After Solmaz Sharif
Bare toes curling over grass before
the dew is done
Satellites describing ellipses
falling around Earth
Pain au chocolat, black coffee,
Bristol harbour with no wind
a perfect mirror
Ohmmmmmmm the fridge chants
Prompt was from AmyKayPoetry to make concrete images out of abstract concepts, following on from Vulnerability Study by Solmaz Sharif
As we tumbled through the void,
everything was calm and peaceful
if you ignored the constant drone
of spycraft. The air was pink
electric and crackled with potential
There was something struggling
within it, something hidden, unseen.
It shimmered in the air, made of
nothing at all, blinking on and off,
a broken sunbeam. It had walked for years,
over burning deserts, stumbling over
broken glass and sharp shingle beaches.
Whispers and noises from other dimensions
combined, a palimpsest of imagined voices.
As I surrendered, my head filled with...
I wouldn’t open that door if I were you.
Last year I stored the Atlantic ocean
behind it, stuffed it into every corner.
I only just managed to close the latch.
If opened, the room will fill with brine,
the house as well, the streets of this
sea-level town all submerged and we will
sink down to rest on the carpet below.
I probably wouldn’t open that door either.
for you will see a short corridor, leading
to another door, which leads to a short
corridor, leading to yet another...
“It’s been a while,” the water whispers
as I enter, inch by inch,
“but what’s a few million years between
friends? I know why
you abandoned me for land. I forgive you”
Every part of my body
is held so tenderly as I submerge my head,
the cold slowing all
anxieties. I realise I have always been a wave,
never the same from
one moment to the next, always dissolving
into surf. I watch
my worries float away, turn into foam.
I kick forward,
make the first stroke...
“I know how this goes!” I say to no-one
as light starts to intensify, obliterating
all detail. Trees will become indistinct
shapes in the mist, never coalescing
into objects. The grass will flicker
with blue fire sparks, but that will
be the least of my problems. Walls,
so dependable and solid, will become
transparent as the hungry light feeds.
“Bring it on!” I will shout towards the
rapidly dissolving sky. “So predictable!
You’re not even trying!” I will scream
as the outline of my body transforms
The sky sulks.
Fresh insults rumble,
small drops fall,
before the clouds start shouting
curses, throwing rain.
Prompt was to write a shadorma from Amy Kay Poetry, a form I wasn’t familiar with before but quite like.
I know they have secrets to spill,
given everything they’ve witnessed.
I’ve tried different approaches,
asking “How are you?” directly or
“Did you see the game last night?”
as an icebreaker. They never respond,
remain stubbornly shy. Perhaps
I have not found the right topic.
Some nights the floorboards creak
out curses as they shrink or expand.
At times, the computer sings softly
to itself, a single note to clarify
the air. I have heard these stories
too often, consider their secrets dull.
I know the walls understand...
Thick mists and darkness linger. Crows try
listlessly to call the day into being, to
dissipate the vapour and somehow praise
the unknown. One plummets, arrow in the
fog, landing crooked. A fragile wing mutilated.
It cries, summoning the dawn, the golden world.
One night last week, I thought I had a breakthrough. I was fiddling with a new set of code in the middle section of the input. I don’t work with the programme directly of course. It’s beyond us now. No-one has any idea what it’s doing. It’s meant to be running simulations to find a solution to the energy crisis but it doesn’t do anything.
It was one in the morning. Maybe two. Most of the time its just me and a screen. Sometimes the text dances, my head spins, the world becomes distant. I should probably stop when this...
Given the kindness and cruelty of time,
a majority forgot those years where
the tilt of the earth increased. Only
a degree. Or more. Scientists spoke,
we didn’t listen, lost in our own panic,
sick with adrenaline. Maybe others
were able to convince themselves
by repetition: It wasn’t that bad. We
pulled together. It wasn’t that bad.
What they omit is the months of still
night, a numbness that never left,
the dread- this situation was static,
we had buried our normality with axes
under the ice floes...
Malaka Gharib shared how to create a little 8-page zine about the whole COVID 19 situation, so I joined in last week. It came out surprisingly sincere. It really helped clarify my reaction to the whole situation.
When I landed I felt the weight
of myself rush back into my body
like water through an open dam.
I was thankful for no longer
being a raindrop. I saw the sky
as an ocean we swim through daily.
When I landed I felt the spinning
of the planet under my shaking feet,
a constant treadmill, a dizziness.
I understood it was always this way.
When I landed I felt the breeze
stroke my skin and breathed in
all the blooms of the world.
For a second I...
My former body is discarded over
a plastic chair, abandoned to
numbness. Now I am these walls,
the vending machine in the corner
humming its constant mantra,
the flicker of that strip light
spelling out a morse code psalm,
the runes of mould creeping over
each ceiling tile. Aeons vanish.
I try to affect some small change.
Three thousand years or thereabouts
pushing at the door, another hundred
attempting to disturb the leaflets
which remain stubbornly motionless.
So this is eternity, the room thinks,
Between worlds the shine of the sea,
the light that marks the dividing line
between our world and our neighbours.
We see reflections of what we could be-
our limbs rippling, our throats opening
our eyes wide and dark, our skin slick
like oil. The salt crusting over our lips,
covering bare shoulder blades which almost
poke through the skin, sodium crystals
becoming scales. Our laughter now visible,
rebounding off submerged landmasses.
How we, stranded above, long to let
the glimmer into our lungs, breathe in
the perfection of...
Your library is now scattered.
Yellowing paperbacks you found
by chance in second-hand markets,
hardbacks with messages inscribed
on the first page, the much read,
the dogeared, the pristine copies,
the underlined, all now are removed
from your shelves and returned back
to the world. Those words were always
loaned. Given the absence of you,
the catalogue that arranged the spines,
we dispersed piles to charity shops,
disintegrated each memory and each
sentimental gift. Your neurons too,
were always borrowed, now separated