ScarsSee the sharpness of my tongue-nib
As the metallic taste in my mouth draws out
A barking cough, forced out
By the dirty nicotine lining my lungs.
See the blade of stubbornness
That slices across my cheek bone;
An amalgamation of all the times you pushed me.
See the residue in my eyes,
The remnants of all those times you forced me
And I forced myself not to cry;
Those tears condensed into a thick blinding syrup
That colours all things red.
See the crinkle in my nose,
The wrinkles on my heart
As I remember how you didn't love me. (Don't love me).
See the burns on my psalms
And fingerprints singed off
By all the times you called me nothing.
See the manacles, the barnacles
The mutations and tumours.
See the invisible scars of the Battle of Us.
HAIKUWRIMOCOMPLETE 2013HAIKUWRIMO2 years ago in Haiku & Eastern More Like This
February 28th, 2013
A feeble whimper for help;
roar of these raw times.
February 27th, 2013
Gluttonous ash cloud
sucks the moon's blood
and swallows the night.
February 26th, 2013
Bark! An explosion!
Angry bodies escape the
network of lung cells.
February 25th, 2013
multiplying, honing in,
determined to kill.
February 24th, 2013
Tea and sympathy
for my dear sister.
February 23rd, 2013
I will hold my breath
as the north wind does the same
waiting for your love.
February 22nd, 2013
He hovers behind;
February 21st, 2013
A long slow curve,
your smile upon my shoulder,
a scar of your touch.
February 20th, 2013
Where do you go while I sleep?
To whom do you run?
February 19th, 2013
Whorls from fingers
Imprinted in the trees
Count their rings too.
February 18th, 2013
AfterIt follows me.After2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
My silver skeined ghost.
An almost imperceptible thread;
only visible when you shine light
directly upon it.
It follows me.
It rides the underground.
It hides under bridges,
It is woven into the spools of tar
that form the roads between.
Inevitably if I walk too fast
it reminds me -
Like the tug of stitches in your cheek
that reminds you; you have lost your wisdom.
It reminds me.
It trips me in doorways,
when my mind is elsewhere.
If I look away from it -
- it slips round my neck.
Another knot to throw over the beams
it mauls me without a fair chance.
I tried to sever it. I can't.
Only the corrosion of time has a chance.
So for now, I am tethered
to the fragment of my heart
that I tore out for you.
Although we have placed it in a shroud
and declared it dead,
the umbilical thrumming keeps me awake.
It does not desist;
the connection to that unwanted slab of meat.
In absence of a poem.I chewed my pen to the nibIn absence of a poem.2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
and swallowed the ink thoughtlessly,
but no matter how long I thought,
I couldn't say what you mean to me.
I tried, I tried and I tested,
every word in my diminutive range,
but I screwed up more pieces of paper
and happened upon something strange;
I noticed words, which have served me,
for all of my formative years,
had no power to convey my gratitude
for the times that you dried my tears.
Whenever I doubt myself (often),
You're the one who tells me I'm wrong
You lift up my chin and remind me, wait
for the good things that will come along.
I can't find a way to express how
you are the saving grace in my head.
So words can't tell you how I love you -
I hope my silence will tell you instead.
A chance secondI lie awake, staring at the cornices.A chance second2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
3AM: my fingers worry at the corners of my sheet.
My anxiety worries at the corners of my rib.
I bite and tug and huff out my misery
As the silence keeps me awake.
I lay with pressure of your absence
Pressing down over my nose and mouth.
A soft asphixiation of the heart, of the sanity.
It is a hot grey night in London.
You are awake, startled by the sunlight.
7AM: you can't lift your weighty skull from the sheet.
The day sirens, but you stay, settled,
Under the weight of your shroud, your loss,
Only the silence keeps you awake.
Unknowingly, for the first time in weeks
We are unintentionally in sync;
Laid out in funerial colours as we die.
It is a dull blue day in Dubai.
Sleeping soundlyHe's talking in his sleep againSleeping soundly2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And I can't help wondering
If he's saying all the things he feels he can't say
When I'm (not) listening in the day.
Never The Gold.I want my silver back,Never The Gold.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I need to melt it down and forge a new connection
With someone else.
I want all the precious bits of myself
that I so willingly quarried for you.
I want my silver back.
Of Nuisance LeavesHear me read it!Of Nuisance Leaves2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Leaves clutch their ropy fingers around the tree's limbs. The zesty leeches bloom, crack open overnight and slip silently up the nearest oak or maple. They pierce the crunch of bark and penetrate deep into the rubbery veins.
They feed. They pauperize plum and peach until they are heavy and brown; heavy laden with the stolen sap.
When at last they reach their fill the tree can finally shake them off emphatically, desperately, until at last it is clean again. The tree reaches its black bones to the sky in praise and as a new year begins vows never again to be the victim of leaves.
BuriedUnder the paprika house,Buried2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are the bones of my father
and nestled between rib
and reason, is our love.
