he lovedthe sun shone
like it knew we needed it
to keep us from falling apart.
we came together
a family lost in grief
that someone so strong
could ever really be gone.
he loved. God, did he love.
he was loved. God, was he loved.
he was our rock
the foundation on which
we leaned, the steady presence
the towering oak
from whose acorns
grew images of his greatness.
he was the calm eye
in the centre of the world's storm
he was our serene place
his was a kind face
a quiet giant, who sailed
with a gentle smile
and he never, never stopped loving.
to the end he fought bravely
tenacious and defiant
but the heavens needed him more
than we did, and at the end
he seemed to accept
the new journey he faced.
he loved. he loved. he loved.
he still loves
from his new place of rest
and he is born fresh
no pain, no fear
just love, his caring nature
lives on through his family.
a new star shines brightly
in the sky, now.
the way things areSometimes I look at myself and everything's just wrong;
I've got nothing where there should be stuff and random bits stuck on
and there's changes happening to some parts as time's moving along
but there's nothing I can do to change the way that I was born.
I don't hate my body, mind, it's been good to me through life
and I know some of it will be fixed with help of surgeon's knife
but I need some help convincing folks I'm husband, not his wife
when my voice betrays me, but to tell them could cost me my life.
And I know I should be grateful to live in the time I'm in
when things are moving forward and I can show the man within
to doctors who can help me to rearrange my skin
(as long as I fit narrow meanings of what 'a man' means)
This body birthed a child who's been my saviour to this day
so I can't wish the body I was given clean away
but sometimes wistfully I can't help thinking of what may
have happened if things had been different had nature not betrayed.
Sometimes I look at myself
from Paris with loveI rage because children live fearful
for their lives, because our answer
is always more bombs, because we think
that dead children are collateral damage
and that their parents deserve the despair
of losing a son or daughter so precious.
I storm because my peers forget
that people are real and they bleed
and they feel, and they cry, and they
lose their will to live when babies
are torn apart by a force they can't control
sent by the government of a country
that hates them, and they don't understand
why hatred exists, what they have done
in their ordinary lives to deserve it.
I cry because it could so easily
be my little boy raising his arms to a camera
because he believes it is a gun
because it could so easily
be my little boy having his world
destroyed by people he's never met
because it could so easily
be my little boy laying dead in the dust
of wartorn country full of fear.
The SwanA woman films swans swimming serenely on the lake.
Her camera doesn't see the kicking feet beneath the surface;
nobody sees the force the dignified creature puts in to every stroke
of its huge webbed feet, propelling it across the water
in a way that seems so effortless, to the casual observer.
But while we see a gentle, carefree meander across a lake
the swan knows pain. The swan knows the battle of endeavour,
the power it must exert in order to fulfil its journey.
The swan knows struggle, it knows how to push itself
to painful limits and beyond in order to achieve its goal.
All the watcher sees is a swan gently swimming across the water.
Every person is a swan, and the world their watchers.
what wasn't saidNobody ever said, of me,
"and those eyelashes - wasted on a boy!"
but they were.
One Christmas morning I awoke
excited for a bright red bicycle
my first, red for strength and fire;
but it was pink.
The little boy I was knew pink wasn't for me
(though the man I became adores it)
and disappointment seared through me
interwoven with the guilt of the audacity
of feeling disappointment.
Of course, my parents hadn't known
I desperately wanted a red bike.
They saw their daughter and thought
she was beautiful and pink suited her.
Nobody ever said, of me,
"What a bonny wee lad! So handsome, so strong!"
but I was.
When I was ten I was so desperate
to fit in with the other boys
that I joined the school football team.
but I hated football.
I tried with every fibre of my small being
to play, and to play well, like the others.
But sport of any kind was not my forte,
perhaps an omen of the broken body
my adult self was to find himself inhabiting.
Of course, I was never one of the boys
I was the tombo
A Letter of ApologyI’m sorry that I let you believe
the bullshit binary beliefs
of cis society on sex.
I’m sorry I wouldn’t let you
speak up for yourself.
I’m sorry that a midwife
slapped your arse and declared
you were a certain type of person
based on what she saw between your legs.
I’m sorry I let you let them
dress you up like a pretty doll.
Looking back, you were beautiful
and I am sad for them
that you never existed.
I’m sorry I never told anybody
that the reason all your teddy bears
were boys, was because you felt
closer to them, that way.
I’m sorry I didn’t speak out.
I’m sorry that the boy within you
was hidden for so long
that he thought he’d disappeared
for far too many years.
I’m sorry you were so surprised
by blood between your thighs
though they’d told you to expect it
you’d prayed it would never arise.
I’m sorry for every lip gloss
in your sizeable collection
gathering dust in landfill
and I’m sorry f
BATHING AT SUNRISEThe world moves
and I move with it, a speck of dust
on a child's globe.
Silence surrounds my beating heart
except birdsong through an open window,
then broken by playful foxes
speaking in tongues.
I try to listen to the words of the universe
spoken to all but seldom heard
but all I hear is blood
rushing in my ears in gentle thuds.
Outside, the air is cool enough
to dry the sweat on my brow
and cleanse my aching lungs.
Body unbound, I feel more free
than daylight ever allows me
and the hairs on my skin rustle
in a gentle breeze.
The universe speaks, and I crane to listen
to its wisest words
but I am too imperfect
to understand them.
the author gives instructions for his deathDon't sanitise me when I'm dead.
Don't dress me in a suit, fill your heads
with notions of perfection I couldn't fulfil
in life, and never can in death.
Don't erase the parts of me that hurt you -
don't delete my dubious history.
Rip out the rings from my pin-cushion face
coat my tattoos in makeup to hide
from the world things which made me look unique
but don't hide from the world my true warts
my faults and foibles, don't
pretend I was a saint.
Don't dress me up as special when I'm gone.
Don't stand at an altar spreading lies
about what a good person I was
in life, when you know that's not the truth.
Don't forget the parts of me that made me human
made me imperfect, that you hated, that
made you want to kill me until I was already dead.
Remember the parts of me that made you cringe
or shake with anger. Remember my personhood,
remember my humanity and never
forget the sinner that I was.