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May 2019 · 302
happy place
martha May 2019
I’ve always been good at navigating. I can find my way in a crowd or a city unknown to me. I no longer get shaky when I think about getting lost. Asking strangers for directions has never been a problem. My legs take me as far as I need to go, and my feet share secrets with the road to bargain with back in the bazaar of my head. We know how to get there. We usually do.  I tried going to my happy place today. Turns out it’s hard to pinpoint on the myriad of maps I’ve been making since I was 4 years old. I don’t know where to start. I don’t know what counts anymore. Places I once knew to glow yellow from the inside out have dimmed, and most old memories have the scrap of a taint too sharp to touch still attached to them. I have problems with letting go. I find it hard to forget the same way an elephant keeps count of every word anyone’s ever said. You would think this would be an advantage. Sometimes it isn’t. It is hard to try and write new on a slate that was never wiped clean. I have changed. I am envious of everyone able to close the boxes they’ve packed away. Because the lid on mine never seems to fit properly. It is tiring to be responsible for your own hurt every time you have to hold the door shut to stop the past from lingering. Nails ready to dig into the New you’re doing your best to treasure. I think about the temporary nature of all things. How no one is invincible. No one is ever as perfect as we project.  I am not without my flaws or faults. In fact, they have grown bouquets on my sleeves and have built their own corsages on my wrists for when my heart is too heavy to smile for the camera. I think of the “who” rather than the where. The bubbles I have collected with my breath and held with full air in the hopes they don’t burst. Their rainbow undersides and defiance to my gravity while never floating too far away outside my hazy atmosphere. The happy they have given me to make my own. The happy they radiate during visiting hours. The happy that soaks into the knowledge that I sometimes do the same. I am grateful. Always grateful. I may not have bought my house yet but I can always keep renting the flat where the couch is always cosying up to a comfy I am lucky to accommodate. It still smells like warmth and conversations  yet to come once they leave. Until next time. Let yourself in.
May 2019 · 608
martha May 2019
Surface tension
Snips away at the inner bruising
Behind the eyes the windows are shut
And the curtains drawn
Run fingers over hidden ribs in the early morning
Witching hours
When fairy dust can decorate the pores
For imaginations sake

Morning skinny is now a norm
I plaster the walls of my subconscious
With posters of picture perfect shells

What they want
What you want
What I have convinced myself I think you want
What I want

What we want

I want to stop
I have told tall tales as unstable as my legs
Written them in invisible ink
Doused with sour lemon stings
So only I can see them
They appear before I eat
And in the quakes of my stomach aches

I know it is there to protect me
The most important parts of my body
The bubble which constantly pokes at me to ask
“what if there was nothing more than me
What if we couldn’t see
Shapes or sizes or colours or better
What if we couldn’t see pretty

Would that make you happy?

do I make you happy?”
May 2019 · 216
any dreams?
martha May 2019
They knocked quietly again
Asked my eyelids for entry to pass
The threshold of my frontal lobe
Patterned the two doors in twin fingerprints
Can the thoughts from today come out to play?
I reached with fingers crossed
The way I always do
And let sway the weeping willows and
Barren bank of my sedated brain
Wishing for breadcrumbs breaking clarity
seeding lily pads and ponds

But it goes dark
The streetlamp glows monochrome
And the river runs mute
A face appears in familiar fashion
Who are you wearing tonight?
Vapid hand-me-downs in shards of
Visions kept unkempt in your resemblance
Everything I know you not to do
Comes streaming from your eyes
Like every tear that’s ever stung
Learned the taste of a tsunami by watching
The waves peel layers from my skull

It throbs around my throat
I watch as the impossible performs
And the fears take centre stage
Puppets with the same shadows as yours
Identical to all my insecurities
Suspended in my own stupidity
For carrying them down the hallway
warming them by the fire
Expecting them to leave hand in hand
With the waning of the ochre moon

But they forget to close the door behind them
And the worst of them comes to the fore

They don’t always burn away with the sunlight
They can’t wait to come back for more
May 2019 · 415
calling home
martha May 2019
You called again last night
Dusk was slumped over the window frames
and my eyes had adjusted accordingly

You were a mirage of poorly put together pixels framed by the grey of your bedroom walls
Lit by your digital enthusiasm

“how are you?”