At Least Your Body Doesn't LieClandestine kisses, of peaches and pearlsAt Least Your Body Doesn't Lie3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
with half written romance by half witted girls.
Your tongue tells a tale as strong as the liquor
each passing heartbeat taints my heart bitter.
Your inaccurate adaption of saccharine truth,
whispered affections with the afflictions of youth.
You lie with your eyes and deceive with your hips;
I die in your arms and taste death on your lips.
Liar boy, lover boy, whom I love the most,
lift up your glass for a seraphim toast.
You lie when you speak but can't lie what you feel,
I know what you moan to my teeth is all real.
The White ThingsNothing is as far away as a minute ago.The White Things2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
No matter how hard you row against the tide
we can never reach it, never return there.
It's hard to sleep in the light of my regrets
that creeps through curtain and barriers
to rot away and bleach all things white.
It's hard to sleep knowing that no distance
is as far away as sixty small seconds ago.
Immalleable, we rot, and things turn white.
Sometimes, it's the little things.He always told me I was deep.Sometimes, it's the little things.2 years ago in Concrete Poetry More Like This
An unfiltered distillation of a humanitarian ocean.
He accepted me, gills and all -
He knew that I needed my eccentricities to breathe
under the seascrapers of pollution
that hung over my head.
Or he said he did.
At the end of it all,
he tugged the gills open to expose me;
my innards trailed across the coral reef
as I swam trustingly forward, hoping for the best.
I tried to believe.
I believed him, gills and all -
But eventually, he left me, with holes in my sides
Where he had spooned out my intestines
To tether them to a boulder.
I tried to breathe.
He always told me I was deep.
It must have been a surprise to read:
Death by puddle.
Rock BottomThey say a rolling stone gathers no moss,Rock Bottom2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
so when I shudder to a halt
The rocks in my feet continue to grind.
I feel the sand in my lungs
and the regretful mist silting in my heart
as the waves come back in
reaching eagerly for my legs, spooling, churning
over me. Rooted in my misery.
I know the rocks in my feet will help me drown.
MutantHear me read itMutant2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am a mutant.
| My skin does not sallow in the sun
and I do not blush jaundice through my cheeks.
| I do not have extra fingers, or toes -
although my spine;
it boasts an ironic vertebrae,
it is a long tally of the hearts I have broken
and when I straighten my spine the bones Pop out of place.
I am out of place.
| I do not have a super power,
I lack exceptionality in all but my ordinariness.
| there is a vengeful bacteria feasting -
on my shoulder places;
For every boy I ever kissedi.For every boy I ever kissed2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you took my hand 'neath the magnolia
at a christmas dinner party I held.
your mouth was cold. so were my affections.
you were the first man to listen to me.
i let you listen to my heartbeat; but
when the day fell away, you bruised me deep.
you were my safe harbour, and i your storm
turning your misery to naught but air
but i squirmed away from your tongue, repulsed.
you were my cradle, when i couldn't sleep
you would hold me close and pray for something,
anything, to keep me safe. (it was you).
eleven months spent sleeping with my phone,
i still couldn't believe when you kissed me
even after midnight struck us again.
i don't miss those guitar-player fingers
you wrapped me 'round. i loved enough for you
until i realised you didn't love me.
we fell into our love by accident
and like one, there were some fatalities
when you said you loved me using her name.
opposites attract. i fell hard for you.
you kissed me in starlit castle ruins.
DaleHear me read itDale2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
They will not silence the bells for you.
The roses will not halt their will to wilt
and lilies will disassemble under the earth.
They will not dust Frankincense over cities
and trees will not bow down in grief
willingly donating limbs to become tissues.
But throats will dry out mid-sentence and
black hankerchiefs will be dubbed into pockets.
There will be enough salt to melt the ice
embedded around the hearts of old enemies.
Old enemies will turn friend once more
and the church will be full, packed with love.
The world is unlikely to take a moment's prayer;
Earth spins too fast to pause for any of us.
But the meagre collection of people you touched
(meagréd only by the tear-ridden knowledge
that you would have touched many more in time)
Will ache tonight and whisper of your friendship.
You were and always will be; loved.
Finding Neverlove - Draft OneHear me read itFinding Neverlove - Draft One4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have never loved you.
I did not love you since the day we met,
I did not love you the moment
I looked into your beautiful eyes.
I have never loved your soft voice
As it whispers my name in adoration
And I have never loved the look in your eyes
When you look at me.
I don't love your hair,
Or the way you look in the morning,
Half asleep and vulnerable and shy.
I do not love you.
I did not love you at the first touch,
At the first kiss.
I did not love you the first time,
Or the second time,
Or the last time;
Not even then.
Listen to me carefully -
I have never loved you.
I will never love you.
I will not love you until my very last breath
I will not love you for all that you are,
Nor accept you for all of your innocent flaws.
I cannot love you.
