Life’s celebration in springs bloom.


A celebration of life?
I ponder what is such
without poetry?
And what is poetry
without life?
But for the empty void
of letters amassed
together to create a
void of existence
nullifying to the soul…

I declare in the twilight
hours of my despair
I shall never utter the
essence of your spirit
upon my page again
and in that instance
I wonder do I seize to
be a poet?
For even silence
tells a story..

Spring blossoms
afore me,
petals peeling away
layers as the
sun warms and
mirth wakens
the earth.
Upon the new breeze,
your whisper,
telling me to reach
to the skies,
upon eternal wings,
fly, I hear, fly and
celebrate life.

Karen Hayward* ©2017
Image and words.

The mouse among the wolves.

Word prompt, survival

The banging lady

You can’t meet my eye and in your voice I hear that you want to cry. You’re relieved as my cat strangles his way through your legs and you run your fingers through his fur that we say is black but is really a dark and beautiful deep ginger. Your voice is tiny compared to the one I hear screaming at four in the morning, you want to apologise, I see it at the tip of your tongue and in your promise of a future in the questions that you ask about my studies. Your apology is not required, not here, not to me, although an explanation for the banging would be greatly received. Today I saw a mouse squinting in the moon light, pleading for the stars to shine just a little, for her, to give her the smallest glimmer of hope, I could not give her hope, so I gave her my time, my forgiveness and my friendship, the rest is up to her, survival comes to those willing to make the changes.


Karen Hayward ©2016


Hope. Life writing.


Apparently I had a little left over from yesterdays writing prompt hope!

And in the beginning…we all have an in the beginning, a point in time when we hit the rocky depths of the abyss and we pleaded with whatever God we could find that would listen, for some light, even if at that time it came only in the form of a shadow. If you are yet to experience this moment, then I promise you it will come, it haunts your existence waiting in the shadows to reveal to you, who it is you truly are. We’ve all seen the quotes telling the world that strength is a hidden beauty discovered somewhere in the pits of hell…or something along those lines, so there’s no need for me to tell you this. And so it is that, in the darkness I have discovered my strengths. As a writer it always intrigues me to discover where a person writes from, more than once I have been told we write from the pains of society, lost love, lost freedoms and the iron bars of true identity and as much as I would like to say this is invalid, it is entirely true. Every word we spill onto the page is the fulfillment of the yin and yang concept, to see beauty we must know of ugliness, to know love we must understand hate, to know pain we must recall a time when we felt nothing. My life is seemingly filled with ‘and in the beginnings’ that I am only aware of when I speak of my past and I see the look in others eyes, such a simple response and in that moment they inadvertently make me feel some how ashamed of my nonchalant descriptions…and I wonder am I broken? My husband says to me in that strained, ‘the holy fuck are you doing’ voice that he gets when he see’s me climbing the step ladders, ‘Please don’t do these things.’ and I think, don’t do what? don’t live? You see I recall that moment of darkness as though it were tattooed across my skin, in a sense it is, it’s tattooed through my muscles, pain, there is not a single day when I will forget that feeling of ripping my back muscle, again and again and again until the days blurred into weeks and the weeks blurred into years and the pain was finally defined as chronic until the brain no longer knew the difference between what hurt and what didn’t. And of all the, in the beginning moments in my life pain has been the most defining. I recall the darkness that seeped into my mind stealing away my dreams bit by bit until the abyss was the only hope I had left. For the first time in my life I didn’t know how to rise above this pain. I was rapidly forgetting what it felt like to feel no pain in my body until that day when I forgot, it was gone, I could no longer recall the freedom of pain free movement. It amazes me how we recall with ease the moment in our lives when the world imploded and yet try as I might I don’t recall when it changed, when the pain become a low buzzing that I could once again at the very least try to fight, I don’t recall when I started to hear the birds sing again, or feel the beauty of the sun against my naked skin, I don’t recall when the world became as amazing as what it now is.  Each day is a day I never believed would come and so I am creating new dreams as I wander through, redefining the rules and creating a reality just for me. I saw a quote yesterday that said something like, ‘a goal without plans is just a wish,’  I’ve been surviving on stolen wishes for years, this was not the life I was meant to have and yet I would not trade who I am now for anything this world can offer. I don’t ever want to write from the pains of my past, from the broken childhood to the teenage years that were shrouded in darkness and coveted by guardian angels I never knew existed to the realisation of having your every dream swiped away from you, but in reality it is in the blank canvas of the unknown that I discovered beauty. It is here in the muscles that scream in pain  that I discovered a stubbornness to survive, a need to see beauty, a desire to feel passion but mostly I learned that i could depend on myself alone my every need could be fulfilled by me and there may come a day when I have to put pen to paper and declare in poetic melody that I built my walls to high, that the ones that love me cannot reach me and I will write in scribbled letters of the key that was always there, but they just never opened their eyes to see. And so in the beginning when the world I wanted became the world I could not have darkness seeped in and stole away my light, but somewhere in that deep abyss a small flame flickered, perhaps the flame that tells me my past is just that, or perhaps the whispered strength of wisdom or maybe the last flame of hope.


