Monday, November 17, 2014

Driving

We used to go for drives in his car.
Driving for the sake of driving.
Just me, him, and music.
Miles and miles of full circles
leading us back to the start.

I remember the electricity of his hand on my leg.
The shiver of my arm slipped through his.
Nervous, comfortable, impatient.
Neon arrows guided us.
While sinking suns warmed our windows.
Words were sparse.
I was learning about his silence.

These days his car is my car.
We've traded speed for safety.
These days we have two precious passengers.
But sometimes, when it's dark inside,
too dark to see their sleeping, silent, shapes.
Sometimes, I look at the side of his face,
quiet, intense,
and we're us again.
Just me, him, and music.

Made of bricks

I'll miss the trains, 
the sprint to catch a glimpse 
of steam and steel just yards away. 
I'll miss the gnarly tree I see 
each morning when I wake, 
home to the crows. 
I'll miss the rain,
drumming on your roof light 
in the dead of night. 
I'll miss the birds in your bush,
the bees in your shed,
the two red trees. 

But now our size has doubled. 
We're bursting through your seams. 
We've crammed your cupboards,
filled your floors,
and still there's more. 
You've heard us talk
and so you know,
the time has come
to go. 

It makes me sad to think
they won't remember you;
their first home made of bricks. 
They've slept in every room of yours 
and laughed and cried. 
Their eyes first widened to the light
you let inside. 
And every night we carried them
up your creaky stairs to bed,
then tried to creep back down. 

When they're grown
we'll show them pictures of you,
the windows they first looked out,
the garden where they touched the plants
and the tree their daddy painted on
your wall to shelter them. 

It's hard to leave.
Each room a memory. 
A place we rested, healed and grew. 
But we'll take our pictures down
and pack our objects up
and take them somewhere new. 
And we'll have bigger rooms
and walls and windows
and there'll still be trees and rain. 
I'll miss the trains. 

Nap time

While the babies sleep. 
Tea, chocolate, notebook, pencil. 
Birthing new babies. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fixer

I found him in the garage
on a Sunday afternoon,
hands calloused, covered with oil,
copper grease, dirt.
He was hunched over an engine,
staring intently at valves, pistons,
assessing which part had gone wrong,
made it stop.

He's a fixer,
always repairing the broken things
that surround him,
trying to make them work.

I lay my head on his chest
and listen.
Deep inside, the clock ticks,
slow and strong.
I hear each second disappear
as we lie in the half-light
of another rainy day.
It never rains but it pours,
hits the windows,
floods the garden,
wets us through.

There are parts inside me
he cannot fix.
So he holds my hand
and he tells me
I'm not really broken.

Sacred Spirit

'I know a song that stops the rain'
she told him.
He smiled.
But she played it anyway,
stared into the water as it fell
in pools of grey that puddled round the door.

As the drums beat down
the deluge waned,
the birds and blue appeared again.
And the rain ended
before the song.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Make do and mend

Those were the darkest days. 
When love so long rationed, was coldly cast off, thrown away.

But she found him, falling apart,
and she loved his broken pieces,
and he saw her unravelling heart,
and he told her it was perfect.

And they wondered if two friends,
could make do and mend,
stitch back together,
make new again,
their worn out old lives.

So he caught her, coming undone,
tried to fix her fraying edges.
And she scrubbed his threadbare eyes, wiped the stains away,
made them bright enough to light their darkest days.

And they make do and mend,
stitch back together,
make new again,
their worn out old lives.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

There’s something in the trees

There’s something in the trees,
that makes us whole again,
that makes us one again,
that makes us,
stop.

There’s something in the trees,
that moves my soul again,
that wakes the words inside
I thought I’d lost.

For I must cease my chatter
in the hush of ancient woods.
There’s no place here for noisy minds.
And as he holds my hand and
leads me further in,
I feel it fall,
I leave it all behind.

We pick our path through twisted roots
in shade that shelters us from more than sun.
And something in the breeze, the leaves, the fragrant air,
dispels the heaviness we carried here,
our chains undone.

There's something in the trees,
that makes things right again,
that makes me write again.

I trail my branches through the soil.
I carve my heart in moss.

Ripper

He brings me wild things,
wild things with wings.
He leaps into the still and silent sky,
to murder my metaphors.

He holds them in his mouth a while,
then lays them out before me on the floor.
Death is his gift.

Yet still I hope for the things with feathers.
Still I cradle them. Their tiny hearts beat rhythms in my hand.
Still I carry them outside, and stroke their heads and place them on the ground.

