Posts tagged poetry
Posts tagged poetry
Reykjavik bared its teeth to me;
its bay an open mouth asleep,
its blocks were concrete studs
in tarmac gums
and from it sprang a midnight hum.
I, awake with Iceland’s frost in my blood,
heard the beat of the Valkyrie drum,
slunk through corridor soft and dumb
to seventh floor balcony-come-clifftop,
where the dozing busses and snoring cars
played soundtrack to my soaring heart.
This city’s foreign slumber,
dreaming deep oblivious under
Aurora. I glimpsed Valhalla’s gleaming floors.
I stood, pyjamaed tourist, unworthy of this
private promise the sky was making,
that I could belong to an island waiting
to rejoin the myths from which it came.
I stayed awake half the night,
so I could write on the back of a postcard,
'I'm sure I saw the sky alight.
Send all my clothes on the morning flight.’
I would gladly spend my quicksilver youth
standing on the black sands of the Atlantic,
hands pressed to the glass flesh
of iceberg nests in endless headspace.
Instead, I crept down from the fire escape,
imbedded myself in hotel duvet,
woke at five to dejected disarray,
packed a cracked mug in a suitcase,
took a packed bus to an airplane,
boarded and sat, crushed by altitude,
realising all I was about to lose
as my precious hollow filled
with tomorrow’s mundane mundane.
I sighed off the plane and into home,
and missed and missed the ice and stone,
and wished I’d sipped more meltwater from the glacier,
so it could feed my bones,
my knuckles and knees
and teach my tempest mind to freeze.
Some boys grow distant like ships
in the midst of the waves;
sails taut, parting fleets scatter faster,
by their master
and boatswain against
surging blue to black, ‘til canvas slacks,
and currents kiss their hulls, allayed.
Some boys are gulls playing,
wheeling bicycle-bliss about the bay;
stealing crumbs of sonnets from distracted fingers,
calling for artificial prey.
The mist off the estuary lingers;
there’ll be no rest for the timid today.
Some boys are indifferent,
resistant to sea-air and coastal decay.
They are driftwood persistent
and charred from heartbreak,
blackened to the wrist with
tar and hard clay.
Some boys are evening-opaque,
leave some girls dreaming awake,
leave some embers as evidence they ever even stayed,
some gorgeous remnant remains of the day.
Some girls are full of chorus;
some girls breathe to bridge the pores of the earth and find their thumbs on the pores of your face.
They are siren-safe and wild aflame
and worth all the ointment your tears contain.
Some girls will rinse the brine from your brow,
pluck the sand from your hair,
press the ice to your doubts,
pull the reeds from between your teeth when a breeze
delays your voyage by another week.
Some girl, some excellent girl,
will soon enlist your company,
guess whether your tale is trustworthy;
offer theirs as exchange,
commence polaroid days,
which I’ll scan in years to come
when I’m framed in elbows;
some excellent boy’s,
who found this heart when it lost its voice.
Some boys are enough to lose a year on,
as you relay ghost signals to hopeful neurons.
Some boys are enough to cause daydream asylum;
allow elysium instead,
build Eden in bedsheets,
exorcise loneliness out of your head.
I hope you’re feeling sunnier, lover,
I know that you’ve been darker colours.
Your palette is patchwork pain and promised better-tomorrows
falling short again,
falling like morning; all adolescent and weary,
trudging into traffic
and easing into light and life teary-eyed.
Dawn breakfasts by itself and its dewdrops frame spiderwebs,
rain is soft as felt and comes in gusts of winter breath
unsettling the hairs that down your cheek,
your lashes are feathers that flutter and keep
the water from finding your eyes.
The water will find you when you next cry;
let it shed,
next time you’re compelled to sigh;
make it said.
Our thoughts confer
like flocking birds;
populate the silence,
don’t leave it dead.
I hope you’re feeling sunnier, lover,
I know right now the clouds have covered
but you shall not be standstill dark.
We have lamps and streetlights,
We will make our own glow,
neon to cinder,
we have our own fuel,
kindle the tinder.
If you’re gloomy then know
we can fix that, it’s whether
light would just light the darkness better.
I was eclipsed tonight;
my flesh fell out of favour,
and so my skin fell down like paper,
onion shells about my bare calcium
hell lurked in these bones.
I lacked an old Indian dignity,
the fervour of confluent Ganges,
instead my blood was puddled in
my vessels, boiled lust in rusting kettles and in the rising mist were nettle stings and their dripping toxins held only him.
Filter coffee granules litter the sink like static ants, where time left my poor Mother running late;
swerving frantic pottery collisions into cooling dishwater as she exited the kitchen
and I half-wished she’d had a daughter.
I embargo you successfully. My nation navigates trade agreements with your warring state,
hot chocolates for hospital visits, crossed fingers for makeshift crucifixes.
Laying palms flat on linoleum, in walk the disciples of medicine in tunics cerulean,
anaesthetise the burdened, so the cross they bear is light as gas and air, until they fall under like saints into the water.
Easter’s boulder rolled into a forest where no one heard the tree fall cold.
Easter’s rising will be a hungover Simon blessing the water for not being wine.
