poems

Eyeball

 

my eyeball is scratched or

there’s a filament of lint on it

and I lie here and wonder if

I’ll go blind

a bit melodramatic

more like think if

I’ll still feel it in the morning, if not

will I remember

the ghost of lint past?

contact lenses

I look better but I don’t see better

And my big toe hurts

at the side where

the nail’s cut too short

maybe it’s infected

or my sheet is tucked too tight

maybe it’s cancer

we don’t talk anymore

in bed because

you’re not here

and

there’s a sort of pride in holding all one’s own problems

inside one’s own head but

oh well

good night.

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@alia_wilhelm

 

 

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Pack up your bushel in your old kit bag: Spoken word

 

I think the problems

are the bad things ?

I think the strengths weak

oh, cut the strings

 

Talk, talk, talk, talk

feels like a beginning

but it’s banter, chatter, nothing-muchof

saying ‘I am’ is not winning

 

It’s all fused like

a mangled globe of light

don’t hide it under a bushel, love!

but what if/ the bad things/ the bad thoughts/ the bad strengths/ the bad weaks/ the bad weeks/ the bad strings

are right?

 

 

Soundcloud link: https://soundcloud.com/user-808707280/recording-125

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@pieschwarzler

Bluelight

The world makes itself anew

colder and darker

in this hemisphere

begins to shutter herself

for winter and why

do I always see a dull sunrise

over the Piccadilly line

those rows and rows of human homes

neat and pointed, roofs as far

as the eye can see

I can see

the world begin and end here

maybe

mean old time

is a bully from Greenwich

a bleak day

for a new year

as the pall of a zillion tiny screens

slides over faces

uncaring and uncareful with unshed

bluelight tears

Blood

every woman knows

how to wash

blood from cloth

so it disappears

you might see the shadow of the stain

if you know how to look

oh, we hear the whispers

secret shames, not saying names

like we know the ache of

cold hands

cracked with soap

to soak blood away

tendrils shift and flow but

no, never be new again

blood, blood, indelible and

has War been declared?

or merely a parable

as we breathe battle cries

in soft, lipstick-smears

but

don’t underestimate the touch

the shrill, strident, bossy, quiet, nurturing clamour

of those who ken

how

to out blood

because we know how

know when,

oh, me too

minor, major, doesn’t matter

the wound sits

dark, underneath

and maybe it’s time

to win a battle

crack silence, a shot

and

take a little ground

do not, do not, underestimate the power

of those whose life is bound

in blood and shadows

do you feel it? The rising awe, the gore

I can taste blood. Blood! I can taste

a shift. blood

Blood,

I can taste…

victory

 

 

Added to dVerse open link night

atmosphere

 

between the top of clouds and

the lid of the sky

sunlight breathes shallow and sits

in thin air

her warm fingers edged with

cold wind

the weight of majestic rays

higher than mountains, above fields

alone, over hidden cities of busy lives,

the mess and rush of love and hate, real life

up here

not really anywhere,

significant

temporary

ripped only by metal wings or feathered flight

mostly, a lonely nowhere

except

hovering in that secret blue place

I ache and stretch tendrils of tenderness,

could I reach?

everywhere

my yearning

feels like atmosphere

 

 

 

The inspiration for this came in part from a poem by Frank Hubeny which conjured the idea of the sun above the clouds having its own little game up there.

I sat on this for a month because I was planning to submit it to a journal callout for ‘immigrant poems’ — it speaks to my experience as an expat/person out of place/away from home. But then I got busy and missed the deadline, oops. 

Photo: Idella Maeland on Unsplash

cars & guitars

try to pin thoughts

like pressing guitar strings into

my heart – tender meat – but

I never learnt that instrument

apart from listening

my fingers, so clumsy

I can’t. No. I can’t

understand anymore

where do I start

already halfway gone, and

there’s no place to

pull in

open up my bonnet

tweak the engine, maybe

put a new one in

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@felipeluiz27

dreamwindow

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@joelmwakasege

 

dreamt I fell in love

it was so simple

like a small clear window

didn’t have to search for it

didn’t have to try

 

your clean, sudden lines

eyes smiling in delight

you said

it’s us now, forever

for however long that lasts

I laughed, and said

you know

I used to find you annoying

with your past life, past wives…

 

our movie showed a map

we travelled across Tanzania

on the coca-cola croc train

stopping here and there

to refill our canteen

 

dreamt I fell in love

it was so simple

looked down and it was there

like a small clear window

certainty at last

a strip of perfect light

 

dreamt I fell in love

oh, come back night

 

I played around with trying to turn this into a sonnet but it didn’t work so well. Maybe it’s a ‘deconstructed sonnet’.

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@joelmwakasege

Added to dVerse open link night 

Disobedient

 

Sid Vicious “I did it My Way” RIP Sid & Nancy Spungen, you disobedient delinquents. Photo: https://sonicmoremusic.files.wordpress.com/2014/04/swindle.jpg

 

I wrote every day

every day

then started to disobey

my plans and programmes

I guess

life

got in the way

distracted in the fray

of various this and thats until

well…

sometimes you need to rebel

I make the rules, I break the rules, no one tells me what to do

I always say

and no one fucking publishes rhyming poems either

I may

have discovered too late

but here we are today

you like it, hey?

keep on

disobeying

 

Written obediently in response to the WordPress daily prompt: Disobey

Empty Words

all the words have been used

I’m just making biscuit-ends

from scraps of pastry

language left behind

don’t want to waste it

can’t say or write

anything new so I

bake it lukewarm and then

gorge on

empty calories

and press up the crumbs

on wet fintertips as

thick clouds of ideas

stifle my mind but

when

they drift

from my mouth

they’re the thin smoke

of banned cigarettes