She sat smoking three seats away from the door, cigarette pinched between black talons as she waited for the boy in a green apron to bring her coffee. ‘There is something of the devil about that one,’ whispered an old woman standing in line. She leant in so her companion could hear. ‘Something unnatural.’ The pair twisted to stare; peering over round spectacles to examine the girl in black leather and brass buckles. ‘Very unnatural,’ hissed the old woman’s companion. “Not the right sort at all!” The girl sighed, pouring the smoke from her lips. She smiled at the old women and stabbed out the cigarette on the table-top. ‘Problem ladies?’ she asked. ‘This is a no smoking zone!’ squawked the first, pointing a shrivelling, stumpy finger at the no smoking sign just beside the door. ‘You are no supposed to smoke that,’ she pointed at the crushed cigarette, ‘in here.’ The girl smiled again, teeth bone white against ebony gloss. ‘I must have missed the sign,’ she said, curling her lips back further. The …
The jetty had rotten clean through in places, creating a hopscotch of holes almost impossible to see in the dark. Gritting her teeth, Emile slid one foot in front of the other and eased her weight onto it. At the end of the jetty a light flickered and went off. She paused and steadied her breath. Patience, she reminded herself. She’d waited fifteen years, she could afford fifteen minutes to get across this dock unscathed. She ran a hand across the outline of the pistol inside her jacket. Fifteen minutes, she promised herself. That’s all she needed.
My mother taped mittens to my wrists, that made my hands sweat into wet worms without purchase. She told me that you were dangerous but by then I was older, knew how to sink my claws in, and to give in to the itch.
The ripples are gone when I look, searching the water for a slip of silver twisting back on itself leaping skyward in panic or ecstasy perhaps. I think about you and I, or at least the phantom of us that clings to my lungs on slow days, crawls onto my shoulders to press my face down, down, down, down where I deserve to be when my own body twisted back on itself, my mouth searching for a way to swallow the words I’d spoken, to return them to the saftey of unspoken rather than the spotlight of my glowing red cheeks as I fumbled to dress myself in what I thought was maturity. I can feel nails along my spine, when I think of how much I wanted to be loved.
I lost the end of myself somewhere near the start, among the scattered sheets of blotting paper sprung up on iron girder stalks. Parchment alliums staked out like skeletons, petals more like teeth, poems in the stems of them, but no air for the words to breathe. Between the leaves the stanza’s curled, coppered, golden, burnt and burnished, rhythm rolling hollow in the echos, tongue twisted through the skirmish as syllables clattered in and out silver toothed, thick lipped, broken. Turned over once, then twice, then thrice, poetic promised poured and stolen.
A ten minute sketch to try and get back into the swing of things since I haven’t drawn anything in a while. I picked the nearest thing to me which was my bedside table and decided to have a go at drawing what was on that.
When the world shudders, I still seek shelter with you. I still cocoon myself in your arms and pretend that I am a child again. Knowing you will keep the bad at bay until I am ready to gather myself and face the world. I’m going to blame my other half for the lapse in memory that made me miss last night’s Quadrille prompt. He returned home with twelve Israeli Koi for the new pond in the garden so our evening dissolved into me staring over the edge of the water, trying to pick out any signs of their colourful little bodies after they’d been released.
With enough feet marching you can shake a city from its bed, rattle the window frames until they pop loose and let the noise in. There are thunderstorms softer than your rumble, I’ve watched them shiver quake at the sound of you roaring for the world to roar right back. My own politics pass on splinters, from all the fences I’ve perched myself on carefully, certain not to teeter too far over on either side. My love of balance looks more like apathy in honesty. I think that’s why I want you and not in a way where I lay claim or bed down or burn my taste onto your mouth, I want you like a life raft, because drowning can seem like swimming if you don’t notice the water rising. write a poem that involves rebellion in some way
My Grandfather’s biography would be called ‘I’m sure a bit of string would fix it’. The cover held together with bailer twine splint ended and bright orange beside the tight, crisp pages of neatly suited companions, with their dapper dressed poses, and carefully choreographed covers. It would be part of the collection. A Night Away For The Nile, Never Going Back To The Bog, Butchers Bike To Farmer’s Wife, Livestock Before Children. A Gate To The Face Or Three, Tales From The Garden Path. Down Drainpipes Up Ladders. Sheep Are Very Important! How To Escape The Country. How To Escape Back To The Country. Why Mad Families Are Worth It. Are You Really Going To Read This? SHEEP ARE VERY IMPORTANT! It’s almost enough to fill a library. NaPoWriMo Prompt Day Three: A list poems about items with made up names.
Dupe When I was told that for two years you squeezed your eyelids shut each time a sneeze scuttled upwards and threatened your sinuses, for fear of them bursting from their sockets, I hid my smile with two hands of guilt. I buried my bead of triumph. That lick of power burning like a forest fire in my lungs as laughter bubbled in its pot threatened to burst the lid, and show the world how much I loved, the idea that I had tricked you. So fully, so unintentionally well that even your best friend failed in convincing you it was a lie. We’re finally here and I’m practically bouncing off the walls with excitement. As with every other year that I’ve taken part, I took one look at the prompt this morning and went “pftt, I can’t write something for that,” and walked away from it. A few hours later the little seed that it left in my brain came up with half an idea and I managed to write a poem for it. …