I tell you that I’m fine
You ask about school
my friends
my last training session
Echo chambers of average

“I think I’ll be home next week,”

I tell you that’s great
I don’t say much else

I don’t tell you about the quiet that will come when we hang up
How the silence slaps the stone of the brick house you used to hold on both your shoulders because mine were still too weak to take the weight

“you should turn the lights on,”

You tell me you miss me
To give our dog your hug
The phone line whispers crackles while I wait for you to finish

“be nice to mum and dad, okay?”


“don’t stay up too late,”


“love you, I’ll see you soon.”

I mimic your message
Let the distance readjust
Hum the note the speaker makes when your voice has been removed from the orchestra

The lights stay off
The curtains still open
I sit in your familiar absence once again

Waiting for the light
To turn back home
not from your perspective, for m x
May 2019 · 292
a haiku
martha May 2019
hues of pale peach wash
the air in solar flare soap
cherry blossom shoes
May 2019 · 303
a love poem
martha May 2019
It is hard to write about something you are always so full of
Constantly overflowing with that you can barely see the brim of the bowl anymore
from how often it has disappeared beneath the ebbing ocean
Sometimes they come so fast you don’t have time to decipher the foam

My heart has been held softly between two safe palms for over a year now
There have been times it has been caressed so carefully
I can’t tell the difference between skipping beats and catching breath

When its edges have fit perfectly into grooves eroded over time
for ten fingerprints that can’t be replicated
Codes we constructed together
and secret knocks only the hands of our internal clocks can count the rhythms of

There have been times they have squeezed a little too hard to tell
Accidentally scraped the surface without intending to
Followed by however much body heat is necessary to help the healing
With extra to spare in case of emergencies

Reality can’t keep the roses red every time winter comes to visit

But it has painted my laugh lines permanent
And keeps my dimples occupied

He knows the mechanics of my face word for word
he can read my heavies in a microcosmic glance
before they even get the chance to bite my tongue to stop me spilling

I am comfy in his loud and in his quiet
I am warm in his laugh
Soft in his smile
Giving back comes so easy when the receiving end is often mine

Falling further every day has made me best friends with gravity
And soulmates with the years ahead waving from a distance

Full of arms wide open
And two mouthfuls of laughter
for h x
May 2019 · 242
martha May 2019
1:19am again

spine curls into a question mark
hands sing sonatas of symbols
while head keeps track of seconds passed
and days lost

toes tuck absent-mindedly into socks
shy and scared of being sought
for hiding in such a place
their secret hideaway in sleep

hearts still thumping
says goodnight to bloodstreams
with quiet pulsing kisses

bathes the rest of body
in thin coats of keep steady

ready to deliver dreams
fated to their impermanence
May 2019 · 158
faded not forgotten
martha May 2019
It's easy to let glass stain from holding it up to the sun
to look through and see how pretty it looks in the light
you don't really register the change in colour
before the ink starts to taste different
and your tongue can't be held responsible

I took care of all the promises our younger selves crafted so carefully
blew them through straws into the waiting room for belonging
somewhere further down the line
speckled with all the possibilities the older us would follow through
bring to fruition with all the worldly knowledge we intended to collect along the way
scribbled down in patchwork scrapbooks
feathered with sketches of our pink penthouse apartment
outlined in crayon
cemented with glitter glue and grins

"best friends forever" can hold the same weight
as your last "I love you" to the wrong person

we don't talk about those ages anymore

when in each others company
we now engage in polite conversation
dances with small talk
punctuated with weak smiles and a pause

until the years catch up
bubble at the surface of old videos and photographs
bathed in laughter and "remember when"s aplenty

and we sit comfortable in knowing
we will never make new memories
as the us we have grown into

but the locks to the old one will never change
they'll always fit the keys we cut

for the friends I have lost along the way x
May 2019 · 142
martha May 2019
the earth swallows me whole
with her morning multivitamins

trees take hold of both my arms
until I start to mimic branches

my leaves scatter with every step
as far as my eyes can see

the blossoms in my brain
grew locks of coiling tendrils
until strings of twisting ivy,
tipped with their favourite poison,
played canopy in patterns pitched above it.

