Feb 02
poem challenge: Lifeline

First Love

As the hair extends into the ground, 
Holding all. Stabilise, renew. 
Find solace ‘neath what once was her arms
There’s life in you yet. 

Back, back to when she stood outside your window
And tapped to remind you that she was,
And always would be. 
It’s quiet now- the walk to find the sweet air’s longer but
Never regrettable

She lets you lick
Her rough skin 
And scrape her body. Permanent and 
understanding. Your sweet serenade won’t
Hit her- touch must be your voice. 

Bid her goodbye,
Kiss each leaf like your firstborn and
 spot her sisters.
Tendrils through the ground snatch at your feet-
It’s an honourable fate.   

 
Jan 13

Dinner Party

Lay the table,
Where all the women will be sat. 
Soft linen wraps her wooden body.
What once was a growing life, 
Feeds the darlings now. 
 Preparation chews up life- 
 All is ready. 

Mother is in the kitchen 
Abusing her steamed slop. 
 At least it’s warmth. 
May the grey mush wrap you close,
As she once did by her bosom 
Through these desolate winter shadows. 

The shawled parade marches in- 
The usual is discussed with a certain sullen longing. 
 And you’ve never felt more alone 
Trace the oaken figure with your fingertips, 
She whispers to do what you must. 
They continue the reminiscence as you slip into the night. 

Sighs of wandering souls claw desperately at your ears,
Strike up the flame, inhale its gift to you. 
Thank God for something, nothing, everything. 
And dwell on Mother. 
Are your footsteps just a prelude to her? 
Nov 30

Drummer

Bated breath
Shadows, sullen whispers
And eyes. Infinite eyes – the audience collected. 

Gentle rhythms rock the night. 
My feet on the ground. Hand on the door. Cup on the floor. 
Syncopated. Deliberate. 
A life?
An endless piece. 
Snatched, taken out of time. 

The curtain’s been here for years.
They are not content. 
They do not jeer – no compost thrown. 
But they plead
More! More! 

We all have our obligations.

March on, my love 
There will be time to think one day.

 
Nov 17

Winter

Those crackling mornings when the frost holds its breath,
Bring back the girlhood unceremoniously dumped in the muck. 
A glee wrapped up in scarf and coat,
Family with the frozen dewdrops. 

It’s still an isolation, 
But one by choice. 
The church bells call out in this lonely field, 
The last place on earth! 
They cry- you have the freedom to ignore it

This peace won’t last the spring. 
Once you’ve made your peace with that, 
You can bury yourself in the snow. 
Your own liminal paradise

 
Oct 29

Permanence

They’ve filled their mouths with dirt,
elegantly crumbling from any available pore.
It’s the right idea. 
Dispersing that clump of guilt into chunks 
For the lives that passed through.

Every headlight glimmers.
it’s all too fast, too fast. 
Each moment lost, fogged up.
Better take your hands off the wheel.

There’s nothing they can change. 
it’s not your fault. 
But they misinterpret everything they come across, 
The envy is wrong. This seems obvious. 
Still,
When will the rapture end?

 
Oct 26

Sinner's imagination

A riddle’s just a ticket to a dreamer.
The excuse to wander, in prayer and song
He sits in the bin. 
By his own volition?
Who’s to say, 
Convinced the glimmering city lights are so much more 
Than what they’ve revealed to him.
That the layers of filth coat a fate so grand, 
The dumpsters of the world will gasp in awe. 

And he ignores 
The smoking gun, the crying woman and the jeering young men
For the smogged-out stars
Form a map so bright 
They’ll lead him home.

Bullets may riddle the night. 
But the dust in his lungs creates a pattern.
He knows what he must do.
From the bin he leaps,
His quest unfinished. 

(inspired by & quotes 'Potter's Field' by Tom Waits)
 
Oct 17

hilltop politics

She takes her place atop the mountain
White goo trickles from her mouth. 
Trumpets hail her arrival- entourage shall be here soon.
She must wipe away her shame.
 
The dancing clown, in leaps and bounds.
Will perform its way up.
It does not bring a smile to the face of master.
Exiled from prison,

Their eyes will meet.
No words exchanged,
She is swept away.
Just a memory on the wind.

 
Oct 03

Contrarian


It is hard to love someone who’s drowning.
In and out of the murky waters. 
When she bobs to the surface, the light in her smile dazzles me.
Every word she says brings a new conviction. 
And when she sinks again, 
Of course I try to join her, 
But her face dulls in the deep.
Thoughts are sluggish. 

She’s flighty, too. 
In and out of my life, 
Like the swallows migrating on a drowsy autumn night. 
A horrible, unloveable specimen.
Let her try to be known.


 
Sep 30

wreckage


Every space has been lived in at some point or another, I think.
Look closely at your feet as you make your way down the road.
The hands of former travellers grasping desperately for your shadow
Embrace them.
Feel a weary exhale on the back of your neck
Let it pass through you.

You have reached your destination.
Once a home. Just a house these days.
Approach the table in the centre of its solitary room.
There is a deck of cards on the table, my gift for you.
Look. Don’t touch.
Reach into your pocket, what do you find?
It is a small statue of a baby (not yours)
Leave it on the table.
A surprise for the next soul drifting through your trodden path.
 
Sep 27

love for creator

that look will stay with me.
through the train window i was searching aimlessly for meaning,
when i finally reached her.
 a tall body obscured my view, 
the frustration built. 
 
and then she smiled. 
she smiled for me. 
the body blocking me moved toward her.
clearly he thought that look was his. 
and although they seemed familiar, 
i knew it was mine.
i have never felt more understood. 
her eyes spoke to me. comfort that had eluded me since those early days in the nursery. 
 
 
she knew more than i did. 
she had always been there. i just hadn’t spotted her.
it was her breath that made clay man.
her eyes that gave sparkle to the sky.
she had tread every well-worn path.
put everything in place 

for that moment on the train.
the smoke took her away. 
but i can feel her in the air.

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