With whispered apologies I retreat,
to watch them from the window,
to pray they'll fly away.
Sometimes they do.

Sometimes we bury them.
As cold and stiff as cardboard boxes.
Crosses made from twigs pushed into soil
beneath the bushes they were born in.

And I scream at him and scold him,
lock him in and shut him out,
no longer welcome on my knee, my bed, his head pushed in my palm.
And I hate him but I love him though I hate what he has done.
And before too long he's back beside me, his face against my own.
And I forgive and he forgets
and balance is restored.

Then he brings me things,
wild things with wings,
and lays them on the floor.

Flight of Birds

She suffers in sibilance, always thinking out loud.
He just wants to share a silence.
She flaps and she falls,
in a downward spiral to shame the flight of birds.
She's always longing to be heard.
Her words pour once more into the air,
unnoticed. 'Sometimes the world is a deaf machine'.

She sings in her car as she drives to work,
'I wish I knew how, it would feel, to be free,
I wish I could break, all the chains holding me'.

She stares at the sky in a momentary daze,
her head filled with aviary conversations.

Then she switches off
the engine and the music
stops.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Tanka for Japan (partially inspired by Paper Beginnings, an installation at the University of York)

Silent corridor,
one thousand birds suspended,
paper beginnings
like ours, I write my secret
wish on the wings of a crane.

Tanka for Japan (partially inspired by Flood, an installation at St Marys by Susan Stockwell)

It pours through the roof,
raging river of remnants,
cascading currents
of metal and mud, this flood
drowns all sounds, but the earth’s roar.




Tuesday, February 15, 2011

HOME

Home is a mug of tea warming my hands
and a radiator burning my legs, as I stare
into the black square behind the curtain.
Home is your arms around me after another long day.

Home is you and me, talking about everything and nothing
as we flick through a thousand channels on the wall
and squash up on the small, tired sofa.

Home is a cat on a windowsill.

Home is the sound of you in the kitchen, cursing and laughing,
and me in a hot bath, soaking in the sound of Nina Simone.

Home is all the things we love, wrapped up safe.
Home is not a cage.
Home is a nest.

Home is you and me, cosy, cuddling, in our comfy bed
and the silence of words that don’t need to be said,
for they’re known.

You and me,
that’s home.




Monday, January 10, 2011

Christmas Spirit

I pluck the baubles from the tree that's living in our room.
I strip away the lights and watch the gloom creep back into the corner.
I'll miss the flickering glow that lit our winter afternoons.

I wish the light could linger longer, make the magic last.
But on the sixth, tradition says, the season ends, the spirit fades,
We pack the holiday away and put it in the loft.

And under the weight of a January sky
we carry our wilted tree outside.
The ghost of Christmas, passed.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Resistance

The trees that line the twisting road, 
lean in to drop their words in bright red flurries.
Silent sentences, unheard by speeding cars.
 
I watch one almost curtsey to me,
slender limbs in silhouette.
And I forget the fifty things that filled my head,
that chased me from my Sunday bed.
 
I need this distance.
Miles of asphalt moving me away from Monday.
Driving far enough to hide me from the glare
of screens and stares and acronyms.
Out here I can resist the grip of blackest boredom
burrowing through my brain to leave me numb.
 
I photograph each precious moment,
trees and sea and sky and him.
And when I must return to that dark shadow of existence,
I keep the pictures near enough to glimpse,
my bliss, my hope, my small resistance.
 

Look at me (Stockton Stigma Stories-Mind Me Project)





Look at him.
He sings in the street like the world is his stage and
his life is an opera.  Arms outstretched, head held high,
Pavarotti of the pedestrians.
It’s summertime and the living is easy.
Does he notice them laughing and shaking their heads?
Does her hear their cruel whispers?  She does.
She clings to him, guiding him forward.
He turns to her.  Have I told you lately that I love you?

They walk together through the ruins,
peering into rooms they cannot reach.
Touchstones crumble as they reminisce
in this, the house of the cosmic joker
who changed the rules and left him with
a thousand books he cannot read,
a million words he cannot write.
He paints instead, the colours of his mind,
the memories left behind,
and shouts across the vast North Sea,
look at me.

Sometimes it's hard to be a woman (Stockton Stigma Stories-Mind Me project)



Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.
She sings the song as she scatters the flour
and traces the name her family gave her.
Words in white dust,
misery guts.

She kneads this therapy.

She bakes, and takes her gifts
to those who understand,
her group, her new-found family.
It’s here she laughs, and shares her stories
paints the pain away.