I write myself reminders to water all the crops
I tried so hard to sew all those years ago

sometimes the watering can trickles
when it can't find the will to pour

but it's okay

the soil never fails to soak up
all the sugar it can take
on the good days
May 2019 · 174
martha May 2019
push down-
claws tighten around thinning arms
grasp until they graze the bone
no bandaging to camouflage a scar
branded by burning red worry in waiting
no cure for calming relentless waves
a recipe for burdening left to cool
as eyes glaze over with inconsistency
back broadens until shoulder blades realign
muscles take their time to redefine
themselves amongst the plethora of shrinking cells



collect the fragments flung beneath floorboards
piece together the puzzle once again
and sit
for the imminent swell
May 2019 · 142
martha May 2019
strum my heartstrings of uncertainty

pluck petals from the family tree

to be the bud that tentatively grows
it's own unique new melody

from the first note struck
on broken bars

in our parents
patented symphony
May 2019 · 216
april showers
martha May 2019
I inhabit my silent cave with soft ease
welcome it's embrace
to mould its temporary shell
encased around my shape
leaks seep through with the ceiling cracks
from too many layers of alabaster

hide buckets and bowls inconspicuous
the lakes dare reflect their hits and misses
the floor a constant magma
and the sky too low to stretch steps on a spine

tracking the navigation of a falling sliver
always seemed so simple
now all they do is pool
on barren cheeked horizons
tips of icebergs
on frozen stranger
May 2019 · 184
fresh start
martha May 2019
a lukewarm promise uttered
beneath blankets
under covers

"I will" becomes "I won't"
a fading memory of don't
forget to try

creep back inside
deny it's absence
"never mind"

how slowly does a hope unfold
sheets as thin as angel hair
whose seams get used to growing old
and break the back of taking care

this time
cup with both your hollow palms
let them trace pathways
crave trails too tough to wander down

make maps of nooks and corners
crevices and borders
holding back floods
of handheld dams


Jan 2019 · 1.6k
martha Jan 2019
Big parts of ourselves are based on what we know best
What we do
Who we love
Where we are comfortable

The safety of familiar

When a rock the size of a delayed trauma is thrown between those cogs
The machine is still capable of continuing the way it did before
Something just makes it break that bit more
Quietly camouflaged beneath the surface of certainty

Everything now slopes to subtle disarray
As if the plates you had been balancing this whole time have suddenly stopped spinning
And the poles are threatening to snap under the pressure

I have separated myself into sticks and stones
Promised to break my own bones with every unstable step I take towards something I’m blind to seeing shadows of

Talking about it is impossible
It comes out in tongues of unintelligible
Crashing on tired ears too kind to tell me how badly they need a break

Discovering that who you thought you were isn’t who you can keep being
Makes me envy anyone who has had their identity stolen by an outsider

Constrictions come with self analysis
My body now moves through an ever-changing state of inconsistency
My figure defined by dislocated assumptions
Curves contract the changes in all the wrong places

Worries spread their seeds under an ocean of unnoticeable
Trust is now a stranger in my own home
who has figured out how to cut their own set of keys every time I change the locks

Blame is a fallback and the only ones to place it on are those who taught you everything you thought you knew

Heaviness is a weight I can’t brush off my shoulders
I carry everyone else’s burdens on my back because at least it is something I can be good at
A care taker who neglects to take care of herself

Eroding with every passing hypothetical
Every second thought
Every doubt
And every 'what if'

My impermanence is solidified in the knowledge that where we came from will soon call us back

Constellations can’t hold conversations but at least I know they won’t worry half as much

‘Nothing is permanent’ is one tattoo I can’t remove with laser surgery

So now I look for the missing parts of myself in others
In sizes and figures and numbers

What I am not is always something I could become
There’s always been room for improvement
and the empty space is running low on oxygen

Comparison has her cruel hands wrapped around my throat with a thirst I’m incapable of quenching
Self-deprecation isn't attractive
Insecurity isn't ****
Sharing so many similarities with someone who is everything better than me has turned itself into an internal torture device
an omnipotent ‘almost’ that lingers with every non-existent like-minded interaction that will never happen

I place my worth on the pedestal of peoples perceptions

Nightmares show reruns every second night
of the possibilities that now manifest themselves in the lining of my limbs
Leaking toxins that won’t go as far as my throat in case someone else overhears them

An unspoken competition for admiration and attention
The hollow has started to build scaffolds in my stomach for further renovations.

