Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Self-Imposed Exile

It's easy to look aside when the tunnel I'm in can seem so dark,
to glimpse what is past, or what is ahead, dashes of light.
But instead I choose to remain surrounded by these walls,
which I have created in the here and now,
which with my deep acceptance of them are beginning to dissolve,
to become light.

At first I locked myself in, a self-imposed exile,
until I couldn't breathe, and had to open a window.
Now I sit by it, and soak up the light which streams through.
And notice the seasons change, from ice to the ripple of the stream,
to a warm breeze.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two Poems

Poem 1

So you are there and I am here,
Our moves forced on this chessboard by our soul's desire for life, for another truth,
not that of our physical body's desire for one another's beauty, comfort, reassurance.

The distance our demon, the need our fear, the love our pull,
Minds do battle, hearts always seem to win.
Reason waves a white flag.
Your eyes my saviour, a white gleam of teeth,
My heart forever with you while without you.

Poem 2

This choice weighs on me too heavily,
my move on the chessboard forced by invisible hands,
which are guided by a soul in need of life,
and they follow their orders dutifully, angelically.
For this Queen to have life she must destroy her King,
and pawns behind her rest motionless,
admiring the beauty of the tragic game at hand.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

My Mind's Garden

Yours was so solid, your roots extending down into the earth,

Thick trunk levelling out the energy around it, deep green petals,

immovable, while the breeze swept through your branches.

Wooden heart, still full of love.

And next to you my dear, my sweet sister, it juxtaposed earth with heaven.

Tight pink bud enclosing the potential of all life within it,

Opening slowly, cautiously, to shoot illumination upwards towards the sky.

It's slim line refined and pure.

Your roots are yet to meet the earth,

The hearth of your home still burns for your return.

Mine was deep red passion, full and thick, blooming outwards and upwards,

But I know of mine already.

It was brazen next to the daisy sitting softly in the grass,

its pure white petals abundantly soft, singing to the others which lay close by.

Monday, August 06, 2007

For Sean - Strugnell's Haiku (Wendy Cope)

Ok, Sean, this is a post just for you. You have mentioned that I need to cheer up a bit, so this is supposed to be more jovial. Admittedly, it's not my poetry - one step at a time. Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry which obeys a particular syllabic rhythm, (I'm sure you knew that already, but just in case you didn't). This was written by Wendy Cope, who invented a poet called Jason Strugnell. He's really quite banal and dull, and so she combined his mundane perspective with the feeling of a Japanese Haiku poem.

The cherry blossom
In my neighbour's garden - Oh!
It looks really nice.

The leaves have fallen
And the snow has fallen and
Soon my hair also.....

November evening:
The moon is up, rooks settle
The pubs are open.

Love you Sean xx

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Collection of Poems


Are you aware of all that exists inside you,
waiting to be formed,
still emerging from the shell,
sheltered behind the silver rays.

You are immense, fathomless, an ocean of possibility yet to become real,
yet to breathe life
yet to come on home and smell the coffee.

My daughter, when life is waiting,
know this,
the only thing to lie between you and it has been the thinnest of veils,
a vaporous fog deceptive in its depth,
a tunnel leading only one way.

Smile now, smile strong, smile hard,
for your coming will be celebrated by everything there is,
by all which itself breathes life.

Your Burning Face

It once was a tall order to which I'd tremble inside,
Yet to this affront it seems my castle is standing strong,
Our hands forced, those on my side have united, it seems,
and our spell conjured lasts shameless and long.

The shock pervaded as you realised that I was real,
That it was your face in the wall's mirror which was burning red,
Not my reflection that you witnessed.
And as each attack was crushed under foot,
I saw my own kingdom prevail
despite your overbearing presence.

And as I rise up I see that you remain stuck,
in your muddy home. And I pity you.
While my waters run cool now and strong,
leading me to wherever I wish to go.

