My Story


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Everyone has a story so they say
And this may be as it is
But be that as it may
It does not follow here
That any need agree
Another’s point of view
Means anything to me
Or that I need give others
The time of day

We once pretended that we cared outside
The worries of our souls
And no-one was denied
But now these many years
Isolated and online
No mere humanity
Has lasted through this time
We’re only groups of memes
And wretched pride

So if I have a story I’ll deny
The telling of it now
For now I needn’t try
You wouldn’t give a damn
No more than I would too
If you were now to ask
That I listen to you
For any attention now
Is just a lie

(c ) Helen M Valentina

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I’ve heard that in ancient times identity counted for something. Drones in the hive sometimes speak of it, the concept of individual thought or action, not aligned to the collective goal.

It sounds a quaint concept at times, like an errant child running free. And other times it sounds frightening, each little soul struggling to mean something in a vast, roiling mess of divided humanity.

I try not to think too much on this, for it diverts my attention from our common goals, and I sense it sends ripples of agitation through those closest to me. In fact I fear at times that even dwelling on such thoughts opens me to the accusation of the greatest of crimes – true thought.

We must avoid this at all times, it vexes a soul that is united and it disturbs the carefully calibrated universe. If it happens too often we have heard, it signals a breakdown in the flow, and the aberrant form responsible must be removed.

I do not want that to happen to me. But at times I have this strange drawing sense to wonder of the past. I understand it all, as I am supposed to do, as cautionary tales, and ones best left to contemplation back in school days when we learn our allocated duties and responsibilities. And why things must be always as they are.

But still…

So a creeping fear rises each day now when I open my eyes to the scan for my check up. I wonder if something of this distraction flickers like an accusatory flame in my iris. So far it has not been so. So far, so good.

But still….

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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What do I spy
With my little eye?
The food on my table
The day that you die

What do I see
Running from me?
A sheer delicacy
Waiting to flee

Reptilian cold
I am so old
Your fortune told
Your soul is sold

Taking my due
Waiting for you
Nought you can do
I’m seeing you

What do I spy
With my little eye?
The food on my table
The day that you die

(c. ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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We Didn’t Notice


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We didn’t notice
When things got real
We’d forgotten truth
Or how to feel
Just watching movies on
An endless reel

I heard them laugh
Though little knew
It wasn’t a movie
They came leaking through
And by that time
There was nothing to do

Our minds had been numbed
To what we might fear
We didn’t yet see
The threat was so near
We didn’t understand
They could come here

We didn’t know then
The way they could creep
Out of the screen
That put us to sleep
Now we gnash bones
Bleed, scream and weep

We didn’t notice
When things got real
We’d forgotten truth
Or how to feel
Just watching movies on
An endless reel

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: Vera Petruk/

Do you believe in magic?

My mother did. I think she practised it. She never admitted as such, but I knew about her books. She kept them with candles and incense and other things I didn’t recognise – and probably didn’t want to recognise – in our basement.

And sometimes she’d go down there alone for long hours and lock the door behind her. She didn’t really need to do that. We wouldn’t have followed. Me and my sister were too scared, and my father didn’t want his sports watching time disturbed. But she locked the doors anyway.

You might think I’m imagining it all. Perhaps she just did that to make us want to stay away so she could have some peace and quiet. She often would say that, actually.

“What I would give for some peace and quiet!” she would lament, usually when we were playing up or dad had his friends over for the footy games on tv.

And it could be so, but then things started happening. The tv died and even when our father replaced it the same thing would happen, over and over. He got though five tvs before he gave up.

“Damned electric wiring” he would complain, till eventually he decided to visit his friends to watch the game rather than bothering with ‘electrics’.

Then my sister won a scholarship and moved away. I didn’t mind that really, though I missed her a bit.

But that just left me, and I tended to be the noisier one of the two. I liked to play act and sing, and my mother would hold her forehead and complain about her migraines, and go down to the basement.

Then one winter I caught the flu .A really bad flu and I lost my voice.

And so what you might say, that happens from time to time. But see, I never got my voice back. It never returned.

Now our house is very quiet and my mother seems very content. She doesn’t go down to the basement much anymore either. She put sits by the windows, looking out, like a contented domestic cat who got the cream. And I creep around the house, voiceless and wanting to be as quiet as I can be.

So now do you believe in magic?

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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When I was young my father once took me to see an old train which was kept as a kind of historic relic at the train yard.

In those days that sort of trip was exciting, because my father was rarely at home or able to spend time with me. He was a travelling salesman, always on the road.

“Come see a train, son,” he said. “Like ones I might have travelled on for my job if we lived about a century ago.”

And so I went with him, eager to see what he saw in such history. I wanted to be like him back then. Perhaps I still do.

All I know is I miss him, and it all goes back to then, that day. Because after that it wasn’t his job that kept him away.

The train itself at first just seemed old and run down. He told me about how beautiful it would have been, back in the day. How wealthy clients would sit in first class and drink fine wine while it took them to places unseen and destinations dreamed of, all through the glorious night. And because he was a fine salesman and an even finer storyteller, he made it sound magical.

