Poems about Escape


when there are no more bruises
or slaps to be borne
the women gather like messages
behind locked doors

tucked in their shoes for remembrance
they float like doves across their yards
wearing their herringbone cloaks

where are they going
away from husbands for sure
away from the graves of mothers
the laws of fathers
the stink of milk & carcass
it was all bull calves and billies this year

it will be different
in another place
where earth smells sweet as sawdust
and no more blood in the lines of their hands

who sees them now
blown by their own shadows
over hayricks and pastures
numerous as starlings
unpenitent as raptors


I run.
As fast as my feet can take me.
Into the storm.
Not away,
But right into the eye of the storm.
Because I know
Exactly what I’m letting myself in for.
And I am not scared.
For the storm brings me shelter
From the cold.

I ran. I ran, day and night,
from the ones who had me in their sight.
For they know that I have escaped from certain doom,
and now they hunt me down with their hounds in the gloom.

I was in doubt, that I will make it free
to the respite and safe place that calls to me.
But thankfully, I am united with the ones I love,
and we have found freedom with the help from the shepherd and the dove.

My feet pound the ground.
Long stride, keep going.
Keep pounding, feet.

My blood pounds in my veins.
Round and round, keep flowing.
Keep flowing, blood.

My lungs pound against my ribs.
In, out, in, out, breathe!
Keep breathing, lungs.

My heart, pumping my blood.
More, more, push it round me.
Keep pumping, heart.

Behind me, they’re gaining.
Shouting, chasing, running me down.
Leave me alone!

Keep pounding, feet!
Keep flowing, blood!
Keep breathing, lungs!
Keep pumping, heart!

I was suffocating even before we left the house, but no one bothered to ask me how I felt

Anne went into hiding on a hot day in July, 1942 wearing at least 14 items of clothes. She was 13 years and one month old.

During the hot summers of 1975 and 1976 I went to a Cheshire Juniors hockey camp at Crewe and Alsager College for a week. I remember that it was so hot the dust from the red pitch was knee high. We would breathe it in and be very thirsty. There was a water restriction so the dust couldn’t be dampened. At the end of the day we were all covered in a fine red dust and were blowing it out of our noses all night. I cannot imagine wearing 14 items of clothes on such a day.

The plan to go into hiding had been over a year in the planning with clothes, furniture and food being moved in readiness.

She’s fought hard to get here
Shed blood, sweat and tears
Leading her children
Assuaging their fears.

This war she will win
With her quiet strength of mind
Focused, determined
Relentlessly kind.

She stands arms folded
Men run, hide and cower
No one will cross her
She knows her own power.

Toes turned, firmly gripped,
Clenching red clay,
She’s not going back
Not ever, no way.

One foot in front of the other
Slowly trudging onwards
Lead me and I will follow
Down the untrodden dusty road
Where danger lurks behind every rock
But hope beckons beyond each bend.
I need to take the first step, one step
One step forward at a time.
Running out of energy
We plod in silence to conserve our strength
We have to take a different route
Not the easy way
Which leads to a new destination
Negotiating a roundabout of tension
Fighting a carousel of chaos
That will not stop spinning.
There is no map for this journey
This road less travelled
Needs pioneers, pilgrims and
Peacemakers to construct it.

Scrambling into shelter,
Ears pressed to my head,
I’m flat on the ground,
Must stay quiet!
I can hear the hounds,
My heart is fluttering,
I’m not at peace….
But I have a brief respite in safety.