Tree Silhouette Against Starry Night Sky

In the Nothing

I may not be there at the end of things,
When all that has been done becomes undone,
When the tides run through every street I ever knew,
And the very sky becomes one with the dying sun.

I may not be there at the death of man,
When their screams of pain surrender to the void,
When the nothing that was a something is a nothing once again,
When eternity is eternally destroyed.

I may not be there when the blackness creeps
and takes back every seed that life has ever sown,
When the chariots of flame with their mounted monsters from the fray
thunder forth to carry all existence home.

But I am here now; this, the only certainty life affords,
This moment; this is real; here, now, where I stand,
And as I search the starry eyes of heaven’s face,
Feeling not unlike a single grain of sand,
I contemplate and deliberate, ruminate and debate
the futility in the devising of some great plan,
But I know beyond all doubt that for the heartbeat I am here,
I must make a something of the nothing that I am.

wpid-kiss.jpg

The Worst

This piece is a little rough around the edges (no neat rhythm, some questionable rhymes) but that’s because it’s one written from the heart and not one written for poetic perfection.

   

What’s the worst that could happen
If you were to let me touch you?
If I were to hug you or just hold your hand?

What’s the worst that could happen
If I were to confess that I need you?
I need you to help me understand.

So close, but so far that it hurts and keeps hurting,
So close, but I can feel you slipping away,
So close that to others we must seem so perfect,
So close, but unmistakably frayed.

What’s the worst that could happen
If I were to openly show you
the very world that you mean to me?

What’s the worst that could happen
If you were to just let me love you
the way that it just… ought to be?

couple on bench

In Her Tears

Yesterday I wrote a poem called “Heartsickness“. During my search for a suitable photo, I found the one featured above. It caught my eye and even though it wasn’t quite right for yesterday’s piece I felt it deserved to be shown off. So I have written a poem which was inspired by, and is dedicated to, this beautiful piece of photography. I hope I’ve done it some small justice…

She could stretch out
her fingers a million miles
and the tips would fall short of his face,
Too many hates and too many lies
have filled up that cavernous space.

He could stare
for a minute, a day and a night
at the anguish his reflection betrays,
But he’ll never again see the man she first loved,
the man who once swept her away.

They could forgive
– it is not an impossible feat -
but forgetting would take them both years,
This man with a crumbling world in his hunch
and this girl with a tide in her tears.

emotional abuse

Heartsickness

It’s no surprise
that when you look at me
with your steely eyes
they reveal to me
the malefic lies
that, I have come to realise,
epitomise
the dulcet ways in which I despise
the totality of your disguise;
Adeptly kept,
But it belies
the dreck your mind and soul comprise,
The loathing in your voice implies
a heartsickness of epic size
that will catalyse
our love’s demise
and leave me here
to crystallise,
And though it’s all just so unwise,
And though it would be ill-advised,
When you look at me
with those steely eyes
and vapidly apologise,
I fill lamentably with butterflies,
Common sense need not apply,
Once again I’m hyptonised
and each and every wicked lie
is freshly, neatly, trivialised
and once again I compromise,
So of course
it’s comes as no surprise
that, when all is said and realised,
this is all that qualifies
as paradise
here in our lives.

stave flower

Diminuendo

I close my eyes
and I can hear
the passage
of my life,
Each ticking of the
metronome;
A second closer
to the end of time,
Diminuendo,
Each beating of my
waning heart;
A minim closer
to the end of mine,
Lentando,
But it’s OK,
As the moments
wash away
into the ultra white
that marks
the failing of my sight,
As I edge closer
to the come what may,
to the end of stave,
to the moment
darkness
meets my day,
I become the pause,
I am the peace,
I am the silence that
this moment reaps,
I am the final
breath
of deep relief,
I am the saline tear
that dances
down your cheek,
The farewell
that through this
chasm creeps,
I am the gone,
The tacet, the rest,
I am the nothing left,
I am the screaming silence
that is death,
And it’s OK.
Fine.

heart on sleeve

No Apology

I make no apology
for being me,
I may wear my heart
upon my sleeve,
I may laugh like Marge,
I may kiss my teeth
and evoke a hamster
when I sneeze,
But I make no apology
for who I am,
My skin is wolf
but my blood is lamb,
Defender of truth
and taker of stands,
I’d give my right arm
just to lend a hand,
And I’d make no apology
Because,
You see,
My kindness
does not weaken me,
Goofy and awkward
I may well be,
But for those I love
I’d sail seven seas,
So you’ll get
no apology
for me
from me,
For with each flaw
I’ve made my peace,
What you get
is what you see.
This is me
so
take
or
leave.

between the lines

Between the Lines

Love is in the imperfection,
And life is in the mistakes,
So you have to pay attention,
To the silence music makes,

Listen to the beauty between the notes;
Ornate stories of happiness,
Venture beyond the words I wrote,
Enjoy the truth my soul confessed.

