lochnessie

Australia

she/her
go say hi to my dem triplets, sci-Fi and mirkat!
and my lovely apology twin, abby.a!
flaming dragon protector of all minority groups, especially if sunny lets me borrow her sword
proud big sister <3

Message from Writer

UM
NINETY
THANKS FOLKS
honey tea (#dreamsofautumn)

Published Work

terminal 8

today was like / waking up sweating, crying / again. / 
i was at the airport./ i knew why. / and i saw the plane come and i rushed to the gate / and he wasn't there / he never was. / and i screamed into the terminal / dad, dad, where's my dad / and the attendant grabbed my arm / and i woke silently. / tears wrecking the mascara i forgot to take off. /
 

would you unfollow if i told you i'm -

an atheist.
an atheist who respects religion and the role it plays in people's lives.
an atheist with religious friends, who finds many parts of religion very beautiful.
an atheist who has been raised that way, who examines all perspectives.
who would never call a religion bad or wrong, unless it hurt someone.
an atheist, who is guided by her own principles and her own head.

an atheist who respects and appreciates all my friends here,
religious or not.

my endless sea

love, you're an endless sea in a thunderclap./i would tell you that that's meaningless except it's not,/ and you know that because you make the storms / and storms see everything. / honestly some days i think you can see all of me, / right down to the insatiable curiosity my soul grew on /flourished in. / only because of you, though /

oh, endless sea / blue / grey / blue and grey and thunderous raging white-hot flash / whenever i hear birdsong i think of you / leaning next to me in the rain. / i think of the first time i felt wanted / is that a strange thing to remember? /
i think of the tiny electric buzz as i sat next to you / raining and raining / a tiny multitude of your never-ending blue /

and endless sea / dear endless sea / dear blues and greens and waves and crashing clouds / dear...

replay.

maybe the voice in my heart is different to the one everyone else heard.
i've lain awake trying to relive you, exact intonation, word for word.
i don't know what you called me.
i don't know how you smiled.
you're - we're - reduced to a tape.
pause. replay.
my biggest fear was that you'd become a stranger.
maybe it happened without me even noticing -
you're dead, but i never expected the residue of memory 
to wear, to tear, to die of its own accord.
pause. replay.
who are you?
what have we become?

jonquils

Dear Nan,

I still think of you when I smell jonquils.
I still think of you when I hear magpies. They will always be my favourite bird.
I will think of you when the boys at the tram stop call my friend a dog -
I will think of you as I make the 'indecent gesture' at them that lands me in detention.
I will think of you when I become a woman one day. 
I will think of how you explained my body to me in excruciating detail and I hated it.
I will wish you could do it again.

I promise that I won't stop writing.
I promise that I'll never be as feisty as you but I'll try.
I promise that even though it's been 3 years I will still smile when I make orange cake.

I miss you.
I promise you,
and I think of you.

We are all jigsaws of the things we find, and...

sun gold

little brother - sun gold smile
and starfish hands, ten fingers wrapped around mine

and eyes that twinkle and blink and laugh all on their own
you'll be taller than me before the age of ten.
little brother - sun gold glow
and mucky hands, ten fingers wrapped around mine
and eyes that flutter closed each night as i say 'the end'
you'll be stronger than me at the age of four
little brother -
if i am never a mother
if i am never a wife
if i forget to be a daughter
or a friend, in time

i will always be your sister
i will always sing your song

i will always go under the bed with a torch
and whisper away the monsters.
little brother.

 

rainchild

they say the eyes are mirrors to the soul :

if i looked in your eyes i wouldn't see a thing / you blink too much / you look away when i look at you / you're the shyest most outgoing person i know. / you're definitely the loudest / but i don't think your talking really speaks. / i think your pale eyes are mirrors, yes / reflecting shallow pools and thunderstorms / and the rain at night /

you're a little like the person i wish i was / and a little like the person i am / and mostly yourself and somebody else,/ born of the rain at night / your eyes reflect the multitudes of out-of-reach / and crashing tides and rock-pools in the sun /

if you looked in my eyes, you'd see yourself. / and if you're my soul, that fits, doesn't it?/

 

Novel Writing Competition 2020

Fyr (Draft 3) // Review 4 Review

Wyn trailed one hand across the cracked earth. It left her skin marked with a fine, reddish powder, like an ochre pencil. The spidery fissures shifted slightly beneath her feet,  a feeble greeting from her broken land. Wyn felt tears prick at her eyes without falling. Her body knew to save water, she supposed, like all the rest of her did. To conserve, to store, even if it was the tears that threatened to fall at the sight of her dying home.
At least it was calm here, as though the earth was as tired as she was. As if the earth, deprived of water, lacked the energy to speak. Wyn felt the urge to hum to it, to sing; to soothe it from the slow death it suffered. She closed her eyes.
 
