Eleven

Alone

Tired

Exasperated

Fed up with the world.

 

And by the world I mean humanity

and by humanity I mean

quite simply

humans.

 

humans who take

self centred humans who have only their priorities at heart.

 

This is natural, of course

we always say it is.

 

‘Think about yourself more.’

But is that natural?

For what does nature do?

 

Of course, there are the few,

the ivy creepers of the world

who live only to shade the light of others,

 

but what about the rest?

 

The sun

which in shining

gives life

to trees

which in shading

provide shelter to animals

which in foraging

give space

to smaller plants

to grow

which in growing

provide happiness

and oxygen

and peace.

 

Every other being, coexists, cohabits, gives back.

 

We take

from each other,

from the earth;

wringing it dry

without giving back.

 

A society of ivy creepers,

on the whole.

 

It cannot continue

without grave,

grave

 

consequence.

 

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Ten

She loved the flower.

She adored its delicate petals

how soft they looked, how perfectly formed:

‘So beautiful are these petals, I must pluck one

claim it as my own

because everyone must be able to appreciate it

and because I adore the flower.’

 

He respected the stag

marvelled at its majesty

how infatuated he became

with its magnificent antlers;

its coat

who knew that many shades of brown existed and how

such common colours could blend to create

a pelt so extraordinary:

‘So magnificent is that stag, I must shoot it,

mount those antlers on my wall

because everyone must be able to appreciate it

and because I respect the stag.’

 

They were fascinated by the sea

what mysteries it beheld!

The waves enticed them

the coiling surf

reeled them in

and in their motor boats

they reeled in its treasures:

‘So fascinating are these creatures, we must upheave them

pull them from their coral abodes

because everyone must see how intriguing they are

and because we are fascinated by the sea.’

 

 

‘I can’t believe these wonders used to exist!’

You turn to me and say,

revealing some image of fauna long gone.

‘Truly wonderful’ I reply

but in my head I say:

If only those who spoke lovingly of nature had in their hearts

her interests

rather than their own.

 

 

 

 

 

Nine

My emotions are ancient,

it seems

older than the universe itself.

I seek a friend to understand

and I find myself at the base of a tree.

I rest my cheek against the bark and cry

and its branches make me feel safe

because this old tree

tall and wise

understands.

For it too, in patient time,

knows well this ancient feeling,

and has the key.

I cry and cry

expelling emotions older than time,

and I shake

till my young bones can shake no more

and collapse

onto a leafy bed:

peace.

Eight

The wind whispers on my skin.

It’s your breath; I know it because

Though your body is far away

Your essence resides with me.
The sun kisses my shoulders.

The warmth radiates, permeates,

like a hot drink on a cool day.

It’s your mouth; I know it because

Though your body is far away

The warmth derives from within,

Not without.
The sea circles my waist;

the ebbing surf reaches and draws me in close

I move with it

As it inhales and exhales.

I’m in your arms; I know it because

Though your body is far away

I feel protected and serene;

Harmonious.
The sand embraces my body,

Holding me close and tight;

A custom fit.

It’s your body; I know it because

Though you are far away

Nothing was ever made

So perfectly to measure

As yours and mine, together.

You are here with me;

I know it because

Not even nature

Not wind, fire, water, nor earth

Could feel more

Natural

Than you to me.

Seven

How pleasant it would be

to just do things

because they felt right.

 

Without fear,

without judgement,

take someone’s hand for comfort, for friendship,

things mean what you make them.

 

How different the world would seem if we could just

hug, kiss,

dance our spirits away out of love and gratitude and happiness

and not be branded whores, teases;

no promises were ever made.

 

 

What a breath of fresh air it would be

to be able to laugh and joke,

to share passions, fill our lungs and sing

without the jeers of ‘attention-seeker’, ‘show off’, ‘putting it on’;

it would be more false to stay silent.

 

How exhilarating

to be able to express yourself

blue hair, tattooed neck.

I’m wearing a skintight dress but my stomach isn’t flat;

you really should wear things that flatter you

yes but i like this

so bite me,

please.

 

What a weight off our shoulders it would be

to be given free rein of our lives

to be ourselves

uncensored, unaltered

 

You.

Six

Why does

every terrific up

have to be met

with a terrific down?

 

Why cannot the glee remain?

Just one last smile, go on it won’t be a late one.

Why cannot I extend

my mirthful séjour-

yes, an extra night in the suite please.

 

Why does the elastic only stretch so far

before snapping back hard.

How cruel

that I don’t even need to pass breaking point

to break.

 

Of course I know

it is better to have frolicked in the clouds

than to never have frolicked at all,

but does the crash always have to be so abrupt

so bitter

like cut metal to the tongue

causing the face to distort

to recoil

to reject such injury.

 

Why cannot I afford the luxury

of being at peace

with the world

with myself

with my mind

for one more moment?

What would it cost

to escape the hands of torment,

to twist free from the snatches

in a woeful, frenzied dance?

 

I would pay it all.

Five

I look back on her years

memories which flicker

like overplayed videos on a worn out VCR;

I watch shapes come and I watch shapes go

seeing things play out

through a lens,

goggles,

eyes that aren’t mine.

 

I feel emotions

like I hear music being played

doors away,

muffled, separate.

 

You took those years from me,

years that I should recall in vibrant, definite

technicolour

not in the mess

a young child makes

experimenting with blues, reds, and greens

on a plywood palette.

 

You stole those moments from me.

Moments I should view from my own perspective,

not a stranger’s.

 

But I am here now,

and I am present.

And like grey fog can burn off to reveal a sunny day,

my own clouds have lifted;

I see again.

 

 

Four

Here on the rooftop

the red stone stings like hot coals

as it reshares the sun’s generous warmth

with the world.

 

Here on the rooftop

I am at sea,

alone

yet surrounded

a fleet of antennae protrude like masts of ships.

 

Here on the rooftop

I melt

with both warmth and gratitude

my skin glistening, my teeth exposed to the sun.

 

Here on the rooftop

a small bug crosses my line of sight

he goes about his day

quiet,

diligent.

 

Here on the rooftop

I lie amongst the clouds,

noting the disparity between my peaceful microcosm

and the bustling hubbub of the streets below.

 

Here on the rooftop

tranquility I have,

tranquil I am.

The day is mine; I am alive.