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

Captured fate

Dust streams off the road as dry tears.

Their hand is raised in farewell,

yet the heat waves trick the eyes into

believing they’re beckoning you closer.

Don’t take it, don’t step,

the wind cries, wrapping its arms around you

and pulling you away, away.

You bottle its colours, bright as glow worms,

and head off into the stars.

Poetry

Ice Maiden

She drinks in the river and lets the ice settle in her heart,

enclosing the fire they want to steal away.

They’re gasping, gasping for their lives,

but she thinks not, should have left the cradle be.

She ignores the red blood, the blue

for hers is deep green and never runs dry.

Hers is the proud tears of mothers watching their babes grow,

the sound laughter as they sever her veins.

Poetry

Tales by the hearth

The fire crackles in the grate,

shadows dancing with smoke tendrils as she reads

aloud, cloaked figures sneaking through her voice

to my wondering ears

as I cling to the embroidered arm of her chair.

 

The ritual nightly, yet never dull.

I play with the bobble on her slippers as she pauses to sip

Lady Grey from her fine china cup

then places it back on the saucer.

 

Resuming her place as though no pause had been taken

she leads me into the night

to meet the King of Dreams.

 

When I wake, the fire is dead

and her chair is cold,

its colours faded.

Poetry

Timing

We all have moments that we want to freeze in time forever.

 

An evening watching the sun go down

with a close friend, talking and laughing

of the many possible futures lying in wait.

 

Holding a loved pet in our arms

for the last time,

trying to give

as much comfort before the end as possible.

 

Meeting the lips of the person you love

for the first time

and trying not to float away

in the sheer bliss of it.

 

What people forget is that if it were possible to freeze time,

then we’d never get to experience

other moments in life,

moments that may be even more special than the first.

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

Mix tape

I pick up the pencil and lodge it in the cassette,

reeling in the ribbons flapping at my face

from the storm above my head.

My tongue catches between my teeth in concentration.

You watch like I’m messing with some ancient technology

from ages past.

I forget how young you are. I laugh at your expression.

Here, give it a try.

You take it and copy my attempts, finally reeling in all the ribbon.

Fast forward.

I don’t remember what was recorded on the tape,

but this is what was recorded in my mind.

I often drift by your patch

and wonder if you remember it too.

I should rewind and ask sometime.

Poetry

Bee quiz

How busy are the bees you see

When you see bees,

If you see bees?

Are bees the bee’s knees

At being busy bees?

 

I used to see them daily,

Buzzing to and fro,

Watching the nipping sips

They took from flowers

When they tired

And began to slow.

 

Those busy bees,

Those bee’s knees,

Have they busied themselves away?

Or have their tasty flowers

Given them death’s kiss

With a pesticide wave turned stray?