Today I was reading poetry, a whole collection from Shakespeare to Sharon Olds To Ezra Pound, and back again. I found this poem, and really liked it. Donald Hall is the 14th poet laureate of the US.
Safe Sex
Donald Hall

If he and she do not know each other, and feel confident

they will not meet again; if he avoids affectionate words;

if she has grown insensible skin under skin; if they desire

only the tribute of another’s cry; if they employ each other

as revenge on old lovers or families of entitlement and steel—

then there will be no betrayals, no letters returned unread,

no frenzy, no hurled words of permanent humiliation,

no trembling days, no vomit at midnight, no repeated

apparition of a body floating face-down at the pond’s edge.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007

In Between Seasons

From my window I can see the bluish-grey sky pervading my view.
Today rain has fallen, yet the air is damp with humid warmth.
Summer attempts to squeeze through into life,
but is stuck, it seems, in some remnants of the dreariness thought left behind
By time, and chance.

In between two worlds I sit, half alone, half together.
A purring white cat, now old, attempts to gain my lap, but never makes the jump.
I marvel at how all seems so motionless, having seen such growth as the days have become longer.
Tomorrow the grass will push itself taller once more,
And all will move unerringly into a new season again.

Sunday, May 13, 2007


It's been so long since I last posted a blog. But I need to post this one, put it out into the ether, express this.

I know I will have to grieve you,
Your head resting on my shoulders
as we lie here, in stasis.

I find myself staring ahead, at the photo of Burgh Island on your wall,
framed with uneven wood ends
which your mother probably found near the estuary.
Or your sister.
In the distance the sun is setting on this beautiful place,
in the foreground waves lap blunted rocks which are about to be consumed altogether.
Your toy monkey's legs dangle aimlessly over the top,
sits comfy on the frame,
blank expression on its face,
unaware of all that exists in this room.

Shadows rest on the blind from the trees which blow in the gale outside,
rain hits the window in saddening waves.

I've always loved you, you whose breathing is deepening on me,
you whose consciousness is fading from me into sleep.
You who came to save me,
you who now returns to the place from where you came,
but now with another home, in my heart, forever.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Poetry Thursday

I haven't fulfilled the brief this week, I had my own agenda. This is my contribution, make of it what you will.

Like smoke it began to seep under the doors,
Was there fire in the room next door?
Washing over exposed toes, vague,
Formless dust laid over sun-filled windows.

How insidious this invasion was,
I could feel it growing slowly,
my consciousness feared the fire at its source,
A make-believe origin formed.

Shout as it might, choke me even,
My soul was wary of looking,
Toxicity building and damage accruing,
Yet still from it my spirit shrank.

Until pretending was obsolete, and brought to my knees,
I had to choose one fate or another.
And did then I dare too creak open that door,
With limbs weakened, face blackened, a feeble spark.

Which grew like the fire ablaze before me
Her face bearing a mirror to my truth.
For why do you burn?, I asked this wild being,
‘For you burn my love, you burn’.

And with that it was gone, but a spectral wisp,
Perished my fear in the darkness.
In the ashes remained a hope-filled Phoenix,
Her gift to my shaken self.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Dictionary Definitions

Wow, I can't believe how many words I managed to find in response to this brief which I did not know the meaning of. I love exploring language, and so this for me was as much an academic exercise as it was an opportunity to write poetry. When I looked through my Collins dictionary, I noticed that many of the words I was unaware of were foreign in their origin, of which there were simply thousands (and how many are not noted in this particular dictionary?). I don't know how many new words are added each year to our English vocabulary, but clearly as we have progressed through our history new words inevitably come into use, older words become less and less known, and in short there is bound to be a turnover in our use of language. That, for me, is fascinating in itself. We are changing our conception of our own world and our own self, which is reflected in the words we use each and every day. I was inspired to write my poem after this thought. (Please note that I haven't looked up the meaning of these words as requested in the brief - I'm hoping I haven't unknowingly written lines which mistake nouns for verbs, adjectives for nouns, etc, as I have no idea what their meanings are...)

