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Poetry

Jan 28

Bread

I see you.  
First to arrive, last to leave.
You start in the dark, while the world still sleeps.
Your hands, sore from mixing, kneading, shaping, baking.

I see it.
The bread you make, broken over a table.
The central element, a family staple.
Torn and toasted, sliced and fried.
Smothered in butter, it satisfies.

Don’t forget.
It’s ok, to take from the table you bake for.
To enjoy the fruits of your labour.
To lay down that apron, to say what you came for.
Take, tear, receive. 
This is your feast to eat. 

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Jan 14

This Is My Voice

I think the angry, rap-metal loving skater girl I used to be in my teenage years would love this one! It was so cathartic to write and record – there’s something so powerful about speaking out words that acknowledge experiences or people that may have tried to silence or gaslight me in the past.

This is my voice
And I know what it’s like to lose it
So I choose to use it I refuse to diffuse it and you will listen.

Cause you can’t buy my silence
And I won’t be compliant won’t be a liar.
I won’t make tweaks to what I’ve said I’ll speak
You can’t edit or take credit for this testimony.

This is my voice
And I know what it’s like to lose it
So I choose to use it I refuse to diffuse it and you will listen.

I bet you’ll make threats but what you shouldn’t forget
Is that truth can’t be changed rearranged or reset.
You say hold back don’t attack think of the impact
Well fuck that.

This is my voice
And I know what it’s like to lose it
So I choose to use it I refuse to diffuse it and you will listen.

And I won’t just write these words down, oh no…

I’ll speak them out I’ll shout them loud
I’ll drown you out and I’ll do it proud
Won’t stop it won’t drop it till you’re shutdown.

This is my voice
And I know what it’s like to lose it
So I choose to use it I refuse to diffuse it and you will listen.

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Jan 08

Dessert Spoon

Sometimes you write a poem that is so clearly made to be spoken rather than written, and loads of my poems are like that. So I’m trying something slightly new with this one. It’s called Dessert Spoon, and you can hear me speak it by watching the video, or if you prefer you can read the words below.

I still include a dessert spoon when I lay your place at the table.
It’s a simple act of resistance,
An insistence of non-compliance and defiance,
A little piece of order against the eating disorder.

I still include a dessert spoon when I lay your place at the table.
It is a prayer I pray, a declaration I make,
A belief that one day,
This will end and as you mend we will again share a decadent pudding with friends.

I still include a dessert spoon when I lay your place at the table.
I know you’ll relearn that it’s ok to yearn,
To stuff your face, to take up space,
To say what you want, to claim your place,
To be full to bursting, to give yourself grace.

I still include a dessert spoon when I lay your place at the table.
Otherwise it reminds me of when someone dies,
One less fork, one less knife, one less life.
But you’re still alive and you’re still inside,
I know because I see it sometimes.

I still include a dessert spoon when I lay your place at the table.
I want to show you, want you to know that I still hold hope.
That this doesn’t define us but I think it could refine and align us.
That however much it aches and however long it takes I will wait,
That if you choose it and fight your way through this, recovery awaits.

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Jan 02

Tealight

It doesn’t cost much.
It won’t last long.
Lost in a drawer for years,
It might not even light.

But it could be enough,
To spark a flame,
To light up the darkness,
To burn the healing oil.

So strike the match,
Rub the sticks,
Flick the switch,
Ignite an inferno.

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Nov 30

Hard Wired

Cut the head off a flower, and it will grow back.
Tear a hole in the ozone, and it can close up.
Graze your skin, and it will knit itself together.

Healing is hard wired into the fabric of the universe.
So it is hard wired in you too.

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Nov 02

Shalom / Fragmented

Shalom

Is there anything more attractive,
Than a person fully alive?
Completely free.
Totally whole.

The one who has done the work,
Overcome adversity, beat the odds,
Risen from the ashes.

Healing is contagious.
It catches, ripples, sparks,
Lighting fires that lead the way to Shalom.

This is what it means to live your best life,
Not to be free of hardship,
But to be travelling the path to wholeness,
Taking others with you.

Fragmented

Is there anything less attractive,
Than a person barely alive?
Completely bound.
Totally fragmented.

The one who refuses to do the work,
Beaten by adversity, obeying the odds,
Choked by the ashes.

Disease can be contagious.
It catches, spreads, sparks,
Lighting fires that destroy the path to Shalom.

This is what it means to miss your best life,
To be bitter about your hardship,
To walk away from the path to wholeness,
Taking others with you.

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Jul 02

Screwed Up

I said,
It’s like a screwed up ball of paper.
Crinkled, creased, damaged and torn.
If you unfurled it, flattened it, ironed it.
It would still bear the marks of the damage.
It would still be unusable, irreparable, defective.
It would be better to find a new blank page,
To begin again.

She said,
I prefer a screwed up piece of paper to a blank page.
Every line tells a story, every tear honours a scar.
Every crease maps a journey, every mark speaks a truth.
A blank page is uninteresting, without form or pattern.
Voiceless, shapeless, plain.
Screwed up paper shows it can be reformed, reshaped, remade.
You can still be screwed up, and begin again.

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May 02

Who’s That Lady?

A poem written in memory of my Grandmother, and read out at her funeral.

Another Christmas Day came,
This one not the same.
We didn’t want you alone in the old people’s home,
So we gathered all together at my brother’s house
And you sat in the corner as quiet as a mouse.

By then dementia was doing its thing
You’d point and say “who’s that? There, him!”
“Do you know that lady? Look there’s a baby!”
The long-term memories you seemed to retain,
But shorter term things were like treasure mislaid.

So I knew what was coming as I sat by your side,
You asked “who’s that lady?” I replied, “Gran that’s my wife”.
Your face filled with shock,
Eyes locked, jaw dropped.
You laughed “don’t be silly, she’s not, you what?!”

I began to worry you’d reject not accept me,
Or worse still rebuke and correct me.
Or say being gay just wasn’t right in your day,
Despite years ago telling me you thought it was ok.
Instead you took my hand as your eyes filled with love,
And said ‘as long as you’re happy dear, well that’s enough’.

Relief flooded through me, the conversation was done,
Christmas resumed with food, presents and fun.
I didn’t know minutes later the same question would come,
Then every twenty minutes till the day was done.
I’ve never come out so many times in one day,
I should’ve worn a t-shirt saying REMEMBER I’M GAY!

So now as it’s time to say goodbye,
I think often of that Christmas gone by.
How that moment is perfection in its reflection of you.
Your unedited acceptance of the person I am,
I won’t ever forget it, or you, lovely Gran.

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Nov 02

The Same Fire

The same fire that inspires me
To burn bright
To change lives
To not lose sight
To shine like a light

Is the same fire that requires me
To stop before burning up
To not be too hot to touch
To light up the sky but not too much
To resist the self-destruct

How can fire be held in a human heart,
Without breaking it apart?

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Oct 02

Let Me Be Like Autumn

Let me be like Autumn leaves
Born from mighty oaks.
Rooted in the unseen.
Feeding, nourishing,
Provoking growth.

Let me be like Autumn trees
Unbreakable but bendable. Dependable.
Aware of all that’s nourished me,
But able to let it go.
Grateful.

Let me be like Autumn leaves
Falling with grace at a gentle pace,
Unafraid to change, unafraid to leave.
Letting go, moving on.
Staying near, but in a new place.

Let me be like Autumn trees
Formed from the layers of before.
Every season shaping and making me,
Good and bad, sun and storm,
I embrace it all.

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