POETRY | ‘BURNING FLAME’ BY KATE TAYLOR

Writ­ten after my first treat­ment for addic­tion in 2003

THE BURN­ING FLAME

She didn’t really mean any harm,

She was just pro­tect­ing her pain

Her arms were wrapped tightly around

To shel­ter the Burn­ing Flame,

The flame she felt she had to hide

To pre­vent the expos­ure of shame

 

She treated the people around her like dirt,

Espe­cially those that tried to reach her

But her need to be loved was less than her need not to hurt

And so she endeavored not to let any­one in

She suc­ceeded and felt vic­tori­ous

It was only now she knew that she nev­er did win

 

There was the odd strag­gler, the odd stray

That she con­nec­ted with briefly,

That she picked up along the way

But only as long as the chem­ic­als were there

Bey­ond that, she nev­er could stay

 

And she treated oth­ers badly, in truth, like shit

She went to them to feel nor­mal

Because she needed to be fixed

But she drew them closer, she pulled them in

Then shoved them out, as the walls went down with­in

Like shut­ters, they would sharply slam

She ran hot, she ran cold, then she ran

 

She des­pised her­self for the games and the lies

But she needed that con­tact

To tell her she was alive

She lived in deni­al

Believ­ing it would be dif­fer­ent this time

And every time she left before she was fully revealed

Was anoth­er notch to the loneli­ness that would not heal

She knew that each time she hardened her heart to stone

She was one step closer to being truly alone

 

She envied the per­sist­ence of rain,

It nev­er went away

But she on the oth­er hand, found it dif­fi­cult to remain

Any­where that she might give too much away

The only thing per­sist­ent in her, was the per­sist­ence of shame

 

So I sup­pose what she wants to say

Is that though she ran, it was bet­ter that way

You could not have her

She was nev­er really here

She was ruled then, not by love, but fear

Fear is the pound­ing under her skin

It is the walls erec­ted deep with­in

It is the con­stant pump­ing of adren­aline

Now for her, there is noth­ing left to hear

Except the hush of silence

And the pier­cing sound of fear.

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Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor is a Lon­don based writer whose Interests are based primar­ily on music and art and also the philo­sophies and polit­ics that accom­pany them. In addi­tion she has an Msc in psy­cho­logy, has worked as a ther­ap­ist, and paints abstract art pieces.
Kate Taylor

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About Kate Taylor

Kate Taylor
Kate Taylor is a London based writer whose Interests are based primarily on music and art and also the philosophies and politics that accompany them. In addition she has an Msc in psychology, has worked as a therapist, and paints abstract art pieces.