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
refined
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
recipes
that I spent
hours
preparing,
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
Sounds;
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,
drip,
drip,
Fat globules
of water
slip
into the space between us,
The leaky pipe that we’ve
ignored
for so long
now rains
on our parade,
And still you
maintain
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,
Half
and
half,
An act of God,
without
the
ark…

You tell a joke
and we
both
laugh.

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Rumour Has It

Rumour has it,
You have something
close to chest,
Suppressed,
And
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,
Crisp,
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
Secrets
have no benefit,
Parasitic imps that
play their tricks,
Tumours
that will make you sick,
Cancer;
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
blocked
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
snuffed
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,
Your
greatness
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.

Mountains

Mountains before me,
Grown from molehills of self-doubt,
Eclipsing my stars.

 

 

 

Day Nine of NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo. Today we were challenged to write a poem whee something big and something small come together.  As I was busy catching up with my Day Eight challenge earlier, I have settled for a Haiku for today.  See you tomorrow.

Beauty and the Beast

Behind the door
the floorboards creak
then silence
s n e a k s
and steals my breath,
Heart beats
like a drum,

da-rum,

da-rum,

quicker,
quicker,
and quicker still,
I shiver as the footsteps
swell and falter,
Sweat beads alter
the taste in my mouth,
Biles rise and fall,
at the call
of the beast
as he lumbers down the hall,
And I

wait,

Hairs
like blades of grass
stand tall
– steadfast,
Soldiers
awaiting the march,
Skin clammy
yet lips are parched,
Feet arched
and
toes like a butter curl,

I’m just a girl,

I’m just a girl,

Maiden in the dark,
damp and stark,
Caged
with petals
turning
black,
Decaying,
and I’m afraid,
Sanity fraying from the constant

clink

clink

clink-clink

of the chains,
I crouch down
and a draft comes now,
The door pushes ajar
and the beast emerges

at last,

Fetid urges
offend my senses and
the shadows dance,
My bed clothes
suddenly warm and wet,
sopping shame
infused with dread,

I am not yet dead,
I lament,

And as his breath
descends
my mind unfurls,

I’m just a girl,

I’m just a girl

who prayed
in vain,
Whose

fairytale prince

just

never

came.

 

 

A little late, but NaPoWriMo’d Day Eight challenge was to write a poem in which mysterious and magical things occur. I took the concept of Beauty and the Beast and made it darker.

Hopefully I’ll be back later with Day Nine!

Poor, Poor Joan

Another victim is brought to tears
by these antisocial miscreants,
My colleague goes to roll his eyes and,
silently, I must chastise him,
As she calls on us to stop it,
I pull a tissue from my pocket,
From his he pulls his mobile phone
and averts his eyes from poor, poor Joan.

And as she weeps, I sympathise,
But he just taps his foot and sighs,
In his head he knows we’ve walked this trail,
Recounts the times we’ve heard this tale,
We’ve heard it once, and heard it thrice,
And he’s numb to the troubles of her life,
And when we leave he’ll joke, and moan,
and deride the woes of poor, poor Joan,

I know – I do know – thick skin’s key
to wading through this treacle sea,
But I just can’t shake Joan from my mind,
I can’t not care – Lord knows I’ve tried,
So blighted by empathic ways
I take her home and let her stay,
My home is filled with Kathryns, Tonys,
Stephens, and now poor, poor Joan.

I struggled then a decade gone,
I struggle now, and struggle on,
I cannot close my mind to cope,
Can’t make their strife an inside joke,
I just don’t wish to play along,
To stay here where I don’t belong,
And truth be told, I’ve always known
my heart belongs to poor, poor Joan.

 

 

 

Today’s NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo prompt involved “writing out a list of all of your different layers of identity. For example, you might be a wife, a grandmother, a Philadelphian, a dental assistant, a rabid Phillies fan, a seamstress, retiree, agnostic, cancer survivor, etc.. These are all ways you could be described or lenses you could be viewed through. Now divide all of those things into lists of what makes you feel powerful and what makes you feel vulnerable. Now write a poem in which one of the identities from the first list contends or talks with an identity from the second list.”

I only loosely followed the prompt today, choosing to write about an longstanding internal conflict I face within my day job: Do I assimilate or stay true to myself…?

Londoner

Breathe deep,
Smog sneaks
through the slither of open glass
as a concrete landscape
races past,
Skirts the path of
an undulating
sky,
Tail lights
like
fire fly
into my sight
with hues of bright red
ink,
Objects slink into the mirror
closer
than I think and I
sink
a little deeper into the faded threads
and rest my head,
Baseline
shakes
the scraper
and the evening paper
in the door,
Vibrations through the floor make happy feet,
Tap-tapping
beats,
Rhythmic,
Chill,
And people spill across
crossings,
Phones in hand,
Eyes glued
and
shuffling shoes,
Carbon footprints
marching
to
the city’s tune,
A hive without a mind
Hispters thrive,
Homeless survive,
Soldiers, drones and workers strive
while queen presides,
Millions of lives
like atoms that
seldom collide,
Like passing ships
in the night,
Oblivious,
Strange;
these strangers
changing lanes
remain in chains,
Slaves to doldrums,
Humdrum,
London
streets,
Fleeting eyes
we
never meet,
Yet never
alone
in any zone
but our own,
And still we call it home,
Sweet
home.

Today’s NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo prompt was to “write a poem that stretches your comfort zone with line breaks. That could be a poem with very long lines, or very short lines. Or a poem that blends the two.” I love to do this anyway, so this prompt was right up my street. Speaking of streets I spent a good chunk of the day in my car, so in this piece I was inspired by the streets of London.

Books on Love

It’s easy to find love in a book,
Kismet never reads more poetically.
It’s true granduer seems veracious.
It’s enchantment seems like a gift voluptuously made.

Neverendingly
baiting my need for escape.

“What do you desire?”
My pneuma pulls me keenly, pleasures me knavishly.

“Yes, yes” it casts a sultry spell.
“Yes, yes” it lures
and I stay in there,
safe.

 

Today’s NaPoWriMo / GloPoWriMo was this:

“Write a poem that […] reacts both to photography and to words in a language not your own. Begin with a photograph. Now find a poem in a language you don’t know […] Ignore any accompanying English translation […]. Now start translating the poem into English, with the idea that the poem is actually “about” your photograph. Use the look and feel of the words in the original to guide you along as you write, while trying to describe your photograph.”

I chose a poem but Latvian poet Janis Elsbergs, which you can see below:

And my photograph is this:

It also helps that I am a bit of a bookworm, so the feelings expressed are real!