Our Mutual Friend

This wasn't supposed to happen to you, it wasn't meant to be your life,

You were going to grow up a happy man, with some children and a wife

But then I introduced you to a brand-new friend, that made you feel ‘shiny and bright’

You liked the feeling that it gave you, took you to another height

It made you feel like you were somebody, although who, I was never sure

You hated the feeling of paranoia, but would always go back for more

You weren’t supposed to be that person, not caring about anyone at all

You lost all sense of direction and went headlong into a fall 

It felt like you were hanging out with demons, I think evil would describe it best

Since ‘love and reason’, had betrayed us, our trust had failed its biggest test

You said it was so positive and harmless, when you first met our mutual friend

How we got here, I don’t remember, but now I know it had to end

There was a time not too long ago, we thought of nothing but getting high.

It was pathetic and self-destructive and the end of you and I

It hurts so bad to think I could not save you, I was unable to shield you from the pain

What good are brothers if not for these things? To make you feel ‘shiny and bright’ again

I really loved and cared about you and those feelings have forever grown 

But none of that makes it any better, now I’m left here on my own

I'm looking for a way to say I'm sorry, but the right words are hard to find

The truth is, I need to know that you will help me leave the past behind

Illustration: Rob Purdon



I can’t sleep, but I need to get back to my dreams, 

I can hear my own voice, in distant whispers and screams.

I can almost touch the ideas, dancing around in my head, 

As I constantly toss and turn the night in my bed.

I need to understand, what the dream is about, 

“Just let me sleep”, to the night demon I shout.

It's three in the morning, as I lie here in my bed, 

I just need the dreams, to return to my head.

I have too many unfinished memories to find,  

Too much chaos & disorder, going on in my mind.

“Just let me sleep” to my God do I pray, 

Or the secrets of this dream, in the night they will stay. 

As soon as I feel my body reunite with my mind, 

My crazy notions and ideas start to unwind.

Now I have found sleep, I am too scared to awake, 

This dream is too real for my body to take. 

Suddenly I scream, and sit straight up in my bed, 

The demon is playing scary games in my head.

What in the world am I supposed to do now? 

I need to sleep, but whilst I’m awake somehow. 

Its like I’m transported to a place in my mind, 

Too deep for any doctor or psychic to find.

It’s all too real, there’s so much fire in my brain, 

I feel that this dream will send me completely insane.  

Then my mind takes me, to a place up on high, 

Where both my God and my demon, look me straight in the eye.

“You wanted this dream” they both did recall, 

“But will you be alive, at the end of it all”?

I didn’t know what to think, was this a dream or all real? 

Surrounded by grey walls, that were too cold to feel.

Covered in snakes, wrapped in feathers and thorns, 

On top of the wall, there were gargoyles with horns.

Between each gargoyle, (stood ten feet apart), 

Two dozen red flowers, each in the shape of a heart.

The wall was surrounded by both sunshine and mist, 

Only in my mind, could this place exist.

As with most dreams, I suddenly started to fall, 

Smiling as I remembered the thrill of it all.

I remember thinking out loud “I hope I survive”, 

As the dream was so real, that I must be alive.

My mind was enjoying the new place it had found, 

Then for the first time in a dream, my head hit the ground.

The place was so dark, my eyes couldn’t adapt, 

The sleep had returned, and I knew I was trapped. 


Illustration: Rob Purdon



She was my darling, my little Rose, sent by angels up above,

Young and careless, full of life, my first and only love.

She came from ‘out of town’, the place I can’t recall,

Hopes and dreams and secrets, we grew to share them all.

She didn’t take a second look, or even glance in my direction,

But I was taken instantly, she was beauty and perfection.

She could have been a painting, a vase of china rare,

A person with so much beauty, very few compare.

I vowed that I would win her heart, how long could she resist?

When she realised she felt the same, we sealed it with a kiss.

We walked together hand in hand, she was truly my best friend,

I remember thinking then and there, I never want for this to end.

The feeling was like the sun’s warmth, after long cold winter days,

Every time we were together, my heart was all ablaze.

I sometimes stared at her from distance, in order to compare, 

She looked just as beautiful, her smile, her auburn hair.

Having waited all my life for her, all too soon we were to be parted, 

She was taken suddenly, leaving me totally broken hearted.

She used to say, “make the best of life, no matter what its cost”,

She lived and loved her life that way, a life that now is lost. 

I didn’t want to live without her, I prayed to God to give her back, 

Bring us both together, so we could put our lives back on track.

But God he wasn’t listening that day, and I’ve often wondered why? 

If human life is so beautiful, why do God’s people have to die?

I would never get used to losing her, I quickly realised,

Every single place I looked, I saw, those beautiful brown eyes.

I saw her face on every street, with every step and every turn,

I swore that until the end of time, our eternal flame would burn. 

She used to take up all my dreams, talking gently through the night,

She always looked so beautiful, bathed in surrounding light.

She’d tell me every single night, we would be together ‘forever’ again, 

It was like she’d never left me, but I could never forget the pain.

I painted one last picture of her, as if to close the final page,

Not so much a thing of beauty, more an admission of my rage.

I used the colours of my mood, some red but mainly blue,

And right across the middle I wrote “to the rose, I love so true”.

Then as I drifted into sleep, Rose appeared later that same night,

She told me she’d come back for me and called me towards the light.

I don’t remember what I said to her; I could hardly get words through,

But I remember that she whispered in my ear, “I truly love you too”.

Illustration: Rob Purdon


Shed My Skin

We all react in different ways to difficult situations

We all find ways of dealing with our fears

Whichever way works for you is the right way for you

Nobody ever wants their world to end in tears

Is it because of bad memories, I don't really know why?

But I feel I'm totally numb and dead inside

It helps me to deal with my whole life, emotions and feelings 

I sometimes feel like this thing helps me to stay alive

In my state of rage, sadness and self-loathing

It can't hurt anyone else, only me 

All my negative feelings and emotions flow

My whole body relaxes and I'm instantly free

I just feel the need to shed my skin

In an effort to reveal the darkness within

Hurt, anger, grief are all that remain

Leaving bleeding to ease the pain

Illustration: Rob Purdon


The Edge

Here I stand at the edge of my world,  don't give up on me at the very last minute

To stop me jumping I need your help,  please don’t say that your heart’s not in it.    

I called your name in my hour of need,

Please don’t make this my final plea

You are always there when I need you most,

To be my saviour, to set me free.

I promise that it will be Just this one last time,

I will never ask of you again

If you come to my aid and help me now,

And help to take away all of this pain.

Illustration: Dan Crawford



I am worthy of love, 

even when I disappoint others

Since I am human, 

I will disappoint the people I love 

I can be imperfect and still receive love I keep wondering, 

should I get out of this bad mood?

But you can’t always be waiting for the muse

I need to disarm negative thoughts 

so that I can stay focused

The task at hand is hard enough 

without everyone staring

I get nervous, start sweating, 

and feel embarrassed

I will not be able to handle it, 

and what if that did happen? 

Everyone will leave me, 

and I'll be all alone

The radio is still in my head 

(even though I took my pill) 

Playing music whilst the voices 

are telling me to pinch myself

The songs on the radio 

change every time I do

I did not want to go out 

because of the voices 

(I am scared of the voices)

Please help me God, 

I didn't mean to harm anyone

Illustration: Dan Crawford