I wasn’t who you made me,
I turned myself into that girl
who threaded her fingers
into the gaps between yours.
Lingered longer than should have
outside of cafes, and pocket shops,
between cobbles and walkways
where we strolled away afternoons
until the bus table declared enough
She who returned whenever she could
because you made her feel wanted,
told her she could be
and would be if you weren’t
Like I said,
she wasn’t her because of you.
I managed to make her all by myself.
Unmaking her was the part
I’m still learning how to do.
This is a poem I’ve written out a few times in various forms and never been quite happy with but tonight’s poetics prompt seemed like the perfect time to have another go at it. Still not sure I’ve got it right but I can always try again another day. Feedback as always is greatly appreciated if you have the time to spare.
I was raised in stone built churches on country lanes. Visited four or five times a year, more often late than on time, flanked by my parents and sister. I prefer the old hymns to the new, the silence of reverence to the cries of praise from a congregation, and the arch of oak beams far above me, over the neat square faces of twentieth century municipal buildings thrown up in towns.
My Grandmother would say that God is always with her, no matter the place. When I told her I wasn’t sure I believed in him, she explained how he came to her whenever she was in need. How each time she opened herself to him, he was there. Even though she failed to seek him out when the storm clouds passed. I envied that faith when my own was a rickety boat threatening to drown me at sea.
Elizabeth The First is quoted as saying she did not want to make windows into men’s souls. I have to take sides with her about that. Poetry has a way of carving the essence out of you. Presenting it on a platter for the world to see. Something almost tangible in the way it tells you who you are. My faith is more like water. It runs through me like a stream, babbling in the background, but slipping through my fingers when I reach to grasp it. It is a part of me I still don’t know.
The air smells of rain.
I can feel it in my lungs
with each breath I take.
I have tried to rise above but some days are like mires,
memories bubble up from the ground to catch my feet,
and there’s no pushing past the darkness
when the backs of my eyelids become cinema screens
for the voice in the my head that’s always judging every move I make.
It tells me friends are only pretending to my face,
and when I’m gone they are talking about me.
It knows exactly what they are saying when I’m out of earshot
so it repeats the words like a mantra
over the patter of memories I thought dealt with,
sealed into their graves long ago,
but somehow resurrected just when everything seemed
to be going so well.
This type of cold cannot be shrugged off,
instead it chills every bone in my body
to the point where I become brittle as glass,
ready to shatter at the slightest tremor.
Somebody tell me,
how do I rise above this?
Daily Post: Above
There are days where parakeets won’t stop squawking,
monkeys are rattling cage bars like tambourines,
chatter and laughter from hyenas is overflowing,
elephants have expanded from trumpets to brass bands,
pythons pay xylophone across giraffe necks,
riverdance is hammered out by gazelle,
hippos have taken up a baseline that’s rattling my bones
while lions sing tenor like a welsh church choir
and all at once sound becomes this physical thing
battering me in submission.
This zoo inside my head doesn’t know silence,
it doesn’t even know quiet or tempered or hushed,
all it knows is the racket
threatening my eardrums from the inside.
The one that won’t stop despite my screaming
despite my pleading.
It doesn’t understand that all I want
is for it to stop.
Written For The Daily Prompt: Zoo
I’ve always been short,
lean on my head,
talk over the top of me,
clamber over boxes,
steps, stools, ladders
to reach those things
you can reach.
I’ve always been short,
not going to get any taller,
stopped growing now,
stopped growing up at least,
bought new jeans this week
two dress sizes up
which is a pain
because these jeans are a 10
and my wedding dress an 8
but there’s room to breath
and wiggle a little
so perhaps I’m more 9 than 10
and as a 9 maybe I can suck in…
or go to the gym
and use the membership
draining my account each month.
I like to work out
I like yoga
when there’s the room,
but really I should go,
less to loose weight
more to tone
and focus on staying fit
instead of spreading outwards
because I’m short
and I’ll always be short
so best not match my height
with my waist
and try to find the stuff
to keep me from getting stuffed
when it comes to getting dressed
on my wedding day.
It’s been ages since I sat down and wrote a proper stream of consciousness piece where I let whatever pops into my brain out on the page. I literally have no idea how this piece reads because if I go back and reread it I’ll want to tweak it and that ruins the point of the challenge. Anyway, I hope you liked it and I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Can you guess the one word prompt?