Poetry

Attached

Enter: a shadow, the basement

of a person, painted solid by their ledger.

Hushing for silence

that doesn’t exist.

The audience sees it clearly under the bright stage lights,

but its owner is blind.

They feel so transparent, they’re not even sure they have a shadow anymore.

It sneaks up behind

and photographs them, panoramic view,

and leaves the print at their feet.

Evidence. Opaque as can be.

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

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

Restraining a meltdown

Let me scream, let me go hoarse,

these emotions want to rip out through my body.

Crossing sounds and smells, yellow light shining in my eyes

 

and people all around

expecting me to speak in a calm manner

and diligently do my job.

 

My brain is on fire,

my mind just clinging to the vaguest comprehension of what I’m doing.

Voices turn into a babble my ears cannot take,

 

but I’m bound by this uniformed chain

to fulfill my role

so I keep my meltdown locked within.

A struggle covered over with a smile

that is kept from bursting out

 

from the fear of how they’ll react if

they see it fully formed.

 

Poetry

Black Cobwebs

You’re hurting.

I can see it as plain

as if you were holding up a sign to the world

letting them know

that being trodden on

and lied to – however well-intentioned – is not okay.

Except everyone, regardless of vision,

is blind to it.

It takes until the tears roll down

for them to understand

you can’t

keep trudging away everyday,

that care-free positive smile –

weighing several tonnes –

hiding your real thoughts.

Pretending, pretending, pretending

everything is fine.

No rest. No sleep. No insights.

It’s wounding you.

Slathering you in red;

not blood.

Anger. Pain. Sorrow.

And love.

Because you love,

because you claimed a degree of happiness

that gives the illusion you have distanced

yourself from the circle

and don’t want to be distracted,

there’s guilt.

Needless guilt.

Your choice was never to be left in the dark.

But I have shared the same

and understand why it’s there.

I hate it.

I hate how it wraps you in dark threads and cocoons you.

The only thing I can do

is hold your hand, drink your words

and let you lean on me.

It’s nowhere near enough.

Poetry

Bliss

Your eyes will tell me all I need to know;

they can ask the greatest question,

and give the most honest answer.

 

One concept merging with another,

taking the rough ore of the mind and smelting it

into a pure resonance of the feeling inside.

 

Then everyone else appears.

Cosmic balance has been thrown asunder — they casually waltz into this space,

shattering, roaring like an ocean, waves crashing hard.

Up goes your invisible barrier, concealing

my best friend.

 

But I remember

falling asleep to your heartbeat

pulsing against my ear.

 

I know you’ll always let me in.

You gave me a key after all.

And as our fingers link, those emotions you keep contained

can finally be set free.

 

Like you’ve done for me,

I’ll squeeze the bad thoughts away

so that you can be cheerful again.

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

Mantle

It’s the weight of this top that’s pulling me down. The fabric

tugs at my arms, my back, my chest, waterlogged even on dry days.

A friend offered to wring it out once, they gave it back to me after an hour

with a haggard look in their eyes. ‘It’s too much. Too much for me

to bear,’ they said. I wasn’t angry. It’s hard, I know.

I’ve tried dying it, changing things up to look more cheerful.

Sewing buttons and toggles, weaving in different threads,

but it never works. It’s never satisfying. Never satisfied.

I know the only way to take it off permanently

is when it disintegrates, but it makes me feel guilty and disloyal

to think like that. It’s been there for me my whole life,

keeping me warm,  protecting me. I should be there for it.

I should. Yet the weight is so much that I can barely move now.