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,

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.


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

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 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.