I miss every flight in my dreams. Up and down Escher entwined escalators I drag massive suitcases stacked on breaking wheels. On top of the wobbling pile, my cat cries in his box. Fluorescent lights amp up in buzzing crescendo as my control fades. Starch-collared guards with shining guns and narrowed eyes watch me drop everything on the floor. The frantic gap of opportunity transforms into the sickness of lost chance as FINAL CALL flips to DEPARTED and I realise I wasn't significant enough to be called over the intercom, to be noticed, to have anyone care. I could be soothed by the cathedral acoustics in this empty departure hall if only I were permitted to scream. My mother cries when she says goodbye every single time and now I must return her wasted tears pooled in my ineffective hands, re-inflict my double-edged presence in the place that's no longer my home.
Send me the language of stars. Draw me with pheromone-spiced memories into unmapped woods. Ferns unfurl, unrolling slow, revealing perfect quills. Soft ravens cry tears of ink. Flow out of my pen as I translate the ripples in the mirror. In a flooded library, white walls molded and crumbling, sodden books come apart in my hands as I magpie translucent words and dissolve the rest. “Intrinsic” and “perpetual” collaged into new stanzas on waterlogged mahogany. Spore prints tattoo my skin. I loop love words around them in handwriting only I can read. Sink my feet down through bright moss, osmosis flavours of millennia from the roots, draw it through my body and bloom it white-lit in my lungs to speak its story. Let me weave strong intention in wrinkled hands, unhesitant. Let me conduit the endless as the lightest raindrops dust diamonds in my hair.
Home buzzes the edges of my fins. It vibrates magnetic. It's familiar long-lost smell. From fat sea fish to muscle swimming up rapids I become elegant, elongated. Sunset hued stripes adorn me, luminescent in green water. Salt cleansed, I'm pulled to waters fresh. My life is for this and I commit everything. I evade the snap and swipe of bears and eagles. In my place of birth I lay pink pearl eggs as the males defend them, thrash and bite. There it is. My life's work. I see all the world's beauty and danger as my skin sloughs off. Age molds green scales and sight opaque. Fade into the final part of the greatest cycle. Home is so sweet inside my mouth as the water pulls me apart.
I shred letters from you into bedding for my worms. Over months, heavy words break through writhing bodies in warm, damp dark. Hundreds touch and consume the last tattered pieces of your lost love. Nine months later I grow tall, proud stinging nettles with what's left.
This is a poem about the UK referendum vote for Brexit, which occurred on the 23rd of June 2016 and resulted in the vote to leave winning 52% of the vote. Britain left the EU in 2020, and the impacts of this have been hugely negative for the UK. I’m still angry and I still don’t really know the right way to feel about this. The photos here are from the March for Europe in London, July 2016, attended by 50,000 of the 48%.Continue reading →
I should have walked to the Tate across sun blazed bridges. I should have sat cross legged with the Rothkos. In dim light cried small, breath-jagged tears. Dissolving my pigment into their burning edges. I know worlds precious as ruby, deeper than vermillion, more vivid than carmine. I want to let go of opacity. Spill out of my love-bruised body. I need to be colour prisming, physics snapping, purest abstract as I negate reality.
My friends stay in the shallows Their dog whines at the shore. She isn't sure why I'm a lake creature now Lose my land-legs to go deeper. Pirouette in the water. One arm After another. I rain-dance the rhythm Of leaf-drop, darkness, and fall. I'm a thousand years old. I was born in this mud Murk-inches lie ancient, below me. Where leeches lie waiting, where eggs begin hatching I'm dying and living, again and again. Legs heavy and awkward at the dock ladder Dripping onto manhandled wood. These blue skies won't last much longer. I take the hand of my lover Heart as deep as the lake Bounded by seasons changing forever.
Photo by me, taken at Grace Lake
In meditation upon you I lost myself. My toes curled into themselves and I fell inwards. Filling with storm floods. Naked in dark water. Swimming with gills. I breathe your air between wet lips. I am paper thin pale, you colour me red as I break my ribs to go deeper. Entwined, we become both more and less. Electrons energise, orbiting, exchanging. We are pure reaction, molecules of sex, coded so complex I became intangible. Indelible. The marks we lay upon each other. The vivid dreams of life together. We held hands tight trying not to tremble. Creaking loudens as water swells. Swallow screams as we submerge. In black water our bedsheets become jellyfish wrapping stinging strings around my neck. Your eyes empty and you slip away as silver bubbles steal my breath.