A shape, etched
For future fingers yet to trace
Hunched and wall eyed
I meet your gaze
A flickering moment
and then –
A turncoat self
I march along
to any song that please my ear.
A frozen statue in a forest glade –
Or assassin lurking in the shade?
Houdini-like I come and go,
A cameo part I play.
But always, still, unseen
My razor tongue, held in,
Catches, flicks around your words
And pulls them deep within.
I taste your thoughts upon my tongue:
A self dissolved
I don’t know why I do this,
But something inside me needs to be expressed.
I don’t talk much.
I just feel, and see, and hear, and touch and smell.
So I make marks on the wall.
Marks that look like the things around me,
And express the things I feel inside.
Marks made from the juice of the berries I crushed,
Mixed with my blood.
I place my hand against the cold dry wall.
I fill my mouth with the warm, bitter tasting fluid,
And spit it at the back of my hand,
Until my hand and the wall are coated deep red.
Then I take my hand away,
And reveal the print of where it was.
This is me.
This is my mark.
And I was here, do you see?
I was here.
I was here.
This, the new book my children gave me,
its pages empty, except for lines.
Lines I do not want, they proscribe me, hold me in.
They wouldn’t know, when they chose it for its cover –
pink, with flowers, how mothers ought to be,
that each new book I have to buy has empty pages,
unlined. Hard to find. Now, in a world
where everyone should write and stand
in line, straight side to side, not up and down,
not in the circle, nor ragged, no dots nor clumps of words,
no untidiness. I secretly long for order,
yet helplessly, my life spills out beyond the lines,
an effulgence, colour, books, words unread,
poems written on scraps, lost and found,
half-empty cups of words, littering my days.
Until I drown in things, duty, worries, memory –
the unlined pages of my life. I reject the book with lines,
yet long for tidiness. Perhaps after all, they chose wisely,
my children, seeking to help me make sense of my unlined,
Genes, genomes, DNA in a lovely spiral,
And inside a soul stands proud,
Creates meaning as, like the prongs of a tuning fork,
I quiver into existence,
Excite the air around me at
My own frequency.
I try to bring you closer
To my wavelength, by scratching
Symbols on a page, a piece of bark, a cave wall,
I put a foot through the ice on the top of a puddle
Just to show you that I’m here.
There is a garden behind a wall, where hollyhocks stand straight and tall
Lavender roams wild and free, ivy wraps round every tree
Maiden fern and meadow sweet weave a carpet at your feet
Flower heads embrace, entwine, Harlequin and Columbine
There is no bird song in the air, bees and butterflies take care
If you should ever stray near there, take the time to have a look
And see the babble in the brook
One thing you will never see, is my friend Mallory and me
A mandarin moon moves maleficently across the sun creating an eerie orange glow throughout the valley.
The wind sails in on a sea of white horses. Heads rearing, manes tossing, wildness of a bush fire reflected in their bulging eyes.
Trembling trees grow arms to hug and hold each other tight until the tempest passes.
In its wake a Whirling Dervish picks up its skirts, dances a fantastic fandango to the beat of the retreating horses’ hooves. During the dying throes of the dance the Dervish dips its head into its heart, diminishing in the dust.