Some light along my way

When I had the diagnosis for my lungs, around two and a half years ago now, I didn’t think I would be alive today. I didn’t know what to expect at all. But because I woke one morning feeling fine and by four pm was gasping to get air into my lungs, I thought it would be sooner rather than later.

I’ve had so many ambulance visits that I’ve lost count. They have all been to nebulise my lungs. I now call nebulisers my cocaine, as I come to life and feel so great afterwards. Apart from the trembling and a headache of sorts.

In the week after Christmas I started reducing two wardrobes into one, ridding myself of clothes I no longer wear or will never wear. It felt great, but I exhausted myself and stopped before the final bits were done. It’s a source of mild frustration, as I’m terrified of feeling so exhausted again. I have achieved other great changes in my home, but with less effort. It feels good.

I haven’t needed a paramedic since the 09 01 19, when I was nebulised and given steroids. Eight tablets each morning for five days. I’ve only used my inhaler a few times since, it’s amazing.

So now we are in March. No ambulance for two months. It lovely but strange, but I’m so grateful.


Poem published by Ariel Chart



March 01, 2019

Experimental Me

Experimental Me

My body tells its tale
with scars, bumps and twists
but no one dreams the dread
my mind journeyed through

One must know the language
my body yelling out loud
it’s found in open brain ops,
intensive care, IV’s and fear

Experimental they said
Not terrifying, painful, dark
my mind and frame have bent
the iron pipes of sanity

Chrissie Morris Brady

Chrissie now lives on the south coast of England. She has travelled widely and gained her degree in Psychology at USC, and worked in the recovery from addiction for several years in Southern California. She has written poetry since she was a teenager, and now has been published by Plum Tree Books, Brian Wrixon publishing, Dead Snakes, Dissident Voice, Scarlet Review, WISH Poetry, Anti-Heroin Chic and other publications, including several anthologies

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More On My Journey

Since my sister died of sepsis, and my beloved O’Driscoll, my constant companion, died exactly a week later, I have found my emotions somewhat confusing. I have started to grieve, certainly, but this has been blocked by realising that a vicar I had trusted was coercively controlling me. He made agreements on my behalf, despite my objections, started to help me with projects which got left by the wayside, he would shame me when I mentioned something out of context, and repeated malicious untruths in order to serve his purpose and control me with shame and low self- esteem.

Finally, I’ve had the strength to take this to the police. They are safeguarding me and have encouraged me to invoice this man for jobs I’ve had to pay for because he controlled and made a mess of things.

Health wise, I’ve kind of felt empowered since I started going to visit my sister on my own instead of depending on lifts from the vicar. This, despite the shock of the deaths in my life, has left me feeling more capable and in charge of my life. It began with my ex- husband walking out. Oh, he made me feel so feeble, but really it was a depression caused by him that drained me.

I’ve still needed paramedics at times to nebulise me, almost always in the late evening or early hours. Thankfully, I was prescribed a different inhaler which is far more efficacious. I am much more in charge of my breathing and feel much less passive.

Love came calling in the wonderful shape of Mike Ebsworth. He kind of bulldozed into my life, seducing me emotionally with his thoughtfulness, kindness, humour, gentleness, interestingness, and individuality. I never noticed him before, he was a quiet, almost boring man. It lasted almost two months until someone started blackmailing him. It’s the only way she can have him.

So, grief aside, I am losing weight still. This really concerns me. I want to gain weight so badly.

Untitled – poem published by Anti-Heroin Chic


you remember those summers,

after Germany, long and hot

on the grass or in the apple trees

our world, our castles really in the air,

branches so familiar, smoothed by jeans

and you’d sing into the skipping rope

later I’d hear them on the radio

and think you were magic, a moonbeam

you styled my taste in music for a long time

I wanted to look like you, have style

not look so young, so childlike, so thin

it was your love, your arms I craved

and then, much too soon, I’m your bed

as you begin to die, fading,

a moon beam fading

into the morning

On poetry…

Why is it that some writers say one cannot be a poet unless one has known pain and brokenness? To draw on one’s own life for a creative thought only is a lack of imagination ad creative thought.
I have two degrees in psychology. If I wanted to, I could write poetry drawn from from the clients who sat in my office, lived in the recovery house I co-parented, those who slipped and phoned me and I drove to the gutter to talk to me. I could write about the attempted suicides, the meltdowns, the mismanagement when I swore at my superiors because basic maintenance was not kept up at the recovery house, and we had to wash dishes in the shower room.

So many stories, as well as my own trauma and pain and well defended personaliy. I did not know who I was.

But poetry is making word photograph. From the street, a face in a window, two people sat on a bench, a scene at a market, an encounter with a waiter , a night at the opera, memories from school, or a date, the magic of your child.

We don’t need to have been destroyed to be a poet. We just need to hear the muse, see the evening differently, see life from a different angle, be very observant and listening. That is what a poet is together with a love of words, a love of illiteration, word play and succinctness.

True Anger is Born Out of Compassion.

I have come to believe this.

Recently, my sister was ill in hospital with sepsis. I found her covered to the neck despite her high temperature. She was nil by mouth, as she was expected to die. But how long would it take for her to die, and why couldn’t she eat or drink until her body was unable to do so any longer?

The next day I became angry as I discovered they were using the drug to dry up her chest, throat, and mouth secretions. Now her thirst was truly evident, her temperature was down, and in every way she looked so much better. Although of course, she was not.

I rang the hospice which is attached to the hospital and use the same palliative care team. They said they would put her on the list to be admitted and also advisedme to call the Clinical Management team. I did this and encountered wonderful women, so compassionte and understanding. They went to my sister’s notes and wrote in that she should be hydrated, given mouth swabs with a taste, and some electolytes.

My sister was able to speak with me a little. Mainly I told her happy memories, and sang to her. She smiled. Oh, beautiful smiles.

My sister died 11 days after they started nil by mouth. Imagine if she had been thirsty for all that time. It’s unthinkable.

I did make complaints about a nurse who tried to wrestle my sister’s sheet from my hands, and another who jabbed his finger in my face whilst being rude to me. Both were assaults on my sister’s dignity, and totally unacceptable.

My anger was birthed in my love and compassion for my sister. It achieved a more comfortable state for her and she died at peace. Far too young, but at peace and feeling loved.

This is not a Prayer By James Diaz

Great writing

Left Out In The Cold: A Journal


The first prayer of the morning is a type of stillness. There are several layers that wash out of us in each breath. These are not its names, but we call them to us with strange, half formed words in our hungry mouths. A semi-conscious ticking, the window sill’s soft yellow-bellied light. The body gathers its information. How do we come to without breaking ourselves open along the way?

Pain is only one configuration among the swelling in our stomachs. We are all pregnant with something. We carry too much, or not enough. Is it emptiness in our skin? Outer layer, more matter of fact, here I am, take my presence for a wall, lean on me, write your name, here and here.

I’ll tell you a story; we are all born with the task of prayer – we are born blind. Touch opens us to the world…

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