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Nov 18 · 31
What you don't know is
meadowbrook Nov 18
What you don’t know is
sometimes now I forget you exist
the way I used to forget myself
when I was too busy thinking of you
(and you were too busy
thinking of someone else
to bother with someone
who bothered to think of you at all)

Hey, have you ever thought of moving on?
I’m never coming back
Or is your world so empty, so small?
(You always liked it painted black)

Look, I’m just too busy to bother with
someone who only cares enough
to bother someone who’s better off

Love, I’d write you a reply
except - why even try?
If not to make my feelings known

But it’s not a worthwhile use of my time,
I would rather turn anguish to fanciful rhymes
and write for the fun of it; quite useful for a nuisance
(yes, that’s what we call you - a worm and a fly)

All I know is that life was fully atoned
until you rumbled through it
like a great rolling stone,
and crushed all the soft light
I’d been careful to grow

I’m so sorry to be scathing
(not in the slightest, no!)
just to slight you, and slice back a piece
for my once-starving bones

What you don’t know is
when I’m not forgetting your ghost
I am up in my mind
burning allllll of the photos
Nov 18 · 24
Parallel
meadowbrook Nov 18
Still, I can’t forget
how you would like to tell me lies
just to see if I’d believe them
and you knew I always did;

a body built of blind faith
the skin of our arms touching -
two forsaken parallel lines

hands to never meet or hold
your body plumed too deep
within a cloud of cigarette smoke

And selfishly
your bold-lined letters came,
dusting off your guilt-laden coat -
you tell your tales, such make-believe,
to make belief of old false hopes

I wake sometimes remembering
our years-long fever dream
broken out in sweat of dread and shame
at having fallen for so grand a scheme

Of all things, I did not believe
in love but common decency,
until you shook me to my senses
shaking off the rosey lenses

Did you cage me or set me free?
Sep 26 · 51
Watching water boil
meadowbrook Sep 26
I watch the *** of cool water
slowly boil -

a bubble, five bubbles, seventeen, and more

and if only I could multiply,
I could watch each bubble
die as it were born

but I am at the stove
with my two hands, my two eyes
and my one brain, and my sole life

that never seems to make good
fast enough in time

I am tired of patience
I am tired of waiting
for water to boil

I am boiling on full flame
just watching the water giggle at my toil

and if I could simmer down
I would, but I don’t

because I was born boiling
and it will always be so

the bubbles appear and they vanish,
taking thoughts as they go

here they come,
there they go
Sep 24 · 31
Good thing
meadowbrook Sep 24
My cat has learned
to love my kisses -

cats don’t kiss -

somehow he learned
that it’s a good thing.

All anybody, any lovely, can do
is to embrace the love they’re given,

and I can’t take it -

how few of these good things
do we find?

Why does a good thing
hurt to find?
Sep 23 · 38
telephone
meadowbrook Sep 23
In this winding one-way street,
I sent for the fire brigade,

a couple years too late,

a couple years
too young to know
how to dial a telephone.
Aug 26 · 45
old wounds
meadowbrook Aug 26
the mahogany red
of these sticky beads,
they stick to me
and stain the sheets,

even here in bed,
even in my dreams,
clotting in my head -
a book that won’t be read
words printed large and wide
as the blinding of dread

could I make out a letter?
backing up on the bed,
hit the wall with the back of my head,

peeling, scraping the scabs off
old wounds I don't know how to tend

just once, could I
peel, and feel
my skin again?
Aug 10 · 57
Inside the shell
meadowbrook Aug 10
inside the shell
I heard the emptiness
of my ear canal
Jul 12 · 55
Say I never could
meadowbrook Jul 12
cracks in the pavement
stepping with my eyes closed

the ghosts under the dinner table
have nothing on
the skeletons in your closet

have nothing on
my lack of superstition
and the squid ink you deposit

over oceans
around me

say I never could, so I did
say there’s no such thing as love
so I go ahead and make it
Jun 24 · 61
time and words
meadowbrook Jun 24
In that secret mailbox
I read back your sorry words

just to wonder
if I still feel
any kind of something
for you


But I hear it now -
tenderness -

and I’m still not sure


(if time healed over,
or if time just made me
a new pair of rose-coloured glasses)
May 18 · 55
door
meadowbrook May 18
I guess now I’m good
There are people who will go to my funeral

People who remind me I’m a tree on a hill
giving shade to a dog, being home for a bird

I guess now I’m good
I tend to say all things tentatively

I guess I’m scared I’ll miss my parents
I guess I’m scared I’ll regret
rushing forward to my chosen lights
always choosing, always rushing

Scared to look down the trap of the past
so I keep running

Once I leave I am gone

I am going

My mother was right
to say I would go and stay going

Some steps cannot be backtracked,
some doors never reopened

Why does it feel like this door is forever closing?

