Poetry from Henry Bladon

Your Hands Have Blood on Them

From: The Bird of Paradise (RD Laing – 1967)

Men can destroy the humanity of others,

remember your hands have blood on them

you’ve been told as much

that will corrupt you and destroy you

with unadulterated compassion.

How do you plug a void?

Just don’t ask for trouble

remember your place in the hierarchy

and that last desperate clutch.

Do not despair – the soul dies before the body.


When the writer from Rio

lost his treasured notebook

his head started to feel

like a blood-filled bath.

It wasn’t the loss of shopping list

or the plot for his next novel

that most preoccupied the mind,

just the writerly thought about the

paper-based metaphor for death.

Henry is a writer, poet and mental health essayist based in Somerset in the UK. He has a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Birmingham. He is the author of several poetry collections and his work can be seen in Pure Slush, Lunate, and Synchronized Chaos, among other places.