To The Rhythm And The Waves And The Chaos

To The Rhythm And The Waves And The Chaos

Start with a warm up, stretch out the stiff muscles and weary heart. It’s been a long week. It’s always been a long week and I move with this extra weight carried across my neck. Find a space and plan on staying there, stuck to the solid ground where comfort festers in a steady sway.

The music shifts up a pace and Aretha Franklin plays. She speaks to me, sings into my ear in sisterly love. “Give yourself a little respect”, she says, “try just a little bit.” I take a small step, so used to clumsy connection to the source, but step after step and soles of the feet slowly change into palms, finding how it feels to be open to the floor, to flow, passing through the body’s forgotten places, forging paths for them to take part, sense their being alive.

Called to partner with another awakened soul, I follow their footing and think that I’ll figure the rest out later.

We learn to accept ourselves with the light touch of piano keys, each note a kiss on the lips and I learn to linger with kindness in the parting lullaby. A pattern emerges of being lost and found and then lost again and again, the dance of pleasure that folds into pain then folds into passion. Stamping a mark on the surface of the earth with a scream of ‘I am here’. Welcome body, welcome breath; let me love you into abundance.

How Trauma Dresses at Daybreak

How Trauma Dresses at Daybreak

I woke this morning in parts,

making coffee with crossed wires

and crying coconut milk.

Washed my body in two minds;

one mine, one a critical mother,

blood weeping from cracks in her breast bone.

A broken mirror watches

as clothes are chosen with baggy fit for comfort,

pulled on with careful movements,

for the world cannot know

of the war I wear in my chest

when I am missing whole pieces of woman.

Red Shoes and Life Signs

Red Shoes and Life Signs

The famine started long before this soul could read,

letters giving way to patterns,

stolen colours mixed with second hand scraps

and fashioned as freedom.

A skin that falls away from the bones

to expose the starved sinews, weak from sneaking sensations

in all the wrong places.

Months spent as an empty shell

longing for the sea,

weighed down with sand and plastic wrappers;

cheap treasure, shallow digger.

All that tickles and thunders was buried deeper underground

but detecting only shadow signals

instinct gave way to injured impulse

and lay dying in final defence of the once courageous heart

who lost its rage to a captive life

in a weather-beaten cage and severed from the body,

power seeping out the cells into a muddy puddle on the floor.

But home is where the heart is,

even when it fights back at a crawl

this body will regrow limbs, applying medicines

to clot the blood back into these veins

and the whispers of the wild woman

will echo through each chamber of the heart,

breathing gulps of handmade air

just to howl at the moon.

Raw Soup for the Skin Soul

Raw Soup for the Skin Soul

Pain pitted me to the post, and in defeat

I drag these heavy limbs across the finish line.

Body battle-worn, at loss

with how to rise from this crumpled pile.

The devil’s flames lick my feet

yet here I lie, stone cold,

crowds hurling their hurt in oblivion

to the collected suffering we already carry on our collective shoulders.

But carry on, we do; and if I have to crawl

over shards of broken glass with a broken heart

I will get us through;

the world has good in her yet.

She promised me once, and I hold her to it,

joy wins the war in the end.

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

This is the last time

you will curse me

with your words,

break my spirit

till I cannot lift

myself up from the dirt.

This is the last time

you hand me

all your pain,

so heavy I sit on

and take the hit from

the shards of your grenade.

This is the last time

your grip

constricts my voice,

lungs without air

my words rot in there

since you took away my choice.

This was the last time

you tried to convince me

of your lies

that I should feel shame,

so I’ve poured petrol and doused us in flames

because men burn

but witches survive.