‘You have a twig,’ he says fingers already picking at the knots and brambles thorned in her hair. ‘There’s a leaf caught,’ powdery fragile in the blonde, whispers of skeleton, rib rack of split ends. ‘Let me get that for you,’ sharp syllables, blunt nails, loose stands and dandelion sap rooted out from the scalp. ‘Isn’t that better now,’ no question, answer indisputable, pretty plastic petals painted white for the mirror to show. I’m in love with the piece of art above, so much so that I’m planning on buying a print of it after payday. Though I’m a little torn between this one and her piece ‘Sisters’. I’ll have to pick one and maybe allow myself a second at Christmas.
She traces after the sun, runs her hand along an arc of warmth left behind. Scatters clouds into fragments, dips into the depth of herself, the swell of an expanse unmeasured, often mistaken for shallow by craned necked mouths staring at her empty fullness. Written for tonight’s Quadrille prompt where the word was ‘sky’. Not sure what I’ve written exactly, but it’s forty-four words so we’re going with it.
Summer has left the door outside open, is drinking mulled wine on the patio, leaving petals by her feet one by one. Too focused on the sun’s slow set to notice exchanging looks and Night’s arrival its cloak across its shoulders slipping, gold stars sewn like seeds on soil, for Summer’s goose-pricked shoulders brass tanned and shivering. There were a few options for last night’s DVerse Poets ‘Poetics’ Prompt. I chose to write a poem by taking one of the lines provided (Summer is leaving too exchanging its gold for brass) and using each word as the starting word for each line of my own poem. The last two lines were the trickiest to finalise, but after a bit of playing around I managed to come up with a piece that I was happy enough to post.
I’m weighing words. Counting them like beach glass. Trying to judge how you might distort the light through them. Most I will slip back inside my hollow throat. Swallow, like tablets or seeds. Ignoring the fizz as they hit my gut, sprout up, and wrap around anything else there is to say.
Does it count as taking your time, pausing between each item fingers on clasps, heartbeat a tempo dancing beneath the skin in a skip, skip rhythm I felt against my breastbone. Slid my foot along the seat of a chair like the one I sat in, bare skin cold against the plastic. Counted the buttons, two, four, six, stopped when they ran out and fabric hung loose from my shoulders. Open. Parted my thighs the same, slow, or maybe fast, the motion of it blurred in memory distracted by your face close to mine. Open mouthed. Kissed you, slowly. Open legs. I won’t say what we did next.
You have to swim here. Kick to keep afloat, and scoop the water into yourself, with arms winged either side of a weightless body. Dug out by the flow, a pool deepened by cascade. A bridge masked by track and concrete. This place is thick green almost jungle. Clear right to the sand, easy to pretend I know this place. Too well to be tricked. Safety in confidence I say. Water washes all clear away, but to where, and when, will it come to shore again? A prompt mash up tonight. Ending on a question for NaPoWriMo Day Two and ‘Cascade‘ for dVersePoetsPub poetics night.
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.
They name me jealous one. Plait snake through my hair, till it rises about my shoulders a mane of venom. Perhaps this is true enough. They say I crush men, the ones who come to me through their own will and actions. Lay the cruelty of betrayal at my feet. I am not my sisters, blood avenger, unceasing in pursuit. I am an emotion painted upon every action I set forth. I am furious and bright, burning beyond recognition till they shield their eyes and call me ugly. I am a woman of power. I’m so excited that it’s NaPoWriMo again and I get to drive in with the Early Bird Prompt. For anyone who doesn’t know what NaPoWriMo is, it’s an annual poetry challenge that takes place over April. The idea is to write a poem a day for all of April, resulting in 30 poems in total. (31 if you include the Early Bird Prompt). The NaPoWriMo site provides prompts if you want to use them but …
There is a collective misguided assumption, that we know the words. Singing like rusted taps, gargling and spluttering our way to the chorus where enthusiasm trumps experience, and pipes swell and burst so all is noise and furious revelry. The wave of it crests breaks, washes us along to the next line. As real as the misting of our breaths as we sing. The cold is not felt in the thick of it.
Someone says panic attack, adrenaline spike, low, calm, and confident, laying a diagnosis out like a challenge, while I sit here, stumped, all root and no branch to climb up, to escape by, not a spike but a stake pinning me in this place.