Friday, 4 April 2014


An afternoon in April:
sunlight patterns the bedroom walls,
finding unlikely kinship
in white reflective furnishings.
Children cycle past outside
racing each other,
their voices bouncing
off the worn grey asphalt
that is our street. leylandi trees
mark the boundary of our garden:
this sanctuary in the midst
of a grim urban landscape, impersonal
and intimidating, peopled with strangers
we assume to be potential enemies.
Hiding within the family tribe
has always been the safest option.
So we sit indoors, safe,
observing the outside world
through our computer screens,
like goldfish peering out through aquarium glass.
We remember the places we have visited,
or have passed through
in silent terror of alien customs
played out in foreign lands.
When we are recalling past lovers,
childhood friends now moved on
or present neighbours,
it doesn't show:
our faces remain rigidly blank.
At dusk, streetlamps light up
all across town.
An escaped pet budgerigar lands
on a branch of our sumach tree
and peers in at us
through the now illuminated window.
And we become the entertainment: absurd jesters
performing meaningless survival rituals
in our xenophobic prison.
But, unlike this small yellow bird,
we will never be free
of our debilitating mental bars.


  1. yikes...a scary detachment in this....though yeah it rings true a much freedom just on the other side of the bars...and we are the only ones that can free ourselves from them....

    1. This was a tongue-in-cheek observation of myself, when I have my less confident moments...I tend to hide then, and imagine people are saying and thinking the worst of me! *smiles*

      Many thanks, Brian.:)

  2. Sometimes we imprison ourselves by limiting our viewpoints and our exposure to those outside of "us". Great write!

    1. I often wonder if it is a common fear that affects us all, or whether it is a fear unique to each of us that imprisons our psyche...:/
      Speaking for myself, I think it is a fundamental lack of self-confidence that is much worse sometimes than at others.
      I guess there is no cure...*smiles*

      Thank you, Keith :)

  3. Very great write, As I read it I was seeing everything through your eyes. Yes, sometimes I opt for isolation too but it does not last long, however, having said that I am wary of strangers. Unfortunately now days we have to be
    very aware of what is happening around us in and outside of our homes. :)

    1. As I read your comment, it struck me that this is probably part of my fear...we see so many horrors inflicted by man upon man on a daily basis on the news channels, don't we?
      Some of that must inevitably penetrate our subconscious, to surface as seemingly irrational fears when our defenses are low.
      Yes, you are absolutely right, Rose!
      Thank you for making me think...:)

  4. Through your words, I can see your feelings. And this is one specialty that you make yourself so inspiring by letting readers like me see everything through your words.
    Please share us more. We love to read.

    1. That means so much to me, Dumcho...that my innermost fears are understood by another person, without ridicule.
      Thank you...from the heart...:)

  5. Wow this was so true. Well written. Oh how we limit ourselves. The part about daily rituals rings so true.
    Well an isolated life is good at times but then again too much of it isnt healthy.

    1. I totally agree...too much isolation is utterly debilitating in itself.
      Oh if only there were a lasting solution...

      Thank you so much, Midnight :)

  6. Ygraine,
    A powerful writing.
    You are quite the writer.
    I hope you have gotten out today and enjoyed it.
    I like being in my house but I love venturing out too, so much to see and do.

    Have a wonderful weekend.


    1. Can you believe I sometimes stay indoors for days, or even weeks?
      Sounds peculiar, I know. But it is partly because I love my writing, and time seems to other times, though, it is because something I have seen or heard has genuinely scared me...and I am an agoraphobic-so I only feel safe going out accompanied rather than alone.
      There are definitely some strange people "out there" perhaps I'm not completely mad!!! lol

      Many thanks, Margie.
      Hope your weekend is great too!

      Hugs xxx

  7. Your writing here caught me off guard, pointing a spotlight on how life by most is now being lived. Attempts to exclude myself as I read only reinforced the truth in your words.
    Your insight of current times is amazing.

    1. I honestly believed it was a symptom of my condition...but now I am beginning to wonder if we all have varying degrees of this same unspoken's just that in me it is more pronounced.
      Thank you so much for your kind comment, Anthony.
      It feels so good to be understood...:)

  8. It would be me, If I had a house, but thrown out mercilessly I look at people inside and out, I know Ygraine, I wish ...well wishes don't work too often, but I wish the best for you

  9. Oh will have a house again...I just KNOW it!
    These difficult times will pass...have faith, Sweetie.
    Your day will come...:)

    Hugs xxx

  10. Ygraine, dear talented friend...your words are so wonderful and so deeply rooted in many of our lives. You have definitely opened my eyes...thank you!!!


  11. Oh thank you so much, Jan...your kind words always inspire me so.
    I guess we all have our fears and foibles, but my shyness has been the bane of my life...others have often (quite understandably) mistaken it for aloofness, and believed I considered myself superior. Nothing could be further from the truth. I am an insignificant being who lives an almost hermit-like existence. It is a survival tactic...this way, I am unlikely to be hurt again...
    It is friends like you who keep me thank you, from my heart:)

    Hugs xxx

  12. Very powerful and truthful writing! Your words really touched me! Big Hugs ;o)

  13. Many thanks Stacy, that truly means so much to me.
    Hope you are having a great Wednesday...:)

    Hugs xxx

  14. I loved the way you contrasted the scenes outside with the prison inside. Mental imprisonment is worse than any other kind of prison, including physical. Thanks, that was a very good piece.

    Greetings from London.

  15. I so agree, Cuban!
    Mental chains are far, far, worse than any physical ones, aren't they?
    At least metal chains can be broken...
    Thank you so much.

    Hope you are really enjoying your Easter break :)


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I really appreciate hearing your opinions...:)