NaPoWriMo #21

Sonnet 1

How grief is like you have eaten a stone:
You stare. Once on a train you stared at a
pink baby, grated to the core with sobs,
and wished for both the sobbing and the sleep.

Ankles thickened with lazy, pooling blood.
Body waterlogged, useless sealion-
distended and lumbering but
dry and brittle as some shivering bur.

Scrubbed clean, plain, and bundled into real clothes,
ritual is the ember of control
Visitors try to fan at the thin fire,
their kind faces are a distant alarm

and casting around for something to say,
you find only clods of gravel and sand.

NaPoWriMo #20

Upon Waking

Awaken, then.
My tongue is furred thick with the night
Morning crowds in noisily
Jostling something that I have forgotten

My tongue is furred thick with the night
Hope is spiteful, and relentless
Jostling something that I have forgotten
You are gone

Hope it spiteful, and relentless
Morning crowds in noisily
You are gone
Awaken, then.

NaPoWriMo #19

You at the Window

Yes, throw up the gates
of your cruel castle.
But those snarling pit bulls
are dying of starvation
by the supercilious portcullis.

That song is old.
Is that you at the window,
singing out with dry lungs
that this is your masterpiece?
Proclaiming yourself king?

Make mean eyes at the moat,
check the shipping forecast.
Is that gulf of water
your only plan?
Kindness will find you in the end.

NaPo WriMo #18

Bunk Beds

There was this time,
after the stung sweat of awkward adolescence,
and a spell of staring cold and blank at a world that I suspected I could love, if I could only find my tongue-
there was this time,
where I stumbled (over some slumped, boy-shaped notion of love), into this:

A pile of humans.
A kind of soup of ideas and glory
that sometimes I only remember as a festoon of warm lights
strung across the side of a barn where the friendly noise a band playing inside
gulps you inward.

We tumbled, heart-shaped, and always towards morning.
Someone passed a beer, a spliff, a record for you to peer at its lovely sleeve.
A plate of daal that (although my stomach was still closed for business) smelled of belonging somewhere and was warm on my knees.

And perhaps now, I will always wish for more spaces at bedtime,
always rail against loved ones being spat out the city night towards empty rooms
with alarm clocks waiting and socks laid out for morning.

Will always wish for bunk beds to fold from all the walls in an instant,
and every last blanket put to good use.

Give me a bare arm escaped hot from a next-door sleeping bag, and slung across me in the night.
Give me morning tea for twenty and the intangible affirmation of collective breakfast-
steam rising from us like horses as we settle, shuffle, rearrange
and set our sights on the strange days ahead.
Give me falling asleep in earshot of the steady breathing of someone who taught me to be brave.

Go to sleep,
the grownups will be here soon
to tell us we cannot live this way forever.

NaPoWriMo #17

I haven’t got time to type up and post all the ones that I (tried) to write while I was working away. Writing on the move is difficult eh? But I don’t want to get behind on writing the new ones so I’m just going to start again from today, but not lose hope of the idea of typing up the missed (FIVE!) days at some point. I need to be better at this, I’m working away again for five days next week!


I had lost you on the way home
from school.
Pushed, panicking across
hot quiet tarmac

Apple blonde small boys
in soft cotton teeshirts
and bright shorts,
all look the same.

Fell flat from rushing and looking,
skinned my knee, scraped flesh
white to the bone.

I watched the blood bubble,
bead to the surface in a moment of calm
before starting to wail.

And you were home already.
We were both children,
blame was fluid and easy to fling,

and f I hadn’t been looking for you,
I wouldn’t have-

stop wandering off all the time,
why are you so-

fallen, useless.
Far away.

One day, I will find you
adult and unflappable.
Calm and unscarred as the tarmac.

Stride over brightly, take you by the hand
and say,
This is the way home.

NaPoWriMo #10

I AM writing everyday, I’m just working away from home so I haven’t had much internet to post them. Posting them is good though, it makes you be brutal with the editing. Here’s one…

Long line of churches

The woods are never quiet.
Sometimes after dark,
they may seem to have have taken their last
sleeping draught of air before sinking
into the deep and hush of sleep-
but they soon shudder themselves awake.

These trees, a night watch
keepers and curators of the wet earth. That ridge
was an old Devon hedge. This was fields before,
and forest again before that.
Nothing is so ancient or auspicious
as the ground that grew it.

Trees or henges or shopping centres
or our own selves.

And as the morning light tilts in, making
eaves and cloisters of the high branches,
you can easily see that these beams
this lovely canopy, is just the latest
in a long line of churches
built on sacred ground to capture the glow

and wonder. A holy show
of what she can do,
whenever the moods takes her.

NaPoWriMo #9

Clothes Shopping

I am a cloud, ball
of comfort.
Floating and breezing
in open earnest,

happy and loose.
But the mirror spells me out
as frump, as lump, as
not womanly.

No strong curve,
no visible, eatable
drag-slapped line to say

Everything I have tried on today
made me feel
as though I was a wet cod
stuffed in a net.

And why,
after all these years
do they still think we might

Might simply fall to bits,
or start shedding key body parts
if we are not shoved, bandaged
and bound into place.

I like fancy clothes.
I like to whip and mould a soft arch
from my own body that says
look- I grew this, isn’t it nice?

But today, I want to be weightless
and unburdened by zip, buckle and
digging hem. I want easy movement
under the warm sun.

And the gap
where the breeze can reach
under loose cotton, and find nothing
but ungirdled belly

is not a gap
where my dignity might start to leak out
if I am not careful.