You make me want to go backwards
You make me want to take a breath
And just jump.
Streamline my body,
An arrow through the air
And cloak you. Protect you.
And thump.

We’d hit the ground but I’d catch it
For you. It would be in my grasp
In my hand.
And you’d wonder how
you ever, without me,
You ever brought yourself
To land.

Without me as your cloak, as your
Subterfuge. As someone who has
got your back.
Because baby
If it’s you or it’s me
I know whose head
I’d rather crack.

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Can I be the coffee stain on your desk

A ring of carelessness now sunk in.

Or the mug you chipped when you washed it up

And sucked your teeth and squinted

Then put it on the rack all the same,

Because it only made it more your cup.

By becoming less, it became more.

More than the sum of its parts.

 

Or perhaps I could be the watermarks

Wrinkling the pages of your book, from

When you were too impatient to wait

And took it into the bath with you.

It got a frown and a hasty blot

And that was deemed enough. Because

All it really meant was it was loved.

You didn’t want to be apart.

 

I want to know if you think of me

When the rain it drums outside.

Because I’m sitting here all alone

And I have nothing to hide.

But then when I am with you I stop

And stare and stutter, retreat.

Then, I can’t get the words out.

But now, you see, I can’t sleep.

 

So I sit and I think all about you

You’re a wave, a wondrous lake

But I’m drowning and drowning, I’m not sure

If much more of this I can take.

I could though, I could hold it all

Bear it stoic, through and through.

If only I knew when the rain drums outside

You’re thinking of me too.

I wrote in vacuum, blank to the race

Penelope’s loom that sets her own pace.

But now I hear you’re writing too.

Envy spurs me, the heel of your shoe.

I know you’ll steal these words from me

As you congeal my vocabulary

I’ll be washed up, lonely, left with the dredge

Boring, predictable, meat and two veg.

 

Or maybe it’s an image you’ll get to first

Burn it on retinas of all who thirst

For something new, like fresh green lettuce,

While I peddle yesterday’s fish gone fetid.

And once they’re tainted by your tongue

That’s over, finished, yes you’ve won

I’ll have to capitulate, surrender, renege.

Bow down, lose the encore, go backstage.

 

So I mourn the broken phrases and stanzas you’ve robbed

Clutching at remains, hand stump, as it throbs

Because that’s what you’ve done, taken my fingers

Slowly and deliberately, blunt safety scissors.

It’s rivalry, battle, we can’t coalesce

Purgatory, be damned if I acquiesce

So I won’t. I’ll use it, fuel for my tank

Grasp at the helm, wrench away from the bank

So leech me leech while I’m still in the shallow

Knowing you’re about just gives me more ammo

And I’ll write full of hatred and realise then

All this time, really, you’ve been my best friend.

 

 

  

You stumble over your chair

And give me that vacant stare

Bottles in the other room

Your Narnia, frosted tomb.

The drinks cabinet your friend

Wood, glass you know how to mend

Unlike this pallid relationship

Dead on arrival, slack and decrepit.

 

Cos yeah I’m pissed off at you

But you’re just fucking pissed

Stone glare, you stare right through

Finger pointing, almost fist.

Then you come up to apologise

But the sounds don’t come out right

Because they’re all still excuses

And I wonder how obtuse is

Your fogged up thought process.

 

I’d do anything for you.

 

Yeah you’d pull the trigger.

Speech is daggers, rusty blunt,

And you think love still lingers.

Well I think a bit different.

And no I’m not just saying.

I need more than your barking and braying.

Your assurance you’re right

No evidence, love lost

You’re spitting in spite

And this is the cost:

The only time you say you love me

After you tell me to fuck off.

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Yesterday I lighted upon a poem I hadn’t read in a long time. I must have scanned ‘I wandered lonely as a cloud’ a hundred times for my A-Level English Literature course, but I hadn’t revisited it since. Strangely, though, I feel as if the words have grown on me like a rash during the absence and now feel as if I understand it more. I used to pride myself on never noticing the weather; it always seemed to me a boring, unimaginative and ultimately clichéd thing to talk about, something I would only consider bringing up with an awkward acquaintance if all else failed. But now, whether I have softened or been enlightened in some way, I have a greater appreciation for the turning of the seasons, so I went out with my camera to attempt to capture what Wordsworth saw some two hundred years ago. I reproduce his poem below, an ode to spring in a far greater and more beautiful simplicity of language than I could ever hope to achieve.

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I wandered lonely as a cloud

 

I wandered lonely as a cloud

That floats on high o’er vales and hills,

When all at once I saw a crowd,

A host, of golden daffodils;

Beside the lake, beneath the trees,

Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

 

Continuous as the stars that shine

And twinkle on the milky way,

They stretched in never-ending line

Along the margin of a bay:

Ten thousand saw I at a glance,

Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

 

The waves beside them danced; but they

Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:

A poet could not but be gay,

In such a jocund company:

I gazed – and gazed – but little hought

What wealth the show to me had brought:

 

For oft, when on my couch I lie

In vacant or in pensive mood,

They flash upon that inward eye

Which is the bliss of solitude;

And then my heart with pleasure fills,

And dances with the daffodils.

 

William Wordsworth, 1804.

 

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Your ring’s been lying under my bed for some time now.

It’s the ring you gave me after our first year together

In a loop that meant forever, if you could keep going round.

Now it’s just a silver circle and the meaning has leaked

Out of it, like a horseshoe upside-down.

I wonder where all those feelings go.

Did you lock them out, key under the doormat

Or hide it in a far safer place.

Did you torch them, pictures hot with memories

Which promised then never delivered.

Or did they just fall and you forgot to pick them up

Like your ring under my bed.

I guess I never really knew what went on

In your head. You always ran in a circle around me.

 

I think I’ll leave it there.

 

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