Poetry

Hermit crab

The day is warm on my face, so I emerge from my home

to track down supplies. It shouldn’t be too bad, I can enjoy the breeze

and how the sun trickles on my limbs.

Scuttling along, intending to be content.

Do I really need my shell?

There’s nothing to bruise my soft body here–

whoosh.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh.

What is that? Those startling things

all herded in groups or alone with noses in black mirrors?

They don’t even see me.

Feet stomping, arms swinging, brows furrowed.

Blind to a little crab trying to find food and appreciate the air.

Better be getting home, before they extinguish me with their ignorance.

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

Headache

One of those rubber swimming hats is being pushed down over my head,

weights on either side stretching it until the pressure is so intense I’m sure it can’t take much more.

And all the while I’m on a music box, the doll in the middle spinning around

until the box is shut again.

The bursting boils of the sun are leaping into my eyes

no matter how far back I push myself in my wheelie chair.

Forcing my eyes shut does nothing

except send me into a daze.

I desperately search the medicine cabinet — the packet of paracetamol is empty.

Poetry

Waiter, there’s a wasp in my soup

I have white noise in my head.

It layers itself over everything my brain is trying to do

and the only way I can turn the screen

to a semi-smooth grey

is impair my senses

so my receptors can focus on one at a time.

I don’t want to be trying to read while having an audiobook playing

and a graphic novel flicking pages all at once.

I want what I see, hear, smell, taste and touch

to be a well-organised orchestra performing a waltz,

not one who’ve had their instruments switched with scrapyard junk

trying desperately to tune up what can’t be tuned.

 

Poetry

Dandelion Clock

On your fingertips dandelion stops, 12am

and the black hole in your belly grows.

You wonder if it will suck you in eventually.

 

1am, dandelion rises up and drifts to the windowsill

on your anxious breath. Look out, invisible bars.

 

By 2am your handprint is fixed into the glass. Dandelion dances

across your arm and down towards the fireplace.

It can feel the inhale of the chimney.

 

3am goes unnoticed as you cram your body up

the chimney after it, ignoring the flames engulfing your legs.

 

A sneeze confuses dandelion

as it trails back to watch you burn slowly,

4am chiming hollow in your ears.

 

Dandelion nests in your hair at 5am,

attempting to restart your brain

so you can see you have now become the fire.

 

The birds twitter when 6am arrives;

dandelion plays the music notes in the air

and leads you to the bath

where your blistered and charred skin

can be soothed by ice water.

 

7am, and it looks like you haven’t struggled at all.

Poetry

Lightning Source

Where does it come from? teapot swirling with crackling anger

while its brother gargles out ideas and hurls them to the ground

just to analyse the way the leaves smoke and blacken after the impact.

 

The teacup is held to catch the droplets and cool them,

before watering the dry

and collecting the glass trees from the sand.

 

Ghostly, the surface shines to mirror,

its seed long carried away like beads

on a collapsing table.

Poetry

Unwrap

I’m handed a ball-shaped mass of paper.

Glitter bows and silver pen all over.

Sometimes the small things that are inside

count more, you say. Unwrap it. You’ll see.

Wire cage under the paper. Hanging

from the top, five metal balls. Newton’s cradle.

Tick, pass centre, tick.  Like my heart.

Like your heart. Beats passing back and forth.

Momentary silence between them, but

always an answer in the end.