I’m sorry I am short of breath for you
I’m sorry I want so badly to be somewhere else
I’m sorry you were right
May 8 · 44
cardboard box
meadowbrook May 8
they say on the news
that we'll live past eighty-five

see you slouch on your couch,
how tired you are of life

and you're thirty-two
chewing through
life - like it's a cardboard box

and I know that you will
recycle these shreds
and chew through it again

the way you do with
your lovers and friends
Apr 26 · 218
Rest
meadowbrook Apr 26
Wide awake at night,
waiting for sunrise,
I wonder and wonder...

Do I watch the clouds
in wish for rest?
Apr 20 · 43
The field
meadowbrook Apr 20
You left them all -
creaky tractors
out in the rain,
bring on the rust.

A slippery cricket,
I leap from your hands
again and again,
and you never quite catch.

Scramble for me, dear,
just try to keep up.
Once I see your sweat beading
I think I could rest.

Funny how
you built this house -
no windows to face these fields.

Just know,
I will be here
in the field of your mind,

to shine like a black river pebble,
to show you your face in the dark.
Apr 12 · 102
Lines on the road
meadowbrook Apr 12
Lines on the road,
heart beating,
and you in the passenger seat
like we've been doing this forever.

Am I the rhythm
of broken lines on the road -
how it all feels ready for collapse?


Sometimes I forget I exist,
and I can't touch enough
to know this isn't true.


But you touch me
and I am part of this world -

I am the lines on the road,
I am the wheels turning.
Mar 31 · 706
good riddance
meadowbrook Mar 31
I damaged up the tissue -
not to say that it's a scar -
it's an old wound, ever-tender
from that time I stumbled in the dark

I feel it in the nighttime!
Place the traffic cones around me,
and cover all the mirrors -
I don't need to see you leave

Is a goodbye really goodbye
if it feels more like good riddance?
Mar 15 · 55
Wild West
meadowbrook Mar 15
with all certainty,
commanding -
like you're all-knowing
when you don't know,
when you're owing

and last night I had another

one of those
confusing glimpses
down the barrel

like I had to watch my back
accidentally hurt myself
accidentally able
to turn these worlds upside down

silly to perceive
that everything could simply shatter
when I wake and I scream
and it still doesn't matter

how it boils my blood
to watch you know what you know
and never reap what you sow

while they shovel a path home
as it snows, and it snows, and it snows

without certainty,
teetering
on dried earth -

to crumble and break
any day now -

will you tell me -
where is my ride off into the sunset?
Feb 26 · 155
cupboard
meadowbrook Feb 26
cavernous cupboard,
with your door swung wide open
like an arm to invite me in -

if I clamber inside,
will you promise to close flush?

will you turn your key?

tidy my commotion
as though a commodity
meadowbrook Feb 25
I don’t know if you can see it

Every action of mine is a shadow of you
Every movement in movement with you

So now that I am older, now that I synthesise
I am long-lost, now I see

Every move I make for you
is a move away from me
Feb 21 · 95
Canoe
meadowbrook Feb 21
And yeah, sometimes I find myself here

on this endless lake,
and my canoe is sinking

Getting creative, getting by

In the holes of the boat
I am clumping the reeds,
clutching at straws,
and wondering what I do this for

Half afloat, I ripple -
see these ****** echoes?

I cannot move without a trace



And still, the boat is sinking -

I think about how
I’ve never been good at swimming

Treading till I ache

Aching for the shore -
where could I find it?

Half afloat and rippling, as I empty
and I’m sinking

Yeah, I find myself here sometimes
Feb 15 · 413
Drying eyes
meadowbrook Feb 15
Drying eyes,
don’t you shut
I want to see -
I want to see it all.
Feb 1 · 60
job application
meadowbrook Feb 1
Here, take my resumé -
I hope you will take me

I give you my choices, my history

Justifying myself
to a chain of perfect strangers

Yeah it’s “just a job”
(my time and my life)

represented so neatly
in the attached PDF, 30KB

(hours, and body, and mind)

I just hope your computer screen
makes these corporate words pretty

I just hope you will throw me a line

I just hope it will make you see

that I’m just a person
who, given the chance,
will try.

Sincerely,
Jan 22 · 44
apathy
meadowbrook Jan 22
Ain’t the water a drag to wade in?
All I know is what I don’t want

Off the top of my head
I can think of
nothing in particular
particularly pleasing -
more evident
with every morning
the apathy wakes with me.

