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.

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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First Night Home Again (Poem)

My husband and I got back from his parent’s house yesterday afternoon, after staying there over christmas and new year. As soon as we came into the city I began feeling more relaxed and more ‘me’ again. Christmas was so lovely, with all my new family, but I found it very taxing and I didn’t feel myself much of the time. Especially because I found it hard to write, and I couldn’t paint.

Back by ourselves, I’m more at ease. But I really struggled to sleep. Here is a poem I wrote at about 3.30am:

Sleep-deep breathing in the nape of my neck.
At least one of us can rest while I battle with this solitaire.
Blue light glares silently at my face as I tap.
The apartment dimly lit
whisperlessly watching my eyes glaze,
gazing back at the screen.

As the cards fall into place,
maybe my breathing will,
and might my muscles,
and my heart too.

I’m looking forward to getting back into the routines I was cultivating at the end of last year.

Poem: Unlike the Clouds

My husband and I are on our way to Portsmouth for my Grandma’s funeral tomorrow. (Although right now we’re stuck in Guildford waiting for a coach without broken de-misters to take us the rest of the way.)

We set off really early this morning and I saw the sunrise as Joe slept. I think I got about 5 poems out of a few hours in silence and growing light.

Unlike The Clouds

 

From the top down, pupils squint to see,
blue-to –yellow, the pink-striped sky,
preaching a new mercies, new morning gospel
over the cold ground
soaking in dew,
grateful like it’s manna, and greener
for the waking of the rich hues
of the striped lines, parallel lines
in square sections.

A world away from the messy organisation
of A-roads and off streets,
roundabouts and junctions,
with people in vehicles
working too early
like the clouds,
but not appreciating
the light
thankfully here
again today.

The Worst Poem (to date)

Clouds are heavy but sink slowly
risen from somewhere I can’t see in the city.
My head rises from the pillow
when the light is coming through the window
bright.

I sink as the day goes on, slow and softly,
gravity wins me and the clouds.
I close the blinds when the light is gone.

Don’t believe anyone when they say less-than-perfect mental health is conducive to creativity. During the past week or so I experienced a stressful event, which I avoided fixing, naturally, and my writing has been almost non-existent. My painting has been technically focussed rather than creative – I used it as a way of spinning my avoidance for something productive and positive.

I can’t create much good (art, conversation.. anything!) when I’m trying to ignore myself. (I’m also bad at answering the phone.) The problem was soon resolved by other people and I still wasn’t okay, for a while later, to the point where it’s disturbed my sleep and day to day activities.

It has triggered a small low (read: weepy) period for me.

But Tuesday happened, and Tuesdays demand a poem, no matter how poor and unworked. I think if I worked at this one it’d get worse, and possibly more pretentious.

Now go check in on someone you care for. If that’s you, that’s good too.
Hope you have a happy tomorrow.