This collection draws together poetry written between the fall of 2017 to summer 2019, reflecting upon the unique qualities of life and relationships, observed through an ordinary eye. The author says, “Within these words are themes anyone can connect with, be this from a simple desire to, a personal experience, misfortune or something they once overheard.”
Unsure if the darkened cafe is actually open
I sweep inside, straight past the hosts
Despite their earnest efforts to engage
Princess Charlotte says I look ‘dapper’ –
Referring to my outfit
She – with dark blue eyes
Dual German-Irish princess, by birth-right
Still, I penetrate deeper into the darkened space
Ignoring the time-spent on decorations
I don’t register such things
So, I actually made it to the Christmas fancy dress party!
Having left it ’til the last minute to decide
Congratulations are in order
No mean feat
Ignoring everyone I pass by
My mission is to disembark my coat
Find the safe place
Hat and scarf
Where is the drink?
Why white wine
Notice Derek, chatting intensively
To shy Lina
Graciously elbow Derek out
Lina opens up
I nod head, agree
Say something wrong
I disappear for a cigarette
Reappear, drawn to the Ladies in Waiting
I chew the fat, yet
Before I settle in
All six arise together and leave
I am doing well
Another cigarette, outside
Back in, attracted to Cordelia
The source of light
To a dusty old moth
“You look well. Pretty, you look, well pretty”
I am stared down by her friends
To involve herself elsewhere
Secret Santa exchange begins
I watch my wrapped gift picked up
Several times and placed back down
I can’t bear to watch, find another table
Here’s Tara, locks tied back.
But it is exclusively me-talk
I can’t get a word in edgeways
Facing failure, I am elbowed out of the way
By a grandpa age-difference man
That’s how bad I performed
I chat to the two Princess Charlottes
Explaining how my gift hasn’t been picked
Now I don’t want to give it away
I decide, so take it back for myself
Mild confusion ensues
I beg my leave
I retrieve coat, hat and scarf
I don’t look back
“If only I had said this…” all the way home
I wonder of the last meaningful word I’ll utter, mutter,
perhaps merely think of, for that matter,
if I have lost the desire or ability to speak.
As a baby, I know for sure,
repetition formed my world.
The least most era, spiked around my teens.
But since then, an ever decreasing and spiralling descent has closed in around me
with usage of the same words and phrases, the same dialogues and stories.
My time will come, when without realising I tell my own children,
of an episode I have told to them only a short while before.
I can imagine their patient faces.
Unless, I am able to do an unknown, unspecified thing about this now,
stop all this repeating
and say something new.
It came as a shock,
A sensationalist presenter of a tabloid talk show,
Dead, killed, live on TV.
He had been crouched low,
In front of the set.
Goading an increasingly agitated-looking guest.
Waving typed-out notes in one hand,
Pointing his microphone accusingly in the other.
The murmuring of the audience increased in volume as he spat out formulaic provocations.
Where were the security staff,
As the burly youth rose from his chair?
All at once running and swinging his leg backwards,
Before bringing his boot into contact
With the underside of his inquisitor’s chin.
In less than two seconds.
It was shown and re-shown, endlessly on the news.
Stopping just before the critical moment,
To spare viewers of an unpleasant scene,
As a body lifted up and a head snapped backwards.
For all concerned
And for all people everywhere,
Including ancestors and descendants.
the mindfulness walk (and the chairs)
After an hour’s meditation, the group begin their usual slow walk, around the garden.
I am there, bringing up the rear, one foot placed in front of the other.
Green plastic patio chairs occupy a space near the middle, positioned without pattern.
My preference is for rows, what’s with this randomness?
The irrepressible urge to swear in church, now manifests as a different temptation.
I want to pick up a chair,
Hurl it into the borders, decapitating flower-heads, causing damage to shrubs.
And then another chair, followed by them all.
Instead, I imagine an aftermath of shocked faces turning towards me in slow motion.
Wailing, hands clasped to ears.
Catching a sudden breath in my chest, I am back.
Repressing the thoughts, which replay the sequence several times over,
A sense of relief settles.
They are not so different from each other, my awake and asleep worlds.
The reality and the dreams, are relatively consistent to themselves and with each other.
Definitely, with some overlap.
Conversations in dreams are as normal as it gets,
Handshakes, introductions and farewells.
Plus everything in between you’d expect,
From understandings to confusements.
It all seems pretty normal to me.
There, I have never found myself flying above buildings and trees
(unassisted by technology or otherwise),
Although, I drive a car, have ridden a bike and travelled by train.
The cities and countryside, are what I’d expect to find.
Green grass, brown-coloured bark on trees, grey pavements and red brick buildings.
I don’t ever recall writing in a dream, playing a guitar or reading a book.
Unless I can’t remember those dreams where I do.
Or, maybe I’m awake and back here, when I am doing those things, there?
I’m not sure…
I don’t hear loud dance music from the neighbours, on sunny afternoons,
People aren’t knocking on the door trying to sell me things I have no need of nor desire,
Sometimes I have no money on me there, but this is true here, too.
Occasionally, it’s a struggle to move physically, there.
Metaphor extraordinaire, for here.
And sometimes, I experience the sadness of loss.