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An Abundance of Ashes (2020)

 

Which face can I carve on today?

In biro so it sinks into my flesh;

In crayon so the wax melts off in disgrace;

In paint so the colours crease into my skin;

Or in pencil when the pen starts to thin?

 

Tell me which of me will come out

in stardust or in sin?

 

A temperament of fire, so fresh in burning

That it singes the edges. Leaves everything

To lie coated

In ashes.

 

A lavement of water that casts over

to drench all to the bare bones.

Icy and thick with salt

And black as a sea-nymph’s cave

 

Immense illuminations and

Lightshows.

Expertly crafted in lucid,

Loud and bold splices of the spectrum.

 

How will I love

you today?

 

With wondrous architecture

I shall chisel out your frame

Onto gold and marble.

Carve “Greatest of All”

On the plaque below

 

As I

Look up in awe at your stone-white eyes.

 

 

Or in mass contempt

I shall despise your

Alabaster soul.

Smash you into cinders

And spit out the shards

              Without much reason at all.

Will I go hungry today

As I give into the distorted image?

As I’ve done for many years.

Never knowing quite how to interpret

That mirror image I so despise,

Without much in the way

Of clarification for reality’s truth.

 

 

Will I be forced into a different suit

That feels like bleach on my skin

And smells of rot and plastic?

Makes me itch and bleed;

Skin particles stuck underneath my nails.

 

Place another mask

Over my visage;

Tear it off,

Leaving vessels and tissue

To stretch out the eye-sockets;

Lips; teeth; cheeks

And every scar in between

 

Until you start

 

to recognise me.

 

Will I disappear into the void,

As I, my body, my mind,

Disintegrate into dust;

Lost in the light spectrum.

 

Do I go another day

Without much of me?

(or too much of me).

 

Will you tell me that much at least?

 

Will

You

Tell

Me?

 

 

You

Tell

Me?

 

Tell

Me?

 

Me?

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Borderline, (2020)

 

A sole dancer pirouettes

Against that grainy, lifeless soil.

A Hundred glimpses of shadowy faces

Veering through that mucky cloud

With different sneers and smiles

Cast in the iron of their mouths

Are dancing right beside her.

 

One by one, they take a turn

grabbing the dancer by her patchwork wrists.

Spin her into their submission

taking the stage as one.

 

Too tight!

 

Too strong!

 

Too much!

 

Locked in arms that will never hold her

But still provide some comfort.

Perhaps familiarity.

Their fingernails and thumbs dig into her arms.

Make her bleed again.

Drinking up that river vibrancy

To live, to live, to live!

 

In waltzes and twirls she is carried

In and out of that moonlit gaze.

 

A dancer with a smile so tight;

So wide;

So maniacal,

Laughing, laughing, laughing!

A grin so menacing

and full of ecstasy!

Laughing, laughing, laughing!

Dancing!

In a salsa!

Foxtrot!

Tango!

Laughing and dancing!

Dancing and laughing!

Cackling like hens!

Howling like owls!

Convulsing!

 

She begs to stop:

“I’m tired”,

through giggles.

The shadow’s smirk

Does not crack.

Instead grows

With delirious merit.

 

“Dance! Dance! Dance!”

They chime.

 

and she dances.

 

Thrown to the next,

snares her in her grasp.

In clasped, clawed fingers

they begin to dance.

But

This

One

Does not smile

 

It rages and shouts and screams

 

Blood-scratched irises.

 

Blood in their fists

From holding on too tight.

 

It rages on and on

The dancer rages too.

Fury in the scrunches

Of her face.

But she does not know why

She furies.

 

Starts to scream

(Jaw still stiff,

locked from rage)

“I’m tired!”

Does not smile.

Instead slaps her

With furious merit.

 

“Dance! Dance! Dance!”

They chime.

 

and she dances.

 

Pushed to the next

Shadowy figure.

This one is drowning

In melancholy.

Tears tainting

That face

In streams.

Limbs barely moving;

Weighted, heavy, thick.

Slow dancing like sleepwalking.

Both dancers lay tired

On the others chest.

Eyes puffy and drowned

With that bitterness;

Lemon-soured hopelessness.

“I’m tired” she sobs,

Muffled into the wet T-shirt.

The other dancer pulls back:

They stare into each other,

Souls bare and faint.

 

“I know” she replies.

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(But most importantly)  (2019)

 

Tell me I breathe fire 

When I only blow smoke.  

Got to break through the words 

When one only chokes. 

Spit out bloody teeth. 

Reminisces of a tongue. 

Trying to find the power 

to say the things, I mean.   

 

I’ve always found it hard 

To pour out my heart, 

And not expect to  

break the banks; 

Or for rivers to thunder into seas. 

But you helped me find  

the oceans 

That calmed my soul to stillness. 

 

And when I could only fathom  

drowning 

You lifted me to the surface. 

Shattered the rocks that kept me 

Under.  

 

while I drifted against the foam 

I saw a reflection; 

The light of the sun 

In the cool of the stream. 

Mirrored in the curves 

Of your cheeks, 

And the stardust 

Of your bronze eyes. 

 

Tell me what it means 

When the sunlight trickles 

Down your face. 

How nothing else could be 

As promising as the  

Rain droplets that shimmer in 

The locks of your hair. 

 

And how the wind, when it blows 

Through your clothes, 

takes you so softly into  

the air and sky. 

I’d like to see the stars 

Be as beautiful as you. 

