Learning to Fly – A poem

Image by the author

I have all this life I can’t contain

Every thought and feeling fall like rain

It overflows, slipping through my fingers

As they land, the sensation lingers

I can’t hold them; even though they’re my own

I’m surrounded, but I feel so alone

The sands of time erase all in the end

But my will to live will never bend!

There’s only so much I will see and do

But I won’t stick to the tried and true

I’ve never been one to follow the herd

So, I’ll grow some wings and fly like a bird!

When I learn to fly, I’ll see so much more

I’ll fly over every mountain and every shore

I may not be able to hold onto everything

So I must let go and spread my wings!

Written by Miss Wren

Flash – A Poem

Photo by Jonas Kaiser on Unsplash

A lightning strike tore me asunder

A glimpse of nature’s violence

The calm pierced by a jagged light

It only lasted a moment

But the breath caught in my lungs

As if I thought it struck me

But no, it struck my favourite tree

The ancient oak sparked into flame

In one moment, things could never be the same

I stared in disbelief as the flames bloomed

Like a savage plant that winds its glowing tendrils

Around the host that sustains it, the tree chokes

I see my past go up in flames

The girl that once sat under it, disappearing in the smoke

She was me, and now she is no more.

Written by Miss Wren

All Speech is Free Speech, Whether You Like it or Not

Source: https://www.pexels.com/@gratisography

This was an article I never intended to write. Now every part of me is screaming at me not to hide anymore. I’m not overly political and I don’t talk about a lot of hot-button topics on Medium. Now I’ve decided to show what I stand for. I’m a free speech absolutist. This means that no matter how controversial your opinion is, I stand by your right to say it.

The U.S. has an amendment that defends free speech. It’s part of the constitution. I live in the U.K. and there’s no amendment or law that protects free speech. Instead, we have police officers who spend more time policing social media than protecting the public. We live in a world where words are violence and saying and doing anything remotely controversial can be considered hate speech.

I believe there are only two genders. I believe that abortion is a more nuanced debate than simply ‘my body, my choice’. I believe that people from all ideological walks of life deserve to have their voices heard, no matter how repugnant their views may be. I don’t care if you’re Christian, Jew or Muslim. I don’t care about your sexuality. I don’t care if you’re a communist hippie vegan or an alt-right skinhead. I don’t care about your race, either. If this is too controversial an opinion for you, you may want to stop reading this article.

Free speech is inclusivity. Free speech is being able to say what you want without being charged for a crime. The ever-increasing divide between political groups is dangerous and there is less middle ground than there has been in recent memory. That precious middle ground is what holds the extreme left-right politics at bay. The middle ground is what allows people to talk about their views in a calm and reasonable way. Free speech is being able to say; ‘I don’t like what you have to say, and I think you’re wrong, but I defend your right to say it,’ rather than ‘Shut up you bigot, it’s not okay to be white!’

I’ve seen and experienced a lot in my life so far. Now I’m in the twilight of my twenties, I care less about fitting in. I have, and I always will be an outcast. There are a lot of millennials who don’t believe what I believe, and that’s okay. I’m sure there are plenty of people from other generations who don’t hold the same beliefs as I do. I suppose I feel so strongly about free speech is that I know what it’s like to be censored. My father was abusive, and he used subtle methods of emotional manipulation to control me and my family. Piece by piece, all my emotion and agency was ripped from me. I became an automaton. He did this whilst rarely lifting a finger. Even when I realised what he was doing was wrong, it took at least a year for me to come forward to the authorities. That’s the power of emotional abuse, and I will never let someone else guilt me into retracting my words. Nothing anyone can say can hurt me.

Anxiety Got the Better of Me Today – and I’m Okay with That

Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

There is a little ball of anxiety that lives in me. It wanders around in my head sometimes and then rests. It has both eyes open and stares into the void. This is a normal day. The anxiety may appear a few times during the day to let me know it’s there and then it retreats into the shadowy recesses of my mind.

Today, the anxiety got bigger and more demanding. It wouldn’t stop running through hypothetical situations in my head, telling me what could happen. This creature is normally tame because I keep it on a tight leash. The leash broke and I ended up chasing it around my head like a frustrated owner trying to catch a mischievous dog. It dragged up past memories like sticks from the mud, demanding I play fetch with it for some reason. I thought I might have an anxiety attack!

I don’t want to play with these memories! What gives?!

Then I realised something. These were just sticks. This is a game. These sticks can’t hurt me. My anxiety pet just wants to play with me. It’s just as much a part of me as any other emotion.

If we don’t interact with the supposedly more negative emotions that we feel, we are ignoring part of what makes us human.

Anxiety taught me some valuable lessons today. It taught me that it can be a force for good. It can encourage me to analyse past memories and draw inspiration from them. Anxiety can encourage us to be present and plan for the future. Like any other emotion, anxiety also needs our care and attention sometimes, like a loving pet.

So I’ve decided to play fetch with my anxiety. It’s important to give it something fun to do once in a while!

Written by Miss Wren

Saved From Myself – A poem

I lived my life in fear

I lived my life in chains

I lived my life like I would live again

And again, and again, and again

Making the same mistakes

Living second by second

The past living in the present

With no future ahead

Put the past on repeat, let it loop

Until it sinks into my brain

Conditioning my mind, my soul

Until things can never be the same

Except they are the same

The same as they’ve always been

The shadow creeps

The voice echoes

The ground trembles

The background noise of a lifetime

Washes over me like waves

You think that there’s something different?

What else is there but here?

There is nothing beyond here

Here is safety

Here is panic

Here is danger

Here is fear’

Says the voice inside my head.

One day I awake from my dream

And I see what is happening around me

The dream fades into reality

A new reality

One that’s hard, cold and stark

This is the life beyond the life

Hidden in the dark

I can make it my own

But I can’t make it alone

Guide me through this

Help me find the bliss

That’s escaped me for so long.

Written by Miss Wren