Through the day
this apathy is an anchor
inside my body -

My body and its constant crashing
into sandbanks,
under unpredictable waves,
saltwater scorching through

I take all my slow walks with apathy -
it holds my hand, saying nothing
but it's there
when I swallow till my lungs are full

Anything but air

And I don’t need a sigh
for this constant exhale -
clenching my jaw,
waiting for rain

If the world was water
I think I could breathe

easier
Jan 21 · 31
New Year’s Eves
meadowbrook Jan 21
May the stroke of midnight lose me again
in the new year’s eves to come

I remember forgetting time and looking up
among the laughter, the smell of soda,
and my quiet fear -
it was six past midnight into the next year.
I didn’t know this would be
the year I heard my darkest voices
and dared to reply,
to be left by my fighter’s will, high and dry

Here now, this new year
is marked by the midnight
my friends and I missed,
grabbing for the remote control
to watch the fireworks broadcast
in a room dimly lit.
We laughed -
it was lovely
to escape
that dreaded turnover again;
the false promise of magic,
that last digit switch,
the secret wishes -
secretly superstitious;

May our future year endings
slip by us

May these minutes
make safe passage through our lungs

May the moment pass quietly by me
in the new year's eves to come.
Jan 7 · 47
Hush, bird
meadowbrook Jan 7
hush me down

the more I talk, the less I know
your face is a stranger to glance past
for twenty four years in a row

hear your anger in so many tones
raise your voice to a bird from the wilderness
a bird you claim to own

the threat is to go to your garden shed
to find those wing clippers,
to make this bird an object for show

silent and beautiful and alone
nothing ever to come by
no place ever to go

slice the scars into wounds again
for you never did say in what way
you would love me so
and you never did so

letting me be, till I’m plotting to leave
then to strike when I stretch my wingspan
learning to fly, trying to grow

hush me down now
the more I talk, the less I know

nothing ever to come by
nowhere for this to go
Dec 2020 · 50
Lint
meadowbrook Dec 2020
The sadness clings to me like lint
and brings the cold to my skin

But among the lint
stick the warm words of friends
to say this will not be forever

And I’m felting quite a coat now
from these accumulating words

Sometimes in secret I see
the sadness forget itself,
I see the sunlight incubating me

Sometimes, I look
and there,
among the wool of friends,
is my pain
padded up on all sides
like a winter newborn
Dec 2020 · 44
I forget
meadowbrook Dec 2020
my mind plays tricks on me

kitchen sounds
of false hope
and warm breakfasts
still early
cool blue

and maybe I woke
to those sounds one day
but I forget

that my mind plays tricks on me

your smile in pictures
tender words
trust in midnights

I forget

could I dream
up a life?

sometimes I remember nothing

I forget,
I know nothing -

I forget I know nothing
Dec 2020 · 51
To carve
meadowbrook Dec 2020
Carved myself down
to become the pool
through which Narcissus stares

nothing more
when he found
brighter lakes to peer in

so I lie
in the curves of the meadow
and to everyone who passes by

What good is reflection,
if I do not move on?

And these boys are ever nicer
than he ever was,
that I wish it were easy to love,
instead I hold back

the gut-wrenching bile
that their niceness
brings up

The thing with carving is
once carved, forever gone -
a phantom limb
to taunt with what was,

and to finally know
that no action or word
can truly be taken back.
Dec 2020 · 45
a little
meadowbrook Dec 2020
I might just be a little hungry or tired
I might just be a little scared

Used to clawing for the sunlight
even in moon rays

For once
I am afraid of a good thing

I am loved and I am scared

What does this mean if I can let go,
if I can lean a little?

A little loved,
a little scared to lean a little
Nov 2020 · 37
but you
meadowbrook Nov 2020
mean streak
to pass on

whoever you meet
earns a mean streak

I see patterns
in everything
but you

like to tell me
that everything I do
is the first time

humble my hope

in the shadow of memories
you made on your own
Nov 2020 · 36
To try moving mountains
meadowbrook Nov 2020
I give to you
to no avail
just to see you forget your life
for a blink or two
for a cup of coffee
but never to change
anything at all

It will never be enough

I do not know what enough is
supposed to look like

“Go big or go home” I like to say -
and so, I have never really been home

If I could move mountains
I would hand-build your paradise
I would strip my bones to frame your view

You could leave all this behind

And the trouble is
that people say
I’m not obliged

Yet here the obligation lies
in my blood and bones
in the existence of my soul

When I am not trying
to move mountains for you
I am tearing myself to shreds inside