The only warming glow when  

the rest of the world 

Is consumed by darkness.  

The trees could try to be 

As strong; the flowers as sweet.  

 

The water to carry life 

Like you carry yours.  

 

Fire could never be  

as passionate  

and ignited as the flames 

in your veins and blood, 

as you conquer your dreams. 

 

Even if the aspects of the world: 

(The specks; the dust;  

the corners of the earth) 

mimicked your footsteps, 

 

they’d never match 

how you make my heart grow.  

 

how you gave me sanity 

In an insane world. 

 

blessed me with care 

and tenderness, 

In manners I thought 

Impossible.  

 

There will never be  

enough words 

To thank you. 

 

I will give you the 

Universe 

As you have gifted me 

Infinity.   

 

(But most importantly) 

 

I will love you 

Endlessly.   

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Ode to My Mind – A Headless Dream, 2020

 

Ode to my mind, you screwed up piece of shit.

You have gotten me through a lot – I’ll give you that

But you run on constant loop and that tires me out.

And sometimes you have nothing good to say

(you don’t know the rules of the quiet game

And I wish you’d just shut up)!

 

I’ll admit you often sing me songs

(In which I happily sing along).

But you scream over the melody

“That person fucking hates you” and

“You’re a waste of space” and

“Here’s a nasty thought you didn’t ask for”.

Okay! I get it! I’m an asshole

But Muse are playing

So, could you kindly be quiet.

 

Oh, then you are silent!

It’s a dream…until ten minutes later

when you fancy another bout of

attention-seeking.  

Oh, I enjoyed the flash image

of that traumatic event in my life!

Thank you! Next time send me a postcard.

It lasts longer…

 

Will I actually get to sleep tonight?

Or do you fancy a game of the worry-loop

in which I run around after you

trying to catch up.

Or will you present to me many scenarios

of what my identity might be today.

Ah perfect! I love a game of Guess Who!

before my 8-hour shift tomorrow.

 

But I must say, for everything you do

you are a bit of a smart-ass

and have the facts

to back up your big ideas.

You have gotten me pretty far in life

(although the road was a tad bumpy)

and you did help me write this poem

so, kudos to you, I guess…

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The Right To My Body (2019)

 

As I sit and wonder here
Who owns the right to my body.
The ability to touch and feel,
Grab or push or hold.
Who has the right to follow my body
Wherever it may carry me,
Who takes my space
As their own.
Who thinks they have the right
To take it is as their own.

Who has the right to my body.
The right to hold what isn’t theirs,
Pinch it in secrecy
And wear a mask
In the crowd where those cannot see,
Or do, and take no notice.
Freedom to act in malicious intent
And steal my safety
Because others have given right to my body.
Take their claws over my legs,
My thighs, my arms,
Move fingers passed the line
And snatch the right to my body.
Dig stares into my body
Like I am prey,
As they take stance as predators
And forget my heart
As they take right to my body.
Snicker and grimace,
Say words to taunt me,
Claim me,
Belittle me,
Take right to my body.



 

Who has right to take my body.
To see me as their doll,
Their plaything,
Their next accomplishment.
Sweet victory.
Who has right to my body,
The body which I have nurtured to grow.
I have healed.
I have comforted when cold,
When alone.
Who has the right to my body,
One I have painted in art and colours,
Journeyed with.
Started adventures and made triumphs.
Loved others. Held others in my arms when the weight of the world kept them on their knees.
Who has the right to my body
Which I have hurt unkindly;
Taken for granted,
Starved and burnt,
Yet it has forgiven me.
It knows how much I need it,
How much I truly love it
As it carries and protects me
And helps me to discover greatness.

Who has the right to my  body.
The body that has no owner.
That does not deserve to be taken,
Hurt,
Stolen,
Beaten,
Invaded.
But loved as it loves to,
And to live a life
Until it is joined with
The growing ground.

 

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The Snake In The Grass (2018)

 

Splinters of green. Emerald Shards.

Silver-gold specs of sand.

The ground burned down by the Sun

Upon the drying land.

 

Low, so low to the earth and dust

Leaves like hands that hold the rain

and stalks and spindles twisting

To course the water-veins.

 

Entwined in weeds growing tall

A ribbon of scales slithering.

The bending of its back morphing

onto pastures forever-withering.

 

The pigments scarlet and coal

That coast the crust of the globe

So wicked in their beauty.

So daring to behold.

 

The skin appearing to shimmer

with a coat of silk-like slime

But so often is deceived

And misjudged in other eyes.

 

For the grounds that doth embrace

Know the sheath is not as such

But soft like velveteen-clouds

That caresses to the touch.

 

And the power of the creature

To be touching life and death,

And be born again exquisitely

But not take a different breath.

When the old is but outgrown.

Falls off like flakes of snow.

And reap the seeds of rebirth.

New flesh that shall be sewn.

 

The energy of this cycle

That turns and turns with vigour

And bestows green-envy in others

Unable to stitch grace in rigour.

 

This creature defined so lowly

And Machiavellian in its glide

Can shed the falseness of its back

And to its truth abide.

 

The God of Metempsychosis

Hiding within the strands of life.

On a throne drawn from stone

Rule with decay and rife.

 

In the spines of grass and lush.

The ground that drinks the daylight

A being that revives its heart

And its own story doth rewrites.

 

The world as it should follow

And lead by serpent reason

And turn and face the integrity

Of our own recounting seasons.