Born and raised in County Durham, 37-year-old Phillip Harmer has spent the past fifteen years in Yorkshire, Leeds to be precise, a family man now with a wife and young family.

He’s still the cheeky chappie that everyone knew back in his hometown, that won’t change that much, but, as he mellows with age, thoughts begin to linger just that little more.

For Phillip, as is with most across the world, there’s always been the presence of ‘The Mask,’ that covering that blankets the true person from within. Sometimes that mask covers the topic of his first poem, mental health, and how it envelops life itself.

“After leaving school, in my late teenage years, I was subjected to bullying in the workplace,” begins Phillip.

“It makes you think, years later, why – Why the name-calling? Why the bullying?  Why resort to something like that?

“Now, at work, when I’m out driving and I’m alone with my thoughts in my head, I look back to starting out working in my teen years and how I was treated back then and think that, surely there’s better ways in which to treat people.

“I’ll be the first to admit though, I’m not the most eloquent of people I just thought about the best way in which I could express myself.”

Phillip’s best way of self-expression was through the art-form of poetry, and his release of the poem, ‘The Mask,’ an ode to all those who may be suffering, often in silence.

The Mask (by Phillip T. Harmer)

Alone with thoughts the mask slips, fades, falls,

Time goes slow the tick tock drowns out the noise,

But then friends, family, work colleagues are there and the mask is back,

Happy, cheerful, jokes the smile…… it’s fake

But to them it’s real, no questions asked,

Each day the same the silent scream, the tears alone, the thoughts.

My mask fits my face for all to miss

Hoping that his young family can, at any time, come to either him, or his wife, with any problems they may face in life, he added: “It was a moment of inspiration really and, although I wrote it in early March this year, I’ve sat on it ever since.

“I only released it because I’ve got a few friends, other than myself, that resonate with what I’ve wrote.

“It didn’t really take long to write either, it just came out, but it can relate to any person, in any situation.”

Will there be future offerings from Phillip T. Harmer, who knows, but rest assured, one is never enough…