Something New

I’ve been looking
for something
new

I want every day
to be the first day

Beginner’s mind
the zen masters call it

Every breath
a beginning
every exhale
a letting go

I get lost
on the road
beneath my feet
where everything
is teeming with life
while my laboured breaths
reek of death

And still I walk on

Looking for something
that feels like a brightly plumed bird
beating its wings against my heart

Is it you?

16 July 2018

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Crossroads

It is summer
and I am ill
falling
fast

I am listening
to the blues
to Robert Johnson
and wondering
about crossroads
and old roads
and intersecting paths
and the old ways
chants heard
in lush green leaves
prayers
and blessings
witchcraft

It is summer
and I am surrounded
by roses
and lavender
and geraniums
and hanging baskets
with unknown flowers
cascading
over the sides
like a floral invocation
to unnamed goddesses
everywhere

The wind
blows
in the afternoon
It no longer
plays havoc
with my curls
They’re gone away now
wherever it is
illness takes them

At night the air stills
stars sparkle
and glitter
like you once said
my eyes did

It is summer
and I am surviving

loss
and renewal
and relentless sickness
and time
in all its
temporary majesty

20 June 2018
on the Sussex Coast

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the fragility of summer

She Lay Waiting

she lay
curled in upon herself
more spiral
than fetal
more sudden stillness
than feral beauty

the forest floor
was damp
with decomposing
birth and death
may-shine slipped
through young
summer leaves
danced across her
naked form
adding light
and shadow
to the streaks of dirt
and blood
painted on her skin
as though
she were nothing
more than a canvass

and so she was

a sleeping
summer
art form

waiting

17 May 2018

Shamrock Forest
Shamrock Forest, Decatur, Georgia

Voyeurs

we are all
voyeurs
of tragedy

until
we have
become
the tragic

flay
strips
of raw
pulsing
skin
off my back
in your search
in your grasping
need
to take
pieces of me

you will have to
hold me down
this time

I will not go
peacefully

I will not
acquiesce demurely

there is nothing
kind
or peaceful
or polite
about tragedy

I am not yours

your prying eyes
and sickly sweet
solicitations
make me reach
for my knives
when my claws
have been rendered
to bloody stumps

we are all
voyeurs
until we
aren’t

17 May 2018

Home

It was
a simple door

Her hand shook
as she reached for the knob
and slowly turned

It was just a door

On the other side
she was a stranger
unknown
unseen
in a sea
of clinking glasses
and a cacophony
of voices
sounding
like an unkindness
of ravens
calling insistently
to nonexistent heavens
and then a soft murmur
of dawning acquiescence

She went
unnoticed
ordered a gin
from a bartender
who never quite
met her eye

And yet
she found
she was home
again

***

door from Stratford-upon-Avon just across the road from the Royal Shakespeare Company

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the night moves: Chemo Poetry

the night moves
in endless liquid
in pools of sweat
and suppressed vomit

and repressed dreams
and not quite forgotten
nightmares
and lucky escapes
and disastrous
adventures
and miraculous
rescues

and death
knocking at my door
and love waiting
at my back

and never ending
vistas
of sublime beauty
that take
my breath away
and take up
too much space
in my fevered brow

the night moves
and never stops
with harsh breaths
and soft
almost silent
heartbeats

and dream
after dream
after dream
baptised
in cold sweat

and living
always
more living

11 May 2018

Dance and Fall: Chemo poetry

They gather around
ghosts
and loves
and stars
and Moon

I try
to dance
with them all
stumble
and fall

They falter
and wait
until I can dance
again

and I do

9 May 2018