September 9, 2015 - The Good Man

all the light we cannot see

(Reading this book at time of poem)


The Good Man .

Where are all the good men,

Who see us, hear us, feel us   /   Touch us with a gentle hand.   /   Who can button our cardigan   /   Tie our bow  /  Kiss us dryly on the cheek  /  And love us in our strength.

Who mind us in our fragile state  /  Cradle us as you would a broken bird  /  Not to satisfy a need within themselves  /  Nor to forever stroke our weakness  /  But to strengthen the flight they wish for us to take.

Where are all the good men,

Who can accept without threat  /  All we invite and excite over  /  Remain seated throughout the pleasure  /  Of each unbridled offering  / And protect the innocence of the gift.   /   Who safe keep precious pieces we discard  /  Hear our strange and distant song  /  Follow notes beyond the noise  /  And return knowingly without taking.

Where are all the good men,

Who keep light and air in windows high  /  Flowers on the stairs  /  Who hold a mirror quietly to the side  /  So we can recognise the newness  /  And the goodness in ourselves  /  Comprehend the whole of who we are  /  And fear no more the stage.

Who wait well outside our hiding place  /  Offer not hand but time  /  A refuge where within we tend neglected hurts  /  Slow to a halt from our exhaustive run  /  And bring to life our dreams.

Where is the good man,

So sure and steady in stride  /  He invites us into our own  /  Where we unite in all our consciousness  /  With the good man in ourselves.

Where we fill with the fearlessness  /  Of taking our very first step  /  And release ourselves from an endless edge.

(Written August, 2015.  In appreciation of a particularly good man, my therapist, Andrew Relph)

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March 9, 2015 - Army of Ink Once Upon A Dark Time

Army of Ink Once upon a time

Once Upon A Dark Time …

…in a land of smiles, bad things happened.  Children were broken into.  Nothing said.  Nothing done.  And so the innocent grew, not up, but small.  But this was not to be the end.  In the darkness little helpers gathered spilling rich black into soft white sheets.  Tailoring picture books to fill empty spaces.  Telling truth that grew much taller than a world too big to fit.  Until size no longer mattered and little souls were reawakened by the rhythms and rhymes of songs that carried them all the way home – ensuring they’d never be beaten again.

Footnote:  On almost a daily basis we’re hearing stories on the news of the most terrible kind – children being harmed and abused.  This piece speaks to that very issue and the Army of Ink are empowering friends to have alongside in the process of mending from such potentially self destructive experiences.  ‘Children broken into’ also speaks of the way mass media violates our children’s innocence and chance for a healthy sense of self. Her oversize bow may suggest a shield of sorts – and/or a sense of preciousness.  A… ‘You’re worth it.  You’re valuable. Make sure you give to yourself – despite what’s been taken from you’.  You’ll find this ink in Rock The Boat book (not in ‘Bedtime Stories’ edition).  For the inspiring story about the ‘tailoring of picture books’ go here.  Another poem that captures the spirit of The Black Dog Project and guides its way, ‘The Black Dog Story‘.   Escape in sweet dreaming with Amelia Bloom.  Please pass this on because you never know who’s had something taken from them….


army of ink once upon a dark time


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January 7, 2015 - Illuminate The Darkness

in my room page

in my room page 2

in my room page 4

Illuminate The Darkness .

It is the simple act of storytelling that illuminates the darkness.   An image, a string of words that accesses places beyond consciousness.   It is truth spoken from a damaged soul that warms the heart.  The expression of another’s pain that has the power to heal.

Footnote:  This poem, among others, captures the essence of The Black Dog Project.  Pictured is three page spread from my first book  ‘In My Room’ (art and design by Harley Manifold).  Book available in website shop.   Pass it on and share something beautiful with a friend ….

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November 4, 2014 - The Black Dog Story

Black Dog story 1

It began with a Black Dog who, much like the fabled little black duck – was different.


black dog story 2

Unaccepted for his difference he sought refuge in dark places.


black dog story 3

In time, the darkness revealed others sheltering in the shadows that drew reflections of himself.


black dog story 4

In the belonging, he gained the strength to raise a hand above the nodding and question why suffering souls too often go unheard.


black dog story 5

Burdened by the silence and neglect, he began to bark loudly despite those troubled by the noise.


black dog story 6

And when backs were turned to bury all that had been found – Black Dog continued digging for all that had been lost.


black dog story 7

Hope grew from every hand that gave purely for the giving.  And so, despite colour and size and the absence of wealth, and with the friends that followed…


black dog story 8

…Black Dog claimed a space for those who may never fit, in a world too big for most.  Those who seek to move beyond minds too small.

black dog story 9

Those who seek freedom from the relentless pace of a world spinning way too fast to catch.


black dog story 14

Now, as the world continues to turn away from the darkness in favour of, “Have a nice days”‘ and all that’s shiny and new…


black dog story 15

…Black Dog continues to hold a place for all that’s lost and found .


black dog

Footnote:  This story reflects and guides The Black Dog Project.  Find in Clunk & Jam book.

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October 20, 2014 - Dancer and The Following Dark

dancer and following dark image


The Dancer and The Following Dark .

There is a ship on the horizon, carrying a container that confines a lonely soul, who can’t see where the ship is taking him, only feels where it has been.

There is a dancer, dancing in her own light.  Her space glows with a warmth he doesn’t allow himself to feel.  She invites him to come closer, to join her, but he feels undeserving of the light she offers – preferring the shelter of the following dark.  For he believes his steely space keeps others safe, spares them the pain of who he is yet to become.  But his reluctance to join her deals a much sharper blow.

Her efforts to spin him into her embrace, her offering to feel the soothing space where her fingertips touch the soft painted sky that holds her balanced in the shadows, falls into the dark space between them.

She wonders if he misunderstands her offering.  For she doesn’t long for him to dance her dance.  Her only want is that he allows her dance to hold him in a moment she believes he deserves.  And that he’ll step from the following dark, carrying nothing more than a desire for moments – and the freedom to dance in his own light.

Footnote:  Story emerged from the cover art by Harley Manifold of my first book, In My Room.  Pictured is what Harley wrote and drew in his journal as I read him the story.

Find in  ‘Clunk & Jam’ book.

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August 1, 2014 - Gone To The Dark

up above world so high phillipe

Up Above The World So High .

On the night you’ve gone to the dark, / look to the black tinsel sky and see how small you really are.  Let it shrink, for a moment, the swell of emotion that engulfs you, anchoring you in your small and fleeting space, so you can feel the splinter of time that holds you here until the next.

(From book, ‘Clunk & Jam‘).

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