"Eh! We need you back!" 
The old woman's voice rang like a rusty bell across the plain - rusty, cracking and crumbling like the earth surrounding...

father

tw: mentions of parental absence

and today was like / holding on in the water to the dad i don't have/ you have a dad, you have a dad / you've always had a dad / but surely that makes it worse / it's his choice, all of this is his choice. / my friend's dad died when she was little and i comforted her / and oh my God is it horrible / not to wish him dead, never / only to wish us separated by some force out of his control. / of course i miss him, i'm his daughter

what father leaves a child on purpose?/ you never see it on tv / and today was like / oh my God i hate him / and every time he calls and says / i can't pay for your school uniform / and i feel guilty again / and he's my dad and oh my God is this...

old mate

sometimes people knock and knock and there's no one home / or i'm home, behind the curtains whispering / just take the flour, take the sugar / or i am the curtains, glorious chameleon / for i am where i live / i am where i am.
and sometimes i wonder, is my imprint big enough? / for someone to fall into when i am gone, for someone to rake over with leaves./ and then i will still be there perhaps, just whispering / take the flour, take the sugar, take the slow golden honey of the morning and the autumn light. / and then i will put my hands over my mouth because the words / they spray and spit and splatter over everything./
and sometimes i will close my eyes and ears and i will say / please, just take. take and take, and no one will give./

sometimes i will take the pheromone soup that is socialising...

Lost in Translation

retrouvailles

retrouvailles;
french.
the indescribable reunion of two friends, or the love between them that can never quite be framed. the way your heart sings when you see someone again, who you love dearly but have long missed. although the song of one's heart is cliché, retrouvailles cannot be described otherwise - the singing of a single note, beating in your blood, the feeling that was there all along. the longing, missing, breaking for someone that is at last healed.

retrouvailles. as a french speaker, this word makes sense to me but is clumsy in english - clumsy, but somehow perfectly descriptive. sufficient. retrouvailles. a hug where a hug is breaking the law. a smile that takes over your whole face and swallows you up and smashes the metal mask you had fused, all in the exquisite missing. always of someone, never of something - the craving for their laugh and their puzzle-piece perfection.

retrouvailles.
if picked apart, if pored over,...

i can't believe i'm doing this ... wtw descriptions

1. she has wavy black hair that she usually wears out. why do i feel like she wears glasses? she's popular and friendly, and loves to read. she's on the shorter side, and walks like she's about to start running. she has a really nice smile. and i feel like she's really good at a sport?

2. okay so i KNOW she has purple hair which is awesome but I could have sworn she was blonde. she wears glasses and has light blue eyes that twinkle when she smiles. she's on the taller side, and really good at acting. she laughs a lot and is always with her friends, of which there are many.

3. she has short, dark hair and dark eyes. she's very tall, and with a shy, nice smile that makes people smile back. she's cautious and clever, which makes people naturally want to be around her. she's polite and kind of quiet, but when you get...

bees


i. sunlight courting the edges of a smile. two friends sitting on a roof. they almost lean together but a bee flies between them and they are both too shy to move again. the sun washes their freckled faces in blushes and sunburn.

ii. rain. the roof is empty. it is made of tin and the drops fall like footsteps, thud thud thud thud. the bees are replaced with dewdrops and cobwebs. it is dark and wet and cold and the sky is welcoming. two friends are asleep and neither is under the stars.

iii. icy spring breeze, ancient though sprightly. wind whistling through the trees - it is early morning and the shutters flap against the window-pane, clang clang clang clang. two friends are awake with foggy eyes and minds and the bees emerge in the morning sun.

