Monday, 19 November 2012

LSE for Gaza

I am lost in the trails of my
self indulgence.
meandering through darkened streets,
just so tears can dampen something different
today, let them beat the pavement instead
and mingle with the rain

my un-earned malaise is not as noticeable then.
and i can lean against lampposts and watch the pitter patter
of my past
slip and slide down cheeks and bounce of the curve of my chest
to connect with the ground. it accepts my pain when
others wont.

i'm not worried - my secrets are safe in a city of millions
not a single soul will notice the tears of
one little black girl
if she cries softly enough.
we're all too busy, buzzing, busing ourselves around
and shuffling past each others pain.

so, i can cry in peace
my wandering eyes and heart come across
vigils from people who still believe in things like
the masses
and the power of our message
and instead of tears, the're dripping pools of wax at the feet of
ivory towers -
LSE for gaza - counting bodies and raising fists.

so i pause. and stand
let myself feel what that 'feels' like,
passion. hope.
and for now at least, it feels like i'm crying about something real.
tears for a world
doomed to disaster
destined to demise

its almost the end of days they say...
and these disasters remind me it could be true.
i think we should be holding hands.
my eyes seek to connect with who i who i once was -
i am reaching out 
the cold is all that wraps round my fingers
working its way into spaces between bones.
and the empty space reminds me that i am still
a little black girl in a big city
where even in its practice of  humanness,
has forgotten our purpose.

a case of you

I can still remember
when your arms were branches
that rooted me to
places that i forgot
                                            you rooted me to

matter -
pink and grey and green - colours of
                                            the earth and sky and all that lies in between.

is this what love is?
                                           do you still think of me?

It's sunday and i am lying in pools of my tears and
can recall when

                                            you were the gates to
such floods
of time
                                            truth and honesty.

                                         i still fucking love you.

Friday, 9 November 2012

dreams of my father

Is it because
it's always 'you'?
there is something in a call
this time of night,
its muddled.
not quite right and reminiscent of
a heavy heaving white rum lined
laughter and a smack "lookin' like you're getting fat"
strange ways of showing love.

and now some 30 summers have passed.
and heavy, heaving gin soaked kisses
leave me moist and anticipating
i am recognising self in other - joy decomposes
into fear
am i recognising him in you?
the worst part is, he's within me too.
pause, please pause -
move no further.
I need to know
if is this is the actual reason why i
will 'bravely' defy all of logic's plans
and chart this route, to unveil to you
life and love and the liberty that comes,
from breathing in the good of this world?
because in the end, she never rescued him...

i am the same. 30 summers, not a thing has changed.
she is me
he is you.
making this something we definitely should not even
attempt to do.
for at least, those 30 summers taught me one thing as truth:
one-sided love is not the kind of magic that can undo
broken men.

but if that's true, why, am i still here?
maybe, this time
it's just about
me and you
and shared miseries;
are the only kind of magic that matters
if it's the stuff that leads us to truth.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

fat enlightenment

i have forgiven you.

i see that you are thick, with worry
worry is often soft in the middle - from the cupcakes.
i know they bring you such joy, that beautiful
just enjoy the damn cake.

i forgive the roundess of your thighs
the pressing of strong calves into too tight jeans
i know that they do the work to help me reach those books
high beyond the reach of all 5'3 of me.
so perhaps it's an apporpriate price to pay
a brilliant mind earned in exchange for an ass that extends for 'days'.
sitting on bare bones hurt.

i have forgiven you.
you don't fit, and yet
you work.
you are soft, without weakness.
and warm.
because fat maintains body temperatures,
and means you wont freeze during winter storms.

i forgive you. you beautiful round thing.
so now, will you please, forgive me?
for all the work i did to change you?
when i ignored your magic
pumping you full of poisons and poitions
grinding you into oceans of
powders and protiens
to make you 'better'. thinner.

will you forgive the unkindess of my eyes
they couldn't see the beauty of rounded curves
and shapes that come from mother earth
you are the earth. brown and breathing.

will you forgive me?
i just... didn't know any better.

a reason for having children

"i spy with my little eye" - she says,
and i smile.
every day i spy something new,
when i play these games with you
through eyes that once were lost to me
cold and grey and hardened by
years of dreaming
and hours of praying
and millienia of loving - to no end.

but with you,
clouds are new.
buildings are mountains and bridges are

"i spy with my little eye"- she says
she's laughing and it's ringing like
churchbells on wedding days.
her hand is small, and warm and suddenly,
all the science
falls away, and only 'god' remains.

