Winter descends

Winter comes, like all the seasons.
Betrays the summer with its frozen reasons.
Killing off the leaves which cling so desperate to the branch.
And in my own mind’s yearly tree.
I hunker down quite hastily.
Sparing the blossoms of my head for another notch of time.
Surrounded and lost by love and laughter.
A festive phase much sought-after.
Frozen in the static of knowing where it all began.
So begin to fold the year away.
For memories linger but rarely stay.
Till’ soon it’s all forgotten like a love we had before.
And now the snow fills up my veins.
Frost and sadness cause fresh new pains.
And these bones are breaking to the cold creeping across the floor.
Yet while isn’t bleak and cold mid-winter.
There is a promise we can disinter.
Not guaranteed, there is a spring around God’s open door.
So enjoy the snow for it has never lasted.
A fading dust seasonally granted.
A beauty in the frozen landscape of winter’s yearly dance.
Make merry while you turn and tide.
Smile and bow to December’s bride.
Then greet tomorrow’s calendar with a better version than before.

Odium in the skin

That wind howling.
Striking the tear that sits on a cheek.
Like a queen on a throne, wishing to abdicate.
The flood rising.
Dampening a thought in the dock of the mind.
Waving from the higher ground.
Chisel your hatred into our bones.
Fill our teeth with words peppered in distaste.
Swallow and sink the weight of history.
The flames rising.
Catching little tinder boxes placed in fire trapped hearts.
Wanting the world to burn, like hungry moths.
The earth sighing.
Cracking from the inside out as it shoots through space.
Fading into time, like your lies and disgrace.

40 Portraits of Pain

By June Okochi
http://www.juneokochi.co.uk/

I love telling stories. I write about my experiences of life, art, travel, culture, poetry. I even journal about living with my genetic condition.But one day I decided it would be great to express in a different kind way. I wanted to tell mine and other’s stories of living with our genetic condition through visual imagery.I wanted to use photography as an art form to express the different motions that come with this condition.How we deal with pain and suffering every day of our lives. To express how we battle fatigue levels, how we live with anxiety about when next we will be sick and back on a hospital bed, how we have become accustomed to discomfort and pain that we are no longer afraid of it. We have normalised it like the air we breathe. How we deal with broken bones, broken cells, strokes, suffocating pain, damaged organs and fight early mortality. Sometimes the pain is so excruciatingly unbearable, we chose death over life.We are born with it and we die with it. There are no easy ways around it.We deal with the impact on our social lives, our physical, mental and emotional lives. It takes its toll on our childhood, education, careers, professions, everything, until we end up borderline depressed and broken but we keep going, we keep living, we smile, we hide behind our pain, we cry at night, we keep smiling, we keep thriving, we keep popping those pills, we pop them until we die, we take your blood and exchange them into our veins to have life, to live. We need your blood donations, it fixes us for a short time until the next time when we need another fix. We take opiates to keep us alive, pain free. We use oxygen to keep us alive, we use surgery and chemo treatments to keep us alive. We do everything we can because we have no choice, because we didn’t choose this, because we were made to deal with it.Some of us do not know what a decent quality of life looks like.We fight, we fight, we win, we lose. Some fall and don’t make it, we hold their memories, recognising that they are in a better place, pain free, others keep fighting until we make our mark, find our legacy and our legacy may be as simple as just surviving.Sickle Cell…I am a warrior. We are warriors.World Sickle Cell Day, 19th June 2019Watch out for the full online photography series exhibition coming soon.#40potraitsofpain
#worldsicklecellday
#sicklecellinlondonCreator: June Okochi
Photographer: Jim Higham
Creative Director: Ijeoma Okochi-Agwu
Production: Mica Marshall and Tommy Okochi

Hesitate

Lay down in stars.
Sweet dust on the back of your neck.
I lick you there, into forever.
The heady taste of tomorrow.
But can you tell I’m faking it?
Caught between sleep and infatuation.
I want to love you, but I’m covered in shells.
Deceit and artificial reckoning.
The smell of the ocean.
A wave of self-doubt and your words in my ear.
The return of sadness.
That never truly left.

Burn upwards

You, like a million pieces of an eclipse.
Falling on me like a Friday night.
You pepper my world with smiles.
Like stars peeking out of the black blanket of night.
You take me to such gravity.
You ask me to disengage.
A resistance that seems futile as I wash in your orbit.
Streaming down into the sapphire sway of your words.
Licking at my mind.
You, like a light in a field at night.
Leaving circles across my heart.
I count the halos. I watch for the dawn.
And you stay.

A Calling

This life is a blend of black and grey.
I’ve come here now to take you away.
And hold your hand, in the face of sorrow
You’re wrong to say that, please just go.
There are things here that you will never know.
I always have, the hope of tomorrow.
But tomorrow is now out of your hands.
The pain will come, you won’t understand.
When your heart and soul, will be nevermore.
That’s why I grasped her hand so tight.
We fled right there out into the night.
And she took me away, to unseen shores.

Lay me down

To sleep, in a dream that never wakes.
Flying on stars and tears tonight.
Lay me down.
Into the air or the earth.
For that is where my soul seeks silence.
Covered for a hundred years, a thousand tears.
Rusted and weak.
Lay me down, to sleep.
And tell me stories of the future.
A harkening of new truths.
When this time has died into a yesterday.
I will wake, and drink the world in again.

Particular illusions

To sleep under the stars, and to count the heavens.
A result of you burning my bed.
I lie on the cool grass and watch out for comets.
Racing from Olympus to Paradise.
I pulled off the ropes and entanglements.
Escaping with my life, but not my soul.
And now the clouds that cover the milky way.
Blotting out the moon.
Is just the smoke, from the ashes of our home.
Yet suddenly you appear, covered in moon dust.
With starlight diamonds in your eyes.
And you take my hand, and tip the sky over.
Shaking out the stars.
Promising me treasure to be found in our ruins.

Infractuated

This is where the call came in.
21.09 as the tables turned.
Nothing learned, and feeling fine.
It got a little cold out there baby.
Running the whole world on your lie.
Catching time, trying not to try.
But your control used to cover you.
Now it rolls you over, and you try to let go.
But no.
She wants a little more than you offered.
Coming now to pay the piper.
That pound of flesh you carrot dangled.
Creating such frenzied envy.
And now, here comes that awful feeling.
Smudged with eyeliner and regret.
And as your mouth rolls fables like marbles.
The truth with whisky garbles, like a politician camera posing.
I know you see her. I know you wonder how it will end.
In the end, you lose.

Weighted

The only explanation, to the thoughts stuck in your mind.
Is that the fairy tales so familiar, are just lies on the end of sticks.
Princess you are not.
Cracked though, like a porcelain doll.
Washed up in the flood of life.
God didn’t want to throw you away.
So you stay.
Married and marred to another, while the butterflies escape.
And the eyes of others, circle like filthy black birds.
Keep your eyes open, and follow the stars in the sky.
For the earth will only replace yours with little lights.
Dull black candles.
While the stardust flutters away.

WICHITA EYES

In the night they burn.
Fireflies trapped in an amber jar.
Smelling the sand on my skin.
The dust-bowl offerings to a world of plenty.
Wichita eyes follow me.
Bar stamped and ready. Hovering over something entirely.
Waiting to be consumed.
Where do you go now motel boy?
Burning holes through my skin.
Somersaulting in and turning my blood to milk.
The day fades away, blackening the eyelids of the young.
The eyes always ready.
Waiting for tomorrow.