Poem

The New Boy

Panicked anxiety
soaking deep into the classroom carpet
on day one:
‘Hi!’
‘Hello!’
‘Who are you?’
Who am I?
Spider-Man watch’d; shaved hair.
I’ve closed the door tightly
and bolted up my self:
please don’t, please don’t please don’t.
The smell of plastic covers and
freshly printed cover pages,
and Pritt glue – 40g – the big one,
an acrid cloud filling the room:
a smell that brings me back – still.

No one to play with,
but my shivering shadow,
day in and out –
wave to the metallic blue Citroën
each morning from Mrs Peterson’s window.
Maybe today the sunshine of friendship
can soak up the damp carpet.

An Hour

Hold on for just an hour longer,
my Friend.
I miss you already
and the way your eyes smiled
at life
even though I know it isn’t easy.
Please put down those pills so sombre
in your shaking hands
and walk with me down the street.
I love you enough to care
in these riptides of sorrow and strife,
and I just need to hug you,
for you more than for me this time.
Don’t write that note much stronger,
call me and let’s go
on that trip we always spoke of.
In my head the tenses are confused
because you still are to me:
not was.

Hold on for just an hour longer:
please put down those pills so sombre;
don’t write that note much stronger.
Because you still are to me.

Between stardust and I

High, dry memory throws up:
a tying of knots in a tent in a house
(which reminds me of music in grade 3
and Mrs Whatsherface with the immovable hair).
Moments of wander (or is it wonder?)
sprinkle my memory like some hopeful
seeds scattered in the zephyrs of tomorrow.
“These moment will haunt you later in life!”
a voice whispered then, which only reached me now.
(I really do not know if I’ll ever feel this moment again).
But blackjacks appear out of nowhere
(yes, that’s what we called them!
they stuck to our socks and pants
like memories we don’t want)
and suddenly I’m back:
waiting for my Dad to drive away,
with a heavy feeling inside my tummy I didn’t understand
(until I studied Psychology much later on).
Or that time, etched in black trauma,
of being betrayed for believing someone’s pain
or trying my best but not succeeding.

Gentle, gentle, over the top, boys, mighty Gentleman!
You know not what lies ahead.

In Mourning

My soul is dressed in black today
as I attended another one
and my anxiety is back
(I can feel its kneeding in my chest)
and I’m blinking to keep away tears.
It’s a dusky dawn of drain,
my thoughts of care just a stain.

I walk around mute
but it’s loud inside my mind
with thoughts of this and that
how maybe I said something wrong
or didn’t do enough
(despite knowing I did more).

But I lower another one
into the cold, hard soil of memory:
Rest in peace, what never was.
Rest in peace.

Piece of me

Looking at a rainbow
their backs are to the sun,
and this is how it is:
departing wasn’t fun.

He to the far cold east
and she to the glum west.
Separate paths for separate souls:
relationships pose the hardest test.

She felt something weighing her down
so she searched her heart’s pocket
And there she felt something gold:
while he, afar, cried holding half a locket.

When I have time

So who doesn’t have time now?
Amid the pandemic.
Alongside the hours:
bodies moving slowly
in small spaces
going in circles
like second hands
on a weathered clock
hanging on wallpapered concrete.
“When I have time,
we can make plans.”
Saving face;
biding time.

“Hello, can I help you?”
“Hi, yes. I’m looking for…”

Time.
Measured in loneliness.

Deeper than skin

Seven autumns have passed
leaves fallen
trodden on
swept up
much like dreams forgotten
(abandoned).

Renewal: cyclical hope of change
illuminated by colourful explosions,
a simple wish from crying eyes.
“Please, hear me.”

Sometimes it arrives
like an unexpected flowering
in the middle of a dry winter.
A chance encounter, but brief.
Yet beautiful enough to sustain hope.

Contemplation of Existence

It’s the opposite of loneliness
but you can still feel alone in it
where wispy word won’t cut it
clear, no. It just won’t do.

Sometimes it just isn’t enough
and the cravings for something else overpowers
this.
And nobody knows what that something is,
that some
thing.

Is this the place affection comes to die?
Will it lie here, lapping the tears away,
while the void expands
like those black holes?
Anti-matter matters much.

What to do with an empty bed,
and a full heart that feels hollow?
What to do?