Easter passes in idol masses dawdling from church to high school classes; I am in the grasp of that restlessness.
Give me tea in flasks,
and your best wishes.
For Lent I’ll give up listlessness,
or attempt, then break my promises
like fast, and feast on equinox’s kiss
or relent for next evening’s eclipse.
I am not indebted to you.
There’s little left for me to prove,
There’s some respect I’m yet to lose,
So I will bury it
Certain fathoms deep
Beneath the safety
Of a pebble beach.
When the shore beats,
And it will,
Against the stones and sand and silt,
I’ll still have that piece
Of my pride
Outside the reach
Of stranger tides.
This is my third poem to be published in two years, and this time, does not come from a place of mistreatment, as Picked Last and No Shame did before it… instead, I wanted to capture something beautiful, and, hopefully, reassure the reader, by advising them to accept the scale of their feelings, know the world understands and is on your side.
This is friction.
Knowing the position
I’m in is withholding me,
Tension building inch by inch,
I’m going to give, I just know it.
My temper’s a tremor growing. The bridges
Are showing weaknesses. Fractures,
The fastest I move isn’t a patch on you,
We’re matches and waxwork, I lit the fuse,
It’s going to blow, I just know it.
The fallout is huge, it spreads like news;
Gossip on the tongues of the loved and the bruised.
I’m using all of my energy now,
All of it.
What a way to start the year,
What a way to lose a friend,
What a long way left.
The ground is as lined
As the shallows of my eyes,
And under each footstep, stress.
This isn’t my fault.
This is friction.
Should I be thoughtless,
Be a fortress
Against the forces of this love?
Be more cautious,
Hold my horses,
Wait for orders from above?
Or test the waters,
Fall like autumn,
Smother all this, suddenly?
There’s something for us,
Something sure ahead. I see
Torches are lit.
Life’s taught me, it’s
An awkward, flawless little gift.
I’ll walk the hills,
I’ve caught the chill,
I’ll author all of my own myths.
I’ll find there’s more to life than this.
In response to all the problems you put me through last year,
I’ve drafted some solutions. I’ll list them for you here;
Wishing you much good luck,
Don’t reply too soon.
Remember, tomorrow is
There is nothing beautiful about this.
The words clatter against my teeth,
As I scatter all the brief and fleeting
Hopes I had. Bestrewn beneath
The gravestones of these keys,
I know they will be glad
They held a flicker in the pitiful darkness.
Winter came and killed the harvest.
If I’m the vessel for your thoughts
Then know they barely stay afloat.
Your clichés always end up caught
In nets and drowning deep below.
The sheer carelessness of your glance,
Betrays the bubbles in your throat.
You have a hundred half-made plans,
And now, nobody wants to know.
And if you could make any sense
Of what I almost saw in us,
If your war within relents
And you find the time to pause,
You might put me in that letter,
You swore you wouldn’t ever post.
Well now, if you’re going to haunt me
I ought to treat you like a ghost;
An absence where you used to matter.
Here’s my empire, bound to shatter.
If you depend on my words at all,
Then I will cut them out.
And seeming as I built these walls,
I can tear you down.
There is something unlovely about us.
A thread picked out of place,
A bed left unmade.
A summer day spent inside
And alone, adrift, ashamed.
Where do people go?
What do people plan?
I will write you on a postcard
And send it to the man
I’ll be in five years time
To see what he makes of you,
Who wakes and breaks my heart anew
I will write you in the sand
Or in the creases of my hand.
I will count out twenty pennies
And buy myself a stamp;
Perhaps in letters I can spell
What I struggle yet to tell.
I will sleep until I’m slumberdrunk,
I was sober when I fell.
Are the dying lights of burning suns
Is something of a heartbreak.
To think, all those wishes
Drifting aimlessly through space,
Reaching the place where once
Was a flicker of hope,
To find the absent glow of a ghost.
But, if it’s any constellation,
I’ve been wishing on you for years now,
And you’re still iridescent.
In fact, the closer I am
The more certain I get
You must be something cosmic.
I could do with a compass,
Could do with one of my boyfriend’s jumpers…
Could do with a boyfriend,
A weekend away from thoughts of the future future future.
A ukulele, maybe,
The confidence to use the talents
Nature gave me,
To face the challenge of what it didn’t,
All I have to say that’s still kept hidden.
I could do with you, honestly,
More than ever,
I’ve proved I can lose you, now say it’ll never happen again.
I could do with a body, a temple,
A vessel for all my sentimentalities,
A new diary,
An opportunity to voice what I think and mean it.
This year, I could do with a secret to keep,
A heart to beat in time with mine.
This year, I could do with finding a you.
I miss the boy I almost knew;
Learning your neices and nephews,
Your work times, your curfews,
Your habit of having me hold you
In my head from across an ocean,
You impressed me more than any before,
And most of all, I feel our walls
Aren’t quite secure… I’m glad we happened.
I like it when you creep in my thoughts,
Remind me how you now have Manhattan,
In your palm. God, you aren’t half something
Even with miles of water and shore
Between us. We had a bridge built,
I lit the torch… and you are achieving
All we talked about nine months ago.
I love that you exist.
And I suppose you really ought to know,
You’re the boy I almost always miss.