Poetry

Imposter

The pages of drafts and edits could decorate my walls,

each finished book a paperweight, a door stop,

decoration for the shelves

and hideaway for the mind after a long day.

Above all, evidence.

 

Surely I can’t dispute clear fact?

 

The voice of blank bears down on me,

drawing up every negative:

comments, remarks, comparisons,

the scattered and scribbled notes in my journal,

scratched out because they weren’t good enough.

 

Weren’t good enough. Weren’t good enough.

 

Do I prove it right? Or plug my ears,

gather my notes and map them into sense

just like I did last time?

Poetry

Attached

Enter: a shadow, the basement

of a person, painted solid by their ledger.

Hushing for silence

that doesn’t exist.

The audience sees it clearly under the bright stage lights,

but its owner is blind.

They feel so transparent, they’re not even sure they have a shadow anymore.

It sneaks up behind

and photographs them, panoramic view,

and leaves the print at their feet.

Evidence. Opaque as can be.

Poetry

Kingdom Crasher

Little demon;

small one loitering in the side alley,

waiting for the merry makers to trip and fall.

Only a second,

and your fingerprints are all over their pies.

Crushed pastry,

you lick the berry juice off and laugh.

This is your hobby, your dream, your job.

You do not see them spying on you,

marking your movements,

tracking your trail.

They are the ones who will see to it

that you fail.

Poetry

Rival

She places her feet down

with stubborn steps,

head on.

Cut, angled fringe, red eyes, ice lips.

Fingers curled, uncaring, in the waistband

on her hips.

Eagle grip.

 

I place my feet down

with weighted steps,

heavy lids,

creased, fluffy jumper, wet hair, dry lips.

Fire up as I catch sight of her with a match

to my manuscript.

Solar eclipse.

 

Mirror says,

take a step back.

Don’t give me that.

 

This is my war and I’ll wage it as I please.

Even if I’m the one

bringing me to my knees.

Poetry

Visions

‘What do you want to be when you grow up?’

When you’re a creative,

full of ideas wider and richer

than the colour spectrum,

the question is always asked with curiosity and just a hint

of amusement, as if they know that somehow your dreams will be unattainable

even before listening

to what they are.

And then they will pretend, at first,

that they haven’t judged you.

They’ll smile and give an encouraging nod,

before injecting the poison

you thought your were immune to.

‘You won’t make any money doing that.’

As if dreams are valid only

if they make a jingle in your purse.

Doubt creeps in.

Are you sure that’s what you want to do?

It’s not worth anything. A waste of time.

A waste of you.

 

No.

 

No, you say,

reminded every day by other creatives

that doing what you love

is definitely worth something.

The fact that it puts a smile on your face

and makes your heart sing

is worth something.

You are worth something.

Maybe not in coin.

That can be attained in other ways,

part-time jobs to keep you fed and watered.

But to keep you alive,

to keep you you —

only listening to yourself will do that.

Claim yourself.

Say, ‘I am a writer.

I am a writer, and if the only person I write for is me,

then that is still fine.

I am a writer,

and I enjoy being me.’

Poetry

Little demon

There’s a snide gremlin in my head.

Picking up my faults, saying the stars will never greet me,

the oceans never rise to meet me,

nor the clouds ever offer to carry me up

to kiss the moon.

When it drones on and on, pulling and twisting

every nerve in my body to get a reaction,

I swear at it and plough on with my day.

It won’t bring me down.

Poetry

The Chattering Skull

Eyes sunken, black holes cackling

pot-bubbling like, a cacophony of hahas

every time the shower curtain is pulled back

to reveal yourself to this particular audience.

The toothy grin, polished white noggin

so familiar, so present. Again.

Hollow inside, impenetrable outside.

Petrified criticism if there ever was.