Leaves wafer thin, finger licked to peruse another letter's offerings,
This book represents all that I can conceive myself to be.
And how much, therefore, do I not know about my own being and my own roots,
if I do not understand the meaning of all these combinations of letters,
with their multiple origins, phonetic pronunciations, cultural derivations.

Take anopheles, or anoa, or anserine.
And cyanosis, cybernating contumaciously.
Which parent gave birth to these mysterious children?
Did I know their naturalized forefathers, foreigners adopted in this familiar land,
their brothers irregular inflections who will forever remain anonymous to me?
Or was it native scientists who defined their variant spellings,
who lie placarded infamous for all time,
their life celebrated to the end?
Did an astronomer reach into the sky and pick out an orphaned definition,
scrimmaging for the cuspid teratoma of a keloid loculus,
and finding that its particular face pleased him?
Or was it the social commentator who noted the derogatory nature
of some of these new additions to our word family,
the offensive connotations attached to their employment with us?

And what does one do when one impolders or noddles;
have I ever been guilty of those particular acts?
Who or what is 'nerine' anyway; are they nasty, nebulous, naughty, neat?
Am i eidetic, a quoin, razoo, falderal?
Parent-volume, now reveal to me my brethren's little known secrets.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Red/New Landscape

Hmmm, red. When you look the word 'red' up, you find that there are many different meanings, many different associations with this particular colour. When you think 'red' you could think angry, e.g. red rag to a bull; you could think embarassed, 'red as a beetroot' (they are, of course, a very dark red). You might think 'stop!' as in a red light, or danger when the red flag flies. Red also connotes warmth, deep security and importance too, (lay out the red carpet). In short, red can be associated with a vast array of sensations, feelings, symbols and meanings. I've used red in my poem in different ways, ways which seemed to apply to my content. This is a highly symbolic poem; sometimes I do tend towards the cryptic even. Apologies if that is the case here. By the way, apparently, the phrase 'red-letter day' comes from the red symbol added to ancient calendars to denote a saints day.

New Landscape

Red tail of crayfish sidles in comfy
in that pregnant moon
which weighs down over me,
Lying pensive in deceptive calm,
Its crimson jaws will find its prey in me soon enough.
Or in my lover's red drum beat call, 'heart!',
eaten up swiftly, or slowly, or at least with certainty.

Blue is the rain which fed a parched land,
the one with unseen fences which now rise and fall, and rise
unclippered this time.
Former realised landscape latent now,
the red harvest of an open season bears rich fruit.

That tuesday was a red-letter day,
a close shave with closure for one separated soul.
Which now sidles in comfy in that warming, rounded, yellow sun,
which lifts me high.
Its steady arms will hold me long enough.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Poetry Thursday: Cinquain Central

This week I have been learning about cinquains as a form of poetry, and I thought I would integrate my new knowledge within this week's poetry thursday brief. And such an inspiring brief... I was overwhelmed with ideas and then went blank, only to find this medium perfect for my task. Apparently, cinquains are written using the following guidelines:

Line 1: one noun or subject.
Line 2: two adjectives that describe line 1.
Line 3: three action verbs (ending in –ing) that relate to line 1.
Line 4: a four word sentence that relates to line 1.
Line 5: one word that sums up or means the same thing as line 1.

For example;

Clear, wonderful,
Slapping, whirling, flowing
The river is cold.

Of course, the idea though is to keep the subject or object of the poem secret, so the noun or subject would necessarily have to become a synonym for mystery or surprise. Here is mine:

Deep red You
Warm flow of breath, strength
Empowering, refreshing, liberating
You bring me life
Dark blue Me

Monday, February 19, 2007


I could have made a tenuous link to the brief this week, but my own poetic inspiration got the better of me, again. I've been reading more Shakespeare, Vicki Feaver, Barrett Browning, Tennyson and John Clare, all of whom have written about the topic of my poem this week, love. Many of these poets have described love, celebrated it, warned against it or lamented its loss. This one by Tennyson is quite beautiful: he remains one of my favourite poets.

