I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

12 June 2016

My Life in Words 2. Youth

Life was the truck I fell under at 12,
watching the massive tyres
travel inexorably over my leg;
moving my head back out of the way 
just in time – damage, but not annihilation.
It was that unit, my parents, cracking (like my shin).
My scars were from being uprooted,
transplanted far from the enchanted island
into a desert. Monster stepmother –
mad, drunken, jealous – persecuted me
and tortured my little brother,
whom I failed to protect. 'But,' I tell myself,
'I was only 15.' He was 11. 
The adored father proved weak.
The mother and loving stepfather,
back on the island, couldn't believe;
staged no rescue. But at least
we had holidays there: respite.
My brother, now 73, still can't talk about it.

After two years we got away
to the Big City which folded us in, becoming
our dear home town for decades.
University for me, and later for him
(meanwhile new school – our father 
did that much, seeing by then how crucial). 
And our new home in a safe suburb
with my favourite uncle and aunty. 
Her big smile, her welcoming arms. 
I walked straight into them
forever, my 'second mother'.
Later the women's hostel in the city,
then independence: a shared house close to Uni.
Finding again the stepsister who, 
hating her mother, was always my friend. 
Study, study, study, no money.
But when I went home for holidays
back to the island, I was now the glamorous
out-of-towner (mainlander). That was good.


  1. I'm so sorry to hear of your childhood struggles. Blended families are rarely a success.But you made it...you are still here in a beautiful part of the world...in one piece...enjoying a peaceful life...no one is persecuting you...and will ever do so again...I think that's not too bad:)

    1. Despite the early traumas (and some later ones) I think I have had a very blessed life.

  2. Wow, I was relieved when you were finally delivered into welcoming arms. Horrible stepmother! I am enjoying your poems about your journey, Rosemary!

  3. I really enjoyed the snippets of your life shared, Rosemary. How frightening to have fallen under a truck like that. For some years (mid-life) I had a recurring nightmare of being crushed by the wheels of a truck as I tried to kick myself free. In some years your childhood seemed a bit difficult, but.....it sounds like your university years were memorable in a positive sort of way!