Excerpt for Eyes Wide Open: Poems from a Fractured Mind by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

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  1. True Story

  2. Mother

  3. Reason

  4. Maybe Tomorrow

  5. Her

  6. Horizons

  7. Emotional Insecurity

  8. They Said

  9. Paul

  10. Sanctuary

  11. Naked

  12. Obsolete

  13. Fade to Black

  14. Fractured

  15. Beneath the Surface

  16. Tinder box Heart

  17. Down the Rabbit Hole

  18. Mirror Cracked

  19. Yesterday’s Dreams

  20. Painted Smile

  21. Inside

  22. Us

  23. Echoes of Yesteryear

  24. The Note

  25. The Reaper

  26. Wishes

  27. Into a Setting Sun

  28. Broken Wings

  29. Barefoot on the Broken Glass

  30. Dreams

  31. Imprisoned

  32. Flaws

  33. Heroes

  34. Glisten

  35. The Lonely Ones

  36. Into a Setting Sun

  37. On the Horizon

  38. Loneliness

  39. Dead Flowers

  40. Puppet Master

  41. Dreams Inside the Rain

  42. The Beauty of Death

  43. Sadness in the Moonlight

  44. Stars and Scars

  45. Second Chances

  46. The Sinner

  47. Bound

  48. Within

  49. Fragile

  50. The Dealer

  51. Reflection

  52. Close to the Sun

  53. Inside

  54. Stillness

  55. Barb Wire Lies

  56. Second Best

  57. Shuttered Mind

  58. Broken Sleep

  59. Cleansed

  60. Things I Remember

  61. Belly of the Beast

  62. Eye of the Beholder

  63. Catch the Rain

  64. Come Undone

  65. Within

  66. Unto Ashes we do Turn

  67. A whisper in a Dream

  68. Death of a dream

  69. Stars in the Sky

  70. The Loneliness of the Dance

Title kindly suggested by LaLa Canamar

Many thanks Sheila….


Many thanks to all the people who made this possible in no particular order,

Robin Torro

Carol Slumber

Cami Styer

Anna Friesen

Eve Roberson

Sunshine Angel

Facebook groups all the lovely Oddities

Debra Sasak Ross

Judy Rudkin

Miriam Ruff

Samantha Payne

Lea Crawford

Lea Boyd

Pauline Morris

Fran Wise

All the people who have supported me in the last year including every single poetry group I am part of on social media.

Please find more of my work at

All work inside this book is the property of Matthew Earl and may not be reproduced/copied or used without first gaining permission.

Let the journey begin………..

True Story



No streets paved with Gold.

A frightened young child, barely Fifteen years old.

A voice in the darkness offers some hope, a chance of salvation, hot water and soap

No Samaritan he, just a predatory beast, in a drugged drunken encounter on me he would feast.

Beaten and bloodied, a child no more.

I reach for the money he’s thrown on the floor.

A victim of rape and still just a teen, I scrubbed at my body but never felt clean.

A survivor I am at least I’m still here; living each day consumed by my shame and fear.

© Matthew Earl



Did you know mother?

Did fear not show in my eyes?

Did you turn a blind eye?

Did you see the tears I cried?

Your love for him outweighed your heart

The maternal thoughts rebuked

His stinking breath, his gravel voice

Remember how I puked

You abandoned me without concern

Left in dark distress

I blame myself every day for my life, this rancid mess.

Did you understand mother, in the fullness of time

Maybe you share some guilt for his innocence robbing crime.

© Matthew Earl


Alone, statuesque

On a cliff edge

On a knife edge


No safety net

Just a step into


Into the light or



Conflicted mind

Trying to find

Courage or a reason to

Step back

© Matt Earl 2015

Maybe Tomorrow

False hopes of a generation, tell-tale signs of a broken nation.

Tower blocks decayed and grey, different types of vermin hide away

In the shadows, in the cracks

No one around in case of attacks

Monoliths of misery reach for the sky, where poverty lives and the forgotten they die

Hooded teenagers like outlaws of old count out the money from the powdered death that they sold

Scarred burnt out vehicles, faded police tape a constant reminder of murder and rape

Violence is hidden behind every door, bruised dirty faces the badge of the poor

No food on the table, no shoes on their feet, for love and affection they have to compete

Girls on street corners sell love at a price and for one fleeting moment life feels so nice

Time rages on and bodies grow old, nothing to show for the dreams that were sold

Men with no prospects sit and decay, on broken sofas they watch the TV.

Where people and programmes have nothing to say

Old soldiers sit and dream of before

Storming French beaches and fighting a war

Remembering old friends who forfeited their lives, for this now septic country where misery thrives

No police presence in this modern Gomorrah, things will surely get better I’m not sure just when but maybe tomorrow.

© Matt Earl


Her face charts the story of things that she’s seen

Reflections of memories captured in eyes soft and green

Tragedy and pain lay deep in her core

How many times has she climbed up from the floor?

Days of raw sadness that shattered her heart, she dust’s of her pain and goes back to the start

The pain lingers on attached to her soul and some days she’ll cry

But the love for her family helps her get by

In dark times and sunshine one thing stays true the experiences she’s lived through would break me and you.

She smiles in the morning and often cry’s in the night, but with all of her energy she’ll continue to fight

Matt Earl 2016


Swaying in the breeze my body hangs silent
A testament to you
Your lies brought me to my knees
Places the rope around my neck
Sets me free 
Do you regret now?
The lies, disguised thinly
Wrapped in razor wire
my splintered heart
burning on an unrequited loves funeral pyre

© Matt Earl

Emotional Insecurity

Your emotional insecurity is none of my concern
An unrequited love on life’s funeral pyre does burn
A thousand dreams over a hundred days led to our demise
Restrained and so constricted an epitaph to your lies
A once bright sun has died and turned the blackest black
The remnants of my sanity has begun to crack
Silent screams echo in the recesses of your mind
Fragments of remembering’s of a love you left behind
The banality of my existence on show for all to see
Destiny sings it’s hallowed song I ache to be set free

© Matt Earl 2016

They Said

Your son is dead they said
I remember little more
until waking naked

, freezing, foetal on the kitchen floor
No tears came, no primal scream
A living nightmare a waking dream
Last breath is taken at four years old
Eyes closed, lips blue his skin was icy cold
Years have passed I still feel pain from the worst day of my life
Even simple memories open wounds like the sharpest knife.

© Matt Earl 2016


My brother killed himself
Gassed sat in a car
I ran to try and get to him
But it was oh so far
He died alone and angry
I never knew why
It still hurts to this day
It still can make me cry
He could have spoken to me
He could have said it all
All he did was connect a pipe
And give me one last call
Brother I am dying and I am not scared
Did he not understand that everybody cared

I held his coffin up high
And walked with tear filled eyes
I’m sorry that I failed you Paul
I never heard your cries
Years have passed but the pain is strong
Memories come flooding back
Like a long forgotten song.

© Matt Earl


Do you have a Sanctuary
A place nobody knows
Safe from all the hurt and pain
Where the darkness never goes
Can you always find it, every single day
Sometimes I run for mine but demons block the way
In my sacred secret place
I can ignore everything they say

© Matt Earl


I stand before you naked all my flaws revealed

Here in all their glory are scars that never healed

A broken man I’m bloodied from the fight

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