I Moan

I could gasp
Loudly,
Breath taken away by how much I love you;
The way you love me.
But I’ll probably moan about it instead,
Reliving you as you
Come inside my head.

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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.

Empty Places

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I see the red carpet, polished floorboards,
The sash windows with shutters varnished open forever,
I see the stone porch laced with wisteria,
The hat stand,
The mosaic tiles.

I see the gallery,
The atrium,
The front stairs that rise gracefully up
Below the solid handrail.
I see the roof,
The chimneys,
The front lawn,
The terrace,
The woods where we walked on Sundays.

I can hear the exact way the glass rattles in the door as it shuts,
The way the gong rings for dinner,
The clock that ticks and chimes, ticks and chimes from the shadows.

I can hear your whistle moving from room to room but
I can’t see your face.
This scene is lifeless,
No one lives here anymore.

The Nurse

She does the rounds:
Reads the notes at the end of his bed,
Administers pain relief playfully
Whilst talking of sunshine and the promise of Soleros.
She checks his temperature,
His heart rate:
He’s hot
But it’s her heart that races.

Russian Jack

Have you met Jack?
I’m sure you know the guy:
Funny,
Terrifyingly handsome,
Commands any room
With his full bodied, wild haired
Telling of stories
About his time in Russia,
Undercover.

Under your cover.

You listen to him,
Could watch him all day,
The way his slender fingers gesticulate as he talks
And his animated eyes flash everywhere like exploding Molotov Cocktails,
Eyes that look straight through you,
At you,
Into you
Like you are the only person in the room,
The only person that matters.

The practised art of espionage.

And you begin to believe his bullshit,
Drawn in as he pours you another glass of cheap white wine in a cloudy glass
Whilst recounting memories of clandestine conquests,  coverups, corruption,
Sub-zero temperatures, the coolness of gunmetal on skin,
The smell of blood and fear and lust.

Lust.

And then, before you know it, it’s too late to be saved.
You’ve become part of the conspiracy
Giving up your secrets as you whisper breathlessly,
Lovingly,
Carelessly
Into the ear
Of that terrifying, handsome, funny Russian Jack.