 

This poem was inspired by the two quotes about love shown below. The underlined words in the poem are from the first quote. The letters in bold spell out ‘last love’, which is from the second quote.

Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.

- Saint Augustine

Being someone’s first love is great, but being someone’s last love is beyond perfect.

- Unknown

half and half

Yellow Girl

Too white to be black,
Too black to be white,
“They’ll throw you in the river
when the two sides fight”
Flat bottom,
Picky hair,
And thick thunder thighs,
Freckles on my nose, lips
and under my eyes,
I’m a yellow girl,
I’m a browning,
I’m half-caste,
I’m mixed race,
And believe me;
I’ve been called
so much worse to my face,
I spent so many years
ill at ease in my shell,
That it’s shattered my confidence
and left me in hell,
Now I’m fat,
And I’m ugly,
And I have crooked teeth,
And I’m so obsessed with the surface
I ignore what’s beneath,
I know better,
But I’m broken
and I can’t fix the hurt,
That’s what happens when a child’s
told they’re less than they’re worth,
Now I’m thirty,
And still hurting,
And so mad at this world
for closing arms, doors and minds
to this benign
yellow girl.

 

This poem was inspired by an article I read a while ago called, “Too white to be black, too black to be white.” It talked about how mixed race children are being failed when it comes to potential mental health problems.  As a light-skinned black woman I faced a lot of prejudice when I was a child – from both ‘sides’.  My mum also faced similar struggles and was once told, “If the blacks and the whites go to war, they’ll throw you in the river.” One of my previous poems (Sticks and Stones) highlights just how powerful words can be, especially to a child. If I’m honest, I’ve never quite thought I was good enough, and that’s a direct result of the name-calling and narrow-mindedness I experienced as a child.

That’s life though, right? We suffer and we grow, we reflect and we move on. But while I’m finally at peace with my ‘shell’, I don’t doubt that there are still a few cracks…

symbiosis

Symbiosis

Symbiosis,
Reciprocal need;
I need him
and he needs me,
I scratch his back,
He scratches mine,
We plod along,
We’re doing fine,
But when did this
become enough?
When did symbiosis
replace true love?
When did meeting
fundamental needs
replace both romance
and chemistry?
Deeds that once
were fuelled by love
are now transacted
with a lack thereof,
We may stand together
as we trudge through life,
But he’s no more a husband
than I am a wife.
We’re partners
of a different kind,
Our marriage certificate;
a contract signed,
One that can quickly
be un-penned
if one partner
fails to hold up their end,
This give and take
is more take than give,
Is this really how
we’ve come to live?
Who knew that
it would come to this?
Symbiotic
lovelessness.

 

This post was inspired by an episode of Go, Diego, Go! that I was watching with my daughter this morning. Diego helped to reunite Hippo and his symbiotic friend Oxpecker after there were separated. Inspiration comes from the most unusual places at times, doesn’t it?!

Fisherman cartoon

dancersmaller

Free

In every way a lady can be free,
The Music took such gentle hold of me,
Hand resting in the nuance of my waist,
He led me pirouetting into grace,
Removed the shawl bejewelled with my past,
Unbound me from the spell that doubt had cast.
Lightened by the soothing lilt of joy,
His rhythm twirled this girl (unworldly, coy),
‘Til chains had turned to stardust at my feet,
And freedom strummed my heart with every beat.

 

This poem was inspired by the Poem A Day prompt over at Pooky’s Poems. Today’s challenge (set by guest poet CC) was to write a poem that takes metre into account. I tried here for iambic pentameter, but can’t be sure I have it quite right. Ether way, I had fun trying and feel accomplished having put more thought into the metre of my poetry!

Poetry by Serena Malcolm Copyright 2014 All Rights Reserved

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