Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
NF Sep 2015
My mirror is covered in cracks and flaws, and some parts that make you look fatter, like a funhouse mirror, and it clings to dust and dirt and fingerprint smudges of oil.
But I don't replace it.
Because sometimes it's easier to spot the flaws in the mirror than to fixate on my flaw riddled body,
Flaws that aren't just skin deep,
The night is beautiful but deadly.
When you can't see, you have to find new flaws to detest,
It's addictive to beat yourself,
I'm in an abusive relationship where I don't mean to hurt me and I can't leave myself-
And there's some macabre satisfaction in the dependable breaking,
Like I know every night I will go to sleep hating the fact that I am still breathing,
There are memories haunting me from as young as ten,
Things that shouldn't still be repeating,
I can't work out how it just keeps accumulating,
Words spoken
And thoughts
And I don't know if anyone else feels sentences as deeply as I do,
And I'm running out of personality to stick pins into,
Trying to fix myself with voodoo
They say negative reinforcement is the quickest way to correct behaviour but I make the same mistakes
it's not okay that I constantly feel like I'm failing,
But life is more than a high-stakes game
And everyone's saying that all teenagers feel this way
But it's not reassuring to know that my generation is one of lost souls and hate.
And we're all really angry,
Whether it's because we'll be working till we're 90 or conflict left undated
Racism still exists and the Chancellor of Germany is getting called a ****
While anyone Asian is labelled Indian or ****
And eating disorders run rampant through the territory where anorexic girls get priority while the boy who binge eats is just called fatty.
And this is where I insert a statistic to convince you that we're unhappy but I refuse to be quantified just so I can mean something.
And it doesn't let up,
Compliments are uncomfortable and seeing good in yourself is arrogance, criticisms self pity
And you never know if they want to help you or just ensure that you understand the importance of conformity
It doesn't take much to convince someone you're okay.
There's not much you need to say
And if you can laugh then you're fine and we know no one checks the closets for skeletons because they're filled with people too afraid to come out of them
People accept 'fine' because they just need to know that they asked the question,
And besides, deeper questions get stuck beneath my skin.
And even when someone else compliments me I don't believe them,
Pushing away others cause I need distance,
Sometimes I feel sick from the level of enforced interaction but people only see the side they want to see.
When I told my friends about the time I struggled with suicidal thoughts they expressed their sympathies and it hasn't come up since.
Romanticising illnesses leaves me unsure if I am suffering or if I just want to be,
And part of me has to agree that diagnosis and its certainty would be better than the admission that life is just like this
You can't get better if it's something you can't fix
I don't think I'm broken but maybe I was made to the wrong specifications cause it feels like I am missing something but at the same time there is too much of me and not just physically
I am choking on the sheer volume of my past, present and impeding future
Trying to get it together
Told that it's okay if I don't know where I want to go
But in year 9 we picked our gcses which determined our a levels which determined our university courses which determine our career, if we even get there.
I keep finding new problems
I am still haunted by the old ones.
But I'll be okay,
Cause today
Someone told me to love myself.
  Aug 2015 NF
do not burn this city.

leave the people with
secondhand smoke
in their skins.

burn yourself
with all the hopes
they cannot have -
the hopes you
have stolen.
style? what style??
consistency? what consistency??
NF Aug 2015
There is strength here.
Built in glaciers older than countries
Known only to cold seas
And the animals that thrive in the face of difficulty.
There is beauty here.
Reflected in water droplets that tear the light apart
We gaze upon the scattered remains and declare it a rainbow.
We're not wrong.
There is anger here.
You only have to watch the way the volcanoes erupt in fury
Or the water-bound tsunami who reaches for land but is banished to sea.
There is pain here.
Watch the way the Earth shudders, and the ground tries to hold itself together
And oil runs from water.
We call them immiscible.
There is violence here.
It inhabits the living and the still,
Tornadoes chase and throw and break
And guns scream
And the prey cry
And comrades become competitors
There is sorrow here.
You can hear it in the breaking of a voice from topic not age
And the way the rain cries down windows,
In the whimper of a sleeping child.
There is joy here.
You see it in the songs of whales and the chatter of dolphins
And the way the stars twinkle contentedly,
Find it in the breathy huff of a baby's first laugh.
Look for it in the secret smile that wasn't meant to be seen.
There is coldness here.
Not just the kind that makes exhibits of mammoths
But there is something in the look of a bigot,
The indifference of an eagle,
Something in the way ash falls slow and steady as it watches lava desolate a city.
There is life here.
In this world we do not limit living to survival
And we have a way of finding new ways to look at our world.
And though the mountain does not breathe it moves constantly.
Though leaves that left their trees are not green, they dance on the wind.
And even when we are gone we remain in memories and dreams
And artefacts, or speeches, or actions.
There are many problems here.
But we're trying to fix them.
This is a planet worth fixing.
NF Aug 2015
Somewhere near to three years old in the hot dust of another country, a strange woman comes to me.
She is not like my mother but she calls herself Mama.
My family tell me that she is my grandmother.
This does not sit well with my infant self,
I inform them quite certainly that my only granny is across the seas in her big house of roast dinners and gardening and apple picking.
That was the time when I adored her.
