The land

I found the landscape beautiful
Like a fool who sees the beauty in everyone
Regardless of how they look or act

At times the land
Hummed with bees
Burst with flowers
Grew green carpets
Witnessed the birth of springing lambs
At other times
It was an apocalyptic wasteland
Barren, save for
Burnt black stubble
Bleached dry grass
Dead lambs dancing
Flatly contorted
Scattered across the land
Organs harvested by predators precisely

The sky and clouds
A backdrop to this state of flux
Always changing too
No two moments the same
For the sun
The moon
And the Milky Way

Humans 2.0

People close up tight
Into seeds
Into shells
Into sugar coated pills
Curl like armadillos
Armoured cars
Brace for bullets
Arm against amour
Curb against coeur

Node links swiftly sever
Smiles terrify
Contact is a core incursion
“Hello” raises shields
“How are you?” is a bullet
Heading straight for your heart
Each attempt to connect
Is enough to shock you dead

Safer to play
On virtual stages
With other actors
In fantasies of your making
Than open to one
Who asks how you are
In the flesh
With their breath
Sitting an arm’s length
From your heart
It might wound you to feel
It might kill you to connect

How does stalking fit into patterns of violence against women?

This is a really good article by Maheen from the blog This Violence is not a Tragedy on stalking and how the attitudes we have towards stalkers needs to shift. Be aware that a lot of stalking these days happens online, and that stalking often happens when you leave an abuser, as the amount of control they have over you is reduced when you leave. Always make a safety plan with police or a domestic violence organisation if you are leaving an abusive relationship.

This Violence is not a Tragedy

How does stalking fit into patterns of violence against women?

Stalking is not something we necessarily have a very good understanding of as a society. We tend to imagine stalkers as sad individuals with so little going on in their own lives that they fully attach themselves to someone else’s. We envisage stalking in a simplistic way – we conjure up images of a man following a woman around dark corners and sneaking into her garden to simply be near her. Most troubling is that our popular image of the stalker often paints them as a creepy but ultimately harmless figure – too sad to be taken seriously.

But this could not be any further from the truth. A 2017 study from the University of Gloucestershire found that stalking behaviours were present in 94% of intimate partner or domestic homicides. Dr Jane Monckton Smith, a researcher leading on the study, urged police forces to reconsider their methods of assessing risk…

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Coercive control: Tracy Westerman explains what we need to understand and look for

Tracy Westerman has written an excellent, complex, nuanced article on coercive control, its complexities, and how to spot it. It’s time we were all much more aware of the dynamics of abuse and how abusers cover up their behaviour. I’m a survivor and have extensive lived experience of such abuse. Thanks to an excellent therapist and having educated myself intensively over the past few years, I’ve learnt how to reframe and process my experiences and I know the ins and outs of abusers and how they operate. This article is great. Please read it and share it. It’s time we all stop enabling abusers and blaming victims, and shift our attention instead to cultivating awareness of abuse and supporting victims.

You can read the article here: