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.
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.
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!
Peanut butter, earl grey tea and baked beans
Not needing to use lip salve all the time
Tropical fruit is expensive and underripe
English apples are in season
All my things around me
Hard water that doesn’t rinse my hair
Exorbitant transport costs
Friends to meet – and meet again
If you walk at all, walk gently
For I am no longer the tigress
who surrendered with a growl of bliss
nor she who spilt her golden fur
to warm your careless feet
exposed her kitten belly
to your sharp-nailed attentions
and emphatically not she who slunk away
wearing your guilt as her own.
For now my eyes see through you
my claws know the savour of blood
and my purr has the edge of a growl.
Take a wrong step, and you’ll swiftly learn
how poised I am – and how hungry
to taste the sweet wrath of justice.
And if I smile, you should never forget
that my teeth gleam as bright as my eyes.
So walk gently – or don’t walk at all.
Sometimes an prompt coincides perfectly with what’s going on in your life. Which was exactly the case with the picture above, part of the Yorck Project’s collection. I came across the image at the Miss Rumphius Effect Poetry Stretch, with the challenge to write a poem inspired by it.
And on this occasion inspiration came rather easily, as it arrived not long after my ex got in touch with me after about a year’s silence…
turquoise swishes across saffron
a sussurating oscillation
as we dig for starfish
crisp cotton melts and clings
to my zaftig ebullience
bladderwrack crackles underfoot
senses seasoned with salt and desire
under the moonless sky the ocean
is starred with amethyst luminescence
meteors zoom past, illuminating
an ethereal path we could take
your fingers embrace mine with a tingle
like the sensuous fire of chillis
my body remembers resilience
After a month of being too busy to do much writing, I’m back with time to write again. So here’s a poem inspired by the latest ReadWritePoem prompt – based on the wordle cloud above.