Helplessness. It’s worse for me you know. You are only suffering but you do that every day. But every day I wake up and with the reddened sky I know that I can never help you. Hopelessness. It’s worse for me. You can imagine a cure or some relief though you know – you know – that that will never come. All I want is for your pain to go away for ever. And you know please know that’s not the same as not wanting you here forever. Look into my eyes, please look into my eyes and please, please don’t show me pity.

Written for, an interdisciplinary critical/creative project bringing together people living with persistent pain, representatives from pain charities, creative writers, academics, and medical practitioners.

Pain knows my name

“Pain is not a punishment, pain is always a warning. Death is the only punishment.” (Quotation)


Pain knows my name.

Pain ticks my name in my temples.

Pain whispers my name when I’m thinking of silence.

Pain screams through my blood when I’m gasping for sleep.


Pain fogs my head and bone grinds my patience to dust.

Pain knots blood wet ropes of razoring wire.

Pain flames bite black and tiger tooth savages darkness.

Pain saint martyrs my dreams, saint martyrs my dreams.


And then, please then, the silence, redemption.