Easing it is a process
I seek shelter in laughter and forcing to forget

And loneliness has become a friendly companion in their absence

Afloat with overthinking until it jumps overboard
Dissolves transparent in glass coloured water

And drowns in it’s own pretty poison
Aug 2018 · 387
martha Aug 2018
When you forget how to do the things you know you love doing
It can feel like the ability that used to come so naturally
Has already soaked into the misshapen stain of nothingness you blame yourself for spilling

It’s contents have already slipped between the floorboards
And escaped from the cracks in your skin before you got a chance to check when they’d be coming back

I haven’t been writing recently
I haven’t been able to
I don’t know why

I don’t know why my right hand can’t find the will to cradle a pen the way it did before
Like my fingers have forgotten their favourite position to make love to lined paper in

A broken down marriage forcing itself to carry on collapsing
Wheels wasting away spoke by spoke with every rotation
Until there is nothing left to support it’s tired turning
Until it falls on it’s side
And becomes one with the earth it used to roam so proudly

Maybe it’s just rusty
Growing weaker with age
Desperate for an oiling of inspiration
Provoked by the detonation of something bigger than it’s brittle body
Something so furious
so deafening
that the dots that hang on the insides of closed eyes never stop flashing
Even when the world violates fortresses of eyelashes
and pupils learn to dilate on demand

Maybe I’m missing something
Something already there
As plain as the nose on my face
Just north of cupids bow and south of sights for sore eyes

And yet
It still refuses to tell me where
or how to trace the invisibility of a saving grace that mockery comes second nature to

Maybe it’s not meant for me
But then please explain the fragility of such a thing
That threaded itself so delicately into the stitching of my naive and barren soul the first time I made my mouth move
to speak words it only ever spoke in silence

Explain the burning in my belly
Whose smoke rises into my chest with every late night
stage fright
bedroom performance delivered to absent guests whose applause is collected
Kept secret beneath my pillows
Only to emerge in the shapes of dreams
Evaporating with every 6am sunrise that shines through my window

I’ve never been a morning person
Tiredness has turned into a trait rather than a side effect

I find myself falling asleep on buses in the hope that when I wake up I will be somewhere I don’t recognise but always intended to visit
A place littered with billboards advertising what my purpose in life was always meant to be
And a phone number beneath where first come first served gets it for free

Early bird gets the worm
And now my wings only work in the dark
Ever since contracting the corrosive infection that spread all the way to the edges of the veins until it began to bleed but never had the courage to finish the job

Guilt has set so many seeds in my stomach
That a dynasty of doubts has grown it’s own garden
and is using my bones as a trellis
Contradictions can’t capture the cause of a catastrophe
But give the clouds enough time to settle and the dust might tell you why

It’s not that nothing was meant for me
I just don’t think I’m destined for anything
bigger than my body

The one I inhabit daily
On a part-time
rent-free basis

Where autopilot is automatic

We're still waiting for someone else to fix the off switch
Jun 2018 · 455
l o v e
martha Jun 2018
There are many ways people define their own meanings of it
I’m not sure how many I’ve written so far

Too many to count
to inscribe on each separate compartment of my evergreen heart
Too light to set in stone and
Never knowing how to start

I entered the world enveloped in it
Felt it’s soft embrace in the shapes of two people who taught me how to chase the world from the safety of movies, books and poetry
In the confines of a family tree with a canopy covering a brother older than me living a sea away with a mum who wasn’t mine
But a dad whose blood ran through both our bonded veins

We soon became three
Another brother, this time younger,
Took the position of the constant company I had never known before
After 6 years of waiting with only grown ups and toys to tell my stories to.
Some say love for a family is compulsory
For me it is a promise I feel lucky enough to keep

