She is

She is, greatness, powerful, majestic
She is calm, soothing, raging
She is roaring, still, crushing
She is open, nourishing healing
She is vast, she is essential
She is mother
Where life began
She endured
She failed
She tried
She loved
She is strength
Circumstance gives rise to context
Resilience gives rise to survival
She is all things
Wonderful and despairing
She is stuck, she is free
She is you, she is me
She is us
She envelops us
She is mother

Devoted father

Climbing through the cavity
Pulling cable
A clostrphobe in the making
Still, it must be done
Power on
New light on the horizon
Sweat and toil
Back is aching
Kango, breaking mortar
Splints break and fall
Bounce off my face like kisses
Tiny scratches
Reminders of what it is all for
Your faces appear in the wall
I smile, determined to carry on
Devoted father
Never falter
Duty bound, honoured
What better purpose is there?
Hands blistered
Heart broken
the cord is strong
No minute wasted
I plough on, for you
My loves, My life
My reason for living
To see you smile,
hear your laughter
To save your hurt
Absent father
Connected always
Til I take my last breath
It was always for you

Carrie © 2020

Devoted father


So very nervous, as he dressed

He felt it was an enormous test

It had been a very, very long time

Since he’d been on a date, to wine and dine

He looked in the mirror, and wiped his brow

What would Katie think of him now?

Only 2 years since she had passed

It was too soon, it was too fast

He had been lonely, there was no doubt

But this felt insane, this ‘going out’

With a stranger, a complete unknown

When he and Katie, for years had grown

And settled down to married life

So proud he was of his beautiful wife

‘go on out’ he heard her whisper

She mustn’t understand how much he missed her

Was it really her he heard or

Was he just being absurd

Then on the screen he heard a bing

It was her, the date,

‘what should I bring?

And how will I know that it is you?

Can I ask, what will we do’?

‘Meet me by the tower clock,

Down beside the river dock.

I am quite tall and a hefty fella

But I will carry a pink umbrella

I thought we might just go for a walk

Take in the sights and well, just talk

This is all so new to me

We’ll take it easy, and just see

If we wish to stay out late

We’ll save it for another date’


I noticed that my dog peed, as I walked up the hall
There ran a little puddle to see, for one and for all
I felt a little angry that he would do such a thing
Then I thought of all the joy, this little mutt does bring
He’s stinky at the best of times, he’s getting old and frail
Always there though, by my side, his loyalty doesn’t fail
I know his time will soon be up, 6 months, maybe 6 more
I mop up his pee with paper towels and spray the tiled floor.
Not really a major disaster, in the cold light of day
One day when I am old, I too may pee this way
Not in the hall of course, by cocking up my leg
Maybe sitting in the chair or in my bed instead
Whom will I anger, and what would they do to me
If such an accident should occur, will they help me keep my dignity?
There are some things we cannot control, especially as we age
So what’s the point in giving out, or expressing with such rage
Surely that is the time, when patience is required
No one likes or enjoys the effects, when body parts retire
It’s not that it’s on purpose, I see it in his face
He couldn’t hold it any longer, it’s not really a disgrace
I leaned down and patted his head,
‘oh jack, it’s all ok. Don’t worry about this little puddle, it may be me one day’


when life gets busy and you are dashing around sometimes you just have to stop….. if not you will be stopped when your body starts to gives up on you!

photo of head bust print artwork


Stop! Legs are aching

Heart is racing

Tummy is rumbling too

This way, that way

Dashing around

In just a minute, I’ll get to you

No sir, yes sir

I’ll do that

Click and tap

Now feed the cat

Washing in

Drying out

Plants needs watering

Where’s the spout?

Children playing

Some are crying

Some being born

Some are dying

Shopping time

Forgot the bread

Get the wine

Is what he said

Dinner party

Cocktail glasses

Fancy food

Some kiss asses

Tow the line

Keep it together

Manic time

It’s stormy weather

Inside, outside,

Head is crazy

Let me sleep

Amongst the daisies

Tired now

I’m fit to drop

Call the time

Let me Stop!



© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content






Photo by meo on

Allow me

physical or emotional, pain is pain. How we manage it is our choice. Do we need or want to be fixed or do we want to discover, by ourselves and manage ourselves, to see who we are all by ourselves?

woman sleeping


I’m not getting dressed, I don’t feel well

I’ve got a pain and it hurts like hell

Allow me to be wrapped in this insatiable grief

I’ve  been taken over by an invisible thief

The cause of the pain, I have no clue

but please stop telling me what to do

allow me to rest and get some relief

sometimes i’m thankful to the invisible thief

he takes me away from dreary demands

life is just quiet, no specific plans

let me just be and rest for a while

wandering and wondering, if ever I’ll smile

The invisible thief leaves symptoms behind

they pound like hell, in the daily grind

allow me to be, just leave me alone

I want to be here, I want to be home

no fuss or no drugs are what will save me

the cause alone will set me free

allow me to feel, remember and know

maybe then i’ll begin to grow

the invisible thief took my voice

but not my will, my hope, my choice

all that I do is mine to choose

some days I win, some days I loose

Allow me the courtesy to be in control

of my mind and my body, let me behold

all that is positive is a point of view

allow me my pain and I’ll allow you



© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content








Photo by Ivan Oboleninov on

What’s your trauma?

According to Dorothy, ‘there’s no place like home’. For me, that was true. I had to leave my home to go to another one when I was 14. I was still with my family but life as I knew it was now different and I didn’t like it very much. I wrote about that experience,and remembered it like it was yesterday.

Life is hard for a teenager anyway, it’s especially hard if a ‘trauma’ is added to the mix. I like to call it my trauma, because it changed me and opened my eyes.

I survived, of course, and ultimately became a strong independent woman. I have tried to instill that into my 5 daughters. I want them to be strong independent women and know what to accept and tolerate and when to walk away.

The relationships we have with our parents, our teachers, our siblings, our love interests and most importantly, ourselves will be mixed with the good the bad and the in-between.

As we grow and develop, as we face, fight or accept our challenges, our successes and our traumas, we begin to find out, what we are really capable of. What we can or cannot cope with. We discover how motivated and how resilient we are. We would hope that we can cope.

There will be times we may want to give up, give in or give out or cop out, but what we really need to do is push on, get up, move forward, one step at a time. One day at a time and keep learning, keep developing and keep building. If it feels scary, do it. If you think you can’t do it, stand back, take a breath and try anyway, you may just surprise yourself.

Each stage of life is fabulous, daunting, exciting, traumatic, hopeless and hopeful. The thing is to not give up, but to embrace each stage. Face and embrace each good, bad or traumatic event and learn from it. We, none of us have to be defined by an event or circumstance because in the end, we have a choice. A choice in how to deal and manage whatever is going on in our lives, by the way we view it and by the way we decide to proceed with it.

Home can be a place, a person or a feeling. For me, it’s a feeling of belonging, of fitting in and being accepted for who I am. Home is where there is a settled heart and a contented mind.

Relay what is important, shun what isn’t and ship out and set sail to something new when all seems hopeless. Seek and find your best relay- shun- ship as you go forward making relationships…..

When I look at you

What does Autism look like to you….What does normal look like to you. Here is what it looks like to me


When I look at you what do I see

I see a boy, born to be free

Free from stares, or funny looks

Included in games or reading books

I see a boy, who plays alone

whether in school, or at his home

A boy who knows when to ask

even though, it can be quite a task

A boy born special, with words in his head

If only they’d come out of his mouth instead

A boy that is patient, handsome and kind

Yet all too often, we have to remind

those that don’t know you, or understand

non verbal is not the definition of you

There are many things that you can do

I see a boy, so clever and brave

inquisitive of mind, you don’t misbehave

I see a boy who gets frustrated and sad

Sometimes with the world you may feel mad

I see a boy who defies the odds

gets on with the challenge and carries the rods

I see the boy willing to learn

no matter the difficulty, knowledge you yearn

I see the boy watching and waiting

hoping the people will stop their berating

Not all people are born the same

I see the boy who will change the game

of life how we see it, being ‘normal’ and all

it depends on whether, you throw or catch the ball

Normal to you is to watch and observe

hoping someone will have the nerve

to stand beside you and see the boy

not the Autism, that’s just a decoy

Look beyond the stims and the unique ways

sit with him, make his day

I see the boy who doesn’t want to pretend

Like, you and I, he just wants a friend

Don’t be afraid to look inside

No need to ignore, walk away or hide

He is just a boy to be understood

His heart is full of all things good

He may be shy or a little afraid

but please don’t exclude him

ignorance is man made

I see a boy, who is often alone

like the heron waiting, yet he never moans

in silence he sits, amusing himself

The kindness you show him, is worth all the wealth

so please be ‘normal’ and show your good grace

it will be worth it, to see the smile on his face

What’s normal for you is different than mine

and kindness will win, time after time



for Joseph, with love……. (and everyone else on the spectrum)

Photo Authors own, taken by the River Slaney, Enniscorthy


© carrie sherbourne and Relay shun sips – Blog, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Carrie sherbourne and Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content

want to break free ?

from early on we strive to build friendships, work, build networks and build a home, but during all this ‘building’, do we ever feel overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed and then feel the need to break free?



