How Are You?

How Are You?


I hear the rain fall against the window

As I pause with apprehension from calling.

I need you to know how I feel now.

I am not going to apologise, I have nothing to apologise for.

And it would not help anyway.

Feel free to apologise. I am not here to forgive or forget.

It is meaningless in this context.

I am just here to let you know, and see what I missed; if I missed anything.


I have a new life now. I’ve moved on and escaped the town.

Escaped the lies, rumours and deceit.

But I lost the friends. It’s lonely out here.

How are you? Have you improved? Have you learnt the lessons?

I hope so.

I am hesitant to call. I am scared of your response.

I am scared of the doors it may open. I am scared of the doors it may close.

Everything happens for a reason, and it has almost been a year.

Things will never be as they were.


I often think of you and your new life. How is it?

I want you to know that I never uttered a word to others of the truth.

And I never will. It was between us. It is still between us.

But that doesn’t alter the fact that I miss you.

Those times we shared. So many memories.

Only memories.

I held you through the tough times, and laughed you through the good.

All of the scenarios and scenes are now running through my mind…


Do you do the same? Do you think of what we’ve missed?

Do you remember all those moments shared? That ‘Ode’ we wrote?

Things became bad between us. They should not have been so bad.

You were my best friend.


I miss you.

How are you?

Anxiety: Part Three

Anxiety: Part Three


It’s like watching the waves

Swell and crash above you,

In a glorious turmoil

That tears right through.


At the bottom of the sea –

It’s a beautiful way to drown.

The water is deathly cold,

But so is a golden crown.


You miss your life above

The surface – on firm ground.

But there’s certain uniqueness

Here in the absence of sound.


I’m not even sure if

I’m dressed down here

I’m naked, cold, alone, scared,

With so much danger to fear.


But I do know that one-day

This grey tide will slowly leave

And expose me to the sun,

Where once again I can breathe.


I know how much you love the ocean

I love the ocean too

I am wary of it however

Hidden beneath the utmost beauty

There is a watery inferno that will never release those who fall prey to its elegance

But I want to be with you by the ocean

I want to feel the soft foam lap the soles of our feet as we lie on beaches

Formed over eras and millennia

I am not afraid of the lure of those rippling waters

I want to share the beauty of the waves with you

Anxiety: Part One

Anxiety: Part One


I know you saw my messages.

I know you know I know.

I didn’t type for pages and pages

And now I feel lost in the snow;

Lost in the wilderness,

I’m lost since I decided to go;

Lost in all the bitterness.

Was it I that decided to go?

Was it not you that made this?

The lack of response did it

It took me from my unique bliss

And threw me into a fiery pit


The message sent two hours ago

And I’m sat here clutching my phone

With absolutely nothing to show.

Is this another chance I’ve blown?

The walls are closing in

As the sky is turning black.

How long has this feeling been

Here, or is it coming back?


Then you call.


Perhaps I should stop overthinking.




Rain is everything to me.


I would watch the drops trickle down my window forever if time would allow it. I’m not too sure why this is; but I would not change it for the world.


Rain can destroy towns with floods in an instant. Rain causes a single blade of grass to grow. Rain ruins days out for many people. Rain gives us the joy of a rainbow.


Maybe I love the rain because the rain mirrors my tears as they trickle down my cheek. Maybe it’s because I see the same glistening beauty in each drop as I used to see in your eyes.

I am sat at the bottom of the ocean.

I am sat at the bottom of the ocean.

It’s a dark part of the ocean,

But just shallow enough for the faintest glint

Of sunlight to break through the surface

And reach me.

The water is a dark blue-green;

Almost black in some instances.


But the odd part is that

The water appears to be perfectly clear.

There is no sediment.

No fish.

No dirt.

No life;

Just me, sat on the sand and rocks at the floor.


I am completely naked, and so very cold.

My knees are pulled to my chest each morning

I wake up down here.

I lift my head to look for the light, as I know it exists.

I know that light is above me.

The waves above are so very strong and angry;

Light flickers down to me once in a while.


I have to reach the surface to breathe.

I need to give myself life.

My lungs are burning and I push forth

With my legs forcing me upwards.

The currents pull me back and knock me off course,

My legs kick frantically to the light;

Whilst the waves above get louder and louder.


The clarity of the water makes the surface appear closer than it truly is.


My body is screaming to breathe.

I need oxygen.

I kick harder and harder with each pump of blood

Coursing through my body, fuelling me.

The surface gets closer.

I can see more light than before;

My vision blurs with the lack of air in my lungs.


I reach forth with my fingers,

Clasping and grasping at the water,

Trying to pull myself to the surface.

The water rushes between my fingers as I grab

At the sunlight that now taunts me;

And the final molecules of oxygen are spent in my muscles.


Suddenly I feel fresh air on my face.