And I vaguely remember haribos on a bed that wasn't my own
And streets that didn't know quiet.
Loud ladies who turned their attention to me
And sellers in the roads dancing between cars and waving their goods at my mother's inherently wealthy white skin.
And there were rural parts,
Sometimes the women didn't wear tops but that didn't matter as much as people think it does
And I separated the rocks from rice with this black imposter who insisted she was my grandmother.
My parents say she would place them before me to find and present them proudly-
She wasn't so much an imposter as a stranger.
And there was a shower
Not in the village but an urban area,
Where someone left a bar of soap
That my feet were too eager to meet,
Things spiralled out of control and I was heels over head, forehead becoming closely acquainted with tiles
And marked.
To this day that skin stain remains on my forehead but I forget where.
Time gives way to more accidents and mistakes
I wouldn't say that my visit was a mistake or a waste,
Though I only remember dubious seconds of blurry scenes and the split between reality and imagination isn't always too clean,
But it wasn't a waste.
It was the first, but more importantly, the last time I ever met
That black stranger who called herself my grandmother.
NF Aug 2015
I know where I came from, long ago,
It is a land where bare feet dance, stepping to and fro.
Where drumbeats and heartbeats become one,
And at night, the sea dances on the long horizon.
My land has felt the grim bite of war,
And now the place where I grew up is my home no more.
I hear the cries and screams of my kind,
Forever branded as the one that left them behind.
I fled across the seas for safety,
But a place that wards off mem'ries I have yet to see.
And here no one will offer a hand,
This land only knows grey concrete, I wish for white sand.
And I remember what it is to embrace the sun.
My skin is now dull, a tired grey,
Mirrors watch as the light in my eyes now fades away.
They are still fighting, though I'm not there,
Though the seams of my country are beginning to tear.
I still remember where I come from,
But I fear- should I return- that home will be long gone.
Loosely based on the landay form
NF Aug 2015
Five monoliths stand,
Look down on the lost lady,
Scattered in leaf litter and memories,
Chased by the faint scream of a saxophone
It's funny
That she's alone.
After night after night on a darkened stage
In a seedy bar
Where it isn't wrong- it's jazz
And life,
And she can wear her skin like a crown
But now,
She is lying in the dirt,
And the only hoots she gets are from owls who dismiss her as no threat
And the only eyes that watch her are wide and glowing and waiting.
Her feet twitch to the muscle memory of a tap routine
Where she stamped her way to a high kick, slide, jazz hands, splits, arms up to take it in-
Now there is only one part of her that still sings.
It's a song of mourning.
Her heartbeat drags its feet along the floor it goes slow
Like the blues chord she never knew the notes to but she heard it in every song.
And she saw it in the smile of the piano player as he winked at her
And she flipped her hair and turned to her audience,
Safe in the knowledge he'd still be there
Until he wasn't.
Wedding bells never mastered the blues
And from the moment of his matrimony every note was too sharp to swallow,
You can't be light on your feet if your heart is heavy
She started looking for his smile in the bottom of bottles
And hugging empty pianos-
It wasn't that she needed him but without him her lungs were empty
And her songs became the warble of shot birds
She started to screech.
Now surrounded by decay
Even her body gives way to time,
Now he'd have to find beauty in between the lines that score her face
And her skin is a crust that is slowly contracting
And she is cooling.
She's half dressed in half heeled nudes
And a **** neglige
And her hair is only half curled cause the trees like it that way,
Her lips lost their red to the tint of blue,
And though she's lost her liner, her eyes are even darker.
She howls herself to sleep in shades of blues,
Writes her own chords across her bones and teaches them to the birds,
Takes their cackles for applause.
They think she sounds better that way,
Broken and drowned in a torn **** neglige.
NF Aug 2015
I come from sunshine.
Sunshine thick enough to form a blanket over tanned skin
And African insects that bite to live,
Empty stomachs and full hearts
And dancing in the sand before the sunset.
I come from winter.
Where the drunkards freeze in streetways
And there is hot stew for dinner
And my grandmother is a young girl who loves the way the sky turns dark so early,
And sugar sandwiches.
I come from rain.
The different personalities of the sky
Whether Big Ben is spitting on you or weeping for you
And the grey matches the bags under our eyes,
Where everyone is always moving.
Everyone has a place to go to.
I come from love.
Declarations too many years ago, and
The way a story sets my stomach alight
And holding a loved one in your arms
Holding a pet in your arms
And listening for the one verse where one phrase puts the planets back in orbit.
I come from anger.
Thrown against my own kind,
Born for another,
And internal screams that writhe beneath skin,
And the injustice of the person that didn't win
And a history blacker than the same skin it burned with  no remorse,
Righteous anger that was never right
And a growing frustration at the living.
I come from destruction.
The sound that trees make when they break under the caress of steel teeth
And the way that houses grow where forests died
The pictures of animals that used to breathe
And a pollution so thick it has turned my blood to sludge.
I come from an hourglass
And clocks,
A repetitive countdown,
A marathon or sponsored run
And the last stretch.
I come from blue.
And green.
And the black that means nothing,
And a planet revolving
Then end.
Inspired by Robert Seatter's I Come From
Next page