Category Archives: 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 Music

The night, soon late, begs we return on home,
and voices on my ears bequeath a sound
that makes me feel like I am here alone
– so loud those fell cacophonies resound.

My heartbeat turns to drums, my skin to chord.
My eyes strobe light, my fingers string the notes:
this knowledge that the friends I’d ne’er afford
yet chose to have me join their open throats.

Though peace is far from this reverbing beat,
and soon annoyance washes out each word,
the music we lay down on this dark street
sings on inside my heart, in silence heard.

This tune becomes the body of my soul
and memory of a love I can’t control.

M.
June 12/17

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

Williams Park

Thoughts on how friendships change with the passing seasons and years.

I.
I remember that summer as
both cold and hot we
waded through the ashes of
my mother dying strapped our
tears to leafy branches watched them
float down with the current defined
by movies watched from the bed
of a truck your head on mine we swam
as far away as Hope stuck together
like five petals on a summer rose Continue reading Williams Park

The Death of My Mother as a Movie in Post-Production

The camera pans slowly, no
more quick cuts because
by now the
director’s used to
directing, the producer’s
used to producing, the dead
are used to being
shoved into a little porcelain
cup in the dirt, coupled with
those little porcelain
pythos at the back of our
mental shelving units.

The take is edited so that good
parts come first, and bad
parts are hidden behind
them. The take is edited so that
we aren’t looking at the camera (by
accident) or drowned in
the British Columbian
rain-showers. The take is edited so
that the year is summed up in a
neat little montage, played against
a backdrop of David Guetta:
Titanium and Nine Inch Nails:
La Mer.

Can we please get a mic over
here to catch this important
moment before it degenerates into
something so profoundly unscripted
that we can’t use it in the
finished film? Thanks
very much.

The cast is set, with
lines memorized
and makeup applied, which is
kinda funny because the audience
won’t see the reality of
weeks spent rehearsing dance
numbers and musical
arrangements. Instead, all they
see is the finished product, sparkling
and a little too perfect, a full
year after the actual
event has occurred.

Post-production is always like a
unicycle trying to tap
dance: the question lies in how
to balance budget and performance
quality while trying to make a lot
of noise in time to the music and
also not fall down. They do get it right
eventually (it’s all about finding the
right person to head the team) and
there’s a few thousand dollars left
for graveyard flowers and college
tuition deposits.

I imagine it
now. The premiere. The theater
fills with anticipatory
remarks. The hush falls suddenly with
the rising curtain, and legal
guardians quiet their adoptive children:
the show has begun.

The fateful year of
production, now condensed
into two hours of select highlights
and all the important bits, plays
out in front of a sold-out
crowd. The end is
heartbreaking. The screen turns
black like six p.m. The credits roll
to thundering applause. A standing
ovation.

M.
April 25/17

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