I gasp.

The air floods my lungs like the sweetest nectar

And my aching body screams for more fuel.

The sunlight is warm and the sound of the ocean

Brings a sweet reminder to my ears of life;

And the waves crash into me, breaking the illusion.


I splutter and choke as wave after wave

Hit me and push me, throwing me around

And teasing me as I try to regain my breath.

As I try to regain my life.

As I try my best to survive.

The salt burns my eyes and tastes of anger;

I swim as hard as I can to stay afloat as long as possible.


And then I see you. You are the small dinghy. The life raft on my ocean.


I kick towards you, still pulling the roaring ocean through

My sore and ragged fingers.

My body is exhausted from the torment,

But somehow I manage to swim to you.

You are the shining beacon in this turbulent ocean;

I begin to pull myself into your safety.


I drop to the floor of the vessel, completely drained.



The waves batter the raft and threaten to throw me back

To the bottom of the abyss.

I don’t want to leave the raft;

I don’t think I can manage another day in the storming waters.


And then a wave topples you. My small dingy. My life raft.


I hit the booming ocean hard and get swallowed instantly.

The waves push you away from where I entered the inferno

And the current drags me back down.

The sunlight begins to thin out as I get deeper

And colder, with my sandy bed waiting with baited breath.

I kick and swim as hard as I can;

But I am simply too tired.


I fall back to the ocean floor with a soft thud.

My muscles ache and burn,

Whilst my eyes are swollen from tears and pain.

I am back to where I started.

Back to where I will once again open my eyes in the morning;

This is my life. My daily cycle. My eternal struggle.


I’m not too sure on how to start this – so I’ll jump right in.


Hindsight is a beautiful thing. It has only been through hindsight that I have realised why I have found poetry.


Let me take you back in time. Whilst I was growing up I used to read. A lot. I read everything. I found myself immersed in worlds of facts, fiction, news, and philosophies. My bookshelves bowed in the middle from the weight of all the books. I continued this habit of reading and collecting books throughout my teenage years and I still do it now. But despite my love of reading, I was closed off to a lot of things – especially social situations and people. People – particularly at school – used to pick on me, or make me feel vulnerable and useless. I know I was introverted and was never a partygoer etc., but these experiences stayed with me for a long time. They are still with me now. During this time I never had a diary. I never really had a confidant. I never really had an outlet. I just had these worlds I found myself in when reading. I would come home, hide away in a book, immerse myself in studying maps and globes – it was a psychological escape for me. I could imagine being far away in a place that excited me rather than disheartened me. Wanderlust was my escape.


I started writing poetry when I was fourteen/fifteen – I can’t remember which, but it was most likely fourteen – and it excited me. I remember I came home from school and I went to my room and played my music like all hormonal angst-filled teenagers. Piles of books littered my room. I was sat at my desk and I had a scrap of paper in front of me. Then words just spilled out. I remember reading back my words and I instantly fell in love. I had created something beautiful. I had created a whole world of feelings in a few lines. This continued for years and still continues to this day.


I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety at the age of twenty. This was a realisation for me as it suddenly gave me clarity as to why I had been like I had as a teen. I fought long and hard only to see that the problem was within me. All those feelings, those days where I felt empty, the sudden panics when my name was called, the inability to answer in class, the fear of judgment – it all made sense. I look back over a lot of these poems and notice that these words, thoughts, feelings and confessions were my own diary throughout these years. These poems are my diary of my development, my hidden anxiety and depression, my personal hopes and dreams, my knockdowns and heartbreak, my endeavours and my adventures. My diary continues to expand and grow with every passing day.


This is a highly personal account. These poems are me.

I am baring myself to you.


I still remember exactly how I was when I wrote each of these poems.


The beautiful thing about poetry is that it can tell a story, an emotion, a feeling, in just a few words. Novelists take six hundred pages to state what a poet can write in two lines.


There is no real beginning, middle and end of this anthology. Open a page and immerse yourself in a world of literature and imagination. The wonder of poetry is it has no rules or limits. Let the poem speak to you. Say it aloud as you read it. Give it to your friends. Keep it on a shelf. Draw all over the pages. Use this book as a coaster for your coffee. Use it to prop up a table leg that wobbles. Or simply turn to page one and keep going. There is no right or wrong when it comes to poetry. I just hope that someone will read my words and benefit from them. If you are currently having an anxiety attack, there are poems for you. If you have fallen in or out of love, there are poems for you. If you have lost a loved one, there are poems for you. If you crave a world to escape to, there are poems for you. If your mind is wandering, there are poems for you. If you are planning a crime, there are no poems for you – maybe the next anthology will be better suited for your needs. Whatever the reason, I just wish you a fulfilling journey throughout these pages.




Welcome to my Empire.








A. J. Roberts.