Does it Sting? – aka Pointless

skeletal mona lisa

Does it sting?

Can you feel

my hate

my anger

blistering at you?

Inflamed and furious

that not even the

Herculean strength of my own

sanity will tie it down

My bitterness seeps out

of my pores

leaving a trail of

achingly sad tearful

nights and aimless lonely

days

Does it sting?

Can you feel me

loathing you from afar?

My hate for you is so

giant – it has to be visible

surely you can feel this

surely you know I am hating you

betrayed by you, unforgiving

of you – surely….

What do you mean, he’s got another girlfriend?

© Kait King, 2015

A Mantra for those Suffering from Violence

a-nz-highest-rate of violence

You will never

have power over me

You’ve taken everything

that you can see

but you will never

have power over me

You will never

have my mind

You’ve beaten me black

held me behind

But I promise, you will never

have my mind

You will never

have my soul

You tell me I’m ugly

stupid and old

But I swear, you will never

have my soul

© Kait King, 2016

Fused, but not at the hip

Fused but not at the hip

I was standing at the front desk, chatting to another work colleague and an awkward scrawny middle-aged man came up to the counter. I was in the watch-house at the Police Station. Being closest, I turned to talk to him. Behind me, I could feel everyone else cringe. I wasn’t sure why, but it dawned on me as I chatted with him to find out what he was here for, why the audible intake of air from my colleagues. I was just in work zone and had been troubleshooting all day.

Let me start from the beginning. When I turned up for work that morning – it was like 4 am or something horrific, being shift work. Anyway, we had three women and a man in our team that night and as shift changed over everyone caught up and swapped information – did the hand over thing. Of course we all gossiped about things we had dealt with, seen or heard that day, what the constables had been up to, failed at, succeeded in catching, blah blah blah and of course, some real oddities and this was one of them.

A young detective came into the office after his shift to catch up with us. I must say, he looked a little green around the gills but I didn’t think anything about it at the time. He gathered those of us who wanted to see (only myself and the guy I worked with), some evidential photographs of a case of abuse. It took a couple of seconds for him to get his personal screen and files up. He knew I was interested in the abuse of the vulnerable, certainly children, but the animals, handicapped and elderly were all in my sights and desperately needed help. So the photos upload to his screen and I take a second to understand what I’m looking at. I thought a burnt body initially and then realised she was on a gurney in a hospital with tubes and an oxygen mask swallowing her “White-walker”-type face. I turned to the detective and with a rather incredulous tone asked him if she was actually alive.

“She is,” he said, “she’s still alive. This woman’s son was supposedly looking after her. Somebody who managed to finally get into the house found her and called an ambulance.”

“I just can’t believe someone so thin is still sucking in air! And how old is she?” Her dirty, mottled skin was just managing to cling to the bones of her body. She was filthy – hadn’t been washed properly in years.

“She’s 92. When we got to the hospital they told us that it was a miracle. I personally think maybe not – poor woman. Her son hadn’t fed her properly or washed her, medical needs ignored. She had maggots crawling around in her vagina…”

“What the fuck! Are you serious man!?” I was mortified.

“I knew you’d love this case Kait,” he said smiling up at me from the desk chair. ” Not only that but her toes had fused themselves together – there was green mould and a stink you would never believe possible. She smelt dead but was breathing – the living dead, literally!” he looked quite pleased with himself at the reality of his reference.

“I’m absolutely stunned! So what did her son say…has he been arrested then?” I ask.

“No, not yet anyway – he’s coming in to be assessed by the psyche team and questioned. Apparently he didn’t know he was doing anything wrong…whatever!”

“Good grief! Who’s he been sleeping with if he thinks it’s normal for flies to come out of a woman’s hoohaa!” We had a bit of a giggle – it’s like that in the face of horror. Apparently she had gangrene as well, on her fingers and other extremities. One of the worst abuse cases I’ve ever seen and I’m sure many of the police – even seasoned ones – felt that way too.

So the day carried on and we had all sorts of shit hitting the fan – parolees, detainees, people who had lost kids, found kids, P cooks, drunken idiots, abusive situations – just the usual crap.

