When I was small I walked on fairy dust and my dreams were as tall as skyscrapers towering above the universe inside of me, was the galaxy. I was born of the cosmos, full of light and love passionate in my quest to give this to others. But as I grew my star began to fade, stars need love and light to survive and deprived of both my blazing fire transformed into weak candlelight. At school I had learnt it was easier to hide your light than to stand out as different and be extinguished in an instant. So I kept myself to myself at the back of the class, knowing the answers but not shouting them out. I daydreamed, and doodled stars on the corners of my books, all the while I could hear the universe calling out to me to trust, that we are all born of this cosmic stardust.
The willow hangs, drapes the ground, dances to a tune unheard in the hum of cars and lorries, in the commotion of people passing in a hurry, barely noticing anything more than the phones tapped with fingers & thumbs. But I notice, I see it all, the dance on display, the symbol of sanity I need today.
If I seem distant it's because I am. I abandon this city like rain down gutters trying to get back to a home, a field, a shore, no traffic, no smoke where air is pure & lungs breathe deep, in a rhythm untarnished by tarmac & brick; modernity's grip that looks for life & buries it, forgets Earth has a pulse a heart that beats beneath us.
you let the pills flow down your neck and wait. wait for the life to grow and the pain to slow. wait for that feeling when you will know. but certainty is a story. a distant object bobbing across the current. and that comfort becomes an absence so deep it resounds like cymbals in your ears as you sleep.
i have locked myself into a cocoon. a shell, a crescent moon. wind is battering against the walls, shelling seeds into husks. the day feels long and this song will have to wait until the sun comes. till it enters the cracks in wood and skin and allows me to imagine again how it feels to be human.
I wonder if God sees our numbered breaths, how many have been & how many are left, millions of digits shifting above our heads; the old woman on the park bench with just 500 left. The jogger with 100 between now & tonight when he will exhale for a final time. I should scale mountains, stare at the sun make my amount count, every last one.
My nails are a mess, but not a mess like a 2 week perfect manicure 'mess', a mess like chipped old blue nail varnish where I have picked away at it. A mess like peeling skin when anxiety from deep within has resulted in me absentmindedly scratching until I am awoken by crimson blood, pooling on pale flesh. I grab a cloth and sigh, as I realise I will now have to hide my hands from onlookers, who will probably tut disprovingly because I'm a girl you see, and it's my duty to present myself beautifully. To be perfect on the outside, but how can that be? You see my hands bear the scars that are inside of me. You can't just paint over scars and expect to be free.
last night the world slipped in quietly through my window; police sirens, car alarms, church bells, rainstorms collecting in a pool on my bedroom floor, coffee cups clinked and kettles boiled, babies were born and ashes were thrown and though I was tired I stayed up all night listening; the collective madness of the world lulled me back to sleep and i woke with its bitter sweet taste on my tongue; craving more.
This is my family splayed out like a fox caught in the headlights of a passing car, all brown fur & wandering teeth, dried up & tossed on a lonely street. Left behind unaware of the wreckage caused, the family bereft of a sister & daughter so loved. That's what I see from the clouds, from my imagined suicide. I see a lost family trying not to stare at a huge empty chair. A Christmas table now a shadow, not a celebration but a day to fear & that stops any thoughts I might have about trying to disappear.
i don't know you, you slip down a street, peruse a café window looking for something to eat, the inner stirrings of your soul a mystery to me & it's funny because with time I could love you, but as of now you are like any other undiscovered book sat on a shelf collecting dust, i blink & you're gone, my favourite read lost in a sea of bodies; millions of stories bleeding down streets that i will never meet.
Early hours; the parts of sleep recalled; a fly opening it's silk cocoon, a foetus moving in a jelly ****, irises and corneas assembling into eyes eager to explore a world outside; those first times when regrets are abstract concepts not feelings growing roots in subconscious pools; all the things I'd redo, my deepest desire to be anew
from this vantage point the world is smaller than we previously thought, birds fly alongside us, cars that roared before are silenced, we swim in a sea of blue, a view that sharpens what we already knew; that this world is beautiful, a feeling that if bottled would be taken in the traffic jams & hospitals & we would see the Earth as a speck of dust floating through a Galaxy much bigger than us
I want to be alone, to sit between the concave hollows of my bones, nestle beneath folds of skin, shut my eyes and make the world go dim, just me and a pulse, a heartrate pumping blood and when I open them it's not the floodlit streets, wars, fires or anger I see but the trees and fields; the peace i wear like a glove, vowing not to take it off the minute things get tough.
We don't speak & so our unspoken words retreat, hanging in the air like dying birds whose weak cries go unheard all because we were too afraid to share, to stare into the abyss within, let its icy depths swim up our necks & do as those around us do; speak, one syllable first then another, hoping they can handle our verbs the way we have theirs
they were not someone you could **** over, they were fey, blood not running the usual way, they made me dream of streams touched by moon beams, ice cold fields at dawn, every season I have ever known breathing within their bones; dark woods were organs once stood; each touch a crunch underfoot revealing another layer so deep, you doubt you will ever reach the heart of its beat.
