Poetry

Safe-cracking

The elation is bubbling, it’s brewing inside,

wanting to escape my body, making my fingers want to twitch

and hands flap, like a great torrential tide.

I know I can release it,

no-one’s said I can’t.

Yet the stares and whispers from ghosts

keep the iron-grip I have on myself

as powerful as an attack with a lance.

But if I do it when no-one’s looking,

release the hold bit by bit,

perhaps I can let myself flick out this ball of energy

and have it leave me content and happy

without shaming myself to quit.

Poetry

Keep sake

My heart is a trinket box

previously filled with costume jewellery

lovely in its own way

but I have sensitive skin

and you know how metals react with sensitive skin

over time.

 

I wore it often

thinking that I always would

claiming the style matched my own

even on days it turned my skin green

or threw up a rash.

 

It wasn’t until after a decade had passed

that it occurred to me I’d been avoiding

the obvious truth.

No matter how much I adored it

it was not a true match.

We weren’t compatible

in the way I thought

and gradually it had spilt out of my heart-box

leaving me empty.

 

Empty

enough to be filled

with something truly precious.

Not a trinket

not a necklace

not another box.

 

A living beating pulsing heart.

My own.

Poetry

Gripped

It’s in the touch that we can find ourselves,

find our solid state once more

and stop the wisps of identity

being sucked away.

 

Whether it’s a switch

flicked back and forth,

or the feel of a friend’s hand,

it can bring us back.

 

Yet what if you’re barred from doing so?

What if the search lights come on

and leach away your freedom?

What then?

 

Do we find another means,

or do we let

ourselves drift away, voices and thoughts

silenced forever?

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

Mantle

It’s the weight of this top that’s pulling me down. The fabric

tugs at my arms, my back, my chest, waterlogged even on dry days.

A friend offered to wring it out once, they gave it back to me after an hour

with a haggard look in their eyes. ‘It’s too much. Too much for me

to bear,’ they said. I wasn’t angry. It’s hard, I know.

I’ve tried dying it, changing things up to look more cheerful.

Sewing buttons and toggles, weaving in different threads,

but it never works. It’s never satisfying. Never satisfied.

I know the only way to take it off permanently

is when it disintegrates, but it makes me feel guilty and disloyal

to think like that. It’s been there for me my whole life,

keeping me warm,  protecting me. I should be there for it.

I should. Yet the weight is so much that I can barely move now.

Poetry

You are the Yin to my Yang

It’s soothing to hold your face in my hands.

As the cuts open up on my body,

I can cling to the sensation of your smile

under my fingertips.

 

When you seep down like melted wax,

I want to step up, take your hands

and hold your palms to my cheeks.

Can you feel my smile, the smile

you gave me before the world turned upside down?

 

I like to think we stand

each side of a pair of scales, perfectly balanced,

and if one of us stumbles, the other

can compensate and bring us level again.

 

Poetry

Bees

We spent the night together.

No doing, just being.

Sometimes it’s nice to just be.

Bee in a bonnet – it feels

like that, except there’s never a way

to release the busy buzzing scouts.

They nest at the edges of my vision,

perpetually reminding me

of all the little things

that eat away at my nerves.

They quiet when I’m with you.

 

Poetry

Nozzle-rama

What do you do if you have a tube

needing a nozzle,

but is nozzle-less?

And while we’re at it,

perhaps we should consider

how nozzle is close to nuzzle,

close as close, yet far apart,

unless you’re applying filler.

 

Discuss.

 

What is in

the nozzle-needing

nozzle-less tube,

anyway?

A hand to hold,

a hug from a friend

undercover as a stranger?

A cart-load of commuters

squashed up in glue?

 

Ah, the nozzle.

 

Hiding down the aisle,

white-feather painted.

Now we can use it

to thrust out

liquid staples into the cracks

that have appeared

in your straining cheeks.

 

It’ll only hurt for a moment.

Promise.