Free My Mind

 

Out of sight
Out of mind,
For a night
Or two bind

This with time,
Thus it’s true
Still all mime
Because you

Came then went
Without trace,
It’s not fate
Now your face

Lingers on
All cause I
Saw you,
No good-bye.

I don’t cry
I’m hoping
You’ll see me
And we’ll lie

As we did
Once again,
Now to rid
Of this pain

That is you,
I’m astute
Any route
I find you,

Out of sight
Leave my mind,
Day and night
Now unbind.

Jenna Grabey © 2011

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Inscrutable Instruments

Along the same vein as the previous post – A Dedication to Emilie Autumn’s ‘The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls’ – is this poem, Inscrutable Instruments. I wrote this a few years ago but have re-drafted, revised and edited it again over the Winter holiday. 

This time delicate Victorian lace
Replaces those daunting steel bars
How nice
Where are the mice?

Not in here! Not at the orthodontists!
Where my teeth pushed and pulled in every direction
The enamel left is only a fraction
From what was there before

Starring through the window
My gaze penetrating to the outside
In a vain attempt to refocus attention
From the damage I struggle to abide

Away from these inscrutable instruments
That look suitable only for violation
And yet this is my remission
To be scraped and reshaped

Ready for the next time
When the devices return
With yet higher prices
And no amount of remission will suffice

Jenna Grabey © 2013. All Rights Reserved.

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A Dedication to Emilie Autumn’s ‘The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls’

After reading Emilie Autumn’s semi-autobiography The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls which by the way I highly recommend although it is not easy to get hold of a copy. I thought I would post this poem which I wrote back in 2009 because it strongly relates to a poignant point Emilie makes. For those of you who have a copy of the book then the page that I am particularly referring to is 220. I hope you enjoy the poem.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psychology: If it’s so popular they why the stigma?
Mental Illness affects one in four people: Fact
.
You demonised me into being victim
Like I chose that- are you sick?
Just because the fromage I wouldn’t lick
And wanted to resemble a stick

Or to be violently sick
Left alone to be depressed
Though I had nothing to confess
Suicidal thoughts I caressed

All these years attempting to express how I feel
Shut down and shut up every time, by you
I would have told you till I was blue
In face if I thought you’d have listened

People, unlike you did listen
And act, support, didn’t “shut up”
I talked freely, drinking coffee,
With bars, on the window
I owe them my life.
The ability to laugh and not care
What anyone else may think
To be drunk and to be aware,
Emotion doesn’t mean, you need to see a shrink
It means you are alive, and living,
Interacting with everything around you

A slave, subjected to emotion
A victim of expression
Terrified of my reflection
Surrounded by oppression

I was sick.

All negative blood tests
That is always best.

Can’t see anything wrong
Just “come back if symptoms persist”.
Was ten years too long?
Were you waiting for rig-amortise?

In body, physically a child
In mind, psychologically a child
Listen to Blake as he whispers, Innocence
Epitomising youth in his assonance

Dry cries for help
Invaded 1999 to 2009
All without tears
Just pure anger and fears

I owe you my existence
My life belongs to me
Sick of submission
And a victim of emotion

Jenna Grabey © 2009

The image above is taken from the book. I do not own any rights over it only what is written above.

…Some species of orange sheep

 

 

People are strange
People are weird
People should not be orange
Orange and strange seem to rhyme
Yet I thought orange had no rhyme
It’s not supposed to have a rhyme

If a person is not strange
And if they are not weird
And worse still if they are orange
Then they are an orange canvas
Or some species of orange sheep
Neither can leap or have any possession to keep

People are strange
People are weird
You are seared
By an estranged beard*
But I am normal
Because I am abnormal and paranormal

Jenna Grabey 2012

*A person who diverts suspicion from someone

The Tale of Constance ~ A Broken Ballard

 

In the depths of the misty moor
Stands a castle from ancient lore
Shrouded by the tangible night
Stars hang emitting crystal light

Barn owls chase shrews and mice to kill
Across the rolling Exmoor hills
The castle built from local stone
Is enchanted with the winds’ moan

This castle has no space for time
It’s the elements greatest crime
Centuries pass all unknown
Yet see how the ivy has grown

Laying on the dungeons cold floor
A girl holds no key for the door
Thrown in there by her misery
Now she’ll cry till she finds the key

History of blood and bandages
Haunt her dreams at the fringes
In the tower a prince is found
Loneliness is what keeps him bound

To the castle, to the tower
Every single hour, tastes sour
His past wisps like the dusty wind
What he did – could it be a sin?

