the sounds of 2018
operatic voices rising, my own included, then falling away
the whirr and grind of the sanding machine
the builder rolling paint onto the walls: up, down, up, down while I worked in the other room
the purr of an engine as I turned on the car and started to drive
screech and yank and bang of furniture moving and plumbing
floorboards giving a sharp loud smack as I pulled them up
beeping hospital machines (I thought I was done with those)
the murmur of danish tv shows
the blissful sound of silence
a finally tuned piano
my first strum of a guitar
and, towards the end, the new cat miaowing and galloping around. (more…)
The blog was going to be taking a break today, because I have a unicorn wines post in the queue but I haven’t finished writing it yet. Then I logged onto Twitter and saw that it’s Teacher Appreciation Day, so I thought I’d share a poem I wrote about the teachers at my old school, who were utterly fantastic and without whom I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t be alive. (more…)
the sights of 2017
the grey sofa covered in grey blankets, and grey me lying there greyly
a purple laptop with flickering screen, nestling amongst white bedclothes
a piano covered in dustsheets
plants at the end of the bath, fronds dangling near my toes
the glaring bright of the bathroom light: an attack
my face in the mirror, a white death mask
and smoke rising from a cauldron.
calling a dead man’s phone
for the past few days
that’s what i’ve been doing
trying to find out what was wrong
the smell of 2016:
sickly-sweet incense from zara
her house, a mix of essential oils with underlying tobacco
a going-off fridge
and, right at the end, Hillside
my friend is coming over today
isn’t that nice?
she’s a therapist
obsessive compulsive disorder
Yesterday was Teachers’ Day. Today is National Poetry Day. These two things have been interwoven in my life for many years, and both are important to me, so I thought I’d write a quick post about them.
I wrote my first poem when I was twelve, and I wrote it because of a teacher. We were in English class, and I was in a new school in a new country and wasn’t settling in very well. I was looking for a way to distract myself from life, and while I had the school library to keep me going, I wanted something more actively creative as well – a new string to my bow.
the leaves are falling now
the first signs that the trees are getting tired.
unable to sustain their grip anymore,
they rescind their grasp reluctantly
and the leaves they’ve borne so carefully til now
drop to the ground like so many raindrops
if they make ripples on the earth, we do not see them
their landing is too light
their descent was too gentle
they fall beside the trunks that upheld them
above the roots that grew them
and there they wait, right where they fell
for a gust of wind to come and whip them away
rehoming them again
far from the trees they once called their own.
it’s cold over here by the quiches
i pull my shawl tighter
around my shoulders and
as someone steps just a bit too close.
the bread aisle is full of choices
i’m sure there weren’t
so many types of loaf
when i was young.
in the fish aisle i stop and stare
my mind switches to a frequency
aligned with the hum of the refridgerators
and i lose myself momentarily
in its gentle buzz.
the world outside is loud but it is morning
and the shop hasn’t yet been invaded
by screaming children and toddler tantrums
and life-tired workers at lunch.
“beep” says the machine as i feed it my card and
“beep” as it replies with my receipt
stuff in bag, i schlep
out through the whoosh
of the automatic doors
and back to the world beyond.
swallow the stars
glow from the inside out
as the pain of what you’ve done
spreads seeping through your body
filling your veins
with excruciating light.