Now Sleep the Crimson Petal

Now sleep the crimson petal, now the white;
Nor waves the cypress in the palace walk;
Nor winks the gold fin in the porphyry font.
The firefly wakens: waken thou with me.

Now droops the milk-white peacock like a ghost,
And like a ghost she glimmers on to me.

Now lies the Earth all Danae to the stars,
And all thy heart lies open unto me.

Now slides the silent meteor on, and leaves
A shining furrow, as thy thoughts in me.

Now folds the lily all her sweetness up,
And slips into the bosom of the lake.
So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip
Into my bosom and be lost in me.

When I read poems which communicated their adoration of someone, something, I realised that right now love is something completely different for me. Still wonderful, a true gift, our heart's greatest desire, love also brings grief when someone or something is lost, still fights your reason and your rationality when you need them to be the winners, only thinks of itself. I'd say that sometimes love is impossible, holding you up against a wall, where fighting becomes obsolete. Love, in reality is selfish. It so often hides behind the other faces of humankind, a seemingly dormant source of motivation for our actions, yet its strength is in fact immeasurable. Because you can't destroy love, you can't deny it, you can't ignore it. Masked behind a different face, it will surge up and over that wall, and flood the place. I still marvel at how our body, our emotions are capable of feeling this intangible enigma which is love, in all its different forms. But that is besides the point, although perhaps not besides the brief... Anyway, now I've stopped rambling...


Out damn spot, love's recall a haunting
of togetherness and nurture,
Blinding all to greyness and lack,
Filling out the space like the tide reaching the wall,
Flowing down to the wheel to crank slowly into motion.
After all this time, this chronicle of wasted time.

My heart's resting place invaded, squeezed and stretched,
The rack on which lies the symbol of your house
Your home, your flower.
Words spoke from you as chords do from the string,
And blood burns around my heart,
You've seemed to hear my silent voice
Which rested sleepy, dreams of night.

This coat, your gift, now weighs heavy
My shoulders fight to throw it off,
But then the cold seeps into my bones
and I am filled with thoughts of the warmth I once felt.

Friday, February 02, 2007

The Dance

As I drove along a busy road yesterday, I got stuck in a traffic jam, and I witnessed a couple clearly in love, and it really moved me. It felt like new love... they danced with each other in every movement and an energy moved between them. It was so heart warming to see them, brought my attention back to an experience beyond the mundanity which life can sometimes become. It was just love between two people, romantic love.

Dragging her hands along the iron railings
which lined the river's bank,
she felt him brush close, a feather touch, then move away in the rhythm of his walk.
Consumed by it the noise of the cars beside them drowned out,
as they danced their endless dance in their duality,
interweaving amongst the changing lines of the road,
tailing, leading, tailing, leading, synchronising in rare moments,
not daring to look sideways.

And so with eyes focused away from him,
her whole soul in fact watched only him, a sightless vision,
blinded to the immediate watery landscape
where two swans glided effortlessly down the lifeless water,
heads bowed, moving in tandem,
their soft tranquility uninterrupted by their desolate surroundings.

Another brush, words without sound filled her senses,
and with a shy laugh his hand sought hers and she took it,
feeling tension flow away through him and out.
Cars inched along beside them, a man shot a passing glance at her
and then moved on, his destination once more becoming his reality.