"i didn't even SEE that tree !"
god. i do love when we play
and your joy somehow sets
'me' free.

let me explain.

last night i dreamt that i woke up
covered in blood.
don't make that face - let me explain.

last night, i dreamt i woke up
covered, in blood.
the force of me was not - in me
now staining sheets, smeared across my walls
along my arms and
my favourite shirt - the one that belonged to the partner that never was
blue and stripey with the hairless doll pins on the pocket
was now purple.

purple is my favourite colour

and in my dream, i was awake
and searching for my fear - the fear that is supposed to come
when one wakes up covered
in life.
but then, i paused, i did the math.
and blood + heart some how summed up to love
and i began to rejoice-
like women of  yesterday who once taught daughters to dance
at the altars of life.

i began to make snow angels in me
rolled around in the liquid of my heart
lavished myself, in my self
i tasted like...gin.
for finally, it seemed
in this strange dream,
that i had learned how to love

i had learned to bathe
in the love i willingly
bleed to others with no recourse
those who felt no remorse when i am dry
but it seems, not this time.

last night i dreamt that i woke up
covered in love.
i wish all dreams were so wonderful.

Friday, 2 November 2012

a loss for words

I am trying to write you.
words are eternal and i fear that your flesh,
which first taught me
the treasures of warmth and love,
does not hold the same magic.

And i need you.
so i am trying, to build you with turns of phrase,
that cannot be undone or erased
somehow trying to explain how sweetness bleeds
through all of you.

but i can't remember... how.

when i was young, i breathed you in, slow and deep,
so that i could always follow my nose to find my way home.
Vanilla and honey - dusty florals. The bottle was labelled 'beautiful,
And thus I and Estee Lauder named you so.
But there is something else that i have always known to be true:

that beauty lies in far fewer flowers,
and within the power of your simplicity.
And your shoulders, though they are so often squared straight
a careful glance will find that they are heavy with the weight
of decisions made for all, but self.

So I want to tell you that i saw it all.
use metaphors to prove
that nothing was invisible to me,
let personifications unpack
the multiplicities of  our family's mendacitities.
so you can be sure, that it was you that i drank in,
my glistening oasis in a desert of his untruths.

And as his words wrought lashes across your back,
I watched, and knew you would not break,
though venomous tongues coiled round your light
seeking to suffocate joy
with hate.

You looked at me, and smiled,
while forgiveness shined its halo round
your face and this, is how I learned to live
and laugh another day.

So now I am trying to write you,
as champion.
I seek alliterations that personify your grace
to make idols of your smile

But i find this language useless.
Perhaps I require words from another realm,
places we have yet to discover.
For now, I will simply call you love.
for now, I'll will just call you, mother.

Sunday, 14 October 2012

The first time

The first time you don't really
that it's happening. it's slow
insidious, sneaking round
corners and lurking
in shadows.

and the strangeness of it all is
and suddenly i'm tripping over tongues and losing my place
losing my

and all that once was
crystal to me -
glass like pools, visions of still silent seas
the oceans of your eyes
turn to storms
raging and
angrily tossing me from tranquillity
the space I once mastered is
under new management

and it only took three seconds.
no blinking-
slow smiles working like warm waves
crashing into my peace.

the first time you just don't see it coming.
this thing, they call

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

This is not my thesis.

I watch time
intersect with his hands
that are weathered, worn.
The fingers are heavy, and thick, a labour to lift
each one making a distinct click
words are loudly shaped to screen, lacking the melody behind
my own.

He's watching my hands, floating above the keys
and i watch his brow wrinkle at a new found inadequacy
the product of worlds suddenly so remote, where
participation is predicated on mastery of
magic that translates words to wires, to ping to life in the
purses of granddaughters
a million miles from where we sit.
The 25 min that pass on the journey from his hands to her smile
happy sweet 16, from grandpa, rings warm and sweet.

My smile secretly seeks to congratulate,
though I fear he'll only read condescension
for time has suddenly made me master
and left him him, mostly

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Body Clocks

Seven Sunday runners passed us by.
This, is how we kept time.
How I, kept time,
for tears flowed too quickly to be counted.
And I hurriedly erased them from view with the edge of my sleeve
so you wouldn’t see the truth behind my disguise:
that I wanted more than what was available to me -
Less sunsets, more sunrise.
That I was pretending, not to love, your lust.
The whole thing, felt useless anyway. 
So I watched the runners, keeping time –  it shouldn’t have taken so long
to end something that never started. 
That ring, never left your finger.

