Poetry

Splinters

The splinters of the branch slid into my fingers

as it snapped at the force of my hand as I tumbled into the tree.

Blood beaded down the bark and caught on the tip of a serrated leaf.

The red mirror showed

how little I’d changed

despite being shoved out of line, convinced my place was over here, not there.

My hair was ruffled, but still mine.

My clothes were covered in cobwebs and lichen, but still mine.

My eyes were wet and open, but still mine.

The blood dripped from the leaf and was instantly swallowed by the soil.

I stood up.

Poetry

Recipe for moving

Step one:

Plant money seeds in pot. Research gingerbread recipes.

 

Step two:

Add feed to money seeds. Begin weighing out ingredients for gingerbread. Check against favourite recipe.

 

Step three:

Keep feeding and watering money seeds as they become seedlings. Mix gingerbread ingredients together. Stir well, taste-testing where necessary.

 

Step four:

Keep money seedlings safe as they mature. Pour gingerbread mix into wall- and roof-shaped tins and place in oven. Cook until fully risen.

(This step takes the longest.)

 

Step five:

Take out gingerbread parts to cool. Pick money plant leaves and grind into icing.

 

Step six:

Assemble gingerbread house using money plant icing. Use any excess money plant icing to decorate gingerbread house.

 

Step seven:

Plant more money seeds for use as icing to stop gingerbread house falling apart over time.

Poetry

Constant

We walked side by side between planets,

watched their oceans swell and fall

into stardust, theorizing how Saturn’s rings

may be its core

after its writhing energy tore out

to form its own globe.

 

The stars can be seen during day on Mercury,

but I can see them at any time I wish

in your eyes.

Our markers held well over the year,

the beats sounded and shook me giddy.

 

In the grain of that bench under the maples,

our echoes will reside forever.

 

Poetry

On a spring day

Her name is made of leaves

as she cups the sun in her hands

and turns it into golden liquid, elixir

blood, life.

Her face is of soil, is of water,

drawing, drawing

until her heart turns green, then red

and erupts

for the bees to collect.

Her pieces fill their baskets

and they spread her fingers everywhere.

Sparks for everything she touches.

 

Poetry

Turning the handle

You say I swept out the cobwebs from your mind,

chased away the critters nesting

in the corners, darkening them

until the room became a prison, insular

and draining.

But you were the one who kept the door open

when it threatened to close

just so I could take shelter from the storm

chasing me.

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

Silhouette in water

I can’t inhale the salt anymore,

I’ve become immune to it.

The course crystals on my tongue

might be grains of sand, fragments of places

history has long forgotten.

They’ve found me, and I am alive.

So they are alive.

The faces in the ocean, bloated, pale,

give me envious looks.

I chose to swim away on my own,

they chose to stay.

Refused the fresh air

so they could mingle, lungs full

of false laughter and smoke.

Mine are clean.