Poetry

Clay

The soil clung to the woman’s fingers

as they stuck up from the ground.

It was evening, violet candies crunched underfoot

scattered around where she’d buried herself.

She’d needed to scream, and lacking

a place to release it, had dived into the earth

to let her voice ripple the clay

into the shape of her frustrations.

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Poetry

Picture Thinking

The mere mention of an object, hint of an idea, suggestion of a concept

and my mind has plastered it all over my thinking space:

magazine cut-outs, posters, video stills,

reels of film. Solid as the wall in front of me,

just behind my eyes. It’s odd that it’s invisible to you.

Elephants come charging in from The Jungle Book,

pink cousins visiting from Dumbo,

onyx bead eyes from a National Geographic photo I once saw

and a few others dancing around up there, with the word ELEPHANT

in grey, wrinkled lettering floating above their heads.

No one ever talks about how they think,

I didn’t realise this associative image gallery

wasn’t the norm.

Poetry

A photograph of a bench by a lake

The bench is open to any body

contemplating the cool glass before it.

It sees the day and the night, a breeding

ground for those lost souls who have been guided

falsely by the clouds.

It sits in the one patch of sun breaking through the shadows

playing bait. It knows some

will wish to be swallowed up.

Poetry

Broken Time

The couple are seated, quietly speaking on a bench.

They talk of days, of moments, of ups, of downs.

Nothing they do disturbs the hustle beyond them, until someone

claims that it does.

 

They’re sitting too close, if they want to be intimate, find somewhere else.

They remain seated, talking. Just talking.

Those things shouldn’t be spoken about in public. Save them for later.

They hesitate, then continue talking.

Is there something wrong with you? It’s crazy you would be so open. What if a child hears you? Do you really want that?

 

Tainting them? Tainting me? Tainting us?

 

Voices that were silent now crash over the couple’s moment,

blocking their words, twisting them, unhinging them.

 

The couple takes out a tube of bubbles trying to seal themselves away.

It works, but the clock is already counting down until it pops.

 

They hope no-one appears with a pin.

Poetry

Hat Stand

‘What hat shall it be today?’

the woman asks herself as she eyes

up the stand, the helpful monitor beside her

flashing with images of the latest trends.

 

‘Shall it be one that paints me an object, a soulless statue

worth only my measurements? How about the even tempered

diplomat, with no passion of her own, no dreams of her own,

no meaning of her own? Maybe the career minded robot

would like to be displayed?’

 

She lists them all, but none of them match her today.

 

None of them ever matched her, she realises,

and begins to wonder why she has hats at all.

She doesn’t remember buying them.

Were they gifts? Or suggestions?

 

She assesses the weather outside: mild.

 

She decides. She won’t wear one,

to see how it feels to be herself.

Poetry

Wires

So we’ve got the rib spreaders out to force the cavity as far open as we can, grasping down deep and convincing those pushed aside and half-forgotten truths to face the air. How very similar; have we borrowed memories or swapped minds? We might be one organism split into two, and if those silken threads The Fates toy with had been different, we could have been denied the chance to become whole again. Or, if they’d seen fit to knot our tale, perhaps the opportunity would have arisen sooner. What does it matter now? Our wires are matched.