So anyway here is this awkward guy in front of me. I am my usual helpful self and ask him what I can do. He tells me he’s here for an interview with a certain detective. I contact the right detective to come and get him from the watch-house, in the meanwhile I say “So are you having a good day?” just to be polite and make his wait in a police station a little less awkward. I had no idea what he was here for – he could be being interviewed as a witness for all I knew. Well this was a trigger question for him as he just spilled his guts to me about how he had hurt his mother even though he was trying to look after her. He told me about the maggots and the mould – as if I was giving him the interview. It only took him a few minutes to vent his story and he stood quietly with his head down in front of my counter.

“How come you didn’t clean her or help her to clean herself?” I asked cautiously, making eye contact with him.

“Well….I….I….” he bumbled along.

“It’s OK,” I said “you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to…” I trailed off.

He looked pleadingly up at me and I could see tears peeking out of the corners of his eyes.

“I want to.” he whispered.

I kept quiet.

He took a deep breath in and said “That’s my mum y’know ? I don’t want to wash her there or her top chest or anything! It’s not right…I’m her son – not even a daughter – I couldn’t do it!” The tears fell off his face. After initially feeling slightly ill talking to him, I found I was feeling sorry for him.

“Hell, I can understand that.” And I certainly could.

“So can you tell me why she’s so thin then? Why didn’t you feed her anything?” I pushed on through because there must be some accountability here. How can he get out of this one? Surely if he’d fed her she wouldn’t look like this. I tried to keep the picture of the poor old woman in my head, the decrepit, stinking semi-corpse that was his mother, to give her justice and keep a strong mind in this.

“I tried – I tried everything but she wouldn’t eat anything! I tried to force her but she choked so badly I was afraid to give her anything…I know now that this was wrong…” he looked down at his shoes, the tears still rolling off his nose and landing on the stations’ loud carpet. “She was my mum and she used to beat the crap outta me if I talked back or didn’t do as she bid. So I listened to her when she shook her head away from the spoon or growled at me, I left her alone….I was scared…” A slipknot of snot was making it’s way out of his nose and I tried desperately to keep a gag down. I managed. I passed him a box of tissues gingerly – not wanting to touch his skin at all.

Thankfully the detective who was going to do the interview arrived and took him through the security doors to an interview room. I stood there for a moment and realised where the blame lay in this. Society, society was to blame. Yes, he was at fault for not contacting the hospital or some sort of care for his mother, but he didn’t know anyone would help him. Surely if his neighbours had just said hello once in a while to the slightly, strange, creepy guy he might not be suffering endless guilt as it dawns on him in his slow mind what he has actually done. And his mother would not have had to suffer the enduring starvation and pain she had. It is about accountability – but who is accountable? We call ourselves a welfare state but whose welfare are we really caring for? I consider this man and his mother both victims in this instance and a severe failure on our many organisations parts. He was charged with numerous offences relating to the abuse of the elderly. I wondered if he wanted to lay charges against his mum for what she had done to him – for the monster she had created in him who would become her living nightmare.

What’s really sad is he will more than likely end up like his mum did….