Then there are families that you unintentionally choose
Pairings where platonic love flows aplenty
friends you keep and sometimes lose
Fast fading but never forgotten
Memories evoked by reminiscent reminders that cast quiet smiles every once in a blue moon
provoked by shiny new conversations with people you hope don’t leave as soon as they arrived
words fail to compensate the connection unseen yet tangible in unspoken exchanges and belly-aching laughter
A place where paths cross and soon merge into the same road with no horizon in sight
But a sunset worth riding straight into

A sunset similar to the same sunrise that guides a heart to realise
Just how far it is capable of falling without intending to
The heart of a girl raised so well on romantic ideals
she convinced herself she fell the right way first time around
So when she fell out, she forgot how to spell it without him.

Until months of cautious practise soon proved her wrong
seeing oceans in unfamiliar eyes didn’t sting anymore
And the fear of letting someone new in slowly subsided with every secret infatuation
The apprehension of the in-between never tasted so sweet

We fall in love with melodies, allow touches to linger on our bodies or construct imaginary fantasies with strangers who pass gently through our timelines
There are chemical concoctions responsible for the pounding in my chest
I have fought with my favourites and which parts I think I like best
But you’re doing pretty well at keeping first place as far as my fondness is concerned.

Although knowing things for definite is where my weaknesses lie
I can say for certain that I am a person who feels many things very deeply
And although it causes confusion and problems and pain,
it’s something I would never change about myself
I think, feeling everything is better than not feeling anything at all
I can say that the word “love” is something that carved its initials into my own a long time ago

It’s always been the one word that never stopped feeling warm, soft, and safe

It’s something I have always seen myself falling into
and curling up inside
while never being afraid to close my eyes

I know it will still be there when I open them.
written transcript for my spoken word poem accompanying a short film I made
Apr 2018 · 468
scenes of serendipity
martha Apr 2018
“it is not your job to interpret tears.”

There are ones that seem to fix everything.
Ones that gently shift the quiet tightening of your stomach to your chest all the way up to the microscopic peaks of your eyelashes
So the tears that follow might dilute the smile splayed so comfortably across your eager lips.
You decipher your interpretation of the human psyche through a screen
and make sense of the way we work with a language consisting of the perfect combination of camera and conversation
And stories
Stories about people
Movies about stories about people
Because what could possibly be more captivating
More beautifully unattainable than capturing that amazingly horribly complicated and endless plethora of confusing entities we labelled “emotions" caught inside the specks of dust brought to life by the light of a projection beam

In smiles exchanged through eyelines coupled with passing glances
Things that we know but yet somehow choose to forget
Things we hold familiar yet still at a safe distance too close to call far
Things that define us under the word “human” in an improbable world where the only certainty is knowing that we will never fully understand the sheer tremendous mass of what it really means to be alive.
What it really means to hurt.
What it means to know that there is unimaginable pain hidden away in bastions of solitude we never have enough energy to track down
Or place paper flag pins on just to remember where they were last seen.

But in these moments of utterly unmitigated bewilderment as to what the **** is happening inside our heads,
There is that same recognisable sense of comfort we can find in a bed
shared with someone else whose story we haven’t yet read
Shadowed by waves of apprehension tangled with fear and sheer joy at being reminded of what it is like to feel the unabashed velocity of every single one of your heartbeats again
dulled only by the confines of your sacred home of flesh and bone.

We gather without question
in darkened rooms only lit momentarily with hushed flickers
and the soft kiss of a silent stream of light carrying the burden of a story on it’s back
We sit the same way in synchronised straightforward stares
because sometimes we find it impossible to turn and face what it is we are most afraid of knowing
So within 3 walls and a never-ending silver plane of infinite realities
Some communicate with hesitant hands
clumsily clashing amid every popcorn induced action
And lingering touches in places we know all too well but are terrified of letting the other into
Memorise the way it felt to have shoulders happily heavy with holding a head up high for 90 minutes
and the fading imprint of their fingers as they grazed the small space of your lower back while you both exited stage left
Eyes dizzy and dreamy with what they had just witnessed
Thoughts shared and thoughts kept secret
Locked away for safe keeping because there are some revelations that have to deepen before they can be divulged to the company still beside you
already wondering when the next time will be before the credits have even concluded
“We should do this again sometime.”

