Poetry

City Scape

The cities reflect me as I stand on the edge,

cliff nose to window. They would be castles

in the air, if I didn’t look down

to see the miles below where eyes are open,

ogling until the soil, until the grave.

They have the scent of sweet rot,

that candy cane gutter pile left

for the elves in high viz jackets

(that render them invisible to the streets and suits);

underpaid, overworked, and tired – so tired.

And still those glassy screens profess

fresh lilies, crisp and bred to perfection.

Poetry

Social Noise

The camera flash flashes away my sight of you,

aided by the hovering, caterwauling middle-agers,

parents of rushing children, despite their own failure

to reel in their mouths, and yet your words still

paint themselves in my mind, sponsored by your unwavering image.

The reason is the pouring of your heart, cogs, springs

and fate line into my lap so I can cradle each one

in reason and warmth, judgement free.

Alas, the world wants to block you from my ears,

so to quiet we must go, where my attention

can blanket you fully.

Poetry

Lucky Cat

It sits there, waving its merry wave

as people pass

paying it no mind.

All it wants to do is greet them,

wish them a good day.

Over the years, the dirt and grime

kicked up by so many feet

clog its workings.

Its arm stiffens, its wave hardly a wave

and its painted smile flaking

but still it goes on,

hoping that one day, someone will wave back.

Poetry

Hubbub

Hubbub.

Who’s listening?

 

Chatter, natter, prattle

Prat.

 

Screens in our face, over our eyes

in our minds.

Siding with popular opinion,

shying away from engaging that hungry engine, the brain.

Work them, encourage them

steam-powered as they may be.

 

Quiet, I crave.

 

No, they sing.

We need the noise, need the buzz,

need the bright lights and sweat and alcohol

and neon screens

to feel normal.

 

Normal?

What is normal

but a falsity of who you are

trying to resemble

the falsehood of others.

 

Hubbub.

Who’s listening?

Chatter, natter, prattle

Prat.

 

Quiet, I crave.

Independent thinking, I urge.

Eccecentric. Weird. Outcast, they sing.

 

Poetry

It’s okay

Apparently it’s okay

to demand help five minutes before the world sleeps

and then stroll off under the stars

without even the thought of thanks.

 

It’s fine to dig up liquefied bones

and fashion them into inflatable rings

to bob along on the surface of the Earth’s sweat-sheened skin

only to cast them aside when the sun hides its head.

 

It’s fine to book safaris in a distant country

while the wildlife nearby is trampled underfoot,

hit by cars and choked by polluted air,

with reserves holding fundraisers in the wake of blind eyes

and deaf ears.

 

It’s fine,

until the wall of ignorance crumbles

at your feet.

Poetry

Feigned Ignorance, test one.

Look away.

Our subject isn’t cool, isn’t warm, isn’t quiet, isn’t loud.

She is simply a passenger

journeying inside a tube filled with bubbles,

and hers is burst suddenly, tearing her from the pages of the novel clutched in her hands

to the attention of the male specimen, tipsy as a timer,

demanding her number.

As if she is a prized doll for collectors.

Politely, she refuses.

 

The male specimen does not like this. He accuses her of prudishness.

As if that’s his business.

None of the other bubbles burst while this is going on.

They are content, floating away; raised voices bounce off them,

pleading looks erased by blank stares.

 

Her stop is close, the tube is slowing.

Our subject can get away this time.

Next time, let’s take away her escape route and see what happens.

I’d like to think that all the bubbles would burst then,

but my colleagues say the probability is low.

We’re not placing bets.

Poetry

In this light

It’s easy staring out into the dark. Turning away from the cries, the smoke, the sound of a full room discussing the wonders of brick while wood burns only a few feet away. The darkness quiets me. Lulls me into a soft sleep, intent on making me think I can forget. My dreams wage war for eternity.

Poetry

The time I saw a quarter

It looks exactly like victory – if you squint a little. A hungry mouth waiting to swallow the world up whole, too famished to savour the taste. Someone once told me that taking such a meal would never truly sustain a person: half of a half, carrying on in a waking dream fishing for starfish to throw at the sky.