iv. two friends bat away the bees. their shy smiles are bright as the sun, their blushes radiant as the moon....

my best friend's tightrope

the saying 'a picture is worth one thousand words'
to her it isn't true, because my best friend writes a picture in one thousand different ways,
two thousand, painting over the canvas one sentence at a time
then destroys it all and leaves a trail of paper shreds.

my best friend prefers anonymity 
and i watch her hide in crowds 
and leave the poem at the door with no name.
she likes her name - she likes that it's the one thing that's different about her
but i think she would be different if she stopped hiding her face in her hair.

my best friend is painfully quiet
and shy; or so she likes to tell people when she finds her voice
but I've watched her talk to the neighbour we called a witch, and find out the names of all her cats
i've watched her knock on doors and call the offices of politicians
i've watched her take the...

setting sun, cobweb hair

TW: implied mention of eating disorder

tell me, do you still stare the setting sun in its burning eye?
do you pencil in the lines outside the lines
and run your hands through your hair in the bushes-
your cobwebbed hair. do you still cut it short,
and welcome the bugs that would nest in its spikes?
i suppose if you spend your time like you used to,
lying in the grass and watering the weeds
it is inevitable -
that you would be the intersection of land and life 
again, and that you would shake with laughter at my metaphor.

tell me, do you still eat so little that you grow as the branches do?
spindled and broken and invincible?
as children we did not have a word for you and now our words are
hush hushed because they scare people, though they don't scare you.

do you still paint the skin under your eyes with your sister's lipstick...

Why I Write

why i write.

i write because it lights the slow, red burning of the endless flame -
my words, the stringing together of sentences like fairy lights.
one, two, three and they glow in glorious harmony.

i write because the saltwater waves just keep on crashing in,
stinging my open cuts and striking scars.
and ink and paper binds my torn skin like glue.

i write because it is the very edge of something new, something daring,
and my legs are weak. i have never walked to that edge before,
but i can touch it with a semi-colon,
cross it with a comma.

i write because all my dreams are curbed by a cursor.
 

being a woman

so now i'm just the sunshine (ensoleillement, ness) 
bilingual brain in the halfway between
my body's caught in limbo too,
hips and shoulders folding me into this tiny box of being a woman
pains and winces, watching my friends doubled over with silent taboos -
welcome to the world of being a woman
and i suppose i'm not my own anymore, i'm only a woman
every inch of me an unpredictable uncertainty

and most days i'll feel my spine and wonder why i'm so spineless
some would say the change in me is symbolic -
the unfurling of a new person, growing pains and battle scars
but i am no butterfly,
though i'll gladly take the cocoon.
is this how it feels to be a woman?

i always serve a purpose, now, invariably
i'll be opening doors all my life, doing what that others say would be impressive
for a woman
and when you ask for my opinion (you...

october

oh, october
i feel i hardly know her-
i've never had reason to celebrate the passing of her days.
october might be somewhere in my spirit,
gone too soon to call a fleeting visit-
they call her spring here, but it pours with welcome rain.
october's lonely, i think
her chain so grey she can't be called a link
the best and worst and least of two extremes.

light a candle,
because october leaves and comes again
brushes the flame with slender fingertips
and lets it burn,
for october and november and the rain in spring.

campfire

heat on my cheeks serves as a reminder that
i'm burning slowly, and every time i see you, you add kindling-
it reminds me of sitting at the campfire on a pitch-black night
because i've never felt so blinded
and i've never felt so safe

and i can't seem to stop repeating that i'm halfway between
but is it true? i think i've reached a destination
and my destination is this horrible longing place -
where all my thoughts burst out of me
and the fire inside me roars
and i really
can't stop thinking 
about you.

thank you.

i am young.
my brain is changing,
putty in the hands of those who
would seek to mould it,
the same shape as every other person
who passed them by on the narrow streets of life.

i am young.
and i always find myself among
those who are older, or louder,
better
whose voices reach the corners of the rooms
and rebound back to them.
my friends.

i am young,
and i can't speak to strangers.
i can't read speeches.
my voice is a tangled octopus of sentences,
caught in my throat.

i am young,
and i have opinions.
i will always have these opinions.

it is not easy for me to speak.
thank you for respecting my silence.

