Isla-Grace Davies

United Kingdom

My name is Isla and I always try to do the write thing.

Published Work

THE FLOOD / THE FIRE / THE FRIGHT

Sweetheart, we’re drowning, we’re shrouded in blue,
Hands frozen, forever, in prayer,
Love, we’ve taken the leap,
We’re deep in it now,
Just tell me you won’t come for air.

Sweetheart, we’re burning, we’re wading through fire,
Hands charred for the end of all days,
Love, we’ve swallowed the matchsticks,
Our throats are in flames,
Just tell me you’ll stay in the blaze.

Sweetheart, be quiet, i don’t understand,
Hands quaking, clammy and rude
Love, the worst of it’s over,
Your legs and your lungs,
Don’t tell me your heart isn’t screwed.

the first poem of a new bedroom

A realisation, weak as the sneaking sun,
As the clock ticks from twelve to one,
Our Sameday starts as the last one’s done
And all of our moments are gone.
Our pixels are nice, but could never compare
To us back in the place we belong
We laugh and we cry our way through a nightmare;
Each echo that this is all wrong.
I’m dreaming of soon, though I don’t know how
When this seems like it’s all the new same
And six feet away seems a lot worse now
That there’s nobody concrete to blame.

Counting Sheep, Losing Sleep

We see the world we yearn to see,
With eyes that grow and glimmer,
We dream a lie to put us to sleep,
And smile as our ceilings grow dimmer.
We shatter hearts just to watch a smile
Eclipse the blue-pooled sky of a face,
We jostle an elbow to pull up a chair
And won’t admit that we feel out of place.

Digitality on a Technicality

Who are we to scoff at Fools?
Deluded, snarling, breaking rules.
Snow queens, set to underwhelm,
sit frozen in this blue-lit realm.
Fingers draped in strong, gold belts,
(To cover up the zits and welts).
Countdown to those out of reach;
Sweet entrails cling to pits of peach.
They need to see it: friend or neighbour.
Photocopy, echo chamber.
Send. Refresh. We’re living here.
Eyes are vacant (or so I hear).
So share a tonin, or two, or ten,
To lock out noise, and us, and them.

After Riding in a Car to the Hospital for the First Time in Three Months

Oh, to live through another, I think, 
As my stomach splits at the seams,
To look at the green with potato-peeled eyes,
To sleep outside of my dreams.

To imagine a new beginning and end,
To press self-destruct, to wilt,
To once or twice, I'll close my eyes
and be absolved of guilt.

Falling is Futile

Is it a poem you wanted?
Was that what would make it concrete?
Or would you rather stay a jumble
in my criss-crossed, dark mode street?

Malleable minutes, stagnant,
Your most hated. Poison, perhaps.
Carnivorous, crawling eviction,
I'm stuck, and raking for scraps.

Hurtling t'wards prose, perfection,
You've hijacked my music and mind.
Empathy without entropy
is falling is futile
is people, no concept of kind.

The Waiting Game

A strangling pressure pushed up from my stomach, enveloped my heart, and gradually forced its way out of my throat in the form of a nervous puff of air. I watched the cloudy evidence of it linger in the staleness of the orange lamp for a couple of seconds before it vanished, quickly, quietly. 
It seemed that you were a curl of breath in the air as well. I knew you were as elegant and elusive as one. I imagined something inside of me, slipping away when I thought back to what you said, some fundamental part of me tumbling into the deepest chasms of my body. A sob took its place; as silent as the air, and just as bleak.
“I thought you would come with us.” I had said, feeling rather stupid. Of course they wouldn’t let you join the children and the rest of our colleagues on the train. You were a strong, able-bodied, smart man. The...

The Waiting Game

A strangling pressure pushed up from my stomach, enveloped my heart, and gradually forced its way out of my throat in the form of a nervous puff of air. I watched the cloudy evidence of it linger in the staleness of the orange lamp for a couple of seconds before it vanished, quickly, quietly. 
It seemed that you were a curl of breath in the air as well. I knew you were as elegant and elusive as one. I imagined something inside of me, slipping away when I thought back to what you said, some fundamental part of me tumbling into the deepest chasms of my body. A sob took its place; as silent as the air, and just as bleak.
“I thought you would come with us.” I had said, feeling rather stupid. Of course they wouldn’t let you join the children and the rest of our colleagues on the train. You were a strong, able-bodied, smart man. The...

