Poetry

It’s not always winter

I take the knife and carve away a slither.

The exposed skin reddens at the touch of cold air

and regrows its protective casing.

I try again, carving away another slice,

yet still the ice seeps in and forces retreat.

Moons change and the casing grows thin,

I cannot depend on it for support much longer.

The crushing air outside is still strong…but wait!

Is that a warm spot approaching in the distance?

I can last just a little longer. A fraction more.

I reach out

and it takes me with it.

The memory of warmth becomes real,

I shed my casing without worry.

Poetry

I don’t care

I don’t care.

I don’t care that most people struggle to understand your speech.

I don’t care that they don’t get the references to old films, games and music that you make.

I don’t care that they don’t see the many strengths you have.

I don’t care that they write you off as weird, strange or eccentric.

I don’t care that they don’t understand why I like hanging out with you.

I don’t care that they now label both of us.

I don’t care

because they’ve completely missed who you are, and the ease I feel when I’m near you.

I don’t care

because they will never know the solid, dependable make-up of our friendship.

I don’t care

because they are the ones who have lost out, and I have no pity for them.

Poetry

Creature Unknown

The hand on my face presses down, sliding its fingers into my gills. No oxygen, no screaming, I suppose it thinks. My mouth proves otherwise. I have teeth, I have lungs, I have a voice that belts out an alert to all around me. There is a creature here wanting to crush you. It’s got me. Stay back, else it will get you, too.

Poetry

Cone Home

I pluck a pine cone

from the floor of pines

 

and peek

at the tiny world

 

between the cone’s

teeth. I break apart

 

the layers,

snapping them

 

with the same satisfaction

as breaking up

 

a bar of chocolate,

piece by piece.

 

I’m swallowed whole,

taking up the heart

 

of an ant. The people

inside greet me

 

as one of their own,

feeding me

 

nectar

from the cone’s core.

 

I’d like to say

thanks and sorry

 

for the trouble;

doing so would reveal

 

I’m not one of them

at all, just a stranger

 

who walks in the woods

gathering pine cones.

Poetry

Opening credits

Pretending it’s okay

not to be cast

as the main character,

to always be left behind

while others race to the moon

and bathe in its shimmering

light.

 

That’s you all over.

 

I’ve watched you

calmly accepting

year after year

day after day

hour after hour

that you’re second best.

 

I can’t hold back any longer.

 

I reach for the mirror,

grasping it firmly,

and force you to look

into it.

 

You do.

 

Your eyes meet mine.

You realise that you don’t want

to

race

to the moon, anyway.

 

You strap rockets to your feet

and fly

instead,

capturing its light

in your hands

to sculpt

the moon’s tears

one by one,

each different to the last.

 

People pick them up where they land,

marveling at their uniqueness.

 

Finally, you’re proud

of who you are.

 

Finally, I’m proud

of who I am.

 

Poetry

Ears

An elephant’s ears are like grey, wrinkled sails

shading the ground for little creatures

who scurry from bush and tree

dragging long, furry tails.

 

A bat’s ears are keen and tune into slight sounds,

hearkening to the call of insects

filling the dark night air

to swarm all around.

 

A parrot’s ears are covered with glossy green feathers

hidden completely from sight,

never hinting when they’re listening

for slight changes in the weather.

 

A hare’s ears are furry but upright,

always on the alert for danger,

ready to respond to the sound of a threat,

running swiftly from a predator’s swipe.

 

Poetry

Beauty Contest

How do you measure

the prettiness of a flower?

Do you look at it from every angle,

taking a ruler to each petal

and then recording the measurements

in order to conclude

perfect symmetry?

Do you lay them

next to others

of the same hue,

matching them with those

that have already won the vote

for overall vibrancy?

Do you gather them into a bunch

for an authority to assess

how well they can be displayed?

Or is it the case

that you do not judge them

at all?

Perhaps you have realised

that in order to fully observe

the beauty in each,

you must first appreciate

their differences.