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Emotions in Eruption

A poetic journey through life



Copyright © 2017 Barbara Strickland


Barbara Strickland asserts the moral right to be identified as the author of this work.

All rights reserved

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the author, nor be otherwise circulated in any form of binding or cover other than that in which it is published and without a similar condition including this condition being imposed on the subsequent purchaser.

The names, characters and events portrayed in this publication other than those clearly in the public domain, are fictitious and the work of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead is purely coincidental.

Extract from Unexpected Obsession Copyright © 2017 Barbara Strickland (2016)

Introduction to Unexpected Passion Copyright © 2017 Barbara Strickland

Author’s note: This book was written in Australia and uses British/Australian spelling conventions such as ‘colour’ instead of ‘color’, and ‘ise’ endings instead of ‘ize’ on words like ‘realize’. Some words will also have double ll in its spelling e.g. travel will become travelling.

Images by Kathy Johnson


Cover design and illustration by Christopher Brunton



Putting pen to paper, or rather fingers to a keyboard can be quite confronting. Automatically there is a suggestion that the words matter. They do. Your words should matter. Words lend strength and give voice. Silence holds us back.

I wrote this because in times of crisis I give myself a voice. At times that voice may seem exaggerated, emotional, a little bizarre, or left field but it is real. It exists. I cope by putting and yes at times over putting (over sharing perhaps) things down on paper. I have been lost, lonely and unhappy. I have been delighted, dazzled and elated. It is the nature of the world and its people to feel emotions, both good and bad.

However when the feelings are not pleasant the tendency is to hide, to believe we are alone and foolish in our thoughts and reactions. For me sharing in the form of writing, any kind, helps me find perspective. We are supposed to hide the negative and thus feel guilty because in sharing we believe we burden. I disagree. By speaking we face our fears, and if we are fortunate, we find understanding. In speaking up we are is seeking a solution. We burden when we hide. That battle fatigues our soul.

Sometimes the instinct to survive is shrouded in semantics, both for speaker and the hearer of the language for though love is supposed to be unconditional, the reality of life intrudes. The expectancy is to be strong, to be positive and to perform accordingly. In theory it sounds good and I wish it was possible to obliterate negative thoughts and actions. It’s not. It is the contrariness of human beings. Pretending comes with at a cost.

The price is a fragile butterfly that emerges and doesn’t know how to fit into the limitations on offer. Without a leaf of light on which to rest the butterfly will falter and the delicate flavour of finely spun wings will dissipate into the breeze and be gone. We need to be exactly who we are, and not someone others believe we should be, or we risk becoming a creature folding its wings and becoming an unseen whisper.

But, words can bring us freedom from pain, and unfold the wings to fly again another day. I would have perished without my ability to express my thoughts. I don’t need any one to approve them or to like how they appear on the page but my hope is one word resonates and then someone out there knows they are not alone.

Barbara Strickland

Don’t hurt the butterfly, it will die soon enough


To Rose and Vince (my parents),

I wish I had your poems to translate Rose, but reading your writing was impossible. Your scribbling Vince, was constant, and so are mine. My love for education came from you. Share this with me, it’s the best I can do.

To my dearest friend Gail.

I carry the memory of your courage. You are now with someone who will love you and keep you safe forever.  I will miss you always.

Thank you for being my friend,


(Don’t worry, we will make it to Norfolk Island, give me a little more time)

Don’t hurt the butterfly, it will die soon enough


To Sean and Kathy,

Thank you for your help on this project. You have both been incredible. Whatever I have asked you have done. Your time will come. I know it.










From the author

Books/About the Author

Unexpected Obsession (an extract)

Unexpected Passion (a brief introduction and extract)

People are like a fine wine

The barrel chosen,

picked with care, and

perceptive knowledge

lovingly houses and

caresses the aging of

no longer

flowing contents.

The rich, unprocessed,

in-depth blend


the individual housing

the unique flavoured


of personality.

Blood-based liquid

drawn from nature’s

precious gift and

human sweat, combines

with time

to house

treasured and distinctive taste.

