The Unreal Narrative

Real women have curves
The woman without
Must be made of glass
Or petals
She floats away on her
Made up cloud

Real men don’t cry
The man sobbing
Must be a fountain
A statue in the park
He drowns
In his made up tears

Real women can keep a man
The woman and her cheating spouse
Must be a fairy tale
A story from another age
A fiction
At home holding the baby

Real men don’t hit women
The millions of women and their pain
Must be figments
Of over active imaginations
Because real men
Don’t hit women

There’s the real
And the others
The stories
And our lives
Lived in real time
Each and every one

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You Hand Me Butterflies

You hand me butterflies
You can’t count the number
A billion
All clambering
To be inside me
Fighting their way
Through the treacle
That you’ve made of me
Their wings
A constant beat
They hear your voice
From inside my chest
And they’re dancing to you
They read your words
From behind my eyes
And they’re flying to you
They beat so hard
And so fast
That I’m flying with them
Up and over
Across a sky
I’ve never seen before

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I Don’t Know How She Does It

I don’t know how she does it
The carrying on
The burying deep
The holding together

With each day a battle
To deal with the big
And the little
While pain carries her

I don’t know how she does it
The love she can still give
The care she can still dole out
When stripped of all

With each night a fear
Of the big
And the little
The terror of with and without

I don’t know how he did it
To take and steal
To burrow into a heart
And never let it go

With each day an excuse
She was needy
So emotional
She riled me up

I don’t know how he did it
To hurt while calm
To terrorise with abandon
To destroy hope

With each night
A warm bed
A sleep so deep
A night undisturbed

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Another Beautiful Day

Bottle blue
And brittle
In their glassy joy
Those eyes that own me
That catch lions
And tigers
And bears
Before bed
And when the shutters fall
Dropping a fringe of
Pitch black lashes
Onto milky silky
I breathe out
My tank empty
Buzzing as the toes do
After pins and needles
Spent of all love
All care
When a full day is done
I’ll wind myself up
Recharge over night
Tomorrow will be
Another beautiful day

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A State Unfair

The chattering class
An Orwellian deceit
To give voice to our pain
Have we no shame?

When you anger them
With your honesty
You know you’re getting it right
Whether you’re getting through

Or not
Will be told in time
Will be seen by action
Not those words

We repeat
Over on a vinyl catch in the ridge
A loop of the tape
A fugue of horror

A cold sweat
That releases no poisons
That lances no boils
That lessens no pain

Those who live through this
Turmoil
Those who report
Disclose

Those fighting for freedom
For safety
For justice
Live in limbo

A state unfair
Fighting to save these lives
Taken by men
Taken by a world

Not fit for purpose
A world by design
Serving only one master
No-one else

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The Speaker

Will you walk by?
Past the girl broken and battered
Fallen in the gutter
Not I said the man
The liberal
Lover of women

Women are our future
He called down
From his lofty pedestal
I am for all women
He said
And his oration carried
Over the waves

The hours passing
While we listened to his drone
And the girl in the gutter
Bled out
And still he spoke
Of championing
Of cause and effect
Of equality
And liberation

His words so full
But empty of value
And the shelters closed
And the convictions stayed
Woefully low
And the rapes continued
And the pay cheques fell
Woefully short
Of those of his and his fellow men

And still he spoke
Filibustering us into
Submission
Promises of a life of fairness
A fantasy land
Of silver and gold

He spoke for so long
And for so loud
He failed to spot
The mass exodus
The broken leaving
Through the back door

Exhaustion to last a lifetime
With no hope
In the speaker
And his hollow promises
We left
Safer on our own

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Look At Me

Look at me drowning in my privilege
At sea
Surrounded by the benefits of being me
My beautiful shoes
And my smooth as silk skin
My stunningly pumped breasts
My flat clipped stomach
My full lips

Look at my smile
It’s perfect and frozen
The poisons holding it there
For hours and forever
Fixed
A rigor mortis
Rotting invisibly

Look at my hips
Poking through satin
My ribs
Play me like a keyboard
Or the drums
Beat me
Like the drums

Look at me
You’ll not hear me
Look at me
That’s my worth on display
My price tag showing
My value lost
Among the shelves of oh so many

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