The Present

Beads
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Strange thing this, to sit with silence –
millennia of regret; cold stones at our backs.
 

Clutching worry in work-worn hands,
we balance, fearful, on this brittle plinth,
 

while the gift of the unopened moment
lays unnoticed at our feet.
 
 

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Filed under Couplets, Free Verse, Poetry

Ferns

ferns
 

The sound arrives
on the tail of rain;
low-level hum
held in fiddlehead cocoons.
 

We listen, rapt,
as tender vibrations
climb velvety stems
bathed in long summer light
 

and as I lay half-curled
in the crook of your smile,
we turn our arms to the sun
and let the newness unfurl.
 
 

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Kissing Zephyrus and The Art of Wearing Sandals

sandals

You teased me
as I tripped down the boardwalk,
through wind-blown dunes
in unsuitable shoes.

Words tumbled
across rough-hewn pine,
our newness palpable
in candlelit tales.

I felt the sand shift
as I wiggled my toes
– a habit from childhood
when laughter laced my days –

and again, later,
as you crossed the sky,
pulled a star from the roof of the world
and glistered my lips with a kiss.

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Petit Mal

girl 2
 

Tonight, I will write,
about the girl who disappeared,
how she would fade in front of us,
one moment a solid bundle,
of skin and bone, brain and muscle,
then a blur of a girl
that no game could hold,
no skipping rope tether.
 

Her eyes would leave first;
wide, glassy, fringed by the dark,
fluttering, shuttering out the world,
seeing only the pictures
painted on the inside.
 

Then her ears;
small and neat,
her head cocked,
to scoop up the murmurings
that hovered at the edge.
 

Lastly her lips,
that I remember she licked
just before they began to move,
silently committing
the unseen words to memory.
 

I whispered to her once,
‘where do you go’
but could tell by her eyebrows
that she didn’t understand.
 

So tonight I will write,
about the girl who disappeared
and the man
who, years later, would wonder
how she could run away
without ever leaving the room.
 
 

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Juggernaut

converse
 

Thirteen, wrapped in spider milk dreams,
she steps from the kerb, warning unheard
beneath melodies and verse.
 

She remembers it hard;
metal-glass shards of light,
sun bright, plucking at tearless eyes.
 

Years pass, everything fades,
even the blade that snaked from her
quiet throat past whalebone white.
 

And still, as she dreams, she steps
from the kerb, warning unheard
beneath sonnets and song.
 

This time, no metal chassis,
just his hard body slamming
into her small, soft frame.
 

He takes her, broken and bruised,
while she chases her mind
through sunflower fields
 

her tongue catching
on one beautiful word
after another.
 
 

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Sprite

Sprite
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

She lives in the woods,
my wild-eyed girl,
soft-spun beneath skies
of bluegrass dew,
 

unbound, unwound from the
grey cotton spool,
spinning in prisms
of liberty’s light.
 

I’ve begged her come home
to tangle her bones
in the threadbare bed
of the sullen moon
 

but she’ll not leave the breeze
of the trees’ hushed bloom
or the shift of the river’s
sweet-petalled scent.
 

So I dance in the woods
with my wild-eyed girl,
soft-spun beneath skies
of bluegrass dew
 

until dusk’s last dance
returns me alone
to the threadbare bed
of the sullen moon.
 
 

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Communion

kiss
 

Though it remains unnamed,
it is enough to know
that in the rock and the roll of it,
the losing control of it,
 

between the hushed ‘fucks’
and the guttural cries,
the gaze exchanged
between unguarded eyes
 

it is there
and there
and there.

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It’s the not knowing

universe

‘Love is so short, forgetting is so long’

Pablo Neruda

 

It’s the not knowing that drags;
an emotional gravity
that skewers us to the earth,
holding our feet in concrete
and our hearts in a dewdrop web
of half truths.
 

It’s the not knowing that clouds,
that ruins the night sky,
obscuring fractal glitter
with the dust of uncertainty
until we find ourselves unable
to see beyond our own atmosphere.
 

It’s the not knowing that bites,
sinking its teeth when the sun dips
below the watery horizon
and the beach fire crackles its last,
darkness slipping us deep
beneath its counterpane of sorrow.
 

It’s the not knowing that slices,
that cuts through us
with the gilded blade of illusion,
leaving us baffled and bereft,
forever craving
a simple promised truth.

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The Scientist

carina 2
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

‘stars are sometimes born in the midst of chaos’

 

I lay on my back for half a century,
believing the universe to be a quiet place,
still, steady, constant;
the sun, its brightest sphere.
Static nights, spent on the cool, brown earth,
gravity pinning me to feather-green blades,
breath held, so as not to ripple the cosmos
and blow away the stars.

 

But now you tell me it is chaos out there,
that Orion’s Belt is full of stellar nurseries;
collapsing clouds of gas and dust,
pockets of space jettisoning new life
into a glittering sky full of
supernova shockwaves
and percussive solar winds;
a symphony of energy and light.

 

Here, as we commune
beneath the inky coverlet of night;
binary stars orbiting our shared passions,
you show me Carina Nebula;
four million times more luminous
than the solitary sun,
and finally I can breathe
without fear of scattering the stars.

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Dust

Dust

In life’s precious remnants and all that’s good,
from the creeping dawn till the sun’s last ray,
the dust of us settles where we once stood.

In the quiet streets of the neighbourhood,
in cribs and cradles where our infants lay,
in life’s precious remnants and all that’s good,

where the children thrived as we knew they would,
on the golden sand and the sparkling bay,
the dust of us settles where we once stood.

In moments we did the best that we could,
whilst bereft of the light and cloaked in grey,
in life’s precious remnants and all that’s good,

in well-meant promises misunderstood,
quiet goodbyes at the end of the day,
the dust of us settles where we once stood.

In abandoned churches on oaken wood,
where hymns of our childhood no longer play,
in life’s precious remnants and all that’s good,
the dust of us settles where we once stood.

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Filed under Poetry, Villanelle