Poem: Condemned

 

This body

I am condemned to

this hoard of fragile skin

organs and bones

aching and decaying

cell after cell

destined for the earth.

I hurt

from my feet up

into my skull

bunions wince

as I walk

teeth wearing white war

paint jostle for position

and break

ranks

lips bleed as I

wake, virus

charging

defences down

fever slumber

hollow eyes shut

throb

swallow another

painkiller.

I was wed to death from

my first heartbeat

but I wasn’t informed

that the dress

would be so

uncomfortable.

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How to listen

I feel out of touch.

Disconnected.

Exempt from that flowing

current of life

wherein everything seems right.

I don’t talk to the trees anymore,

and they ignore

me back.

A two-way mistrust.

But in my dreams I am one

with the world, with

nature and the elements

and myself.

I swim in

an endless black ocean,

its ripples incandescent from the

pale glowing spectre

hanging above.

My gaze extends forever

over layered mountain ranges,

each growing

smaller and paler with

the distance between I and they.

I sit in the reeds of

a riverbank

among green and yellow stalks,

a duck glides

past, I can see

its webbed feet working

forwards

and backwards.

As I trek over hills,

the land welcomes me.

I can feel its eagerness to have me

as one of its own,

it does not

discriminate as it rightly could

against me.

But in my waking hours

the land does not welcome me.

I don’t remember it.

I have become

self-absorbed,

self-fixated,

self-obsessed.

When focused only on the

minuscule splatter

I am in this painting,

it becomes easy to forget the

plethora of colours

and textures

and brushstrokes that

surround me.

Perhaps the trees never

ceased talking

to me, I

just forgot

how to listen.

Poem: You will cease

I can feel that penetrating chill

they have been warning

me of, I can see

it’s little tendrils creeping into

the leaves of the trees on my street,

turning them

orange yellow brown

and fluttering them to their

rotting untimely deaths.

Do they deserve this?

Who are you

to make that decision?

You melt into the sky

and paint it dark before its time

has come, do you think

it prefers to be light and luminescent?

You don’t stop to consider these things.

You are in the air,

penetrating my jumper

making my face numb

threatening me with a sly gleeful glance

and I know that

it will only get worse from now.

You frost windows,

grass, trees, roads,

lampposts, fences,

miniscule budding flowers striving to burst into the world,

lakes, puddles, my deckchairs

in the afternoon garden sunlight,

your sneaking ways are unseen

and nobody senses

your presence until you are

blackening the skies and magicing

raindrops into snowflakes.

But after months of dominion

your strength will fade

until you are a hazy memory

half-real in the

blessing sunlight

and your shivers will be transformed

into ecstatic

shudders.