Super Day Dream (poem #41)

Super mare, super day dream-
it’s a ‘ta-ta!’ from us,
a little sea you later-
may your shoreline stay long
and your future be as sweet
as your doughnuts and your ice creams,
for we are just across the way-
and we will wave, and send our love
my lover.
 
I will miss ya.
Your dogs
and your funny little ways
your aloofness
and lack of functionality.
 
The sovereign centre
and the circles you had around your eyes.
Apple taxis, mascara,
puffer jackets in different colours.
Happy Meals,
The Mercury,
Shake King
and Clara’s Cottage
(mainly Clara’s cottage).
 
Thank you for the summers
and the sand castles.
The wind you put in my hair,
the chlorine in my eyes.
For being our holiday destination of dreams
and for making me feel warm inside.
 
But this is not goodbye, my friend.
For I will return to this Dismal Land
with a story to tell-
and a new one to create.
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Roses (poem #40)

You try to the throw the roses away-
but I keep them.
 
‘Why? They are old
and have brown bits on the petals.
They will become unsightly,
and you will not look at them and smile
but throw them in the bin and cry.’
 
I smile
and keep them-
knowing there are still petals tucked away from 5 years ago
in a box somewhere
which grow more beautiful everyday.
 
They are lovely now-
and although they may change
and the petals may disintegrate
they will stay that way.
 
‘A bit like people,’
You say.
‘Yes’,
I reply.

Posh (poem #39)

‘You are so posh’-
they used to say.
‘Posher than the day the queen was born-
and it is not okay that you speak like her and not like us.’
 
I did my best to mould and fit in-
tried to roll my r’s
and say ‘it is innit’
and bite my tongue.
Tried to remember I was really young
and not everywhere is as rigid as this.
and when surviving elsewhere
maybe long words would be a fair advantage
and get me into a good college.
 
Today.
I hear you say-
‘I didn’t like her, because of her accent-
but she’s a nice person, deep down.’
I frown and shrug and sigh and tut
and judge a little bit,
and then realise that you were simply afraid of the life that you didn’t know,
with worries embedded by history,
old wives tales
and a culture of distrust.
 
and I realise now that I have an important role to play-
to display that an accent isn’t everything.
I may sound a bit posh-
but I have the heart of a dragon
and the courage of a lion without a crown on its head.
I am outraged when it’s said ‘the Welsh are inbred’
or are mocked for having lots of sheep.
I am not weak, or soft-just sensitive
and if you ever find me defensive it’s because there’s a lot to defend-
Eisteddfodau, long walks- hearts of gold.
 
and when you visit,
I will listen-
and not mock your accents.
For you are a bit posh-
but you are welcome here.
So when you arrive,
lend me your ear-
and listen to the voice behind the accent.

Paper pen writer (poem #38)

An iPhone 10, you say?
Wireless charging.
No home button.
Either knows your face or doesn’t.
 
And more than ever,
I yearn for pen and paper-
which never discriminates
one face from another
 
Biro in my hand.
Feels a little alien now,
a little too earnest in a world of
tap-tapping the same small square.
 
But it’s still there.
Hidden in a box,
the notebooks wait patiently
as screens shout and scream.
 
And if I care enough
maybe I’ll turn my phone off
and sit poems on pages instead.
 
For romance is only as dead
as we choose it to be.

Sharing, caring (poem #36)

What can I do to thank you for your kindness?
For the words you uttered when I was at my lowest,
and the kind acts that kept me afloat
like a boat in a safe harbour?
 
I could spend my days uttering words in different patterns,
hoping that one of them might make you feel or cry or smile a little.
It would help,
but the words would soon disappear into thin air
or be tucked away so deeply in your memories
that you wouldn’t be able to pull them out again.
 
I could buy you a gift worth all the tea in Timbuktu,
or give you a pair of shoes from a charity shop
That you could wear, and remember me by.
(‘They were 50p!’-
We delight in bargains).
But the magic would wear off
And the novelty would fade.
 
No-
the best thing I can do
is to share the same kindness you showed me.
With a simple smile somewhere, sometime in the future-
or a cup of tea at an opportune moment
when you need to pour your heart out
and measure your life in teaspoons.
With a listening ear when your mind is full of cobwebs
that you need to wipe away-
or with a silly day of walking
and talking nonsense that no-one else would understand.
 
For you have been a guiding hand-
and someday, soon,
I will thank you for your kindness.

Before, During, After (poem #33, #34 and #35)

Before was a blur of lists,
Of last minute shopping trips
Of creams and glasses and sandals and notebooks.
Desperately trying to pull things together
In the worst of weather
And hold on to my thoughts.
I’m trying to prevent them from turning
But my stomach is churning
At the thought of bus transfers
And ’emergencies’
And last minute changes
As my mind rearranges everything in the wrong order
Until I’m in a state of disorder-
The bathroom
No breath
A glass of water
And a ‘you’ve got this’.
I feel like I’m falling to bits-
But I’m still standing
As I wheel a too big suitcase up another escalator
And later I will finally arrive
So I try to sit back and enjoy the ride
And remember that before
Is the toughest part of all.
 
