These wings don’t go far, or high much. They rustle the leaves in the hedge when summer sits about, the branches when summer has flit south. There is something to be said for roots over wings. For a spot to return to each time, when it’s warm or cold and I don’t want to go far or high very much.
When the trainer asks ‘did you forget to breath’ it sounds stupid, and unfortunately true. A little like thinking too much about the doing so the thoughts twist knots into your limbs. The panic welling in much the same way as your lungs swelling up against your rib-cage. You were sure you were, then you’re not sure, suddenly so unsure you can’t even breath without counting each gasp. In… out… in… in… out.. out.. In… In… In… Out… Out… Out.. …
When it was good he could trace his name through freckles on her back. Could see all the ways he belonged in that bed, with her, in that house. Until belong became belong to, possession possessed in that bed, in that house by her.
Some days I don’t need a husband I need scaffolding. So I can tend to the broken, the busted windows the cracking paint, the guttering that doesn’t drain when the rain comes in and all the sediment circling the drain but never quite clearing. Some days I need that from you, and nothing more.
Did you hear me say ‘I love you’ last night? when I left the kiss of it on your skin and curled my hands into claws oh so tight wondered who led who, into all this sin. Wondered if sin was what we’re really in then lost the edge of my thought on your lips found it again in the dips of your hips, tried to tell you, that you were everything the only one I trust when this mask slips a lover, a partner, my rock, my life spring. Tonight’s form challenge is a Dizain. A ten line poem with ten syllables per line and a rhyme scheme that follows the pattern ababbccdcd.
There’s a sheen to the water, a swirl of slick, slurp, sludge squirming up the beach surfing old tidal rips to suck down feathered flurries, their bone stuck wings submerged to make stones with panicked beady eyes, staring up at a surface mirroring startled starlings swooping in a grey choked sky and a small child with a face still plump young, trying to break the glass with one fat finger, all the while calling for his mother to come and look.
I followed your path, at a distance. You like the sun, or any volatile star burning a streak towards the horizon. A scorching vision to those of us watching, waiting. Aware that you would set before us. Terrified of dusk. Sensing its arrival anyway.
I remember you tiny, barely a handful yet fully formed. Face screwed into a perfect grimace. So put out that you were here again to do this all over with this unimpressive lot.
This weekend the NYC Midnight Flash Fiction Challenge is taking place. Last month I posted my entry for the second challenge of the first round: Stolen Silence and at the moment I’m working on redrafting my submission for the first challenge of this year’s first round. Redrafting is the part of the process where you quite often find yourself doubting that you have any ability to put one work in front of the other at all. You find typos, spelling mistakes, words that you didn’t even know existed. Tenses switch back and forth, character names suddenly change, and out of nowhere you move from mountains to city surroundings. Editing is where all your mistakes come to the forefront and you have to go back and fix them. If you’re luck you will have brilliant people who will help you with your redrafts and edits. These people (if you can find the ones that will give you an honest review rather than just ‘yeah mate, good job’) are invaluable for getting your past that snow-blind stage …
About five years ago I self-published a collection of poetry through lulu. I made exactly nothing despite apparently selling at least one book through amazon (according to the less that encouraging review posted), and in the end I retired the project. The experience taught me a number of important things. Lulu is not the way to go if you want to sell a physical book on Amazon and make any margin. I am not a good enough editor. I need to outsource this element to avoid the number of typos and mistakes that were in the last book. Reading poems you wrote five or more years ago can be a painful experience. Especially when you realise the bad review hit the nail directly on the head. So why am I about to give self-publishing another shot? Well clearly I’m a glutton for punishment. When I published ‘Before The Words Run Out’ there were thirty-two poems, a series of haiku, and some pieces of flash fiction (all of which can be found somewhere in the depths of …