Poetry

Restraining a meltdown

Let me scream, let me go hoarse,

these emotions want to rip out through my body.

Crossing sounds and smells, yellow light shining in my eyes

 

and people all around

expecting me to speak in a calm manner

and diligently do my job.

 

My brain is on fire,

my mind just clinging to the vaguest comprehension of what I’m doing.

Voices turn into a babble my ears cannot take,

 

but I’m bound by this uniformed chain

to fulfill my role

so I keep my meltdown locked within.

A struggle covered over with a smile

that is kept from bursting out

 

from the fear of how they’ll react if

they see it fully formed.

 

Poetry

Dandelion Clock

On your fingertips dandelion stops, 12am

and the black hole in your belly grows.

You wonder if it will suck you in eventually.

 

1am, dandelion rises up and drifts to the windowsill

on your anxious breath. Look out, invisible bars.

 

By 2am your handprint is fixed into the glass. Dandelion dances

across your arm and down towards the fireplace.

It can feel the inhale of the chimney.

 

3am goes unnoticed as you cram your body up

the chimney after it, ignoring the flames engulfing your legs.

 

A sneeze confuses dandelion

as it trails back to watch you burn slowly,

4am chiming hollow in your ears.

 

Dandelion nests in your hair at 5am,

attempting to restart your brain

so you can see you have now become the fire.

 

The birds twitter when 6am arrives;

dandelion plays the music notes in the air

and leads you to the bath

where your blistered and charred skin

can be soothed by ice water.

 

7am, and it looks like you haven’t struggled at all.

Poetry

Rattled bones

It’s a lovely spring afternoon, so much fresh air!

Until I step outside for a quick nip to the shops:

humans doing human things everywhere.

 

A snarky conversation rolls by with a pram,

loud enough to be commandments –

I think I did see a tablet in their hands.

 

Cars zoom past on a racecourse I can’t see,

their colours all blurring into one

and a thunder juggling my insides around violently.

 

Then there’s the monster being fed parts of tree,

gobbling them up as tasty snacks

while its tamer looks upon its destruction blindly.

 

I admit I can’t fault the elderly chap mowing his lawn,

after all, the sun is out and the grass is dry,

but all combined this noise shatters me and leaves me drawn.

 

Such a journey may have been a simple quest in theory,

yet for me the price of undertaking it

meant spending the rest of the day dead weary.

Poetry

Destabilise

I sit at the side of the hill, and watch the people below.

The grass knows me so well

it encourages my skin to take root;

I’m set back, unnoticed.

 

I can breathe for myself.

 

The hill vanishes.

My backside hits

the concrete

hard.

 

My reflection shows a put-out woman.

My heart encloses the child,

overwhelmed by the rushing, raging world.

 

It beats.

Poetry

Fishing Net

The barrage comes hard,

I’m forced down to the depths of my own emotions

every time we discuss it.

I’m caught in the rewind

while clawing up at the future, the now.

It will take years

to peel off every layer of doubt I’ve accumulated,

every word that the self-proclaimed judge and jury

have balanced on my shoulders.

But I can always look into your eyes.

My moonlight

in the starless night.

Poetry

Gaining pace

Like pulling at teeth,

like moving a boulder,

feet wanting to drag,

brain wanting to slumber.

Pick up the pace,

time is starting to wander

on and on and on and on.

 

The end of the line is in sight,

my friends.

Believe it, it’s true.

I’ll prove it to myself,

if not to you.

I can reach it before the night ends.

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

Spin Time

Circle the sun: your heart, your head.

Catch the vortex around your neck;

squeeze it, control it.

 

Ride the motion – you are not trapped,

throw the hoop away if it starts to shackle,

grip it tight and pizza-toss it high.

 

Don’t be afraid of the spiral,

let the spiral be afraid of you.

Poetry

Society

Sometimes I’m amazed at how kind complete strangers can be, even if it’s just a simple gesture – stopping to let me cross the road at a busy time.

Occasionally, it makes me forget that just because I can’t always see the shade, doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Crash. The day is hazed as it all leaks back to the forefront again. An article about the state of animals transported abroad.

It makes me choke. So much cruelty. So much ignorance. So much death.

Enter news of wars and children killed in a mass of explosions all because grown-ups can’t shake hands.

Tidal waves within me, and I feel powerless and angry.

Yet despite all this, the great hive still buzzes. Even for me, hiding that data in code for the sake of living.