Slowing, she looked at him, eyes soft, unsure, becoming stiller.
Her question returned and needing to know, submitting to the pull,
he took her neck in one hand, followed by the other,
And drew her in.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Slow Death Rehearses

Most people who leave comments on my blog don't know me at all. This is, of course, entirely my fault, as I never tell them anything about me. And part of me likes to keep it that way, a space in which to be whatever I want without expectation, without consistency (which I've never had). I am really enjoying hearing all the comments from such a rich array of people, who are all so talented and so unknown to me. I also really enjoying writing poetry, and find things are coming to me all the time when i sit down with a space to write in. So to let you in a bit, (if i can flatter myself enough to believe that you may read this), I am going away, moving to a different part of the country, and the poem I have written for this week's poetry Thursday sums up why I need to make this move so badly. As I wrote it I realised how I felt more deeply, and that to me is the beauty of writing my own poems. I am healed by them, made aware by them, cry by them and laugh at myself because of them.

Did I bury you?
Like a bone, savoured for another time.
Shove you under a rug somewhere, a toy,
hide you under the pot outside the front door, my key,
forgetting the dark hole it covered up.

In my sleeping wakefulness you remain
a young girl in a dream.
In those times alive, leading me out to fields a-green,
Only then to die, disappear in a flash,
and the green fades to grey, dull ocean of existence.

Yet still I hold on to you,
my instinct tells me you're alive,
and sometimes I pick up your scent on the breeze.
Which promises faithfully to reunite us one day,
An incoming ship on silent, murky seas.

Because without this hope there is no sense.
Without that brief light there is simply nothing.
My shadow sits here alone, behind a shapeless fence.
Wasting, suffocating, emaciating.

Could it not be that I could come to you
to seek my treasure so lost?
Break free from this apathy, entropy, the cost
of belief in a life without me?

Because life must seek life, is that not true, is that not real,
given only the tiny of chances to do so.
Is that not a fair gamble to take,
When slow death smiling rehearses?

Monday, January 22, 2007

Now You Remain

Precious one, at first you were still here,
even though you had gone.
You held my heart in a vice then,
becoming tighter and tighter,
until I couldn't breathe,
suffocating under the weight of your memory.
Every object you had touched tortured me,
every space you had occupied became a prison for my soul,
and I had to clear you from me,
remove the remains of our death,
scatter stale ashes.

And once gone, newness came,
a new dawn with new light.
And grateful for its promise,
I drank it in deeply, becoming drunk, giddy.
Unknowing of the faceless friend behind my new guest,
who was empty, longing, broken.

His gift was the memory
of us,
as we had been before.
Embarrassed and shy, legs dangling before clear water,
warm sun shining down upon us.
He recited the conversation my soul had taken in deeply,
that first day, which had nourished me,
and given me life,
changed my world,
healed a wound dark and void.

He kissed me with your lips, held me with your hand.
Sang your heart's song to me, slowly, succinctly.
And my heart held you close,
found only the purest space in your soul to sink into,
and weep by.
A smiling soul not gone, but here still.
A soul which had remained by my side,
shared a life lost with me.
An honest soul which played only ever a true hand,
Earnest, eager, moved.

And so taken from me,
now you remain in that space, forever.
Eternally by my side,
in the memory of your face, your touch, your kind words
and your kind soul.
Now you remain, forever.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Sleepless Room

In my dark, sleepless room, strong light has begun to flow
through a narrow channel, which has begun to breathe life again,
slowly, in my surrender.
The words of the Spanish song were lost outside of me
in that former place, and space,
but now they flow freely through me,
carried on the tide of a warm light,
the rhythm of a drum beat gently knocking at the door of my stony heart,
where a child sat hidden in a grey room.
I can hear that it's started to rain,
soft shimmering waves against the window.

The ceiling I stare at is no longer artexed but frescoed,
as my imagination's own designs begin to uncover themselves.
Like sand shifting,
time moving, revealing bit by bit a pattern engrained in a sacred space,
lost to a world and rediscovered in my universe.
I can see her now, strongly outlined, centred in this pulsating wonder,
Gloriously attuned to her surrounding home.
Woman-child, now alive,
her face aglow as she conceives a new vista before her.
And through a beaded door she reaches through to meet his hand,
Which has become strongly outlined besides her own.