Final Hour

When I was seven, Mum and Dad took us on holiday to a beach in Spain. This made no sense to me because there was a beach at home and the only differences it had with Spain were the pigmentation of the water and the language everyone spoke. It wasn’t even that warm, which annoyed Mum to no end because she said she only booked the holiday so she could get a tan and show off to Mrs Robins down the road. 
I was seven,  Finn was eight, and Elodie was nine. A perfect set. A perfect joke. Why was six afraid of seven? Because seven, eight, nine. I never mentioned this joke to our parents, because Mum didn’t approve of women trying to be funny, but Elodie and Finn and I laughed at it until our stomachs shredded to bits. Now that I look back on it, it’s not even that good a joke. 
We did a lot of...

The Waiting Game

A strangling pressure pushed up from my stomach, enveloped my heart, and gradually forced its way out of my throat in the form of a nervous puff of air. I watched the cloudy evidence of it linger in the staleness of the orange lamp for a couple of seconds before it vanished, quickly, quietly. 
It seemed that you were a curl of breath in the air as well. I knew you were as elegant and elusive as one. I imagined something inside of me, slipping away when I thought back to what you said, some fundamental part of me tumbling into the deepest chasms of my body. A sob took its place; as silent as the air, and just as bleak.
“I thought you would come with us.” I had said, feeling rather stupid. Of course they wouldn’t let you join the children and the rest of our colleagues on the train. You were a strong, able-bodied, smart man. The...

Dressing Up

Before,
We used to raid our mothers’ cupboards and
Steal all of their fancy clothes, play princess.
Sometimes I was a dragon, in a 
Green dress and Green pumps that she 
Loved. But her feet were much too small.
She was always much smaller than me.
Which made me think that maybe 
She was a fairy.

In the church,
I couldn’t see what she was wearing, they’d 
Nailed shut her cradle because there were too many
Bits of her to look human. So I just
Stared at her photo when they started to talk
And I watched her glimmering behind the glass
Until her face stopped looking like a face
And looked more like a blot.

Afterwards, 
Her brother wore jeans, and I, the Green pumps,
And Paisley Ellis wore a black tulle monstrosity
And said Are you Alright? 
And I said Yes. Which was a lie but
Everyone in the church knew that I was not Alright 
At funerals,...

Is a Mirror Still a Mirror if it's not Reflective?

And we’re not in love. Darling,
We’re not even in like. A hammer
Through the Perfect Reflection shatters
A heart, or two, or three. You’re archaic.
Rather a cold, cold vigil than your scraping
And snarling. Look. Through the mosaic

Shards of the Cracked Reality. Keep all hands,
Arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle.
This glass is too sharp. Watch. I scorn
Her sorrow for you, absentee.
The accessory who grasps desperately
at an arm, a hand, a heart. Me.

You don’t need to go
Anywhere but you need to want to. You don’t
Need to be successful but you need
To want to. You have everything. Sit amidst
Your dazzling beauty, your perfect words, 
Your effortless resist.

Our shoes, rubbed raw, on wooden planks.
Our ghostly photos shadowing the walls.
Our crisp love letters. See. We were okay
Once. Maybe. Why have you got that face on?
I’m telling you Don’t Be A Brat. You know
If the...

Reflection: Skewed

And we’re not in love. Darling,
We’re not even in like. A hammer
Through the Perfect Reflection shatters
A heart, or two, or three. Give me an
Echoing vigil over your scraping and snarling
Any day. Look. Through the jagged

Shards of the Cracked Reality. Keep all hands,
Arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle.
This glass is too sharp. Watch. I scorn
The woman who dotes upon you.
The accessory who grasps desperately
at an arm, a hand, a heart. Me.

Our shoes, rubbed raw, on wooden planks.
Our ghostly photos shadowing the walls.
Our crisp love letters. See. We were okay
Once, maybe. Why have you got that face on?
I’m telling you Don’t Be A Brat. You know
If the wind changes you’ll be stuck like that.

Staticity (or Trying To Forget You In The Modern Age)

Who are we to scoff at Fools?
Deluded, snarling, breaking rules. 
Snow queens, set to underwhelm,
sit frozen in this blue-lit realm. 
Fingers draped in strong, gold belts,
(To cover up the zits and welts).
Countdown to those out of reach;
Sweet entrails cling to pits of peach. 
They need to see it: friend or neighbour. 
Photocopy, echo chamber. 
Send. Refresh. We’re living here. 
Eyes are vacant (or so I hear).
So share a tonin, or two, or ten,
To lock out noise, and us, and them.

