Sometimes by imperceptible degrees,
sometimes by external stealth, change
leaps upon us so we cannot find
core strength, and topple.
Sometimes change brings light, taking us to a new place, beyond cloying comfort, thrilling us with cleansing alarm.
How ever brittle our reflections
the face of change remains unaltered:
challenging our resistance, creasing
our gentle flesh through smiles and tears.
I am your potential and you are mine, one orbiting the other, offering possibility.
And all the time, change watches, smug in the knowledge it will always snag the main role, no matter what our human dedication.
This storm reminds me of Jaybee, my first friend, who was there to welcome me to school, with toy bricks
and a mean brother who chased us both and threw her in the pond.
At weekends, once upon a summer, we hung out with our Chinese pals, at a boating lake in the park. Jaybee had achieved her gold medal, and was a great swimmer, just as well, because
she fell in, on the way out of a row boat.
The next weekend, we met our Chinese pals again. Jaybee stayed safe, sat on a rocky wall, and me beside her. I said wouldn’t it be funny if…
and I pushed her, in jest.
In a beat which broke the surface of our friendship, Jaybee fell into the
water. Splash! She was angry and it began to rain. Lightening quick, monstrous guilt thundering down on me, I said let’s go to my house and get dry.
We ran – Jaybee, our Chinese pals and me, pouring through the rain,
shivering, laughing, each almost as wet as Jaybee. When we got to my door, we spilled through it like a flood of young forgiveness,
But Dad told our Chinese pals they
were not allowed in. Those words
rang louder than the splash, louder than my heart beat. Incomprehension roared louder than the storm.
If Earth’s mantle changed
maybe ever so slightly:
We would barely know.
If, minutes before
two thousand and seventeen,
she re-aligns us
so collective colours
drape about aching shoulders
and make us subtly strange,
It may work out that
less becomes our spirit well:
and we can be still.
We are the lost girls,
the stars of tomorrow
in curlers, pyjamas,
with beans in our heads.
Up in the night time,
we laugh at reflections
and fight with green jelly,
We are obnoxious
and anxious and beautiful,
Gazelle like, Giselle like,
a glorious mess.
We head rebellion
to form a close union,
our souls crying out
to be tickled to death.
Again, they bend to pick it up – a small flake of white gloss, bright on the ruby carpet, at the foot of the door frame. They haven’t time to wonder at the origin of the flake .
Each morning Alice removes an old-fashioned matchbox from the kitchen drawer, and steadying herself with one hand on the doorknob, uses the rough, striking edge to ever-so-slightly shave the frame.
Framed by familiar doors –
time to circumnavigate.
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.
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.