And when I think about
how you have felt
all this time,
suddenly
the good things
go

and I have to search
for birds again,
dancing in the clouds

I have to -

because you can’t look up
for birds anymore

Your eyes don’t brighten,
if they ever did -

I didn’t know you then -
I still don’t now
Nov 2020 · 36
The timelessness
meadowbrook Nov 2020
dream and wake
days flicker back and forth

summer air hugs my nose in the morning
by night I am slippers, scarves and socks

every day is a Friday, a Wednesday, a Tuesday
every day is the watching of clocks

home again, dinner, then rushing to work
hear the phrases repeat in our talk

I buy next year’s calendar
time and again

from a place that always makes it the same
so I don’t have to pretend

that time is not meaningless -
because time never ends

because time does not slow for us;
time is not our friend

so say **** all the future and planning and done
I would lay in the dirt just to rot

find me happy to leave you the worldly ideas
I am hoping one day be forgot -

in these lasting dreams, and in wake
no feeling, no thought
Nov 2020 · 53
sunflowers, oranges
meadowbrook Nov 2020
Today I saw Van Gogh
and he looked right through me
with his cold painted eyes
and the words he wrote in French

His stiff arm detached from his side
and slowly he reached out of the canvas -

(They really meant it when they named
this exhibition) so I had to ask him -

How did you know how
I would feel today, back then?

When I saw you today, I understood
that sunflowers lived in your heart
the way oranges live in mine

And I felt less small among the stars
because you paint stars with so much yellow
and yellow is such a joyful colour

because the existence of stars
makes my life small,
makes my life fleeting
and endable,
and so,
precious

I thought you were tragedy
but oh -
the hope and the wonder
you saw!
Nov 2020 · 38
Insurance
meadowbrook Nov 2020
Why is it so hard to write about you?

I guess
when I search myself
I can understand

Inside me is a door
that stays open for
mostly anyone who
willingly steps in

And you ransacked the place
and I have no insurance -

Poor as they come
in stable love

Locking down
and locking out
Nov 2020 · 210
Ritual
meadowbrook Nov 2020
I slip into my dressing room
and close the door behind me

I take off my people clothes
and rub my people skin

I am people too

So why don’t people feel like people?
Why don’t I feel as people do?

I wipe off my people face
and look into my people eyes -
I often forget that I look like a person
and what that person looks like

So, I sometimes spend
secret minutes staring
at this people person
and wonder why

a people person
is not really a person at all.
Nov 2020 · 53
I said (explorers)
meadowbrook Nov 2020
wordlessly sinking
to the soundtrack of soft rain
and Explorers on the stereo

I’ve said time and again
that life really is a joke

but right now, as I tell you that I -

Explorers plays obnoxiously,
I hear myself speak so comedically

and we can’t help but laugh about it later.

As bad as life can be,
at least it can be funny -

I said

free me
free me from this world
Nov 2020 · 39
to make clean
meadowbrook Nov 2020
writing on the shower door

I cannot wipe clean
till I can get out of my mind

soap bubbles to burst down the pipeline

clean is so tough
over and over

just to spoil tomorrow
to make clean once more

just how long for?
Nov 2020 · 40
surf's up
meadowbrook Nov 2020
Now and then,
I have a day
of forgetting that I am.

I ride the ghost of this wave
‘fore it crashes to shore
to be built back to rock from the sand,

or at least to make castles,
with careful pressing of hands.

Until surf’s up again,
I must stay on the land.

Until this day returns,
I will do what I can.

I will do what I can,
I will do what I can.
Oct 2020 · 59
I am your blindside
meadowbrook Oct 2020
You fall asleep, phone in hand
the light of your game shines over you
in a slumber far-off and away

Tuck you in tonight
and in nights past
the way I wished to be

I am your blindside

I must turn away
or it will be the end of me

I must climb the stairs, go to bed,
I must face away from the door

No longer to lend from my voids;
consuming me inside to out

No lock will stop
what wanders these halls

For tomorrow, we will talk again
scathing speech still to cut
profoundly

still to pull myself apart
to attempt a reach once more.
Oct 2020 · 48
heading for home
meadowbrook Oct 2020
send me home
send me packing

our strains have never strained so terribly

I am needed in other places
I am happy to go

deep down I know
it’s the best thing and the first thing
I’ve done for me

over our blues

before heading for home
I was finished with you

the strain never drained me so empty.
Oct 2020 · 57
Ants on Everest
meadowbrook Oct 2020
When will it be enough?

When one’s cheeks can smile no wider?
When one’s heart has burst itself with joy?

Will one climb all the peaks and
on the journey home from the last
say “What else?”

So - what else?
(And will it ever do?)

Why must one aim Everest-high,
when one feels ever so low?

