The Lion’s Share

Camel aside,
the straw that broke the lion’s back
was not in fact
a straw at all,
but the utter gall
of the Pride arriving
after
the fall,

Her cry was guttural

and yet they stalled,
But had they been there still
– had that been their will –
curiosity may not
have lured this fille into his crosshair,
(c’est la guerre!)
wherein
she stood ensnared,
fear-rigored,
as the hunter squeezed the trigger,
Triggered flashbacks
of lives played back
from one through eight,
Had they remained,
they’d have stayed her fate.

But it’s OK,
For she’s surprised to find
that she no longer minds,
Even when (for the ninth time)
she lies
exsanguine
on the arid plain
with no-one there beside,
she no longer thinks it unfair;
for when it comes to
those disposed to care,
in all her lives,
and in all her prides,
she’s always had
the lion’s share
of eyes
turned
blind,

cold shoulders

i n e v i t a b l y

bared.

Battery Pack

As I sit on the top floor of my work building, back nestled against the safety door that leads to the roof, I try to ignore the pulse in my forehead, the result of a morning of pretending.

Pretending is hard.

It’s like turning one of those new-fangled cordless vacuum cleaners up to maximum and listening as it squeals into overdrive, chewing through dust, and skin fibres, and air, and crumbs, and hair, and tiny barely-there, itty-bitty, minding-their-own-business dustmites, until suddenly – just when you think it’s reached fever pitch and your head is starting to throb from the noise – silence. It’s dead. No warning, no pomp, no circumstance; it just won’t work anymore.

That’s what it’s like to pretend. Day in, day out. Look at me! I’m so happy! I’m so smiley! I’m sort of a bit funny (or at least I think I am, and please don’t tell me otherwise because my fragile ego cannot cope with any more ammo for my self-deprecation)! I’m super bubbly! Oooo so much banter! Oooo the frivolity! Oooo the frickin’ hilarity! I am just on, on, on. Whirring away, burning through my little battery pack until… boom. I’m done. I’m spent. I’m empty.

And that folks was exactly how today went. Or rather half of today, as it’s only 1.50pm. I got up from my desk feeling utterly shattered and walked out of my office building without a word. I then proceeded to wander aimlessly around the streets trying desperately to recharge my battery pack enough for the Second Act.

But when I got back, I stepped one foot into my office, into the laughter, into the chatter, into the suffocating heat, close quarters and pairs of judgy eyes… I stepped into the mere thought of yet more pretending and I realised in that instant that I just couldn’t do it.

Today is not the day.

So I turned on my heel and marched straight back out again. And before I knew it, without so much as a conscious thought, I had ascended six flights of stairs, and found myself standing in front of the roof door.

And for a minute I looked at the sign that says “NO ACCESS ALLOWED ONTO ROOF WITHOUT SAFETY HARNESS BEING WORN” and wanted to scream “FUCK YOU SIGN. FUCK YOU AND YOUR SNOOTY FONT AND ANGRY RED BACKGROUND. YOU CAN’T TELL ME WHAT TO DO. FUCK. YOU.”

And I looked out of the window, and I placed my trembling hand (rage? fear? lack of caffeine???) on the door handle, and… I crumpled ungracefully into a sloppy, frumpy, ugly, overweight pile of uselessness on the floor.

Then I pulled out my phone and started writing.

I could still do it, you know. I could still open that door…. But Google says you can still survive a fall from this height.

And what an inconvenience that would be.

Back to pretending then.

Better find a way to recharge. Stat.

Pachyderm Fight Club

Sharing something a little different today:

It shouldn’t really come as a surprise to anyone who knows me, but there is an elephant in the room. An enormous, fuck-off elephant, and nobody is talking about it. Seriously?! It’s like Pachyderm Fight Club. First rule of Pachyderm Fight Club? Well, you know.

This particular elephant is my friend and her name is Depression, which if you ask me is a supremely shitty name. I mean, her parents must have hated her to call her that – and I say this in a world of babies named Pilot Inspektor, Moon Unit and Moxie CrimeFighter… but I digress. To save her some embarrassment, let’s call her Dee for short.

As I was saying, poor, gigantic Dee is sitting the corner, tusks to the wall, with a knot in her trunk so that she doesn’t make a sound, trying her darnedest to not be spotted (which is no mean feat for the largest land animal on the frickin’ planet).

In the meantime, my family, my friends, my colleagues are all sat squashed together like sardines in the opposite corner balancing cups of tea on any available body part and carrying on the inanest conservations I’ve ever heard, which broach any and every subject except the bleeding obvious one. All the while their nostrils are flared, and their eyes are watering from the stench of the enormous turd Dee has inevitably taken right on my lap.

But even though I feel utterly disgusted by the festering faeces that have landed on me, I just do what I always do; decant bottle after bottle of Febreze all over myself, while sporting tree-shaped air fresheners as earrings and cinnamon sticks as hair accessories, slap on the most convincingly carefree smile I can muster, and pretend right along with the rest of them. Why? Because second rule of Pachyderm Fight Club, that’s why.

But then I feel guilty, see, because Dee is my oldest friend, and you simply don’t ignore your friends.