Staticity (or Trying To Forget You In The Modern Age)

Who are we to scoff at Fools?
Deluded, snarling, breaking rules. 
Snow queens, set to underwhelm,
sit frozen in this blue-lit realm. 
Fingers draped in strong, gold belts,
(To cover up the zits and welts).
Countdown to those out of reach;
Sweet entrails cling to pits of peach. 
They need to see it: friend or neighbour. 
Photocopy, echo chamber. 
Send. Refresh. We’re living here. 
Eyes are vacant (or so I hear).
So share a tonin, or two, or ten,
To lock out noise, and us, and them.

Reflection: Skewed

And we’re not in love. Darling,
We’re not even in like. A hammer
Through the Perfect Reflection shatters
A heart, or two, or three. Give me an
Echoing vigil over your scraping and snarling
Any day. Look. Through the jagged

Shards of the Cracked Reality. Keep all hands,
Arms, feet, and legs inside the vehicle.
This glass is too sharp. Watch. I scorn
The woman who dotes upon you.
The accessory who grasps desperately
at an arm, a hand, a heart. Me.

Our shoes, rubbed raw, on wooden planks.
Our ghostly photos shadowing the walls.
Our crisp love letters. See. We were okay
Once, maybe. Why have you got that face on?
I’m telling you Don’t Be A Brat. You know
If the wind changes you’ll be stuck like that.

A Crack in the Roof

We see the world we yearn to see,
With eyes that grow and glimmer,
We dream a lie to send us to sleep,
and smile as our ceilings grow dimmer.
We shatter hearts just to watch a smile
Eclipse the blue-pooled sky of a face,
We jostle an elbow to pull up a chair,
And won't admit that we feel out of place.

On Climate Change & Anxiety

Heavy. A press on your shivering spine,
A tug on the string of your head, a friend
Telling you to watch and plod and pretend
That you’re strong, a warrior, perfect design
Who knows just when to lay her heart on the line.
They’re fierce and strong and they oft condescend
When you bring up your measly world’s end.
Forget it. Forget it. You’re doing just fine.
Heavy. The weight pulls you down to the granite,
Think and fall as the night burns away.
But nothing they do and nothing they say
Makes you believe it’ll sort out itself,
Because how are you meant to save the planet
When you can’t even save yourself?

MISSING: 171,476 WORDS

THE WORDS HAVE GONE. WE CHUCKED ALL THEM OUT.
HELD THEM UNDER 'TIL THEY DROWNED.
THE WORDS HAVE GONE. GONE WITHOUT A DOUBT.
NOW WE CAN'T WRITE OUR WORDS, PROFOUND.

THE WORDS HAVE GONE. THEY LEFT IN THE NIGHT.
LEAVING US HERE, ALL ALONE.
THE WORDS HAVE GONE. THERE'S NOTHING TO WRITE.
NOW THERE'S NOTHING LEFT THAT I'VE KNOWN.

THE WORDS HAVE GONE. I'M GOING INSANE.
TRAPPED HERE INSIDE OF MY MIND
THE WORDS HAVE GONE. JUST ME AND MY BRAIN.
I'm the only one left behind.


 

Flash Fiction Competition 2019

Waterlogged Sneaker

The sea isn’t blue. It is a rainy grey like my left shoe. I was missing my right shoe, but I was afraid to tell anyone in case I opened my mouth and a scream escaped.
A scream like Junayd’s.
Remembering was drowning. His soft grimace as he touched the hole in his stomach. I passed a drop of saltwater to the miserable ocean. We should never have tried to escape. A stale breath was pushed out as someone saw the first sliver of land, but Junayd was still in the country we’d left behind, screaming under the dust.

the oxymoron

You leave my heart warm and full of cold, 
And ribs crushed to bits on the floor,
Deny it just once and I’ll repeat it tenfold:
I’m sorry that I was the bore.
A string of words doesn’t mean that much,
To the fool claustrophobiac,
You lied ‘til you slipped through my iron clutch,
And now I can’t take it all back.
Days tainted by your yellow slippy glow
Watch my fists clench ‘til they’re red
But I’ll say I’m over you sometime tomorrow
So my feelings stay unread.

stuttered note

I don't think I'd stomach it if you left
me, staring at sunset, lost, bereft,
Your dark silhouettes, steadfastly,
withstand storms and wind and rain and me.
And whilst you're here, I'll let you know,
that I'll not leave until you go.
 

