Oh Daughter

Oh my
The inside that pumps
That thumps unchallenged
And then she’s outside
Beating the walls
Beating the drum
She’ll be heard
If she’ll sit in the box
That’s ticked
She’ll wait for on-air
Then she’ll speak
Singsong trilling
But my little limbs
And little sinew
Will she fit?
Her itsy bitsy fists gripping
Thumbs entangled
Mangled in hair
Can I bear it
The selling
Of the inside out
My beautiful little life
A powerhouse
Losing its charge as she runs
Hair flying behind free
Like so much seaweed
And confetti

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Under Other Skies

We marched
But our words weren’t heard
Through streets
Strewn with banners
Desperate pleas
Of the never again

They marched
Through trenches
Cut from skin and bone
Held together
By fear and hope
A dusting of red petals

We marched in their names
For our sons
For those sons
Under other skies
And we begged
To those men in hallowed halls

And they let our desperation echo
Bouncing off the reams
Of names
Of the fallen
Heard only by those ghosts
Recalled every winter

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Little Ripples

I compared
Oh and measured
No-one spared
No-one treasured

Every sound I ever heard
Seldom trilled Only grated
A deadened word
Lonely, hated

Nighttime caught me
A crooked trap
Bad dreams sought me
For their lap

I was bitter dark, a void
I was hollow and obtuse
I was nasty, paranoid
Thriving in abuse

But little ripples jollied me
To count another way
Setting follies fancy free
Another slate cleaned day

The echoes sit a way on top
They always have their place
And now a bumper crop
I see it in your face

A new and humble line
Is told from time to time
It’s bold in depth but fine
And simple yet sublime

To try and try again
To be the better man
To swallow all that pain
And know you did, You can

I compared
Oh and measured
No-one spared
No-one treasured

But try and try again
To be the better man
To swallow all that pain
And know you did, You can

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To Be Full And Free

What if
You didn’t have to be beautiful
What if
You just were
Your emerald
Sapphire and
Cats eye
What if you knew
That the folds of silk
And sand
And warm toffee
Were all that mattered
The feel and the taste
The joy
Of the breath in and out
What if those years
Leaving you spent
The counting and
The shrinking
And control
What if
You could claim them back
For your mother
And your daughter
And you
What if you could
Use that time
To build and strengthen
Dance and sing
Hold and love
Learn and live
What if
We all did that
Every woman
Our world would
And should
Be full
And free

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No Love On File

Showing no love for this child
Only wanting and need
A file bound In bedspreads
Of cotton and fleece
A gun cocked
A pin pulled
And thrown to the winds

There wasn’t a love
Only games of toy soldiers
With no power to take
An artillery
Of secrets and lies
That would not be fought
Could not be breached

The was no love
In the using
And abusing
The hurt and the heat
Of the twenty four hours
The seven days a week
The twelve and the three six five

There was no love
Save the path in the woods
It was seen for the trees
And the gentle and calm
Settled on a new note
When the words were heard
The Nightjar cried out

And she called from her tree
You are finally free

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Starfish Boy

The faint blue line
Signalling your journey’s start
Was a storm in my skull
Maelstrom of fear and energy
Excitement and terror
The pale grey vortex
Dipping in and out of focus
A beat showing your reality
And the first butterflies
Of spring sung in your bones
The jabs to my ribs
Solidified you
And now little starfish
You lie outstretched
My bed occupied
By wiry limbs
Chubby fists
Feet across my middle
Hands flopped on to my face
You took up every inch inside
Expanding into your world
Like smoke
Now at large
Into every corner you’ll travel

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My Honeysuckle

A ridgeback on my front
And then all at once
Mounds of senses
Tendered prime cuts
While Gravity pulled
Meat hooks through flesh
Tugging down
And the rounding
Built you
Developed you
So I chopped you back
Like brambles
As Ivy
A fearless farewell
To my suckling days to come
He sliced, scooped
And put you on a scale
Left and right
To balance
Stitched me up
Without warning
The life was grown
A few inches north
And you grew back
The bramble
My honeysuckle

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