Planting Poems To Let The Light In

Planting Poems To Let The Light In

It’s a choice I will make a thousand times

every day afresh, the pull and push,

can I turn to the care

to the love that is staring back?

You are free to leave

find another pulse to crave your heartbeat

but I did not brave World War Three

for an amputation, aborting possibilities

from the spirit glowing inside of me.

Let me treat you to a lifetime

of the softest words, sprinkled over skin,

I will patiently saturate each layer,

wait here till every drop soaks in.

Wreckage

Wreckage

The edge of a cliff is a beautiful place

but I misplace confidence in my footing,

forget the risk of mud slides,

the effect of tears on mossy rocks.

By now, the fall should not come as a shock

and the shore breaks waves

like I am sure to break bones.

Blown away are the foundations

of a love to come home to,

for who could ever soften the landing

of a heart demanding to spill its own blood.

You Say I Am Still Beautiful, But I’d Rather You Told Me I Was Brave

You Say I Am Still Beautiful, But I’d Rather You Told Me I Was Brave

Sometimes the only pain I can carry is the one that burns, that draws blood, because beating myself up is the only bearable unbearable way I know to bruise. Shallow breaths don’t support screaming, starving turns dark thoughts lightweight and lightheaded means less space to care. Wait till you see my bones and how the hurt just falls off me when it has nothing to hang on to, wait till you hear my heart rupture and rush red through my ribcage like it was running for its life. Then watch how love pours out my arteries and leaves when it believes I’m better off empty. You touch this frozen, unfeeling skin but all this shrinking means I shall slip through your fingers. Taste me on the breeze, somewhere not here.

The Operation

The Operation

Direct the surgeon

to make the incision

side left, inbetween my ribs,

pausing to let the cut bleed.

I need something warm to feel on my skin at the end,

so let it trickle, leave its stain.

Insert the tube through to my chest cavity,

drain the fluid, and once I am coloured grey

then keep going

till this body fades away,

deflates,

disintegrates.

Donate my organs

to one who understands their value

better than I did,

who knows to love every breath these lungs take

and can tell each beat of our heart

it has always been good enough.

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Given Me A Bit Of Space

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Given Me A Bit Of Space

I like spreading my legs.

I like spreading my legs in a star shape,

a cross in the centre of the bed marking it as mine,

no more nights of someone’s snoring and being pushed to one side.

I built this bed with two hands and a dollop of pride

because the instructions said I’d need four

but anything’s possible after a glass of wine

and no one tells a stubborn feminist what to do so I was going to at least try

and what else was I meant to do with my Friday night?

Newly single in a new city and asked out by the removal guy that moved me here

like going to Pizza Hut and then watching him watch football and drink beer

wasn’t enough fun in my life.

I think the added spice came from his use of the word ‘babe’

and the blonde-haired “nephew” in his photo library

(and with hindsight his likely blonde-haired wife)

but at some point we all need the lesson

of a sleazy van driver from Preston

and his eloquent command of language

for the way he described my ‘smashing capacity’

really squirted that orgasm right out of me

as I scream out how blessed I feel to be free.

I had so much to learn at 23.

Moving on swiftly,

now the new bed has been put to the test

but those squeaking springs can’t drown out the words he needs to get off his chest

as he asks me a question, mid-grunt, in the middle of having sex,

nor how my clear response was oddly heard as a yes

when the next day it’s followed by a Facebook relationship request

as I do my best to spend the next three months politely bullshitting my way out of the impending doom

of spending any more nights in his parents’ box room

whilst a 30 year old man plays C.O.D in his marvel pyjamas

and with a tearful hangover tells me he’ll stop drinking soon,

he just needs to move out and buy a house

and it leaves me to wonder if he’d have more chance of achieving his life plans

if he tried waking up before noon?

I don’t mean to sound rude

but all I’ve done to this point is get with guys who have the self awareness of a teaspoon

so no wonder we don’t make it to that ‘honeymoon’ phase,

you’ll be lucky if I see you past the first date

the way you complain all night about the job which you hate

and then tell me it’s never for a lady to pay for her share of the food.

Well no offence mate but I probably earn more money than you

and the way you’re anxiously drowning in WooWoo cocktails

I’d guess I’m better at managing it too.

And what makes you think I’d want to go on holiday with you?

I agree that’s a great deal to fly to Morocco but we’ve only met twice

and although you seem nice

you’re a bit overbearing

and I just don’t think we’d make the best pairing

and when you drunkenly tell me you can’t wait to bend me over

I think I’d rather take the risk jumping off the cliffs down at Dover

than go home with you.

I hear your sober apology and understand that you’re stressed

but that’s got nothing to do with it

and has what you said

ever succeeded in getting a woman into bed?

Now don’t get me wrong, long term relationships can be beautiful

but not with you because that unsolicited dick pic really wasn’t suitable

even if you did reference a hummus meme.

Yes I know I said I like sweet chilli flavour but I really didn’t mean…that.

I think I might just be better off getting a cat,

at least they don’t invite themselves round for a sleepover at my flat

and feign surprise when I ask why they’ve brought an overnight bag,

or stalk my Instagram back to last summer

to tell me that my legs in those yoga shorts are a ‘fucking catch’

because yes that’s creepy

and no, surprisingly, I don’t think we’re a match.

And is it too much to ask that I get a night to myself?

No it doesn’t mean I don’t like you,

it means that sometimes my space is paramount to my mental health

and the notion of being around anyone 24/7 is my idea of hell.

I’m not about to settle down

with your list of expectations that I’m better off without.

You know I watched my mum trapped in a marriage with three children and no power to get out,

so forgive me for having doubts

that being a wife and mother is for me,

in fact I can tell you it isn’t with absolute certainty.

I’m not spending my life doing school runs and changing nappies and cooking the tea

so if you want that type of relationship then it’s best we just leave it here,

you’ve got your boxes to tick and I simply refuse to be her,

and I think some people just want those things because they have a fear of being alone.

I might decide to build a life with someone but it’s my heart that will always be my home

because I built this bed with two hands and a dollop of pride because the instructions said I’d need four

but anything is possible.

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.

James Brown

James Brown

Barefoot, bold feet feeling out the dance floor

for the first song at the wedding between your body and you.

Bravely finding what fits

so yell if you need to, scream at the ways you were burgled.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to forget yesterday

or the fear that stays buried under fingernails;

but your self has always belonged in these bones

and brand new cells will shed old skin

to show the warrior you became,

battle-scarred, the sun senses the beginnings of a smile

and bathes in her yellow freedom.