Discombobulation (or The Gradual Healing of a Damaged Soul)

A poetic prose from 2012

“If you ask you don’t get, if you don’t ask you don’t want;
it’s not yours, you can’t have it, didn’t earn, don’t deserve;
if it’s fun it is bad for you, how dare you enjoy?
You’re not here to be happy, you’re here to endure.
You do as you’re told, not what you want; and who are you anyway? I know who you’re not!
I know what you’re like and I’ll tell you again – you’re selfish and greedy and just like your mother; you’re lazy, a day-dreamer, real good-for-nothing!
I’ll thrash you and give you something to cry about – if you don’t stop crying now!”

The pleasure in pain and the pain in the pleasure – isn’t much fun, but is real to me!
Voices and choices – We are what we eat? That is what she says –
The powerful diet of childhood days.

Her body is strong, built to endure; strong bones and tough sinews, sharp eyes and big lungs;
blood full of iron (and oxygen now), feeding the nerves and the brain;
so feed it and work it, rest it and cleanse it; use it, abuse it and bring it to heel…

And what of her senses, oh glorious senses?
The sights and the sounds, the smells and the taste and the touch: –
The sweet smell of fresia, wallflower and lily, of meat roast in garlic, of black-berried Shiraz…
The taste of fried mushrooms, sea bass, tzatziki; the wine on the palette and fresh summer figs…
Oh delights of the senses, who says I can’t have them? What’s wrong with the pleasures that nature has given?
The sight of the blossom, the fields and the coast, the rush of the river and wind in the branches;
the colours of nature, delicate and bold, rich in their glory, surely mine to behold?
The sunrise and sunsets, richness galore, the stars in the twilight, promising more…
The sounds of the waters, the crash of the waves, the bird song, the whale cry, laughter and storm; of music that man makes, music of God, music of nature and of the soul…
And the touch of the rain and the sun on the skin, the feelings of pleasure stirring within;
the touch of a friend that warms and releases, the touch of a lover that blows you to pieces;
touches of softness, closeness and heat, coolness and tenderness, moments to keep, to savour…
Am I to deprive them? Having discovered them, are they bad to enjoy?
“No! But don’t over do it! Know when to stop”, I hear wisdom implore….
The body’s a temple, according to God;
mine is more like a mad house with this lot!

And what of the mind and reason and all – who should she listen to, the quiet one in me?
She’s a perfectionist, determined, but timid and shy;
she works hard and gets there, not quite knowing how…
She is willing to learn, but has not said a lot, (can’t get a word in) and has not a strong voice;
so is easily silenced and drowned by the noise
of the rest of the house…

Is that where the Will fits in, or is that of the mind? And who does the Will listen to?
Sometimes courageous, stoic and proud, she dresses herself for the fight;
when clad in full armour she believes she’s invincible, thinks that the battle is won..
but a waiver of doubt, a taunt and a whisper and the victory is gone, armour trashed on the ground. Who’s battle was it anyway?

And what of emotion, the feelings, the soul?
Is she tied to the senses or mind?
She is wild and creative, chaotic, unstable,
trembling, unhinged and a mess.
Palpitations and passions, overwhelmed and undone –
she loves you and needs you in bubbles and laughter, terribly empty and alone;
she will cuddle and hug you, with kisses or tears – never quite knowing which voice –
whether dreams or her fears – are driving her into each choice;
whether guilty, heart-broken, lonely, ecstatic, she’s hurting and aching and alive –
but, gosh, it’s hard work to survive!!
And what of the Spirit?
You’d think there’s no room left, but the Spirit is so vast and so …WOW!
She is the breath of my life, my energy and power.
She is the love in the meeting, the gratitude in sensing, the joy in receiving and the giving away.
She is the top of the mountain and the sob from the gut;
the hope of each moment, the prayer in each move…
It is here that I live and here I would stay,
my eternal and heavenly home.
Here is my peace. Why can’t I live here? Why do the other Dawns get in the way?
My body, my passions, feelings and mind,
Holy Spirit, unite my brokenness, I pray!

image courtesy of Ruelha

Flea Circus

They were having fun…

The last 5 weeks have been such an ordeal
An unusual problem of fleas
Persistent and tiny, they drove me insane
And nibbled my legs to the knees

I began with the cat, whose treatment was swift
The spot-on worked well and was fast
But the fleas they migrated to carpets and chairs
Though I thought they surely won’t last.

