AdmissionI want to
I was never
much of a
when it comes
fight or flight
That humour is
where kindness is
to be sucked dry.
But I can tell you also
when birds make nests
I let them be
I'll catch your smile when it falls
so you'll never lose it
when harsh words and city streets
get too much for me
I hold my ears
sing 'la, la, la,'
and I'll lose no sleep
over feeling free
or choosing latter
in the word
Coffee StainsDress shoes click on the streets laid slick with cinnamon and wasted airCoffee Stains3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It's sugar on your lipstick, darling; a dangerous affair.
You chose coffee
Like you chose romance
Just for the idea of romance; cream and smoked wood swirling around in your cup,
And steam curling up into the atmosphere like the locks in his hair.
Tantalisingly dark and hauntingly aromatic
You craved it
You mocked the raven that eyed you from its branch out in the blustering courtyard and
You didn't even like the taste.
The silver curve of the teaspoon showed your warped reflection like a deathly omen
It showed the line of your neck and each glittering pearl
The hanging clock on the wall, for all its carved hearts and varnished oak
Couldn't quite drown out the tolling
Pendulum swinging by your ear as you ran your hand along the creases in the leather seat
The sweet, too-strong perfume mingling with the scent of the
Dark black coffee
Much as the gold around his wrist had
Red Riding HoodI want to believe people so badly when they say they won’t biteRed Riding Hood1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
that I contemplate climbing into their smiling jaws
thinking that it might be better to be split in two than left hanging.
But always, I draw my red hood and flit back into the forest
running in the shadows of pathways, never stepping into clearings
because I’ve spent my whole life in the wilderness
and I still can’t tell the wolves from the woodsmen.
ExpirationWith you I always feel like I’mExpiration2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
to break in the wrong size of shoes.
Sometimes I sit and stew
over how you’re seventeen and
you think I’m a princess
the trapped-in-a-tower kind
and how you wear suits and talk about politics
and think you know the world.
My throat interrupts with an affronted gurgling sound
sometimes when I think about you,
you deal out advice where it just isn’t called for
you quote science-fiction to justify war
and you’re seventeen years old and you think I’m a princess
and you just have no blooming idea.
Darling, one of these days I will tell you my mind
But until then we’ll never fit
I’m afraid –
that even after that day
you’ll still be trimmed hedges and
Simple ThingI’d like to be an off-beatSimple Thing2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
syncopated little thing;
note and stem floating on the melody, just sitting in
appoggiatura, grace-note, special thing.
I’d like to be a sailor
swinging on the ocean wind
coarse old rope between my hands and salt-spray where my toes begin
nimble little sailor, clever thing.
I’d like to be a bed-sheet
gentle thing to warm your skin
thing that you hug tighter when the morning starts to filter in
falling through your creases, lucky thing.
as obvious as neon signsLast night I picked you up from a glass-littered street corneras obvious as neon signs1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
and helped you wipe bile from your strands of flaxen hair.
You sang under your breath as you stumbled into the car.
I turned corners while streetlights shimmered in the drops on the windscreen
and you fell asleep trying to tell me that you used to know better than this.
It’s not that I mind
(I’d spend every night combing seedy cities if it meant keeping you safe)
your eyes haven’t smiled in a year now
and I wish that I knew what it would take to make you happy
because between cheap liquor, cold nights and bad lovers
I haven’t got a clue.
WideYou criticised the way I writeWide2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wondered if you were, for once,
saying something right.
But I deserve
to take up
my words deserve
to fill a page
I hope they cover
we used to make butterfly handsYou told me that when I was older I would understandwe used to make butterfly hands2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and I looked up and saw the sky in paper planes and periwinkle blue.
I reached out and drew a line for you;
traced it all over the globe and back to your wise heart
so that when I was older, my head full of understanding,
I’d be able to navigate back to my place there
and touchdown, settle down with you.
You said that our worlds were too distant,
you with your job and bills to pay and me with my honey-sweet dreams.
I nodded and pulled back my flyaway hair
thinking that if we’re alive together, against all the odds and centuries alive together,
that’s close enough for me.
I kissed you and you told me I was great. Carousel great. Sandy-toes great. Smiles on a Saturday, belly-laughs great.
You snapped the string and flew away.
I’m older and I do understand
that dotted lines get tangled or just fall away completely and
you were right when you said that things aren't quite as pretty
as they are in my party-h
ResplendentToday the watercolours of your innermost thoughtsResplendent1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
bled through the paper walls that you’d left
in hope that no one would peel back your layers
and find you at your softest spot.
I saw that nothing makes you radiant. You just are.
Today, I traipsed through galleries
that promised to show me something sublime.
You spoke and I learned how to breathe around you
and that simple thing felt like dancing.
If anything is incredible, you are.
Today you gave me vermilions and ultramarines
to begin to fill in a picture of you
but you’re not a scene behind a stained-glass window.
You’re indefinable and indestructible.
Today I learnt to see life as beautiful, because you are.
if every second was a perfect soundI realised yesterdayif every second was a perfect sound1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
that there is no time in life for half-measures –
when I love people I want to love them loudly enough that they know it.
I want to tie my heart to the sleeves of every passer-by
so that they understand how much I want them around.
I want to write love on scrap paper and tuck it into the crevices in walls like a birthday wish
and never let misanthropy grow where it shouldn’t be.
The sun burns itself just to send light out for thousands of miles
and keep us alive.
I want to try.
Small TownI was born in a town betweenSmall Town11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
sleep and insomnia
and they taught me to walk quietly
so I wouldn’t wake the dead.
I nod along and watch my step
but I don’t have the heart to tell them
that the dead dance on hillsides when the moonlight is cold
and it’s the living I’m truly afraid of.
