Saturday, 30 May 2015

//Poems//The Forest Book//









Forest Girl

With eyes deep as owls and my
Flagrant denials of self.
With the faint spoor of the forgotten.
Deep green winter cowls.
 
Aspects of stars in blackness
And the precious night will show me
Departed people as metaphors.
 
Silence reverberates through
The indigo coolness.
Walking with the shadows of the trees
Casting inky blue pools at my feet. 
 
Red Hair

I’m half hidden beneath the hawthorn tree
I vouch my life they won’t ever see me.
My incarnation is wispy and winnowed
I’m barely here on my own terms.
 
I march through my wooded groves of violent
terrain.
My home is hard and unyielding but it is all I have
Ever known. All I've ever known. It is all I've ever known.
 
Blood stains and iron scent that I perfume myself 
With. I’m expert at killing for nourishment.
 
Black serge dress and windings of wool
Raise steam as I walk for miles.
Hunks of elbow and ungainly movements
Borne of nights on forest floors with
Rocks beneath my head.
Flame red hair flowing behind me
Wound with acorns and cloves that I’ve saved.
Dusty hearts of puffballs explode brown smoke
That wreaths around my ankles.
I disappear into an ancient hedgerow. 
 
Ice Heart
 
Its beating stopped long ago
With jagged uncertainty I meander through what’s left.
Ice scrunched under booted feet, I stamp and I stamp
What’s left of life and of civility in me.
 
Like piss yellow snow I’m rank and pale
The boughs of winter willow scrag and catch my hair.
Bed of boughs bent into shelter. 
 
Yearning for heat and consumed by the primary of blood. Weekend prayers and Craving will forever conclude in tears.
There isn’t a hand can touch me now or spirit me away.
Anger holds me here and protects me from my fears.
 
Mine

Overhanging birch roof on my bothy's walls
Dripping diamond rain drops when it storms.
I curl up warm in hides, fire licking my nose. 
 
Moss and ivy adorn my walls, tiny orchids burst in spring.
Despite harrowing winds my tindered fires keep me warm.
 
Fallow deer sniff round the door and kick their tiny hooves.
I’ve a moratorium on killing them
I like their company.
Intelligent eyes. Sad small hearts that keep away the lies.
 
Skins and hides line my nook.
Beneath them lies my heavy locked chest.
Dried baby’s breath and marigolds disintegrate inside.
Far away from earthly things I smile and tend my fires. 

The Tales

They tell the bairns the fairy tales 
To make them bend and comply.
They dinna tell them properly
In mine the woman has victory.
 
You sink your man’s head in
A pot plant and you keep a
Mouthful of blood. 'The jessamine will flower
And the truth will out'.
 
Bloody knives cut on her every step
That’s a real fairy tale for you.
Nothing in exchange for nothing
A mermaid’s tale for blood tears.
 
Like the wraith snow child
Dreams of a life will melt and waste.
You can pretend a family bower
But it ends in weeping and scarlet rage.
 
Forest Anaesthesia 
Forest memories and arcs of sparkling yellow light.
Foxes' eyes florescent fluorescent in headlights.
Cool set of moss beneath, tiny droplets surface and tickle my toes. 

Tap, tap on the window, spinning on my heels
Blur of grey alerts me to the tiny visitor.
So set are his visits, someone fed him before me.
  
Exchanging one prison for another has been my life
Forest, marriage, motherhood and now a locked ward.
 
My way was always blocked
A foot in the door jamb.
Another baby, another move,
another congregation of fools
To be ministered to.
 
My animals still know me.
Doctors never work out what I need. 
My secrets are in a fairy pool
Stowed deep beneath the black water.  
Not for me therapy or fixing.
Nothing can bring back my fire coloured hair. 

Monday, 25 May 2015

Poems//The Autumn Queen//



The Autumn Queen

A crown of gourds and acorns
As orange as pumpkin juice.
I uncurl and trace my fingers
Through bark carved curlicues. 
 
Acorn cups to hold my blood 
I raise a glass and drink to you.
Bark free initials that will leave
An indented sign or two.
 
Curled so tight I bend in ways
My heart won't recover.
White limbs like forced narcissus
My pale nakedness received forever. 
 
Seed head bones click clack
In the space between my ears.
I roll and turn in leaf mulch
Black as tar my frigid fears. 
 
Droplet sparkles of summer rain 
Stowed inside green tonic wine glass.
I drip the diamonds on my finger tips
I tell the spiders 'this pain will pass'.
 
Mallow orbs of snowberries
Make me shiver and ache.
Their stringent woody taste  
Quiets the fretting for everyone's sake.



{This is the first of a series of seven linked poems called The Forest Book. I think I will publish them altogether in the next few days. They focus on my interest in forests, in gender and in power.}

{Image from Pinterest}
 


Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Some Things





I've been spending time in my head with all the things going on. In other words the winter brain fog where I let my mind run around and around in concentric circles. Despite this my sporadic productivity has still managed to produce a set of 8 poems I am 'tears in eyes' proud off. I have spent hours listening to that misanthrope Josh Tillman. I've concluded he must see in my head or we are cut from the same bit of dishevelled black velvet. I am still wayward and difficult, which are not necessarily the bad things they can be. 

I have been thankful for the fact that it's all still holding together. It is in part that I can see the beauty wherever I turn. It's like a magic trick I keep thinking I will lose the power to conjure up - this ability to see and to find value in everyday life. There are a million threads of narrative in one turn of the head, a vast world with a spin and a click of your heels. And I do 'feel it all' and sometimes it hurts but sometimes it helps.



Sunday, 8 March 2015

Things keep going



It's good to smile, and it is good to see shafts of sunlight on the greenest moss in the woods. So often I see things in nature that I can hardly believe are accidental. Every day there is so much beauty. 

'Sometimes if you look you see'. 



Sunday, 22 February 2015

Love


That is what love looks like. That's my childrens uncle, my brother in law, and my two love him to pieces. And for years I have tried to rise above and ignore the vindictive words and actions directed at me and my little family from another, but I am now fighting back with love and kindness because that is the only way. It's not a story for here, or for public over sharing but how we respond to adversity and those that try to hurt and wound us is worth sharing. You keep on going and you keep the love at the fore front. So for anyone also going through hard times, who is hurting, aggrieved and wounded please keep on going. Nothing is made worse by forgiveness and love, of that I am absolutely sure. 

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Meanwhile




There is something intrinsic to a certain type of spiritual, naturalistic poetry that makes it touch so many people. And I am pretty certain that it is the same thing I find myself in the woods, and I can best describe it as the beautiful impermanence of nature. I can look at a patch of ivy covered in snow and it comforts me so much to know that at some point tomorrow that crackling white mantle will drip, drip away and the ivy leaves will dry and shine again in the winter sun. 

No matter how overwhelming life is there is always something in the green that springs from the earth that brings me back to a balanced perspective. 

Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
Are moving across the landscapes,
Over the prairies and the deep trees,
The mountains and the rivers. 

{Mary Oliver 'Wild Geese'}


Sunday, 14 December 2014

Seed Heads



Seed heads in their dessicated, skeletal beauty. There is something fey and otherworldly about their silent winter appearance. Today they swayed gently in the icy wind, my hand steadying them for a capture. If you teach yourself to stop and look, there is always something, even in the depths of winter within the hedgerows showing you it's simple charm.