Karen Hayward ©2016

Butterfly wings.


My butterfly stands waiting at the window for her fluttering friend to arrive. Patience has kept her there for 90 minutes and the time has still not come, so still she waits as she teeters on the edge of forever. Shoes on, hair self brushed and bag packed with the teddy. The pink teddy that is almost nine, just like her. The sun is falling across her mousy blonde hair, streaks are appearing, she says, mum, take the colour of your hair so I can see the real colour, go look in a mirror I tell her. She giggles and shows me her matching freckle by the base her thumb, just like mine. How many minutes, she asks, a while I reply knowing no answer will appease her as time has currently stopped in her world. I sit back and watch her, her eyes are sparkling and I see the tiny fluttering of her wings…my phone beeps. ‘They’re on their way sweety’. I swear I just saw her soul soar into the sky and do somersaults. 

Narcicist .

I recently had the pleasure of sharing private messages with a narcissist. By pleasure I mean soul destroying energy draining horror. I wouldn’t normally choose to communicate with such a person but in this case my eye was off the ball and before I knew it he was under my skin. I blocked him. Yet his presence has continued to annoy me. The fault lays entirely with me my intuition screamed at me that there was something wrong about this person, but this clashed with my beliefs that we shouldn’t judge a person on first impressions….what the fucking hell was I thinking!  I communicated with him for just under a week and in that time he shared anger, gas lighting, manipulation, obsessiveness, a desire for power and control as well as an ability to wield that power and control. All of these emotions convert to energy as an empath I pick up on that frequency of energy….the problem with this is that most other people can’t , so his public posts just appeared to them as harmless, quirky as us writers are, but harmless. Of course in his pm’s he was able to explore my vulnerabilities with more vigour, but it was also there in his public posts and replies. I should have been able to shake him off but the reality is his clear disrespect toward me has highlighted my vulnerabilities and taken me into a place of questioning. Amazing how quickly a narcissist can get in and fuck with your head. In short he disrespected me as a female writer, us females are already fighting enough stereotypical crap as it is we don’t need individuals to play along too. He did this in a number of ways, covertly communicating in such a way that he expected me to not notice. I did notice. The vulnerabilities he highlighted have been dominating my mind and pushing me into a corner to clearly stand up and define who it is I am as both a person and a writer. I guess in a way the situation has made me question whether he didn’t take me seriously as a writer, because up until this point I haven’t taken myself seriously as a writer.

Over the next few weeks I plan to explore the different ways in which this person was able to disrespect me as a writer. I could of course sweep it under the rug, shrug it off and pretend it never happened, but why the fuck should I, my writing style pushes the boundaries and I often explore topics that allows society to stereotypically label me. This is the problem.. I am who I am, I am not the words on page I am the spaces between them and for that alone I deserve respect.

Karen Hayward ©2016.

If people knew what they leak.

