Tag Archives: poem

Puddles

It rained for a long time
Just over two years
Then, gradually, it stopped

The rain still comes, sometimes
I’m usually prepared
I see it coming

The puddles though
They appear out of nowhere
And their depth can still take me by surprise.

Springstorm

Springstorm_honestspeaks.wordpress.com

It looks like it’s snowing outside
Blossom blows past our window
And some people stay indoors, complaining
It’s getting everywhere
It’s really annoying
I sort of agree
But then there’s talk of cutting down trees…
To prevent it happening again
Because we can’t stop the wind

I go out
The tiny petals irritate my eyes and go down my throat, making me cough
But you know what?
Eventually, it dies down
Stops
Leaves everything covered in a blanket of blossom
It’s a beautiful mess.

It’s the little things…

I remember the chocolates…

This is an old poem, which was published in X magazine back in 2006 and although it first appears that the poem laments the imperfect nature of relationships (which perhaps at the time, was my intention) that’s not how I see it now.

I chose to share this poem here today as on Valentine’s Day, expectations can run high. Some people may be lucky enough to receive grand gestures – ranging from a proposal in house filled with roses to the declaration on Facebook that they are ‘in a relationship.’ However, many of us in relationships will be giving and receiving much smaller tokens, if at all. Is today important? Only if you want it to be… Like most things, it is what you make of it and let’s be honest, relationships can never be summed up with one simple gesture. A box of chocolates, however spectacular, is not representative of the bond between two people.

Heart Shaped Chocolate by Serge Bertasius Photography

Relationships are complicated. I don’t mean that in a Facebook status way (which would be a different post entirely) but in that there are so many strands and seasons over the course of each relationship that when it comes down to it, it’s really the simple things that count.

It’s the simple things

We were both at home
I was working
And you were on holiday
You thought we’d hang out
I reminded you I was working

You nodded and left the room
Spent most of the day upstairs
So as not to disturb me

But your silence seeped through the ceiling
Landed heavy on my shoulders

I stopped to make a cup of tea
Didn’t ask if you wanted one

Later, you came down
Silently, and with your hands over your eyes
Like a toddler who thinks he can’t be seen if he can’t see
You put the kettle on

You tiptoed across the kitchen and then,
Fingers wrapped around the door handle, you whispered
“Just pretend I’m not here”

The corner of your lip turned up
In a half smile

The silence slid from my shoulders.

Image Credit: Heart Shaped Chocolate by Serge Bertasius Photography at freedigitalphotos.net

Repeating the lies

I read this article in the Guardian today and although it’s not the first time I’ve read about female genital mutilation (FGM, also referred to as ‘cutting’) this is the first time I decided to say something about it…

This is not something I have been through myself. My first ‘real’ experience of FGM was someone telling me about it in detail when I was at university. I knew little to nothing of this practice before then. At the time, I wrote a poem about it and that poem has been sitting with a pile of other stuff I wrote at the time, with which I did nothing. Something about it doesn’t feel quite right – like, am I qualified to talk about this not having been through it myself? But then I thought, I wrote it for a reason… It was to try and understand why so meany women continue with this practice when it is so obviously such a horrific ordeal to go through, let alone put your child through. So here it is (feedback – all kinds – welcome as always):

Repeating the lies

She looked up at her mother with innocent eyes
For at just eight years old, she was still just a child.
Her mother had just repeated the lies
That they had told her before she died inside
And now her baby’s about to have her womanhood defiled

They told her that she had come of age
And that this was part of an ancient tradition
That she should look forward to this the next page
They didn’t tell her with what she would have to trade
They never really asked her permission

It wasn’t that she didn’t feel her daughter’s pain
When you became a woman, this just had to be done
When she was a child it had been the same
If it hadn’t she would have bought shame
That’s why when she fell pregnant she had prayed for a son

So she let them take her daughter’s womanhood and even more besides
As they said this made her the kind of woman a man would want for his wife
These were the words that penetrated her cries
And so she too decided to believe the lies
Rather than admit that they had been closer to taking her life

It’s now several years on and her belly starts to swell
She already feels a bond that’s strong and true
She prays not to have a daughter as well
For she knows the pain of the lies she’ll have to tell
When it’s time for her to become a woman too.

Wildflower clouds

As I turn a corner on this new route
I am rewarded by a burst of wildflowers
Fluffy white clouds
Interspersed with poppy red blushes and
Streaks of buttercup yellow
Occasional kisses of squashed plum distract me
Until I reach the gravel path
Here, my ears receive their reward
The familar crunch puts a spring in my step as
I am transported back to a memory of a much younger me
To push bikes re-imagined as motorbikes as they skid across similar paths
To imaginary horses, imaginary powers and limitless energy
As the memory manifests I find myself running further, faster, stronger
I give a silent salute to the trees as I pass for giving me the breath
To keep on keeping on
and although I can feel the strain on my lungs
As I push myself out of the comfort zone
I remember how it’s always been when I’m running
That I remember to breathe.

Be  more

Be more

Milking butterflies

This poem was inspired by Flickr.com. ‘Milking butterflies’ is one of the messages on the photo/video upload page. Much more inspiring than ‘loading’ or ‘buffering,’ don’t you think? Thanks for the inspiration, Flickr!

Orange tip butterfly by Tina Negus (via Flickr Creatiev Commons)

Orange tip is milking the snapdragons
She takes her time, fluttering around
Behaving at first as though she’s just here to visit
She stops at the roses, delicately stroking the leaves
Inhaling their scent. No, she’s not stopping here…
Onto the snapdragons she glides
Here, she takes her time
Sipping snapdragon milk as she beats her wings
To an invisible drum.

Giving thanks

Fountain

If I half close my eyes
And turn towards the sun
I can see rainbows between my eyelashes

A bird bathes in the fountain
Splashing sunlight around with his wings
It’s getting hot already
I think about diving in to join him

It’s too early
For the drunks who usually occupy this space
So we have it to ourselves, the boy and I

While he sleeps
I slip into the silence
And give thanks for days gone and those yet to come.