For a millennium you were glacial. Slid oh so slow through dirt, and stone, turned mountains into valley paths, cracked plains, made them seas. We watched the snow fall, smother you until we forgot, blinked stunned when the sun shucked your coat and the light made you shine. Change creeps closer in millimetres, presses the before away carefully, slips itself into spaces that hastiness would break. Word Of The Day Challenge: Shine
Today is a tumble dryer day, where I fall from the drum crumpled, creased, confused, humming with static, limbs limp with heat, and one sharp shock from folding altogether. I have finally decided on a name for the collection of poems that I’m planning on publishing at the end of this year. All In The Blood. I’ve written so much about myself and my family that it seemed like an apt name. Now all I need to do is finalise the poems, the order, the cover art, and the publication date.
When the backboard drops they spill like water over a fall, woolly bodies frothing from the flight decks, feet upon each others’ backs. There is a boy behind the hurdles, already knee bent in anticipation, fingers spread for the catch. Outside, a woman is selling cauliflower. Holds the head of it like a newborn between the palms of her hands. A farmer rattles pounds in his fist, counts his luck, passed it on to the winning bid. In a corridor there is a circle of bowed heads and five pence jumps, till the circumference is a singular. A lone man is loading up, clicks the gates on what he brought, tries not to fumble the catch. Someone whispers at an absence, shakes a head at suspicion, does a math of miles inside their head. They wait to hear the hammer fall.
We walk till our soles protests at every stop-sign and crossing place. Like stitch splitting when you slow for breath, the burn thickens. We are far from home, further still from familiar, so we cannot pause on this side-street, or linger on a corner place as we might do elsewhere. We can stretch our steps, gnash the concrete paves into cobbles and pathways. Break highways down to track. Trip over the ache beneath onto older ground. Learn how to read reassurances of new landmarks. Wander until this is home.
Flesh parts so easily when pressure is applied. Tongues often prove more effective than crowbars. They break past words like ‘No’.
Fire-dwarfed we all sit, stand, wait, drawing along timelines scythe-eyed for news or perhaps revelation that this is all just a dream, a joke. Dust-tongued our words dry up like sand through an hour glass. All gone and past leaving only empty air. A promise cracked apart. History pour out, breaks the damn of grief and dark-vowelled words, replacing now with then as what will be already spread its roots in the tear-culled.
Was I a plaster you slapped on to cover the burns left by your family? Something temporary, to hide the harm. Was he water? More than you’d seen all in one place and so inviting you were willing to drown. Did you lose me on purpose? Or did the currents just pull us apart? Either way, did you notice that I was gone?
She was legs, hips, breasts, and bone. Same as a cow, worth less perhaps. Dredged up words from the dark well of your mouth, not ancient, just old. “Ace” a hiss, curled around the syllable. Careful, you are wearing history with no place here. Tonight’s Quadrille prompt from the bar is the word ‘Ace’. I did a bit of a google search and discovered that in the middle ages, the word ‘ace’ could be used to be ‘of no worth’ or ‘bad luck’.
March turned into a slower month than planned for me and I’m not entirely sure why that was. Perhaps it was the expectation for April and NaPoWriMo, or the relief of getting my submission in to The Poetry Business for their Book and Pamphlet Competition. Either way, I didn’t really write much in the second half of March and I feel a little guilty for letting myself slip into old habits for those two weeks. On the other hand, I’d managed to be pretty productive during January and February in terms of submissions to journals and competitions, and March isn’t particular busy when it comes to deadlines, so if you’re going to pick a month to kick back, March would be it. April has been busy with NaPoWriMo kicking off and the first week is just about to come to a close. So far I have managed to post a-poem-a-day for the prompts provided and unlike some years, I’ve found myself connecting with the official prompts. Previously I’ve sat there staring at the screen wondering …
If I was her I would be somewhere else. A marathon in front of where I am now and the path would not look so broken. I would know how to walk it without creasing at the knees, each time the ground shakes. I would be someone worth taking a chance on.