Poetry

I wear sky blue ear defenders to dull the threatening hum of the world.

They’re not perfect. They might cork the sharpness,

but they cannot smooth it.

And the times when I need their comfort most,

when the weight of voices, bodies, auras

tries to crush me and all I want is silence,

they become invisible. Strangers direct questions my way

as if they’re not even there. Comments

that need responses I’m too weary,

too flattened, to give.

I can still hear every word, and each one ties me with the cord of obligation

to reach for my social mask,

the one I thought I’d shed months ago.

I wear sky blue ear defenders to dull the threatening hum of the world.

They’re armour to protect me, but even armour

cannot save me from arrows.

Poetry

They Crow

The dominant ones always puff out their chests

feathers on display

so you can’t help but notice

even though you never look directly at them.

Words pound into your eardrums

with more persistence than you can handle.

And all because they didn’t like that quiet was your ideal.

Poetry

Muffled

The dark is an enhancer, a honer

Of senses as the ears try to take over from eyes,

Spanning, assessing rushing car lights in the distance,

The rustling of carrier bags against the wall of an old brick shed.

Laughter and the tinkling of bottles as the local lad gang

Stumble home from the pub.

The quickening of your own pulse as you edge away.

The dark is a muffler, a cloak against reason

Even on the quietest of nights.

Poetry

Butterfly Nets

I recall the shine of your teeth in the dark

as you smile at me

in a moment of snatched privacy.

Outside, the stars hang high

though the moon has hidden itself under a duvet of clouds.

Whispers of the breeze

rustle off our clothes as we speak of future adventures

when time doesn’t have to be caught

with butterfly nets

and the key in my pocket will be ours,

not mine.

Poetry

Sand Castles

It’s the way you sit,

palms out with fingers stretching towards the horizon

and the crashing waves

dancing to the beat of your heart.

 

Your skin is weathered, cracked,

but every wrinkle holds

a lifetime of memories.

 

Flower picking at midnight under

a bright moon.

Breaths held as tales of ghostly galleons approaching the shore

are told.

Diving from the waterfall

into the lake below, ignoring mother’s warnings.

 

The clouds part at your exhale,

and you fold into the sand

as the tide pulls out.

Poetry

Path finder

You cradle the dragon against your chest,

shielding its sleeping form from the elements.

 

Walking proud

along sandy shores

that soak up your footprints

even as you make them.

 

Waves crash and swell,

music in its most natural fashion,

reaching

for the pull of your hand.

A friendly caress, an age old bond.

 

But it is not yet time to give in

and take its shelter,

Rocks must be overturned and mountains scaled.

 

The dragon already begins to stir

and it is still

far from home.

Poetry

Background Noise

Wherever we walk, the world quietens.

Be it woods, coast, park or town,

filled with the trill of birds and scurry of mice,

the crash of waves and sound of holiday makers,

students taking a break after a full day of college

or families and friends out for an evening meal.

 

All of it dulls to subtle hum

in the wake of our path and the intricately intimate maze of our minds.

Even though we know

we have to return to the crescendo sometime,

for the hours we stand together,

peace is all there is.

Poetry

Groundskeeper

We live in a world where everything

is on display, a constant waving of flags

we don’t even realise we’re holding.

And in it, all I want to do

is move away, find a quiet,

cosy area

and have it as my own personal space.

 

There are times when I start to succeed

and fit it with neat trellis

full of climbing roses and honeysuckle,

vibrant and sweet

in a way that doesn’t overload my brain.

 

Yet, inevitably, it seems,

there is always someone who trips and falls,

flattening the entire thing –

or worse, those who come charging in deliberately

and smash it to pieces

so small and sharp

that I have to start again from scratch.

 

But even in times when I’m standing in this mess of debris,

I always welcome the gentle call of a friend

who knows they need not ask to come in because they have a key,

yet always do so anyway.

 

They take my hand,

tenderly, respectfully

and help me sweep the mess away.

Poetry

Hubbub

Hubbub.

Who’s listening?

 

Chatter, natter, prattle

Prat.

 

Screens in our face, over our eyes

in our minds.

Siding with popular opinion,

shying away from engaging that hungry engine, the brain.

Work them, encourage them

steam-powered as they may be.

 

Quiet, I crave.

 

No, they sing.

We need the noise, need the buzz,

need the bright lights and sweat and alcohol

and neon screens

to feel normal.

 

Normal?

What is normal

but a falsity of who you are

trying to resemble

the falsehood of others.

 

Hubbub.

Who’s listening?

Chatter, natter, prattle

Prat.

 

Quiet, I crave.

Independent thinking, I urge.

Eccecentric. Weird. Outcast, they sing.

 

Poetry

Unexpected things

Today I was sitting in the lap of a tree

watching the world go by:

 

I saw a girl reach up and try to pluck a star

from the sky with her fingers,

as though gently nipping a bud.

 

I saw a prowling cat masquerading

as a gnarled root eyeing up

the darting squirrels and the birds.

 

I saw a giant woman falling from a waterfall,

she was the waterfall, arching back, arms outstretched

to dangle her fingertips in the lake.