The Adventurer

Andiamo says the voice inside

For the new is waiting to be


Andiamo means to move and go

Extend our palate with a balanced


A hint of danger, rustic paths to explore

Lethally addictive bouquet so we want


The Pacifist

Dolce, sweet, a throat balm

Silent, sliding delicately spreading


Delicious, slowly warming fire

Partnering the crisp and tart without the


Purity of colour flowing slow

Refined, pacifying, and worth the


The Sensualist

Amore, is the ultimate aim

Sinfully selfish in its goal for


Full-bodied, fleshy perfumes fall

Floating, savouring, lost in the


Sensuality oozes, the throat swallows

Amore in the lingering

completion that


The Pleasure Seeker

Man and wine join and become one

Desire rules so let the experience be


Feel, smell and taste is prime

And the actions a mouth-filling


Velvet feel, intoxicating aroma

And sinful need leads to a heavenly


The Thinker

Indulgent thoughts will prepare

As the rustic and robust have nostrils


Complexity encourages and moves

As we filter earth and fruit into oaky


The mind is ready to stop

So bring on bottle, glass and time to


The Conversationalist

Conversing is an exquisite share

For those with aged knowledge to


Discussions will flow as the bottle sits

Elegant and ripe with fragrances it


No educational surprises here

Expecting the best brings satisfaction not



Do you see only what you think is there?

Easy Listening

I remember when it was all laid out

What role to take.

You want to shout

It was simple.

Waiting to be told

What clothes, what food, when, where

Because otherwise was bold.

It was simple.

Directed how to achieve

Grasping for prizes was controlled

But easy if you believe –

It was simple.

Life demands choices

Cryptic variants of

Different paths and loud voices

Searching for what is simple.

Longing deep for normality,

The memories seem safe

Age brings a strange formality

Asking was simple ever there?

On thinking too much

How to make it stop

So that it recedes, disappears

This constant turning of thoughts

That haunt me even in

Those precious moments

When joy, exists.

I did not want to feel

And was right in this but

The need to take a chance was

After all stronger than

What I knew and so I entered

That frightening world only to

Find no peace because I was

Right and the pain so piecing

That even now I feel so scarred, bruised

And so lonely when before I was

Just alone.

I was wrong to believe in

Fairy tales and white horses and

Now I have to learn how to forget

to read.

Lost Arts

Ethereal magic

Substantial enough,

A butterfly kiss

So lightly there

That even to breathe becomes a dare

Warmth, spreading and

Touching my often cold,

And always bleeding heart


So that

At the fall of darkness

There is

An abundance of light to


The ever present



My elusive control,

Are you real?

Are you a dream sequence?

Is that your



My mind?



You are the living


Of the meeting of souls.

You are my friend


I took the time to see you.

Decision Making

I don’t want to.


I feel the urge to

rant and rave.

I know I have to.


I feel the urge to

quietly cave.

I’ve been dealt a card.

It’s far too hard.

I close my eyes

and hope

I wake up wise.

I have seen the echoed smile

reflected in, a happiness file.

I carefully remove all the shiny blades

sighing as the anger fades.

The buds

Rustling winds call my name

and awaken me to play the game.

I slowly dress

and to myself confess

though the rules seem less,

nothing seems the same.

Whirling wheels of distant blame

Reluctantly decide to claim

the fading lights

of long-lost flights,

and unwanted plights

leading back to covert shame.

To the recesses of yesterday

I banish all dead flowers.

Let them rest where they may

And allow new buds their untried powers.

Human Contact

Pieces on boards are moved by humans.

Nobody is Perfect (I love you)

Often I wonder why

you have the power

to make cry.

The sudden silence of my heart


knows, all

you do is simply thoughtless.

Sometimes fine,

sometimes cold

and cruel

so that an oozing occurs.

There is bleeding as

the sharp knife, you plunge.

The deep and sudden penetration

is bitter and I find it

hard to remember that

I wanted and needed you.

Never did I dream

that this kind of love could

also be a torment.

In growing up

the distance must have shifted.

Whereby before your childhood needs

tore at my core,

I find now you rip me

into shreds,

and I have not the energy

to repair the threads.

Yet I am amazed at what you can do,

but that rich glimpsed smile

directed my way,

has so much power

to make me say,

it does not matter those things

I filed

for after all you are

and always will be

my beloved born child.


A small vibration builds

slowly, piercingly pinching

and penetrating like a summer insect

that at dusk must come out

to show the night as an

imperfect medium


with bitingly bitter stinging sensations

to the sweetness of the sun filled days.

A constant running of close

together eruptions, erosions

and errors of nature which

display a natural process as an

imperfect medium


the truisms handed down since the

beginning of time and human evolution.

A final cutting edge of sans pity

statements screaming sinfully silent

and showing only at the

almost merciless end

that the imperfect medium is

in contrast to

what you imagined

a long yearned for

and deeply desired creation.

Butterfly Child

(Lia’s song)

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