If people could see what they leak,
the way their emotions flow through
the atmosphere. The tears they
refuse to cry.
The lies.
The pain they lock away for
a darker day.
It all leaks.
It skips across the breath of some,
dances through the mind of others.
Seeps into me.
If people could hear what their eyes say,
what the pause between their words tells me.
If people knew what they leak.
The excitement that flutters in my stomach with an unknown cause,
The heart that breaks over and over,
pain caught in my throat.
The fear, oh the fear that fills our souls that seeps from the psych invisible to
the naked eye.
If people knew what they leak.
They’d understand why I seek solitude,
why my mind is so very open
to the possibilities.
If people knew what they leak they would know why it is I am open and closed in a single heart beat.

Karen Hayward © 2016.

Heavy and bleak.

Some days feel so heavy and bleak,

A scented haze for the muddled and weak.


But what if tomorrow is all that I seek?

But, what if tomorrow is just another day in the week.


What if tomorrow I wake up and can fly?!

Or perhaps I will sit and watch stars shoot by.


But what if it rains from the skies up above?

What if it cleanses the hurt and leaves me just love.


But if tomorrow I fall, I trip or I lose?

But what if tomorrow just simply soothes?


Some days are heavy and bleak,

but tomorrow may hold all that you seek.


Karen Hayward ©2016

I need the flutter of wings.



I lean back, close my eyes

let my body fall with the swing.

My stomach lurches as

a thousand butterfly wings

tickle my stomach as fear

swells with every drop.

This is living.

The fear that beats inside me,

the excitement that rushes

through my body into my fingers,

into my nervous giggle as

my world drops down and

then rises, high, high above

the clouds and I can look the

sun straight in his face.

And then I remember as that

excitement rushes through me

this is living.


Karen Hayward ©2016

Self absorbed in a vortex of reflections.

When you taught me …
Say please, to say thank you, to be grateful, to be polite.
When you taught me to always smile, to speak softly, to help,
to at the very least offer, to save a seat, to give up a seat.
When you taught me the importance of clearing my plate…even the bits I didn’t like.
You never told me why. You said, one day I would know and to at the very least try.

You never told me that you were preparing me for a world where I would often feel like an outsider. You never said that my manners would set me aside from othersYou never said that I would be given a beautiful glimpse       of humanity through the glassy eyes of strangers.

When you said sorry every single time, whether right or wrong,
And when you never left me wondering,
When every teenage row was completed in minutes,
When you never let me sleep on angry words,
And you never slept on them yourself,
You never told me why. Never sat me down declaring that it was your way or the highway.

You never told me that my strong whisper would command more power than any raised voice or that my sorry would one day break my heart over and over again as I battled internally with the concept of being too kind, too forgiving. You never told me some people will never be sorry and will happily sleep on angry words. Neither did you tell me that what others perceived as a naive weakness was in fact my humanity and that there would be days when I would feel so very alone in my beliefs.

When you told me to stand my ground and that what ever my belief was, let it just simply be a belief in something. When you said two wrongs do not make a right,
don’t use that language with me young lady
who do you think you’re talking to in that tone?!
You never told me why. You just said treat others the same way you want to be treated. This was easy, I wanted everyone to treat me the same way that you did.

But you never said some people would demand my respect based on title alone without true ownership and that no matter what I did I would never receive there respect in return. You didn’t tell me so few had a basic understanding of the fundamentals of adjacent pairing. You never told me the lengths some people would travel just to save face (positive face; negative face, autonomy face, fellowship face, competence face.) So many faces that need saving in a society self absorbed in a vortex of mirrors.

You never told me why. You never told me that some people had only darkness inside of them and that these people would do all that they could to strip away my light.
You never told me why,
but each and everyday you showed me why.

Karen Hayward © 2016

Curiosities of a mud filled sky.



Cold, wet earth.
Grey clouds and droplets of rain.
Daffodils already through, garden readying anew.  Transformation begins. Vibrational reflections felt, heard and required.
Even in winter, I come here when tired.
Damp dirt to awaken my spirit.
Life’s cycle, clearance nearing completion.
Spring will bring new hope.

Karen Hayward ©2016.