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Above Rocks, Retirement

These are the places that time, forgot.
That history and memory etch into emerald canopies over mud floors.
Cast iron burns hotter, in dutch pots that wear scars as old as
Her hands and mine,
which after all this time, still cannot scrub as hard as
hers – so smoke smears and stains still remain
on dresses and drapes.
Breezes call me to gullies deep
so I follow nature’s litter.
Trails of coconut leaves and gourds –
empty caskets that we once drained in refuge from the relentless sun.
My childhood is repainted through eyes that remember
her hands, at work
and the time it takes to
turn nothing,
into something,
and her story
into my own. 

Saturday, 4 August 2012


I'm sorry.
But it always rains here.

And when it rains my glasses blur
and I can't see the faces of those
who pass my way.
And I know, that today
was meant to be 'special'
But I just couldn't see.

And I think I just let you walk right on past
everything that you dreamt 'we' could be
babies and birthdays and basketball games on sunny Sundays.
I'm sorry. But that's what happens
when it rains
and it always rains here.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Bad swimmer

I am

Water seeps into my unwelcome
lungs and forces out the
wanted air
bubbles are rising to the surface of
mournful Mondays that
spin on the axis of this ridiculous
existence, which we
repeat, without question.

Mondays always come.

I’m waving arms – high above my head
My fingers rise and sink into the blue
and I am unsure of why
I remain invisible to you.
Here I am!


I am drowning, and screaming to you
but we were long trained to
Tame these voices
With accolades and accomplishments
Of a more material nature

All those Mondays have bought us
In each room hangs photos of
our Orchestrated joys
calling to me,
Look ! See 
how happy
My Monday’s make me !

But I was made for other things
Dreams and clouds and
Lying next to you for days on end
Bathed in sun and summer slumber
for my soul is only permeable to love.

I forgot to tell him,
That I can’t swim.
And most magnificent mansions
make seas of emptiness.

So I’m drowning.

In Mondays that always come
and all they manifest.
but, it may be too late, to say it–So make sure you use the really happy photos
To stand in my stead
At the funeral.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Bedtime prayers

Dear God.
won't you just set me free?
this is a special kind of misery that I
willingly drown in hopes of something
that never comes.

dear god take this cup - that is, what he said was it not?
yes,take this cup and beating heart,
that dares to dream and dance and kneel before
altars of men who couldn't be bothered
to connect the dots
between what is and what is not.

And,while you're at it take my eyes
so that i am not undone
by their trickery,
which tells me smiles have hidden truths
or the magic to undo
that old devils work.

Dear God won't you release me.
i speak to you as though you were real.
if you were perhaps i'd find
that prayers of this kind
were answered.

Monday, 9 July 2012

one night stand

be honest.
can't you just be honest?

i am flat on my 
and you crush me with your version of
truth.  and hard as I try, 
I can't read
the rules that rise and set
in the pools of your 

be honest
can't you just be honest?

for i fear that in the 
fragmented pieces of you
I will not find the 
treasures that your body
swears are true 
and now, my head is nodding to the rhythm of 
you plus me
and my foolish form reads your lies as though they were

be honest
can't you just be honest?

because all i really wanted was a little bit of honesty
not all of this. Again it seems 
the exchange value for a few G and T's
is still little more than lies that lie in lust.
and there is never any love to be found
in souls dampened by 
sweat drenched sheets 
and late night promises. 

Wednesday, 4 July 2012


You sang me sonnets.
They were riddled with
Fuck you’s and
Guess who’s.
My shameless Shakespeare.

So, Swiftly, I saddled you with dreams
Of someone else’s
You bore them all too willingly...

but not for long.

Such burdens are heavy, i know
and now I am on my knees. Alone.
From this angle you are twenty feet tall
still singing songs in rhyming couplets -
“come to me whole, or not at all” .

So I pack your poetry in pockets
Laughter still ringing in my ears
And seek to unload my weighted years
on more willing shoulders.

Sunday, 1 July 2012

The Concert

I love you.
Inarticulately I scream it,
to an audience of silent wooden
painted haphazardly to stretch from floor to ceiling.

