The taste of burning
Lingered in my throat all day,
So did your name
The taste of burning
Lingered in my throat all day,
So did your name
Lost in sea
I drift, nose-to-nose,
Faced with rows of toes
Through tsunami of rolling flesh.
And bone, although,
Not much shows herself,
It’s all the same, mountain,
Repenting under reckless
Sighs of shoulder blades
And thinner days,
Sandwiches between oceans
Of rolling tides.
And pained eyes,
Meeting mine in shimmered
Silver, slivers of recompense
Dart from edge to curve
To curl to point.
Under leaded blankets
Of painful maturity enveloping
Temples of safe-keeping.
I pray, let this thought
Only be fleeting, as she,
Rattles through empty mind.
I try and decline,
Her snakes writhing through
Cerebella, failing to tame
I raise my arm in finality,
We drift again, through
Of self, imagine, mind.
To patiently enshrine,
A Madonna of light,
Into darkest of nights.
And yet still she fights,
Toe-to-toe and nose-to-nose,
Breaking through porcelain walls,
Her lines befit, befalls,
As her final calls screech
Across siren, under island
And crawl to the back of my throat.
Whisper leaves mouth,
‘I suppose, we ought to turn South’.
Go to sleep:
Every atom in your body is tired,
Of shimmying and shimmering around,
Since you sprung up to ground.
Quit tapping those feet,
They’ll dance inside yourself
Without your thoughts.
Lower those eyes,
Give darkness a chance.
You aren’t alone, everything
Was the same once.
You are made of stars,
So dance with them
In obsidian velveteen.
Go to sleep:
Your cellular clock,
Has over-tocked, they are tired
Of whirring for you with no respite.
Rest those heavy fingertips,
Release your baited breath,
Let go of all your worries
That sleep is lightness’s theft.
Unfurl your heady dreamscape,
Splash your colour against your sky,
Realise your unbridled frenzied
Questions and answers why.
Grass green tendrils wrap from limb to limb,
Ocean sigh on heavy tides
Crash waves to your shores.
Quiet now, sleep again,
Sigh deeply no more,
Rest your head at the gates of time,
Softly, softly, slip into the sublime.
Guilted threads stretch from
tongue to tongue.
Draws like the child,
Point to points,
Deflected only by land,
Reflecting cold blue vein.
Darker than moon,
Envelope places under
Hands loosely grasp;
Search through velveteen
To find in descending
Celebrations of sense.
Sliding doors reflect
Tired face as;
Oceans of belly
Recede to shores
Of tired throats.
Leans out of window,
Presses eyes into sun,
Embraces all that there is,
And all that is done.
(of an illness) persisting for a long time or constantly recurring.
noun: humanity; plural noun: humanities
1.the quality of being humane; benevolence.
The caveats of my vertebrae
Leave much to be desired.
Of my shoulders scrapes
Against the ligaments
Of my very mind.
And as I struggle to find
Kind words to surface beneath,
I bequeath your ignorance,
An offence to my degrading
My chondrocytes have packed up,
Gone home, found a fairer
Place to roam. I don’t blame them,
In all honesty, these living conditions,
Are frankly somewhat ghastly.
My tendons, well I guess
I must have offended them,
They’ve got better things to do,
Than hold my body together like glue,
Why should I be feeling blue?
Hip, do you think you could
Just stop, giving me the slip?
Ain’t letting me groove no more.
You, trapped nerve,
Could you crystallise and preserve
This negativity any more succinctly?
The nuances of jaw, could you
Possibly bore me any-more?
It’s been seven years and you’re still
Up to old tricks? Do you think you could fix,
Come up with something new?
This record’s getting old.
And it’s not like I asked for this,
The opposite of unrequited,
Best to not give it a miss, mind,
I suppose this is what it means to be
Aware of the chronic condition
That is, the human-kind.
And what a better skin,
To so befit my sins,
Dedications of self.
And what a better sky,
To so befit your lies,
Trysts of breath.
And what a better day,
To so befit dismay,
Wisps of silk.
And what a better night,
To so befit delight,
And what a better feeling,
To so befit the reeling,
Of the vacuum
You left me in.
Darkest nights and starkest skies breed
Simplest light within your eyes,
And now that we are seventeen,
Our feet lifted by lightest dream,
Allow us to drift; naked and in-between.
What we had planned and now lost,
We are but ghosts spinning under
And over time, an enshrinement of
Subtle ineptitude’s and tally of tainted tongue.
