Untouchable (Mike Hotel)

My mind is not well,
You think I’m an untouchable girl
but it’s all in your mind,
My symptoms,
my signs,
But they make you go blind,
Make your shoulders turn cold,
Make your ears go deaf,
Squeeze out your humanity
’til not one drop is left,
And I’m left resigned
to be crippled
by the stigmatic twine
of an ignorance fed
by a society that’s bred
to leave my kind for dead,
You can’t let me survive
lest I poison your well
with the ills of my head,
So instead
you throw pills at my bed
and just close the blinds,
And hope that the padded confines
of your prejudicial design
will keep me neatly inside
where you need pay me no mind,
Leaving me trapped and alone
in a quarantined cell,
A psychogenic hell,
Spiralling down through the stages of grief,
Through the pits of Old Nick
To the trenches beneath,
So while your world sleeps,
For me,
There is no relief,
There’s no wish in this well,
And there’s no hope in this hell
for an untouchable girl
whose only crime,
– best I can tell –
is a mind
that’s not well.



He shouts in delight,
She echoes,
Their eyes shining bright,
Full of that youthful light
that’s carefree,
Free of inhibitions
and wing-dampening
Unaware of causality,
Of the
freeze me to this spot,
Knees locked,
All because my body
how it feels,
And what it means
to still believe in
what Impossible
means to steal,
And they look at me,
Skin flushed,
In such a rush
to walk a mile
in my shoes,
To do what grown folks do,
To choose
their own paths,
Still relatively new,
Still smooth,
Less travelled,
Unabused by Life’s
jagged truths,
But then I look back at them,
And I’m imagining,
And yearning, then,
to walk those
roads again,
Not to take a different
Or to pretend
that I am young again,
But, oh, to relive
those precious moments when
fear didn’t rein me in,
Didn’t choke me up,
Didn’t keep me stuck
to the spot,
To the point
where I can’t jump.

The Taming of the ‘Fro

Five hours,
Nimble fingers
twist and weave,
Twist and weave
until they’re sore,
Until they bleed,
And shoulders heave
and groan,
And back begins to moan,
And cheeks are numb
as I shift from one
to the other one,
And time
And body aches,
And head takes on
A quiet throb,
A wretched job,
But now
the world
is not put off
by an afro puff
of kinky coils,
Will not recoil
now the strands
are tamed,
Are plain,
Are bland,
in their master’s
And in the end
I blend
right in,
Blend right in
with the rest of

Green Eyed

the green eyed me,
Jealous of
the green eyed she,
I see you
behind the guise
of friendship,
Side eyes,
dance the line
between the lines,
Push the confines,
Bend the rules
like I won’t mind,
But, oh,
I mind,
Stumbling through
this minefield
of your design,
I have you,
But you are not mine,
You are hers,
And I’m not really
I was
the consolation prize,
To be cast aside
The One
That Got Away

Over Dinner

There’s a hole
in the ceiling
right above the dining table,
And as I lay down
the silky cloth,
Arrange the pink peonies
in the tall white vase
and polish
the silverware
so that it’s
to that
high end shine,
As I set a place
for you and I
to dine
and dish up
course after course
of delicately,
exquisitely made
that I spent
of course,
As we sit
face to face,
Not quite
making eye contact,
Swapping pleasantries
about our respective days,
As you compliment
the food
that I’ve made for you,
Making all the right
The ahhs
and oohs
that delight my ears
despite my fears
that it’s all a ruse,
As we sweep through
the motions
of this celebratory meal,
Through that hole
above us
comes a drip,
And then a drip,
Fat globules
of water
into the space between us,
The leaky pipe that we’ve
for so long
now rains
on our parade,
And still you
your proud charade,
Watch me through
this watered veil,
Ignoring the flood,
Ignoring the thunder
that threatens
to tear our world asunder,
One by two,
An act of God,

You tell a joke
and we

Rumour Has It

Rumour has it,
You have something
close to chest,
I’m impressed
For somehow you
pressed your finger to your lips
– Careful not to let your secret slip –
As you fed me soothing snippets,
Appeasing tidbits,
That quicked the nail
upon your fingertip,
Stripped by
the sharpness
of a forked tongue,
Like the crack of the whip
that works to
keep me spiritless,
Enslaved by
platitudes that mask
the truth
that you assume won’t flatter you,
and will shatter me where I stand,
That you think
I could never understand,
And it doesn’t
matter to you that
I can,
I can,
I do understand,
Understand that
have no benefit,
Parasitic imps that
play their tricks,
that will make you sick,
That will kill you quick;
Rumour has it…

Tiny Hope

From my window I watch cars as they pass a line of box-like houses. A bus stop opposite shelters a gaggle of commuters, the fine April rain making them hunch like vultures as they wait. Next door a dog barks. Farther afield I hear children scream in carefree delight. Spring is trying to awaken, buds are forming on my neighbour’s tree and I find that my lust for milder weather, for the newness of the coming season, is palpable. Then my gaze lowers, and in the crack of the wonky paving stone that council still hasn’t fixed, I see a solitary white flower, almost hidden in its concrete bed.

A starburst of white,
Tiny masterpiece of spring,
The scent of new hope.

A little late, but Day Twelve’s NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo challenge was to write a haibun. I’m unfamiliar with this style but, from what I understand, it combines prose with haiku to create a beautiful tale of the landscape around us. I chose to write about the view from my window. I hope I’ve got it right… Or right-ish at least!

The Point of No Return

You picked it up,
Blade glistened
in the crisp night air
as the street lamp burned,
Threw a spotlight
on a lesson about to be learned,

The point of no return,

Sliding doors,
A future’s course
decided in the blink of an eye,
A swish and a cry,
and one boy dies
but two lives are lost,
The cost of free will,
of a choice made ill,
is a future
by iron bars and concrete walls
both real and contrived
by a fragile fraying mind
that never got to live,
Never got to grow up,
Peter Pan is out of
pixie dust,
Bright future
when your bluff was called,
You were acting tough,
Big man on the block
but you huffed and puffed
and blew your own house down,
never to be found now
under the rubble,
But truth be told,
– truth in bold –

you were asking for trouble

Sold your soul,
Rolled your dice
and pushed your luck,
The second
you picked up it.



Today’s NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem that addresses the future. My take on this prompt was to look at consequences, at a future based on a split second decision. I coupled it with a very current and fiercely debated topic; knife crime.

While I Wait

I wait
while dragons breathe white hot fire
into the fields of endless bluebells,
I wait for you
whilst elves set to work
knitting blades of grass,
I wait for you to come
while Gaia sings and chicks begin
to harmonise,
I wait for you to come back to me
While wizards wave their wands,
and fairies scatter rainbow dust,
so that zephyrs may dance through palettes of fatted buds,
I wait for you to come back to me
while spring’s fantasia bursts to life;
The magic of rebirth never more pure,
I wait for you to come,
And while these things thrill those battered by the grips of winter,
I wait for you,
While everyone around me embraces all that lies ahead,
I wait.

Today’s NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo prompt was to write a poem of simultaneity – in which multiple things are happing at once.

Poetry by Serena Malcolm ©2018 All Rights Reserved

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