Poetry

Tired, was he

He went boldly up to the clocks and abacuses

marking out his life

and demanded to know why

they refused to see how burnt out he was.

 

They paused, studying him, and said,

‘We can see. But you didn’t state it before this.

Therefore, it was not our concern.’

 

And so they went back

to laying out his schedule

as if no interruption had occurred.

 

‘Hold up. Are you saying

you’ve seen me struggling for months

to cope with everything

you’ve arranged that I haven’t asked for

because I kept my mouth shut?’

 

‘Yes.’

 

In response to their answer, he pulled

them all down from the dais

and dissembled them

with his bare hands.

 

‘From now on, I mark out

my own life,’ he said,

and left them in a heap

of beads, cogs and springs.

Poetry

Keep sake

My heart is a trinket box

previously filled with costume jewellery

lovely in its own way

but I have sensitive skin

and you know how metals react with sensitive skin

over time.

 

I wore it often

thinking that I always would

claiming the style matched my own

even on days it turned my skin green

or threw up a rash.

 

It wasn’t until after a decade had passed

that it occurred to me I’d been avoiding

the obvious truth.

No matter how much I adored it

it was not a true match.

We weren’t compatible

in the way I thought

and gradually it had spilt out of my heart-box

leaving me empty.

 

Empty

enough to be filled

with something truly precious.

Not a trinket

not a necklace

not another box.

 

A living beating pulsing heart.

My own.

Poetry

Declaration

I like how our fingers latch

when our hands stray close to each other.

There’s no question, no uncertainty.

They just link,

mirroring the chain binding our hearts.

 

When words fail,

and they always do when we most want them,

a touch serves as well.

 

It’s an answer. An agreement.

An ‘I’ll stand beside you no matter what

you tell me, what emotions you let out

or what sadness you let in’

contract.

 

And it’s for life.

Poetry

Off Beat

‘Did someone pull you by the hand?’

you ask.

 

‘No,’ I answer. ‘My heart discovered

it was beating a different rhythm

to the one it thought it beat.

 

It was shocked, angry at itself

and guilty when it discovered that no matter how hard it tried,

it couldn’t find the melody it’d lost.

 

The new one was too strong,

too wild, too free and

too accepting of itself.’

 

‘And of the heart

whose rhythm it once matched?’

 

‘It beats still, sound and capable,

ready to find another

to fall into sync with.

 

Mild and honest, it will always

be true to its owner.’

Poetry

The Meaning Will Present Itself

Okay, okay

I’m here now, present.

No, not a present for you.

A present for me. For myself

to accept

and hold out to the world.

 

I have lowered my shield.

I am tired of raising it; my arms are weary.

I don’t want to be touched, or cuddled, or kissed –

until I do.

And if I do,

know that it is because you

are one of the few I love,

one of the few

I can suit up with

and ride beside into battle.

 

I will not stand beside anyone who seeks to leech me,

who leans on me

without ever letting me lean on them.

I favour balance,

I favour truth,

I favour trust.

 

No apologies will be made

if you seek to unmask me

and are devastated by the results.

 

I am here. I am present.

I am my truest self.

Poetry

Monsters

In my mind after

it breaks down, the world

creeps up on me.

It’s a monster

in my head, sinking its nails in

until I bleed out.

 

Upside down,

I break through. Struggling for air

as I crash the surface,

tearing at the dark scales that cover my eyes.

 

I am a hunter, but also the hunted.

I am the monster.

I am the monster

of the world in my head.