The journey led full circle home

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When she set out the
wee one was yearning, her journey
just begun, her mother’s nipple led
to milk and she suckled ’til full —
the warm soft circle
of breast was home

She felt she was home
until sentience sparked in the
flame of her mind, “walk the circle”
it said so around it she went, around on her journey
she sought to feel full
yet an emptiness led

her ahead and on and led
her to search for a surrogate home
one in which she’d feel full
on the love of another the
futile journey
to bond and to thrive was a hypnotic circle Read More

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Scandinavian Observations

Scandinavia —
You are of this world and you are not
I have inhabited your lands for 54 days and counting
I have been to Lapland and Helsinki and Stockholm and Bergen and over and through many a Norwegian hill (180 tunnels!) and I slid smoothly through fjords and on to Oslo and onwards further still to Copenhagen.
Scandinavia, I have nearly seen all of your lands, but only a little bit of you really for you are vast and varied and 54 days is no time at all when you’re getting to know a place.

Oh Finland —
You wouldn’t play the Northern Lights for me and I am so sad for I travelled far and it was cold and remote and it was the right time of year (or so I was told) but it seems there wasn’t really even a chance anyway. I want my money back and my disappointment erased.

But Finland I forgive you because you are home to the dish drying cupboard, a simple yet clever invention that makes one scratch one’s head and think “why aren’t these everywhere?” It’s brilliant that one can dry dishes while hiding them away behind closed doors so nobody can see them.

Oh and Finland, you make great licorice too, especially the little salty balls coated in white chocolate and then in bitter licorice powder. Yum. Why can’t I eat you forever?

And in the countryside you put on a grand show for me with snow and icy lakes and sunshine and bear paw prints and great cranes flying and calling and dancing in pairs and all your little houses are made of wood and painted red and yellow and blue and sometimes pink and I don’t know how you did it but you always looked beautiful and exactly as the countryside should so thank you for exceeding my expectations and for giving me joy. Read More

From ashes

It’s ok to be different
It’s you, after all
In you there is no different
Only you, at the centre, branching out
Powered geothermally from within
Your hot core radiant
Enough to warm your soul
And to keep you charged Read More

The words unfreeze in my mouth

How do I beseech the
guardian of words
to thaw, to unfreeze
the ice that dwells in
my stomach, in my
shoulders, my throat and my mouth?
Such ice also lives in my heart and
occasionally melts when the
stuck, trapped phrases
are warmed with fire and are
sparked and sparkling and tumbling
with joy both out and upon
the air skipping jauntily upon my
parched twisted tongue
where they
pool, dance and scramble
streaming once more along
tapping against my
hard ceramic teeth
where they
find life and scatter…

_______________________________________________________________________________

The words unfreeze in my mouth is a Golden Shovel poem based on four lines from The Kalevala, a Finnish epic poem.

“The words unfreeze in my mouth
and the phrases are tumbling
upon my tongue they scramble
along my teeth they scatter.”

(1: 7-10 Oxford World’s Classics edition translated by Keith Bosley)

Golden Shovel

“Terrance Hayes invented a poetry form he calls the Golden Shovel. You take a line (or lines) from a poem you admire, and use each word in the line (or lines) as an end word in your poem while maintaining the order. If you choose a line with six words, your poem would be six lines long.” Taken from https://web.njit.edu/~ronkowit/poetsonline/archive/arch_goldenshovel.html

The Path (a poem)

I can’t find the path
All I can see is snow
Tall thin trees crowd in, block me
Twigs catch at my coat
Ice conspires to slip me up
As does fear

I give up and find another path
One made of dirt
More grounded
It doesn’t go far
I scramble through and up and over
Discover human artefacts
Evidence of existence

I head back Read More

The space between

We try to find balance
By going into hiding
Like anthropomorphised leopards
Flitting among shadows of flame trees
Flickers of light fire our nerves
Each alone, together we make the journey
And with each new step feel like debutantes


This poem is the result of a creative workshop at an artists’ residency I’m currently staying at in Finland. It was based on concepts that we worked with and discussed throughout the afternoon in a number of ways. This poem was directly inspired by a group artwork/collage, words or phrases that the artwork inspired in us, and elements of chance. I like working with partially imposed structure. It makes creating something so much easier to work within limits.

I am

The baby cooed
With big wild eyes
Her round baby face morphed through every expression
Cheeks deliciously plump
Flesh-apples surrounding black cavern of toothless mouth
Issuing peals of sunshine and flutey vowels
Aspirations of affirmation
Inspire, expire
“I am” said the baby
And her Mama answered back:
“You are”

Butterfly kisses

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I lie on the grass
And look up at the stars
But only in my imagination
They are so clear there
My mind works in space
Among the flotsam and infinity

I walk up and down
Heels stomping
Heavily preparing for a sleep
That may never take me
Nibbling chocolates absent-mindedly
I am suckling Read More

flotsam jetsam

When your constellation is not as it seems
it should be; like
it is for others, who speak of us and we
but don’t include me. Yet together they are
aimless, like flotsam drifting
on pulsing wavelets, further and further
out into the vast nothingness and
forever into the further
until it all breaks apart

…seems like we are drifting further and further apart.