Sometimes it’s fun to play by the rules
(and sometimes they even make sense)
Waiting for a man to seduce me with jewels
(which of course are a girl’s best friends)
At least stops me being bothered by penniless fools
And those whose sincerity is mere pretence
Sometimes it’s fun to play the ancient game
Of courtship and demure resistance
To flutter and preen like a delicate dame
Inviting chivalrous assistance
(Men’s passions seem to burn with a brighter flame
When women hold their charms at a distance)
And sometimes it’s a lot easier to tell a man exactly how much you fancy him, just what you’d like to do with him and get on with it without all this tedious and dishonest dissembling!
This rebellious sonnet is inspired by the Readwritepoem prompt to Break the Rules.
Lots more beautiful skies at Skywatch Friday
There was a room in my heart
its walls stained by the tides of tears
and the jagged graffiti of hurtful words
its floors sagging from old expectations
and cluttered with the lead-grey jetsam
of our broken hopes.
I spent a year cleaning the room in my heart
Scrubbing the walls with shredding tissues
soaked in the tears and snot brought up
from the deepest secrets of my heart.
Separating out what was mine to repair
from what was yours.
Now, outside the room in my heart
Sits a bag full of the clutter that you
left behind you, said you did not own.
If you dare to open the zip, you’ll see
the parting gifts that my hands have made
from our love’s flotsam.
Your private door to the room in my heart
has vanished forever. So you’ll have to imagine
how freshly the colours gleam. How the walls
(stripped back to stone and plastered anew)
are damp-proofed and caressed with sun.
But not for you.
For the room in my heart is at last swept clean.
And its new door is ready to open.
A few days ago I sent my last message in the recent e-mail exchange with my ex. Gently, and affectionately – but also firmly, having set my boundaries and said what I needed to say. Which actually was surprisingly little!
I’m now pretty sure that he won’t respond. Which is absolutely fine with me. There was very little chance we could regain anything meaningful. What I wanted was to express some things I had been unable to say at the time. And feel that I had brought the messiness of last year to an appropriate end. An end that is fitting for the spirit of the good times rather than fraught with the pain of the bad times.
For several hours after I sent the message I felt a deep sense of peace and joy. And this poem tries to capture some of that feeling.
Some days you cannot see the horizon
for it’s shrouded with mist. Each dreary hour
drips down the clock. And you lose the power
to walk towards the dreams your heart relies on.
Some days you cannot see the horizon
because your eyes are fixed on your shoes
monochrome mood drains the world’s bright hues
and feet drag with the weight sadness ties on.
And some days you cannot see the horizon
for it’s temptingly far, and bright possibility
fills your sails with wind on a limitless sea
where each glistening dream just flies on.
This photo was taken on a flight over the Caribbean – I love the way you can’t tell where the sky ends and the sea begins!
Click here for more beautiful skies at Skywatch Friday.
To spin across a floor, without falling
To know how hard loss can be.
To hear my heart saying yes or no
and then act on what it tells me
To trust that my words know how to sing
To act on what must be done now.
To face cruel silences with tearless eyes
and a quizzically raised eyebrow
To tell my story with my own words
To be more content with my lot.
To act on what I believe is true
and challenge what I believe is not
To smile and catch a stranger’s gaze
To remember that hurts can heal.
To adjust my bike’s brakes to ride safely
and dance tall in high heels.
This is a list poem for the Miss Rumphius’ Effect Poetry Stretch, based on some of my recent reflections about what I have learned in the last year. Which also fits rather nicely with ReadWritePoem’s first anniversary.
I wrote some weeks ago about the pleasure of learning, of those moments when you realise you’re doing something you couldn’t do before.
It’s often obvious with physical attainments, like dancing.
Normally less so, with mental attainments, particularly artistic ones like writing poetry.
Abd even less obvious with psychological changes, like the maturing of your personality.
But sometimes it is possible to notice yourself reacting differently and more positively.
In my recent exchanges with my ex, I noticed I was able to set clearer boundaries for what I will accept. To defend those boundaries with a calm backed up by the readiness to be firm or even angry if needed. To trust myself to read other people, not perfectly, but with enough confidence to be willing to explore and voice and act on my perceptions. To be able to be firm, even angry, without losing compassion and a sense of fairness. To voice what I feel with appropriate force but without drama or oversentimentality.
I have come a long way, in a year. It’s a good place to be, particularly now when I find myself able to start dating again.
I wonder what the next year will bring.
And should we meet as strangers, then?
Forgetting the painful past?
Extend our hands to shake again
Forgetting how they once clasped?
Should my healed heart make pretence
That it was never broken?
Should we ask the air to wrap in silence
The words we both heard spoken?
What future is there save one that’s built
On what has gone before?
Using the blood and tears we spilt
to make the foundation sure.
And if that idea makes your courage wilt
It’s best we should meet no more.
For Sunday Scribbling’s prompt of “stranger”.
It’s amazing the world
hasn’t ended yet.
No, really. It is.
It seems that, so far, the fates
were always looking away
in those moments when I fail
to be perfect.
(They can’t be paying much attention…
so I suppose there are a lot of other things
they’d rather watch)
But I’m sure one day they’ll be looking on
At just the moment when I do something
And the sky will fall. The seas will boil.
The hearts of everyone I care for will break
And the whole wide world will stare
No, really. They will.
Another readwritepoem prompt – this time to face your fears and do it with oomph!
I had it all planned today. I would finally take to work all those little things that help the office day go more smoothly. So into my cycle panier I packed:
- A mug, green tea, black tea, two herb teas, sugar and a tea strainer
- A coat (to avoid going to external meetings in my yellow cycle jacket)
- Moisturiser and lipsalve to combat the dry air of the office
- A nice scarf and just-about-smart-enough-for-work cardigan
- A packed lunch
- My work shoes plus a spare pair just in case I forgot to bring some in one day.
Feeling proudly organised I cycled off to the office in my leggings and scruffy t-shirt. Only when I arrived did I realise I’d forgotten:
- My mobile phone
- My purse
- My diary
- The clean top I’d been planning to change into after cycling
- My work trousers
So I ended up meeting all sorts of people for the first time while wearing just a black cardigan over my bra (fortunately it was the wrap around kind and so wasn’t too immodest so long as I kept it tied tightly. And a scarf wrapped around my waist over the leggings – which I hoped would look like a skirt over very thick black tights. I think I just about got away with it!
Luckily, because I had my lunch and lots of tea to drink, I didn’t need money during the day. And luckily nobody called my mobile. Still, my pride in my organisation was rather short-lived!
I’m sure there’s a moral in this somewhere…