Wild Opals

I saw you

Above the tiles that promised to keep out the rain

Your eyes were opal, that’s how I remembered them

And the sun was always setting but your hair was more golden than the light

I sat crossed legged

Like a child waiting to hear a fairytale

Your nails were short

But not bitten, you had been working on the land

And your fingers were stained by the soil

Or the cigarettes you used to smoke

You told me smoking was bad for your health

I assumed you stopped, you never told me you had

And we were there

Saying very little to each other but then we never did speak much

My joints loosened as you spoke and your rhythm pulsed within me

Your voice

Still, those whispers caught in the tide

Are your way

Go North you told me

Catch the red berries

Place them on the ground around your shivering body

Breathe into your cold palms

And let your warmth remind you

That you are enough

I called you a witch

Because I couldn’t pen you down

You were defiant against description

Beyond the madness of sanity

I was haunted by you

And as I prayed to understand you

Your craft I wished to home

I was gifted with an empty note

And a furious breeze

That beckoned towards the northern sea

Keep moving, I hear

Don’t stiffen with the wanting

As then you’d be like those

And I, I hear

Have become, already.

Objects

Some days I just don’t have the words

And I’ve nothing of importance to say

No mammoth revelations or shifting beliefs that could permanently change my foundations yet mean jack-shit to anyone else

Some days the poetry flows

Others, the inanimate object holds my absolute attention

For minutes, sometimes hours, I stare

No output

Some days I’ve got nothing to give

So I take

And the object becomes no longer an object I know by name

It becomes shapeless and unfamiliar for my projections

Sepia toned filters

1988, I’m 6

Ex-lovers revisit with distasteful words

Damn them

Focused stares raise questions

That I’ll probably never answer

I wonder upon many wonders

Knotted desires unravel

And clarity arouses me

Until they ravel back

We get lost, the object and I

Suddenly there’s an understanding about not ever understanding what I’m supposed to have understood all along

Until my understandings pass

And I’m so fixed; I’m detached from the world around me

Then I begin to understand again

Until I don’t

Some days I just don’t have the words

And I’ve nothing of importance to say

But held within my stare lives a whole world of importance

The object knows

Until the objects name is resumed and we merge back into the realms of reality

But it’s not really reality at all, is it?

The object knows

Topsy-Turvy

What a topsy-turvy world this be

Where cats go moo

And cows go boo

And dogs live under the sea

 

What a topsy-turvy world this be

Where smiles cry tears

And laughing spreads fears

And a frown can fill hearts with glee

 

What a topsy-turvy world this be

Where stones taste like bread

And figs made of lead

Are crushed to make afternoon tea

 

What a topsy-turvy world this be

Where songs burn words

And words catch birds

And birds drink the bark of a tree

 

What a topsy-turvy world this be

Where eyes do speak

And ears do to peek

And to open a mouth needs a key

 

What a topsy-turvy world this be

Where man loves to ban

And banned is the man

To roam lands of the wild and free

 

A preposterous world, if you ask me

 

 

The Tree and Me

FullSizeRender

“Stop! Look at me”

How sternly he spoke, the old crooked tree

“You’d just pass me by

With no thought as to why,

All the whispers you hear

As you draw yourself near

To us old, lonely trees

You can hear us say please,

Please listen to our stories

We’ve so much to share!”

 

“I’m sorry”, I replied

See, I’d not thought of why

As I’m so busy walking

I’ve no time for talking.

I most often I find

To talk slips my mind

And all through the day

I just seem to ignore those who get in my way.

 

So I said to the tree…

“I don’t walk through these woods to notice the birds

Or to wait for the breeze to carry your words

I take little notice of flowers in spring

Or the feathers that fall from a pigeons wing.

I can’t see the fairies that live in your bark

And the lure of their glow as they brighten the dark.”

 

“HA!” said the tree, “you can see to great lengths

To witness our world, what a marvellous strength!

Most humans will miss the beauty you see

And you are, after all, stood talking to me.”

I thanked the tree for being so kind

I guess he was right, I was not so blind.

“Come rest in my shade as the sun blares his heat

And take some weight off those travelling feet.”

So I did, I rested and we spoke some more

About the trolls and the fairies and forest law.

 

“Can you hear me?” a voice that came from afar

“Sure” I replied, “But can’t see where you are?”

“It’s me!” said the dog as he bounded our way

Looking as if he just wanted to play.