Oh, but we are young, let us lay in
Our sun, and see everything beautiful thing,
That there is to see, without subtle meaning,
Or nondescript feeling. Let us be without
Reeling, writing, toiling and biding
Our sorry, sweet, and gentle time.
Lip brush lip as hand brush hip,
Don’t blink too fast, we’ve had too much to think,
Allow us, instead, to dwell in the realm of ink.
I do not wish for your eulogy,
To be some simple, sorrow filled
I wish for our words to
Dance across our pages
In earth shattering harmony.
In 1926 you fell into
Your joy-filled existence,
Quicker than sixpence
Did your mind fill pages,
As the war rages,
You found peace under Angel,
Beneath shattering table,
Hearing your mother’s fables.
At the age of ten,
You learned to walk again,
Polio was no match
For your brightest catch.
By sixteen you’d left school,
Obeyed the rules but still,
Money was tight,
Even with good will.
Your mind was as bright as sun,
By 18 you were making films,
That was the one.
You’d always loved nature,
Had unbounding love
Even for the smallest
And strangest of creatures.
Not only that, you loved
Everyone so dearly,
You never needed it proved
You’d found Peter half way,
On craggy rocks, with soggy socks,
You picked and pressed flowers,
Talked with each other for hours.
Soon you were married,
Happily carried through
Into even sunnier days.
Two daughters you proudly bore,
Beautiful handmade clothes they wore,
A sorcer-ess with a sewing needle,
Even when your fingers were feeble.
In 1982 you told Maggie where to stick it
‘Stupid bitch, you think she could kick it’
‘An affront to woman, that one is’
I never saw you angry, but I knew you meant it.
You were maybe happiest working,
Never shirking, always returning,
Even the most menial
Of your many responsibilities.
You taught the incarcerated to read,
Write, create poetry and type.
You were the 3rd woman to graduate,
From the Open University.
Eventually, your back may have got
The better of you,
But you knew it to be true,
That there was always more to do.
By the time you were 70,
A grandmother you were,
A task so lovingly cherished,
And treasured until yesterday’s dawn.
And then you were teaching me,
To read, to write to see,
To understand all that there was,
And all there could be.
You showed me poetry,
Showed me books,
Read me silly stories
About mice living in the nooks.
You taught me to cook,
Bake, make, and create,
Enjoy, laugh and smile,
Even if it did take me a while.
You made me be true to myself,
You never put me on the shelf,
Even in our darkest of hours,
Your words blossomed as flowers.
You helped us all be strong,
Even when things were wrong,
You didn’t cry at funerals,
You laughed in song instead.
And that is what I’m doing for you,
I’m laughing, singing, and dancing,
‘Being sad is a waste of time,
‘Go and be the star that shines.’
Your love of current affairs
Never ceased to amaze,
Even from your chair,
Your social commentary was impeccable.
You never wanted to be a bother,
‘That was for others’
You just wanted to sit back, relax,
And enjoy what the world was.
‘Don’t worry dear, it’ll all be clear soon,
Calm down, take some breaths,
Change your perspective,
Sit back and accept it.’
And so now here we are,
You’re counting stars,
Humble as the apple,
Which fell to the ground.
You drifted gently,
Out to bluest sea,
The most beautiful of waves,
Will always stand by me.
We wish you well,
In wherever you may be,
A beautiful orchestra,
Of what is, was, and has ever been.
And we shall forever drift,
Upon the gentlest sea,
Lose ourselves in tides so swift,
And drown in serendipity.
