Poetry

Shuffle Huffle

It’s been a while since the spark of my mind

and the images it carves in the grain of my imagination

have wanted to come freely out through my fingertips

and drip into inky life on the page.

Usually, I have to drag them. Wrap my hands around their horns and heave

to get them moving. But of course, that only makes them more stubborn.

I show them pictures of the tumbleweed rolling across my notebook,

pick up handfuls of dry soil

so they can see how barren it’s become.

Guilt-tripping them all the way until they grumble into a slow shuffle

one by one, and cause ink blots everywhere as they do so.

But today they danced out to a waltz,

a festival of colours and gowns and painted masks

because I chose to let them take control of my fingers

and make the shapes they wanted to,

and not force them to bend into mine.

Poetry

Your attention, please!

And standing, I take a breath

and place the last piece of the puzzle in place.

The click shakes the ground

and reorganises the entire picture

into a montage of how I got here

and the effort it took: the hours

of studying, crafting ’til midnight,

brainstorming in the shower,

putting on armour to shield myself from every rejection

and fighting for my voice to be heard.

 

The film keeps running,

I’m not done yet.

Poetry

Mantle

It’s the weight of this top that’s pulling me down. The fabric

tugs at my arms, my back, my chest, waterlogged even on dry days.

A friend offered to wring it out once, they gave it back to me after an hour

with a haggard look in their eyes. ‘It’s too much. Too much for me

to bear,’ they said. I wasn’t angry. It’s hard, I know.

I’ve tried dying it, changing things up to look more cheerful.

Sewing buttons and toggles, weaving in different threads,

but it never works. It’s never satisfying. Never satisfied.

I know the only way to take it off permanently

is when it disintegrates, but it makes me feel guilty and disloyal

to think like that. It’s been there for me my whole life,

keeping me warm,  protecting me. I should be there for it.

I should. Yet the weight is so much that I can barely move now.