#NaPoWriMo – Day Eighteen – The Poem Fish

There are no hooks or bait.
The skill is standing barefoot
when the ice water runs across your toes
and the feeling goes thick in your fingers
waiting for the hum in the current.
You can be there for months,
lock-kneed and bent into shapes
you must learn yourself out of.
Still the Poem Fish does not swim
in those waters,
or if it does you sense it slip
smaller than a minnow
through the splayed net of your hands,
watch the words melt and rush
away with the rest of the river current.
Other days the Poem Fish arrive in shoals,
thrash themselves over each other
to leap into your hands.
Those are the days you learn
which Poem Fish to throw back to grow
and which you should take a knife to,
split open along the belly seam
and spill onto the page.
Some will turn before you cut,
a dead thing dead before you thump
its scaled head against the rocks,
and filled with sand.
Those are not Poem Fish,
they will not fill you up.

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The Birds Build Nests – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

The birds build nest from found objects
up in the eaves of my house
where I have no place to call a home
mine.
Fragile window-frames of splintered straws,
postcard door fluttering off its hinges.
I stack these pieces on top of each other,
ring the patio table in old newspapers,
and build myself something small, contained,
a space to fill up with just me
and leave no part abandoned.
When winter cracks against the garden,
steps up to the windows, climbs the brickwork,
I understand better why the birds all left
when the leaves turned gold.
These nest are skins for the shedding,
a stripping out of last year’s hide,
before the cold can come and take.

Tonight I’m writing for the DVersePoetics Prompt, where we’ve been asked to “write a poem in the first person that compares some trait of ours with something animal”, taking inspiration from Marjorie Saiser’s poem ‘The Print The Whales Make’.

Small Flies and Other Wings – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Small Flies and Other Wings

Christine Ay Tjoe

After the breakup:
easing her out of the settee cushions
so we could see the damage you left.

Spaces marked by absence.
Your idea of husbandry,
less obvious than building fences
to keep her tamed.

You took her wings,
kept them between glass,
along with all the others
collected and curated
to remind yourself,
how many birds roosted
in the catch of your palms.

They grew back so different,
translucent to the eye
and always tucked away
from those who might be watching.

You would not return to her
for wings that looked like these.
Not when there were others
much prettier for plucking.

Caught Up – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

Each evening I begin unwinding myself,
searching out the teasing thread
that will lead to the knots
wrangled tighter each day.
As if I am a set of headphones
snaring pocket lint in my tangled nets
until I’ve frayed too far,
and simply snap.

Jörmungandr – A Poem By Carol J Forrester

I’ll start at the toes,
short,
and not quite in joint
with one another.

Pause around the ankles.
Suckle them
like gobstoppers
to the marrow.

Crunch shin and calf,
ravish thighs
till the fat glistens
along my jawbone.

Pick the pelvis clean,
pop each ovary
between thumb
and forefinger.

Still juicy and ripe.

Pull intestines,
lungs, liver, heart,
kidneys free.
Mince into a pie.

Portion each breast
out with the cuts
to ensure a moist
cook.

Lick the remains clean
from each finger.
Grind the bones
between my teeth.

Leave one hand for eyeballs,
seasoned tongue
tastes a lot like ox,
ears more like bacon.

At the end,
begin again.



With Halloween just a couple of days away, I thought I’d share one of the more monstrous poems from my poetry collection, ‘It’s All In The Blood’ which sounds like a much darker collection when associated with this poem on its own.