Constance knows the prince will save her
From the fearsome dragon, he’ll lure
The beast away, break the bars
And take her to see the stars

As hills become veiled in darkness,
Alluring music is played
On a grand piano by the prince,
This keeps the princess hoping

Every note played silences the pain from the chains
Which bind her wrists and fists
They are manacles for imprisonment,
The lock, a gaping hole, there lies

A fire, restricted, silenced
Chains of spears burn through her thoughts
Dissolution runs through her veins
Her logic has crumbled and cracked 

With the rising of many suns
She hears him on the cobbled steps
She weeps, must have slain the dragon.
Infatuation at first sight

Their bourbon eyes interlock
Transfixed.
Forgetting time, in time
Biting her lip she smiles

He breaks the bars, but he does not
Take her to see the stars
She sees the verity before her
A chilling beautiful monster

No eyes does his face hold
Or anything she ever knew
Just a frozen heart with ivory fangs
And a lurid face torn apart

She sees the awful reality
And hears the testing truth
Never again will she be chained
And never again she be pained

Her silk screams are in unison
Echoing from the high tower
The monster crying in the night
Finishes her off in a fright

Beating her to her bones
Till she falls with a thud
He wants to shred her more
But only to see more blood

Her skeleton, abandoned
On the floor that now wears her flesh
And death she now wears
As if in blessed matrimony

Constance died of a broken heart
Her melancholia is always
In the castle, every hour.
While that miscreant of Mother Nature

Winds along the dusty tunnel,
His thoughts flicker back to Constance
And his eyes turn misty in a howl,
For she is now an angels’ hymn

 

Jenna Grabey © 2011. All Rights Reserved.

 

the_tower_by_feral_dragon_art-d56xz0v

Wordfest Revealed!

Introduction
I wrote this back in 2010 to publicise and inform readers of what exactly the event Wordfest was and still is. For the record, it does not parallel a gaming convention whereby the gamers are wannabe Countdown contestants playing Fridge Poetry.

Wordfest Revealed: An Interview with Helen Taylor

Wordfest has now reached its 7th year. I went to find out exactly what Wordfest is all about and why you should attend. Helen Taylor is Cambridgeshire County Council’s Literature Development Officer and is also part of the Advisory Group for Wordfest which includes programming, funding and planning which writers to bring together for the festival. Sitting in a canteen at Shire Hall I get the chance to talk with Helen Taylor.

What exactly is Wordfest?

It is a new breed of festival. Bringing together different types of people and writers in a variety of venues: The Fitzwilliam museum, ADC Theatre and local libraries get involved in this celebration of literature. It’s a festival of ideas and inspiration.

What have you enjoyed most about Wordfest?

The amazing things I have learnt. For instance, the illustrator Andy English, gained inspiration from the armoury room at the Fitzwilliam, specifically from the knight situated on a horse. You can see here [she points to page 34 of the programme- oh yes I can definitely see the resemblance] and it’s knowing things like this that you can’t get elsewhere which make it such an interesting festival. (English is appearing at this year’s Wordfest with Phillip Pullman, author of Northern Lights.)

What have you learned from your involvement?

People like the ownership of Wordfest. Many who have attended immediately want to know when the next one is, it seems to become an important part of their calendar. Also, the concept of subterranean book: the sell out of Chinese writer Xinran’s event revealed an underground movement of books, which must have been spread by word of mouth. One of the hardest things is writers cancelling at the last moment. Rageh Omaar, BBC foreign correspondent, cancelled the day before his planned event. So giving apologies to large groups of people and finding replacement writers at short notice was a major learning curve.

Who usually attends Wordfest?

With our diverse programme we are trying to attract a wide audience. I think that often people are under the impression that festival audiences are full of clever people, they are mistaken. Wordfest is a celebration of literature and so is for everyone.

