Keeping My Sanity
by Richard Harries

I was in a bad place
At seventeen
Four years before, my Mum had died
I was at boarding school
Wondering what my life would be
Where I would go as leaving loomed

Music kept me sane
The British Beat and especially Petula Clark
Threaded melody like a golden calming thread
Through my life
My father had remarried straight away
And she did not like me
In fact I was not allowed home

I always said that Cinderella was a silly bitch
With nowt to complain of compared
To Alice
So I stayed with relatives
And friends
Who would have me
And played my music

In 69 when I was seventeen
Roberta Flack exploded into my head
And her sweet music soothed my soul
Aretha and Motown
Sam and Dave and Nina Simone
Enriched me
And helped me
Get through my troubled life

It should have been fun
That time in my life
But it wasn’t
I had four strong women
Who stood strong and helped
And cherished
And loved and supported me
Thank God for them
They had no need to help
But they did
And they and my music
Saved me
Kept me sane

IMAGE: British singer released her hit “Downtown” in 1964.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I have various ways of writing. Anecdotal comedy is usually from my own experience so i have the story and structure in place and the process is straightforward and once I settle the idea in my head the process is quick and easy. When writing blank verse and serious subjects I let the idea grow in my head and this can take days or weeks . Historical subjects I have to research and plan for even longer. Very different ways of writing for different genres.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Richard Harries is retired and a pensioner. He has been performing for a several years and writes poetry in various genres including political protest, historical verse, children’s story poems and comedy. He appears at various festivals, most significantly The Freedom Festival at Hull and the Filey Folk Festival. He has a presence on the internet and his RCPOEMS channel has had nearly 70,000 hits.