Poetry

This winged emotion

The darkness swoops down, unfurls its wings and roars.

Chest heavy with the ache only grief can name,

it sets sap to everything, forcing the moment

to solidify: amber for the night, amber for the dawn.

Granted silence at last, it hunkers into itself,

waiting for the deep gashes in its scales to heal.

Poetry

Iron filings

The Kingdom has fallen silent,

doors bolted and keys buried.

The queen took her heart and locked it away

to save the cracks from spreading.

Her child was taken and turned,

puppetry at its finest,

made to dance to the tune of war

and march across the border.

Blood ran back and drank the water.

The people bathed in it,

they had nothing else —

and fell to the sharpness of the iron within.

 

 

 

Poetry

Bandages

I can fix this

I tell myself every time,

afraid that inaction will guilt me harder,

panicking because I’m sure I can do something – anything –

to help.

But my intentions never turn out how I imagine,

the end is always the end

and I do nothing to delay it.

Sometimes I speed it up.

I can never be sure,

and so as they drift away in my hands

I feel as cold

as if I’d stood still.

Poetry

The kings of our past

Your footprints are swamped by his

no matter how old you get, how tall you grow or how wise.

Because the ghosts will always contort the mirror

so you appear small, a mere cub

hiding in his father’s shadow.

Poetry

Despair

The photograph shows a cottage, half-built,

support beams visible before the thatch.

I touch them and feel my bones vibrate,

wounds opening up all over my body.

 

Tears run from them, not blood

 

and from the cottage, through the paper to my ears,

comes the shrill whistle of a kettle.

I remember. She always offered me tea.

Poetry

Invitation

The doorway opens as soon as the leaves are trampled.

Eyes watching from knots and branches,

bulging out their curiosity even as the shadow passes through.

Eagerly they follow it, only for the tree spirit

to blow them out and close the gate,

keeping the secrets within

so no whispers may spread on the wind.

Poetry

Leech

So you think you can dance and summon the winds

of every direction, weaving them into a web

that captures every episode of life?

 

You think you can harness it and grow fat

without ever living yourself?

 

You think you can feel every emotion just as intensely

as those it was birthed from;

 

those grieving for fathers and mothers and children

and grandparents and cousins and lovers

all torn from them in needless conflict;

 

those making vows to be together for their entire lives

because parting would cause them to lose part of themselves;

 

those suffering inside their own heads knowing that those who truly understand them

are so few that they’ll never be able to connect fully with anyone;

 

those so distraught over the sheer scale of pollution and destruction

occurring in the world that it brings not only tears but a knife

to their hearts, buried up to the hilt?

 

 

You can dance and summon the winds

and weave them as you please,

but you’ll never feel what they feel.

 

How can you when your own heart and mind are empty?

Poetry

Blood Magic

The world has changed,

the blood cries to me every night,

screaming through my veins

and the veins of my heirs.

It can feel the doors closing,

feel the separation, the desperation

the fear eating at people’s bones.

 

Old as I am, the locks have never been used.

A person could walk from here to the other side

and back again.

 

Yet orders have been given, magic has been stripped

and we have been exiled,

the youngest forced to spill their life force

to form the seal.

There will be no more of us now.

Poetry

As the crow flies

Safe in the nest. Safe in the nest until

the feathers fall into pillows ready for stuffing.

Downy softness to lull the head to sleep.

It hops. It pecks. It hops again.

Cocks its head to the side

with a measured eye, seeking.

Dreamer land. Dreamer land on the horizon.

Caw Caw Caw.

Poetry

Ghost image

I’ve been thinking,

time and time again,

about the way your face

imprints on me

like those things

with blunt metal pins

that you press into

and they take

the shape of your hand,

only changing if you choose

to erase it.

I can’t erase you.

You’re here with me

whether you like it

or not,

even though

we may never meet again.

Perhaps it’s just

that I don’t want to forget.

Perhaps it’s something more.