But when the door and curtains close,
she’s locked with loneliness inside,
abandoned with her memories.

She passes time with poetry
and picnics knitted just for bears.
She turns her music up and sings,
sometimes it’s hard to be a woman.

If all the world's a stage (Stockton Stigma Stories - Mind Me Project)









If all the world's a stage,
she'd rather stay behind the scenes.
She'd paint the sky with birds
and prompt the actors with
the words she dare not speak.

She'd rather watch from velvet seats
with chocolate treats,
all cosy in the dark,
invisible to eyes too blinded by the lights.

And at the end, the final act,
she'd hurry back to friends,
and tell them of the drama, romance, songs,
somewhere that's safe, and she belongs.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Stockton Stigma Stories

I was lucky enough to work with some truly inspiring people last week. 
Here's a link to the work I did with them.  
http://stocktonmindme.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Snakes and Ladders

I trip,
and slip down secret snakes,
that wait for me
to miss a step,
to fall.

I lose my grip,
on scales as smooth as silver tongues,
that spit me out,
undone,
square one.

But when in hell, as Winston says,
you keep on going,
never knowing where each fateful step will lead.

And so I carry on, across the board,
ignored by ladder climbers, clutching, grabbing,
pushing, to the top.
I quietly endure the little boxes,
fingers crossed for lucky numbers
to release me from this trap.

And as I wait my turn,
I scrawl my words on empty spaces,
trying hard to find the meaning
in this place of fate and chance.

While I wander, wondering why and when,
I hear the serpents hiss again and
soon I’m sliding,
right back to the start.

 It always ends with this beginning.
Not quite losing, not quite winning.
Being a good girl makes no difference
in a game where chaos rules.

Guess I’ll face it with a grin, never giving in.
I close my eyes
and shake it twice.
I roll the dice.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It was a slow day down by the river



It was a slow day,
down by the river.
Slow was her only pace.
The sun warmed her face
and the top of her head
as she read back old poems
and hoped the words might tempt her muse.

She listened to birds
and watched wind blow through trees
as mothers rushed ducklings downstream.
Dog walkers passed her
and insects encroached
and old people stood on the bridge
staring silently, down.

She'd never stood still here before,
never paused to watch everything else move instead,
the shaking of jade blades,
the swaying of nettles,
the kaleidoscope rippling beside her,
and the rustling of white paper pages
that urged her to write something wonderful,
now.



and another attempt...


It was a slow day.
Down by the river he walked with his dog and his anger unleashed.
Two black beasts surged ahead.
His eyes didn't see the sun slowly setting.
His ears didn't hear the silence of dusk.
His skin didn't feel the stillness surround him.
Yet somehow they soothed him.
By the river's edge, he turned back.
One shadow rushed to his side,
the other dissolved in the dark.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Loose lips sink ships



Loose lips sink ships, he says,
and she sees from the swell of blue in his eyes,
he's going under.

Each explanation she offers, it ruptures him.
Every apology, a breach in his bow.
She's shunned into silence, too late.

She'd tried to refrain, to contain what she knew,
but her heart had escaped through her mouth once again,
and she sang like a siren.

Now she swims to him through screaming squalls
and pulls him to the shore.

Loose lips sink ships, she says,
but a kiss can save our souls.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Letting the weather in

The light changes.
Gravewalker goosebumps shiver on skin.
For one, slow, second,
sky stands still.
And then,
it hits the windows.
All around, grey ghosts surround the house.
Rap, rap, rapping,
bony knuckles on double-glazed glass.
Urgent voices moan and murmur,
whispering through broken brick.
One loose latch is rattling somewhere.
One small gap, one lock unlocked.
Quickly run before it comes.
Fumbling fingers must be fast.
And throw the window open wide
and call the cold to come inside. 


Now watch the rain wet windowsills
and stain the paper on the walls
and hear the heavens howling through the decorated hall.
Each gust adjusts the curtains neatly tied
and blasts the dust, that hides on every shiny surface.
Such stagnant air so suddenly alive, possessed by pressure,
woken by the chill of this ill-wind.
Each silent corner deafened by the din
of outside elements within. 


The light changes.
Now throw the window open wide
and let the weather in.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Nashalim (or Happy Birthday Steve)

The Nashalim has lost his wings.
They fell into a river, black as hell
in darkest Prague.  The scars
still sear his back.

Through centuries of misery,
his halo slipped and sank
into his fragile skull.
Its heat ignites his ancient mind.
It sparks and scorches every cell,
shoots lightening through his eyes.

