Tag Archives: poetry

Musings on Love and Loss

Like polar bears on melting ice

we had a season

a summer of tenderness

Now

My face draws in

like winter

Falling leaves for eyes

The spectre of our life follows me

through the empty aisles of the supermarket

cracking jokes, inappropriately

fills the empty chair

eats a hearty meal as

I roll over into dead air

right where

you travelled the length and breadth of me

with the length and breadth of you

I lie in your imprint,

and hum a silent chorus of despair…

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Chrysalis Heart

My chrysalis heart as

Dark as midnight

I emerged

Blinking, like a newborn

Dazzled

By the light

 

Your arms my gravity

I tilt to those lips

Forever in falling orbit

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After-birth

A white room.
The clock swam,
Wavered and loomed,
Like an artificial moon.
While I rippled in 
Concentric circles.

Buried in my cocoon
She beat with paper wings
Against the drum of my belly
A light tattoo

And then
Pushed her way through
The darkness
Took to her wings
And flew.

He came dressed in the coat

Of my womb

Delicate china head

Miles of Aegean eyes

Soft mouth that suckles

Helpless pink hands waver

Unaware

Featherless birds above his head;

When he cried my breasts

Ached milk

Like split coconuts

Into the paradise

Of his mouth.

Today he is four

I look into his eyes

And see

War.

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Pebbles

Pebbles knock against my bones

I turn like a dog in his basket

sway in the hollows beneath my numb limbs

but the light is fading

Flies swarm our picnic leavings

so we pack the dirty plates

and wrapped in our crumby blanket

sore stumble to the car

 

In the car park

a lone plastic cooler stands

on a white line at the edge of a parking space

well used and forlorn

 

I talk through the medium of car door

 

Words fall from my dry mouth

like stones

instead of water

I drink you in

taste days spent writing

the metallic tang of dehydration

italics and ideas

half boy half man

the small animal

of your tongue

resting on my upper lip

 

Days and nights

of liquid bliss

whispers, wishes, wanting

and kisses so

long

we come up for air

divers

contorted limbs burning

heads bursting

staggering drunk on lust

blood migrating south

on the updraft of our breath

 

Curtains half drawn against

the summer light

I forgot to guard my heart

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Progeny

Half grown you

fit me end to end

legs, chest

heart and head

fall into the spaces

my body makes for you

still

This fierce love

has written me

made the striped

tiger skin

of my belly

The soft droop

of my eyes

The rise and fall

of my breasts

Now toys are gone

we play with words

but it is skin, blood

and bone

which

binds us

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Silence

Read the silence like a sheet of Braille

Thick and dense enough to touch

Fumble fondle over ridge and plane

Miles of endless static hush


Thick and dense enough to touch

Your hands a phantom cavalcade

Miles of endless static hush

Dim and darken; mute and fade


Your hands a phantom cavalcade

Flower and sink like earthy roots

Dim and darken; mute and fade

Remote and indehiscent fruits


This is my first effort at a pantoum. Thanks you Susan L Daniels for her encouragement and this poem which provided the inspiration and is much, much better than mine!

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Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children

The movie The Crow, contains one of the most moving lines about the mother-child relationship I have ever heard: ‘Mother is the name for God on the lips and hearts of all children’.

I think of this statement often at the moment, as I watch my eldest child, who is legally an adult, but emotionally a baby, make a mess of her life. When she fell over as a toddler, I picked her up, patched up her baddies, cuddled her and set her back down again, free to explore and play until she should fall again: I still do this, but her falls are potentially more dangerous, her baddies have the potential to scar in different, deeper, more painful and long lasting ways. Back then, I set the limits of her universe: now, I can be here to pick her up, but when I set her down again she must make her own limits.

Two days ago we had a painful, heart wrenching conversation, in which I told her that I cannot keep picking her up because I am at the limits of my own mental and physical strength and her current behaviour is threatening the health and welfare of her much younger sibling. I am to all intents and purposes a single mum, who works full time to support her family: the analogy I shared with her was that I often feel as though I am swimming across a deep lake with her and her brother on my back and that her flailing and splashing about threatens to drown us all. I told her that if this continues, I will have no choice but to take her brother and swim away, even though it will break my heart. She looked me in the eye and said ‘if you do that I will drown mum’. I know that this is true, but the only alternative is that we all drown and I simply will not let this happen. I told her this. She cried. I cried. She made me promises that I knew would be broken the very next day: I was right.

Someone very wise once told me that teenagers try to destroy their parents and it is their parents’ job not to let them. I can only pray that she is right and that in setting the hardest and most final of boundaries, the only one, in fact, that I have left at my disposal, I might somehow be able to keep my daughter safe, just like I did when she was a toddler. This poem is a little prayer, just for her:

Remember when

My hands were your nest

Stroking wisps of natal down

Turning the dead of night

Into a lactescent

Snow -white feast

Remember when

You landed

Under the full moon

Of my eyes

And took your

First steps towards

Arms as wide

As the sky

My love

The invisible

Intact umbilical

Is longer than

Any road away from here

Stronger than any

Harm which you

May do yourself

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