GAME CHANGER

My legs shake

afraid of the zesty child

chipping like the white paint

that cover the walls of the house

now inside a sinkhole.

We’ve tinkered with it enough

the cracks and tears have already won

devastation deserving of medals

as we reason with the loss of her

buried inside her folding carcass.

But some nights our hands

still cup the lonely silt remains

belonging to this deadbeat land

spoiling our feathered fingers

too afraid she’ll be forgotten.

I’m scared she’ll keep us down there

to linger without lungfuls of sunshine

peeping through cotton mountains

we can see with care

through sofas wedged together.

I can hear the gentle noises as swift

as the sound of breaking bones

through the ribs of floorboard

she’s too shy to show-

too shy to spill her grief.

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WORDS ON A WOMAN

Sisters, we shall not be bruised

however long this strive may be:

we are architects, building anew

we are tall and arresting structures

rising artwork and free thinkers,

pinning own dreams from

self-made visions;

rather, we do not bend or listen

to the backwardly misinformed

or the people assessing us

when their slurs and taxes

are the only things

messing with forwards.

Today, sisters

we have the same right to life

to rally, bejewelled

alive in bedlam

and climb outside our heads

to bring ‘woman’ back from

the dead.

Discerning our concerns

is learning

to be icons of tenderness

of compassion

and of welcoming the wetness

when our voices pour like rain.

INTO THE BLUE

I look to the fire below, and I’m mesmerized

playing in the surf, of worlds inside our heads

red lightning beneath our feet

and I’m hypnotized.

The surface finally rips, eyes open wide

pulled under, its you that I lift

my gentle and kind.

I saw myself pull in two, falling

wrapping flesh round the other, a monsoon

of colour on the darkest night

carried by the tide.

 

SKELETONS

she doesn’t fit into the same jeans

folded in the drawer in her room;

the ones with the scuffed knees

disclosing dirty bones.

She’s reached for the same clothes

in the same closet

where the monster feared most

made instruments from hangers

and hid teeth in her pockets.

Except there is no monster

but skeletons, rotten reminders

hidden carefully between coats

ugly truth in shoe-boxes

ghosts that haven’t outgrown her

yet

like the man she turned down

or the flowers that never bloomed.

HUMANS ATTEMPT CHRISTMAS

They sit in the dark, under the sky of light bulbs

that pull observing eyes

colourfully strung satellites , microscopic dots

painting bucolic scenes.

The humans are at it again;

peaking sister out of bed, nicks all the milk

left for fluffy man in red suit, Sandy Claws

suspended on the drain pipe.

Doors down, the old King is dead

the Extinctionists next door killed poor Nick

stuffing the yearly cheer into box coffins-

pageantry piled up in the attic junk yard

of tinsel.

Some find shoulders of land

in living rooms hit by tornadoes, battleground

the fallen soldiers, death by wrapping paper.

LION WOMAN

Unto the forest she drags herself

spectral Queen with more than a bite-

quite the talker.

Lion woman could cut out your tongue

devastate you like meteorites

flung like punches under satellites

mistaken for comets.

The noble trees mark her transit

some stand, others are sold to the ground

like chopped limbs, barbecued

to lessen the risk

of caving in your skull.

Lion woman with her atlas hands

nothing but clear cracks and tears

from chemical burns

walks half full, fear fossilised here

in the wake of man.

She wants nebulas for irises

the warm hug of a space suit

like the tin foil blankets

they give you outside a hospital room-

at least then they’d save her.

She yearns to pluck the stars

and keep them near her poached heart

but they already belong to the galaxy

and the moon has the sun’s love.

 

CALENTURE

There is a sense of belonging

in wanting to touch the sun in gentle strokes

to smooth it in, acrylic smudge,

valley of yellow on your shoulders-

two proud beacons burning, feeding us with enough light to grow

from the rotting bark that has pulled apart to nothing.

The ends of my hands hold firm the beach rope that has longingly

held together our sleepy boat house

strawberry red cuts, gentle stings

and there is little now except the words that tremble

that rip apart my throat like a tangled mess of phone cord

spilling over berry bruised organs exposed for bird pickings

as the line breaks.

How is it that you slip so silently to garner wood and ill- strung words

when death turns under every stone

unscathed, when the wind slices so neatly at my cheeks

and its been weeks since we’ve seen home-

now nothing more than the fire we blow through our hands

to keep our lungs from collapsing.