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

Tied Up

Every plait

can be separated

out into the individual strands

that make it.

No matter how long they’ve been bonded for.

 

These strands can then go

on to make new bonds

or hang freely

to

catch

the sweetness of the air.

 

Growing stronger than vines,

lush as wild forests.

Why should they tame themselves

for the benefit of others –

small, preserved, squashed –

 

when they can fan out as they please,

dancing on light toes

throughout the day?

Poetry

Inner Working

Twelve keys lie on the ground, a thirteenth in my hand.

The doors, except one, have already been opened;

they spilt their knowledge over my skin.

A conclusion is not an answer, only the point at which we cease.

I could conclude here and now, and rest,

or use the thirteenth key and find the answer.

Is it really the answer I’m looking for,

or a way out of the answer altogether?

Why am I being asked what the answer is?

Because I’ve been told to find it.

That’s not a good enough reason for me.

Poetry

Observation game

Pedestals can be wondrous things.

Placing something high enough to be gazed at from every angle,

observing the symmetry, or lack of.

Sowing seeds

to sprout discussions, positioning light

perfect for an artist’s sketch.

But what of people?

If we put them up there too often, who is the first

to forget they are real,

and can be warm and loved and upset and abused,

capable of trust and betrayal,

and equal – yes, equal – to everyone else?

Them

or

us?

Poetry

Naming day

Is a name really a sound of yourself?

Is it a sound to swap around, change everyday

like putting on a clean top?

Can a stranger see you through your name?

Or only see your name,

bold, italic, underlined. A title.

A head and shoulders of letters, signatures,

a stamp of approval,

a certificate of achievement.

And what of money?

Is your name built of it?

Do people claw and maul,

trying to steal just a little piece?

Or is your name part of your skin,

a map of your life.

Connected, always.

You. Truly, simply, you?

Poetry

I don’t remember the title, but it’s blue…

There are times when my palm is super glued to my face.

I can’t even look at another person for fear of something idiotic

escaping their lips and causing tears to spring from my eyes,

wide with incredulity. Said a person in a bookshop,

this morning to their phone, ‘Siri, what books are in this bookshop?’

‘Here’s what I’ve come up with,’ dutiful Siri replied

while her search results loaded and the asker

gazed idly at the bookshelves, an inch or so away.

But of course, Siri could not see inside the bookshop,

and so could only guess. ‘That’s no good. I need to know

exactly what books this bookshop sells.’

‘Here’s what I’ve come up with,’ she repeats. I swear

this time her digital voice is filled with resignation.

Poetry

Mirror diary

But what if I want to make my own choices?

Briar Rose said

as the fairies offered to hide her in the woods

away from all spindles.

What if the kiss that wakes me if I do succumb

isn’t welcome on my lips?

What if I refuse

to acknowledge the curse at all?

What if I can control my fate

without magic

without fear

without giving in?

What if

my story is not how it’s told?

Poetry

Feathered Things

In the woods on a blue moon night sits an owl, who given the correct password, leads to a tired old raven, wise in many things and many ways. I ask it why the silence is always so painful, why the white waiting room that goes on forever is still never vast enough to contain that feeling. It replies; because if it were not so, we would never appreciate when the silence ends.

 

Poetry

The Number Games: May the odds be in your favour

I’m thinking of a number –

no, not that one –

it’s a bit more edgy,

higher too.

So four?

Not quite, try another.

Six then.

Oh, come on now, you

can do better than that.

I said edgy.

Fine, thirteen then.

No, no, no.

Half a triangle more like.

A triangle?

Is this even about numbers anymore?

No, not really,

but it kept you interested

for a while,

didn’t it?

Umm…

The answer was seven.

By the way.

Poetry

A slap across the face

Struck like stone

hitting those sieving trays

You get at Legoland, hunting

For fool’s gold.

All gold is fool’s gold to me, the wish to claim

It just as childish as that game.

People get offended when you call them that.

Because no-one is allowed to be like that anymore.