I have not always been good.
I have been punished for the smallest mistake
and shown more forgiveness than I deserve.
I have been softer and more vulnerable
than I have been in a very long time
and had my heart ripped out because of it.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the purest water trickles
from a Highland stream and into a tap, far away,
and where I am not.
You are right; I am lonely.
It enfolds me like a cloak, billowing in the wind.
Meanwhile the wild geese are beginning to fly south
and I must head for the north.
When we pass each other, in our flight,
I will smile and nod to them on their way.
They have all that they need
and I am still searching.
A response to one of my favourite ever poems, Wild Geese by Mary Oliver. It's about living the city I called my home for five years and moving on, not knowing what to do, but trying to take the advice she gives in her poem.
It hurts less to be away from you
The pain is more like a
Several seconds after
Pulling off a plaster
It’s still there
And it still hurts
But I am beginning to see
The light in all things again
Tequila tastes no longer
Tastes like desperation
Flowers bloom with a delicate scent
Mornings are an opportunity
For fried breakfasts and
Coffee warms more
Than just my hands
Forgetting you is impossible
But seeing you
In every day things
Feeling those tingles
Along my spine at something
Other than your touch
Gives me hope
And that is all I can ask for
Another piece of automatic writing about how when you've been hurting for so long, eventually things will plateau and the light will begin to seep in again, slowly.
You might as well ask me
Not to take another breath -
To climb to the top of Arthurs seat
And not stand with my arms outstretched –
To stand in the middle of an icy street –
In the depths of midwinter
And not gaze with wonder
At the cloud of unspoken poetry
Pouring from my lips
Utterly failing to warm my hands –
And ask me –
Why do I continue –
Look in awe upon something –
So natural, that gives me
So little pleasure in return
And yet enriches my life -
A piece of automatic writing I came up with in roughly a minute when I had some time to myself during the Edinburgh fringe. It's a brief meditation on unrequited love, both with a person and with a city.
on the surface of the crockery
the fairy porcelain
and Satie's piano.
and, among the cutlery,
I say goodbye
There is always an air of water
in the words that tell me
when the morning ends
and in the brightness of the dishes,
the same colour
A poem by my friend Everardo that I translated into English. I love how he sees so much beauty in the most mundane things.
Nunca vou pronunciar essas três palavras
Isso não significa que não existam
Mas quando as tento dizer em voz alta
Nada sai dos meus lábios além do ar.
Nunca vou dizer estas três palavras
Decidi fazer disso uma regra
Como Maria Madalena
Não sou uma boba amante.
Nunca vou pronunciar essas três palavras
Mas isso não significa que não seja verdade.
Não vou ficar calada, nunca tenha medo, mas por enquanto,
você não sabe " nada de nada".
I was helping my friend and fellow poet, Everado, with his in English and in return he translated a couple of my shorter poems into Portuguese.
If I were to forced to breathe my last breath now,
Your name alone would be carved on my lips.
Three words to you would be my final vow
And every former flame would be eclipsed.
But still, what fool could give her heart so fast -
For what? The sweet talk of a preacher’s son?
A fool yet wise to know it could not last -
For I’m as fickle as I’m quickly won!
So I must live and learn to love again -
Until the weight upon my heart can shift,
Until your sad grey eyes bring no more pain,
Until the curse of loving you will lift.
To steal a heart, my darling, is no crime -
I’m thankful that no man may steal my thyme.
A sonnet written after listening to the old folk song "Let no man steal your thyme", in which"thyme" is sometimes interpreted to mean integrity. Recently, for the first time in my life, I was willing compromise on something I never thought I ever would for love. Needless to say, it did not end well. On the plus side, I was very happy for a short time and I got a sonnet out of it.
Dedicated to the victims of Grenfell Tower*
She stands amid the buzz of metal flies:
This obelisk, memento of the dead.
The sirens crudely mimicking their cries
As pilgrims in their guilt leave much unsaid.
A once sweet hive is now an empty husk,
Her armour was to be her Achilles' heel,
And as the cold grey sky fades into dusk;
I speak not what I ought, but what I feel:
Instead of words there comes a cry of pain -
A strangled howl and heavy sobs of guilt.
What can be said when words are all in vain -
Like rain, on this gazebo that we built?
While politicians bluster “Nevermore”,
We will remember them forevermore.