Determined to leave she gathered up her things, keys & a coat, a quick note explaining why she had to go, but the finality of the scene gave the bleak view a different hue, the sun through glass shone brighter, the sky appeared several shades lighter, the once silent meadows called out in unison to be walked upon, the flowers whispered to her to hold on.
today a dark sky is wrapping itself around my town, squeezing all that surrounds in its strong muscular hands, one solitary crow manages to slip free, flies over highways, streets & trees, I watch it enviously as it disappears thinking what I would do for a pair of wings
The cold comes in, ricochets like a tennis ball off every corner, crevice pore, stormy gusts of wind I breathe in, skin is no barrier I am the elements carrier, organs coastal & lungs tidal sea, I am nature & nature is me.
There is a world beyond the one seen on television screens, outside the realm of suicides & wall to wall crimes where flocks of birds are migrating South in search of sun & deer run across forests not yet discovered by anyone & though I may not see it daily it is this distant world that saves me.
bang against the glass and break, sun against skin porous thin, window pane. we begin the same no name, no shackled weight, no net we seek to escape, each word yet unlearnt hangs unheard in some unknown air, waiting to be plucked fresh from the vine imbibed like wine, into a part of the heart that learns the word 'pain' too often to remain the same.
You & me are entwined, a vine wrapped around your rib; my spine, your death does not sever it, I feel the pull at night in my bed where I hang off your every word, so much I have learnt to dread the cursed dawn; the way it silences your tongue, but this light is not for long, I wait out the day to hear your twilight song
there was a dream here once, it came in via the rain, fed crops, livestock, us, but at dawn it had gone, taken the bus to somewhere it could belong, somewhere made of sturdier stuff. I imagine it rolling itself up into the dust, coating the backs of tongues, speaking a language so different to my own, I imagine it finally feels like home.
My past lies like a deep still lake, a record of all my mistakes swimming within its soul & I want to burn them all, but how do you take a flame to water? it just stays, forms ripples, sometimes small, sometimes biblical, all I can do is wait for drought, for clouds to move & sun to come out; the day I will wake & not see a lake but a clean slate
we didn't know we wrote our names into snow, scrolled our soul into soil, our toil invisible on maps but held as heavy as breath in cold air, our love, death birth, despair who we were written indelibly into this earth
She didn't cry & yet I was wet, water teased from evaporated steam stirring in deep wells of stoic eyes dreaming of a sunrise, just one day she thinks when she will not wake with the salt of the sea lapping against her lids.
This rain is torrential, an endless purge from Heaven, no warning of its coming, no clouds breaking over the horizon it is sudden & we are no longer people, but fish swimming in a vast ocean. We wonder what we did to deserve this as roads twist into rivers & we sink to our knees praying for it to ease. Days pass then weeks, money floats along streams & we shed clothes & phones, forgetting we were once professionals with important roles, in this fishbowl we glimpse each others soul.
on the highway road home, when the traffic is tight as clams, and the heat is full on jammed, i want to peel back the metal and see the complexity that carries me. i want to stop and admire the sun pull back the skies and sear my mesmerised eyes. i want to run across a field and feel the damp grass beneath my heels, pore over the dust and ants, and listen to them dance.
rain continues to fall on and on window battered like a steel drum and you don't get used to it there's something unsettling about rain that runs for days makes you wonder about the state of the oceans are they still full or has all the water gone, congregated here on our lips and skin so much coming in my gut is full to the brim, i cough and it's a horror movie; schools of krill, seagrass, algae.
You peel back the skin & we are the same, hearts beating beneath flesh, organs translucent as scaly fish beneath the surface of a lake, life clearer now judged by the weight of a soul, almond shaped versus deep bowl too heavy to hold, things obscure before stand clear as stars pressed against the night sky, as your red twisted veins hand in hand with mine.
there's a war. miles away it's being fought. & all the proof is what we see, the images unfolding on the screens & we're made to feel the unease. the empathy & uncertainty & hopeless inevitability. but the unsaid truth is that this chaos doesn't feel quite as real as the one closer to home. the one that doesn't border a town, but a head & heart & takes it down just as hard.
i want to crawl out of my skin air my blood vessels, calm their restless nerves, drinking only makes it worse i choose to merge muscles with elements hot to cold, snow covered organs breathing on their own, and when i put them back in the blood beats differently, on the bus rides & in the traffic jams i smell tree pines, fells, mountains
I exist in a modern fortress of houses & cars, stores around the corner to buy anything I want & the sea & dark trees remain mysteries, peripheral things only experienced in dreams passing ships that sail in to erase names & obligations, stretch weak lungs to breaking, reprogramming genes to flee, to tease out the wild seed from my ancestors tree & in the absence of jungle ignite a fire from bits of wire, from you & me & our ancient heartbeat
If her childlike self was to see her now what would she think would the shock freeze her heart to a still beat make her turn & run back to the dream, the encounter shattering her at the seams as if they were two elements that could not exist together separated by age & heartache, everything that had changed, blood, brain, dna or would they embrace, reconnect, vow to start again
we think we love, think we stand upon sturdy stuff, think the rolling seas don't come for us, we're young, we're never gonna grow up, the tombstones roll in hills the world over, but we kid ourselves in our beds, in our heads, we curl back the skies, shift the covers, shut our eyes, ignore the cries.
