When it came to me, you were the expert. You knew how to play me perfectly, even dint and every imperfection, you knew how to press them to attention, remind me of their existence, herd me towards the idea that they held me back, made me something less than myself, and that only you could see past them. I suppose I was not blameless, I forgot to ask questions, forgot to challenge the put downs, forgot that I had legs and arms, feelings and thoughts, that the door was never locked and I was free to walk away at any time. You only ever thought you were the expert. I should have proved you wrong sooner. Daily Prompt: Expert
I. For a while I carried words like weapons. Saw them only for their sharpened edges the way in which they could slice, leave mouths open, gasping, they way they burrowed into skin and clanged like gongs in the silence of lonely, sleepless nights. I had enough scars of my own to show just how dangerous words could be. I knew where to aim for, which veins would bleed the most. II. Anger can only burn on a short fuse. It fizzles out after a while and you are left cold, holding knives slick with your own blood. No one warns out about the energy that pain steals. The way the hollowness can swallow whole everything you had built of yourself. III. Healing takes time. On nights when I’m awake and he is not I pick words from beneath my skin, the ones I half forgot, scabbed over but not yet gone. I will turn them over in the blue light from the wireless router on the night stand, and try to make sense of …
Stone chested, I have faced more years than you and still have not aged a day. Despite elemental trickery, the weather has yet to score me smooth and there are no laughter creases to mark me out as old. I have never laughed you see, at least not while you have watched. I have passed the centuries and they have passed me, and very little has been worth talk, and all my talk seems little worthwhile when you and your kind wander between what is left of myself and my brothers, just sitting here in a abandoned place, no longer considered abandoned but no longer a place to call home but a place to see one or twice before it has been seen and done, you have bought the t-shirt and I am of no more concern. Poem for the poetics night prompt over at D Verse Poets Pub.
‘Well you know of course when you know who closes a door he always opens a window.’ Except I’ve been eating on too many pizzas, and I’m not sure the hips puberty gave me are going to get through that narrow opening without some serious grazing and attracting the neighbour’s attention when he goes looking for the wounded animal dying over the other side of the fence. At this point you remind me it’s a metaphor, that you’re not talking about the bathroom window above the toilet in Francis? Matthew? Thomas? Definitely Thomas. The bathroom window above Thomas’s downstairs loo. In your eyes there’s no choice but to hike up my knickers and make the most of where last night got me, breakfast and all and perhaps it might turn out that this window is less of a window, and more like a door. I fancied trying to write something a bit more light hearted tonight. If anyone has any constructive criticism I’d really appreciate it.
Three Steps From The Landing Three steps from the landing our stairway creaks. That low, moan of too many years of feet, one thudding after another, children, parents, grandparents, ghosts, always up or down or back and forth. I forgot the key, to brush my teeth, to do my hair, handbag, shoes, make-up, towel for swimming, trainers for fifth lesson PE, always one more thing we needed, one more creak before we could go, We learnt to skip the step on late night, early morning, returns. Unaware that our mother had done the same once upon a time. She knew the trick all too well. So did the stairs. Aunt Josephine was sure she would go through, find herself sitting on the pantry floor looking up at the first floor ceiling through a hole in the boards. At the new house there were no creaks, not whines and shudders as people moved. It was quiet and neat. It didn’t feel of home. That’s it! We are done for another year, NaPoWriMo has officially come …
I Remember I remember that feeling you get in dreams, where your legs feel like lead weights and no matter how hard you push, you can’t make them move fast enough. I remember the headteacher’s voice coming in over the loud speaker to announce to the parents that I was either finishing the last race or coming first in the next. I remember crying afterwards and swearing to never run a relay again.
So, a backwards story is the prompt for today. A little strange, but let’s see what we can do with it. A Change In Season That was when the thaw came. Fingers blue and black against the ice, blood can freeze if you get it cold enough, still just enough life to shiver, teeth like tic-tacs rattling in a box, the pin pricks of goosebumps, one cool breeze to lift tiny hairs, a chill along the spine, clothes in a pile on the sand legs bare to the winter sun, footsteps towards the waves. The sea takes bites out of the cliff-face each night.
Solitude From pier-point we walked to the mountain slopes where the slate fell in slag-pile avalanches and the yellow grasses rippled against the breeze. Your battered trainers barely survived the trip, so you carried them in one hand until the kissing gate, and left them hanging by their fraying laces. With your footsteps just behind mine we scrambled for purchase, chasing thoughts like stray insects up the pitted pathways we’d walked more times than memory. One by one they dropped away, pebbles tossed and bouncing, pinging out of sight and hearing until there wasn’t any further to climb. Below there would be small slate rooftops and white wash houses with chocolate box roses around whorled glass windows, framing shuffling figures pottering from one day to the next. Winded, panting, face shining and nose pink tipped you took my cheeks between your palms and pulled it close. ‘Just be here with me,’ you asked and for those moments I was. Together in the solitude of our mountain, barefoot and tired and palms stinging from falls and sharp stone. …
Spin Me To The Stars and Back Take me out dancing, your hands into mine, spin, spin, spin me to the stars and back. Take me to dinner, your smile against mine, spin, spin, spin me to the stars and back. Take me the the river edge, your lips against mine, spin, spin, spin me to the stars and back. Take me to the end of the world, just you and I, spin, spin, spin me to the stars and back. Day Twenty-Six called for a call to arms poem. Not sure if this meets the exact prompt but since I have two more poems to write before I’m all caught up it will have to do.
Looking Back When in the chronicle of wasted time you find my name among past lovers and think about those open arms and the empty hearts, do you best to blame every ill we wrought on me and me alone. I will take all those words and keep them closer than I ever could you. I’ve been absent for a few days so I’m playing catch up with the NaPoWriMo Prompts. Day Twenty-Five challenged us to write a poem that started with a line from another poem so I’ve taken the first line of Shakespeare’s Sonnet 106 ‘When in the chronicle of wasted time’.