Category Archives: Last Week’s Poetry

Hands

I attended by best friends’ wedding this week, and I couldn’t help but notice how different my stubby, scarred blacksmith hands look compared to those of most other young women. So I did what I do, and wrote a poem about it:

too long it’s been for me to change these hands
my fingers curl, my fist here ready stands
were I a girl, I’d have less blemished skin
stretched over knuckles rough like battered sands

at least, that’s what the universe here cries
when peering down my forearms with its eyes
the scars and burns stand proud despite its glare
each cicatrix a story here describes

it’s tempting, still, to heed the sacred lie
that states I am what I look like and buy
defiant cries from surface, screen, and air
once muddled, focus, then my strength belie

“the outside can be changed,” the TV calls
the ads flash bright, the colored screen enthralls
and I look down, the difference too stark
my skin more marred beside these whitewashed walls

disarming, how a sight can make you see
both forest and the lonesome standing tree
and I, that tree, think sometimes that to stand
alone is worse than leaving all of me

and yet, return from that most dangerous thought
is brought by comfort and with sunlight bought
the golden rays pass hands in great exchange
bring color to my arms, til they burn hot

my fingers can now hold the very fire
that runs beneath my veins in friendly ire
and pick up steel turned orange by the forge
that formed my scars, did every burn inspire

refusal to give in to what they say
has led to holding fire in this way
for with each mark the sunlight here cements
a hold upon my hands and heart each day

each morning I look up to see the sky
hands raised in praise, no though of asking why
no blemishes, no failures mar my skin
each scar is beauty – beauty found within

M.
Jun 26/17

The Crow

I recently was lent a copy of The Diamond Age, a novel by Neal Stephenson which explores a fantasy-like future in which nanotechnology and cultural constructs reign supreme. It was in this unlikely (and thoroughly enjoyable) bundle of pages that I found an intriguing poem – “The Raven” by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, whom I had studied in my grade twelve Literature class.

As you can likely tell by the title of this post, the poem struck a chord with me. The following composition is based on Coleridge’s “The Raven”, with my own ideas thrown in for good measure.

Underneath a stout walnut tree
There was of swine a great company.
They grunted as they crunched the wood,
Which, not long after, no longer stood. Continue reading The Crow

Just Friends

[Inspired by Disney’s Beauty and the Beast]

I watch you,
ten rows down at
two-and-a-half-feet a row
Space
enough for friendship

Courting indifference
– uncertainty, adventure,
due diligence, rebellion –
whatever sugar we’re coating it in
these days
I feel lost in a world where
blue and gold
turn grey

Just friends
until somebody takes a chance
like I did
bending to a plucked rose,
still yellow
but fraying red

Torn between
thoughts and feelings
– neither being rational –
but pretending, all the same
that the mess makes
some sort of
Sense

Senselessness,
as in, unfeeling
pricked by a thorn
outward perceptions and
melodramatic music, TV shows,
movies you care nothing for
and beauty found
in people
smaller than their
circumstances

I am smaller, too
than I ought to be
Uncertain
of that same space,
frozen, locked away

And all I want
is to turn the key
poised precariously
ashen lock – torn, yellow curtain
longing
for freedom

M.
Mar 18/17
Picture: mild steel hibiscus blossom

Soulcrushing

Close your eyes
and think

Does it almost feel
like nothing
changed at all?

Try to let that
sink in
and open those
little eyes again

Go soulcrushing
with the best of them
Like when I’m
crying on the floor
at midnight,
wishing I had muscles
strong enough
to heave up dinner

Holding my own
fingers, cause
no one’s there to
hold my hand
as if it mattered

Screaming dead-aired
screams
Weeping without tears
as I –
Or as you, rather –
wait for the melancholy
to pass

Snot dripping down
your chin and into
your eyes
Mingling with your
shaking breath
and shaking limbs

Close your eyes
and think

Think about anything
but think about it
before you die

M.
Feb 20/17

Success

Bonus poem this week, owing to my unfortunately sporadic posting habits. This one’s part sincere and part sarcastic… just thoughts about the little things that make an ordinary day worth living.

Success

Today is a success
If I go to bed before midnight
but after nine o’clock
and fall asleep within an hour

Today is a success
If I eat vegetables with dinner
and don’t spend hours
wiling away on the computer
If I read before bed
If I make it through a TV episode
without crying

Today is a success
If the afternoon is productive
with video games
only serving to break up
the monotony of actual work
If I write two-and-a-half emails
and remember to save the draft

Today is a success
If I bother eating lunch
If I take a break from either
working hard or hardly working
If I don’t have too much dairy
(I’m lactose intolerant, you know)
If I have at least one conversation
If I manage to get outside the house
If I touch another human being
If I drink six cups of water
If I stick to snacks containing fruit
If I don’t draw blood
If I work on my self-proclaimed novel

Today is a success
If I get out of bed in the morning
If my sheets aren’t bloodstained
and my alarm works as planned
If I eat all of my breakfast
without throwing part of it away
and don’t spend too much time reading
before I turn to my chores
If I brush my teeth
and manage to smile

Today is a success
If I even wake up
If I remember part of my dreams
but not all of them
and if those dreams
retain some modicum of contentment

M.
Feb 24/17
Detail, acrylic on paper

Clouds Are Roses

When I walk down the street
I don’t get those frequent looks
catcalls, and obscene
gestures, like my
friends do

“Are you a girl?”
the silence seems to ask
while minimizing
their problems

Clouds are roses too
you know, they are
light and airy and
bespeckled with dew
though the roses are rooted
and red

Yes, red
that ever-important colour

M.
Feb 20/17
Archival ink and ink pencils on paper