Sensory Processing Disorder

Can you feel it? The chill wind of the Things We Would Not Say
Bouncing off the sun’s purple in the lake and through your
PATHETIC armour into your sacred, malicious bones.

Can you hear it? The silent scream that splits open my ears
Whenever I try to write about you and ignore their
PATHETIC words and look to your wistful, frenzied eyes.

Can you see it? The treehouse. The mirror image of a
home that made us seem like a filmy shadow and left my
PATHETIC dreams in your beautiful, decrepit hands.

Can you smell it? The burning pie in the oven because
I was thoughtless enough to fly to the city that was
PATHETIC since it took away your wondrous, feeble smile.

Can you taste it? The acrid bile that emerges after
I’ve gone to ruin with whatever I can find in this
PATHETIC life after your blessed, life-ruining confession.

And then there is me. Out of senses,...

Zoom In On A Tiny Grey Speck On A Large Blue Stretch Of Water

Nafisa watched her legs, hidden under her ragged blue jeans, as they dangled precariously over the rainy grey of the water. She was still missing her left shoe; a blue sneaker that her father had gotten - along with its twin -  from a white lady wearing a uniform. They were her favourite shoes. That morning, her brand new shoes had seemed like the most important thing in the world as she flung her age-old boots into the corner of the tent, but today they seemed like the least consequential thing in the universe.
She might have laughed at the absurdity of missing a shoe in the middle of a vast expanse of sea, but she didn’t, for she was afraid that if she opened her mouth, all that would come out would be a strangled scream.
A scream. A scream. Like his.
Like Junayd’s.
Remembering felt like the Woman With The Cough had pushed her off the boat and...

cabbagewhite

Time to wedge some regiment into my small town routine,
I've read the script twice over but could you guide me through this scene?
Keep your head straight, raincloud. You're only just sixteen,
Don't worry if you miss this part, we have a time machine.

So douse me in cold water, hang my spirit out to dry,
I've tried and failed a million times but never once asked why,
Look up, your net is open and reveals a bright blue sky,
But don't escape just yet, you simple cabbage butterfly.

An Anxious Dialogue With My Brain

Big Red Bags for tired eyes, puffed out like they’re
Too cold to keep themselves working, and a
Similar mane of hair to match. Is it you looking
At that person? Is it you? It can’t be you.
You’re showing yourself up by saying it
To their face like that, you know. You’re
Acting like a petulant child. Try to say that
The words you write are just a simple exercise
In character exploration and deny that it’s ever
Based on those true events. As seen on TV.
Your Disorder(™) is showing, make sure
You hide it real quick. You don’t need to go
Anywhere but you need to want to. You don’t
Need to be successful but you need
To want to. You always have a way out, but
Not that way out. You can’t want that. Not that.
You have everything.

Campfire Music

I’m sat in this close-knit campfire,
This circle that never ends,
I’m sat in this close-knit campfire,
With all my campfire friends,

When one falls into the embers,
They’re quick to be replaced,
And we all love the new members,
And the burnt ones? They’re disgraced.

But I love this close-knit campfire,
This sweet and sticky s’more,
I love this close-knit campfire,
And wouldn’t ask for more.

A FRESH START A FRESH START A FRESH

Look at them and their fresh start,
The boasting of their change of heart.
See every other in the world,
Rekindle what was once unfurled.
And watch as I, tentatively,
Deny all signs if jealousy,
So jam that button, insomniac,
To block out cries of “send me back.”

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

April Showers

A brief ice shower to start the month
It's a fleeting glance at panic,
Just one short meltdown and then back
To Busy and Smiling and Manic.

And hail is whispering close now,
I’ve forgotten my umbrella,
Duck under candy plastic sheets
To postpone a minute dilemma.

Ensure I stay out of the way,
Stick to my neon galaxy,
I’ve already nailed pathetic,
Won’t someone please fetch me fallacy?

Poetry and Spoken Word Competition 2019

April Showers

A brief ice shower to start the month
It's a fleeting glance at panic,
Just one short meltdown and then back
to Busy and Smiling and Manic.

And hail is whispering close now,
I’ve forgotten my umbrella,
Duck under candy plastic sheets
To postpone a minute dilemma.