But still he sings his sacred hymns.
His lips locked in eternal song.
And place a pen in his shaking palm
to see the psalms flow from his fingers.

And if you find yourself alone,
a broken bird or lost for words,
he'll send you a sign, a symbol, a sentence,
a prayer prepared for you.
Something so simple and absurd,
that you'd always known
just had never heard.

The Nashalim has lost his wings,
but still he soars,
with ravens on his shoulders.


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Snowflake Man (dedicated to Wilson 'Snowflake' Bentley)


You were born an original, don’t die a copy. John Mason

Sudden and silent,
a hushed rush of white,
falling from heaviest heaven.

Chaotic crystals of luminous light.
The day holds its breath,
lifts its head.

Frozen but fragile,
so softly they bite,
as Jericho’s snowflake man
rescues his jewels.
He hurries through flurries,
to capture, to save,
then watches each masterpiece melt.

And deep in December,
he dies for his art,
braves one blizzard too far
with his battered log books.
What he saw in the snowflakes,
he showed to a world
who just had no patience to look.

Runaways

Run away with me.

We’ll drive down roads
with old stone walls.
We’ll close our eyes
by waterfalls,
and listen.

You’ll show me how to skim a stone
and how to pick the perfect one.
I’ll catch the icy river ripples,
frozen like February in my phone.

We’ll walk through woods
with secret seats,
that whisper words
like poetry.

And then we’ll climb through crumbling castles,
on stairs that wind through distant times,
to watch the world from a stony view,
to see anew with ancient eyes.

And at the end of our adventure,
when reality returns in shivery slivers,
we’ll hide in the shadow of the unicorn without a horn
and rest our winter-sun scorched eyes.
And as his colour fades
so will the light from our secret day.

In darkness we’ll drive back
To cul-de-sacs and damp and debt,
We’ll crawl into our bed
And dream of freedom.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Motion (written in a ten minute exercise in Andrew Motion Masterclass at NEEC)


Cape Cod Morning by Edward Hopper


He watches her watch for him.
She's an open window.
He's near enough to hear her hum,
to see her smile, as she waits.
The darkness coaxes him.
He takes a step.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Leaves like birds

Leaves like birds,
birds like kites,
soaring on the other side of
boring business, bland bureaucracy.
Crispy, crunchy, catapulted, caught
by wind that sings and sighs,
drawing dismal eyes to windows.
Moody autumn moments moving,
crashing, calling to the core.
Cursing walls that separate us.
Rising, falling,
sky to floor.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Haiku (better short than never)

Scoop out my sweet flesh
Carve my face to smile for you
I glow like Autumn

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Hunger

Her hunger overcomes her.
She shakes with urgency.
Too many nights she's waited,
bated shallow breath in hopes of ecstasy.

She's played the part they gave her,
recited every line.
But every time, he missed his cue,
forgot the words.
He put the cage inside the bird.

With a thirst so sharp it hurts,
she leaves his stage,
she turns the page.

And the whiteness of that empty space.
The brightness of her changing place,
it dazzles her, it burns her eyes,
it turns her tears blood red.

And as the droplets run like rubies,
slipping down her haunted face,
she licks her lips, she sighs, she smiles.
She likes the way it tastes.

It was just one rose,
hand-picked for beauty,
one stolen rose, that woke the beast
and now the beast inside this beauty,
it bays, it begs, to be released.

So here, a suitor comes to call.
A single rose in an outstretched hand.
An offering she can’t resist.
A gentleman deserves a kiss.

And as she tastes his mouth, his neck,
his spicy, scented, supple skin,
she feels the twang of breaking bars,
she hears a roar from deep within.

And for a moment, silence finds her,
a cool blue eye inside the storm.
and all the pieces fit together,
and all the answers form.

She clings to her sweet sacrifice.
She sinks her teeth into his flesh.
She feels her lover’s arms go limp.
She drinks his life, she steals his breath.
Her first, a feast, she won’t forget.
She strokes his sleeping eyes wide shut.
She rests her head upon his shoulder.
She weeps, she sleeps,
she leaves.

And as she walks away
into the newest night, the darkest sky,
she feels a strange sensation,
something beating
where her heart should be.
Her hunger overcomes her.
She shakes with urgency.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Red Tree

I used to hate the sun.
I stayed indoors with rain in my heart.
You showed me the light.
You led me into the woods to touch the trees.
You made my paper willow wish come true.
You made the forest real.

You drew a red leaf on my wrist.
Each crimson line is cut into my skin.
An indelible reminder of the veins beneath,
the branches of the tree inside,
that blooms bright red for you.

