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. /
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.
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...
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.
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.
who are you?
what have we become?
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...
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?/
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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.
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
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,
whose voices reach the corners of the rooms
and rebound back to them.
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.
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.
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
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.
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-
dismissed the 65,000 years of life, of people, of culture.
and i am sorry for the crimes that brought me...
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.
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...
"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...
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.
She opened her eyes reluctantly.
The nurse's smile was pained, long-suffering.
"No, it's Ella..."
Josie closed her eyes again. The monitors around...
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,
and the trees say,
are we not precious?
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
"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 -
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.
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...
you say perhaps,
but the way you say it suggests never
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
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
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
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.
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
people are like spiders, my friend tells me
i wonder why.
i check i still have two legs,
and a lack of venom.
no, she says,
it's the connections
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
but just out of reach.
seize the... carp?
a flying fish
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 life within this fish,
lower your hands to the water.
you'll seize the carp tomorrow.