There’s a lot to be said about the girl who stands at the counter to eat her breakfast, and instead of using a spoon, guesses at the amount of sugar she’s thrown into her morning coffee. There’s five good teaspoons in the drying rack, of which three are totally clean, two chairs, and two relatively well managed settees on which she could sit. But instead, she chooses to stand. Invariably this results in a far too sweet drink, and an aching back, one she so strived to find relief from in the night. So why does she choose to stand? A reflection perhaps on her torturous stubbornness or the intrinsic belief that she deserves to be punished, the suffrage she endures is a worthy cause she feels. Or maybe she doesn’t, maybe she’s intrinsically lazy to the point where sitting down and obtaining a spoon would be a waste of precious energy. A reflection that she may find solace in her patterns of semi-self-neglect, a habit so woven into her skin that she daren’t break it for fear of finding herself. Maybe she already found herself amongst the gently popping bubbles atop the greying water of the washing-up bowl and decided that she belonged in the kitchen, like a ‘true woman’. But instead, maybe she is so inherently understanding of her situation that sitting or using a spoon is no longer required of her. Maybe it’s the very same reason she finds herself purposefully gulping down boiling hot drinks every morning to the point where they scold her throat, and that she sees no wrong in doing this. It might be an attribute as to why she spends exactly twenty-seven minutes every day standing stark naked in front of her mirror. Twenty-seven because she deems half an hour to be a ludicrous waste of her time. She even factors this into what time she sets her alarm. There is no purpose for this aside to chastise herself what she physically cannot control about her body, despite knowing that perpetual mistrust of her physical form will only exacerbate and fuel the hot burn she feels inside her head, and down her throat. Or, she could be wrapping her body in liquid silk as plays do-to-dot with her freckles. Her dark framed eyes collecting every particle of dust alighting itself on her flesh. Maybe it’s because she’s so anxious of how the world perceives her, she is too afraid to sit down, for fear of being seen as small. She may instead be engrossed by the concept of defiance, of her own expectations, of those around her, and the situation she so strives to escape.
I like to think that when we meet her again, she stands up to do everything she possibly can.
We remain reunited again,
Oldest of friends.
Gently scoop me up,
Into your sweet breaths.
How have you been? Tell me,
What things have you seen?
Forgive me for the questions,
I have sinned again.
I usurped you with my pen,
Drowned you in ink, and then,
You present such tenacity,
Lying at the foot of our bed,
Tell me old friend,
When will you rest your head?
We are two children holding hands,
At the mouth of a brook.
We are afraid and anxious,
Concurrently valiant and fearless.
We are furthermore unafraid of where we stand,
Soft soil between our toes.
Our fingertips lightly grasp at one-another,
We are invincible in morning light.
Shooting breaths dart down our throats,
Harsh words murmur in the depths of bellies.
The rumble of thunder hits our tongues,
As lightning-fast joys escape our mouths.
Ancient pines shroud us in sight,
Songbirds whisk us away in the most pleasant of sound.
Glinting eyes dart between brow and lips,
As creased shy smiles smatter across face.
We synchronously sink into place,
Cool water washing over the ends of our being.
Our hands grip tighter and tighter still,
“Shall you take the first step, or shall I?”
The united question rattles in-crania
Simultaneously we grasp, we leap, we land.
We are so caught up in the duality of the moment,
That we neglect to notice our shoes on the far shore.
To be in love,
Is to openly offer one
To the utmost vulnerability
A floating offer,
And time better
And further spent.
Flesh and bone
It seems so plain
The window hammering against the rain, as the leaves shed their tree, as the ground hits my feet and the sun sees my eyes. Ground recedes, allowing shrinking soils to fawn grass into piece, vibrations feel my ear as sound touches your tongue. The impact of fragrant sound recoils in horror at the untold monstrosities in which your capacity carried out. The dreamer still dreams regardless of mental state, the lover still loves, despite it probably being a mistake.
And with the weight of the world on my shoulder,
I’ll tell you now,
For neither want nor whim against my pallid skin,
Bruised, pock-marked shins,
Sharp shallow breath,
A funny-coloured face and wonky brow,
Listen here, I’ll tell you now,
What I’d give for fuller lips,
The unbroken nose,
Thighs that weren’t the size of my waist,
Feet which could keep pace,
I’ll spare the rest.
What it would be to not be these things,
Not to be undermined by every book,
Magazine, film, song and in-between,
What it would be to be comfortable,
Within my own flesh,
Alas, regrettably, this will never be the case,
Lest we allow the perpetuation of the
Airbrushed-face, un-human proportion,
The demonisation of abortion,
And the chokehold on human condition,
This isn’t your skin, it’s mine,
Who are you to dictate how I define?
Myself amongst others, no less beautiful
Than the rest, alas, I must confess,
We are all victims here,
Whether you are aware or not,
Even if you’ve given it all you’ve got,
My teeth aren’t white and my hair’s unkempt
Why should I be forced to repent?
I shouldn’t have to apologise for who I am,
Alas, regrettably, we must,
Lest we forever fail to uphold and hail,
The non-realistic standards of beauty,
Which so dictate the life I live.
But it’s not my life,
Really, I’ll tell you now,
I’d just put my body on the shelf,
Until I find the beauty, within myself.