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Sandra Tappenden - Two Poems

Sandra Tappenden


Not a proper person

Opinions scare me

bright lights scare me

competition scares me

being found out scares me

assuming the mantle scares me

the disappointment of others scares me

not knowing stuff scares me

fast cars scare me


Oh yes I get along pretty well

I’ve got along so long I`m bus-pass along

with my invisible tremor

and slackened bladder


Driving scares me and

unknown destinations scare me

and people and people

in waiting rooms waiting

but Ey oop lass nowt a pint

of crème de menthe won`t fix

and who asked you

O Northern nemesis?


There are mislaid things in the wings

how to speak more than a greeting

how to to and fro like a pro

how to pass the dutchie on the lefthand side


how to use both arms

how to breathe right

how to be friendly with friends

how not to covet thy neighbour`s dog

how to partay and flip the bird

how to be Zoom-less

how to care about how to care


There`s something outside my window

pawing and clawing

There`s something outside

I think it`s sliding down rain


The Secret

shout out to all those who did not defenestrate
drink their grey cells empty
or carve their arms

all those with parents
and family Christmases
who never stuck fingers into live sockets

all those unbeaten with a full kit
all those with half who roared into their futures
and loved loved loved

all those mysterious beings
who get on and along
who discover the will to win

all those unslumped and compos mentis
the embattled who learn to move and shake
the unembattled lovers

and that which drives the green fuse
the vim to go on whatever
the staying smile


if life is to be believed
there are ways to stay on track
there are knacks and tricks and blueprints

a slew of advice available online
many many paths upward
like mindfulness and cbt

why does it seems disingenuous
corporate and impersonal
and happiness another dictate?


I’ve been killing myself since I was born
what`s wrong with that?
this is another rhetorical question


the secret is probably genetic and
a time will come
when the mystery will be less

the mapped genome aiding discovery
and self destruction edited out
will certainly calm us all down


what has it been for
to be with the ones who couldn`t
the cutters and suicides the lovely bereft

the deluded and lost
the living dead
the people who mean the most

my heart is used up with care
it will stop one day
I have done the best I could


now there is solitude and loneliness both
the things I did faded as photographs
I sleep a lot

the knack the secret of being
moving up and away out beyond this roof
soaring into the night

like everything I ever cared about
my friends my enemies
my inabilities my faith


what is it I now have left to refuse?
the two fingered gesture
a cliché signalling age

the happy and whole inherit the earth
regardless of the actual percentage
and who does the measuring

and yet I suspect there`s a secret
a way to be as whole as possible
I still have the means to pray and that is all


that is all

Copyright © Sandra Tappenden, 2020

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