Poetry

The fading of memory as time closes in

It runs, feral thing, clawing its way to the corner

where it dives into the carpet and hides there

in the swirls of moth-eaten flowers and turquoise gaps.

The pathway it came down disappeared

and left it abandoned in the ruins, watching the stairs

it once so loved to climb

crumple into wisps of doubt.

What did the house look like before?

Does it still exist? Did it ever?

Poetry

Pioneer 2 arrives to greet Pioneer 1

They were pioneers, gathering the people

and turning the marble just so.

It made their lifeboats feel small, they knew they’d outgrown them

and it was time to disembark.

 

The land was fresh, inviting.

The ruins intriguing, worthy of study and admiration,

yet some kept their heads.

What caused their collapse?

 

Communication lines: open.

Hails: none.

Poetry

Gifting season

Surprise!

 

A moment of passing,

threads of an old tale.

 

That’s all it took.

And it brought me back to myself.

Threw back the years.

 

With you, I’m how I was then.

That same core is still here, working the cogs

through the grime and the grit.

They’re tarnished, they’re beaten, they’re dented,

but when you held up the x-ray mirror,

I could see it was still me.

 

The me I always want to be,

but fear to let out in case

she gets hurt, ridiculed.

 

You unfastened her chains

and released her

regardless.

 

And she found she was safe.

You made her safe.

 

You.

Poetry

Round One: Fight!

There’s something to listening to the sound of your thumbs pushing buttons in combos that it’s taken weeks of snatched time to learn.

Reflecting the games of your childhood, which you played with your mates, lugging spare controllers and sometimes whole consoles round each others’ houses so you could all be a team

Or to be pitted against each other with the whole pile of snacks left just outside your door by your mum (not wanting to disturb you all by bringing them in) as the prize.

What that something is, I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the excitement that comes with it, the nostalgia that seeps from every one of your muscles, or the threat of reality lurking just beyond the screen that pushes you on so you can spend as much time as you can in that headspace you love.

Maybe it’s because I can see you as you were before you met me, before the pressures of school, college, work and the rest of life bore down on you and sapped at at your spark. The spark that flares up again only when we’re alone and can shed the clothes of adult obligations.

Maybe it’s because I’m sitting here with you doing the same, my own eagerness merging with yours as time jumps back for us. Maybe it’s because neither one of us is player two, but player ones on equal terms, equally bent on winning this round.

Maybe it’s because you respect me enough not to go easy, and I respect you the same.

Final round: Fight!

Poetry

Waves in a teacup

I have this feeling

in my chest.

Like those soapy-water bubbles

you make as a child,

trying to blow the biggest one you can –

a lot of the time,

they pop

before you can release them,

but once or twice

you get one that works.

Proudly, you watch it float away

until you’re not sure

if it’s burst

or simply gone out of sight.

That’s the feeling I have.

It’s warm and cozy;

a squishy memory

you cling to

as long as you can,

snuggled up in a blanket

with a book

and a blissfully hot

cup of jasmine tea,

wishing for nothing more

than that moment to last

for as long as it can.

I don’t have a name

to put to this feeling,

but if I had to choose one,

I think

I’d call it:

hope.

 

Poetry

Mind the wallpaper

Every day I write a line on a sheet of paper,

and put it up on my wall.

They overlap,

white scales with tangles of black moss,

thick like fur and with plenty of space

between the layers

for dust and insects to collect,

just to let me know that clinging

on to old things

results in an unpleasant experience every time.

So if I can, I leave the lines alone –

there to look at in times of desperation

for inspiration

but never to be touched.

The lines aren’t pretty.

They aren’t ugly, either.

They’re simply of people and worlds and war;

not the kind of war with armies,

the kind where self fights self,

sometimes using small words for big problems

and giant words for little problems.

Because who can say when a problem

is big or little

when it lurks solely in the mind?