Damage

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I tried to reverse the other day.
I found looking backwards difficult,
The scratch on the surface
Cutting deeper than you’d imagine,
Leaving marks that won’t go away
For all your optimistic talk.
Even moving forwards, I have discovered,
Is fraught with complication
And kindly old men
Who perhaps see the scuffs
And damage already there,
Take pity and let me on
My way.
To where?
And sometimes I just get locked out,
Left to wait on my own
For someone who might pick me up and rescue me.
Fix the damage.

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Looking Down At The Cathedral

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Walk out with me upon the hill and feel
Words which are like this place I could not find.
Let me root you in the roots of my youth,
Now you cannot go and leave me behind.
See the stalagmite spire as it rises
Majestic, monument to our worship.
There’s ancient magic here in this place
Prayers and spells that hover over our lips.
Looking down we feel like the Gods we forget,
Anything possible in this moment
Because we are alone in paradise
Where love lingers immortal, heaven sent.
Fields of green fan out like fate far below
You’re already mine, I already know.

Waterloo Station

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I like looking at the people:
Grey, gaping mouthed, headphones in, aimless in their hurry,
Disembarking strangers; embarking lovers…

I imagine I see two years ago us
As I stare from the window of my train.
We are shiny and new against the pallor of everybody else’s everyday dullness.
We stroll side by side down the platform.

I am on the wrong side, of course,
To truly picture the scene
But then I am always on the wrong side,
Wanting to step out into that remembered picture,
Hold the hand that wasn’t held,
Kiss you on the mouth, on the platform,
In full view of the me
Staring out from behind the glass,
On that other train
That idles here. Waiting.

Juxtaposed

Happy national poetry day 2019! This year the theme is change, or so I am told. So in the poetic spirit here is a poem I wrote a few months ago about things changing. It is totally bonkers, I was going totally mad when I wrote it, but things change and get easier and despite its total weirdness, I really quite love it.

Things I learned today:

That cupboards with different doors on 
Are still the same but
Look like different cupboards
Just less unhinged.

That looking back can help you look forward and 
That I haven’t changed much,
Sadly.

I realised 
You are the first person that I have loved so completely
But maybe you won’t be the last… 

I have learned that at one point in my life, 
Someone else really thought they loved me and that love was and can and should be exciting
But somewhere along the line I settled for safe.

Fuck that. 

I was reminded that 
You are not the first person to quote me poetry
Or, 
Even, the first person the write me poetry,
Although, yours is, or was, more meaningful and beautiful than any that came before.

I found out that my virginity cost me 110 euros.
This made me laugh –  
I must have been worth the price
At least once,
Although I’d pay
The price for you a thousand times over.

I see 
I have become fitter, thinner, more, or less, assured with age.
I have become braver, yet 
I still don’t have the courage to say 
To your face,
Exactly what I want.

I still try to hide when I cry.

I realise I can throw things away
That mean whole lifetimes 
Because they are broken and taking up room and I also know that
I can fill that void with something else
That wants to belong.

I need to belong.

Did you know,
Tiny splinters hurt more than you realise and
So does the cold?

But, 
I am reminded, that despite this,
I am kind,
That I do not always start the fight
But will probably try to finish it…
This made me laugh.

Apparently, 
And I take this with a pinch of salt
For I feel misunderstood,

I am a bad influence.

I cannot believe it.

I am juxtaposed,
I suppose?
Who knows…

Moonlit Apples by John Drinkwater

Not just a treasury but a very precious little treasure too. Published in 1947, the poems may no longer be quite so modern but they are still certainly beautiful. Here is one I particularly liked …. ‘deep is the silence.’

 

                     Moonlit Apples

At the top of the house the apples are laid in rows,
And the skylight lets the moonlight in, and those
Apples are deep-sea apples of green. There goes
A cloud on the moon in the autumn night.

A mouse in the wainscot scratches, and scratches, and then
There is no sound at the top of the house of men
Or mice; and the cloud is blown, and the moon again
Dapples the apples with deep-sea light.

They are lying in rows there, under the gloomy beams;
On the sagging floor; they gather the silver streams
Out of the moon, those moonlit apples of dreams,
And quiet is the steep stair under.

In the corridors under there is nothing but sleep.
And stiller than ever on orchard boughs they keep
Tryst with the moon, and deep is the silence, deep
On moon-washed apples of wonder.

Memories

On bright days they are the pebbles glittering on beaches,
Polished and pearly in the sun,
The ones you collect in your pockets or give,
Precious as gems, to the person you love.
Further back are the larger boulders,
The broken remnants of crumbling cliffs
Constant and confident in their gravity.
Scrambling across them you
Navigate their rough surfaces
Sure footedly as you look down
Upon cloudless reflections in rock pools
Until finally, you are high enough to take in the
Shifting view of the coastline
As it heaves and sighs and heaves and sighs
Below you. On the tide line
A scar of stones, tangled weed and sandy debris
Tells of last night’s howling storm
At least, for a while, until
The sea returns again
To wash everything smooth and forgotten.