The Itch


Have you ever had an itch you just couldn’t scratch? No matter how much it prickles your skin, you can’t get your fingernails in the right place. You rub and grind, writhe and wriggle, but the damn thing won’t let up. You ask for help but the other person’s nails just drag at your jumper, their best attentions no more than a temporary respite. This is were the madness sets in. You wish yourself a tiger, so to sink your teeth into it, a hawk, your talons to shred. After a while, the itch becomes a distraction, then an annoyance, then worse. You obsess over it. The itch is the last thing you think about before sleeping and the first thing you notice when you wake. In fact, you might argue, your itch becomes such a physical part of your life that you can’t remember living without it.

I called my itch Klara. She’s under my skin still.

Under My Skin

Like the north wind in winter,

She chilled as she killed.

Like a summer deluge

Driven into naked flesh,

The heat precluding all but

Necessary attire,

She saturated my soul.

Like an unexpected heatwave

When wool was what you’d worn,

She sweated from every pore.

Whatever the conditions,

Whenever she fancied,

She got right under my skin,

And I loved it.

He, Or I, Or Me

 Beneath free flowing smiles,
 Darker depths do lurk.
 Where still waters pool
 And others fear to swim,
 A scowl of self-loathing does slowly manifest
 Secreting itself, inveigling,
 Waiting, always waiting.
 You cannot see it,
 Neither can he, or I, or me,
 But the ebony ripples
 Of dropped moments
 Ripple outwards in continuous motion.
 There is no sponge,
 No absorbent memory
 To eagerly soak up that which gloats.
 There is no escape within written word,
 Although, at times, he, or I, or me,
 Does think it.
 It is the difference between knowing and ignoring oneself,
 The realisation that all is unwell
 And striving not to prove it.
 No, the surge of something darker just awaits a slip,
 And he, or I, or me only postpones its surfacing.

 (Image courtesy of Kancano on

This Skin

 This skin
 That binds
 I twist
 And tear
 As closer
 I grow
 To despair
 By life
 But mostly me
 I wish
 That all
 Could let
 Me be
 But in
 The end
 The truth
 Will out
 That like
 A breath
 We fade
 Right out
 Yet still
 I seek
 To find
 My place
 In this
 False skin
 This human