Where No Roses Grow

Our love bought the home,
our mortgage tied us together.
Owed each other a debt
we would be repaying forever.

Our daughter dashed in first,
quickly claimed her room.
Whilst I was still unpacking
you laid claim to the gloom.

I was a writer by the night
and also a dad by the day.
You planted colour in the garden
yet you would wither away.

We tried to be there for you
as you’d sweat tears & toil
but seemed no amount of love
would wash away the soil.

You fought with weeds daily,
then your seeds you did sow.
But blinded by the darkness,
no red roses would grow.

At night I would lie with you,
tried to make love in that place.
Yet you thought of red roses,
dark soil showed on your face.

By the day with our daughter
I fought dragons & ogres untrue.
You wrestled with demons
which you never slew.

I tried to show you some hope,
“Our daughter! Beauty we made!”,
yet you walked right past us
carrying a garden spade.

And so you dug deep down then,
you tore barren patch & you’d yell,
“Roses! Where are my red roses?”,
Tried to shield our girl from your hell.

After an hour of digging darkly,
while withered thoughts all depress,
you discovered an old, cold corpse
wearing a soiled wedding dress.

Looking on her skull’s bare bones,
you imagined your face on her head
and found a twisted kind of peace
lying deep down among the dead.

You came inside relaxed,
looked at me & you smiled
as I bounced on the bed
with our beautiful child.

I thought: ‘Will we hang family portrait
on the white wall by our bed?’
You climbed up to the loft
& hung yourself instead.

I should have seen it coming
but I wanted so much to hope!
Should I blame myself for sadness,
for the rose seeds & the rope?

Much later in our grieving garden,
a single beautiful red rose grew.
Our daughter named it “Mother”
& I still water it for you.

Copyright ยฉ 2015 Philip Craddock. All rights reserved.

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20 thoughts on “Where No Roses Grow

    1. Yep. Although I’d still say it’s fictional, draws heavily on a dark period I went through. I have all the happy stories. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Gotta exorcise those demons I guess and came out the other side with a lovely, happy daughter.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Thanks. Will do my best. As with the poem, they weren’t my demons…I was trying to help someone with theirs at the same time as working, being a dad etc. Although some bits from real-life mirror the poem, thankfully the one who was haunted is still with us.

    Mind you, I do have my fair share of demons also, as do most people I guess. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Like

    1. Thank you for your feedback and for both Liking the poem and Following my site. I add new pieces on a daily basis.

      There’s around 70 more poems on my site already where this one came from, so fingers crossed you’ll find something else there which also appeals to you.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hmm…without revealing the identity of the real-life person (which I’m loathe to do), it’s hard for me to be too specific.

      But…there’s a fair bit of reality stirred in with the fiction. Hopefully the worst is behind us. Fingers crossed.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I’d agree with that. This is a piece I put off writing when going through the worst of it…didn’t think I’d ever write it to be honest…but here it is. I guess it’s better to get it down on paper than have it swirling round my head eternally.

        Oh – and please ignore my previous comment about Following. Mistakenly thought that you had.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Exactly, I believe that writing is the best therapy, I have experienced it that when I am really going through something and I wanna write, the words would come out of nowhere, but if I force myself to write something I can’t even come up with a single line, and I think we all can relate to this.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha – I assure you that it was purely accidental. ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyway, I’ll be sure to check out your writer site later also. But first I’ve got to get my daughter to sleep. Story time. Writer had off, dad hat on. So many hats!

        Liked by 1 person

    1. In response to the conversation which now never happened…well, here’s hoping. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Certainly not expecting perfection – but a touch less craziness/darkness would be pleasant.

      In terms of anonymity, for me it never felt like it was an option. Partly as if all goes to plan, I’m writing my first, second and possibly third books which will be published one way or another here (book of poems, short story collection and a rhyming children’s book). I want to be able to approach publishers with my site, with my name proudly on display and hopefully with lots of Likes, Followers and nice feedback to show them. Perhaps then approaching publishers wouldn’t seem so terrifying to me!

      It also didn’t feel like an option because I felt I’d earned these words. For all the scars I have, it seemed I deserved full ownership and credit for whatever stories and poems were born as a result.

      I am careful though regarding not hurting people in real-life with my words. Even with those which do have splashes of reality in them, it’s mixed in with so much fantasy that those people may not recognise themselves. And even if they do and ask, there’s always the old “It’s not you – it’s just fiction” line to fall back on, which usually does the trick. I also tend to wait till enough time has passed from events occurring and fictional interpretations appearing. By which point, I’ve already said things to those people with far more clarity in real-life.

      Besides, there are also other pieces which are pure fantasy. With so many beautiful lies and half truths to wade through, I never really worry about anybody finding out the whole truth unless I opt to let them do so. Sometimes I’m not even 100% certain where the fiction ends and the reality begins. Perhaps it’s a good job that I write fiction rather than non-fiction. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Lol! Yeh. I understand why you don’t want the anonymity. I also have written a book but I’ve no desire to get it published. It’s a bit of fun really – humorous in part, serious in other… At some point I’ll post it up online somewhere and see what feedback I get. I need to iron out some anomalies in it first though and write the final chapter, which I’ve never done as I can’t decide if I want the ‘happy ever after’ or the tragedy!
        In the meantime I’ll stick to the therapy of writing poems… But with little exception mine are always non-fiction so for these at least, I’ll stick with being Blackheart!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Gotcha. If yours are pure honesty, can understand why a Cloak of Invisibility would be handy. ๐Ÿ˜‰ If ever you want me to delete your comments, just ask.

        Due to self-esteem issues (I did mention I had issues – self-esteem is just the start of it), I’ve only more recently started adding some/lots of splashes of honesty to mine (previously thought nobody would be interested in what the real me had to say). It was a shock for me when I wrote Author’s Notes…which were just me talking…and people Liked them. Mind…blown. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        I’d be interested in reading your book someday. Did a degree in Imaginative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University, so if you’re after a critical but not too mean eye to go over it, just let me know. You know where the “Contact the Author” form is. Or you can reach me via my author’s Facebook page if you’re more comfortable with that. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you! When I finally get it all together that would be much appreciated. It will certainly amuse you!! Lol!! A degree in imaginative writing sounds fascinating – mine was in mathematics, but I’ve always enjoyed writing.
        I know what you mean about people being interested in ‘you’. I went to some poetry classes a few years ago and sat mute. I was too scared what they would think of my stuff so I just listened. A couple of the oldies were really rude to me, treating me like an idiot. That annoyed me so much, I joined Wattpad. I posted nonsense initially, till I found my feet, and gradually I’ve found the confidence to write more of what I feel, and to post it. ๐Ÿ˜Š

        Liked by 1 person

      4. My pleasure. I look forward to it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve come a long way with my self-esteem issues…if I hadn’t, I’d still be binning all my writing rather than posting it here. But I don’t kid myself that I’m completely over the issues now. Hmm…typically find children easier to get on with than old people. Also find chatting in smaller groups easier than in front of classes. And that “Just imagine them naked” trick to calm nerves doesn’t work so well if it’s a class of old people, so odds are I would have listened also.

        Liked by 1 person

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