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colours.you invert colours till the night sky
becomes a white page; connect dots —
the stars are black pepper spots
that do not spell your name.
and i sought you in every place where
i knew you would not be.
stand close to me: let me breathe in
the hue of your eyes
and the shape of your smile.
i long to feel something tangible,
an ache within my bones.
my heart is shallow, though deep waters
surge about my ankles.
meetings“Hey. Are you alright?”
Summer was buzzing in his ears when he turned towards the voice; a chorus of insects was accompanied by the flapping of wings overhead and, somewhere not too distant, a stream gurgled. He saw a girl with black, unkempt hair – there were holes in her jeans and her t-shirt was splattered with mud. His gaze travelled to her jaw, bloodied and grazed.
“I think,” he said, tilting his head slightly, “that you should worry about yourself instead.”
“That doesn’t answer my question.”
HitchhikerI stood at the side of a
dusty road, thumb raised,
sun shining on a reddened face,
and when the car came to a halt, said that I
wished to journey on eastward.
Compliance: she was headed the same way.
Her radio crackled tuneless songs
and the seatbelt was too tight.
I saw a creaking apple tree
but she would not turn; her orchard grew
more fruit than she could ever
care to eat.
I saw a sculpture of ancient stones
but she would not turn; in her room she had
a corkboard peppered with pins and a
postcard of the same scene.
When – at last – my feet touched ground,
I could not speak with sincerity.
She tapped her nails on the steering wheel
humming that if I yearned my own route,
I should not sit
in the passenger seat.
You have sewn stars to your sleeves.I talk about stars quite a lot (do I not?);
I’ve described them as stitches and grains of salt,
I’ve written of distance and said with a smile
That travelling through space
Takes a while.
I don’t need to go that far.
You, dearest, in the stretch of one stanza,
In the breadth of two heartbeats
Can dazzle the world.
Love and compassion thread through your verse:
Your sunshine brightens your words.
You have sown splendour where cracks used to meet.
I want to watch gardens grow at your feet.
the miracle isAnd I do not know this feeling in my lungs
only what it resembles:
nostalgia, creeping up from the depths
of a yesterday
(forgotten / lost)
tapping on panes with
seeping beneath the door.
But hardships pass
become embraces – fleeting,
trapped between the pages
of books with gilded sheets
and spines so strong that they are
The smoke disperses.
We are left with emotions
which heal and cleanse;
we wrap ourselves in golden love
remembered / found.
you're very dear to methey are not words that I speak often
but ones I carry
in the core of my chest,
and with you, I am grateful
that there are never those questions
about which of us loves more
or which of us loves best;
there were days
where I felt so fragile
that even a smile
made me stammer and cry,
yet you extended a gentle hand
and with the simplest strokes,
taught me to fly
upwards, into that peerless blue:
on the cloudiest days
my sunshine is you.
You do not know what it is to feel love so deep that your heart contracts in the centre of your chest. You have never experienced your organs inflating at the first thought of another; I say this, Dearest, because you do not love You and thus know nothing of my pain.
I want to seize a star and trickle its dust from my hands into yours. I want the clouds to paint your name on the sky’s summit.
But for now, I shall be content with dreaming of you. I hope that incense sweetens your sleep. I hope that the rain soothes your spirit.
declarationi studded my fingers with glitter
and trailed stars across your brow.
because i want you to know
while it matters
that this is my love.
that i cannot climb mountains
or traverse oceans for you
with a fleeting touch,
remind that i am here:
i am near
and will not dissolve.
my words are never grand.
i pray they are enough.
CardigansWhen the world slowly rolled towards evening, I leant over the balcony railings and watched her stand in the communal garden, flat face uplifted, eyes closed as she basked in the sun’s last warmth. It could have been like the sinking star in storybooks – a brash vermillion – but it was always golden. Once my mother heard of my disappointment, she scoffed,
“Life is rarely like a storybook.”
Those words did not leave me. In autumn, it brought me no delight to look for squirrels carrying fruit. In winter, I did not waste my time with searching for identical snowflakes. And in spring, which was the heaviest with folklore, there was no hunt for fairies.
Summer arrived. My mother returned to her old pastime. She stood outside, pale hands clutching her thighs. Her cardigan sleeves had frayed. The hem of her skirt swept the concrete floor.
It finally occurred that her words had been a warning. She
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
My School Says I'm Worthless (sort of a rant)I'm a criminal because my values aren't their values
And I'm scum to say the least
Because I'm not on their list
Ones who have their lives set out
And drink from molten glory raining down from
School top balconies...
And I have myself left to blame for all the non-attempts
And truancies; the bleak distractions
That help me escape the inviolable test-score stares
Of disapproval that I attract from their
And they're forced to ask me 'Why?
Why are you still here?'
And I can barely say
That I'm afraid to leave.
That I know that no-one knows
Or what they want to be
But unlike those
I gave up
A while ago
And they can't tell me to my face that I'm a failure so they heavily imply
That my lacking presence
And even less impressive
Tendency for slacking off is evidence
That I am stupid and a fool and nothing more than such a waste of resources
And it's a disappointment
That I don't hold their ideals
VesselYour heart is a compass.
Broken, perhaps, but I know
It’s always searching for the North Star.
Which way will your beard point tonight?
DanielYou are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium
that does not make you the lesser -
You’ve got the weight of the world
on one shoulder
sometimes you trip because of it -
you’re still walking
and if things fused wrong
post or anterior
and if things fused out in the interior
your circuits live on
and if your thoughts get circular
or so do your moods
and your mind blanks and you forget -
you’re nervous but strong -
then I’ll remind you.
Because you give me
the backbone required
you’re my Atlas, so I lift my head,
you’re my axis, so I can face the future
because you are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium.
You’re my inner strength.
FallingFailure after failure
A life not worth living
Lost in my misery
Long gone are the good moments
I keep falling
Nothing can save me now
Gone my hopes are
Because He'sHe’s listening
Millions of them.
A flash of red
And a navy hat
No warning – now motionless
With skin turned to shadows.
recuperatemaybe the world isn't so frail that it'll break
the moment we touch something;
and maybe there's a little part of ourselves
(deep inside, perhaps, or close to the surface)
that's stronger than what we give credit for,
because, after all, we burn with the vision
of growing stronger.
i enjoy watching pretty things
like kerbs where teens sit with knees pressed together
feet in the gutter --
stitched to their sleeves.
i relish a name etched into a tree
and boats folded from leaves.
little things, which whisper that people still love
even when purses are emptied of coins,
even when patience
like flowers surviving monsoons;
like ants who carry huge crumbs;
the way the moon is so far
but still blushes at the light of
i want to tell all who tread on hard soil
that even stones soften into the beach,
that the lullaby-cry of seagulls is soothing,
and clouds, now distant, were once of the water
that's cupped in your ha
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