...and then

Sunday, 30 November 2014

What do you know of love?

How impossible are the things you ask of me.

Ask for the moon, I say, or the stoic, boring sun
Let me write your name in blood, I offer,
A wild flourish on this vast, ever-changing sky.

Let me pledge my first-born to you, and make you
An unwitting Rumpelstiltskin.  Let me tattoo our love
On every wall, door and window of my vision.

Ask me for an arm, an eye; any organ that you don’t already own
Ask for my flowers, my words and my thoughts
Demand that I lay them out as a carpet for you to tread on.

Amuse yourself as you throw me a challenge
Pepper it with a kiss, as I tell you I’d do anything for you
Ask me to part waves, ask me to be abhorrent.

I place these offerings, scented with incense and sincerity
For you to pick and choose, so I may prove my love
Even though you’ve never asked.

How much more can I offer, I ask, as you reject
Hyperbole, and laugh, albeit lovingly, at the drunkenness of
My soul. What more can I give you?

None of this is enough, you say; Or did you say too much?
Pretty words are just that. Instead, you say,
Give me your understanding, give me a world without you.

How impossible these things that you ask of me
How small, how devastating.

Sunday, 2 November 2014


I've loved a poet, a dreamer, a boy who never grew up,
He loved me with kisses on the forehead,
Strung poems in my hair
As I lay against his warm skin, on a bed on the floor,
While a Madras moon stood guard outside my window.

I loved a magician once
With dancing feet and a crooked smile.
He claimed my shoulder as his own one night,
As he made the stars rain with his sleight of hand;
His vanishing trick, an unmatched act.

I've even loved a bore, a nice guy who couldn't see
That I would be best when I lived free
He gave me trinkets in silver when I ran
A bribe, an imploring or a slave chain.

Totems for each of them, a horcrux for all.
A radio song for the magician,
Scars for the poet,
The bore, books and patience.

My evening  settles, gentle and low, a houseful of silence
Knocking at my door.
I open up a magic box, the magician's gift to me
Take out a poem, yellow, old and rusty

A caress here, a paw there, a hard yank of my hair
A memory, a moth, an unused black quill
They clamber out of the poem, and sit on my hands,
I greet them, gentle and slow
Where have they been, I ask
To the poet, the magician, or with the bore?