Yet it seems I was wrong, as he needed to pee

He cropped up his leg and aimed straight at the tree.

“It happens a lot” the tree did not care

“They all pee on me, from the deer to the hare.”

The dog perched himself in the shade next to me

In silence we sat, to just breathe, just to be.

The dog then said, “No-one hears what I say

My keeper, he walks the same way each day.

Yet I like to roam around places unknown

But I can’t as my keeper would curse and then moan.

So I ran from his sight to explore places new

What fun that I did as I’ve now found you!”

 

The story continues as next came a horse

“I seem to have strayed from my usual course”

This pleased the dog

“Come sit in the shade

This friendly tree made

We’re talking of nothing,

The best topic of all!”

 

So, the dog, the horse, the tree and me

We talked as you would over afternoon tea

Is it weird I can talk to a dog, horse and tree?

That I understand them and they understand me?

 

Three men cycled by, not a care in the world

Their wheels churned the mud as they skidded and swirled.

Up popped a worm, at first sight she looked sad

But her cheeks, they turned red and her eyes, they turned mad

“What’s this I hear?

I’ll make myself clear

I don’t like the sound

As you pound on the ground

It disrupts my day

I don’t like it that way!”

And so said the tree…

“It wasn’t me!

Twas was the cycling three.”

“Ah” said the worm

“I see.”

 

The next thing you know

There are 5 in this show

And we all sit and chat

About this, about that.

 

The time soon came for the dog to go home

His keeper came by and gave him a bone

“I thought you’d run off, so I got you a treat

Let’s make our way home and I’ll cook you some meat.”

So off they went, and the horse, he went too

“If the sun were to set, I’d not know what to do!

It’s warm in my stables and I’ve so much to eat

I’ve people to brush me and public to greet”

So off he trot, his head held high.

“It’s you, me and the tree” said the worm to I

“But I’ll have to go soon as it’s getting too hot

If I stay here too long, I’ll go crispy and rot!”

She buried herself in the Earth, digging deep

It didn’t take long before she fell fast asleep.

And so said the tree…

“You’re more than welcome to stay here with me

It’s free in these woods, we don’t charge a fee”

Such words, they are truly hard to resist.

 

So I stayed with the tree as the sky painted pink

Not haunted by worry or reasons to think.

How perfect this moment, how perfectly free

I’m so glad that today I made friends with a tree.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broken

 

There’s no smile to fake

No branded pill I can hourly take

It is what it is, like the death of a star

The empty tank in a travelling car

Time, they say, it takes a lot

Gobbling moments, losing the plot

Fuck this

Fuck that

Wipe your feet on the welcome mat

Home? A place to dry these bones

To close the curtains and turn off my phone

My nails are bitten

The poems are written

What more can I do

But wait.

Those Days…

 

When your thoughts resemble the chaos in space

That dark, exploding, frantic place

You’ve no-where to crawl, no corner to hide

No choice but to scream through the scariest ride.

 

When tears soak your skin and you rub your eyes raw

When your smile lines don’t work anymore

When your favourite place is the cold, hard floor

You’ve no boundaries of self, no guidance, no law

 

When the moon howls deeply to our prayers of night

To invite hidden fears from the pit to the light

When the lion, the tiger, the bear and the Hawk

Drum hard on your ear as they roar, as they squawk

 

Those days when we dive with no thoughts of how deep

To call on all demons to dance as we weep

Those days come around like a punctured wheel

Those days I shan’t love, I shan’t laugh, I shan’t heal.

 

Those days when the flame in our heart simmers low

A spark still remains as the embers still glow

Through the dark comes a promise of morning sun

And our two halves of broken will glue back as one.

 

Death of a Storyteller

crumbs death of

I wanted to write a story of woe

Where love rides the storm, through the rough and the low

Let’s make it dramatic, man plays away

And I’ll set this scene on a hot, summer’s day.

 

As the sun shines bright, the lovers drink tea

Her fear steps up “what the hell’s wrong with me?”

“It’s been many weeks since you last kissed my head

You’d do this each night as we’d cuddle in bed”

 

He scoffed and he shuffled, as how could he say

To confess that he no longer saw her that way.

You see he’d found love with somebody new

His wife, once she’d heard, would be broken in two.

 

Let’s move to the kitchen; he tells her the news

“I’m sorry my love, you’re no longer my muse”

“I gave you my life!” Her heartbreak pours out

“You’re a low life, disease ridden, scaly trout!”