***
During it all,
I am constantly, pleasantly overwhelmed-
Overwhelmed by the cheering on arrival,
And the sheer volumes of people,
And how plush the bathroom is.
I listen to your words,
Overwhelmed by the feeling that you are speaking directly to me-
Completely, personally-
Words noted based on their profundity.
My mind swirls
And my mouth speaks and laughs
And part of me feels like I shouldn’t be here at all.
But I choose to ignore the voice that says I’m not worthy-
And cry, and dance and enjoy the feeling of belonging
In a place that is nothing like home.
***
Drained now.
Words are few
But memories are many
Much to cherish-
Room to grow and glow
And change and give.
Lots has been learnt
So
Sleep and rest
And find a way to apply all you’ve been given.
Use it
And share it
And live it-
And never be in the least bit afraid.

Happiness, located (poem #32)

‘Oh there you are’,

She thinks-

As she feels a little spark of happiness opening up her heart.

‘I have been searching for you everywhere-

In books, on the Internet,

In my hair and stories

And I could not find you.

For a while,

I thought you were lost forever-

Even though I knew that you could not be far away,

And saw you residing in the eyes of friends and foreigners.

But here,

You choose to peek out at me-

Smiling for a second before disappearing.’

 

Now I remember 

That you have the potential to bloom in my heart-

To wipe out the rain and pain

With a gentle sun,

With the strength of your rays warming my heart and lungs.

And even when you’re hidden and tucked away,

I know that you are there-

Simply sleeping briefly,

But sure to wake up eventually.

For it’s always darkest before the dawn, 

As I have always been told.

Scrolling, searching (poem #31)

Sometimes I find myself scrolling
As if I’m searching for something.
But I’m not sure what’s missing.
Is it the because I’m not standing in a sun-soaked Mediterranean paradise,
cocktail in hand and head tilted sideways?
Or that I’m nowhere close to getting married,
so I need wedding photos from acquaintances to fill the void?
Perhaps I’m searching for a jacket or a swimsuit
as multiple adverts seems to suggest,
Or maybe I need to do a test
to find out which Hogwarts house I’m in
(Gryffindor, if you’re wondering).
But the most important question is-
why do I waste moments and hours doing this
when I am exactly where I need to be?
And everything I need exists inside me already?

Trail of thought (poem #30, sort of)

Walking along these paths makes me feel like a fairy walking through its little glen. What’s that noise? Are there people coming? Oh no, it’s just the kayakers chattering below. I don’t know why but I get jumpy about people following me on solitary walks like this. I guess that’s the curse of being alone. No, what I need to channel is my inner Cheryl Strayed. I can pretend I’m in Wild-although that’s a bit dramatic as I’m actually on the Welsh coast rather than some remote part of the PCT. And I’m only going to be walking for a few more hours and then I’ll be home. And there’s definitely no bears here-the scariest thing is the sheep.

I actually used to be scared of sheep when I was younger, but then I was scared of most things when I was younger. It was that statistic about pigs killing more people than sharks, and I somehow interpreted that fact as being about all farm animals. But no, sheep are fine. In fact, I think they get a bad press. They’re pretty stoic animals really, and I like their gentle silence these days. These ones have just had a shave which adds to their comic effect.

I can’t believe I’ve only walked along this trail a handful of times. There’s something so ancient and historic about paths like these-I feel like they’ve been here forever. I’d like to think that they’ve been totally untouched by technology, but I know in reality that people have uploaded photos to Instagram from here. Which reminds me-I must stop stalking people on Instagram and go on more walks instead. Because this feels much better! This wind is so fresh and it’s wrapping itself around my hair, which either looks brilliant or awful.

Shall I stop and look again? Yes. I know I’ve only just stopped but I need to stop and look again. Breathe. Stop. Look. Breathe. I’ve just touched my tummy because that view has made me feel deeply like I’m home. Why is the voice in my head saying all this in an Essex accent? I’m not from Essex but I have been watching too much Love Island.

Alternative paths. Do I take the safe one or the rugged, narrow one? Rugged narrow sounds exciting but I’m on my own and inner paths are safer. I’ll let my feet decide. Safe path. Not a surprise really, sums up rather a lot of my life. That’s a defeatist thought. Sums up some of my life-and there’s still a lot more to come remember. You’re only 24.

This is lovely. I’m glad I’m doing this. Being alone is always seen as such a sombre thing but I actually find it quite empowering. Why does the world insist on everything being in pairs? Sometimes there’s strength to be found in one person alone. I’m looking forward to eating that KitKat in my bag. I’m glad I’ve grown up here. It’s beautiful. 

Imperfection (poem #29)

You tell me beauty is perfection.
It is the airbrushed, bright white,
no-cellulite bodies in the papers and magazines,
American dreams written in lipgloss and eyeliner
the thinner the better
the tighter the nicer
the young over old-
as it’s then that everything starts to unfold.

Always anti-age-
don’t smile too much or lines will form around your eyes.
Don’t eat that cake for it will go straight to your thighs
eat clean
or you will slowly rot inside.

But beauty, for me,
is the warmth of your yellow-toothed smile,
as the wrinkles on your face tell a tale untold.
It is the scar on my elbow,
and the sporting injury in your knee
and the pock marks on our thighs.
In the round belly that is nice to hug
and the face that glows without make-up.

I find it in the eyes of those who love well-
and are not afraid to live.
Who age, and smile, and laugh and dance-
sharing their stories along the way.

I see it everyday-
when I stop looking for perfection.