And when you smile at me,
your white light radiates.
Its healing heat eradicates each darkened space within.
And I forget,
that once upon a time
my heart was broken.
And I forget,
'cos all I see is you.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Odd Socks (written for a writing challenge-not great but still a poem i guess)

I remember the first time I visited him here.
His dog ate my sock.
It was purple with white spots,
the sock not the dog.
I remember I thought it was cute.

I kept the odd sock that was left,
washed, dried, and saved, in my drawer.
Hidden there amongst the pairs,
useless, but too nice to throw away.

How fast a year can pass.

Now I hang odd socks on the line, his and mine.
While the dog eats rocks.
I call him in, he runs away. I wish for goblins every day.
It’s not that I’m a devil. I don’t despise the dog.
He’s lovely, when he sleeps.
His whimpering dreams and running legs are sweet and
when he rests his wide black head against my foot,
I cannot help but like him, stroke him, rub his orange belly hair.

But when he wakes he steals each peaceful moment. He chews the atmosphere.
Affection is aggression. He’s a dominator, aggravator. I miss my cat.
I miss the easy bliss of open doors and cups on floors.
I wish for coffee tables, candles glowing in the dark, the absence of the bark,
A silent space, a place for whispers, not one word commands.

But Beauty lives here with the Beast and that I cannot leave.
So I hang odd socks on the line, his and mine.
While the dog eats rocks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

H2NO (I am proud to provide a guest spot on my blog for the Lion, a new poet. Enjoy!)

The waves of my ocean crystallised.
My surfers’ paradise lost.
The reservoir of my soul dehydrated,
an arid landscape,
no place for man.
Looking,
searching,
for a mirage.
To rest.
Just emptiness.
Nothing in sight.
My cards on the table,
waiting to rise.
Dry eyes.

Optrex (the result of a writing challenge with a Redwood Thinker and a line from a lion)

I bought you a gift.
Who knew you could buy
tears in a bottle for those who cannot cry?
Just drop a witch in water
and the tide will turn.
They must burn.
Those hi-def insensitive eyes.
Made uncomfortable from t.v. and lies.
So much Blu-ray, Ebay, DVD, Groundhog Day.
You can wash it all away.
Refresh, soothe, cleanse.
But make amends?
Be friends?
No.
This is my parting gift.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bon Jovi wishes on a paper tree

Is this my wish?
The product of a paper tree?
Is this the kiss of fate, a date with destiny?
Is he my roses' rain, my poet's pain?
My happy ever after? This beautiful disaster?

Once the sky has broken,
it's hard to trust the sun.
Even the rain, it's not the same,
a different pane, perhaps?
My moonlight haunts me still,
but doesn't cross the sill in this new place.
As though it cannot reach me,
does not recognise my strange new face.

My tired eyes are wide,
but still I hide and seek.
I dare not speak.
My tongue may cut the clouds,
may burst my make-believe.

But this thing is real.
I feel it in the dark.
It pulls me near.
I hear it accidentally slip from lips
in drunken whispers,
only to retreat into the
silent spaces that we share.
Scared,
but I know it's there.

Is this my wish?
Is this my folded, knotted, once upon a dream?
My familiar gleam?
I know it's true
that visions are seldom as they seem,
but I know it's true.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Hard to swallow

This heaven’s not so sumptuous.
This sickly’s not so sweet.
It sticks, too thick inside my throat.
It burns.

Perfection passes quickly, like the
sunsets that I photograph.
I wait in darkness,
hoping for a fiery sky.

For you I’ll try to forget forever.
For you I’ll stop before I’m full.
For you I’ll quench my thirst with raindrops.
For half is better than a hole.

I’ll swallow eight little letters a day.
They stick, too thick inside my throat.
They burn.
But there they’ll stay.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Buoy

His silence engulfs her,
she’s crashing on rocks.
His tide pulls her in,
sweeps her out.
drags her under.

She’s gasping for air,
he’s right there,
he’s so far,
just beyond frantic fingers,
too distant to grasp.

His eyes are an ocean.
She’s drowning in blue.
Each tear pours more
salt in her wounds.

She’s treading his depths,
always waiting for waves.
Her heart is an anchor,
it sinks.

But there is the sun again,
warming her skin.
The water has calmed,
it caresses, it carries her.
Away in the distance a vision of land,
and something is next to her,
touching her hand,
She clings to her buoy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Slug Sundays (collaboration with Mr Nash)

They stumble through sludge,
shivering still,
from the cold up their sleeves.
Bundled in layers of comfort
that don’t quite protect.
Restricting, restraining.

