Get to know… Skye Lilly

Why I write

Hello, I am Skye and I feel things really deeply. I always have. If a friend or a family member was having a bad day, feeling sad or low, I’d often find myself spun into sadness for days. The world and the people in it were so overwhelming to me (a poem on this to come). I had so many thoughts and feelings but was stuck unable to express or channel it.

As I grew into a young adult I found my deep inner world increasingly challenging and through numbing myself in different ways – drugs, drinking, over exercising (rugby was my sport of choice), food – I started to lose connection with myself and others. Studying a degree in neuroscience at the time I was in a strange contradiction; writing essays about mental illness, whilst completely drowning in my own.

After graduating I floated about in Manchester for a year or two, then dived into some summer festival work on a cocktail bar (an ideal place for me when alcohol was becoming my best friend). One weekend I overdid it. Sent myself into physical and mental meltdown and quit working the season. Feeling lost with what to do I ended up volunteering at a Buddhist retreat my mum had recommended. Turned out to be the best decision I’ve ever made. Two weeks of kindness, care and support from the community and I was propelled into getting myself better.

I then traveled to Portugal to be a chef in a community and it was there where I started writing poems. It came to me completely off guard. I describe it like the pen was moving without me, just flowing the words out. From then I went on to build a small poem book for my friends and family for Christmas. And after joining Paul’s Finding the Poem workshops at Writing Room, I realized that I might be onto something.

After being invited to perform more recently, it has become clear that this is what I am here to do on this earth. I always knew I wanted to share my voice but poetry was NEVER how I expected to do this. To be honest, before now I had always disliked poetry. But on stage reading my own I feel more alive than ever. I can express everything I’ve always wanted to say. I finally have a voice. Got to be the cheapest form of therapy out there.

So, here I am now, only six months later, sober, single, happy and WRITING. Thanks to the Buddhists and an amazing dance therapist called Jenny (I love you!) I practice movement and meditation daily, and am in training to become a somatic coach. I am inspired daily to do more with my writing and other practices of self expression, with hope to become a facilitator, teacher and maybe even a healer.

What I write about

My curiosity and drive has always been people and life. When I was a small child I used to sit on the toilet for hours asking my mum existential questions: “Why am I me? Who makes the choice? Why do look through my eyes and not yours?” (Clearly the toilet seat was a place of deep reflection for me).

I write a lot about my experiences with connection and disconnection. Some of my poems are dark and poignant to reflect those younger years of struggle. Others are light and motivational, self-help poems that are universally relatable. They are fueled by my pride and sense of achievement from looking at where I am now, coming from being unable to get out of bed for days to performing to people on stage. My words will continue to be inspired by the people and things around me, and I am so grateful to those that have inspired me so far (Kate and Paul you rock! And to Alan, who had studied with Writing Room previously and knew to gift me a poetry course with Paul, a huge thank you!).

To all those writing or not writing, feeling stuck, disconnected or alone – keep listening, keep moving! Connection is there waiting for you, the storm will pass and the words will come.

Here are two poems, one from a time of depression and loneliness, and the other from a time of love and joy. With darkness comes light.

Too Much

I was too much for the world today.
My open heart
Became a deep, deadly cavern
My strong opinions
Became cutting criticisms

I was too much for the world today.
My loving lessons
Became preaching without practice
My deep rooted passions
Became traumatic reminders

I was too much for the world today.
My need for space
Became mountains between us
My firm boundaries
Became a wall built too high

I was too much for the world today.
I took it all in
I swallowed it up
I spat it out
And I told it to never speak again

The world was too much today.
Speeding trucks on the motorway
Became a flash forward to fatal collisions
An ache in the ear
Became a lump on the bone

The world was too much today.
Family conversations
Became fraught feuds and late night apologies
Mutual endings
Became lost friends and lovers

The world was too much today.
Inside voices
Became repetitive sirens
Heart’s racing became a marathon of marathons with no finish line

The world was too much today.
It took me in
It swallowed me up
Spat me out
And told me to never speak again


The Moon and the Lighthouse

The dark settles in
The thought of nothing out there
Fills you
Fear, grief, sadness
To the brim
Almost ready to sink

As the light pierces in
It’s hard not to notice the moon
And the lighthouse in the distance
They stand alone
No partner
No crowd
No following
Just alone
Shining light
To see in the dark

Pairs the tears with a smile
One that says

I did it
I made it here
On the coast
Under the moon
Next to the lighthouse
No partner
No crowd
No following

So you stand
And join them

If you’d like to follow me and my journey I post updates of my gigs, new songs and poems on
my Facebook (Skye Lilly | Facebook) and Youtube (Skye Lilly – YouTube). I’d love to hear from
you if we can connect in some way!

All the love x