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

Empty nest

The cages swing on silent

chains of air

despite the stillness in the house.

Faces in every window, every mirror, every vase polished to perfection.

Order. Gaunt order.

Detected by the undetectable,

watched by a nest of eyes

invisible to the spectrum.

Poetry

Wiped clean

There are times I look up and find the sky absent. The screen is off, no background to display. My hands immediately try to find the power button, encased in cardboard boxes filled with drippings of life. I suspect moisture is making the circuit trip up like a gangly teen with flapping shoelaces. But I can never bring myself to tear out the heart to have a look. Maybe I’m just too soft. Or maybe, there’s actually a part of me that enjoys the absence overhead.

Poetry

Dressing by the fire

The warmth around my shoulders,

soft as flames in the evening,

conceals the sting in my chest.

My jumper soft and safe is no longer,

now only the writhing buzz of bees

trying to make a hive from my emptiness.

But honey – I do not like the taste of it.

Poetry

The Waiting Room

A kettle boils somewhere in the house.

Cold. Distant. An echo.

A woman in a black veil falls

into the wash of the waterfall.

Whispers in the front room,

a herd of puppets

knocking in to each other:

frequent looks to the wooden case on display.

 

Tink, tink!

 

The herd’s attention is drawn,

as the kettle shrieks,

to a single speaker whose vague body

just about distinguishes itself

from the bled-out decor.

Dry words. Pale words. Words said with a wry grin and frail voice.

Lost.

All at once, the herd vanishes.

 

The kettle gets poured.

 

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Why I write

I’ve been thinking a lot about why I write, and not just writing poetry and fiction, but writing in general. And the more I think about it, the more answers seem to boil up.

I think the first one is that it was probably an escape for me when I was bullied at primary school. I couldn’t do anything myself, but I could make up characters who could. I wasn’t very good at talking to other kids, ¬†either, and if I was sitting by myself writing, then they were less likely to come up to me, so I’d feel more comfortable.

I’ve also always been able to come up with stories – I daydream all the time, and always have done – and writing them down allows me to have a creative output for them, which is important as I’ve discovered that if I don’t have some way to express my creativity, then I get depressed. And writing is what I’m most at ease doing over other creative pursuits (I love dancing and art, but writing is something I can always do even if I’m feeling ill – even writing just one or two lines while in bed with a virus fills me with a sense of achievement).

Inspiring people (and myself) is another reason why I put pen to paper. I can’t count how many times I’ve read a book and loved it so much that I felt fired up to write something great of my own. Without that initial wonder, I’m sure I wouldn’t be as enthusiastic about writing as I am now, and it certainly wouldn’t have been my dream as a child.

Linking to this is a basic desire for my work to be read by as many people as possible, so that they can see the worlds that I see. I want them to meet my characters and become so familiar with them that opening a book is like meeting up with old friends, with stories they want to return to again and again.

Finally, not only is writing a part of my daily routine (and I’m a very routine person), but I really don’t know what I’d do without it. The urge to write has buried itself so securely in my core that if I were to suddenly stop, I’d feel empty and unfulfilled. So I guess you could say that writing is therapeutic for me.

Anyway, this was just something I thought I’d chat about, because I always love reading details about other writers and thought this would be a good insight into what drives my work.