The beast bounds ahead.
The two walk in silence, almost.
She breaks it with chatter, she beams.
She gazes at sky, gasps at streams.
The trees move the spaces inside her.
She stifles an utterance hiding in there.
Reaches her hands out instead.

Timid, she touches him,
kisses him, nudges him,
nestles and nuzzles,
as long as she dares.
Then falls back behind him,
or walks alongside him,
holding her heart in her throat.

The light fades above them.
The dark is a thief.
She pockets a pinecone.
She strokes every leaf.
Her camera can’t capture the feeling of forest,
the aura of air,
the vibrations beneath.

They drive back through postcards
and paintings in oil.
The sun sinks in pink,
turning every tree red.
Or at least in her head.

He turns up the music,
smiles, touches her leg.
The heater blows warmth in her face,
all around her. It rises inside her.
She stifles an utterance hiding in there.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A poem for a wedding

I try to find the words
but love's hard to describe.

It's stolen moments,
easy silence,
looks that could fill books.

It's cuddles in the kitchen.
It's driving in the dark.
It's turning up their favourite song.
Knowing they need the heater on.
Rushing to boil the kettle
when you hear their car.

It's the way you feel your heart swell
when they smile at you,
and the shiver
when their fingers touch your face.
It's minutes melting into hours.
It's laughing like a child.
It's snuggling on the sofa
when the weather's wild.

It's the news that isn't real
until you tell them.
It's the tissues that they bring you
when you cry.
It's talking when you know
they're really listening.
It's the understanding sigh.

It's the key that locks the door at night.
and the moment you turn off the light.
It's the arms that cling
and don't let go.
The nuzzled neck,
the shared pillow.
The touch that says much
more than any sentence.

I've tried to find the words,
I've tried.
But love's hard to describe.

Ribcage

My heart is a bird,
caged in my chest.
You make me remember my wings.

I used to feel safe
in the dark,
in the silence.
But you make me sing.

The world is still lovely,
viewed through my bars.
But the breeze strokes my feathers
when the door is ajar.
The sunlight is warm
and the clouds call my name.
The sky lifts me high.
Through my body
I rise.

My heart is a bird,
caged in my chest.
You make me fly.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

You brought the words with you

Cross through
into another realm
of silence.
Speak,
not knowing they have
no words and
suddenly words exist there.
You have given them words.


(a fragment of a crazy dream)

The Day The Clocks Went Back (a writing date collaboration with Mr Nash)

The Day the clocks went back,
the August sky bled grey.
Thirteen moths escaped through skin.
Chaos called. We let him in.
I saw you cry.

The roses lost their heads. The one
you gave me faded on my ribs,
the ink still wet,
the flesh still red.
I said goodbye.

The bath ran cold. My eyes ran dry.
The hermit left the house.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wing Envy

My muse has forgotten me,
left me in limbo,
alone
with a pencil
and pain with no name.

I’m impotent,
empty.
My words have escaped me.
They flow from friends’ fingers,
so fickle,
they trickle
down cheeks ,
plop on paper,
in poem shaped stains.

I watch them in wonderment,
wishing they’d come to me.
Craving the comfort
of newly formed things.
But my muse has forgotten me.
Silent, she flies from me.
I watch from beneath her,
and envy her wings.

Submersed

She bows her head and
weeps
over wistful water.
Weeps
like a willow.
Trailing her tangled tendrils,
wet
with tears,
wet
with river.
Slippery, rippling the reflections,
of memories,
A face she’d forgotten.
A place
she once knew.

They leave her,
so sudden.
Dissolve in the depths,
are lost in the
darkness beneath.

She traces the water
with tentative fingers.
She’s searching for
something,
a glimmer, a flicker.
She leans ever closer,
her face in the water,
wet
with tears,
wet
with river.
Submersed.

Her heavy head
sinks.
She surrenders
to silence.
The sky above
darkens.
The day takes
a breath.

She swallows
her sadness and
chokes on confusion.
Slipping so quickly now,
falling so far.

Her treasures are buried here,
hidden, protected,
A face she’d forgotten.
A place
she once knew.
She lays with them,
cradles them,
gathers them to her.
Her weeping eyes
glimmer,
a flicker.
Reflected in blue.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Confession

Forgive me Father, it has been two months since my last poem. My words are far from good, they are not perfect, but I have tried to do the 'write' thing. My creations are flawed but they are sacred all the same. Please look at them, judge them but show mercy. (Hee Hee...you know how us Catholic girls can be....)