Ensure I stay out of the way,
Stick to my neon galaxy,
I’ve already nailed pathetic,
Won’t someone please fetch me fallacy?

Therapy

"And count,
two, three, four.
Breathe out,
two three, four."

"Take this diary,
twice a day,
write down the things
you need to say."

"And why do you think that?"
"Yes, that's true."
"It's not the world.
It's all just You."

Give me the paper
that says I can go.
Let's lie to each other,
pretend we don't know
Your Breathing Exercises Don't Help When I'm On The Way Home And The News Tells Me That People Are Dying.
 

The Best Friday Night Has To Offer

She's not the smartest girl in the class,
She's not wise beyond her years,
She's not the quick-witted nine-year-old,
Whose poetry reduced you to tears.

She's just a lost ghost from the Glory Days,
Back when her mind was all clean,
She's the most embarrassing train-wreck,
That we have ever seen.

She's the one who thought too much of herself,
The one who burned out too soon,
She's the one who shot for Venus and Mars,
But never got past the Moon.

i'm not sure whether i should still be doing these long titles anymore because they were my way to keep track of the poems about you, only now it's like we never even existed (but i'll still cling onto this last piece of you)

Can't wait 'til I get out of here.
Get out of my miserable room.
Can't wait until I stop simmering.
In sadness and burnout and doom.

Can't wait for another heartbreak.
To turn into some kind of game.
Can't wait to get so confused and upset.
That I hardly remember my name.

Can't wait to shake all these bad habits.
And climb to some sickening height.
Can't wait to scream from some rooftop.
So I can finally sleep through the night.

Does This Poetry Make Me Look Fat?

Watch me breathe onto the mirror
And use my finger to carve out words on the glass.
Watch me choke out my fears until they’re in neat little lines,
And I’ll hope that someone out there,
Whilst scurrying through this maze of cable and wire,
Will merit my thoughts worthy enough for appraisal.

And, maybe, one day I’ll break through,
And their kind words will be enough to look like they fill the hole,
(the hole I write about.)
(the hole that you left.)
Then I’ll stop publishing the poems I write about you,
I’ll fold them into an old diary instead.

But they must have meant what they said
When I asked does this poetry make me look fat?
I’ll look back at this in five months, probably screw it into a ball,
I’ll hide it in the back of some cupboard so the next you won’t see.
I’ll try to forget about poetry like I’ll try to forget...

monotone moonstone

everyone is laughing and talking and smiling
they used to be you.
an inside joke is exchanged
smile.
everyone flies back off of their seats
they've replaced you.
screaming with piercing laughter
what have you done?
a whisper ripples through a string of ears
this always happens.
backs turn to form a tight barricade
you don't belong here anymore.
 

I know I said I'd never write about you ever again and it seems like I was almost right because now I've forgotten how to write altogether and I know, deep down, that this isn't your fault, but it feels good to blame you for something.

I swore you off like a new year's resolution,
all fuzzy and coated in glitter,
but it's a conventional fact, you and I both know
that I've never been much of a quitter.

But I'm trying my hardest, I'm trying my best,
to forget you as fast as I can.
Yet there's one little thing, one tiny chink
in my wobbling, tentative plan.

See, I'm waiting to spew out a few quick lines
to let go of what I thought we had.
You know this is all I've ever had going for me
but now you've made poetry bad.

If you could just listen for one moment more
think back to the trees and the birds.
When you said, in that moment, we were dying out fast,
where did you hide all my words?
 

i don't think i can ever read the poems i wrote you again because my heart is already broken enough and i just wish it wasn't like this and i miss you and i'm sorry

i wrote you a hundred thousand words
and lines that strung together
i typed them up and strung them up
to dry in the warm weather.

i left to see the bright, bright lights,
for just a day or four
whilst i was away the wind picked up and
scattered them on the floor.

and how ignorant you must think me
as i never saw you couldn't read
but you were mad and i was mad
one-sided decision. agreed.


