Poetry

Dandelion Clock

On your fingertips dandelion stops, 12am

and the black hole in your belly grows.

You wonder if it will suck you in eventually.

 

1am, dandelion rises up and drifts to the windowsill

on your anxious breath. Look out, invisible bars.

 

By 2am your handprint is fixed into the glass. Dandelion dances

across your arm and down towards the fireplace.

It can feel the inhale of the chimney.

 

3am goes unnoticed as you cram your body up

the chimney after it, ignoring the flames engulfing your legs.

 

A sneeze confuses dandelion

as it trails back to watch you burn slowly,

4am chiming hollow in your ears.

 

Dandelion nests in your hair at 5am,

attempting to restart your brain

so you can see you have now become the fire.

 

The birds twitter when 6am arrives;

dandelion plays the music notes in the air

and leads you to the bath

where your blistered and charred skin

can be soothed by ice water.

 

7am, and it looks like you haven’t struggled at all.

Poetry

Low fuel

Let’s not confuse the sad with the empty,

though the expressions may be the same.

Tie labels around each toe

with notes on how well the footprints smile.

Are they real, or just so creatively painted on

that you’re mesmerised and can’t see the raw skin

blistering from so much neglect?

Gold stars for getting up in the morning,

lifting up the weighted chains

entwining every limb.

Poetry

Firefly

You’ve got lights glowing by your feet.

They’re trying to help you find the path,

so stop avoiding them.

They don’t appreciate being hopped over.

Or stepped on.

In fact, they don’t like being by your feet at all.

They’d rather be at the same level as you,

but your ego is a barrier

they can’t get past.

 

One of them is starting to fade.

Will you let it extinguish?

Poetry

Reawakening

It’s a firecracker with karate oomph.

 

No lace involved at this point.

No webs spun, no leaf skeletons

to be collected, analysed, stamped.

 

It took a while to create the right mix

of mineral and powder,

testing and re-testing until the colours were held high,

shouting, ‘we are to return to our maiden voyage.

We are to return

to the sea and its torrents, its salt and seaweed

and the lights of anglerfish in its belly.

 

We are to fight the storms and ride them through

until the calm

spreads her fingers across the surface

and we find the land

we’ve always searched for

bit could never find until now.

 

The homeland of our hearts,

where our roots can be unwrapped

from their protective cloth

and left to spread as they wish.

 

 

 

 

Poetry

Nest

The wasps are under my skin again,

their buzzing taking over

and vibrating my brain into ice,

breath cool but scorched words.

Heat in my face, on my tongue, on my lips

and only a dark cloud in my belly to blame.

I know the wasps will dissolve into sweet figs

tomorrow, or maybe the next day,

but I wish the ointment I brew from them

could be given now, with a kiss of apology

even though you always say you don’t need it.

Poetry

I’ve given up counting sheep, they only stand on me.

I’m yawning the moment I sit down

even though I’m there to listen to sleep –

or how to get there, or to leave there.

It’s one or the other with me.

The hands clutch tight or not at all.

In Nod, they’re as fickle as fame, apparently.

It’s like trying to get excited for a school trip you don’t want to go on

while at the same time

watching everyone else go off to Disney

and find your feet stuck to the floor.

You mustn’t go during the day, they warn

as my mind skips away from my body.

Poetry

Edges and acorns

The mountain doesn’t look like a mountain

when it’s all painted up with leaves and acorns

and leftover drops of sun.

It’s more an artwork on canvas,

something that I can appreciate but not feel squashed by.

It’s when it’s stark and white,

only its sharpness and jagged edges to display

that my head decides to landslide

and any progress I’ve made

erases itself until

the next leaf fall.