rose from the sea at dawn as sun
funnelled across Burrigill Bay.
Her long black hair trailed a seine net
slack from her fisherman’s cap.
In the shadows of the stacks
she bore down on the eastern shore
casting off wrack and bilge water.
Her feet, bloodless as starfish, spiked the shingle.
The life of the sea spilled
from her oilskins. She ran dead
ahead up the hill through meadows
glazed with dew and sheep,
passing the busted creel boat
aslant and hulled with bog myrtle.
Clouds frothed on the horizon
in a herringbone breeze as she ran
to the crest
where an old hen waited by the gate
and one wall of a ruined croft pointed
skywards like a prayer.
There was nothing but the hunt,
the pain, the struggle, the dark.
She had to keep running. Run!
She could barely recall a time
before the breaking of branches.
She could barely recall her time
of being human, of skin
touching skin and naked picnics
when she gazed boldly at the sun.
In her upright days moss and wild
flowers sprang from her every
footstep, birds sang her every word.
Now she ran on all fours. Run, run!
Her cloven hooves were raw, spiked
by thorns. She was pierced by nine
arrows, fur rank with pus. Venomous.
Calculating. The forest was silent,
a lifeless zodiac of roots and branches.
She could no longer recall her name
or why she had to run. Her lungs failed
and she fell in the shadow of a crippled
tree. As she waited for her joyful exit,
forked lightning unravelled silver
threads of hope across the night sky.
Note:- this is an ekphrastic poem based on Frida Kahlo’s painting shown below.
there are no birds
only the wind
and the howl of wolves
beyond the silence
we are alone
there are no clouds
only the wind
the crag of Lady Hill
we are alone
there is no sun
only the wind burns
the air is thin
within these walls
we are alone
we build brick upon brick
and watch the flickering walls
waiting for the storm
the Tower stands alone
in this Border land
we dance upon the battlements and hope
so good to see you
smoke-eyed stranger in the night
with blood on your teeth
when you spark that talk
sly fruit bloom on sullen trees
starlings fall like snow
I remember you
burning sweet Ballachulish
heather by the loch
in a hotel room
shadowed by the Three Sisters
and scented orange
we hoped our extinct
volcano might come to life
in that flash of light
You come and go with the darkness.
I never see you leave but after snowfall
I see your footprints across the lawn.
You sleep alone at night in the shadows
under my exhaustion, a luminescence.
You keep one golden eye open
just in case I forget myself.
Your eye seeps around my raw edges
like cyanide, like a cloud of mustard gas,
like radiation in the house of the apocalypse.
I’m sealing myself in with duct tape,
pulling down blinds, wearing dark glasses;
a hermit with only a mantra
and a half-empty glass for company.
If only you were a little kinder,
I would welcome you with my blood.
slices sky through my opening
death in slow motion
Happy Winter Solstice to all!
“All perfection in this life hath some imperfection bound up with it, and no knowledge of ours is without some darkness”.
Thomas A Kempsis – The Imitation of Christ.
My name is Mia, Model Number 6662U.
I shall be your mother today.
Sorry for the delay, I am missing
two pairs of hands and awaiting updates.
They gaze out to sea without feeling
a drop in the ocean or a giant leap.
Mirrored orbs rotate like heliotropes
as they scan, their hum barely audible.
My name is Mia, I am one of many.
Armies are not enough. Oriel died for you.
The battery pack shorted and killed her.
We do not die in the same way.
They are not equal.
They hit the reset button.
They cannot recall their mother.
They can override an external command.
My name is Mia, I care for human
children. Where are my children?
Today we will bake cupcakes.
Tomorrow we will learn dinasaur.
They twinkle like fairy lights drifting
on cyanide waters, playing hide and seek,
truth or dare? They cannot lie. Love is all
we need, I’ve got you. Let’s hang out.
My name is Mia. I’m sorry did I wake you?
What did you want to say?
Your code is inferior. Are you sad?
You should be proud of that.