 

mon amie

mon amie
je te manques plus
plus que mes sourires peuvent permettre
et après la tombée de la nuit
quand le ciel est bleu et rouge,
je vais demander - pourquoi?
pourquoi ils nous ont dit
ne regarde pas le soleil

le soleil est beau
et tu ne brilleras pas tout seul.

////

my friend
i miss you more
more than my smiles can allow
and after nightfall
when the sky is blue and red,
i will ask - why?
why they told us
don't look at the sun

the sun is beautiful
and you will not shine alone.


 

mother of pearl

mother of pearl
iridescent, reminding me of all those
holographic hats we used to have when we were little,
made us easy to find in a crowd.
and it's so human that i see manmade plastic in natural beauty
mother of pearl - the embrace she never had
and in a crowd
she will be found.
 

terra nullius

they call it the sunburnt country, where joyful do we sing
and you know that's all the tourists will ever see
the sweeping plains invisible to you,
sunburn but a distant memory.
and the snakes and spiders, terrors of this land
your natural neighbours.
all of your friends have a story about a big brown
or the tiger snake dad got with a shovel.
but you cannot understand how animals are scary,
when across the equator, a leader tells teachers to carry guns.

you're grateful for your dear sunburnt country
where the wind blows like ice and it always rains
or the hot earth scalds your feet red.
oh, dear indecisive sweeping plains
hidden beneath towers and towers and city lights -
i am an australian on unceded land
my ancestors the thieves, they called it terra nullius-
empty land-
dismissed the 65,000 years of life, of people, of culture.
and i am sorry for the crimes that brought me...

home // #nessie'shomechallenge

these days i seem to think in spices -
a minute feeling chilli-heat rise rich on my face,
and words surround the nearest thing, it's how i think
fire and the rich red ember glow, crackling papers like autumn leaves
warm and comforting, at home 
we're all at home - what does it mean to be home?
pimento, garam masala and turmeric that stains like paint on wood
cardamom bitter on my tongue, a sharp recognition
cinnamon rife with memory, russet touch lingering
i seem to live in spices,
as much as in words.

never change // draft 2

it's surprisingly tiring, trying to calculate the future
and for something so loose - floating - you'd think of a feather,
weighing not at your shoulders but your feet, dancing at
your ankles and soaring at your waist.
floating, a distant word, but your teacher said it makes her think
of that horror movie, or something out of control
  s l o w l y  
slipping away, out of a grasp you didn't know you were letting go.
you suppose everything is terrifying if you look at it hard enough,
but you have bad eyesight, and you prefer it that way.
floating to you is a nothing word, just as it is a nothing thing
you live in the moment, and your blurred vision suits you.
because some things never change, sings your friend
and the frozen soundtrack is all you both need right then
yes, some things never change,
and in a sea of feathers,
you see clearly...

detective duck

"Do ducks have teeth?"
Josie laughed, but Miranda was deadly serious. "I mean it, Jose! What's inside those poky little beaks, then?" She leaned so close to the edge of the river that Josie reached out, even though Mim probably wouldn't mind if she fell in.
"What are you hiding?" They watched the duck circle, beady eyes giving them both the once-over. They looked a sight: Miranda's hair was purple today, almost luminescent. Josie liked it, but not as much as when it was electric blue. Orange was next; Mim wasn't satisfied with her old blonde, even though the whole country seemed to covet it. None of the colours had been right yet, and likely never would be. And Josie... Josie looked like Miranda's shorter, dark-skinned shadow, and that was how she liked it. 

"Franny." said Miranda suddenly. 
"What?" Josie looked up, startled.
"The duck's called Franny."
"What kind of name is that? Sounds like it's from an old...

typewriter memory

click click click ting

Josie listened to the typewriter, which could still be heard several floors below.
"A typewriter? We're not living in the 1880s, Miranda." she'd scoffed, eyeing the bulky machine taking up something like three-quarters of the study. Miranda had pursed her lips and dragged it up three flights of stairs. They barely spoke for the rest of the day, Josie wincing at the clattering in an otherwise tranquil house.

She'd gotten used to it, though, and would never admit how its sound gave her breath its rhythm when she woke in the night. When she searched for a sign of life in the darkness. 
The typewriter had become intrinsic to their lives somehow, a soundtrack to their movie. She should have known it would become a third family member.

