Poetry

Dominoes

We come to it again,

this meeting of stories about futures we’ll never know

because the future we’re making

is far better than those.

But we’re curious, even though

such hypotheses may make us sad,

could we, if we needed, have stayed silent

and not gone mad?

 

If we’d gone through life

as best friends forever,

would you have told me if you’d fallen?

Fallen in the way that you fell for me in this present,

undeniably, inescapably, euphorically

in love.

 

Would I ever have brought myself to tell you?

I might have thought it would ruin our friendship –

that’s what all the other accounts say.

But to deny my feelings is to deny myself of their worth, of yours.

 

I don’t think silence would have sat well with me.

I don’t think she would have done for you, either.

Our entire premise

is that our hearts and wounds are open

for the other to fully see.

Poetry

Round about

The time we spend breaking things down,

Analysing until there’s nothing left to be found.

What’s it all for? What does it mean?

Simply a way to keep the slate wiped clean?

Or is it an impulse to tear each precious thing away,

To keep telling ourselves there’s no possible way?

I think, no matter the reason given,

We should look to the future for all that is hidden

And embrace the changes as they appear

Even when your limit is near

Because beyond that, a gem will shine:

A warm heart waiting for you this whole time.

Poetry

Crooked House

It’s been an upside down,

twisting, curving, swirling, turning path

to this point.

Trails of thought, even serious

undoubtedly end in laughs

between us both.

We talk about everything and yet nothing,

say nothing and yet everything.

Our conversation can be in a look

or typed in a note,

and our peace

can be in a thousand words

one after the other.

 

Poetry

Home tree

In the palms of my hands I hold a pile of soil,

a seedling sprouts from the centre,

green and reaching, reaching

for the sun.

But I collected the seed from which it grew

from its future self.

A tree that stands grand enough

to be the heart of a house

and ever a monument

to the love of the couple

who have made it their home.

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

Things that stay

How do we rate our encounters?

What if we were given a stamp for each positive one,

a scar for each negative,

a freckle for those of no consequence?

 

Could we read each other’s lives that way?

Noting all the joy,

regarding all the hardships.

 

Would people want to be displayed like that?

Raw.

Open for discussion, ridicule,

pity, doubt

 

also

 

compassion,

love, trust

and empathy.

 

In a world where everyone wants to hide

while simultaneously

glued to social media

 

sometimes

 

noticing details of another

can build the strongest bonds.

 

Poetry

Patchwork

It’s said that every seven years,

our bodies change.

We shed who we were and take on new thread

to spin into a suit of current experiences

and timid goals.

 

We can’t lose our previous selves completely.

 

At a deep, stubborn level,

our essence never morphs.

It lies in wait

gathering parts it likes

and casting aside those it doesn’t,

so that eventually, when the time comes

to accept our truest nature,

we can be as comfortable in our own skin

as we were before the influence of others took hold.

 

We are a patchwork of our lives,

well worn in places,

freshly pressed in others

and often oddly put together.

 

But we are human.

We are flawed.

And that’s what makes us.

 

Poetry

Glide

I want to latch my mind

onto the back of a butterfly and let it take me

off, gliding past bushes and hedges,

swerving by faces and paws,

whiskers, beaks and speeding cars

up, up

to flutter around treetops,

when I can step off and walk along the longest branches

to gaze out

at everything.

See all the possible choices

spread out like drunken scrawls on a map,

overlapping and diverting,

all hinging

on one point, one inciting incident that leads into many.

There is no point in looking back at what might have been,

those pathways have already crumbled.

I can only look forward

and hope the winds from the multitude of wing beats

don’t sweep

my self away.

Poetry

The Meaning Will Present Itself

Okay, okay

I’m here now, present.

No, not a present for you.

A present for me. For myself

to accept

and hold out to the world.

 

I have lowered my shield.

I am tired of raising it; my arms are weary.

I don’t want to be touched, or cuddled, or kissed –

until I do.

And if I do,

know that it is because you

are one of the few I love,

one of the few

I can suit up with

and ride beside into battle.

 

I will not stand beside anyone who seeks to leech me,

who leans on me

without ever letting me lean on them.

I favour balance,

I favour truth,

I favour trust.

 

No apologies will be made

if you seek to unmask me

and are devastated by the results.

 

I am here. I am present.

I am my truest self.

Poetry

Photographs

Moments caught in time,

there for us whenever we want to look back

and see who we were, what we were,

and how far we’ve come.

But what of those past selves of us caught in the frame,

forever in that moment

as the shutter clicked,

marbled into the scene forever more?

 

What if they can see you looking back at them,

wondering how you got so much older,

or when your eyes went from bright and open

to puffed and dark.

Where did that scar come from,

what does that tattoo mean,

and how long have you been wearing that wedding band?

Would they be impressed by you,

or worried at how much life has stamped on your neck

and left you face down in the mud?

Would they wish that they could trade places

and hold hands with your spouse

and hold debates with your friends

or would they seek to bar the window against you forever?

 

Would they recognise you

or are you a stranger

with their face?