Poetry

A Plea and a Prayer

Stay at home they said,
Stay safe, stay well.
Stay at home they said,
Hold tight and dwell.

Social distance, they said:
if you have to work
Social distance they said.
Don’t be a jerk!

Stay home, stay safe;
protect fellow beings.
Stay home, stay safe,
Is not what we’re seeing.

Clusters of people
on buses and trains.
Key workers suffering,
stresses and strains.

Construction and flooring,
are not what we need!
Essentials and vitals:
not glamour or greed.

Please stop what you’re doing.
Please heed what’s been said,
Please all support this.
Before we’re all dead.

Rejuvenation

I need to update –

Refresh, revive, to stay alive

A new mandate

And all that jive

The stagnant air needs to be cleared

Cobwebs have to disappear

This apathetic soul  must fade

Create a chance to be remade

No longer stifled, strained by fear

We’ll have no sadness, no more tears

To make a break to brighter plains

Transformation: life’s true aim

Another Time, Another Place

 

I could have loved you,

but you didn’t see the magnitude of my request.

You were not able to feel the weight

pressed into every word

scribbled, on tear stained paper.

 

I would have loved you,

if, after careful consideration

you’d told me,

it was too much – I was too much.

You just couldn’t comprehend the change,

not just of lovers, but whole lives too.

Perhaps, being apprehensive, you were scared,

unsure of your feelings, where they lay,

and who with.

I could have loved you

for wanting time to contemplate.

 

I could have forgiven you,

of being unaware of loaded pressure,

for not sharing the burden

of the ticking bomb I held in the dark.

I would have forgiven you

for not understanding my clumsy plea.

Not seeing through the flimsy charade of subtext

that was so easily dismissed.

I accept this fault as my own

 

I would have loved you

with your words recanted.

After nights of indecision, 

If your voice had only offered emotion

rather than indifference.

I could have loved you.

Even after the painful walk home,

of shame, of sadness, of anger.

Devoid of affection,

or admission.

 

But when days and nights pass

into weeks, then months,

and eventually she leaves you

for another man, another baby.

If after all avenues have been scoured,

options weighed up,

and my offer of love is recalled

from the depths of its ashes.

When you want me to love you

and wonder where the fire has gone.

Remember

 

I could have loved you completely

Only the timing was wrong.

 

How to catch a Judge’s eye?

There must be something in it

Some method – some madness

Some sacrificial ritual to evoke

To claim their eyes and ears

Sew them to my words

And raise my vision

From the grave of poet tears

In July I will write,

I shall carve out my heart

Paint only by the light

Of a weeping orange candle

I will relinquish all ink

To glean admiration

Soak parchment in hope

With this incantation

By the waxing fingernail

Of an August moon

I will pray to all Gods

For answers back soon

I will bake lots of cookies

Bare all of my secrets

Stitch buttons on poppets

Post each judge to keep it

I could stalk them on twitter

Devour their heroes

Smuggle a cheque

With several zeros

Bribe them with candy

Kidnap their cat
Sneak in some Semtex
And that would be that

Oh what am I thinking
Oh where has this led
I can’t share this poem
That’s stuck in my head!

 

I’m Fine Thanks

I’m not OK
Not within the weeping of trees,
Or inside wailing caverns,
Nor whilst walking home,
alone,
on a Saturday night
after the fight we had under the opaque moon.
 
I’m not OK in the vast open spaces,
of myself.
When I come to the end of my time
as a host, as a lover,
as a child,
as a friend.

I’m not OK
in my forced role of parent, or therapist.
Nor am I a sturdy shoulder,
a prop, a raft: left to hold others afloat.
 
After the day is through and the walls become silent
Hours left to my own devices,
my own thoughts, feelings even
Here – I’m not OK.
 
You cannot see,
yet in me lies a detonator
waiting for sanity to finally give in.
Silently mocking – willing me to explode
so that every bit of me is opened up to scrutiny,
and judgement.
Disappointment,
for both you and me.
 
And only then,
when my body is wiped from the walls,
and scarlet pools around their shoes
will they claim –
 
She seemed OK
She was always OK

My Muse

 

It’s as if you make my fingers type somehow
Lure thoughts from my lips, staining the paper
– with inspiration
There are days when you tire me
Incessantly driving my mind forward
Creating strings of words ,that take form
Just a line or two at first
Then suddenly a whole cacophony
Of symphonies: the muse in triumph
And unbeknownst to most, you sit
Perched firmly in my chest
Your voice at the forefront of my mind

Go on, you say
Write it – write it all out
Write it for me

My Nerdboy

It was the flick of your wrist as we sat,
opposite – leaning towards one another,
streamlined pine nestled between.
A barrier to some – but not us.
It was the slight halt of your step,
your elbow nudging the air:
where my arm was too slow,
to slip, into the crevice of your coat.
It was the look in your eyes,
slowly rolling up (like a pup)
on moving stairs and ramps.
And oh –
how I craved your caress.
It was the downward turn of your lips,
as I uttered my goodbyes.
That lingering hug, tinged with sadness.
Those mumbled words, I never heard.
It was the perplexed face,
harbouring worries of my welfare
whilst hurrying through stations and streets;
the helping hand when I stumbled.
It was the pillowed arm or chest,
that warmed my cheek at night
The blanket of you – surrounding.
Protection from the morning chill

It was the loss of these actions
and more, that instant regret
after proclaiming you were needy.
It was my loss – My need for you.

 

Life in Stasis

Breathe in

Breathe out

Repeat

Wake up, wash, dress
Put on somebody else’s face
smile
don’t forget this
It’s important to show
you’re OK

Breathe in

Breathe out

Repeat

Work
Scrape the dirt from your nails
Stand up straight
smile
don’t forget this
is your necessity

Breathe out

Breathe in

Repeat

Walk, run
Catch a bus, the tube
try not to touch
or smile
don’t forget this
isn’t a game
It’s life

Breathe out

Try not to breathe in

Repeat

Eat,
Clean the dishes
take a bath, relax
smile
don’t forget this
is your time
then sleep


Repeat

Goodbye Is Not An Option

This is a collaboration poem, I’ve worked on lately for a funeral service to say goodbye to a husband of forty two years: we came to the conclusion that it’s just not possible.

We will always be together,
Just waiting here apart
You will always have the most of me
Within your loving heart

We will always be together,
Even though we are apart
I will think of you, and talk to you
You rest inside my heart

You had a one way ticket, up into the sky
But your ride came early, I really don’t know why
They took the man I wanted, into the clouds above
and now I miss you terribly,
My husband, friend, my love.