 

They fought for two hours, then three and then four

They ignored concerned neighbours who’d knock at the door

Her fury ran deep, taking charge of her wheel

She’s out for his blood for her life he did steal.

 

“You wouldn’t bloody dare!” he screamed to his wife

His whole body shaking, his face to her knife

“I’ll kill you, I will”

She said with a shrill

“I’ll fry up your eyes

And cut flesh from your thighs”

 

She screamed and she cursed as he ran to the door

He prayed on his knees, “I can’t take anymore”

But then neither could she as her wits were at end

For what was left, nothing worthy to mend.

 

With one swift pound,

He fell to the ground

He pleaded, “Just wait”

Please, tell me my fate?”

 

His pallor was grey as his eyes stared at me.

Should I write his escape, ‘ this rat, he breaks free’?

See, I mean not to kill this cheating man

I’d made no intention; death wasn’t my plan.

 

Yet now I was wishing his blood on the floor

He feels the pain I can’t take anymore

To watch blood drain from his cold, lifeless heart

So he’d nothing to give to his muse, to his tart.

 

But the blame was neither on her nor him

The pain that I felt rose from someplace within

So that day l left his heart pumping strong

And I packed my bags to move swiftly on.

 

For the story I write was the old tale of me

I was the wife, the Mrs, the her, the she.

But that day something died and those labels died too

So my story starts here as I write something new.

 

 

 

 

Next Life

next lifeI’m sat here thinking as clouds pass me by,

That one day my body will pack up and die.

But its not so depressing, not so much as you think

I could fly in my next life, be purple or pink!

I could wear candy clothes that feed hungry birds

Express only love and much kindness through words.

I could dance on the sea and I wouldn’t fall in

Make my own drum out of tree bark and tin.

My hair would be silk and my skin velvet soft

And my house would be glass, from the basement to loft.

I’d never see war but if anger did rise,

They’d fight with balloons and throw strawberry pies.

Each tree would talk, a sweet greeting for all

The flowers would sing through the springtime to fall.

The sun would shine bright on each winter’s day

From morning till noon we’d do nothing but play.

But the best thing of all would be meeting the souls

Who once lived as humans or hamsters or moles.

Their next life is bright and cheery I bet,

A freedom for all, not owned as a pet.

I cherish this life but I no longer fear

The end of this life… and the next to appear.

In My Head

in my head

This is how you exist in my head…

Your brain’s made of rubber and body of lead.

You steal all the dogs and the cats and the mice

To fry them all up and then dish out with rice.

You never say sorry or thank you or please

You squash all the spiders, the wasps and the bees.

Your face is all sour, you’re grumpy all day

You once had a friend but you gave him away.

If you do something wrong, you never feel bad

You make the men cry and all women feel sad.

But that’s all made up as the truth is this…

Each thought of you I feel nothing but bliss.

Your smile, your laugh, from my life they have gone

I hear that you’re happy, your life has moved on.

So I’ve made it all up that you’re evil and cruel

How could I love such a beast, such a ghoul?

I’m one on my own, not part of a two

To break free from love, it’s the hardest to do.

 

Supermarket Sweep

A shop assistant told me off the other day for sitting on the floor in isle 6 at the supermarket. It’s against shop rules apparently, to sit down when you’re bored of searching for everything on the very specific shopping list you’ve been given by your obsessive aunt.

“You’re not allowed to sit here,” said the guy wearing an apron. His nametag was scratched but I could make out he worked at the fish counter as he smelt like as open tin of tuna that hadn’t been refrigerated. As far as I’m concerned, I’m not doing any harm just sitting here, minding my own business. I just wanted to assess my next move in this busy store and rest my legs in the process.

“Really, you’re going to have to get up. Where’s your mum?”

I suppose it’s fairly normal to assume that when a 14-year-old girl is sitting on the floor in a supermarket it’s due to her rebellious nature towards her mother who has most probably walked away in humiliation.

My reply was monotone, “She’s dead”.

After these words left my mouth I realised this could also be another presumed reason for my collapse on the supermarket floor. It could be that I’m inconsolably upset that my mother has died and due to my underdeveloped coping skills as a teenager, I’ve come to the supermarket to vent my pain and seek the help of strangers. This wasn’t the case for my sitting on the floor, I just wanted to rest my legs because when you’re 14 food shopping is boring. It’s most probably boring when you’re an official adult too (I’m not sure what age you can stamp yourself an ‘official adult’ as Aunt G still cries if we run out of digestive biscuits and she’s 58).

