Poetry

Trauma

it’s a shadow in my brain

a lurking, creeping, whispering thing

that doesn’t shy from light

but swallows it

if I do nothing

if I do nothing

if I do nothing

it will block me in. block, block, block

if I step into it, let it feed off me

and find my blood is its poison

my pulse is its poison

my heart is its poison. beat, beat, beat

it will shrivel up

and become nothing more than a stamp-sized portrait

reminding me that it rules

no longer

a memo note

it happened, it happened

but still I can stride

 

Poetry

Journeying

The train chugs by, rattling on the tracks

laid down by previous states of mind.

Past half-remembered dreams, a dozen nightmares

and rare wishes that just might have a chance to come true.

The passengers rise early, making their way

to the breakfast cart,

eager to see what’s on the menu:

a fresh glass of nostalgic tears,

a slice of bitter wisdom,

a bowl of aspirations

and a dusting of hope.

They tuck in, delighting

at the sky-blue pink of dawn outside.

Poetry

Dream Recount

The light is bright,

but it has a condescending voice sometimes.

It’s also yellow, one of my least favourite colours,

and when it goes on and on at me,

I’m just a little overwhelmed.

Then there’s the crash of shattering glass

as feet shuffle, shuffle nearer.

A petty argument over my shoulder,

and no one’s answering the phone;

as I ring and ring,

I might as well be calling the moon.

I think I’d get a faster response.

Oh, but now here you are, my friend.

You’re taking my hand?

Why? – it’s okay.

It is, isn’t it?

Okay, I mean. With you looking out for me.

You just one-upped the light.

Huh.

Thanks, buddy.

Poetry

The Gnawing

I don’t know when it began,

this gnawing at the back of my mouth, bloodying my tongue

with words that spoke only

of how my body, the vessel of everything that is me,

was not good enough

for the rest of the world.

 

It haunted the silence after meals,

wriggling, worming its way deeper

until it lodged a solid nest

and grew so much that it took over my brain

with thoughts of

how many calories are in a slice

of bread,

that apple,

those deliciously rich cherry tarts.

 

It spurred my limbs to work overtime,

even when my muscles screamed

that they hadn’t had enough nutrition that day

to function at just a normal level.

 

I tired, unable to keep up

with its demands,

unable to know my own self.

But of course, the sleeping me

did not go unnoticed by the faces I knew.

 

They dragged the gnawing from me,

gave me ambrosia to wake me

and told me it was okay.

Yet they didn’t exorcise it completely.

It had made its mark,

and now lingers on eternally.

Poetry, Uncategorized

Fungi in the pool

I see your lips shaping to call out my name.

I’m already looking down. The pool

beneath my feet turns acid, acrid memories rising

to curl, choking, around my throat. They are monsters,

and I can no longer run. Give me

the alkaline words that I need to neutralise them,

turn them into harmless fungi

that one day will be plucked and fried

over a low heat ready

to be served up for breakfast,

where we sit together finally,

laughing and talking about things like we always should have done.

Poetry

Dressing by the fire

The warmth around my shoulders,

soft as flames in the evening,

conceals the sting in my chest.

My jumper soft and safe is no longer,

now only the writhing buzz of bees

trying to make a hive from my emptiness.

But honey – I do not like the taste of it.