To The Pilot Who Didn’t Follow The Flight Plan

To The Pilot Who Didn’t Follow The Flight Plan

Too many of us grow up and forget how to play,

become lazy in settling for the mundane

Monday to Friday. We convince ourselves

to stay in the steady job, the still mildly satisfying

but faded relationship, semi-detached house, because we signed a contract,

we made a commitment, we think of the money

and material we’d lose or gain and weigh our options accordingly,

decide what’s less risky at the risk of wasting our life. Dig our heels in

till we’re all stood just the same – at the alter, in line at the lunch queue, school pick ups

in the playground, all ignoring the sound

that pounds at our guts. You’ve learned

to block it out, it’s started to learn to shut up.

I’m not saying we all need to be Peter Pan

but the boy had a point. To live true to ourselves

doesn’t mean we all remember how to fly; but I bet

you don’t even jump.

I bet you don’t even try.

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.

Recapturing: Almscliffe Crag

Recapturing: Almscliffe Crag

Muddy boots, the sign of a good adventure

breeze-dried to my jeans.

It’s Christmas, and anyone who knows lonely

will know how much this means

to have hands to pull you up.

The wind gives me time to steady my feet,

mist lingering in earnest to softly kiss my cheeks

with afternoon colours, greys and greens and blues

and we could be on top of the world.

Now, more than ever,

I understand nature’s lesson;

a picture really is worth a thousand words.

Upgrade

Upgrade

Society these days

is always out

to sell you something;

shoving TV packages

down your throat

faster than you can

find the remote

to mute the sales jargon

for the sixty pound a month ‘bargain’

and they don’t even stop to listen

to you explain

you don’t own a TV.

People these days

are always out

to sell you something;

eager to compare themselves

to models not here anymore

you might not cold call me

but you still knock door to door

asking to be invited in

to feed me statistics

of how our potential partnership

could earn me so much more

whilst your boots

walk in mud

that now covers my floor.

But for all these selling tactics

I think I’d rather stay poor,

for every material upgrade leaves me

just as faulty as the one before.

Double Rainbow

Double Rainbow

Long for the calm

and the storm will arrive

in her place

as a reminder to brace

for the inevitable impact

of a life made

for neither the ordinary

nor for the faint-hearted

but marking the journey

from where the light first switched on

and to live

meant leaving

in exchange

for the pounding rhythm of freedom

and nowhere

did the universe

promise this would be easy

but we’d all die of thirst

without a little rain.