Kayla takes us on a battle for control in her free verse poem, exploring identity, pain and victory.

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Warning: this piece includes the theme of anxiety.

Held under the water
Pressure builds
Surface bound
Systems drawing failure
Stability unfound
Breath drawn simple and shaky
Feel it constant feel it raw
Bundled up and twisty
Deep in my core
Faster faster
My limbs move
Twisting and turning through my day
Smile for the simple folk
Send them on their way
Hamster spins like clockwork
Thoughts spread like wildfire
Drop things once, forgotten
Thirty times identified
Distraction brings me comfort
Spread love feelings down my sides
A bubble of silence
A stretch of reckless speed
Faster faster
First aid please
War wound speaks when forgotten
Extra reminder of the past
Teeth on the skin of yesterday
Triggers never the last
Close your eyes
Welcome the darkness
Bass beats welcome
Heart beat mellows
Pressure retracts
Conscious resides
Constant cycle of build-up
Dramatic release
Slow down for the aftermath
Hamster give me peace
Music sounds of the familiar
Soften feelings gently cradle my sides
Sunlight beats my skin softer
Colours return kind
Return deep to the water
Surrounded in the abyss of unknown
Rest for return of sanity
For the comfort in my mind
Build strength for tomorrow days
Promises of kind
Open your eyes for potential
That sings your soul
Anxiety rests easy for now
Focussed thoughts, returned control.


Words by Kayla Bentley

Photography by Poppy Fitzpatrick

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