Cradle [Day 17]

Careful are the hands that hold yours close,
a delicate embrace, powered with the subtle sighs:
an orchestrated scene of the mother, the child, the life
that’s the fragile leaf of a withered tree,
quite far from happy, but farther from crying,

Careful are the hands that hold yours close,
a robust enthusiasm, blooming like wild flowers:
an elaborate performance of the son, the old man, the life
that’s the only strong gust from a failing winter,
quite far from new, but farther from alive-

hands that cradle you, and you cradle them
till life in death is as profound as
life itself

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Garden of the Ashes [Day 18]

Behind the valley of the green, we became the chances
we were never going to get- silent promises and

nods which proclaimed of a city as lush in its roots
as burning in the fires which surrounded it:

we came from the Garden of the Ashes, a fire alarm
awoke those of us who wished to stay, but we stoked

the flame and held the children, as the city turned to dust
wondering who had known to name it the way it was;

the Lord in the clouds laughed, too pleased to dribble
his anger, his thunder amiss, so we picked our berries,

not leaving any behind, not waiting for the Gods to bless
our crop: we carried the fruit all the way, planted the

flame inside the belly of the land behind the valley of
the green, collected firewood and waited for the rain

leaving behind the homes we loved and ourselves,

again and again.

Pretending [Day 16]

Dream boats sway in the sea of your eyes, 
wonder is the bright light that cave into 
all the lies growing in the waves, thrashing
against the abrasions of your skin- 
crying? dreaming? believing? living?-

They say little people sit waiting for the sea to become
a mere pool- a heavy hearted joke- of surrender,
all the trinkets of truth simply washing away
swiftly with the flow of never occurring-
crying? dreaming? believing? living?-

Hands pretend to shake, body pretends to shiver
eyes, all eyes, forget to mistake one for another, 
while you continue to (pretend) fall into
the (pretend) faith
of goodwill: even the insides of your lungs are treacherous-
crying, dreaming, believing, living-      

  every lie.

True Friends [Day 14]

This life doesn’t know how to come to terms with living,
these walls enclosing us- pretty pictures that sadden all of our being,
lips whispering about a happy place, a happy place and the happiest place
of them all:

what does home feel like? “people, always people.”
what do people feel like? “home, always home.”
and the vice versa taste of comfort stabs us in the front
and we wonder if it’s worth going back to people, and homes, and people

the sobs of discomfort catching up, as we pick ourselves up,
clear out our throats and pull out our hearts: hand them gift-wrapped
my favourite organ, here.” and watch a plastered smile take apart all that
you hold true-

how dare people be people and not homes?

The Blood Of The Covenant [Day 13]

Mother talks, mother speaks, mother tells
her children all her disciples, all the holy words
picked and christened with sincerity and respect:
mother talks, mother speaks, mother tells,
till her children are asleep.

Around the merry go round, there’s each:
the God, the Messiah, the Mohammad,
a fine, fine gathering- parts of a whole,
parts of the parts divided in their loud whispers
of faith, of love, of trust, of brotherhood

In the garden which it sits in, there’s no greenish
green, but quite a lot of yellow: a dirty withering exhaust
and the stark red of the merry go round is the bloody
brown of rusted promises, stained with the air of lies,
defeat, cheat, or sheer barbarity, quite bitter-sweet,

The sky’s a jolly fellow, and though even it has remorseful days-
years, centuries in this case- it keeps quiet in its routine of
sunshine, sunset, no rain: the Gods demand sacrifices, they demand
love, faith served with a fine and mutual taste of inhumanity, but you
must remember, the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb:

Mother talks, mother speaks, mother tells
her children all her disciples, all the holy words
picked and christened with sincerity and respct:
mother talks, mother speaks, mother tells,
till her children demand death.

Angie [Day 12]

Listen to Slow It Down- The Lumineers along with/ after this post; parts of it are inspired by it, other parts will never make sense.