Perhaps it was.

For as he spoke it did seem to shimmer somehow, and for a few brief moments I literally saw it transformed. I saw the carriage and the rich elite. I saw them enjoying the beauty of the night. I saw them so alive, even though it was so long ago. And I think my father did too, for his glorious voice stopped talking for a moment and we just witnessed the past come to life.

We saw it all. But you see, they saw us too. or my father at least. I saw one woman in particular turn and see my father, and he was a handsome man and she looked like a lonely woman. And she beckoned to him in a coquettish manner that was wrong for her age for she was a bit too old for that. And a bit too old for my dad.

But that didn’t matter. He stepped towards her, like he was hypnotised, and the world shuddered and then they were gone. And he was gone with them.

I ran through the carriages, calling for him for what seemed like hours. I tried to tell his stories to the air to call them back, to call him back. But I was my father’s son and not my father, and I didn’t have his skill.

I finally fell to my knees crying for a loss I could barely comprehend. This damnable train and its damnable woman. Too late, too late. He was gone.

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: Hit delight/

Keep it in the family
Headstones lined up
One, two, three
It’s a perfect dynasty
Worthy of our pedigree
And I think that you’ll agree
Artistic in its symmetry
Just our little family
Buried for eternity

Lined up here where we belong
Souls each sold
For just a song
Worshipping the cold and strong
Powerful our family throng
Had dark stars to wish upon
Even now our souls are gone
Just our little family
Buried for eternity

Once were kings but now we sleep
Neath the ground
So cold and deep
Making all the heavens weep
All the promises we keep
Just as killers we would creep
Steal your souls if you dare sleep
To join our little family
Buried for eternity

(c) Helen M Valentina 2018

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The revolution was televised in the end, so the song was wrong about that. Songs are often wrong, if you think about it. Probably only so much wisdom you can shoe-horn into three or four verses and a chorus.

Anyway by the time it happened I don’t think anyone would have written songs like that. They’d have known nothing really existed anymore unless it was on some screen or another – TV, movie screens or just the computer. Daily life off screen was nothing, just the time you filled in before you could be back on screen again. The only thing that mattered was the stepping stones to the cult of narcissism.

The songs by then, when the revolution finally came were all about ‘me, me, me’ and were all so similar it made a mockery of the thought there was actually any individual ‘me’s’ at all But by then it was too late. And the revolution wasn’t for freedom or for peace. It was for annihilation, and it was orchestrated by that shadowy elite they all theorised about, but didn’t fear enough to ever stop watching their screens and do something about.

And that elite like to be entertained as much as the rest of us, so of course it was televised. Every last shrieking, painful, bloody bit of it. Flickering out to the few in a safe enough space to just watch – eating their popcorn and making directorial critiques to their armies.

A sideshow, that was the end. The only end we could possibly have had, given where we had come. A televised revolution we didn’t get to watch, only feel, and now its just our ghosts, watching flickering images on a screen, not even realising we are watching ourselves as we died.

That’s all there is now. That’s all there is. TV.

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Old Sparky


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Old Sparky’s been waiting for you, yes he has! He’s patient you know. Over time he always gets his food. There’s no escape.

Though I wager you are trying still. All the money ran out for fancy lawyers, and now its public defence, and the do-gooder brigade that light candles to try to convince someone not to take you to dusty death. Blowhards every one of them. I know the type.

Bit like you. Don’t want to have no truck with consequences, least not for any that come from their own actions. You think taking lives was somehow your right but you’ve got this inalienable right to life even so. You don’t even see the contradictions. That’s how blind you are.

I blame the public eduction system myself. Lost all their standards years ago. Taken over by that semi-socialist garbage they spew out now. All those safe spaces and stuff about diversity. Hypocrites, every one of them. They don’t even understand what they say anymore. It’s just words. Words from the blind, like you.

Old Sparky isn’t blind like that, and he don’t discriminate either. He’s not into diversity or excuses, and anyway you were goddamned rich and – what do they say – ‘white privileged’? If you weren’t set to die they’d vilify you, but now you are they proclaim you like some newly minted saint who they need to save. Idiots.

They won’t beat old Sparky, and neither will you. It’s all just a sideshow, every bit of it, and he knows, he knows. He just waits, and then he claims his own. He’s waiting for you.

And it can’t come soon enough if you ask me. Can’t come soon enough at all.

(c. ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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Image credit: Patrick Foto/

Don’t run away sweet daddy dear
I’ve been so patient standing here
To me a day, to you a year
And I’ll be waiting yet I fear
Daddy let me near

You say I died so long ago
But I don’t remember though
All these doors that you here show
Through which one should I go?
Daddy let me know

You say they helped you call my name
But now you turn away in shame
My spirit shining like a flame
But you don’t think I seem the same
Daddy speak my name

Don’t turn away sweet daddy dear
I’m still your child there’s nought to fear
And I am calling crystal clear
I’m so alone without you near
Daddy meet me here

(c ) Helen M Valentina 2018

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