© Kait King, 2015

Break my heart, why don’t you

Break my heart

Break my heart, why don’t you

I know you didn’t choose to leave

I don’t see you anymore

and it’s hard to believe

you’re not here

with me

now

I can’t hear what you say

your words are in the way

I know what you really mean

It is me

that you

don’t want to be seen

with

Break my heart, why don’t you

you’ve not told me what I want to hear

You’ve spoken to me and for you

it’s crystal

clear

But I keep hanging on

hope makes you all mine

but somewhere in my lonely heart

I know you

will fade in

time

© Kait King, 2016

A Treasured Life

Me n my Dad

My Dad and Me

It was so sad

to watch you fade

your mind as sharp as a knife

It was so hard

to say goodbye

To such a treasured life

It made me smile

to think on you a while

and on how you loved

your wife

Your children given

all you had

you gave

a treasured life

It seems that you

are still here

although you can’t

be seen

I often talk to you

And not just

in my dreams

I hope I told you

I loved you enough

I hope you know

how much I cared

And I know

one day,

I’ll see you again

Somewhere over there…

© Kait King, 2015

Sweet Angel

sweet-angel

You just don’t look

the same

Your skin so

pearlescent white

Your energy has

left us now

You’ve gone

towards the light

Your hand and cheek

cools quickly

A deathly stillness

about you, sets

If only you could

calm your family

And tell them not

to fret

You will be close

while they need you

They may even

know

But there will come a time

Sweet Angel,

when you really

have to go

© Kait King, 2016

Never Quite

Never Quite

You never quite got to be here

You never quite got to breathe in air

I never quite got to touch your face

take you home

show you your place

I never quite got to watch you grow

I never quite got to get to know

you, your love

I never quite got to hold your tiny hand

or do anything else that I had planned

I’ll never quite hear you say “Mum you were right!”

Or get to read bedtime stories at night

You’ll never quite miss me when I am not there

Sadly our lives, this time, we’ll not share…

© Kait King, 2015

Oh no, I can’t get over it…

Getting over it - whatever

Somehow you get through – it’s not even that you learn to live with these things – they stay in our lives forever as part of who we are. In fact these are the things that make us who we are. They used to say this kind of suffering was character building. That may or may not be so, for me, it allows great reflection and understanding of my capacity to love and give love and in turn what it means to lose that.

One of the annoying things friends and family expect, is for you to “get over it” after a certain amount of time – whatever that time is. But there is nothing to get over. You can’t just imagine it’s behind you – things are not behind us, they are all a part of us. We carry them with the sum of ourselves. Maybe by putting things behind us we let our guard down, we love too easily again, we get hurt so much more because of that. Taking the good and the bad experiences is what makes you the person you are. Are you a fighter? Do you run away? Are you persistent? Do you give up? Whatever you do, you have to live with it – you don’t learn to live with it – there is no manual. You have no choice, choice has been removed from this section of your life and a loss of some kind has left a crater and a giant rock in the same place. Luckily the giant rock plugs up a lot of the feelings for a while – this is often known as shock. Eventually the putridness of your trapped feelings in this hole in your heart starts building up a mass of toxic gasses which must be expelled. This build up, over any period of time (as long as it takes you), causes a massive explosion. The giant rock is blasted apart from the hole in your heart. The tiny splinters of angst, hurt, devotion, honor,disbelief, love and any other betrayed related feeling you can imagine, is dug deeply into your heart and mind. Each little splinter of that pain has barbs of doubt, guilt and confusion holding them in place in your heart. And we can’t let go or it can’t let go of us or we don’t give ourselves permission to keep moving forward even though we are cemented in that time of tragedy and know that’s impossible, isn’t it?

The hard part is learning to navigate around these losses, grievances and betrayals, eventually like a powerful river we keep flowing around these rocks of hurt that seem like they will never shift or move. But they do erode – the erosion is so subtle and slow we don’t even notice and so it is, I believe, with tragedy, loss and grief; be that for a living being or a relationship of any kind. Loss leaves a big hole and a giant rock that you drag around with you all the time. Afterwards we question everything said and done, what could have been different, the “if only’s” and the “what if’s” with hopeless, empty dreams. Nothing can be changed. It is what it is, but I know I fight against this too, even though I understand the futility of the fight!

I think only in time will I manage to erode down that rock of loss, will I be able to take the sharp edges off and flow a little easier around the things put in my way that I have no way of changing. Perhaps time won’t heal the wounds, but perhaps time allows my river of life to smooth the edges of hurt. Perhaps it lets me build up strength so that I can push past that hurt easier, every time I have to go past that hurt again. Because it doesn’t go away….

I wish I could tell her

I wish I could tell her

While she’s trying harder

working it out

all her problems, hangups, pity and

self-doubt

And she tries too hard to achieve

because she’s lonely, angry,

she’s had no love to eat

And as far as this woman knows

it’s like a picture, no – a painting

or a movie, too slow

As far as this woman knows

it’s like fighting the fight

but not a fight that you chose

So she’s crying alone

no sleep at night

I wish I could find her

and tell her –

it will all be all right

© Kait King, 2015