Whatever you call it

The city around me

Makes constant noise

Or so I thought

But not everything is noise

The birds, the neighbours

Dissecting gardens

Are not

The children, the dogs

Are sometimes

While the leafblowers


The city around me

Is not loud

It is the engines around me

That make the noise

Slowing spring

A bird within a droplet

Her wings a twig above and below

Made small by diminishing subsets

Of the flights that she can make

A tree turned orange, brilliant

In the early days of spring

Briefly printed on windshields’ slant

In the sounds of wheels it falls

I wait at the bus stop

Until the end of it all


The moments stolen from metal canopies

Spiderwebbing overhead

They float away on cirrostratus seas

And dissolve in candy-coloured light

No net so fine could be devised

As would catch and hold them back

And yet the stragglers sometimes hide

Soft as feathers, bright as lies

On the undersides of flowers


Miles of old regrets become
Miles of canyon salts
In walls of iridescence and
In pillars that arch and fall
Past blindness leaving questions
The answers never to be found
Only stepping stones in crystal
To the plateaus ringed around

Hidden Hills

Away, if I could but go

And climb like days of old

The hidden hills, clinging

‘Mid the horizon’s lowest folds

Tell me when the greys will brighten

And ease recover haste

And sharper relief lay to rest

The years that went to waste

The forest thing

Back then the forest growled when you were to stay away, and if you still went in, the bracken ate up every little piece from fingertips to ribs. And in the creaking of the boughs the trees would be licking their lips.

These days Margaid is bent almost double, yet she still watches the forest as it grows tame alongside the village pastures.

The sheep no longer shy away when the sun dips low and shadows lengthen over the knolls; they chew absently and they wander, heedless until one of the dogs comes bounding up. The shepherds are no longer suspicious, but let the sheep graze almost until nightfall.

Margaid watches the forest and grumbles, thinking it does this to spite her. Perhaps only when she is dead and buried will it come back, gnaw up the stray sheep, and set nightmares loose among the cottages again. She is being stubborn but would it not stand to reason that roots can be more stubborn yet?

As the light fails she rises from her seat and stiffly turns for home. Each day, she might not be back again. Each day, she longs to hear the trees as they used to be.

A shrinking space

You’ve left me with a square-ish space

These four walls and hours baked

With horns, insults, demands pounding through.

The drywall can’t hold back the swell

So my space shrinks and time retells

The same stories of trippy, sleepless, broken nights.

Squished and squished and cut down some more

To fit your size, should I go out the door

Not daring to protect my face, my heart,

My lungs that cry to breathe apart

From the taunts that follow masks or medicine.

God forbid that we should be free

To live in peace or quiet or safety

That we should learn from what has kept us whole so far –

So scream and pollute and tear from me

My flags, my stoop, my grocery

And call it your freedom, duly crowned.

More of you

I want to give more than I can

All those years without you

The baked grass of my childhood

And the nights in red and black

It comes with wanting more of you

The yous that I can never meet

Samson hair and fresh-eyed grin

You as you are now

With all you were then