Little Raven or Thank you Mr Nash

Bruised but not broken,
my tender wings, so heavy.
I lift them slowly.
I raise them upwards,
to the sky,
and bow before the stars.

A casual moth flits past my eyes.
I cry as I watch its moonlit waving wings,
I leap,
into the scattered darkness
I fall,
I float,
I dive,
Alive.
I rise.

I fly.

Breakout

I just loved him out of habit.
Regular routines of romance,
my part only,
I played,
my role of rejection
to perfection.

And now I am alone,
I realise
I've been this way for years.
So many tears,
wasted words,
and love
that ricocheted off deaf ears.

No more of not enough,
No more want, unwanted,
Invisible no more.

No more.

He's opened the cage door.

I'm out, I'm up,
in terrifying shades of blue.
He looks so small from here,
can hardly see him now.
My wings are stronger than I knew.
Gliding, climbing, falling, soaring,
I sing to the sky,
dance with the clouds.
My broken heart still beats,
it pounds,
and sounds,
like destiny.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Memory of Place (Inspired by Memory of Place-art installation at St Mary’s by Keiko Mukaide)


Floating little, lazy lights 
are drawn towards their trickling end.
Burning orange, amber, yellow.
Safe, encased,
in buoyant bowls.

Light through glass, it
flickers, dances,
circles slowly, ripples,
rests.

Moving always, nearer
to the edges,
to the final fall.

Huddled in amongst the rocks,
they wait, protected,
precious things.
Until they are returned again,
to start their dance once more.

Their watery song will keep the rhythm,
guiding them, enticing them.
Their glowing, pulsing love parade,
a pilgrimage, as one,
alone.

Their light will always shimmer,
on the water, on the stones.
Their light will always dance with joy.
A journey to the known.

Glass Tree (Inspired by Memory of Place-art installation at St Mary’s by Keiko Mukaide)


A glass tree hangs above me,
see-through, still and strong.
A hundred perfect, brittle branches,
float,
suspended,
long and lonely,
only inches
from the ground.

They waver slightly, caught
by currents. Cool air through a hula skirt.
Far too clear to ever handle.
Much too clean to touch the dirt.

Frozen, in its rigid beauty.
Wistful, willow, of
crystal tears.
Formed in fire, now
long forgotten.
Left to
reflect
a former light.
An echo, carried
through the years.

Paper Willow - Wishing Tree (Inspired by Memory of Place-art installation at St Mary’s by Keiko Mukaide)


If wishes were willows,
they’d line every street.
They’d rustle and crinkle
their white paper leaves.

They’d hang low and heavy
with the weight of our woes.
They’d lean and embrace us
in long silent rows.
They’d keep our small secrets,
in loosely tied bows.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Almost new...

The poem below (Fall Out Bird) is a bit of a cheat poem, because it isn't really new.  I just found it in an old notebook, where I'd obviously left it until I could come back and tweak it.  So I quickly tweaked it and stuck it on here in the guise of new work.  It could probably do with a bit more tweaking, but for now it's another step towards new stuff, so I'm o.k. with it.  Hope you like it (if anyone is actually reading this-hee).  Oh and it's inspired by the first line of a Fall Out Boy song, hence the title.

Fall Out Bird

You're a canary,
I'm a coalmine.
You rattle your cage,
but there's no escape.
My winding black tunnels
stretch longer,
plunge deeper,
and daylight is so far away.
You chirp on your perch and
you fluff yellow feathers,
but cold, heavy blackness is 
weighing you down.
You gasp and you sway
as your shrill song is
silenced.
This air is too toxic,
it poisons your lungs.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Time Flies


(Inspiration from York Art Gallery)

Dirty brown feathers,
on tired, old wings.
Resting now, dusty, detached.
The ticking has ceased, for
this time has run out.
No more beating heart,
beating sky, from beneath.
No more slippery air,
sliding through, falling down.

A home made of glass, 
lined with leather, and light.
Where words are your nest,
misty relics your eggs.
Muffled now, hushed voices
sing for you, slow.
Then flutter away, in
hard, wooden steps.

Storm

(Inspiration from Castle Museum)

Thunder rattles brittle windows,
blackened sky pours down.
Water splashes shiny cobbles,
Lightening cracks the ground.

My window seat is draughty,
the wind, it reaches in.
Water pools on tinted glass,
my warmth comes from within.

This trinket box, I'm cradling,
this pretty, silver, tomb,
it holds a secret, small and precious,
that makes my cool face burn.

