Thursday, 17 April 2014

#17 Chat Room

Someone on the internet was wrong...


She say: "what good can talking do?"
I blink at this,
Think twice, or three times,
Can't envisage free speech
Equalling powerlessness.

"How will words change a jot?"
How can they not
As - drop by drop -
We erode old notions,
Make a stepping stone
For thought
Alchemising into action.

Even chatter with our
Mirror selves holds weight,
A way to confirm ourselves
In echo.

And for some of us
It's celebration
We remember the mire of silence
Its toxic tyranny
The way secrets
Breed shame
How naming ourselves
Brought us, shivering
Into our own power.

In our nattering meandering
We reshape matter,
Examine it from all sides
Find ways to decide,
Safe in dangerous play,
Changing our own,
And others' minds:
The first and hardest step
Towards a new reality.

Whatever didn't talking change?


"Secrets breed shame" is not an original line - I owe it to my virtual big brother Scott Shanks, a very talented writer and excellent giver-of-advice

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

#16 Her Father's Hands

She remembers them, sometimes,
Broad and sure,
Dry as wit
Or a northern wall,
Thinks of how that works -
No cement, just the absolute
precision of placement,
the weight of years
Of doing it right.

Balance is everything.
Nothing in nature will topple
Such certainty
But accident
And the acts of vandals
Impossible to tell,
in the morning,
Which is which.

She remembers strength
And gentleness
Patience with her tracing
The crowded map of lines
And their speed
When called to action.

Those hands have
Mended and healed
Bruised and bled
On both sides.
The heartline is heavy
The head strong,
Decisiveness made flesh.

When all else is faded,
She will know his voice,
Those hands,
The histories they hold,
As well as she does her own;
Wonders, sometimes,
How close the copies grow.

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

#15 White Knight, Emerald Street

I'm still quite ill, so I went searching for inspiration and found it in the internet. Specifically, this is thanks to the Language Is A Virus "Random Line Generator", from which I got:

"cherries mist lemonade ice water kisses antiquewhite [which I interpreted as two separate words] glass black emerald faded" this time.

This is what happened (yes, I cheated two of the words into the title... what?!), in all its curious glory:

Your drink curls and spumes,
Cresting obsessively
Around the thick, slanting walls
And unnecessary cherries.

Your gaze is drawn into the whirlpool,
Not even tracking the ice,
Just pulled to the eddying centre

My teeth are dissolving
Under three half-pints
Of lemonade,
Occasionally watching
The insolent bob of lime

I am resisting metaphor,
Staving off allegory
You are swaying,
Fingers sticky,
Looking like someone
Who's dissolved syntax,
And is aiming, next,
For balance.

It is twenty-seven minutes
Since I checked my watch.
A clever antique
Worth checking.
If I hold it up,
I'll hear the dependable
Clips of silence
Slicing through
The jars of chatter.

I take a breath
Hold it
Crease and flex fingers
That itch for action,
To match feet
And tick
And heart.

"Not yet", I tell them.
We're waiting for the mist
To kiss his brow,
We're waiting for
That tell-tale quiver,
Not long now.
We're waiting for the final
Fade to black.

#14 Daphnis

I've got some kind of viral infection that makes me dizzy and headachey, so no poem from my dry, fragile brain yesterday, but I snuck a look at some of the napowrimo prompts from the last couple of days, and was inspired by the suggestion for a wine-and-love song (Anacreontic is a particular form - I didn't have the wherewithal for a new form, so this is what you get):

It was never about wine
It makes us both sick
In different ways
Me in my chest
You in your head

It was sometimes about beer
Or whisky
But never too much
I felt you slip from my touch
Become imaginary

My hands would pass
Through each other
Over and over
And I felt the pressure
Of an empty mouth
And dissolving barriers
Between dark and light.

It had to stop being about beer
Or whisky
But sometimes the sticky fun
Of things with intricate names,
Interesting shapes
And expensive labels

And food
Lots of food.
I don't lose myself then
Can't swim in solids,
Drowning in the cave of ideals.

But I can run,
In mad circles,
Singing to the moon.
"Diana! Give me your brother's
Bright arrows! Just tonight!"

But you stopped

The mouths of muses
With arrows of your own
And we, pierced,
Sank under each other's weight
A delicious, spiral swoon.

We found different ways
To be in our cups
And sometimes still,
Even alone
I sup love from the eyes
Of a trembling moon
And walk taller,
No longer stumbling.

Monday, 14 April 2014

#13 River Glass

This will have to stay cryptic until I can take pictures that do this justice...

I was given a piece of old bottle for my birthday by someone who clearly knows me well...! :) Picture below

For two weeks I've kept
Friendship in a box,
Knocked and slightly tattered,
Clattered in my bag,
Tags and pretty string
Things of the past.

Soft green paper
Makes a bed of moss,
Tossed weight
Cradled in kindness
Mild and implacable as water.

The outer side is clouded,
Gouged with ribs,
Gripping, mysterious grooves;
Smooth inside,
Meanwhile, fits my thumb,
Humbles time,
Chimes truths to comfort.

Sand and water
Walked in air,
Shared tales

And I keep friendship
In a box,
Pocket history,

Sunday, 13 April 2014

#12 Rolling

She's looking for a new name
A way to shake fate
And take on the rain.

She's searching for fresh hope
A place beyond coping
No longer alone.

She's calling down fire
A blind strike to burn
Her way out of the mire

She's opening to clean air
Daring to reclaim fair
Share fortune's favour.

She's summoning the tide
Riding the wild crests
Arms wide to net the moon

She's standing her ground
Pounding earth
To bring forth thunder

She needs to be tree and stone
Hearth and forge
Shore and wave
Wind and lightning
Heart and breath and blood

But just now
She's looking for a new name
And it will be glorious.

Friday, 11 April 2014

#11 Waves

They say that quicksand
Only tightens its grip
When you start to struggle upwards

That said - it seems to me
That you could sink quite slowly
And only notice when you try to rise

From this I can surmise
That quicksand must be warm
Blood-heat, really

There must be some comfort
In being so enveloped
And the first warning signs dependent
On your day-to-day.

Some may shudder at slowing feet
Others at the numbness of knees
You might take fright at the clasp
Around your waist
The compression of chest
The tightening of your windpipe
Or be one of those who only sees
When they've gone blind.

Today it was the loss of hands
That brought home my fate
Nearly too late,
I'm flailing calmly,
Grasping at branches,
Conjuring the memory
Of solid land