Poetry

Skeleton

‘Hold out your hands,’ she says

and places the silver key on my palms,

it fits across both perfectly. ‘It can

open any door you choose, anywhere.

Keep it close, always.’

 

So I swallow the key. Safe in my belly

it stays, and safe from my memory

until every door I face

declares it’s locked.

 

It can’t be. It can’t be.

 

The memory stirs and I try to regurgitate.

It doesn’t work, and the doors laugh.

 

From inside me, the key calls out.

Unlock.

 

The doors are silenced by my voice.

I swallowed the key

and became it.

 

Poetry

Glide

I want to latch my mind

onto the back of a butterfly and let it take me

off, gliding past bushes and hedges,

swerving by faces and paws,

whiskers, beaks and speeding cars

up, up

to flutter around treetops,

when I can step off and walk along the longest branches

to gaze out

at everything.

See all the possible choices

spread out like drunken scrawls on a map,

overlapping and diverting,

all hinging

on one point, one inciting incident that leads into many.

There is no point in looking back at what might have been,

those pathways have already crumbled.

I can only look forward

and hope the winds from the multitude of wing beats

don’t sweep

my self away.

Poetry

Until the die read five or eight

I feel the monsoon sweating down my back,

see the darting tongues of vibrant purple blossoms

and the wrapping vines of sun-kissed waxy blooms.

 

I race the crocodiles down the stream,

run with the wild beasts who stampede over

burial grounds where their ancestors patiently wait.

 

I see the figurines move along their twisted paths

eyeing the telling jewel as their prize,

but the hunter guards it with savage delight.

 

A roll of the die is all it will take to freeze

the years of waiting to the far reaches of mind,

but will it read a five or an eight?

Poetry

35 whispering skulls

The pillars have shattered.

White-hot fire leaps up my skin

surging through every vein, every capillary, every cell.

Cold mist coils around me,

shapeless shadows guilt-trip my actions

as I rush past the sea of dried lavender filled pockets.

I hear my name called.

Sing-songing down the corridor,

trying to distract me from reaching

the thin silver column presenting itself as a door.

I ignore it, and step through

taking the elevator straight up.

Up and up and up.

Poetry

Gloop

It all started on

a Monday;

the contents of the pot dribbled

onto the floor,

flooding the newly polished tiles

with a voluminous

dark gloop.

 

The gloop was a mistake,

a recipe

gone wrong

from the mass of ingredients

forced to boil together.

Just like her life.

Spread out so thin

that she was barely a droplet of herself.

 

Working through the week,

she swept up the gloop

into heavy-duty sacks and buried it

among the mountains

of other people’s waste.

 

But for years after,

the gloop’s dark stain

remained.