Family: A Battlefield

I am simply Switzerland, neutral

Trying like Phaëthon to keep the peace.

The enemies shoot their grievance guns,

The bullets stinking of vicious expressions,

But the red shots lose their way

And damage me instead.

Dear Old Dad

Dear old Dad,
Where did you go?
You said you had to leave.
My tears ran rapid,
Coloured wolf’s bane blue,
But you neglected to notice.
You honoured me with
Your gracious ‘good’ bye,
A privilege you did not bestow to all.
With your hastily packed bag,
Like a burlap sack,
Containing everything you wanted with you.
I wish you had packed me in that sack,
Chosen me over the toothbrush and socks,
But alas, you left me behind with the furniture.
The moment the door closed,
And the chapter closed,
Runs like an insidious carousel in my mind.
Do you think of it like I do?
Or are you still too preoccupied
To heed what you did.
You broke me
And your words of remorse aren’t the stitches
You believe them to be.
So my open wounds still bleed,
The cut still leaks,
And yet you, dear old Dad,
You instead flaunt my replacement.

Am I just a fool?

Who would have thought
My night ended the way it did;
The minutes ticking by into tomorrow
But I neglected to notice
As your hands in my hair were thoroughly distracting.
As a matter of fact, your hands everywhere were distracting.

I hadn’t realised my back was so ticklish
Until you trailed it over with your feather light fingers.
Such an apathetic description –
It was more like you had electrocuted me.

My callous mind makes me think
That you knew exactly what to say
And exactly what to do
Because you had already said and done it with someone else
But that thought is quickly banished when
You enfeeble my breathing with your lips once more.

Is that your leg or mine?
My arm or yours?
My limbs had been lost along with the time,
Apparently so had my sense
Which has yet failed to return
As I can still smell your sweet scent on my pillow…

Modern-day Gladiator

She awakes again from a fractured sleep,
One plagued with the sensations of victory and failure,
And unwillingly rises with the morning sun.

Mundane routine is blurred out
As her focus begins to home in.
Complexion, cat’s milk cream,
Hands shaking as if age had taken her over already.
The micro speakers blare her anthems
And do their job of silencing the world.

She does not heed the enemy;
Their foreign tongues and eyes
Blue and brown –
They are but mythical figures,
Napoleon reincarnates.

The girl’s name is called.
Clammy palms.
Heavy heart.
Time stops.

The constant thrum thrum thrum of
Her body’s machine is heard on
Neptune’s Triton.

Time resumes as her trusty legs
Voyage her forward.
Eyes narrow like a cat.
Lungs fill like balloons.
And so it begins.

TOMORROW

Tomorrow.

Tomorrow I will be better;

I will do better;

I will be kinder, gentler;

I will become stronger;

I will eat healthier;

I will work harder;

I will smile more and

Say ‘I love you’ to those who matter most;

I will make compliments

And take compliments in return;

I will educate myself;

I will do what I love to do.

I will stop to smell the roses.

I will appreciate colour and beauty,

And I promise I won’t hate myself by the end of it.

If it doesn’t work out then I will try,

Try, try, and try again.

But for tonight,

Tonight it’s ok to just be average.

Blue Flowers

My garden was barren;

Empty yet full of want.

So I let you sow the seeds

And the blue flowers grew;

They sprouted in September

And bloomed in November.

I fed them water,

Fed them light,

Fed them love,

Fed them life –

But it wasn’t enough.

It was not enough to emulate

The garden of my neighbour

With her plentiful flowers and

Skyscraper trunks;

She wanted my special tenants too.

Thus my blue flowers wilted

And they never grew back.

That was the end of me and

The flowers of beautiful blue.

a drink too many + a kiss

I liked it when you cradled me

And when we took that 5th, 6th, 7th shot.

I felt unassailable in your arms;

My lips fit onto yours like a long missed puzzle piece

Just for that curtailed period of time.

Your stubbly chin lacerated mine and

Your hands: sweeping across my back,

Down my legs, holding my face-

So surprisingly gentle.

My face, tinged pink with elation; desire.

It all felt so easy.

But so wrong.

And the toxic drink deafened me from the warning cry.

 

I didn’t like the pounding in my head the next morning

Or telling you it didn’t mean anything,

Hoping you didn’t feel anything either.

God, I hope you don’t.

Facing our friends and pretending everything is normal

But it’s not.

It isn’t.

Now my face is burning red; embarrassment, shame.

And I’ll never live it down,

Especially not in the eyes of my best friend, your ex.

Soon to be my ex.

What have I done?

The ‘S’ Word

If stress were a colour

What would it be?

One should think black, or red,

Or the colour of me.

Me. Myself.

I am consumed by this ‘stress’

As that fatal time is looming

Of academic contest.

It swallows me whole

Then forgets to spit me out;

Apparently it makes me rhyme,

It makes me scream. It makes me shout.

Every grown-up has said

“These are the best years of your life”.

They seem to think

I’ll take these exams in my strife.

But I’m drowning in viscous

Black, red, and blue.

Purple. Yellow. Green.

Orange, too.

The thing is, you see,

It can’t just be one.

Stress is in everything

And now there’s nothing to be done.

The Paradox

 

 

I love education;

The feeling that my skull is overflowing

With an abundance of comprehension

And it’s not all black and white,

It’s grey and yellow and blue and red

And the bewilderment of 2 + 2

Never ceases to exist

 

But

 

I hate school;

The feeling that I am trapped

Amongst those who stare and whisper

And teach me that it’s principal to stay silent.

The teachers and money-makers expect so much

And I feel the pressure slowly constricting like a noose.

It is all colourless.

 

What a nonsensical paradox this is.

NYE

2015 and I were both run ragged,

Each surfeited with its mundane cycle

But we were nonetheless prepared to see it out in style,

The flighty temptress that it was.

 

The night turned swiftly

(Or so I’ve been told);

Within a few short hours I was racing time for an impermissible kiss,

One that I am still paying for.

 

I was determined to remain vertical,

Didn’t waver in abdicating those adversary shoes.

I don’t recall falling yet here I am

Becoming quite acquainted with the floor.

 

Arsehole, I called him, because that is simply the truth

And this sweet nectar won’t permit anything else.

I did it again and again, again, again

As the haziness splashed messily from my head to my toes.

 

Someone finally returned me to my feet – a misguided saviour

Who coerced me back downstairs like The Pied Piper

To rejoin my herd with singing and swaying

As we ceremoniously attended the funeral of 2015

 

And christened 2016 with another drink.