Was I a plaster you slapped on to cover the burns left by your family? Something temporary, to hide the harm. Was he water? More than you’d seen all in one place and so inviting you were willing to drown. Did you lose me on purpose? Or did the currents just pull us apart? Either way, did you notice that I was gone?
March turned into a slower month than planned for me and I’m not entirely sure why that was. Perhaps it was the expectation for April and NaPoWriMo, or the relief of getting my submission in to The Poetry Business for their Book and Pamphlet Competition. Either way, I didn’t really write much in the second half of March and I feel a little guilty for letting myself slip into old habits for those two weeks. On the other hand, I’d managed to be pretty productive during January and February in terms of submissions to journals and competitions, and March isn’t particular busy when it comes to deadlines, so if you’re going to pick a month to kick back, March would be it. April has been busy with NaPoWriMo kicking off and the first week is just about to come to a close. So far I have managed to post a-poem-a-day for the prompts provided and unlike some years, I’ve found myself connecting with the official prompts. Previously I’ve sat there staring at the screen wondering …
We did not so much fall as… saunter vaguely downwards, wrapped up in each other. You brought the sky along, strung like a child’s balloon. We did not so much fall as… Drifted like seeds let loose, wandered a little lost, wrapped up in each other. Settled, we marked here a strip of green we’d found, we did not so much fall as… Play house and families. Make believe until made real, wrapped up in each other. Whispered this is what souls are made of. We did not so much fall as wrap up in each other. Day Five’s prompt is to include one of the following (1) the villanelle form, (2) lines taken from an outside text, and/or (3) phrases that oppose each other in some way. Now I’m aware that this is not a perfect Villanelle. I was halfway through the draft before I’d realised that I’d forgotten about the rhyming scheme but since I’m not a fan of rewriting to make something rhyme I decided to …
Slip your hands beneath the ocean, sift the sands, though the debris laid to rest and the bones of forgotten things boiled down to soup stock in the murk. There is still a thread there, find it. A silver of something live, whispering as an eel beyond your fingertips. But you are not the trap or the bait or the line. You are the caught thing, the lost thing, the forgotten thing. Slip your hands beneath the ocean and find yourself.
Keep your balance and your wits grasped tight. Knot them between your fingers like purse straps when the street empties to darkness and even the lamplight does little to chase away shadows. There’s no rescuing dignity if you spill, heels caught in the rickets of this ladder we’ve built from the bones of those who wept behind closed doors. Emotion would prove them woman and that was weakness, still is in the eyes of some. So the weak gift their spines and prayers, hollow themselves into armour for the next generation, and the one after that, in a desperation that they will be the drop that tips the scales to even.
I was born in a house with an unlocked door, had to teach myself to turn the key at night and then in the day to keep the warnings on the other side of this slate of wood, varnished to look like an invitation. For the Thursday Photo Prompt: Invitation
The settee springs had burst through the cushion and what little stuffing there had been was gone. The remaining fabric sagged or clung to the rusted springs, much like the building around it, and the skeletons beyond it. Eddie gripped one of the springs near the base and tested it. He sneezed as the cloth attached crumbled to dust. The coil snapped free of its anchor, surprising him and opening a line of crimson across his other hand. He cursed and pressed the cut to his mouth. The taste made him gag, as if the pollution in the atmosphere had changed even his blood. He tore a strip from his sleeve and used his teeth to tighten a knot in the bandage. It would have to do, much like everything else he had done for the past six days. Desperation was a great provider of inspiration he had discovered, but he didn’t hold much hope that it would see him through. Asides from the settee there was no other furniture in the room he’d settled …
When you arrived as the snowdrops melted, pressed cherry blossom to my breast, told me love is like a flower in bloom, already closer to an end than the start. Pressed cherry blossom to my breast, found thorns that left their marks, already closer to an end than the start when sorrow grew from these seeds. Found thorns that left their marks, taught me how to cut out dead wood, when sorrow grew from these seeds pruning became vital to overall survival. Taught me how to cut out dead wood, told me love is like a flower in bloom, pruning became vital to overall survival when you arrived as the snowdrops melted.
Someone once told me life is like driving with one headlight busted. You can’t see much but you can see enough to stay on the road. It sounded too close to destiny wrapped up as a given for those with cars or perhaps even torchlight to stumble on by. In the moment before the train do you ever wonder… a side effect of an anxious mind designed to keep you from harm by popping ideas in your head with enough force to flinch. But it’s all unreal until enough breath is breathed to put steel into the words the ideas that dance like paper on a line in our heads. New cars have automatic lights. They come on when night falls without the need of human intervention. My car is still old, growing older, it comes with a choice to make.
The yarn unwound until they were past the horizon, swallowed up by stars and darkness, the rowboat’s oars stirring infinity. ‘We’ve run out,’ said Eli, and when Carter checked he too confirmed that the yarn had unravelled as far as it would. ‘So, we have a choice. Reel ourselves in, return to shore or go on without the yarn.’ Eli nodded slowly, carefully, thumb and forefinger pinched. ‘On,’ he agreed, and let go.