I first met Dee, in all her wrinkled grey glory, not long after my eleventh birthday. She showed me that banging my head against walls can temporarily take away all the hurt inside. And later she showed me that making myself bleed was even better than banging my head. Such a good friend! She was there for every break up, every death, every shitty life experience and she never once failed to show up.

So you see Dee isn’t bad. She’s just a little lonely. Sure she has thick skin (ha!), but she doesn’t like being ignored. Or glossed over. Or belittled. So, every now and then she unknots her trunk and gives out the almightiest trumpet call and it shudders through me like an earthquake, leaving me broken in its wake.

Then everyone sees her.

Then everyone pays attention to poor, sweet, disregarded Dee.

But now, instead of helping me back to my feet (as one might reasonably expect one’s loved ones to do when one falls on one’s arse) they run away. They flee from the room and leave me inside, all alone, save for my one true friend. Dee. The only one who never leaves my side.

If I’m lucky, some of my braver loved ones will call some cliched words of encouragement through the wall and hover awkwardly just outside the door until they’re sure I’ve got Dee safely back in her corner, trunk tightly knotted once more. Then (and only then), dare they peek their wary heads around the door jamb, and when they’re absolutely sure that I’ve picked myself back up, and put myself back together, they will slowly tiptoe back in and re-huddle with fresh cups of tea and more frivolous, pachyderm-free, conversation. Like nothing. even. fucking. happened.

Dee is friend.

Dee is my oldest friend.

Dee is my only friend.

But alas, I’ve already said too much.

Pachyderm Fight Club, don’t you know?

The Good Wolf is here!

So……… I finally approved it and it’s finally available to buy!

The Good Wolf is my second independent publication, and I would love you all to take a look.

It is currently only available from LuLu, but it will be available from Amazon very soon.

Thank you all for your continued love and support. It means more than you know.

Spread the word and spread the love… don’t be shy now….. 😉

http://www.lulu.com/shop/serena-malcolm/the-good-wolf/paperback/product-24283955.html

Insomniac

Night sweats,
Sheets wet
as cruel scenes stretch
across my inner eyes,
A gnarled and fetid pantomime
of phantom frets
ties
silken binds
across my neck
and chokes
me to the brink of life,
Splits my mind;
Half is here
and half is on the other side,
I’m both
alive
and not alive
in this Schrödinger
of a
mind fuck,
Stuck
in this
metaphysical construct
of time,
And it’s pure blind luck
that I make it through
the night,
Through this
sleepless paradigm
to morning light,
I find
it’s pure blind luck
that I survive,
I may lose my mind
a little
every time,
But I live on
to die
in kind
another
night.

Dog Fight

Territory marked,
Dogs circle and bark,
Backs arched
and mouths part with that hallmark foam,
And she can only watch
them posture,
sidelined imposter
fostering the hope
that they long disowned,
But it’s all for show,
And in the battle throes,
As the guttural drum beats grow,
When Chaos takes the throne
(Erebus in tow),
All that’s known
is that
this
poor
bitch
won’t be thrown a bone.

Soul Food

Recent work in progress…. some food for thought, if you will 😜

Soul Food

I like my religion
as an aside,
As a bowl of convention
(and a bone of contention)
just to the side
of my entrée,
I find
I like
small pieces
to pick at
whenever
I decide,
That are
easy to swallow,
barely touching
the sides,
That is the undenied
truth;
Religion is
a mere amuse bouche
I did not choose
(and often refuse)…
But faith?
Now, faith is infused
with the food,
Like the salt that I shake,
No mistake,
I can taste
that it’s laced itself
deep in my main,
Impossible
to extricate,
One and the same,
Not
enhancing
but shaping
each bite that I take.

One and One

#NaPoWriMo Day Eleven

Today’s challenge was to write a poem of origin. About where we are from and where we are now. I chose to write about parents caring for children who in turn care for their parents. There are parallels with my own experience too, of course.

One and One

It started
with a meeting
of minds

one was tender
and one was wise

learning
how to harmonise
like
a fusion of spice
learning
how to blend, seamlessly,
two different sides

one to protect
and one to provide

It started
with
hard times
with bloodshot eyes
from sleepless nights
and overtime
nose to the grind
yet scraping by
belts were tight
but the children
never knew
their plight
they had
everything
they needed
as they grew
(and a lot of what they wanted too)
because

one made do
and one went without

but that was never once
complained about
and there was never once
an empty mouth
as love spilled out
and filled
their house

But life was cruel
and fate played tricks and

one got sick
and one grew weak

but still they
turned the other cheek

they knew
what they’d sown
they’d soon both reap
for now was the children’s
time to
keep
and

one will comfort
one will care
and one will always be right there

So
again
it starts
with a meeting of minds
this time
siblings stand aligned
as a living
testimony
of
their parents
unsung feats
unselfishly
they give back
what they received
because

one now grieves
and one now lives on in memory.

Blue Umbrella

#NaPoWriMo Day Ten

Today’s challenge was to write a poem using regional slang for weather. I chose “the heavens opened”, meaning “it started raining”, and turned it into a haiku about love (or at least lust!) at first sight.

Blue Umbrella

The heavens opened,
There with a blue umbrella
stood young Zeus himself.

Poetry by Serena Malcolm ©2020 All Rights Reserved

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