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Daniel James Sep 2020
I woke up in a huff.

Things I should have done already,
Came back in a flood.
Too many things,
Everywhere I looked,
I closed my eyes.

She scratched my back a bit.

"That's nice." I lied.

I wait for everything to pass.
Just stop, don't think.

"How are you feeling?"

Don't ask that.
There's something vicious in my mind,
Always on the attack.

"Wanna talk about it?"

No. Or else I would.
And now I'm thinking about it.

I let it go. Slightly tense.
But unanswered questions
Don't quite disappear.
They build up.
Every intervention is
Another pebble in the pond,
Another splash,
Another ripple.

Time to settle.
Take a breath.
Roll over.

Everything's all right.
It's fine. It's going nowhere.
One step at a time.

I could
Slide up to unlock
Perhaps I've gone viral in my sleep.

I haven't, but that was hope -
I think - just a glimpse -
Somewhere in between the homescreen
And the last
Past the apps I didn't choose,
And the one I did but never use,
To the ones that I don't want,
But am addicted to.

"Coffee?" She asks,
Taking a white towel
From the hook
On the back of the door.
That's nice, I think,
She doesn't drink coffee.
I make a sound that means
Something either way.

"Escape!" is what I want to say.
Run. Before I scar you with my grey,
Grey thoughts.

I count the steps as
She goes down the stairs.

Alone again, at last. I breathe.

My phone won't let me down.
Daniel James May 2020
Little people of the world,
And particularly those
Who own big spaces
Right at the centre
Of our shared emptiness
It's time to go and have
A long hard think
About what you've done
And what you have become.

This growing debt
This planet's overdraft
Unlocked through lack of planning
Lack of vision - worse -
Through 'knowledge'
And selfish calculation.

Go to your rooms.

Don't come out until you're sorry.
Daniel James Apr 2020
So little to say
So much time to say it
I can't lockdown
A single thought
A butterfly in the garden
A new project lost inside a page
At least I have a garden
At most it's a very...
Loose and gentle house arrest.
I'm under the impression
That we're living through
One of the big moments
But don't worry
We can still get Uber eats
And the weather has been weirdly nice
And zoom isn't quite as good as real life
But it's definitely less effort
And you don't have to shower
Or get dressed much
And it's easier to get to
And easier to leave.
It's a lot like waiting
While pretending
That you're waiting for something.

What did you do in Lockdown daddy?
I binged watched a thing or two, I can tell you.
I grew some flowers. Let them grow. Helped them.
Yes I helped some flowers grow. And fruit.
Probably not that much fruit tbh.
I did a few odd jobs online.
I knew what was happening
Before the government admitted it.
But couldn't do much to stop it.
We clapped for the NHS on Thursdays.
At first that was great.
Then they tried to make us do it for Boris
And we all felt a little bit sick inside.
And we wondered why our stats were so bad
I mean why so many people died
Why did we die so much over here
When we'd had a lot of warning
And they'd said that we were prepared
A tsunami of death sweeping through
The care homes like the silence
After a slightly racist joke.
Did someone say herd immunity?
We never did find out why
What with Brexit and
All that blinding light
At the end
Of the
Daniel James Oct 2019
First they broke up the unions, and I did not speak out,
Because I was only one.

Then they sold off the British – BT, BP, BA – and I did not speak out
Because I was only ten and - Thundercats.

Then they came for the coal, the power, the rail. We did speak out –
We held on to the post office and voted in New Labour.

Then we watched them PFI the underground, the NHS and schools
And we did not speak out, because we thought they were us.

So on they went and PFI’d Iraq. We did speak out,
But they were far away.
And that was not enough.

So then they PFI’d the **** out of everything moved-
Threw in some car parks here and there,
Some targets, some consolidations -
But we weren’t concentrating on that because -
We weren't the baddies, were we?

Then they came for prisons, and the police
Detention Centres, state school discipline
They even offered China our 5G

And then they asked the people how they felt
And used that - to make them feel something else
And then they asked those same people what to do
Offering a simple lie for complex truth.

And then a man with a pint
Formed a PLC
And stood for election
And refused to make promises

It turns out
a necessary component of a lie
is shame.
Who knew?

Before the 2020 tax rules
Or something
We got bored
And people voted
Not to have another vote
Ever again

And I wasn't even sure
At which point it was
That they came for me.

But at some point.
They'd already come.
Daniel James Sep 2019
You get a lot of between times
In this life
Bundled in with
The usual highs and lows
They're like the packaging
You unpack when
The real gift arrives -
Not noticing
That these
These moments
Of unpackaging
These between times
Are life.
Not the holders of life
But life itself -
The stuff we throw away.
Daniel James Aug 2019
a little bit lost again
in between
narrating selves
or just being
from the
of the sea
but everything
At once.
Daniel James Mar 2017
When sleep comes
Just like the snow
And settles like a blanket
On your toes

And covers both the day and night
In flakes of thought
And sheets of white -

Hold tight –
Don’t be afraid
Breathe in and take
A moment of the dreams you’ve made
For your tomorrow…

Walk among the wonders
Through the powder,
Melting tracks
Into the silence of the night –

And know –
This sleep will come and go…
Just like the snow.
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