We are conditioned by nature to seek out relationships.  We are engineered by our environment as to the types of relationships we build, based on what and whom we are exposed to.  Some of us are born to our families and remain with them all of our formative years and maintain good relationships when we flee the nest.  Others do not get to stay with their family of origin but may still have some form of contact, or none whatsoever, depending on the circumstances and the circumstances can be many and varied.  We are shaped by the people around us, parents, siblings, grandparents, teachers, friends.  We learn from each other.  We build and we adapt, depending on whom we are with and what we are doing.  We often ‘go along with things’ so as not to stick out, be the odd one out, rock the boat.  To keep the peace is often the easier option. We may surpress what we really feel and deny ourselves the opportunity to be honest and open.  To do so could offend, incite an argument, evoke scrutiny that we may not wish to recall or simply we may think it is kinder to not be honest in certain situations.  After all, we all have different tastes, ideas, ideals, opinions, beliefs and perspectives, and that is fine.

Sometimes though, it can all become too much.  We are but one person.  In order to survive we NEED others, we NEED  relationships.  We need to love and be loved, to feel value and give another person a sense of value.   We need relationships on some level, for us to feel full and complete.  This can lead us to feeling good, yet overwhelmed.  As the saying goes, ‘we cannot please all of the people all of the time’.  One person, whether a mother, a father, a brother, a sister, a grandparent, a child, we must ‘interact’.  It is in the interacting with all of the people in our circle and indeed outside of our circle that can lead us to feeling overwhelmed, overburdened, overshadowed.  We can deny ourselves so much and so often, that we don’t even realise that we are denying ourselves.   It can become a way of life, a habit, and habits are easy to form yet difficult to break.

Like an animal, taken from the wild and placed in a zoo,  it can adapt to his new surroundings.  He will be fed, exposed to company, given somewhere to live, given the basic things needed to survive, but, will he be happy, all of the time or for that matter, any of the time.  Yet he stays, no option but to stay, he is so tightly monitored and guarded that his existence is secured.  He learns to adapt to his new way of life, but may still yearn for his former life, for his independence.    His offspring born in this new habitat will no nothing of the wild as they would have been born to this habitat and will not know any different….. but what is their instinct.  They may not know how to hunt, how to take care of themselves, how to survive in the wild, but perhaps they have a desire to find out.  Perhaps they have a desire to break free, perhaps their instinct is engrained in their DNA.

We are the same.  We were born into our surroundings, guided, nurtured, ensuring or needs were met.  We conform to the rules of our environment and of our society.   We built friendships, relationships, homes and families of our own.  Some of it is easy, some of it is difficult, but still we strive.  However, there comes a time, often more than once, that we may want to’ break free’.   Not necessarily forever, maybe just for a day or a week or even a few hours.  We need to break free for our sanity, for us to be us, the person we were born to be, not the person someone expects us to be.  For a short time we need to take care of us, we need to take the time to be free, to recharge, re-energise, reflect and reconnect, if we so choose.  We have to NOT deny ourselves of what we want or need. We need to practice self care, in order that we can fulfill and continue to be part of all the other relationships that we encounter and are party to.  We need to go and find something, a place, a thing, a journey, whatever it takes, but we need to find our joy,  our peace, our inner calm and ourselves.  If that means you need to break free, then break free, just do it – you need to love and have a relationship with you!


Picture authors own taken at Fota Wildlife Park.




It was all she could do these days, sit in the chair watching the world go by, surrounded by the same dreary four walls. Consumed with the constant gloomy thoughts, listening to the dulcet tones of the swish and squelch of the oxygen tank. The dank smell of putrid piss and shit hanging in the air, almost choking her, but what could she do about it? She scanned the room for an answer.

She knew it wouldn’t be long now, she would just have to surrender to it. Recalling and recoiling at the thought of the night when it all changed. It had begun like any other typical night, out walking the dog along the canal side, the moon covered in a blanket of mist. Nothing but the sounds of her footsteps and the panting of the dog at her side. Her reverie interrupted by the phone in her pocket breaking the otherwise peaceful stroll.

It had been years since she had spoken to her mother and she vowed she would never step foot in that house again. What she had done was unforgivable. Yet here she was now at the end of the phone, pleading and begging her to come.

As she watches her chest heaving in a convex and concave motion, mists of steam spouting at the base of her nostrils, she feels nothing but anger, fury and yes, pity. It’s the pity that fueld her intense rage. It’s time for retribution.

This piece was written for the first heat of the NYC Midnight Microfiction Challenge of 2019.
Genre: Drama . Action – walking a dog. Word: scanned.