Poetry

I wear sky blue ear defenders to dull the threatening hum of the world.

They’re not perfect. They might cork the sharpness,

but they cannot smooth it.

And the times when I need their comfort most,

when the weight of voices, bodies, auras

tries to crush me and all I want is silence,

they become invisible. Strangers direct questions my way

as if they’re not even there. Comments

that need responses I’m too weary,

too flattened, to give.

I can still hear every word, and each one ties me with the cord of obligation

to reach for my social mask,

the one I thought I’d shed months ago.

I wear sky blue ear defenders to dull the threatening hum of the world.

They’re armour to protect me, but even armour

cannot save me from arrows.

Poetry

Earthquake

A thousand conversations in my ears,

snatches of words, flashes of colour

and the whole ground shaking.

 

My ground

is turning, thrown up and down

with no chance to recover

before the world is split in two

and my heartbeat

is both silent and rampant.

 

Unable to process what’s going on,

detachment takes hold

 

forcing breath into my lungs

and oxygen to my head.

 

I look up and see the sky.

Calm, blue and trimmed

with a neat green beard.

 

Ice flows forward to crash

against my ankles,

bringing with it the lull of evening.

 

The voices, now tired, begin to settle.

even as the roar continues.

 

Eventually

they take the leap and merge

with the shadows. Dark.

Tied with the night.

Poetry

Anxiety

The paces quicken; Lori chatter

down the phone as time expands and collapses

in a moment of sirens and panic and onlookers who don’t know how to react.

Of course, it’s all in your head

as you raise your hands in surrender

to that great barrier:

the front door, the bus, the road, the airport.

Rubbing shoulders, no air, no space,

condensed further than canned milk

and becoming even more jelly-like,

melting against the heat and fear

until you

 

scream.

 

And then they look at you.

Crazy.

And walk away.

 

Poetry

Dream Recount

The light is bright,

but it has a condescending voice sometimes.

It’s also yellow, one of my least favourite colours,

and when it goes on and on at me,

I’m just a little overwhelmed.

Then there’s the crash of shattering glass

as feet shuffle, shuffle nearer.

A petty argument over my shoulder,

and no one’s answering the phone;

as I ring and ring,

I might as well be calling the moon.

I think I’d get a faster response.

Oh, but now here you are, my friend.

You’re taking my hand?

Why? – it’s okay.

It is, isn’t it?

Okay, I mean. With you looking out for me.

You just one-upped the light.

Huh.

Thanks, buddy.

Poetry

Wave barrier

The hubbub in my ears rumbles through my bones and shakes the foundation I balance on. The conversations of a hundred different people, hiss, snicker, guffaw. Chatter chatter chatter, clinking glasses, scraping cutlery, a band incessantly droning on, light brightening, yellowing, glaring. It’s a wave of sensory input building, building, waiting to crash down and knock me back.

I can beat this, I can hold my ground.

Building my own rhythm, a gentle tap of focus. Constant, repetitive motion. A wall against the wave. My feet start to steady.

I might still get pushed back, but I’ll stay standing this time.

Poetry

The Noise

It rumbles through bones, teeth and jaws

down to the ground, past all six floors.

Shaking the doors, cracking the windows

disturbing old dears absorbed in their bingo.

They try and try to stop The Noise

offering food, books and free toys,

but the little green ball that resides at its core

simply widens its mouths and screeches some more.

Poetry

Evaporate

Engines chug away

propelling the clouds into new positions

that people read

as sacred teachings.

Oblivious

to the mechanics behind their prophets.

Those maintaining the perpetual motion

no longer speak or hear

in a common tongue.

Language

is lost to them now.