Ten fingers strive to exercise a mundane task,
enslaved by hands, their jealous masters, clasping fast
till aching knuckles buckle to the bracelet of the day.
You’d guess they’d ask (above the crack of whip) how so
that they who long to dance, are pinioned tight and must
suspend their joy for subsistence, impinged by stress.
But never did these fingers speak; suffice to know
how noble words and careful deeds and soulful breath
held checked, cut in to scintillate with dazzling display.
Queens of the studio
we sought the other’s company
time within the confines
of our role to reflect
on limited life chances
Paid a pittance we posed
in perfect stillness
projections of abashed love
brushed into our lives
by twelve anxious teenagers
They painted our ordinary beauty
over again every day, beaten by
the pink plait which wound like
laughter down her strong back
carving fold and curve
Our granite lives outside
were hacked in sharp relief
to this academic canvas
where promises were outlined
to be smudged at a later sitting.
Best to bottle then?
Nicer not to thrust and hustle?
Count cherries in the yard
chink a little
trace my life line
with a smooth finger tip?
No more boom cha
dim dim dim whoosh
No more lashing, beating, fending,
roaring, bombing out,
seething, slashing, burning?
Just the gnawing tinnitus of a discarded dream.