 

that city feeling

clench your fists and screw shut your eyes,
take a breath and count to ten,
try to keep everything around you in order as
self-destruction strikes again.

in blue ink in the back of a textbook/i hope you never find this because if you did i could never look at you again

and i'm sorry, i know i should be using more punctuation
because 
i know that's what you're used to from me
but can 
i help it if you've got my brain so scrambled
that commas and semicolons are just marks on paper.

i know that's not something i'd say
and 
i know this doesn't seem real and yes, i know
 
i feel it too
but 
i'll affirm and repeat until my chest is hollow and my voice is hoarse
pull down and release until my thumb aches and my face contorts

sometimes i can't sleep
because the tectonic plates in my heart are shifting so drastically 
as the chasm you've dug yourself grows exponentially
and 
i know you've seen me trip before.
it's another cliche, i know. another one to cross off from the bucket list;
it's cheap and it's boring and it makes me feel as awkward as you but
falling for you is the greatest journey 

i can't believe you're still not here; i've tried all i can but you won't hear me

there's a girl behind the keyboard
with fear and love, confined,
her fingers tap a tune out as
she pours out her mind.

there's a girl behind the keyboard,
who's oh-so awe-inspired,
she tapped out a comment to
the poet whom she admired.

the girl behind the keyboard,
she wished to defer;
there were no fantastical muses
the only one there was her.

 

i wish you weren't so lovely because then maybe i'd have something to write about.

where have all the words gone?
are they hiding under the bed?
and why have all the rhymes decided
to run out of my head?

who forgot how structure works?
what happened to the rhythm?
i think that when my worries left,
it took my poetry with them.

why is it so hard to write?
how do i restore my pride?
and what does one do when they wake in the morning
to find their creativity died.



 

lessons

my mother said that gossip 
was the greatest tool I had:
"it stops you feeling rubbish 
and makes the rest look bad."

my father said my best asset
was a well-timed blow,
so that i'd repel the bad men
and keep me safe, like so. 

my heart, it said the journal
knew where my talent lied;
its fresh, white pages beckoning 
for me to write inside.

i miss you but can't tell you (you wouldn't know the truth if it punched you in the face)

i'm scared that you're afraid of certainty,
and, if this is true,
if you're really fearful of what i could say
i'm afraid that i am, too.

you’re not speaking to me but i’m still writing you poetry

you do not understand 
how difficult it is
to tell you how much i miss you
when you’re sat right next to me. 

quicksand.

I desperately grasp at uncertain straws
to pull myself out of the mire, 
struggling, screaming, hopelessly trying
to cling to the one I admire. 

But would you dream of catching?
Extend an arm, an oar, a rope?
Or would you continue to scorn me
until I abandon all hope.

Notifications are Back!

For those of you who saw my post before, I just tried again and my Notifications page is back up and running! Huge thanks to the WTW team for sorting that out so quickly :)
Thank you for everyone who commented too (and everyone who started liking my posts like mad, y'all are the best!). I hope your pages are fixed as well!
Isla x

noitalsnarT ni tsoL

But when I look up from my paper,
with tired eyes at the end of the day,
I notice I'm a thousand years older,
and I've written my youth away.

Trying

we're all trying to live a little more
through the cups of tea and the 
pile of books and
the christmas tree you put up in october.

we're all trying to live a little less
through the late, late nights and the
burnt-down bridges and 
the rose that's been dying since february.

i'm just trying to live as you do
w ith reckless abandon and 
cautious words and 
a smile that could support me through the winter.
 

Poetry Will Save the World (But If You Don't Believe Me, I Can't Change Your Mind)


every screaming, dreadful,
existential,
the weightless and inconsequential

every sobbing, crying,
feel-like-dying
the angry and the terrifying.

the stanzas help, they whisper so
my mind will rest, so 
i will know
to stop right here, to take it slow.

the sadness, fear, the panic too
do quiver at the poems who
remind me that 
i'll see this through

my mind is still, my head is right,
no more sorrow, no more fright,
at least, until another night

 

Novel Writing Competition 2018

To Darker Corners

The problem with Gertie McLeod was that she really wasn’t the kind of person you wanted to spend a lot of time with. She was a good person, and she was kind - but she wasn’t half boring. She was quiet, and kind of gawky, and before her final weeks, she never really spoke to anyone. I suppose that’s why nobody missed her as much as the local media made out, because, until her death, nobody really knew her. Maybe if that was different then we would have known how to save her. 
But this is how things are, and this is how they’ll go. 

