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Showcase: Dear Future Me + Rouhi’s Haiku + My Mother Was The Machine + Demeter’s Oasis

Edited by Jilly Henderson-Long

Hi, I’m Jilly and I’d like to welcome you to my second March Showcase. As a published poet and children’s book author, I’ve found courage to be a key attribute in my writing journey. With that in mind, I’d like to start with this amazing piece of prose, extracted from Recovery Connections, published by Write-On-The-Tyne and compiled by writers with lived experience of recovery from addiction.

I picked it because it’s powerful, but also to showcase that the end of something can also be the beginning of something else.

Dear Future Me,

Some days you will struggle, it will never go away completely and you need to know that.

But you will learn to adapt, to change, and to alter – you will get what you need to keep going. Friends, sponsors, support services will all be your new substance – a healthy, safe substance that doesn’t destroy you and everything around you. But you can’t rely on everyone for everything. You have to let them help you to walk but not walk for you. You have to regain responsibility, when you can.

Take control of your future.

But it won’t be plain sailing, an easy ride. If it was, you wouldn’t have failed to keep afloat all those times. Life is hard, addiction is hard. It’s an illness, physically and mentally and you will have to keep working on it and keep aiming to be the best you that you can. No one can ask more of you, just try your best and don’t make excuses.

Understand that you are human and will make mistakes, like you have in the past. You’ve made many mistakes but you are putting them right. You will keep putting them right and trying. Be kind to yourself and people around you. You never know what’s going on in a person’s life so try not to judge. Life can be a struggle, you know that but we are fighters and we keep going.

So keep going, never give up and be proud of the steps you take, no matter how small.

With love,



© Anonymous, 2024

(Extracted from Recovery Connections, published by Write-On-The-Tyne)

To find out more please visit


Our second piece is a poem by Mary L Walsh. It was written in response to the Rouhi Shafii interview  we ran in Write On! and her quote: “Caught in a place between what is now and your imagination.” I loved its hint of what was and how she sees herself.

Rouhi’s Haiku

Caught in memory
A radiant chink of light
Between was and is

© Mary L Walsh, 2024

Connect with Mary on Instagram: @marelwa60


My third choice  is a piece from Tavinder New, illustrating how there are always two sides to each of us: the one we show our families and the one we show to everyone else, just as there are two sides to every story.

My Mother Was The Machine

My mother was the machine as she sewed her threads tied to us. The eye of the needle watched over us, while the satin she portrayed was soft and gentle for all else to see. The needle was pricked for us to stay in line.

Like a button, we were kept fastened from any freedoms tied and untied when she desired that it was not about choice.

My mother was the machine as she threaded the fabric of our being away. The eye of the needle kept us in the bay as we wanted to move away. However, like a button, we broke away through rebellion and adulthood. We retained our colours through this transition, but she lost her mind.

My mother is still seen as gentle and soft as silk by society, while we are like the broken thread that visits her from time to time in the care home but free to express our individuality.

© Tavinder New, 2024

Connect with Tavinder on X: @NewTavinder


My final selection is an excerpt from a short story by Jack Lawrence. I just found it so beautifully written I felt it had to be included. It features a strong female character.

Demeter’s Oasis

In the legends of ancient Greece, there is the tale of a Persian king called Darayan. His fondest passion was hunting and so he moved his capital to the sands of Opis, which held a vast oasis, lush with game. He wanted a great lodge built there, where he and his nobles would stay during their hunting trips and scoured it for the perfect spot. Once Darayan found this, he set his architect to drawing up plans and, having approved them, sent men to clear trees and level the ground in preparation for the building work.

But this desert haven was adored by Demeter, Greek goddess of the grain and fertility. It was where she’d conceived her beloved daughter Persephone and so was the most wonder-filled place in her memory.

She appeared to Darayan in his throne room. Clad in a peacock-green gown, Demeter was plump, broad armed, her ringlet hair grey as rabbit’s fur, eyes as golden as harvest weather. She told the king the oasis was truly special to her, sacred; it was not to be interfered with and he should send a rider to recall the workmen.

Darayan refused to do as he was bidden. He loved his gods and had no wish to blaspheme by obeying a Greek goddess. And he was confident in his certainty that if Demeter chose to punish him, there was nothing she could do that couldn’t be smoothed away by his gods. This was not from sneering pride but, rather, from the genuine belief they were the more powerful and would always help men who were faithful. His holy ones, he knew, would deliver him from any reprisal.

As Darayan told Demeter, “No,” her eyes frosted with ice and not a single blink came. She then went to the oasis and found the workmen setting up their camp and came to them saying: “Listen to me. This ground is mine. The trees, the flowers, sand and water.” The goddess then threw out her fists and the men were blasted back, crying out. Nesting birds darted off, alarmed, and likewise the beasts of the land. As the men fled, Demeter drew in a vast breath and blew, whirling their tools and what little of the huts they had built, into the sky. She waved softly and the tree branches that shook in the gale of her breath were stilled. Then, she called out to the animals that all was peaceful now and they could return to their homes.

© Jack Lawrence, 2024


I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s Showcase and I look forward to sharing some more fabulous writing next week.


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