There was no rehearsal. My eyes follow into the expanse
lifting my voice to the limitless skies.
Notes fall from my lips in keys of minor and major mishaps.

The heavens answer,
applause that bears down on me
 in a laboured rain that mingles
with tears.

I am green like the envious oak who waited for spring
They blend with vines of ivy twisted into knots of your
 but I cannot wait for winter’s pruning
to be undone.

I must be bothered to try
to learn melodies that make memories of you and I
just flashes of  song, words I
almost remember
or at least,
words that I remember to forget. 

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Our secret

Talk to me tulips
you don't think i notice,
in moments of
presumed weakness,
torn from homelands to make new homes in new lands
my momentary homage to beauty
dressing kitchen tables till death do we part

you don't think I notice
but to me there's no
two days, and two inches
you rise
I know that all is not what it seems

for we're both still busy trying
drinking it in
for the final stretch
a last chance to show
we've still got some
left to grow.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

Don't you know?

Do you know what love is?
Her eyes are damp
The words are blurred -
I've no reply, there's no retort.

Do you know what love is?
Lines have been drawn
He screamed, he slurred
rage has become his last resort.

A million hours
A single breath
it's been undone
we're all that's left.

Don't you know, what love is?
his voice so kind
it seems, he's pleading
it's of no use
i'm still retreating.

Do you know what love is?
No,it seems,
not yet.

Saturday, 3 March 2012

The love not returned

She, and he
in spaces that do not connect
despite the
tender tapping of fingers on his
The smile in her eyes is tired
of smiling
The weight of his slouch is heavy
on her heart
that loves what she has
long known was lost.

Thursday, 2 February 2012

the voice of love

i would like to be
the voice in your

to open wide the doors of
where warmth and sunlight
wash over you in waves of
laughter that bubble up from the depths of your darkness
from wells that you assume had long run dry.

to be an eternal spring
of reminders
that there is more to us
than meets their eyes
our eyes
and yours.
that there is infinite magic to be found
in corner shops and
fuzzy slippers.

a voice that calls you
to arms,
to love.

you wont let me.
lucky for you,
love keeps me trying.

Monday, 30 January 2012

small stone: winter's truth

The beauty of a tree
lies in its most
barren state -
winter lays bare its many inconsistencies
the twists and turns and
best laid plans
each stalled branch a symbol to the many routes
it has tried in its journey to
Winter illuminates how majesty is
as confused and multiple
as me.
So it seems,
that mistakes make masterpieces of us all
after all.

Monday, 16 January 2012


In the midst of my mendacity,
a morose Monday where
multitudes of mishaps plague my
minutely timed schedule i look up
and find myself
against the blushing sky
and hues of neon
Surely, it can't be all
so bad,
if its that beautiful.

Friday, 13 January 2012

The New Year's dream

Heads, and shoulders
chests and
We are intertwined and combined
from old shells
into new selves.

I am bound and twisted into
memories of us
that we have yet to
live but still feel
as real
as a summer's sun kissed slumber.

In secret
you and I are holding
hands and
naming children after constellations
Of love.
I’m reading you the poetry of our dreams
You’re building soundtracks from old solitude
We’re molding manifestations of

I've just no clue, who 'you' are.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Small stone: flight 422

May I describe
the design
of love?

Step 1: slide into interlocking spaces
Step 2: build a bridge of delightful dampness
step 3: marvel at man made stars that guide
our way home

and i'll hold your hand a little tighter.

small stone: home is where the heavy is (air planes)

Just like that
I am home
from home.
Unfeeling to ensure
the weight of
cannot bury me alive
this time.

Friday, 6 January 2012


I whisper to my past –
Do I have another choice?
She replies
“not one that you’ll likely
And so I return to walk in
footprints I’ve already
forged and
failures I’ve already
All for the sake of

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

small stone: in your presence (orange jumpsuits)

I am belittled, beguiled and
Made to genuflect in the presence of
a magnificent
the systems latest disgrace that
traps beautiful minds and
calls to arms
to lay buried beneath
painted scars and
armoured guards.

and i cannot look directly
into your truth.
My heart roars a call that leaves me
terrified in
the recognition of self in such a
presumably distant other

and i know we are different
but this knowledge does nothing
to dissuade my wish that we were

Monday, 2 January 2012

small stone - hide and go sleep

it's too late
for memory lane.
heart catching lyrics
love lorn
and forlorn
sighs of regret.
but i was never very good
at hiding
from love.