Cut

Impulsive as considered from the outside, but this is a simplification. The edge of depression is a three syllable look in the mirror – long and hard. Against her own better judgement, with a lifetime’s layers of experience, it is with a sense of inevitability that she opens the utensil drawer and picks out the scissors.

Heavy heart?
Heavy hair?
Comb up
tie round
hold tight
finger thumb
scissor snip
let go
un tie
tidy up
brush down
don’t look
lighter now
there there.

In our midst

These elfin must, you say, be kept in check,
be weakened by the wiles you litter round,
for in full strength they’d melt your measly words
and cease your constant wars and mongering.

In market halls, in places you forgot,
they work their wisdom calm and quietly,
and people who are tired by what you do
arrive for salve and kind solicitude.

These elfin, simply people who don’t bow
to fear and hate and spin, will tarry long,
and when you send your twisted stooges in,
be unapparent, veiled, but ever strong.

Equinox

By this card let us mark together
one more day falling past our shoulders
onto the leaves of fifty three years.
Red, amber and gold is my carpet,
and I only moments ago embarked
on my inaugural flight
in a plane named Warrior.

Twisted familial expectation
beneath fragmented family life:
my own way was a no way; failing and flailing,
confidence bonfired, trodden in, mud sodden,
but there was a will in all that,
and if it led to winter, so be it.

We have found new seasoning, you and I,
because we do not recognise the ground
and continue through the frost to dig,
when those who focus on cats eyes smooth over.

Now another autumn story is all but sealed,
like lips that have spoken their piece.
It is time to take up the pen again,
and mine this earthly experience
until all our years are writ.

Stranger

So, unknown friend, I take you at your word
and will not hear dissuasion, the refrain
of neighbours wielding helpful threat of sword.
My should-know-better, life-encrusted brain
says just accept, and may be wrong again.

Oh unknown friend with cheated eyes that speak
of pain and fear in sad and dungeoned face;
failed expectations drag the path you keep,
and I alone will stoop to match your pace.
Don’t net me in disaster in your place.

No, unknown friend, there will not be a way,
redemption is for younger fools than me,
to come back from betrayal, so, I pray,
be sure upon your feet and let me see
by truth and care, how friendly you may be.

Profit?

Take your hard hand from
my soft shoulder. You
waste our days and
steal our humanity. You
are deceitful and
grow fat on gullibility.

In all your machinations
our welfare is furthest
from your mind. And
we struggle to emulate
your unfortunate terms in
our narrow margins.

Change your thinking. You
will never recompense our
labour or make the rich
content. Reach down your arms and
deploy wit instead, to
plant hope and strength of mind.

Leap

How quick the leap of faith –
an extra breath,
hanging free from all restraint
imposed and once accepted.

What madness to undo
the tie of twisted rope,
fishing out spliced ends
which for decades held true.

And edge forwards.
I see a shaman’s face
observing from the moon.
Aye, but these limbs are my own.

Risk, courage or stupidity,
the unfamiliar domain of
some other bird. No more easing out –
Time to leap and trust the air.