My thoughts are embers,
sparking, dancing,
leaping through my rainy eyes.
They fly to you, through
storms and darkness.
They call to you,
from broken skies.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Ink

Ink
Sinks
Into skin.
Colours bleed
Into blood.
Steel stings,
Scrapes,
Sears,
Scorches,
Stains my flesh.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Awakening

Awakening is the name of my MA Dissertation.
It is a long short story, with poetry weaved through.
It is a story about a girl who has lost her inspiration, and rediscovers it in an unusal way.
It is about awakening creativity, passion
and the inner self.

Below are the fairy tale themed poems from the text.

Red Cloak (from Awakening)

You claw at my skin,
Slashing and shredding.
Such terrible teeth
To tear tender flesh.

You scrape at my bones,
So savage, you ravage me,
Rip me and ruin me,
Gobble me up.

You followed me here,
Through the woods,
Through the wilderness,
Shadowing, Stalking,
Preparing to pounce.

You waited, you watched,
With magnificent eyes,
Eyes like burnt amber,
Devoured the darkness,
They glowed, as you growled,
As I reached out my hand.

I teased you, I tempted you,
Begged you to bite me,
Invited you in,
To my little white home.

And now you consume me,
You swallow me down.
I hide in your belly
As heavy as rocks.

My blood flows with your blood,
My heart beats with your heart,
My feral soul haunts you,
We howl at the moon.

My cloak lies in tatters
Beneath your huge paws.
A wolf and a wildling,
We now hunt as one.

As White as Snow (from Awakening)

As white as snow,
As red as blood,
As black as ebony,
My face betrays me.

I reach into my own reflection,
Though I cannot reach the one who watches.
I cannot touch the one who taunts me,
Tempts me, tricks me,
Hunts me, haunts me.
The mirror cracks
Into a thousand icy shards,
To stab me with.

My heart is knotted tight like branches,
In a twisted, tangled tree.
I wait in wintry woods so silent,
I wait for death to come for me.

It knocks on my door
In a long black shawl,
Face and voice disguised.
It wraps me up in coloured ribbons,
Combs my hair with poisoned teeth,
Lures me from my loneliness,
To murder me.

Yet still I breathe,
I cry, I scream.
I hide away, I sleep, I dream.

But fools soon forget to fear the dark,
Young girls desire dangerous things,
Forbidden fruit tastes so delicious,
And angels often lose their wings.

I surrender to my destiny,
With just one bite, I faint, I fall.
I slip into my sleeping death,
No longer fairest of them all.

A Hundred Years Of Dreams (from Awakening)

The woods reach through my window,
Branches break the glass.
Their tendrils trail around my bed,
Where no one else may pass.

Leaves fall on my pillow,
To scent my golden hair.
It spills onto the floor
And there entwines
With roots and vines,
They twist around my leaden limbs
And climb with ivy
Up the walls.

My blanket’s weaved with blood red roses,
My fingers’ pricked with flax and thorns.
I rest in this,
My sleep-cursed crib,
I’m waiting to be born.

I tire of my slumber,
A hundred years of dreams.
I see such things behind these flickering lids,
Inside my silent world, I scream.
Tears leak out of eyes shut tight
And trickle down my cheeks,
Like sugar water.

My damson lips are ripe and full,
I murmur and they part.
They’re ready to be tasted,
By the one who’ll come,
To wake me,
To take me, to his heart.
I yearn to be awakened,
I’ve slept too long now, in the dark.

Bluebeard (from Awakening)

I hold the key to a secret chamber,
I clasp it in my hand.
Silver, smooth, hard and heavy,
It weighs me down.

I stole it from the monster,
But the monster first stole me.
He tricked me into wanting him,
He plucked me from monotony.
His hunger made me wonder,
What a feast my flesh may be.

But once he’d roused my appetite,
He laughed at my desire.
He teased me with the taste of love,
But hid his heart in darkened rooms,
His passion saved for bridal tombs.
For fatal fantasies.

He left me on our honeymoon,
He left me to explore.
He gave me every key, for every cupboard, every door.
He showed me the forbidden key,
He told me where to find the lock.
He dared me to deceive him, disobey,
His eyes, they begged me to betray.

And so, I turn the silver key,
Just as he wished I would.
But any hope of fantasy is drowned in blood.
I feel the vision stain my soul,
I glimpse my destiny.
But something stronger takes control,
I turn, I flee.

I leave the castle made of stone,
I run into the shaking trees.
I curse his name beneath the moon,
I vow to slay my monstrous groom.
I’ll stake his heart, cut off his head,
I’ll stain his blue beard red.