Poetry

Paper Mate

Folded notes can flit about on the page,

bundling together to make a whole,

but the secrets will still be trapped inside.

Scaled, segmented.

 

The waves of your hands

swirl and eddy as you rush to conceal

the struggling words,

hushing them away forever.

 

But words are meant to be spoken.

Silken rivers of them, flowing

off the tongue like lava from a recent eruption.

 

The folded notes pulse, a heartbeat

that you long to ignore

because it’s your own,

but can’t ignore.

Because it’s your own.

 

One day it will all unfold on you.

Your life unravelled and examined

down to the faintest fingerprint

on the glass tumbler

you use every night to rinse your mouth.

 

Removing the aftertaste of bitterness

that has worn you down

inch by inch

over the sepia tones of your life.

 

The sepia that could have been lifted

by tending to that single bright rose

that you left to wilt

in the burning sun and stinging winds.

Poetry

Rolling chances

How do you weave a web

if you don’t have a corner to claim as your own?

 

How do you spin the spindle

if there is no wheel or thread to be found?

 

How do you sing a note

when your voice is too worn to be heard?

 

And when do you have a chance

to raise your hand

when the forest is already crowded?

Poetry

Guiding ropes

I can hold out my hands

and know that if I stumble, trip, stagger, fall,

one of you

(and let’s face it, more often than not, both of you)

will catch me and guide me back

onto the path I want to walk.

Yes, not pushing, guiding 

because you both know

that my feet will not work if my mind doesn’t want to tread.

Poetry

Compass needles

What good is looking in one direction

when life is happening all around you?

Trains speed past on the tracks outside your house;

coaches full of faces

with their own minds overlapped like a puzzle box.

 

Sometime all it takes is a ‘hello’

to gain the key,

others it is many greetings over years

until finally the last lock rots away.

 

One of my closest friends

is a boy I’ve worked with for two years,

but not until we paused to take in the whole sight

rather than our own narrow view

did we realise

how closely the pieces of our puzzles match.

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.