In another tongue, in a far-off townSometimes I dream that we met in a placeIn another tongue, in a far-off town2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
where sadness was a foreign language
where you couldn’t understand the words I whispered in your ear.
Where I couldn’t taste it like molasses on your tongue or read it in your smudging script,
see it painted on your face or feel it, warm between your thighs.
Sometimes I dream that I met you in some other fashion, stumbling over unfamiliar lines
but not here. Not here.
CommunicationI’d plug a microphone into my mindCommunication1 year ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
if that would help me speak it.
The message is always incomplete
by the time it gets to you.
I want to believe that communication is more
than tapping the pane of a TV screen
and twisting bad antennae
hoping something filters through.
I have tried and I have tried
to believe that we can synchronise
but I’m never on your network
and you’re never watching mine.
There must be something more than what we know,
some higher frequency.
Because words have made me feel powerful so many times
and so many times they have failed me.
LimitlessThey mocked him becauseLimitless3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
He laughed between each stanza
Between each stroke of a butterfly's wing
And they didn't get the joke.
They mocked him because
He couldn't read Latin
But the wisdom of eons past still danced in his eyes, shining deep blue while sunset bathed the world in dark fire.
Because sadness never bent his back or creased his face
Because they didn't know how to smile for their own sake
While for him, it came as naturally as an albatross spins on the ocean breeze.
And at night
Those gales would lift him away
Whipping light past his eyes, catching threads of matter and antimatter and weaving him a ladder to climb
Effortlessly; a maestro of the soul's music
An aviator, writing freedom in the sky on his soul's exultant flight.
Snow WhiteHis fingers traced over the veins that lay beneath the surface of her translucent skin. They were just visible, like flower stems crushed by the morning snow, or a few rude brush marks left by a painter in a moment of contempt for the Academy. He, at that moment, felt no such fire burning in his blood just a sick, panicked feeling that came in ebbs like the evening tide. Her satin ruffled as he moved his hands from her neck to her face, and then to her slim shoulders. She was fragile, but not as fragile as this.Snow White3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
He gave her a playful shove, managed a crooked smile and whispered in a tone that lay somewhere between choked hope and frightened disbelief, "Snow. Hey, Snow, wake up."
He leaned over her, watching with almost vicious concentration. No response. She was perfectly still, like an image from a painting or poem by those damn Romantics; their full colours and pretty words hiding the darkness that was always brimming just underneath. Lovers weren't meant to kill and they cert
Infinite TruthsIf it is trueInfinite Truths10 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
that there are places in the galaxy
where time is not linear
and existence is cyclic,
that every moment can exist all at once,
reality fractured into countless seconds
and that the people we love never leave us
then it must also be true
that in some small way,
you still belong to me.
MalaiseYou were painfulMalaise1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
like dry-swallowing pills on an empty stomach
like blasting music loudly enough to forget my name
and I was young, and I believed you
when you said that beauty was pain.
FlashesSometimes when I touch something warmFlashes1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
it’s your soft skin that I feel in the shower again.
I draw my hand away like it’s been scalded and flit back
to the present. Safe. The moment’s gone.
The past is a vision of bubbly and rings, ski-trips and promises that sounded so full –
the future is a whirlwind of parties and high spirits,
calendar dates, change and someone else’s sweet grin.
But now, darling. Now is a lonely thing.
survival is a balancing actI want to be hard,survival is a balancing act1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
a skeptic cased in iron and stone; voice like winter rain
to tell the world that it may never hurt me.
But I want to be soft,
soft like the first peach of the season, honest like my parents taught me,
sunny as the day I was born.
You Were Not An Aquarium BoySea-glass became your bones,You Were Not An Aquarium Boy1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
brine your blood, and seashells
melded into your skin.
You were not quite an ocean
when you said "This is your sign to love me."
My body was like a building;
tall, cold, almost unbreakable.
I was metallic and sharp,
towering over your waters.
I remember taking your hand in mine,
conch and coral shells scrubbing
my skyscraper wrists, and laughing
about how one day you would
submerge every last bit of me.
Your lips, riddled with argonauts,
found my cheek and I cringed
at the coarseness.
You asked if they bothered me
and I finally told you "I
think I love you."
paint until there's only positive spaceI am the street artist; rough clothes and thin visagepaint until there's only positive space2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are the city, vivacious and loud.
Night after night, I find myself in dark places
spraying colours on your faces just to talk to you.
Have you ever tagged a train?
The art I envy is like you –
making waves at night to leave the landscape brighter in the day.
You are the cause I just want to connect with:
fresh, something different, something new.
Sparse KindlingFinding your love is like gathering frozen branches.Sparse Kindling2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
My hands ache, my teeth chatter.
But I won’t last the winter without something for the flames.
SaturdayYou draw smiling faces on train windowsSaturday1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
because even city transport can’t get away unaffected
by your cheer.
I like you, I like you, I like you
when you’re tired like moth-wings and fresh like spring mornings
and even my worst days are lovely
when you’re near.
Navigating LabyrinthsYou tell me that I’m delicate and I don’t bother disagreeing.Navigating Labyrinths1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Not out loud, anyway.
I’m too accustomed to softening the edges of my opinions
or not stating them at all, and
sometimes I’m stronger than a siren’s call. A waterfall.
But sometimes I’m twenty-one and still a bully’s easy target
and the pressure of explaining myself just gets too much to bear.
People say ‘don’t let others define you’ and it’s like holding back armadas;
stopping a fleet from hitting the shore
and I’m sick of other people being right about me
without trying to dig deeper at all.
I’m a fire nymph; I want to burn whole worlds to their foundations.
I want to tear up my poetry;
communicate in a way that matters
because every effort seems ineffectual and I don’t want to be left voiceless.
When predators cast their gazes at me, I want them to turn into stone.