How do you find people to fill up the programme?

We have programming meetings with the steering group, advisory group and discuss the balance of the programme: genre, different groups to represent, unusual combinations of writers, response to requests for writers. We emphasise to publishers, agents and writers that Wordfest is in a beautiful location with appreciative audiences and opportunities to meet other writers and be well looked after.

So, are the contributors usually well known or is Wordfest more of an opportunity for people with debut works?

Both! We have local, debut and popular authors, and even comedians. For instance we had Lord Giddens speaking about climate change from his book The Politics of Climate Change. And this year we have Hilary Mantel, which sold out within the first day, with her prize winning Wolf Hall and the comedian Jeremy Hardy.

Who is the most famous speaker you have had at Wordfest?

It’s hard to say who’s famous and who isn’t. It depends on what area of literature you’re looking at, as different readers are familiar with different writers. Philippa Pearce, Michael Morpurgo, PD James, Jacqueline Wilson and Carol Ann Duffy would all be contenders for this.

Is there any chance of signings?

Yes, after every event. This has proven to be one of the main pulls to the festival. Jacqueline Wilson, for instance, usually takes about 4 hours to do her signings! She talks to everyone who approaches her and she is a very warm-hearted woman.

I hear Wordfest is looking for volunteers, what are the benefits from being a volunteer?

Oh, loads! You get to see everyone and all for free! It involves attending lots of events and undertaking a variety of tasks: from greeting people and taking tickets to running around the corner to buy biscuits for the green room. It is an exciting and exhilarating experience and a good taste of what it takes to run a festival.

What do you think of the Oxford Literary Festival?

It’s a fantastic event and huge. I can’t say anything against the festival, my sister is friends with one of the organisers. Although, Oxford have a safety net for their funding, The Sunday Times sponsorship, something we do not have, however I feel this can make such a festival lose its personal touch.

Would you say it is suitable for students?

Yes. Wordfest is a manageable event because it all happens over a single weekend. Also it gives a definite taste of what’s going on in the world of literature and politics. There’s a panel of party leaders from Cambridge, everyone is welcome to come and ask questions, this year the focus is specifically on carbon emissions.

Are there any anecdotes you can tell us about previous Wordfests?

Oh let me think. When Michael Moore and Philippa Pearce spoke at Wordfest it was fantastic to see every nook and cranny filled. Also, Richard E. Grants’ performance was the funniest event I have seen at Wordfest, which I was surprised at, because on television he seems really serious but in person he was completely different. This taught me that seeing writers in person gives you a wonderful insight to their character and thoughts.

To view the programme, sign up for volunteering or just find out more visit the website

Through A Druid’s Eyes

Through a Druids Eyes

Who would I be if I could not see the beauty before me?
And what would I be without truth?
How can I live without the moon?  The goddess that pulls the tide.
How can I live without the sun?  Where Lugh and Brigit reside.
Why live without the inspiration of bards?  They weave the world into language.
Why live without a love for nature – life?  Without this we only exist.
How can I live without the sky?  That forms the triad with sea and earth.
How can I live without the stars?  The Egyptians knew their worth.
Where would I be without trees?  Their language inscribed as Runes.
Where would I be without animals, my equals?  Watch the Shaman commune with the Racoon.
How can I live without justice with no malice?  Responsibility is our keystone.
How can I live without peace?  There would be no release.
And what would I be without those I cannot see?
Who would I be without history and my ancestry?  Where would I be?

© Jenna Leanne Grabey 2012. All Rights Reserved.
November 2010

Lockerbie

Think about the innocent and Lockerbie

Bathing like Elizabeth Bathory
Or washing your hands like Lady MacBeth
Recall the innocents in Lockerbie
You may as well have taken Crystal-meth

Still be damaging to those around you
Apart from the members in the party
Because you are all the same shade of blue
Smoking contemporary politics how arty

You didn’t have a clue
It was an accident
Too late the party flew
And caused another dent

Intention was the same
But more were meant to-do
And not to be left lame
With the party you slew

Until all viscera were in two
Still you’re all the same damn shade of blue
And you still caused damn burning murder
As the party intended to do

© Jenna Grabey 2012. All Rights Reserved.