The Parting of the Ways

A fork in the road
A parting of ways

I thought when we arrived we’d want to stay for good

Although it’s true I couldn’t see a reason why we should

It’s not like we belong at all to this or any place

We’re passing through this time, a visit just in haste


The foreshore, the lighthouse, the rocks above the sea

The place with all its memories of how we thought to be

Our lives together for all time, joined as one in heart

But now we’ve come to separate, our lives are pulled apart


We took a vow to stay so true to all our values then

But life got in the way somehow and values couldn’t mend

The mess we caused, the pain and hurt to others and to us

Was just too much; outweighed what once was honesty, and trust


We didn’t mean for it to end but somehow lost our way

The things we thought we wanted, we let them slip away

We took each other lives and hearts and broke them into bits

Not caring why we did it, yet it’s something we can’t fix.


Here we stand beside the home we thought was ours for life

You to be my husband, me to be your wife

Sharing out the things we bought to make the house a home

Boxes filled with this and that and labelled Ben and Joan


We part as friends, at least I hope that’s how you feel as well

The arguments, the fighting, not living but sheer hell.

It’s over now, we start again to carve a different life

But you will always be my first and I your sometime wife.


Copyright Tessa Thomson 2019


Stolen from the shore

A woman stood beside the sea, a dear child at her side,
I watched them as they gazed, from side to side and wide.
Their gazes fell around the shore but no one could they see,
But then they caught my watchful eye and caste a glance at me.

I turned to see if there might be a person at my back,
I looked along the sandy path and up the roadside track.
But there was no one I could see that looked a part of them,
No other person man or boy to hold their gaze and then,

I turned again towards the sea, but now the strand was clear.
No longer stood the woman and child held so dear.
I searched the sea and rolling foam; the waves that crashed on shore,
The pair who stood alone that day were gone forever more.

Many years have passed since then and many walks I’ve had,
Along that beach and on that strand, and often I’ve been sad
To wonder if I saw things right or did my eyes play tricks,
For surely it was the not the pair passing o’er the Styx.

Should I have questioned why they stood so lonely and forlorn?
Should I have wondered why the world held nought for them to mourn?
Or was it me imagining that I could be like them,
With death and thoughts of afterlife tugging at my hem.

Did that same mother and her child feel life could not be borne?
Did something happen in their lives from which their hearts were torn?
Did friends release them from their love and caste them both aside,
If so I understand that loss, and the wishing then to hide.

For I have stood in that same place and wondered what could be,
What did my life accomplish; what good was there to see.
What friends will praise my legacy after I am gone?
To tell the tales of how I lived and where my life went wrong.

But I shall live a few more years and count my blessings now,
Not take to swimming in the depths of life’s despairing jowls.
But think upon that mother and the dear child at her side,
And bless that sight for giving me a reason not to hide.

Copyright Tessa Thomson 2019

Jealous of my mother

I’m sad I never knew her, her life was gone before,
She left me here so I could live alone, and sad what’s more.
I wanted through my life to die, as she had done, so young,
But here I am three score and ten, a hero still unsung.

I’m jealous that she died so young ‘cause people thought her grand,
So sad at such an early life, such loss to understand.
Her beauty never faded; her looks remained the same.
Her memory reinforced each day by family through her name.

I’m green with envy every time her name is mentioned still,
Throughout my life the tales of her became a bitter pill.
I never was quite good enough to reach her dizzy heights,
I tried so hard to be that one that people thought just might.

But here I stand imperfect; though hardened through the years.
Still looking for acceptance; still holding back the tears.
In death her short life rose, to standards hard to reach,
For mortals born with lumps of clay instead of angel’s feet.

I look back now to how my life was shaped by all this hate,
I wonder now if she had lived what would have been her fate.
Would she have lived the perfect life as I have tried to do,
Or failed and wished to die quite young as I had wanted to.

Copyright Tessa Thomson 2019

The night visitor

The lady smiled as if she knew my heart was in despair,
The smile was warm; the eyes were bright; the feeling was of care.
It took a little time for me to act in similar vein.
It’s hard to break my woeful stare, and want to smile again.

But smile I did, and lingered there to see what next she’d do,
Watching from my corner seat and safely out of view.
She walked towards me holding out her hands, upturned and wide,
I stood and gazed in wonderment, not wanting now to hide.

Her head was crowned with shining light, her clothes a gentle blue,
Her manner seemed to bring to mind a person I once knew.
She seemed to glide towards me then and take my hands in hers,
A fear, a sudden shake in me; was this how death knell stirs?

I touched her hands, she drew me near I thought to say a word,
But no words came. Yet still I felt a hundred words were heard.
I felt my heart just quicken then, my pain was almost gone.
The light behind her head was bright, and angels sang their song.

And then I woke inside my room; the light was morning time,
The pain and hurt I’d felt for months had lifted. I felt fine.
My prayers were answered in a way I never thought could be:
The Virgin Mary heard my cries and came at night to me.

Copyright Tessa Thomson 2019

Demons of the past

When I am old and past my best and friends have gone before,
Will I sit back and think upon a life that took on more
Than anyone who knew my start, could reasonably assure?

My start in life was well planned out before my birth was near,
I wouldn’t choose the start I had: it cost me very dear.
But cards are dealt and stars aligned and futures fixed; that’s clear.

I didn’t know how it would be: the struggles I would find,
The times when life took on the guise of madness of some kind,
Of drifting closer to the edge, of loosening my mind.

I fought some demons at the start but learned to live at ease,
By treating them as friends or foes and hoping they would cease
To bother me, as I grew up and searched for inner peace.

Peace from nights of waking up sweating and afraid,
Crying softly in my bed, trying to be brave,
Hoping I could conquer fears and face the future saved.

The years went by, the pain was eased in part by loving friends:
People who along the way were willing just to bend
Whichever way was right for me to help my body mend.

But there were times when even they grew tired of helping out:
When I would rage against their love and fight and scream and shout
And leave them feeling hurt and wondering what’s it all about.

“What’s it all about?” they cried “Why can’t she be at peace?”
They couldn’t understand, the struggles never cease
That even though you look okay, your mind is ill at ease.

The illness isn’t like an arm, that’s broken in a fall.
You see and hear things differently or sometimes not at all.
Your mind is like a human shoal that fishermen might trawl.

You drag yourself around your life adjusting to the pain,
Never understanding why the illness has your name
But hope lies close for those like me whose spirits never wain.

I’m hoping that the time shall pass when I no longer share
My dwindling life with demons; the fears no longer there.
But lie content and satisfied with all that I have dared.

Copyright Tessa Thomson 2019

A Toss of the coin

I said you’re rich, she said I’m not, I said you surely are,
For one thing I’m on benefits: save money in a jar.
On Friday nights we sit around the tiny kitchen table,
Whilst I eek out what’s left in jars to live on, if we’re able.

You have a house you own I said, a place to lay your head,
Not thinking you’ll be moved sometime to find another bed.
You send your children off to school with lunch packs in their hands,
Mine wait in line for free school meals which they don’t understand.

I wait outside the food bank store thinking what I need,
But hoping just to find some food to give my kids for tea.
It’s rarely that I find enough to feed myself as well,
But hope that making out I eat, the kids can never tell.

I never wished to live like this, I never thought that far,
But circumstances changed my life and this is where we are.
So don’t look down on me and say she bought it on herself,
But rather thank your lucky stars for home, and health and wealth.

Copyright Tessa Thomson 2019