Tuesday, 21 March 2017

The Spring

The Spring arrived.
With a strong, gentle knock.
I cracked open the door,
Unfastened the lock,
and I let him inside.
There was nowhere to hide
from Him.
Just goosebumps.
And the cold
from the floorboards beneath,
How old
they had grown
As they creaked with the grief
left behind
after Winter's long stay
I wanted to run, but
I could not look away
I could not take my eyes off him.
as the birds began to sing
as the bees poised to sting
my lips with his kiss
you know, my tongue
doesn't recognise
this... Honey
He walked through the corridor
as light followed behind
Illuminating my windows,
As they let in the sky
And I watched as the flowers
grew from under each step
that he took
through the hall,
through the rooms
I had wept
His branches grew easy
climbed right to the top
through the concrete
through my walls
as though nothing could stop
him from going right through me
and around
Until my fingertips bloomed flowers
which dropped
to the ground
and into the bedroom
where music would play
as I undressed my heaviness.
As I asked him to stay.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

The Storm

"It's a bit like cleaning up the aftermath of the storm
before the storm has even hit."
I stand, calm
looking myself directly in the eye.
I have come to feel physically safe in this world,
even in the darkest of moments
When the most chaotic television static
starts filling up my life
spilling out of my insides
Merging into reality like oil and water
I am still aware there is an "off" switch
(I am reluctant to press it
for fear of missing something)

I always seem to come back to safety, security,
feeling sure of something.
When I'm spectating, I understand it.
How the nature of nature is to change and let go.
It's safer to watch from the edges of the abyss
As the tiny figures dive off the edge so smoothly
into something
I can't comprehend.
But when my turn comes
and I push myself to the edge of the board,
Fingernails twitching
My rationality is sucked away into the vortex
before I'd even time to leap after it
So I stand there, dithering
Like someone who I am
Like someone who I'm not
And so, I retreat.
And then, I repeat.

I hang my head and grieve the man who did not leave
Even when I stood, motionless inside my tornado
Making eye contact with the eye of my storm
Who did not try to save me,
but watched in fascination
as I swept the floor before it arrived
as I did not brace when it hit
as it revealed me with a gust of wind.
Without a piece of me in order
But my confusion still intact
He just tilted his head in curiosity
and winked.

Saturday, 10 December 2016

Learning Self Love

Self love isn't blocking pain from entering you
It isn't hissing at the enemy, or drowning in self pity
Or promising yourself to love less, next time
To care less, to allow less to hurt you
Self love is not becoming hard, strong
Self love is allowing yourself to stay soft
Self love is allowing things to come and go as they will
And being peaceful in the knowledge that you will want to restore yourself
Should you become damaged in the process.
Self love is not self protection.
It is self preservation, it is the commitment of gardening and nourishing your own soul
Learning the ability to hold yourself at your weakest
And acknowledging that this is very hard to do.
So, next time your self love involves a wall
or an arrow
or a knife
or a tub of ice cream
Look at the wall, brick by brick, and take it down with care, not because you don't need walls
but because you prefer the view behind it
Try using a different target, and take an archery class instead
Take the knife out of your own back, and use it to cut dead branches from the trees of the things that no longer serve you, or you them
And enjoy the ice cream.
You really, really, can't go wrong with ice cream.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Every Bee Sting Was A Kiss

After you left,
Every bee sting was a kiss
Sweet on my lips, honey, that sugar,
That abyss.
I ran with my tongue and savoured the taste
of the blood from the wound
of your hand on my face
On those soft, birdsong mornings when you'd rise and you'd fall
On those days made of grey when you weren't there at all
I saw you, I kept you, I longed for the sting
To feel something, just not nothing
As I forgot how to sing.
Your skin like your wings,
softer than paper
They couldn't fly far but you wouldn't escape her
and by her, I mean me - your watcher, your keeper
your lover, and griever, your hopeless believer in love
and the sting, whether sharp, whether small
to feel it defies there was nothing at all
So I follow the bees
wherever they find me
Seek the sting of your kiss
Even if just to remind me
That you lived,
That we Were
That we do not just "cease"
And when I swell and my lips are obese with the grief
Then I take my dark body, forgotten by gold
And I thank it, for the love and the pain it can hold
And lose myself to the world, that old tender friend
Follow sweetness, and laughter, round some new river-bend
I think of you often as I wander through trees
Of how lucky I am
to be stung by the bees.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Prepare for Loss

All our lives we are told
You must prepare for loss.
You must prepare for the day
when your world crumbles,
when friends leave, when summer ends
and the leaves turn brown
then to dust.

You must prepare yourself, they say
for the day your Great Love goes silent
when the cat is no longer there to be stroked
when the world is just you.
All our lives we are told
We must prepare for loss.

But we are not told to prepare
for all the Other Days.
The days our love lies next to us in bed
still and breathing heavy
All those car journeys and endless days
When the cat is here to be held,
we don't prepare for that

And even when the leaves are brown, we don't notice
that golden amber hue, the lingering magic
Perhaps not on the trees, but still
right beneath our feet
in front of our noses
As we press our hands and eyes against the glass
Breathing in on a world we are preparing to lose
But never preparing
to lose ourselves to

Sunday, 2 October 2016

5.30am Surfing

Today it is my birthday, and I leave behind my 25th year.

I think I'll always remember 25 as the year I finally stopped wading in the shallow waters - the year I learned to surf!

I'll remember 25 as the year I met the most spectacular man, who captivated and fascinated me like never before. The year I learned what a healthy, kind, loving relationship looked and felt like, so that I never settle for anything less. Learning what mattered wasn't trying to balance on the same board together, but being able to catch our own waves out on a shared sea - and afterwards, to run to each other on the shore, gasping, sparkly-eyed and salty, shouting "Did you see it, did you see it!? Wasn't that something!?"

I'll remember 25 as the year I learned how to lose things - completely and ungraciously. Some pain and suffering in life is unnecessary, but some deserves to be felt in every inch of your being. At 25 I learned that actually, I couldn't withstand the heartbreak that came with losing him. That everything I knew could still be shattered into a thousand shards of flesh and heart, but that even in my most vulnerable and childlike moments of grief, this world has still not ceased to bring me awe and wonder.

And at 26, I'm making a promise to myself to catch as many waves I can. Especially the big, foaming, crashing waves under trembling, brumous skies - regardless of the predators that might lurk beneath, regardless of whether I'm going to be knocked unconscious with a surfboard to the face. Because at 25, I learned that I'll always emerge from the sea - bloody and bruised perhaps, but always awake, always alive, always eyes sparkling. And I'll always run into his arms, shouting "Did you see it!? Did you see it!? Wasn't that something!!!"