Some Things

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Some things 

are hard to say –

your throat choked 

with grief and ash,

wanting to be like water 

pouring freely 

from an open wound –

in the heartbreak song 

of a nightingale, 

or a tale of a fierce wind, 

a stag, a silver

crisscrossed spider’s web,

horse, bird, feather, wing

all daring you to come alive 

and be like flame.

Longing

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I think too much on death

wondering if when we die we wake instead.

But the gods seem angered –

it’s written in the stars, they say.

Yet morning arrives all mist and silence,

just the early thrush, a fox’s cough,

the slow rise of sunlight – glitter on dark water.

Amid the reeds, still and motionless

a heron, hook-necked, moon-feathered.

I watch, hold my breath, but the heron startles,

lifts off in a clatter, wings opening

into the weave of its becoming. I wander home

longing for the night, your nearness, your touch.

The Gift

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The moment of waking, his soft breathing,

the garden, frost on leaf, is darkness,

is a question arising unannounced,

yourself at the very point of turning back,

the path running off to night – is stars revealed,

trapped crystals in an hour-glass, time circling

around Saturn’s rings, and I, standing in the midst

of stillness, of a gift I cannot name,

return to his voice, to the window’s orange glow.

Song

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Looking at this world from my garden

I see how glorious life can be

on this day of endless sky and sunshine,

a tiny bird landing on the fence

to pronounce its song without shame

or embarrassment about its voice –

its song trills, loud and unapologetic,

as if to say ‘sing your own song

and do not be afraid,

live how you were meant to

despite the madness in this world.’

Maybe I’m tired of always lying

and pretending this is how it’s meant to be.

Life could be made of song

if only we could see,

if only we had the strength to choose it.

Spilling Over

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Some days spill over

like water from a glass

compelling you to write them down

as though you were composing music

or a song, as though you were clinging

onto life by your fingernails

at the edge of a sudden fall, each letter

of the alphabet a fortress

against the ruin, a new space

to inhabit within this lilting sound,

and even as my hand stops on the page,

the tune still plays,

the lamplight flickering in and out

as darkness sinks silently into dawn.