Poetry

A serving of shells and gems

On the table in the quiet inn

are spent bullets, spelling out the words

‘You are empty’.

You stare at them;

everyone you’ve spoken to before

seems to reinforce

the message as true.

 

Then in the palm of your hand

a warmth spreads out to your fingertips.

You look up to see the barmaid

grinning at you mysteriously, motioning to wave your hand

over the bullets.

 

You do so,

and before your eyes

they turn into gems

polished so brightly

that their brilliance overshadows

all the scars the bullets left on your skin.

 

‘You gave me this power?’ you ask the maid.

‘No,’ she replies,

‘it was yours to begin with.’

Poetry

Mirror Pool

The tea in my cup is a mirror pool,

a pensive place of comfort

to gather my thoughts at the end of the day.

 

Why is it so hard to show passion?

To have dreams that are bursting from your body

invisible to everyone but you

and those select few

you trust and take into your heart,

who have no expectations

because they simply enjoy you

being you.

 

Why is it necessary

to fight the urge to fall into those few,

even though they’d catch you without hesitation,

and you’d easily do the same for them?

To see the look that says they will

hold you

if you need it, at any time,

and still not dive?

 

Why is love so difficult to express

in front of others,

to hold hands, touch nose to nose,

have that same solid certainty in our eyes?

None of the passers by care;

half

haven’t even noticed.

But there’s still this poisonous awkwardness

lingering in my bones.

 

I gather my thoughts at the end of the day,

reflecting in a pensive place of comfort:

the mirror pool in my teacup.

Poetry

Splice

If my heart was a jigsaw puzzle, every

piece would be a different colour, and

there would be more than one way to fit it together.

Some days the greens would take centre stage,

the days when I’m doing what I love and spending time

with those I love. Warm, cosy, satisfied.

Then on days when I’m alone, but still content,

blues and aquamarines would drift in and nestle neatly,

peaceful days spent in a book or in the woods.

Reds and oranges for those anxious, frustrating times,

and then yellow, my least favourite of all,

barging in at the most inappropriate of times

to bring me down into a world of doubt, depression, decline.

But I have to remember, all it takes to shift it

is a simple switch of the pieces.

Poetry

The Waiting Room

A kettle boils somewhere in the house.

Cold. Distant. An echo.

A woman in a black veilĀ 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.

 

Poetry

Waves in a teacup

I have this feeling

in my chest.

Like those soapy-water bubbles

you make as a child,

trying to blow the biggest one you can –

a lot of the time,

they pop

before you can release them,

but once or twice

you get one that works.

Proudly, you watch it float away

until you’re not sure

if it’s burst

or simply gone out of sight.

That’s the feeling I have.

It’s warm and cozy;

a squishy memory

you cling to

as long as you can,

snuggled up in a blanket

with a book

and a blissfully hot

cup of jasmine tea,

wishing for nothing more

than that moment to last

for as long as it can.

I don’t have a name

to put to this feeling,

but if I had to choose one,

I think

I’d call it:

hope.