Marks

In summer, a tan will embolden
marks of a faded despair.

Time tricked me once, and
marks of one time is on me, now
– forever they will likely stay,

hinting stories to strangers without permission,
troubling the traces of my lover’s fingertips.

Like a tragic tattoo of confession
I bear the crossed lines
of my troubled youths depression.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while, you might remember I attended a poetry course with Rommi Smith last year. I published this poem (link here) from one of the sessions.

Today I wanted to share with you this personal poem that came out of a short exercise inspired by ‘marks’. It came inspired by a beautiful poem by James Caruth called Marking the Lambs. I wanted to play with the idea of certain periods of time leaving marks on us, and physical ones that outlast the feelings of the time they came from.

Read aloud if you can, as always. Many blessings.

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New Necessities and Old Tradition

A month to watch a wreath decay.
Ribbons pulls friends home
to mothers, in towns away, ‘cross
hills and tracks with luggage
to escape being alone on Christmas.

Arthritic, brittle leaves dry out, and
leprous branches fall.
Crimson berries, cries of red
from cherub-cheeks stuffed
with glowing rosehips
finally lose their gloss –

before shrivelling, fading
and passing into hallmark shades of Winter grey.

Quiet, deserted houses in cities
light up again come new year,
when the ribbon unravels, new shoes
tread into cold buildings
to find unused candles, abandoned blankets
and corpses of wreaths by the bins.

The Sky’s Eye and Ours

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The sky’s face watches, exhausted; blinks.
Blessed evening parades a lullaby –
woollen lavender weights travel
magically suspended,
hot-blushing sunset casts a mural
against cold walls, whilst the city turns purple
and the air to breathe is plum.

How many have painted a sun?
with twisted wrist and loaded brush,
an idea of bright, hot, white.
Artists eyes strain above architecture, feet stuck in
northern courtyards of red brick and cobblestones,
learning that all suns are not the same,
don’t look the same,
but look like us.

 

Lazy Stays (Poem)

 

– If easy comes –
High and fat, like the swollen city birds.
Whole sections of each quarter, in every town
claimed by plump bums on railings,
squashing and preening.
Splattering onto car parks and bridges while eating.
Pigeons eat manna from Heaven,
while skeletons scrounge crusts on the kerb.
Surviving under living gargoyles of greed.
– lazy stays.

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A Story for Breaktime (Poem)

A bright cool morning running late for school –
my feet were squeezed into pinching shining shoes.
Breakfast turned over like butterflies as I tore
downhill, until a flurry of sun-illuminated plumage
turned my feet, to see nature’s violence in a bungalow carport.

Pigeon breast opened, a bloody feather cloud –
idyll frozen, chaos, talons – hell in soft shroud.
My flushed face opens and all stops with the breeze,
but feathers still float, sink, and stick to concrete.

Gleam Splendidly: A Cut-Up Poem

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I’m getting busy in my little poetry world, and sadly this has meant I’ve not been writing much I can share here. However this poem is my ‘homework’ from a poetry class I’ve just started. We had to make a poem using the ‘cut up’ technique: I think the name speaks for itself. It’s a technique used by David Bowie and William Burroughs, two people whose work I highly regard.

For this poem I used: The Thought-Fox by Ted Hughes, My People by Carl Sandburg, one page from Calendar Girls by Tim Firth, My People by Kin Moore, and Sylvia Plath’s Wuthering Heights, plus some info taken from wuthering-heights.co.uk

The link between all the sources were that they are connected in some way to Yorkshire, and I think that’s apt to how the poem has turned out and its meaning.

I really enjoyed it! What do you think? What do you take from its meaning? I’d be really interested to know.

Blessings