Poetry

Time jump

The pink carpet glares up

as I sit at the u-shaped set of tables

with the rest of the class.

The teacher stands in front of the blackboard,

but there’s silence.

It drags out, thick and dark

becoming a void that eats up the whole room.

It’s coming from me,

as I try and fail to figure out the equation I’ve been asked to solve.

As the void reaches me, I blink,

jumping forward.

The assessor is waiting just like my teacher,

but her fear is clear

as the sea coming from my eyes

threatens to drown the room.

Poetry

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link

There was a lock around my heart,

chains dragging behind me, longer than Jacob Marley’s.

I thought I’d have them forever,

but it turned out that words are a great corrosive,

eating into the toughest metals.

They didn’t come from me, I was too much

on the inside, struck dumb by expectations and resigned attitudes.

They came from you, from a single offer you made

of trying to help me solve a puzzle.

Neither of us realised the puzzle

was ourselves.

Poetry

Sycamore

I remember those seeds that used to spin as they fell

catching them in my open palm

and throwing them up again, enchanted by kinetics.

I would liken myself to those seeds, hold out my arms

and spin until the world came to match

the rush of input driving through my synapses.

Because rarely did those sounds, those scents

those constantly moving bodies jostling, jeering,

crashing against me

make sense until my speed matched them.

And if I fell, it didn’t matter.

The ground was always there to catch me,

soft grass cupping my cheek.

Poetry

I don’t care

I don’t care.

I don’t care that most people struggle to understand your speech.

I don’t care that they don’t get the references to old films, games and music that you make.

I don’t care that they don’t see the many strengths you have.

I don’t care that they write you off as weird, strange or eccentric.

I don’t care that they don’t understand why I like hanging out with you.

I don’t care that they now label both of us.

I don’t care

because they’ve completely missed who you are, and the ease I feel when I’m near you.

I don’t care

because they will never know the solid, dependable make-up of our friendship.

I don’t care

because they are the ones who have lost out, and I have no pity for them.

Poetry

Response to the Dead Poets Society

If you squash them,

if you bend them,

if you project your face onto theirs,

their minds will break:

reflections shattered, a mass of cracks and holes

where a person should be.

Their bodies will rot, bulge, blacken, weep.

Kindling that longs to ignite

if only to prove that it has some self-worth left.

And at the end of it,

still it will not be your name you see,

but theirs, as it only ever could.

You failed them,

yet stand where they still should.

Poetry

Tree smiths

The elves slipped quietly into the girl’s dreams,

carefully tending to the seedling of her imagination

before adulthood sprayed it with weedkiller.

‘Grow strong,’ they whispered to it, ‘into a mighty

tree that will only expand as the years pass,

never withering even with extreme age.’

And then they bowed to it and each other,

before drifting out to find the next child

threatened by the corsets of society and peers.

Poetry

Wiped clean

There are times I look up and find the sky absent. The screen is off, no background to display. My hands immediately try to find the power button, encased in cardboard boxes filled with drippings of life. I suspect moisture is making the circuit trip up like a gangly teen with flapping shoelaces. But I can never bring myself to tear out the heart to have a look. Maybe I’m just too soft. Or maybe, there’s actually a part of me that enjoys the absence overhead.