And sometimes it’s easier to watch other people doing what we don’t do best
To see carefully constructed characters holding broken mirrors to our shattered internal anatomies
To see them go through things we ache to be reminded of
Or things we could never have considered imagining for the sake of understanding
We will continue to watch these people succeed within limits we can only dream of
But with every scene we see ourselves in
With every subdued smile and uncontrolled laugh
will come more hope
With every subtle tear and inconspicuous frown
will come more wisdom
As we continue to teach ourselves with the help of those who have made it their vocation to teach life through a language of moving pictures
To show us how to dissect the pieces of our world we don’t know how to disassemble  

We will keep trying to make sense of where exactly it is we come in the grand scheme of the ever-changing eclectic cosmos

I start my search in a cinema.
dedicated to the movie 'Short Term 12', directed by Destin Cretton
martha Aug 2017
What is the first thing to enter your head when I say this word?
It could be rainbows
or braided bracelets
or that infamous song from spongebob

For me, it is that first time I hadn't seen you in a while.
summer had pulled us apart to follow in our own ways the paths our parents set out for us to follow
and your arms opened wide and your legs took the form of a film reel long finished as soon as I came into view
and I followed your lead
as if running towards the softest
most loving embrace I would ever receive
from the worlds most adorable teddy bear.

It is the time you cared enough to ask how I was with a stern face
and tried to trick me into being alone with you so you could talk some sense into me
after giving you a heart attack the night before in the form of Helvetica text font filled text messages dotted with guilt and crossed with "I'm sorry"'s.

It is the countless sleepovers that seem to have all blended into one neverending night
full of dreary eyes and cheeks worn from the pushing of grins
smiling at the most simple things became customary
and laughing morphed into tears around 3am or so
and I held your hand as sharp words flew from your mouth and rolled down your cheeks as you spoke about a demon long since diminished.

It is the way we arrived back late after a 4 hour drive in the middle of the night and our dreams took place under a duvet in a double bed shared between 3
our ears were still ringing from the sound of overplayed static and our feet were sick of standing but we managed to fit anyway,
I sleep so well surrounded by the bodies of the two people I admire the most with every fibre of my living being,
just close enough for the comfort of 3 in a single bed after too many cans on your 18th birthday.

It is the time I couldn't walk straight after only 3 pathetic glasses of gallery wine
you had to leave
but all I wanted was for you to come back so I could spill secrets I couldn't tell the others yet with ease
because your ears always seemed the softest to rest my worries on
and you are so skilled in the art of dissolving them afterwards
that I only hope I can always do the same for you.

It is the slow walk up the driveway each morning to the desolate institute filled with others draped in the same navy fog that comes with waking up
which became so much lighter when I would remember that you were inside its walls
waiting for me with a warm smile and a laugh that could move mountains and shakes my very soul
something it still does so well even after weeks of missing you
and the way your radiating joy infects me so easily every time
no matter what kind of walkway brings us together.

it's the time you came over equipped with glass bottles and liquid happiness
and I never felt more at home than I did after seeing the sky stretched out above us and the nights cold breath causing goosebumps to erupt beneath our pyjama-clad frames
and we were all that existed in our cocoon of comfort,
how when we sat down to contemplate the reality of our existence
I was suddenly okay with the idea of physical affection
and I still am.

it is the time I was choking on everything I felt I could never get far enough to move past my lips
but you sat there
held my hand in yours
and helped me to dilute all the poison that had seeped into my blood because of him for 2 years too long
while you justified the importance of me to myself
and your eyes were the most reassuring thing my own had ever had the comfort of witnessing.

it's the way you embody everything beautiful I've ever admired the human race for
and how, no matter the weather,
I know getting coffee, tea,
or chocolate soya milk
and talking about your new favourite song
how you found this great new band
the impossibility of the ethereal beauty of girls
and even boys sometimes
or how this one character in that tv show you told me about makes me feel things I can't describe,
will always eliminate the clouds my shoulders find too heavy to hold on a sunday morning.

