Said the man to the King

Said the man to the King

(whilst concealing a grin):

Rolls of fabric, neat and trim

shroud your holy, pale skin.

Silver thread stitched thickly

around collar and sleeve, strictly

the finest for this work of art;

certainly, Sire, you’ll look the part.

It’s magic, I confess,

to help weed out those who are less

than intelligent at court,

it’ll be a game, a sport,

for the dim witted cannot see

these garments made by me!

 

Said the King to the man

(though he was panicked by the plan,

for in fact he could not see

the clothes supposedly reaching his knees):

What cleverness, sir, you’ve shown,

I would truly never have known

that a charm could be used

to seek out those who have abused

their position by my side,

but now they cannot hide!

 

And so the next day,

to the townsfolk’s dismay,

the King held a parade,

and a declaration he made

that any who claimed

his robes not to be, shamed

themselves and should admit

their serious lack of wit.

Yet among the mutterings

and unsure shuffling

a hum of laughter did climb

at the sight of the King’s bare behind!

Grey

If you’re grey on the outside,

are you grey on the inside, too?

 

Forever a colour

that is not a colour?

Neither bright, nor dull

but a fluffy, half-formed

substance in-between?

 

A blur of identity,

an endless game of cat

and mouse,

see-sawing up and down,

with the fear of staying

who you are

at one end,

and the fear of

becoming someone new

at the other.

 

If you’re grey on the inside,

are you grey on the outside, too?

 

Mechanical Lungs (draft)

I gave you my voice

once. You had me

caught and caged,

ready to sing for

you and any audience.

To perform until my lungs

were spent, my fragile

frame shaking, but it made you happy;

I could see.

So I persevered, even though

my head would droop and my

light chest was gripped

with tightness.

Then you were gifted a metallic me.

It astounded you and every

beat

of

your

heart

was ensnared

by the grinding inner workings

as it chirped out

a charming replica of song.

You cast me aside,

I was free to fly again.

Free

to sing when I pleased or sing

not at all.

But eventually, as all things

do, the grinding of fake me

ground to a halt.

And your heart was released

to beat on its own.

The beat was weak.

You realised that it was starting

to break apart.

The cracks had appeared when you first

pushed me aside,

yet the pain was masked by false joy.

I can fix you,

bandage you up will warm trills

filled with spring flowers and

gentle breezes, the chorus of dusk and of dawn.

I can heal you.

Will you ask?

Sprouted (draft)

Up, up.

Green shoots,

eager brown boots.

A steep climb

for a little crime:

coins here, coins there,

as jumpy as an adult hare.

For a good cause;

give yourself pause.

The goose’s egg,

easily as big as your head,

a lilting harp

that never plays sharp.

Snatch them up quick!

Ears open, never miss a trick.

Down Down,

nearing the ground.

Run, lightning feet

through the patch of beet.

Safe for a while,

the end of the trial…

DOWN DOWN. DOWN DOWN.

Giant fists waiting to pound.

Extract: The Origin Stone

‘True, I’ve felt its desire to lure you here, too. But now that you are here, I believe it recognises who will be more beneficial to it.’ He looks at me, his fake smile fading. ‘You think it’s me stopping you from using your powers? Guess again. The Stone doesn’t want you interfering with my plans, and it especially doesn’t want that,’ he nods to the First, ‘roaming around so close to it either. Like any rational being, the Stone fears its destruction, and one clumsy step from that monstrosity will most likely shatter it into a thousand pieces.’

Uncovered (draft)

Why should my  sensitivity

be a sign

of who I am?

 

Why

should I be measured by

the bruises I bear

from a night of unrest,

when all I asked for

was hospitality?

 

Why would you seek

to drug me

with pea-sized pills

and force me to climb

the innerspring tower,

when a simple question

would so easily give

rest to your doubts?

 

Don’t take my truths

as acceptance

of your hand.

 

If you had

seen me

first, I may have reconsidered.

 

The cover has been

removed from you, not me.

 

Your chance has been spoiled:

blind

desire has that effect.

You will

see.

Well-shaped Sand (draft)

Purple mist wisps down

shaded dunes, creeping hands

mottling the yellow grains,

tumbling into bustling cities

ready to snatch at the wealth

of a merchant’s wares:

sugared dates, pistachios,

beads and scarves and

a thousand other riches

to flavour sips of life.

Lit by the lamp’s flicker,

illusions are stamped

over a tide of eyes,

but never reach the corners

filled  with emptiness

bottled tightly into fancy glass.