In bare legs and shorts, with murderous thoughts,
For a many long hours every day,
I vacuumed the carpets, the beds and the chairs
And finished it off with the spray.

I used bicarb and salt, smoke bombs and sprays
And all I achieved was a stink
As they hopped on my ankles, I captured each flea
But they wouldn’t even drown in the sink.

Obsessive I tip-toed, eager to pounce
On every new speck in my home
I spent hundreds on potions, used bottles of lotions
Till defeated I picked up the phone.

I agreed to the terms that Rentakil made
And moved everything off of the floor
The cat and I then fled for the day
Leaving Rentakil keys to the door.

With the cat in the rucksack, we were glad to come back
But my mistake I discovered too late
They’d posted my keys and we were locked out
So we had to climb over the gate.

One little window I managed to open
And a rickety stool I found
Then the heavens exploded and rain gushed down
Mightily splashing the ground

One soggy moggy I plopped through the window
Wondering what I could do…
Then I climbed and I squeezed and I wriggled and heaved
And managed to follow her through.

Like every good story this comes with a lesson
Which is: To avoid being bitten
Learn from my saga and think it all through
Before saying “Yes” to a kitten!

AA Season Of Pain.

Physical pain of bitter, constant cold, hunger,

slaps, canes and beatings

Fear, terror of these – fear of annihilation, fear of pain.

Fear of death, knives and guns

Unpredictable, threatening,

– a Russian roulette..


Fear of emotional pain, emotional torture
Cos it’s all my fault.
I am bad, wrong, a burden
I owe them,
I must repay and make it better
But I cannot –
I’m not good enough, big enough, strong enough or clever enough.

Lonely, empty, lost and afraid,
wandering, day-dreaming, alone.
Looking for comfort, for friendship, for warmth, safety, acceptance…
I need to escape, to hide, to somehow survive and get away –
but where to?

I focus on the beauty around me
Beauty of amazing, glorious mystery
Creation – so delicate, vulnerable, persistent and powerful –
A gift into my emptiness.

I love the world and all of creation.
I want to love and to serve
I seek to rescue those in pain
to come alongside, help and hold them.

I am blessed with friends, family and God –
without them I would be long since destroyed!
But I am still so desperately lonely, cold, empty, small and afraid.


I escaped the physical pain,
but the bruises and scars remain
Tender, whilst the taste and strength of fear still paralyse.
Daily I hear the echo of lies and labels
How long will I let them define who I am and who I can be?

Busyness fills some of the emptiness –
work, relationships, learning, doing
doing, doing…
Big Dawn can do some of this, she can wear this mask for a while,
As long as she hides and does as she’s told.

Being hurts, so I kill the pain.
A bottle or two of Shiraz, a pint or 10 of ale –
it lessens the crippling fear as darkness falls,
it drowns the mocking voices,
dulls the heart pain,
chases the memories,
rebukes those stupid, dangerous tears
and lets me dance and live…
Or does it?

Was it me I was trying to kill?
Kill the ‘good for nothing’ Dawn?
They can’t blame me if I’m dead.
They can’t hurt me if I’m gone,
gone to where every tear is wiped away and pain is no more.

The anaesthetic has worn off now and I feel it all…
No wine to ease the pain of feeling,
no lover to distract and hold my body,
no work to busy my mind…

But I am holding to the promise:
‘plans to prosper you, to give you hope and a future’*
I have support in place,
I have all I need –
now it is time to do the work!

I will employ Ms Haynes to help my little girl –
she will guide, hold and encourage both little D and mummy D
She can care for us and keep us safe
She can put her knowledge and experience to good use
She will draw on Wisdom, Truth and common sense..

Jesus, You were so sad as to death,
but You did the work.
You know how I feel –
And you love me despite my fear and mess.
I invite You again to enter the space I have made for you
to fill my emptiness
I ask You to heal my brokenness and pain
to give me ‘beauty for ashes;
joy instead of mourning;
praise instead of heaviness’ *
and to exchange the fear for the miraculous power of Your LOVE.

I choose to let go of fear, of the past, of darkness
I lay hold of forgiveness, healing and life
I welcome Grace and Mercy
and I choose to share them wherever you take me..


Jer. 29:11; Isaiah 61:3

– 6 weeks without alcohol after 30 years with it.