Why must an ant exist for the crawl?

Will one ever rest at all?
Oct 2020 · 180
spider webs
meadowbrook Oct 2020
I do not go anywhere,
I do not collect anything -
I do so little of everything!

(but string together spider threads
to make up fluttering spider webs
of the temporal doom inside -
then, in these webs I reside.)
Oct 2020 · 49
words for you
meadowbrook Oct 2020
words for you
resistant behind these ribs

anything for you
I’d do anything

I would
and I did
and it’s over now

and never again
would I

so, words for you
must be squeezed
from this under-ripe lemon heart

cleanses in small doses
words for you

sour, erosive
words for you

any number of
words for you

anything for you
I would do

and it’s over now
and never again

I would never again.
Oct 2020 · 46
brothers
meadowbrook Oct 2020
deep talks
over Whatsapp

each turn of the year
you are brighter, darker

two pleasant surprises
in the form of brothers
Oct 2020 · 45
something I have to say
meadowbrook Oct 2020
I walk myself slowly to the door of myself,

so I can let myself out,
so I can be with you, my friend.

Life is such a joke;
the least meaningful of things
become figurative inside.

My mother never did like me
to have people over, so

I chat to you in the front yard
of my heart,

I pretend to see warmth
in your marble eyes -

please, may I have the eyes
I glimpse between laughs?

I find it hard to face you,
my house front is a backdrop,

it should be more of something -
whatever ‘something’ is...

My silences - inadequacy,
my comments hog the stage,

I know up in my mind
you never see me that way -

this is just something I have to say.
Oct 2020 · 56
snakes and stones
meadowbrook Oct 2020
in the edges of my vision,
writhe the snakes of murky dreams
turn my head - vanish
shake me free of leaden sleep
follows me
down lanes and streets
dizzy at the prospect of the journey home;
heavy legs to bring back
and lay along the bed
with pragmatic tenderness
for I am ponderous as a stone
please wrap me warmly in
sunlight and clement winds
to send me off tomorrow
to do it all again
Oct 2020 · 41
sorry
meadowbrook Oct 2020
I’m sorry that I
always feel like I’m stepping up a staircase
which is climbing ever higher, yet descending into earth,

sorry that I
think I can tell you how it hurts
to be blood and flesh and bone,

sorry that
the words never reach anybody,

sorry that I
like to pick apart the pain
and show you the results,

sorry that I
sway between “all of this matters”
and “nothing ever does”,

sorry that
the whole of me
does not feel whole,

sorry that I
really am sorry
for the whole of me,

sorry that I
keep saying sorry -

****, I’m sorry.
Oct 2020 · 48
magnolia tree
meadowbrook Oct 2020
a magnolia tree
on spring’s eve;
bare branches blooming.
Matsuo Basho is my favourite poet - his haiku (translated from Japanese to English) are such a source of comfort for me, reminding me of the beauty in little things, in the understated - reminding me to appreciate slowing down.

I could only aspire to evoke such beautiful imagery as effectively. I would learn Japanese just so I could read his original words and understand truly what he meant.
Oct 2020 · 76
moths in the basement
meadowbrook Oct 2020
Sunday shut-in

thoughts like moths
in the basement

beating their wings
on the sores in my mouth

I am terrified of moths
I am the dark

I am all the plagued things
that I didn’t think I could be

I used to believe I was made of sunlight,
being born to a summer Sunday’s sunrise

but right now I lay in the dark
to the sounds of everyone else having dinner

thoughts like moths in the basement

I am a low-hanging light bulb,
I am slow-burning toward the inevitable

dust settling
Oct 2020 · 41
Untitled (Today)
meadowbrook Oct 2020
Today the world slows down to me
and I’m still dragging my feet.
Oct 2020 · 51
These rivers
meadowbrook Oct 2020
I can’t tell you where this all comes from,
because I already feel like a fraud.

These rivers lead back where
I can’t speak -
can’t speak up -
can’t say...

(that my fear
of being obliterated
is very real -
that sometimes I
would like to be the one
to decide)

And death is many things in us -
it is many things, many ways

And in many ways,
by slowing my spirit,
I have already died -
just to stay alongside
this slow corpse

Now I am seeing everything
for the first time,
for the first time,
for the first time

As though I have seen everything
for thousands of years,
for the first time.
Outside of Hello Poetry, I am an artist. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune condition in my first year of university, and since then all my uni projects stemmed from my experience with rheumatoid arthritis. And I felt I couldn’t tell anybody exactly why my work was the way that it was, because I didn’t think anyone would believe it. This poem is about having to slow down and recalibrate myself to my new physical state.
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