I will never be capable of expressing how grateful I am with the words 'thank you'
because those two syllables barely scratch the surface of the immensity of hope and happiness you bring into my life unlike any other I could begin to try and imagine

I am blessed with the most beautiful souls who have shaped my own in ways I will never forget
and I will never forget the way your hand gestures tell your stories
or the way your eyes illuminate electric blue when you talk about that band you love so much
or the way your whole body laughs uncontrollably at the most ridiculous of things with me
or the way your smile makes me feel like everything is going to be okay in the end
or how the reassurance of your small hands and eternal hugs is a constant reminder that I am, in fact, loved.

I don't know how long you will stay in my life.
if we will be stretched to the edge of our reasoning
pulled apart by distance
or unmissable opportunities
kept barely intact by group chats or late night phone calls that aren't the same as the times each others faces were the only sources of light at the end of too many long and tired days.

but for now
I thank you
and I love you.
Aug 2017 · 615
a moment of clarity
martha Aug 2017
It's been 6 days since my head filled with the impenetrable fog
6 days since the hands
pulling vinyls from their sleeves to place the needle on top of the grooves to play any distraction available
didn't fit my wrists the right way.
6 days since I made the conscious decision to intoxicate my brain to the point of fuzziness
and now the side-effects that embody the alcohol can't seem to stop coursing through each individual vein and artery
infecting my brain cells with rapid dexterity and a hazy heavy cloud that refuses to clear itself from my eyelids.
It's as if my whole body has been violated by a virus that has spread too quickly to identify and now every last nerve ending has ceased to send messages caused by reactions to tangible foreign bodies belonging to the world
outside my own physicality.
The feet encased inside my shoes are not my own
They no longer help me to stand with ease
or walk without stumbling
I am not here writing this
But my weakening limbs have detached themselves from the rest of me and now there are electronic mechanisms and chemical concoctions doing the job my senses have since given up on.
I am simply not me.
My teeth feel like aggressively inserted slabs of cold enamel constructed without consent behind the pair of lips that are slowly fading every day
These are not my nails scraping against the skin I no longer recognise and feel safe inside.
I feel like I am floating and everything happening around this body is affecting what it is supposed to
But I am the exception.
Every single inch of me is now wrong
Out of place
Unfamiliar and uncomfortable
All the physical feelings are now examined down to the most minuscule fragments
Heightened to the point that they are now extinct in the realm I still try to call "my" brain.
I don't want this.
I don't like this.
I want the substance that is poisoning me to drain itself from my blood
Something that now seems impossible to do.
A constant state of surreality in a more literal sense than I could have ever anticipated.
I didn't mean for this to happen.
I will never be able to identify what it was that flipped the switch labelled:
I can only make mere guesses and vague estimations as to how much longer I will have to spend inside the physical manifestation of a body from which my title of "proud owner" has been stripped.

It still comes back sometimes
In ebbs and faltering waves.
I move my hand to relieve an itch
Or follow more tablets
with a swallow of water
And for a second
it doesn't pass through my throat
my fingernails miss the bridge of my nose
my hands detach
I float without meaning to

