Poetry

Whale song

Imagine a whale floating across the sky.

You think it’s confused, swimming around up there

and not in the blue.

It doesn’t occur to you that your sky

is not sky, only a level of the ocean above you

because you’ve sunk so deep

that you’ve merged into sediment

where the pressure is holding you down

and this whale is trying to get its song to reach you

but can’t.

You’re already rock.

Poetry

Prime numbers

I’m no good at maths, not the quick mental part anyway.

Or most of the other stuff. But I do like

the puzzling out, finding keys and pathways

if I’m left to pick through it on my own

scratching pencil notes in the margins of textbooks and on graph paper.

But what I really like is prime numbers.

The solidness of knowing they cannot be divided (evenly)

to make themselves smaller.

They are what they are. Unique and separate,

proud to command their value as it is.

 

I wish I was a prime number.

Wish my attention wouldn’t be split

over and over

or shoved into some complicated equation

I can’t even begin to wriggle out of before time runs out.

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

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.

Poetry

Aloe Vera

I was a husk filled with things that weren’t me,

and all the problems I’d had

were squashed down so tight

I didn’t even know they were there.

 

Now the spell is broken and I’m returning to myself,

those crumpled seeds

are sprouting

and forcing me to re-live and re-live and re-live

in a never-ending loop.

 

Until I hear your voice.

Then, it all stops,

leaves dropping in the wind.

Your careful words are a salve

to these self-inflicted wounds.

They will not heal me completely, but they help.

They really do.