A handful of photographs,
all I have to link to my past.
No photographic army of relatives
no reminders of a
or connection to the generations
that came before my parents.
No thick, brown, spiral bound family albums
losing their stickiness,
photos slipping out from
behind their protective film.
No anecdotal stories
of my parents’ childhoods.
No tales of what their parents did.
No pictures of the places they lived
or the holidays they took.
As if they appeared
Parents - Ready Made.
With no life, no existence
before we arrived.
No boxes of family photographs
linking me to my past.
No one who looks just like me,
staring blankly out from
creased, faded photographs.
No one reaching out
to show me how I got here.
Only half remembered photos
in the front rooms of relatives
I’ve long since stopped visiting -
whose names I can’t remember.
Where are they?
The photographs, the people.
If I knew they would just be
So many nameless faces
for the many faceless names.
Wintersun through the kitchen window,
it feels like spring.
The heat presses against her,
holds her close as she listens to
the tinitus whine of the fridge;
the grumble of the bypass;
the birds she can’t name who live to shit on her sheets.
The sun highlights remnants from last night’s snowfall.
Alone in the morning darkness of the backstreet,
she harvests the snow from her husband’s car.
Leaving pock marks over the once perfect surface,
her hand like a starfish,
fingertips barely touching the brittle crust.
Then grasping, eating mouthfuls of clean, pure snow.
It melts as it hits the warmth of her mouth.
Enough to satisfy – at least for now.
don't want to come out yet.
Hiding behind quiet tears
that don't want to be seen.
My head fizzes gently as
they float around
Looking for a safe way out.
I won't imprison them too long;
They'll make sense soon enough.
But I'll keep these words
Until they can be changed.
With a voice softer than
the stirring of a sleeping child
and words gentle rain at dusk.
With the hope of a grandfather’s
stories of love and desire, wanting
to share more than just the hard times.
Fear and anxiety hide beneath his smile.
his forgotten childhood half-remembered
in softly spoken conversations.
His voice has a smile when the pain lets up.
The voice I strain to hear
at the end of a distant phone line.
There is something different in this hot yellow school summer. The heat and sweatiness of friends distorts in the intense August light that still fills the living room. An album cover balances delicately between my skinny brown fingers. Against the white background two figures. A man. A woman. Each half naked, his torso/her belly, rump and thighs. Outside, their shoulders, legs and arms bare, friends play in the dust of the estate.
Wearing a Groove
How often I walk this route,
wearing a groove into the hard concrete
of Newcastle’s pavements.
I see the same views
the same people
as I walk from home
to nursery to work and back.
Exercise the same muscle groups
over and again until
I just want to stop.
But then I think -
how trim my bum is becoming.
Her alarm call of “mamma” sounds through the night.
Tiredness clings to my body as I work
out how to convince her it’s too early for play.
I avoid the gaze of the clock; ignore how soon til morning,
In the half darkness I wonder how long to leave
before going in with a gentle “shhh, my love”.
There’s no time to shower before breakfast. I’d love
to take five minute’s - instead I clear last night’s
left overs and somehow plan the time left
in the day to tackle the mountain of housework,
when all I want is to sleepwalk through the morning;
and all she wants is to play.
As she sleeps I slip the earphones into place and press play.
I sink down and down and listen to the songs you love
and suddenly the soundtrack to my morning
brings you home to me. The smell of last night’s
sex fills the air. Clings to my body. A sleepy tryst worked
into a schedule when there is often no time left.
On Wednesdays she cries when I leave
her . She’s in good hands, she’s in good hands - guilt plays
on my mind as I close the door behind me. I go to work
dismiss the stay at home alternative where love
alone can’t carry me through until the night
and the same old begins again the next morning.
But there is no sense mourning
the independence and freedom I willingly left
behind, when each night
chemical euphoria would play
with perception and loved up masquerading as loved...
was never going to work.
It’s my breathing space, work,
not my reason to get up every morning
It isn’t the job I love
but the slight return to my old self. By the time I leave
it almost feels like play
I arrive home refreshed, ready for the night’s
work to begin. Thoughts of tomorrow left
until morning. Time to enjoy now and play.
This love keeps us safe at the end of each night.