Gratitude for Recovery

(April-May 1997)

 Sixteen years ago
in treatment for alcoholism,
attendance at art therapy
was “suggested”.
I was arrogant and stubborn.
I want to stop drinking,
not draw(swear word) pictures.

 Today I found a piece of my artwork,
like a drawing made by a child.
And that is exactly what I was,
a bewildered infant lost, fearful and alone,
my arrogance, mere defence.

 I had painted a long, winding road,
dark, threat-laden sky,
and far in the impossible future
a clump of yellow primroses
in the sun, a bright yellow circle
in the top right hand corner.

Today I am standing next to them
and the sun is real.




Life changed when
illness arrived;
it seemed like
I had stalled,
quite out of the blue
in the middle of a busy road,
traffic all around me,
this way and that,
impatient, hurried.
And a black cloud of sadness
overwhelmed me;
a total eclipse.

Until I realised where I was.
it was simple;
I was right here in the now,
where clouds will never look the same again,
and with all the time I wanted just to be;
to rejoice in the depth of animal eyes
and be swept off my feet by the
colour of a bird’s tail.
Freedom, and a second chance
to notice all I had missed.





Let It Be

Cry your heart out if you need to,
rail against the world and
all its seeming unfairness,
because acceptance isn’t a pretty gift
tied with pastel ribbon bows;
it’s a trundling wagon making its
way clumsily over rough terrain,
and you may often

lose your grip, fall off in the
desert sand, find yourself on
all fours like in a bad dream
trying to catch up, cling on,
feet dragging in flying dust,
helpless and hopeless.

What I think I’m trying to say
is keep going, keep clinging,
reach out and don’t ever give up,
but allow your sorrow
its rightful place;
let it be.
It is real.


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