Poetry

Spy

Dawn comes, crisp yet quiet.

Leaves stir on its breath and rise up to land on the window ledge,

locked tight

like the rest of the house.

A robin spies an insect on one of the leaves,

and flutters over to snatch it.

Its beady eyes meet large, pale ones

through the cold glass,

hungry and wild at seeing a creature move about so easily.

The robin is unconcerned, considering only

that its momentary distraction has now cost it its meal.

Poetry

Hermit crab

The day is warm on my face, so I emerge from my home

to track down supplies. It shouldn’t be too bad, I can enjoy the breeze

and how the sun trickles on my limbs.

Scuttling along, intending to be content.

Do I really need my shell?

There’s nothing to bruise my soft body here–

whoosh.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

What is that? Those startling things

all herded in groups or alone with noses in black mirrors?

They don’t even see me.

Feet stomping, arms swinging, brows furrowed.

Blind to a little crab trying to find food and appreciate the air.

Better be getting home, before they extinguish me with their ignorance.

Poetry

In which Sophie pins down Howl (inspired by Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones)

He was a slitherer-outer. They all knew it,

but one did not care and another stared off in the other direction.

That left only one more, and it was up to her to try and pin him down,

to stop him avoiding all that was his to do.

So she busied herself with listening and learning,

careful to sew it all into place

where once she might not have dared.

Did it work?

No, not the first time.

Or the second. Or the third. Or the many attempts that followed.

Yet one day, after her temper was expressed in the form

of a can of weedkiller thrown at his head

(from which he hastily ducked),

she grasped her patchwork of knowledge and held it where he

could slither away no more.

As he looked upon it,

they both saw that he’d slithered away so fully

that he’d gone full circle

and ended up being honest after all.

Poetry

Smooth

The prints have eroded. Valleys once so telling

broken, worn to anonymity.

Gloves have more soul than they do

and can still be hurt by the constant wash of disinfectant

and bleach, the routine so well rehearsed

that the very ground has become a giant record,

one that needs no needle to sound its ghosts.

Poetry

This winged emotion

The darkness swoops down, unfurls its wings and roars.

Chest heavy with the ache only grief can name,

it sets sap to everything, forcing the moment

to solidify: amber for the night, amber for the dawn.

Granted silence at last, it hunkers into itself,

waiting for the deep gashes in its scales to heal.

Poetry

Mandrake

On the surface it holds up clumps of happy green,

and underneath the ground

the roots curl up snug, content and safe from everything.

 

Yet soon people come with spades and forks

to disturb its peaceful slumber

and dig it up without any thought.

 

So the mandrake bawls

when all the soil is brushed away from its face,

wondering why it couldn’t be left alone

for the rest of its days.

 

But the people have heard its bulbous roots

are more than what they seem,

and seek to use it as an ingredient

for all the medicines that they need.

 

So many little mandrakes

have suffered the same fate

that now they have learnt to vanish

from gardens and allotments without a trace.

Poetry

Mother Cosmos

Her skin is made of stars

and swirls of cosmic dust,

her hair as dark as the dark side of the moon.

 

The burning amber of her eyes

gives out the sun’s warm rays,

and her tongue whispers the galaxy’s mysteries

and the history of many a forgotten age.

 

During the day you cannot see her,

for she walks among the clouds,

holding council with Mother Earth,

but at night she rests and lets her gown

sprawl out across the sky.