At certain times of the year, mostly in times of battle,
two dry sticks rubbed together light the ancient pipe,
since this year’s suffering has nearly swept the board.
For even as peace burns all tribes are affected by war.
As smoke trails round, poetry turns my body full circle
onto dropped knees, until the door of my heart, sacred
shrine for the Creator, opens. The holy traveller enters,
seeking sanctuary and shelter for the light of the world.
As the poet goes up in flames,
the fire sways under the stars,
unfolding its tentacular arms
to hold tight the wooden box,
while, burning inside, embers
ignite the Soul’s cosmic eyes.
In the graveyard, kinfolk wait
with the hollow already dug.
Sad faces with twisted fingers
upturned to the shamed sky.
Dogs bristle with sorrow,
ready for the howl of death.
Words weave through
the tapestry of my life.
Travelling within the threads
lies a hidden language,
sanded under time.
It speaks to me
of a story I heard long ago.
History owns the language,
therefore, the storyteller.
To excavate truth I unpick stitches,
learn to interweave words,
revising them to my own speech.
And what of these woven words?
Yours is the voice on the wind
that travels deep within
the chambers of my heart.
Big round sounds of love,
in poetic silver delight,
move your shepherd’s flute.
Like an opening moonflower
I watch you dear poet,
cast out your infused verses,
scent and sensuality far and wide.
Bathed in the clearest light,
I drink in love shaped notes.
In childhood I danced to another tune,
so odd, I thought the gypsies had left me.
At nine I awoke to the call of creativity,
for a golden hour or two. Up and down
the alphabet I travelled, eyeing up words,
never finding the same word-flute twice.
Being of two hearts I wanted to be liked,
but secretly I longed to be the real thing.
A is for alcohol not the ruddy red apple
I grasped, while watching in fear as booze
transformed my lonely, introverted father
into a wild, highly dramatic personality.
Elvis, all shook up, drunk on tramp juice.
Mute, I spoke only in hesitant sentences,
for I would rather heed the silences of life
than listen to the cruel vagaries of his ego.
Beckoned by the branches of this solitary tree,
my fingers trace an owl’s feather to my face
as I embrace her ethereal touch.
Never knowing her name or the meaning
of her silent words at play, she remains
a stranger in the dark of my karmic past.
Come Lady let your hands play upon my skin,
let silence end where you begin.
Let our bodies dance together beyond mortal touch,
for you are my release, my confession!
For there exists no poet who writes
of something they desire to forget!
I dreamed of writing a poetry book all my life.
As I left home at eighteen with all my possessions in two carrier bags, tucked inside a blouse were thirteen of my teenage poems. Somehow I knew even then how precious they were, I knew they would help me, so I stored them away and added to them over the years. ‘Diaries’ I called them, diaries which documented my life should I ever find myself lost, alone and frightened again.
I am more than the name on my family tree.
This book is for you my loved ones and kindred poets on the road. I had the good fortune to find poetry or perhaps poetry found me as a teenager and without embellishment, on more than one occasion it has saved my life. Poetry has been one the kindest gifts I have received from this life, a love that runs deeper than all known. In the realm of the ancient Goddess I pay homage to my Muse.
My mother gave me the name
that would be the story of my life.
From womb to world
I did not choose this poet’s path,
it chose me.
And, as of this hour,
it continues to choose me,
as I walk hand-in-hand,
death my constant companion.
I am a poet, a refugee,
alone on the open road.
Not knowing where I am going,
only that I must go.
I hide myself by day,
move quickly across the night.
Running from oppression,
I seek stars along the way.
My legs, tired yet strong,
keep me wandering on.
Yet how will I survive
without a map and a home?
The way of the poet
the search for sanctuary
is over before it can begin.
Our pens scratch
at simple words,
we share them
in everyday silence.
Yet here bread
is still broken,
wine ever spilt,
and poetry made.
From the outside it looks as if I’m cutting my life short
but from the inside it looks very different.
From the moment I was born I knew I was old enough to die,
for death seems to be my very purpose.
Living in order to die, I am amazed at how much
life and death seem to complete each other.
As my individuality grows so does the idea of suicide,
for until I choose death I cannot choose life.
It takes courage, I found out, to choose the ordeal of life,
to continue life knowing what a horror it is!
Some choose life because they are afraid of death,
some choose death because they are afraid of life.