Day 20 – Love

After today there are no more prompts on the prompts post I’m using. Does anyone have any ideas for prompts I could use?


The sharp points

In days gone by

All pointed at me

And I said ‘Look at me’

Whereas now I would say the opposite

And by saying it I met you

Always sitting at the front of the class

(I always sat at the back)

You wore that skirt I loved

And clutched your books in slender fingers

And we crashed together like two waves bound for the same shore

And we held hands under the table

And I caught you when you jumped off the steps

In a puff of rosin

And we read together, our fingers entwined with the lines

You touched me like punctuation

We skimmed stones over the tai hei yõ

And I felt my present drift away

Like little fluffy clouds

There was an ocean of you

I could dive into

Sure, sometimes there were storms

And the waves would crash against the beach huts

And the rain would run down the buildings like tears

But, until the day I poured away the ocean

You always had your piano-slim hand in mine

And your smile brushed against me

Like light shining off the ocean


Editing poetry: Road Scholar

I wrote this piece about C’s father, who seems to wander the world according to his own timetable. He once lived in a cave.

with stratified hands
circlets of dirt
echo the blurred
whorls of his fingertips
he smudges the yellowing lignin
breathes as it oxidises
runs a crooked finger
over justified columns
thin colour diagrams
and broad pages
he is blank and wide as
prairie margins
this lonely
road scholar
retells the parable of the scorpion
shoes fading camouflage
with the bitumen
tree roots
cracks in concrete face
unsure which page to read
he stares into blank
like Picasso’s blue family
the moving finger
smoothes the creased pages
with a hard black fingernail
traces the scrawled notes
with empty pen
frail amalgam of feeling
his books are out of date
and the world turns
faster than he can run

Editing poetry: nothing

This is something that was published once, but I forget when and where. I wrote it around a little sketch of a dragonfly in my sketch book.

The last time
I sat and did nothing
Or read a book
Without time whining
Through the hourglass
Like a vacuum

Snow was
Deep over

Franco was
Toddling in
His garden

Old potatoes
Were still new

The dragonflies
Were kickstarting
Their wings on
The back porch
Running ink
Into tiny grooves
Like a record

8-track was
The wave of
The future
Clicks and

Certain girls
Would be
Expected to have
Both long gloves
And cigarette holders

You were
A tiny neon
And nobody
Touched you

Editing poetry: Time moves

Perhaps the further away a memory gets, the more it softens around the edges. Or perhaps things really were better back then. The title of this piece comes from a line in the Martha Wainwright song ‘Don’t Forget’. ‘Miracles and Idolatry’ is the title of a book by Voltaire.

we were
two halves
sliced clean on serrated edge
segments torn apart
sour in our own ways
the light down the hallways
a ghost of a threat
tangled in your hair
cushioned your feet
in plume of powdered rosin
ballet shoes
on institutional floors
we conducted
a symphony of glances
spoke in the movement of air
all rush and dizzying pressure
such silent gesture
ignorance, miracles and idolatry
there was a time
when I would wrap
such words
in cherry leaves
soft flesh
lay in perspective rails
narrow the distance between us
when every word I wrote
was a step towards you
now you are
far off tumble of hot galaxy
dissipated over distance
I see you in
the scrolling pictures
timestamped and flat
a disconnect tone in pixels
that final gift
blooms in water
uncurls a chaotic flower
a supernova
imparts ferric slant
is gone
like a rolling wisp

via Editing poetry: Time moves.

Editing poetry: All grown up – two viewpoints

The phrase ‘che bell’onor s’acquista in far vendetta’ belongs to Dante.

you grew up too fast
hurtled down ill-lit corridors
too heavy to lift the dust
shaking in counterpoint to the surge
you flinched at the raised hands
never heard as I whispered ‘no’
into the taut space of six long years
Skinner would have approved, cheered
as they painted him a criminal,
crimson for the shadows
che bell’onor s’acquista in far vendetta
but thermodymanics prevails
(as one might expect)
you faded in the sunlight
almost transparent in photographs
poor reflection of a smile
a dance written down
or cast in a mirror
the tut-tut of the shutter’s
your friend in those aimless orchards

you grew up too fast
those hands so briefly small
clutched at the concept of beauty
as it slipped sand-quick
between your fingers
you grew up inside
that dark oak room
trailed with purple ribbons
you learned to paint the light
using shadow
to trap your hopes
within the frame
the rhythm and the flutter
of mood
your hearbeat on the door
the frenzy and the brush

Editing poetry: Pictures on the Wall

This is a piece that is I am quite pleased with, possibly because it addresses some emotional times in my life without being completely awful. It also contains references to a lot of things that I love or have loved. The last line is inspired by a line in Rufus Wainwright’s ‘Dinner at Eight’: ‘Actually in the drifting white snow / You left me’.

I find it strange
To hear your name waver on the lips of others,
The tightly wrapped French consonants
Like these soft cakes in cherry blossom leaves.

I find it strange
When the blind girl talks about the handsome baseball players
In the same breath
And in the same way as Schubert
She talks about watching television as if it really happens
And I think the way her hands move over each other like waves is the same way she hears things.

I find it strange
That at the crest of my guilt
Your picture fell from the wall
And lay gazing up at its twin with hydrochloric eyes
Etching the silence with purpose.

I find it strange
And beautifully tragic
That this café in a foreign place plays Rufus Wainwright
Those lyrics large as breakers
But nobody hears the words,
They only sit and eat small French pastries,
The flakes fall like drifting white snow.

Editing poetry: Pictures on the Wall.