“Shit, I’m so sorry. Are you Ok?”

Am I Ok? I don’t know the answer to this question, I seriously don’t.

“Not really”

“Do you want me to call anyone? Does your dad know you’re here? I can call him from the phone in the back office”.

Wouldn’t that be incredible, if this guy could just call my dad using a special phone in the back office? Imagine if this phone was so miraculous it could dial into a part of my dads mind, a part of him so deep it’s heard nothing but a death tone hum since my mum died, 6 months ago. This phone could tap into his maternal psyche, wake it up, inform it that my behaviour has become so out of the ordinary that I’ve taken to sitting on supermarket floors. Undoubtedly his awareness of my current behaviour would draw him back to London, even if it’s purely out of curiosity (he’s a nosey bugger). Even if he wanted to go someplace else, like Dorset or Cumbria or the highlands, I’d happily jump on a train and meet him there. Dad always wanted to live in Cumbria. He had this idea about buying a farm, even though my mum was vegan. He said that he’d raise the cows with so much love that when it was time to send them off to slaughter, they’d be the happiest cows on death row. Mum was obviously disgusted by this idea but liked the idea of Cumbria so they’d often talk about moving there and buying an old farmhouse with plenty of cats and no cows. Dad still asked if he could have a shed to make cheese in, mum agreed. She later told me that he’d never actually do it, as he can’t even nail a banister to the staircase wall, even though she’s been asking for two years now. Her exact words were ‘how the hell is he going to manage sitting in a shed, churning cheese when he can’t even hammer a few nails into the wall… dumb idiot’. We never did have a banister. You also need cows to make milk but dad really was a bit of an idiot, most of the time.

I felt this was an appropriate time to explain my situation to a stranger. “My Dad’s living on a barge in France and he doesn’t own a phone. I suppose he could be anywhere by now but we’ll never know. Well not unless he sends one of those pigeons with a message tied around his neck but my dads never handled birds so he wouldn’t have a clue what to do”.

I didn’t move, I know I should have, just to break the awkwardness. The shop assistant who’s name I couldn’t make out, well he looked puzzled and rather worried I might cry or something. He smiled and nodded sympathetically but said no more to me. He beckoned to his colleague who was reducing the price of bagels with his red sticker gun.

“I think we have a situation here”.

This is not a situation.

I believe screaming in public is considered ‘not the done thing’ but I bet my whole £20 savings that many have contemplated, even fantasied about screaming the house down more than they’d like to admit. Lets say if you get to the post office and the queue is so long it’s out the door, then you see there’s only one member of staff in service and the parcel you’re posting is for someone who has their birthday tomorrow so you have to post it as you made them a promise. This scenario has never happened to me, however that doesn’t stop me from imagining it could induce a frustrated scream and maybe even some swear words for good measure. I was now beyond just resting my tiered legs during a shopping trip.

Maybe I should create a situation.

If I hadn’t felt like screaming before I was observed as a ‘situation’, I sure did now. I wanted to empty my lungs like they were full of lethal fumes and only death awaited if I didn’t release immediately. I could feel the well of rage filling up, my tears patiently waiting for the red light to flow purposefully down my cheek. Powerful electrical currents possessed my feet, pulsating, taunting me to stand up powerfully and swipe the shop assistant across the face with my right hand. My right hand was getting ready, preparing for war.

The shop assistants were not fuelling my battle imaginings; the sticker gun was not enforcing primal instincts to attack! One instructed, “I think we should get the manager over”

War had begun.

I crossed my legs and swung forward, hauling up my body in one heroic movement.

I am a warrior!

“She might not be right in the head”

I am a warrior!

“Kid, you’re going to have to leave the shop”

I am a warrior!

“Kid, say something, you’re being weird”

I am a warrior! Except I’m not a warrior at all, I couldn’t talk, my tongue felt bigger than my mouth and my right hand numbly remained at the side of my hip. I then did something that would make my Aunt G proud. Something that completely negated all the sadness that rose so abruptly inside of me. Something that pushed the rawness of my pain deep inside my tummy to live with the night terrors and panic attacks. I smiled at the shop assistants and picked up my basket, in one carefree motion.

“Where do you keep the tins of tuna?”