A viewing of the perfect home, imaginary
Look how I stretch out in this bath
The details on the farm house windows
A caveat, its half way across the country
We’ll make it work, says dream me
Dream you replies, but what of our friends, family and jobs
Let’s wait for your birthday
Deflated nearly a year away
Dream me wakes into real me
It doesn’t quite make sense
Any of it
But the disappointment still lingers, the feeling of loss just as real as it was in the dream

Cinderella – R.W.

Cinderella never set out to rule
She wasn’t even trying to get her birth right back
Cinderella didn’t know she was going to meet the Prince
All she wanted was to be equal
A seat at the table
She worked hard to get there
Made everything from scratch herself
Cinderella didn’t ask for half the things she got
She fought for equal rights
Aimed for the stars but got the universe
Her desire , drive and hard work
Gave her so much more than she ever believed she could haveĀ 

My Friend The Rain – R.W.

The rains trying hard again
Knock knocking on the skylight roof
Maybe its lonely
Reaching for the warm embrace of another
Or maybe its cold
Looking for shelter and acceptance
A safe place to call its own
The rains trying hard again
Calling for someone to notice
Open up their heart
And let it inside