Still Here.

Before you read this poem, there is something I would like you to know.

This poem is absolutely, 100% true. It is personal, it is painfully honest, and it tells of my own experience, not anyone else’s.  And you may find it quite confronting.

Despite its darkness, it is written to be positive, not negative. 

It was not written to win sympathy or make anyone feel guilt: it was written so that people might understand what’s in my head, and what I’ve been feeling, and why I’ve made the choices I have.

To answer your concerns: I have chosen to stay here and to defy all impulses that tempt me otherwise. I don’t always feel okay, I’m not always okay, but I will be okay. 

For anyone in a similar position: hold on. Stay here. You matter more than you know. 

Promo X Still Here Plain.jpeg


For a moment –
One fleeting, isolated point in time –
Or maybe two,
I thought about it.
I had the means.
God knows, I had motive.
But I couldn’t do it to you.
I know you would have understood.
But I know, too, how you would have mourned.
The grief.
The anger.
The questions.
I would have destroyed much more than myself.
So I resisted,
Summoning strength I didn’t have,
Holding on desperately
To everything that matters –
To everything I know that I love –
Even when I couldn’t feel it anymore.
I am thankful to still be here,
Despite my fragile state of mind,
For I know too well what it is like
To be one of the left behind.
©2017 Joanne Van Leerdam
This poem and fifty others are now published in a new collection: The Passing Of The Night.

Stained Glass.

A masterful, vivid mosaic,
A fragmented work of art;
She finds her greatest beauty when
Light shines through the tinted glass.
Though fragile, her strength is in the scars
That unify her; thus, she remains
Beautifully broken and mended,
And permanently, poignantly stained.
Promo Stained Glass Stained Glass
This poem is  published in the ebook collection titled ‘Stained Glass’.
Available in your favourite digital bookstore for just 99c. 

MTW Progressive Story: ‘Tailored Murder at 221B Baker St’

Sherlock shook his head. “What I don’t understand, Watson…”
Watson blinked at Sherlock. It was so rare that Sherlock confessed to not understand something, he was left quite unsure of what to say. 
Sherlock caught the flash of confusion on Watson’s face, but continued regardless. “… is why Chastain would show dead on the kitchen floor – MY kitchen floor! – without my ever having met the chap!”
Watson gazed at the tall man before him. “It has to be because we found that dratted dressmaking kit. Perhaps he came here to retrieve it. He must have been followed here.”
“Dead men don’t care much for sewing kits, Watson… but perhaps the clue is there after all.”
Sherlock crossed the room, retrieving a small brown cloth case from the hall table. It unbuttoned to reveal a neat kit containing well-maintained scissors, needles, and lengths of high-quality threads in a rainbow of colours. A small, hand-stitched label nestled under the handle of the scissors. 
“Mack’s Threads, London.” Sherlock pondered for a moment, examining the kit yet again. “It’s plain cloth without embellishment, but good quality. I should think they’ll be in Cheapside.”
“Hold on. Chastain was the tailor to the Prime Minister’s wife!”
“Yes, Watson, with a shop in Regent Street, but the people who make sewing kits don’t have shops in Regent Street. They have factories in Cheapside.”
Sherlock strode confidently into the living room and picked up the telephone.
“Hello, Operator… could you please give me Mack’s Threads in Cheapside? Thank you.”
Two seconds and three loud clicks later, Sherlock smiled. “Yes, I’d like to speak to Mr Mack, please… Oh? How very interesting… Hasn’t been in since yesterday! How does he run a business?… Ah. Quite out of character. Yes… I see…”
Sherlock glanced into the kitchen and frowned at the dead man on the floor.  
“Oh! One other question… would you happen to know if Mr Mack ever carried a knife?”
Sherlock winced at the voluble and indignant protest that emanated from the earpiece at such a suggestion , then returned it to his ear when it went quiet. “Ah. Quite. My apologies. Thank you.”
Watson looked at Sherlock expectantly.
“Well, Watson! What do you thinhk? He’s gone missing!”
To follow Sherlock and Watson on this adventure and read the next chapter of the story, click here.

Poetry Reading – ROGUE WAVE by Joanne Van Leerdam — WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review

Originally posted on POETRY FESTIVAL. Submit to site for FREE. Submit for actor performance. Submit poem to be made into film. : Performed by Michelle Alexander Get to know the poet: What is the theme of your poem? ‘Rogue Wave’ is about the way life and stress makes us feel, especially when things build up and…

via Poetry Reading – ROGUE WAVE by Joanne Van Leerdam — WILDsound Writing and Film Festival Review