6 days since the haze appeared

I guess I'll keep counting
Jan 2017 · 568
expired fairy lights
martha Jan 2017
each solitary shell encasing each glowing miniature bulb
embodies a memory
a feeling
a blur of seasonal rememberance associated with someone whose face you can't quite put your finger on
blue : sadness
red : anger
green : jealousy
yellow : happiness
concocted and connected through a dense cord the colour of coal we neglect to remember holds each lights hand and ties their souls together
Reflecting shadows on shards of broken glass baubels and the cheek of an ornate angel too delicate to cry
Their colour coded combination presenting a haze of neon and cheap affordable replicas of essential festive decor
But deflect your attention from detail and analysis
Caress the sight as a whole and take care not to delve too deeply into the secret each dull glowing ember might wish to divulge to you through whispers in a dark room left empty for too long
Before the dimming is inevitable
the loss is unnoticeable
it's secrets
At least it faded before the power went out
martha Apr 2016
my shy, hesitant frame was first taken to obligatory ballet lessons when it was only 5 years old
the pale pink clinging leotards and scuffed leather slippers decorated with neat string bows would always outweigh the strain of my mothers scraping nails against my scalp in order to achieve the perfect ballerina bun seconds before each and every lesson in the vastly daunting and vacant room
where our innocent and wide-eyed little selves were our sole company in the face of the towering glass pane staring straight back at us
the sheen of the never-ending polished pole stretched right across the middle
and we strained to try and make ourselves grow taller than each other
to look like real dancers practising their pliés for hours upon hours
and I made my small body bear the unbearable
the strung out aching the myriad of assorted stretches lit in my weak limbs as I tried to train my fingers to kiss my tippy toes
like a desperate attempt at mimicking the distance between fingertips in The Creation of Adam
always almost within reach
but never meeting
soon enough the pink and the pretty and the pleasing image this form of dance appeared to me to be was no longer enough
and the sparkles and sequins and garish glitter costumes began to fade along with reflecting rainbow coloured stage lights and 4 years worth of overpriced Academy Lessons and Exams

I guess I gave up on touching my toes
may be adding more on to this at some point !
Apr 2016 · 1.2k
martha Apr 2016
For the first time since I can remember I felt like I was graced with the same regality as those who sit on thrones built from bricks of solid self-esteem, sealed with the plaster of confidence.

Every sweet silver tongued sentence that dripped from their mouths like honey helped to sow the seeds of yet another flower on my crown, blooming with the promise of an ever elusive beauty I have never had the honour of meeting before, until my crown blossomed with the sweetest scent and the prettiest petals you had ever seen.

These buds would encourage this forbidden nectar to fill in the gaps, to flow around and in between every crack and crevice in my self-polluted soul, mending, often overflowing leaving distinct pale pink kisses on the apples of my cheeks, and the dreaded dimple that is so often hidden would emerge from the shadows the moment that sweet nectar touched it and it was no longer afraid of showing.

Then you, sir, with your eyes shying from stardust could only speed the process, equipped with nothing but a rusty toolbox consisting of rosebud lips and blistered hands I know would never dare break my fragile stem, but be the foundations for my desperate, clinging vines to grasp so maybe someday I could taste the sunlight coating my lips, and veiling my skin the same way it did that one time I actually felt beautiful.

My legs were solid and strong, making just the right contact with the earth for me to keep my balance, my stomach a valley with just the right kind of hills and dips for my weary eyes to travel on, and I was blessed with a head held high paired with piercing eyes that only said that I wore all my flowers proud upon my crown.

Even if seeds of doubt still plant themselves in the caverns of your mind telling you that they will probably wilt the next day, you still water them with the tears you have left because ******* they are prettier alive.

Suddenly the sweet sound of ‘thank you’s echoed from my mouth to replace the bitter, constant taste of denial, and loathing took the form of loving and I embraced every second of it.

When someone at long last sees the galaxies in their own eyes and the pure luminescence of their soul, why must it be cruelly crushed by comments determined to blow them off course when they finally know exactly where they want to drop anchor, what is wrong if I decide to start with myself because I am living with me for the rest of my life and I realised I had better get comfortable. Self-respect, self-esteem, self-confidence, it all begins and ends with you, you are not just a chapter, you are the whole freaking book, so allow kind words to embed themselves in your skin and etch their outlines on your bones and it’s a pretty good way to start the first paragraph.

So let me be an empress, let me be a queen, no longer the princess of low self-esteem, rip off the nametag that reads ‘handle with care’ because you’re not breathing right you are not even aware of how much you are worth, step into your skin, accept every beautiful inch of you because you’re not going to win a battle where you fight by beating yourself, your body is not a warzone, but darling if you breathe in all the dirt you can take you’ll be exhaling the prettiest of flowers.

I know that it’s hard, but trust me, honey, you will grow so tall, you will blossom my friend, even though you may fall once, or twice while you climb.. keep your eyes fixed on that sun, and you’ll be just fine.
my first spoken word poem I performed last summer for the first time

— The End —