Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Martin Horton Jun 27
What if I’d never been called Martin?

If I’d been called Malcom or Syed or Fred?

Would I have been treated any differently, would the thoughts be different in my head?

Would I have been adopted by a different couple, maybe by ones who really loved me instead?

Would I be living in a bungalow in Barnet or a thatched cottage in Hay upon Wye?

Be a scientist obsessed by nuclear fusion or a pilot spending hours in the sky.

Would I be a murderous tyrant, leaving fear, dread and bloodshed in my wake or a devotee of the divine Mary Berry, perfecting the ultimate bake?  

Would stories be written about me or songs sung about me by the fire or would journalists interview my loved ones and dear ones, desperate to expose me as a liar.

What if I’d been created a monster, not even given a name at all?

Just left where my life had started. Curled up and quivering in a ball.

No one to tell me they loved me, no one to give me a hug. Just treat like a thing to recoil from, like an odious, hideous bug.

But what if someone noticed me, to whom the outside didn’t matter at all.

Who looked at the deepest core of my being and saw secrets and delights to enthral.

Who coached and nurtured and loved me and treat me with no fear or no shame and decided to call me Isaac, as
that
would
be
my
perfect
name.
This was inspired by the prompt of 'What If'  in my local writing group. It started from if I'd been given a different name and went on from there. I'd also recently read the novel Frankenstein
Martin Horton May 29
You made me cry.

You and your hundreds of brothers, sisters, cousins, grandparents, ancestors that I’ve met in the past.

Painful, piercing, burning tears that cause me such pain, I worry I’m allergic to you.

But I keep on coming back to you.

Why?

You would have thought that I’d ban onions from my house. Yell at the top of my voice. ‘Onions be gone!!!’

But I can’t. You provide such an essential element to so many dishes.

Sometimes, I think I’ve got away with it. I’ve peeled you fully. You lie there, waiting to be cut, apparently unarmed.

But then your fury is unleashed as my knife begins to slice. You weep too. Tears of malice, venom and white hot anger. Tears that say ‘You’ve hurt me and I will not let you get away with that!’

Will you tell me something onion?
I know you make me cry but out of your dozen or so relatives, is there an onion that will make me sob?

An onion, where with each layer I peel, it releases in me grief and pain and hurt that I’ve kept locked up for years, and then I’ll finally feel cleansed.

Or did God, in all his wisdom, love and kindness, not create such a beast because he knows that I wouldn’t be able to cope with that much pain?

Instead, he treats me like an onion. But oh, so, so gently does he remove my peel and layers, washing away the hurt and grime with his tears of love and tenderness.
I wrote this on a writers weekend where there was a variety of objects I could choose to write about and I chose an onion. One of the biggest onions I've ever seen. And this is what came out.
Martin Horton May 27
No Bumblebee.

No blackbird, swallow, swift or Robin.

No buttercups or poppies swaying in the breeze.

No hedgehog, weasel, stoat or mole

Almost silence.

Just one sound.

The sound of property developers chewing then choking on money.
This was inspired by two things. First, I walk past hedges when I walk my dog. Filled with sparrows. Now, they are gone. Torn up by diggers. Secondly, a book called The Last Wild by Piers Torday. A powerful book about the loss of our natural world.
On Christmas Eve I was talking to my brother

It was 2:30 in the morning

We had both been drinking.

I read him one of my poems.

That one about surviving myself.

It sparked a conversation.

The tough kind.

About suicide.

I told him I truly believed most people

Dont WANT to die

They just want the pain to stop

I told him it was a cry for help.

He told me my first attempt was not.

He said with tears rolling down his cheeks

"You were done that night."

With tears now streaming down my cheeks I replied

"I can't talk about this. Not tonight."

"I know." He cried

"Did you ever get help after that night? After seeing me like that? Did you talk to someone?"

"I couldnt talk about it. It was too hard."

At this point we're both bawling.

I wrapped my arms around him.

I apologized.

See that's the thing about attempting suicide and surviving.

If you're lucky enough

To survive

You have to witness the pain everyone around you feels.

Because of you.

I never use to think it was selfish.

Not until Christmas Eve.

I broke my brother.

6 years ago.

And he's still haunted.
Trigger warning.
-word for word conversation with my brother this Christmas eve. This was not written to offend anyone. But rather to hopefully open the eyes of those considering attempting. It doesn't stop the pain, it truly does just pass it on to the people who love you most. Stay strong, hold on.
Martin Horton Apr 16
My mother made lemon curd.
You could say it was her party trick.
Every year she’d make an enormous batch, and you’d have to grab a jar pretty quick.

The flavour, it was amazing!

Woke you up with a zap and a zing.

Not slept well or feeling a bit off? Have a spoonful of this and you’d sing.

The colour was spectacular, like pure sunshine in a jar.

And what made it all the more special was the lives it touched near and far.

You see, when people were given a jar of this, it touched a place deep inside.

Their lives went from grey and gloomy into lives filled with colour and pride.
They’d have it on toast or on porridge, far better than honey or jam.

I loved it turned into ice-cream, especially after eggs, chips and ham.

My mother had done this for a long time, left quite the legacy you see. Her first batch was made aged 11, her last at 103.

When her curd making days were over, and it was time to put her spoon away,
we gathered together to say goodbye, on a dull, grey and dismal kind of day.

The church was packed to the rafters, people remembered and laughed. Especially the vicar who adored her curd. He sometimes even ate it in the bath.

They all sang ‘Bring me sunshine’ as a tribute to my Mum and her spread. So here’s to her lemony goodness on crumpets, muffins or bread.
This was written in response to a competition where the title was the prompt was 'Bring me Sunshine' and this was the result.
Martin Horton Apr 16
She loved his unfinished similes like
a spider loves its web. Like a vampire his blood and the newspapers their celebs.

He adored her completed metaphors; together they made a right pair.

Dancing with words for the rest of their lives like ****** Rogers and …..
Oi Oi!

Country boy. Never, ever, eaten a saveloy.

Always eats chips with a knife and fork, ask him about his tractor and he’ll talk and talk.

Let’s not mention hunting, we won’t even go there.

He’s got a missus with incredibly long hair. Her brother ended up in local health care after a nasty encounter with a grizzly brown bear.

Best be careful and, beware, as he can get angry and shout and storm and swear.

If he does then you cuddle him and whisper ‘there, there, there, there and never, ever, shout ‘Oi Oi!’
This poem was inspired by a Brian Bilston poem made of the first lines of unwritten poems. I set myself a challenge of finishing all 17 of those poems and this is one of them.

— The End —