TWENTY DAYS BEFORE GERTIE IS FOUND DEAD IN OUR CLASSROOM
Gertie had been in my class in primary school. She played duck, duck, goose and built dens out of foam bricks with Ophelia Grayson and Holly Milton and she always wore little plastic butterfly hair clips to keep her dark fringe out of her eyes....

today


shredded paper and a stain on the rug
a slice of bread for breakfast 
four-day-old tea in a cracked white mug
this is what today is made of

a yellow light bulb left on for twelve hours
slice of bread for my lunch
a pile of trash and a vase of grey flowers
christmas cards in april


a toppling tower of absents and lates
a slice of bead for supper
undiscovered cutlery and yellowing plates
that's what today is made out of

 

without u

I scorn the idea of the doting woman who allows herself to rest, complacently, in the midst of ancient history. The accessory to the accomplishments he has worked so hard to attain, the hobby to fill a lazy weekend afternoon, the girl who grasps desperately at an arm, a hand, a heart.
As I may have proved, I am exactly the woman I wish to be, regardless of 'u'.

A Pair of Mint Green Shoes that are a Size Too Small (But They Remind Me of You and Now I Have a Blister)

Beaten down seude and mud-caked soles;
the shoes that I once wore overtly.
I pulled them from under my bed last night
to remind, you don't know how you hurt me.

A separate sound when you call me up,
the ringtone still makes my heart soar,
I changed it back to the default last night
to remind, we're not us anymore.

The discoloured spot on my bedroom wall,
the room seems much emptier without you.
I took down the photo of us last night,
to remind, I'm not thinking about you.

The reams of paper and gallons of ink,
the small notes that claimed I adore you.
I tore up each diary entry last night
and instead, I wrote this poem for you.

So this is my box, my case, my strife,
of things I hold onto inside.
Held each other's hand as we twisted the knife, 
until all that we could've been had died.




 

to the poets #odetomyauthor

to the poets
who scratched words into stone and to screen,
who let first drafts pave the way to an uncertain future,
who scrawled wings onto each word -
knowing that they would take off and inspire
a crowd of like-minded, hopeless souls like me.

to the poets
whose works have been scanned by a billion eyes,
whose thoughts have been jeered at and critiqued,
done to death, their bravery mocked by the masses,
the masses who don't see the fragments of broken spirit
they hold in their ink-stained, vacuous hands.

eurydice

i listen to your footsteps as they
echo and bounce of the cave walls,
watch the emerging sunlight bounce off of 
the curls you hate so much. 
feel my heart beat so, because
we are almost at the finish line, my dear.
and then, just then,
you turn around.
and i am lost, again.

Why I Write

Why I Write

I write to rid my soul of the dirt it gathers on the long winter nights, where nothing matters but the flicker of injustice burning inside me like it's about to be snuffed out.

Doctor Who Review: The Woman Who Fell to Earth

CAUTION: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR DOCTOR WHO: THE WOMAN WHO FELL TO EARTH, SEASON 11, EPISODE 1.

On Sunday, I, like the rest of the U.K, tuned into the last ten minutes of Countryfile with baited breath. I yelled out countdowns in thirty-second increments, passed bowls of Jelly Babies and Jammy Dodgers to my friends and waited anxiously for 18:45 to roll around, where we'd watch the new doctor's first episode.
I don't think I'd ever been so simultaneously excited and nervous about a television event in my life. Whilst I was practically bouncing off the walls at the prospect of a new episode of Doctor Who - a historical, groundbreaking one at that - I was also sceptical about new showrunner, Chris Chibnall, whose stories haven't exactly been my favourite to grace the Doctor Who Universe.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised.
Jodie Whittaker as the Doctor feels like the culmination of many of her predecessors: she’s...

nightvisitors

my keyboard crumples in my hands, my
muscles stiff with energy long wasted
as it sits and waits and waits for
an anger that will not arrive.

the scream of an anguished man echoing through
cobblestone and brick and permeating the dreams of
children. the incessant opening and closing of a door. the
ball bouncing off a wall again and again and 

again and again. the roads are coated in 
our frustrations, our anger. the lies that surround
every small town and cling to the frozen air, it's 
a sickly embrace or a blanket of deceit

or a playlist of your saddest songs or a clenched fist or
a muffled sob or a SCREAM or another
metaphor that i cannot think of because i am tired but i must write.
i must write.

so i carry on and push through the night until the
s creaming and the opening and the closing and the bouncing
stops.
for they have all...

You (#missingavowel)

You.
Stunning, strong and sorrowful you.
Your soul slots into my own;
our most painful jigsaw
conundrum.