You used to find dead insects in your
backyard, and pretend they were dolls
made of organic compost, only and only
for you to guide them into an entity they
would’ve never realised to hold theirs,
and you walked with your head held high
when strangers passed by, and mummy
and daddy- what’s their names, again?-
were more enemies than allies, and
Mrs. Please-Keep-Your-Hands-Away was
a lady who didn’t know that flowers worked
as flowers best when they were plucked away

The trees grew and grew, backyards were
changed, you framed insects now,
preservation of life, you called it,
and soon tattoos of moths and
bees -what was the difference?-
sprouted like life itself on your skin,
and you rubbed and rubbed and rubbed
it off, till the skin tore off, all inked:
You wouldn’t want a list of dead lovers
on your wrist, would you?
, you said
and the blooming garden didn’t know
that it bloomed best with dead skin

The rickety house was lifeless, the rusting seeping
into the iron like the dead weight of the
white gown which ruffled through its halls,
slashed wrists- they call this something, isn’t it?-
dropping blood as if a ritual to animate
the parts of it that look so dead,
grow a pair of hearts, Angie, you told me
when I painted the walls back, but they
never looked as brutally broken as they did then
and the backyard was the barren
land they tell you of in children’s stories:
adventure after adventure piling on in the
cracks where nothing grew; the inside
of the house was a graveyard with
broken dead frames and the house didn’t know
that alive was the most full of itself when
alive looked quite dead

A fool, I went back to bed:
rested my arms, rested my legs,
wondering if love would dig me out of this
and if love looked like love at all when it
looked like nothing, at best.

The Legacy [Day 11]

This is an attempt at a ‘Bop‘ (many thanks to http://www.napowrimo.net/ for a daily prompt.) I’m not exactly sure if I got the structure perfectly right- perhaps not, but I hope you like it, regardless:


in the mountain behind the valley

the man with the golden chain sips on his distasteful
mead, little men tugging onto his beard: the dirty
sunset cannot seep itself in behind the mountains where
nothing grows- disgusting mead, but mead that must
continue down his slit throat, mead that wouldn’t
forgive the consequences he must face

death is an enemy, a friend who mustn’t be turned away

the man with the golden chain cannot feel his
hands, his feet, his legs: the gashes with blood
oozing out of them are not worthy of attention
for bleed he must, to pay the price of having
loved someone, so the bitter mead stays and
curdles the insides of his chest, his heart, his lungs into
dust- a constant drum of all things great stuck in
his throat, for perhaps that would make it hurt less,

death is an enemy, a friend who mustn’t be turned away

when the sun turns its face, and trees grow apart
and little men forget the man with the golden chain,
there shall be flowers in the garden of the dead:
they would shy away of touch, and burn the ground
beneath their stems, and smell of disgusting, wholesome
mead granting men insanity and permanence, always

death is an enemy, a friend who will never be turned away

Treasure(!) [Day 10]

Treasure coves, treasure caves:
pirates are hiding under the rocky
bed of the sea, pirates are flying
their ships to the bay, little mermaids
are walking on their fish tails, little
mermaids are catching onto their
notorious wordplay,
big men, small men, the sailors of
today, hop a hoppity walk, arm-ful,
leg-ful, half bearded,
big men, small men run across their
cages- walking on water, they call it-
the anchors are pulled towards the stars
the safety boats are made of hay,
the sun sets for the birds to call out,
it’s raining inside out, water droplets
sucking into the sky- those are definitely gay!-
and little Johnny doesn’t want to play.

Treasure coves, treasure caves:
the world is upside down, but deary,
the treasure still remains.

The Reverence [Day 9]

The salient features of a ballerina:

a poignant tutu, the pretty, soft ballet shoes,
the aplomb of her streamlined body,
an overpowering elegance- a gala of sorts-
music itself propping with its dips and curves
her arms, her legs, her assemble
a perfect arabesque promptly followed
by a pirouette- we don’t know if this is ballet-
with a little leap for une tour en l’air,

a fleeting glance from the gallery
where an elderly man sits watching,
his expensive watch ticks, his rough
moustache guards the money in his
pockets, his deep sigh, quite mocking

as the dancer leaps après le balancé
and the crowd silently takes it in,
she leaps and springs, this woman
of dreams, and lands softly with ease,
her assemble proceeding into a brisé,
and the cusp of consciousness swims
throughout the stage, une grand jeté,
and props her feet: on and on she dances;
sous-sous/ tombé: the finale; we don’t
know how ballets end: the crowds jeering,
the dramatic pause, the reverence:
all played out; the music continued
in the applause, roses on the stage

silent men sit within
Monsieur, didn’t you like the play?”
asks the ghost of an empty hall;
the puppeteer hones his dolls,
the music continues to play,
she turns, she smiles, she pirouettes
inside the palm of old men with
a pocket watch and enormous hands
threatened under the close of a silver
knife in the patterns of her maker’s game.