Rest – R.W.

A panic attack
Out the blue
Half way to my car
And no way I can drive now
Time required
To find my calm
A few deep breaths
Sips of water
Slow my pulse
Regulate my breathing
Nearly ready to go

The Australians and The Balloons – R.W.

Grass roots venue
Attracting a crowd as diverse
As the entertainment it hosts
Many just there
As a place to go
Others die hard followers
Of the band on the stage
A dark room
Full of sweaty dark bodies
With two stand outs
In a blue gingham dress
And a red flannel shirt
Dressed for the summer
Blowing balloons in the middle of the crowd
A bright playful toy
In a room where a mosh pit
Is one base drop away
Up pops a balloon
Then another
Pop pop pop
Until there’s half a dozen
Floating atop the crowd
Everyone working together
To not let them touch the ground

Me, The 12 Year Old Manager – R.W.

I don’t want to talk about my promotion
Or how well the new team are settling in
I want to talk about the woman
Who screamed at me across the bar
Like the toddler she described me as
When I told her no
No more alcohol for you
Do you know how old I am
As though reaching 70 makes you immune
From the possibility of being drunk
The woman who swore
And stomped her feet
Exclaiming I knew nothing about drunk people
Not my getting on for 10 years in the industry
Not ever seen a drunk person me
The woman who got her husband
To threaten us with violence
Try to fight the bouncers
From another bar
That I had to borrow to extract them
Remove them from a place
Where they were doing my team
And my business harm
The woman who left me no choice
But to call the police to remove her
Because like the toddler she described me as
She couldn’t take no

Winter Flu – R.W.

The first cold snap
Of this winter
Has bought with it
Illness in flu
Bed days
Symptomatic of
The change in weather
The change in wellness
As they draw to a close
And the sun returns
A mist falls in the mornings
Cloudy head
And blocked nose
No longer enough
To stay off work
But a good few hours
Before it clears
And visibility returns

International Travel – R.W.

I miss Paris
Getting lost on the metro
With no help for my poor French
The fake pleasantvile
Of the town by the resort
A place where no one actually lives
Just designed to look that way

I miss sleeping in an airport in Greece
Flight cancelled twice
With no update when we’d get home
Tired hungover and running low on charge
A pile of us and our unchecked in luggage
Snoozing through the tropical storms outside

I miss landing in Spain
The friend who said she’d pick us up from the airport
Having left voicemails
While our phones were on aeroplane mode
Called into work
And left without a lift
Trying to find our way on the local buses
We’d done no research for
As they weren’t part of the plan

I miss my friends picking me up
In old ibiza Town
When the night went a bit far
One got arrested
The other drove the car
A misunderstanding
A world apart now

I miss getting a different train
On the Stockholm metro
Having to wait at the next
Art piece of a station
As our phones didn’t work
That far underground
Hope my friends would guess where I went

I miss more than anything
The freedom to travel
Adventures abroad
The good and the bad
I miss International travel

Chosen Family – R.W.

I know I’m not family
At least not quite
Not yet
But I live here
I live with them
Blood may be thicker than water
But the original phrase
Puts it the other way
The relationships you forge
Stronger than those forced upon you
I don’t want a say
Just to be included
A part
Because I’m sure
The love I have for them
I think
Is just as strong as yours 

Coin – R.W.

Two sides
The same story
Yours and mine
My words not heard
As I tell you I’m uncomfortable
I don’t want to
Flipside of the coin
You don’t understand
Why I won’t just do the thing I’ve always done
Why this time is one too many 

Restoring Balance – R.W.

I’m never going to be just one thing
Not scientist nor labourer
Philanthropist or artist
I don’t see why I couldn’t have everything
When me having more
Doesn’t take away from other people
My gain is not others loss
With hard work
And the right opportunities
Anyone could be anything
So rather than define myself
As just one thing
I’ll work hard
To be everything
So I can provide the opportunities
I had
To others that come after me
Open the doors
That could otherwise stay shut 

Overcommited – R.W.

We’re stood in the kitchen
Looking at the rota
Its Monday
But that doesn’t mean the start of the new week
Its no sleep but still get up and do admin day
Weekends are big for us
In a 24/7 industry
Stood beside me
You tell me how much you’ve got on
And you just can’t be working 6 days this week
Its come as one of the boys wants to swap
Hes not got child care that day
You tell me with everything going on
You just can’t commit
I’m holding my tongue
As the comment glazes over
How every waking moment
This past year
I haven’t been partying
Or living it up with family and friends
But studying
Staring at textbooks until my eyes cross
Full time balanced with full time
Our colleague had a baby
In the middle of a pandemic
Yet you’re the one with too much
To help