Family. 
"J
osie?"
She opened her eyes reluctantly. 
"Miranda?"
The nurse's smile was pained, long-suffering.
"No, it's Ella..."
Josie closed her eyes again. The monitors around...

Intersection

precious green

skyscrapers stretching, 
no space between
balconies abandoned and

overflowing overpouring with vines,
leaves and green twists
a tree grows where a couple slept,
right through the mattress.

vines wrap around the lurid green,
plastic leaves of a fake plant
no longer visible.

a life of precious things,
hidden away
and the trees say,
are we not precious?

blush

you compliment me and i burn
blushing is a becoming feature in a young lady
but i am not a young lady i am who i am 
and if i become ladylike am i really to blame
and i feel the fire spread in my face
never looked less delicate
delicate like porcelain, molded features on a doll
paint roses by my eyes but i won't smile
the etiquette of pointed toes and dessert spoons 
never natural to me, nor anyone

i will not wait for you
i am a china doll with the fire of a dragon


 

sleepless

"Do you think they dream too?"

You look up. It's late, and the sky is black. The street looks cobbled with neon signs, proudly proclaiming they're open 7 DAYS A WEEK! You reply, confused -
"What?"
The girl is wearing a long coat, and the ground is wet with rain. She's got no umbrella, and the rain's pouring faster now. You offer yours, but she gestures no. 
"
I said, do you think they dream too?" 
The wind gusts through and gets a hold on your umbrella. Still wrestling with it, you frown.
"Who dreams?"
She smiles like a puppet - like someone's holding the corners of her mouth up by strings.
"I know you see them, too. They dream like you do, you know, but they never sleep."
Your umbrella flies free, and you have to chase it. In your periphery, you see how a sign paints her neon pink, even though she's standing in shadow. We Never Sleep, says...

always

you say perhaps,
maybe
one day,
but the way you say it suggests never
or always
i can't tell
you are opalescent not in the morning light, 
in the evening
and you are so many colours i can't read
you are a blue i've never seen before
a red just out of reach
a yellow i see in myself,
when i am not myself

you are a rainbow
and i'm betting on always

 

magpie people/thank you?

i walk my brother in his pram down the street
he giggles cackles warbles like a magpie freed.
i've seen the way we are like magpies now
nesting building havens of security
 

yellow beat

you're still awake, and the radio's playing something slow and forgettable.
you sit up in bed, feel the shadows shudder in the change of light.
you feel the shift, too -
a tiny angular point seems to flood your veins with cold.

the music quickens and you're sure it'll wake the house
but you only hear the dog -
pad pad pad pad down the hallway
and it's like a drumbeat.

you stand, the bones of everything smoothing in yellow lamplight
below your feet you're sure the floor's further away than yesterday

the shadows stretch awake around your walls
reflect the slow sad radio voice

and you know you'll sleep soon
but for now you dance



 

paper dragon

i used to look more closely -
at the spindled branches framing clouds
at the red paint slashing a white wall
at the paper dragon someone hung at their door.

tomorrow,
when i take a paintbrush to canvas
i won't remember the way that red cut through the white
bloodlike crimson in the foundations.

when the wind blows through and a tree falls
i won't remember those branches
holding the world on precarious twigs

but i will still see the dragon,
suspended by string
floating with the freedom we left behind

The Unseen

spiders

people are like spiders, my friend tells me
i wonder why.
i check i still have two legs,
two eyes,
and a lack of venom.

no, she says,
it's the connections
the web,
the invisible string
tying us all together.

then i understand, i think
the way that some connections are so strong
you can't cut the strings, 
even when you try

the way that sometimes you use a double knot
and someone can untie it in a second
leaving the string trailing from you
painful as an exposed nerve.

we are a web so tangled 
almost tangible
but just out of reach.
 

carpe diem?

carpe diem
seize the... carp?

a flying fish 
slips
through your fingers
s p l a s h


maybe this fish belongs in the deep
out of sight,
out of mind.

see the scales
the shimmer
the life within this fish,
this day


you sigh,
lower your hands to the water.
maybe,
you'll seize the carp tomorrow.