You
saw things in my mind that
I didn’t know until you.
You watch my thoughts. My world.
My worst traits, springing to

You.
Affirm, my Darling.
Contradict a past suitor as I prompt an old
romantic, that you and I will last in stars.

You
know, in your soul, that I am truthful.
For that girl is a mirror
and you and I will always stay

You
and I.
But my worst pain
Will always turn back to him.

disbelief.

Screw your eyes shut so that tears don’t spill
Will that strange feeling away.
try all that you know, do all that you can
to keep that odd notion at bay.

Clench your fists until they hurt so.
Press backspace, delete and undo.
It’s not what it looks like, it’s not what it seems
I can’t be in love with you.

Five Endings

Five Endings

The aftermath of their friend's murder trial in which they learnt some not-so-great truths about her life.


WITH A CONCLUSIVE THOUGHT:
But it was time for our game to end. Addie's story was over and, maybe, so was ours.

ITH A DESCRIPTION:
Our hair splayed out on the grass, we stared up at the stars until the stars blurred together.

WITH A PROJECTION TO THE FUTURE:
I stole out of the cemetery, vowing to leave Addie behind.

WITH A LINE OF DIALOGUE:
"Do you think she's up there?" I asked him, staring at the night.
"No," he said shortly, "I don't think she ever had the chance."

WITH A SENSORY DETAIL:
Tinny, grunge music floated out of his earphones and hung in the air between us.


 

10 Second Essays

Five Vengeful Thoughts

1. For a thousand years, they're behind me 'til the end.

2. The world crumbles when you find out they lie; they have always been lying.

3. Hold onto the fire and set yourself ablaze so that they can see.

4. Do everything out of malice, just to prove them wrong.

5. Scrub at your eyes and spit into your hands, there's always time to pick yourself up again.

Environmental Writing Competition September 2018

The Birds

Fourteen birds strung up on a wire
sing out their warning to a world on fire.
The kings in their castles and people below, 
they don't try to listen, they don't need to know.

Nine birds strung up in the air
grieve for the friends they lost on the way there.
The mother and child curled up on cement,
they don't hear the caution within the lament

Four birds strung up in a row
croak out the last song of a summer of woe.
The young lovers that roam the dusty street
are deaf to the moral, they don't hear a tweet.

A single bird, clinging to life,
whispers her desperate warning of strife.
The boy who bakes and the girl who repairs
block out the hoarse message, for nobody cares.

"The city's gone quiet," is what they all say,
"The city's a forest of smog and dark grey."
The people who refused to listen each dawn
look up and wonder where the...

Unconventional

block

tap at keys until your
fingers tire and
the contents of your
dried out brain are strewn out across your 
attic bedroom floor
desperately attempting to change even the
slightest
little
thing

 

Monostich

world in flames


stay strong now, don’t close your eyes, for, darling, this world is burning - and soon, so shall i. 

a poem for the people who wait at the bus stop at one thirty seven in the morning

let the night sky's stars hollow out your bones,
and rip apart your skin.
let glass girls sit on their own glass thrones,
and drown out the monster within.

let the absence of sound and the absence of light
keep you from falling down.
let yourself stay here, at least just for tonight,
don't think about leaving this town.

so throw out that ticket, dissolve what you had.
they don't think you're insane.
forget about leaving, forget about bad
until you go back there again.

 

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

A Midnight Exchange

 He stood, concealed behind a building, towering over him in the dead of night. The absence of streetlights disturbed him as wind whipped its way into the rookery, and the bundle he held began to sob.
The Wanderess emerged from the shadows, prompting a wordless exchange - a pointed look, a hurried nod; she resembled his late sister: they shared the same cruel eyes.
The baby was passed between them; he was given his promised reward. The Fool shook the bag, grinning almost morbidly as it jingled. 
And he watched as she tucked his niece away and vanished forever.

Flash Fiction Competition 2017

A Midnight Exchange

 He stood, concealed behind a building that towered over him, in the dead of night. The absence of streetlights disturbed him as wind whipped its way into the rookery and the bundle he held began to sob.
The Wanderess emerged from the shadows, prompting a wordless exchange - a pointed look, a hurried nod; she resembled his late sister, they shared the same cruel eyes.
The baby was passed between them, he was given his promised reward. The Fool shook the bag, grinning almost morbidly as it jingled. 
And he watched as she tucked his niece away, and vanished forever.