Silver

Magpies

Magpies

In my room,

Tried to steal

My jar of tears..

Too heavy

They left.

—–

Magpies

Magpies

In my room,

Tried to steal

My jar of sweat..

Too light

They left.

—–

Magpies

Magpies

In my room,

Tried to steal

My jar of blood..

Too deep

They left.

—–

Magpies

Magpies

In my room,

Tried to steal

My jar of words..

Tomorrow

We feast.

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Sweet, Salt, Storied (portrait of a tree)

Some years ago, I noticed your branches..
sweet, salt, storied..

on a road to the sea, we drifted unbound
(your leaves spoke with the breeze)..

over the miles,
seeds shared,
sky sprinkled with
ice cream and coffee revelations..

in months your roots
swim slow in grim,
winter Essex clay..

today I hear you
speak in songs and

through my hands
I see you

ablaze with fruit.

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Snake in a tree

I saw a snake in a tree, pretending to be a bird.

Lightning struck but the bird flew.

I heard a cave in the armpit of a giant.

Singing with sweat, while poison dust flew.

I tasted the shadow of a mystery in a cake shop.

Shaped like a crown, the pearls fell before swine.

I attacked the sun, and the sky punched me back!

I changed my scales and the weather didn’t throw me a backward glance.

I lunched with laughter and dined on despair.

Like magical curtains, free water flows from eyes and skies.

—————–

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Writer Reflections:

Haha! Finally a form which doesn’t matter that I can’t format it on a computer.

The bittersweet sound of success (head-banging gently on table or a toy vehicle repeatedly driving into a shoe).

The form is a statement followed by an answering detail.

The pattern breaks at “I attacked the sun” and “I changed my scales” (I just edited a video for my piece “Baby Dragon” yesterday).

Then back to one more statement and answer.

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I’m sorry, son

I’m sorry, son,
For the pain I caused you both.
That day I heard
Siren moonlight in the woods,
Later, knee-deep
In tantalising quicksand,
I even wished
To add you to our new life.

One night I crawled
Back, weary for quietude.
Frightened, you ran
To her bed, waking with words,
“Who is that man
In my room?” She takes a breath,
“It’s your father.”
Questions spin within your dreams.

Belonging craves,
Deep pressures pulled me apart,
Pieces of me
Wandered in bright illusions,
Longing for that
Ever elusive feeling –
Fulfilment and
The quest to harmonise doubt.

Gradually..
The glamour crumbled away,
I drove gladly,
Desiring my family.
It took me years,
To perceive the damage caused,
As I arrived,
To a wholly different home.

 


 

Some reflections with a query… (scroll to the end for the query)

I used 4 syllables than 7 syllables throughout this poem. I tend to open the poem and then try to continue the “beat” or syllable idea. The mismatch between the length of the syllables of the alternating lines further conveys the idea of disparity (aspirations, age, realities, experiences etc).

I used to struggle with tense. Although a native English speaker, I am sometimes caught wondering whether what I want to say is most effectively presented in the past or present (or some other tense). Here, I go for past mainly, however, I used present in the middle. I did this spontaneously in the flow of writing and think it is because it gives that part a different feel.

Using italics for the 3rd stanza seems to give not just that stanza that distant/ slightly nostalgic tone (which I associate with italics) but also the last verse seems “gentler” (?) than it did before I added the italics..

What do you think.. is it better with or without the italics?

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Broken Record (love on repeat)

You named me again,*
as with my mum,
my health flickered;
light a new name and
a child will flourish.

Like the shadow of a dreaming carp,*
I float to the kitchen;
it’s breakfast in Hong Kong.
eight hours to an evening feast;
here, at two am, I nibble cheese and hummus.

When my aunt visits you, she
invites you to eat delicious buns, and
just for a moment, your eyes open;
far away in another hospital bed,
I am not fixed, but I know what the pieces do.

This January, you forgot which
epic drama episode you’d seen,
asked your eldest to play “Oblivion” on repeat;
when I was five, you sent you voice on tape,
telling a story of an elephant and an ant.

Today, more than three decades later, I record:
“Hello Grandma, it’s me – the name you gave me,
I really hope you get well soon!
Here are fifteen kisses; xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx..”;*
with extra – in case one gets lost in the post.


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There was/is a Chinese tradition that if a child suffers from health issues, the parents rename and give them a luckier name.

Recently made a fish for a performance. It’s now in the living room hanging out with the religious icons. Carp is a lucky Chinese symbol.

Idea for performing the xx in the piece:

  •  Rather than making kiss / mwah noises for the kisses, make small / visibly sized square-ish pieces of paper with kisses (e.g in red/ multicoloured crayon).
  • Or make the squares or stars (or hearts – maybe that’s a bit cheesy) from multicoloured paper.
  • Drop them on the stage in a rhythmical manner
  • In silence.
  • Or while striking a glass tumbler or mug with a teaspoon like a message sound.

“;*

Probably grammatically incorrect but looks like a sideways emoticon of a playful look, with speech marks for my hair, blowing a kiss.

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With Trump’s “invasion” of Britain, I am moved to more deliberately enact resistance by being me and being alive. Specifically, endeavouring to be more open (saying what I think, eg with tact if necessary!), honest, communicative, organised, and be an amazing listener and patiently conspire with myself and my fellow creative collaborators far and wide, to produce work that inspires, uplifts and challenges and grow as individuals and communities.

Thanks be to Trump (for absolutely nothing!) And may the evaporation of toxic masculine colossal embryonic privilege; and the replacement of ignorance, corruption and laziness with actual peace-keeping, humanity-growing, unifying diversity-embracing minds for important jobs be REAL THINGS, REAL SOON.

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Put your heart on the line

Put your heart on the line.
That’s where it belongs.

Washed at X o’clock and up to dry.
Fret not, the birds are busy singing.

Does it drip or flow – red, black, gold?
A swim of goggled lost purposes!

On the garden wall with a melody,
Surrounded by fruits and vines.

If a cat gets too close, clouds just
Mumble and the sky will curl her tail.

Did you forget?! Our line fell weeks ago!
Heart floats freely on a glowing breeze.

————–

Prosaic stuff:

With a small interaction difficulty over, I felt freed up to become more light-hearted and talk about our never-ending laundry saga.

We had a tree (referred to in previous stories) cut down because it was dead and therefore hazardous as bits of it could fall off, and down went the washing line. Since then, we’ve been very busy but hopefully will get a new pole and line up soon!

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