Poetry

Splinters

The splinters of the branch slid into my fingers

as it snapped at the force of my hand as I tumbled into the tree.

Blood beaded down the bark and caught on the tip of a serrated leaf.

The red mirror showed

how little I’d changed

despite being shoved out of line, convinced my place was over here, not there.

My hair was ruffled, but still mine.

My clothes were covered in cobwebs and lichen, but still mine.

My eyes were wet and open, but still mine.

The blood dripped from the leaf and was instantly swallowed by the soil.

I stood up.

Poetry

Exoskeleton

We are what we are, until

we learn what’s underneath

and what we’ve held back for so long.

Always paying attention to the ticks, but never the softer tocks.

Our outside skins will crack over time,

no matter how much moisturizer is applied

because they’re cocoons

waiting for the right moment

to let us stand on our own legs.

Poetry

Inner Art

Choose your canvas carefully,

not too large it might swamp you,

not too small so your vision spills from the sides.

Measure it, carefully, then study its texture.

Find all the bumps, irregularities

and note them down

so you can take extra care. You may

even wish to make them a feature,

and if not, then certainly don’t let them hinder

your self-worth.

Next, you must sketch out your idea,

adding to it once you’ve gotten used to each part.

Once it’s all clear to you,

you can add colour, add certainty.

Gently layer it on.

When the piece is finished, step back

and know that everyone will view it differently,

with no opinion weighing more than another.

Be proud of it, and let it show.

 

Poetry

If, If, If

If a matter is discussed and a plan settled,

does a question need to be posed

and an answer given?

 

If a shadow becomes more than just the absence of light,

growing solid, dependable, sentient,

shouldn’t it be given its own life?

 

If a half finds itself wondering if it’ll ever meet its other,

knowing some depend on it not doing so

and some hoping it will,

how can it live knowing one day

it might have to choose?

 

We puzzle scenarios to make sense of the world,

yet we neglect our own hearts

and are blind to ourselves.

Poetry

Roar

To roar

is to expel all hurts as shattered glass

back into the raw sand they came from.

 

To roar

involves building a shield of pure force

that gives a rebound able to buckle knees.

 

To roar

means to burn the leeches from your body

and watch them shrivel as you see your own blood clot.

Poetry

Waterfalls

The pick strikes the ice and shatters the fragments

out into the air. Down they go, hearty lumps,

past my feet as I cling to the side.

 

I stretch up, pick ready, and strike again.

My chest hurts – I’m too eager, I know.

Fragments fly.

 

A routine: pick strike, ice diamonds

pick strike, ice diamonds.

Just frozen water playing rain.

 

So why am I bleeding?

Poetry

Body Chant

They’re fleshy lumps,

rounded, wobbly,

muscle showing underneath.

I’m not a doll on a stand

waiting to be turned

and scrutinized from every angle.

I have stretchmarks

mapping out every part of my life,

scars and pockmarks,

bruises, cuts, scrapes,

a papercut from last Thursday.

It carries me well,

I don’t move like a puppet

or a stiff-knee Barbie

(I always preferred rock-climbing Cindy, anyway).

I can twist, turn,

leap, smack that

sharp tongue of yours

so hard you swallow it,

read until my mind is numb.

And live.

Yes, I can certainly do that.

 

 

Poetry

Silhouette in water

I can’t inhale the salt anymore,

I’ve become immune to it.

The course crystals on my tongue

might be grains of sand, fragments of places

history has long forgotten.

They’ve found me, and I am alive.

So they are alive.

The faces in the ocean, bloated, pale,

give me envious looks.

I chose to swim away on my own,

they chose to stay.

Refused the fresh air

so they could mingle, lungs full

of false laughter and smoke.

Mine are clean.