With a thin sheet of skin we cover each limb, bury the heart beneath flesh & hope for the best, but the cracks still come, air finding its way in via eardrums, lungs, then finally a soul & you know when you see them, more paper than people, you look in their eyes & don't see hopes & dreams but city streets, industrial skylines, no sign of sun coming over the horizon.
there's a boat moored on an empty shore, too old to be cared for like these bones bought & sold many times before, worked into a fine grind, a pestel & mortar kind where souls are traded for pennies over time, halved now like a lime, stripped of what made them shine.
Overnight a storm has moved into this city, phone wires dangle precariously, houses are defenceless against sea, held together with bits of wood & string like our fragile bodies, covered only by a thin layer of skin, pushed to survive by forces outside, to reconnect with the wild, not found in books but hearts, bones, blood, biological instincts we once understood.
Another day to wonder if vows pledged last night will withstand the coming light, if they will sprout limbs & rise with me in this reality or if they will fade, grow pale, shrink back into dark, never to enter this world & make their mark
I wish my lips could be sewn shut with a blood red needle & thread, a visible display of how I feel on my worst of days when I want to lock myself away, when words are strangers exchanging kisses across lips & hearts are graveyards burying broken promises.
a scientist on the radio says in three decades a coastal town will be submerged in water. i picture seaside resorts & promenades absorbed & know the same fate awaits this city, as sea hungrily consumes coast it looks to us, our bones, our docks & ports, parliaments & courts, our isle added to a pile of things extinct. a future where children are driftwood blown ashore with foreign tongues & dreams of sea; reluctantly coming up for air jealous of all the creatures that get to stay down there.
When you write please tell me about your eyes, How they look in the clear night skies, Or the hot sunny days. Ask others what they see, and then tell me, Because I'm desperate to remember, You see i'm forgetting the very thing, that held me together.
there are names we do not say, they form pockets, places the rain has to move to get around. a note that when struck is as resonant as the wolf, whose howl breaks the sea, carves the name through you & me.
You came into my life like rain & left as quickly as tides can change now I can't see a rainbow painted across the sky in red, yellow, green, blue, indigo & violet without picturing your eyes & wondering why
the birds are lining up in rows outside my window, a song interspersed between a highway & a radio & I wonder why they don't explore further ashore; fly to a moor where air is pure & wings can soar or a mountain passé where sun warms their soft feathered backs, but they choose here, where sky is not clear & telephone wires hang where trees used to stand. If this last trace of wild were to up & leave, I fear this city would shatter, their melody; the glue weaving us together.
if a forensic scientist fresh from a crime scene were to investigate our woods & forests would they find blood spattered patterns scattered over chestnut trees in deepest Mississippi, a crimson history, years of brutal toil embedded in the soil, where children played only the day before, perhaps if we all could see we might tread a little differently, investigate our own hearts meticulously
I watch freedom dangling on a fishing hook from a rusty nail outside my door. Swinging to and fro it calls to me in a tantalising tone to take a piece. To savour the sweet nectar it hides within but I slip right past because I've already eaten. You see I've heard freedom is an acquired taste, it's something you have to really want and many just waste. Although I crave it deep within my soul, the taste is not worth the toll and the gruel I get is fine enough, I could last a lifetime on this stuff.
as a girl it didn't occur that blossom would fade from pink cotton to damp, brown mulch, to a congealed lump my mother would painstakingly pull from full pockets at the end of the day. its bloom consumed by rain, and left to decay, its perfume a memory that filled the air, that with time you start to doubt was even there.
Sometimes I pray for dawn, for this city to wake up & release a cacophony of noise, for engines to start & kettles to boil, for workers to drill huge holes in dirt roads, anything but this silent abyss that makes me want to flee mid sleep, steal a car; ignite a spark in a never ending dark
Ahead of this present moment is a void, no name, no detail beyond what our imaginations can impose, its bedrock not made of stone but sand, if it were a wood we would warn children to avoid it, yet we follow its fire, it's flames reaching higher & higher, seducing us with their power, all the things that might be, glittering then disappearing
on this night each star is listening to me as if we are lovers whispering I love you across continents, reaching out into oceans of sky & plucking each other down, like a fish caught on a line; recalling how it felt to be held by an orb so warm you forgot the cold black hole of old