I have never loved you
Since the first time I set my eyes on you.
The Food ChainCherish swam through the ocean sleepily, her eyelids bobbing over the dark orbs on either side of her narrow face. She exhaled bodily, her fins expanding and then slowly contracting in time with the water rushing in through the minute slashes that ran down her sides. Her fingernail sized heart trembled vivaciously, on the edge of a violent flurry as she skirted past a Dorado unnoticed. Her mind was elsewhere, circling, circling, like a Sprat in a see-through spherical piece of coral. She slipped down through the seams holding the ocean together, down to the ocean floor. Here, far from the noise of the surface dwellers, she could forget. She could get lost in the opiate beauty of the aquanine seascape. What Cherish needed now, more than anything, was to get lost-- a bite, a snare! A fragment of crystal caught her and slid its sharp brutality in a clean slice through her paper body. In less than one minuscule flutter of her already blue heart the water coloured red. In the last moment ofThe Food Chain2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Getting OlderWhen I was a little girlGetting Older2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I wanted to be my sisters.
I wanted their hair,
their make up,
I wanted my oldest sister's bedroom,
which was always full of eclectic
but cohesive tat.
I wanted to wear doc martens
and my school tie backwards.
When I was seven
I realised I wanted to be like
I wanted to write
and play guitar
and for people to listen to me
and respect me when I spoke.
I wanted people to love me
and for my words to touch lives
When I was thirteen
and I started getting bullied
at my secondary school
my mum taught me how to smile
when you're drowning.
I wanted to be like her.
I wanted her inner strength,
her hair and her wisdom.
I stopped rhyming my poems
in the hopes it would please her.
When I was eighteen
and my life wasn't really going right
I wanted my grandmother's life.
I wanted to be surrounded by
people who loved me, who I loved.
My grandmother was
a living example of love as a verb.
She took her life and decided
that she wanted to fill it w
Perfect on PaperWe cut heartsPerfect on Paper2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
into paper to make streams
That was my impression of it.
That you ripped
the pieces you didn't want
until you got something that was
It's no wonder
that I can't believe that someone
would think I was paper-perfect,
Talking to the FurnitureRichard found himself talking to the furniture.Talking to the Furniture2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"Ahhh" he sighed settling into his favourite chair "lets have a nice sit down shall we?" The question lay down on the floral rug and withered away unanswered.
"What's that all about, eh?" he grumbled to the doormat that had curled up snuggly against the front door, jamming it when he opened it for the milk, as he picked up his post. "What's that about?"
"Right then, let's get the kettle on" he chirped conversationally to the kettle which blushed until steam came out of its ears and boiled despite being watched. "Lovely cuppa" he said in thanks, and the kettle whistled shyly to herself until she was calm again.
"Come along then" he grumbled as he grappled with the lawnmower, "Come along, come along then. That's a good girl".
Richard didn't mind talking to most of the furniture, he had done it most days of his long eighty-six years. He had talked to the furniture as it had slunk into corners and nested in cupboards when they had moved in fo
The Bone CollectorSometimes my breath catches in my throatThe Bone Collector2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and the very stillness of an earth going
a thousand and three miles per hour
gets lodged there.
Sometimes these simple exchanges
leave me breathless, croaking on dust:
the unfiltered pigments of other people's skin
and blood and ash
but with my tarred lungs and itchy eyes
I sit and sift through charcoaled remains,
alphabetising them from c to c. I am lost
in a world charred brazen.
Many things I have loved have turned to ash.
Many people. I was naive enough to think
that there was some perfect nutritional truth
that could outlast hell-fire.
I claw through a world turned ashen
and know those dead embers collect in my cells
They are the harbingers of a truth
I do not want.
The skittish earth throws its skirts about again
to unsettle us all, and I am unsettled
Alone in the dirt, organising piles of bone-dust
he did not love, at all.
CarvedYou are an oak carved tableCarved1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
that has been hewn and hacked
from its original pure form
into something someone found useful.
I was screwed tight together
with fixtures, fights and fittings
by so-called master craftsmen,
who wanted me to be firm,
who wanted my artificial endurance.
Men who wanted my knots undone
and for me to hold them up,
but I am a chair, and you are a table.
You have told me of the days
when seventy percent of you
was forcefully ripped out
leaving a splintered hollow behind.
I know how abrasive people
rubbed you up the wrong way
with sand paper to keep you quiet,
and with words to keep you down.
Plain men with plained minds
that have been stroked to the quick
and left only with the core
of their brutal carver instincts.
I know how you were made, table.
I am five pieces nailed together
With sticky tape for good measure.
You are one whole still, somehow
and when I need you, you are stable
and your legs are thicker than mine,
run faster and bear more pressure
on your leve
ShockwaveFoetalShockwave2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Trying to fold the pain up
To trap it between the paper cut limbs.
But the shockwaves come
Pulsing from inside
To trap it between the paper cut limbs.
Trying to fold the pain up.