The Monster

There’s a monster in my chest
He beats my heart like drums
I’m choking on this blood of mine
That’s pooling in my lungs.

I feel as though I’m drowning
And my vision’s turning white
Blur before me, avalanche
Tell me that I’m right.

There’s a hole inside my body
Where you’ve eaten me away
I squint through colour, motion, shame
I stumble to the end of days

Jerusalem falls around me
The soldiers at the wall
Have laid siege to my temple
Just a day too long

It’s October, when I crumble
Flames burn away my gold-tinged skin
I fall like Autumn leaves
And whisper curses to the wind.

There was something here, once
A beauty to be had
But I lost that, oh years ago
When everything turned bad

I am the image of no one.
The sky is empty tonight
My limbs are dead around me
And my neck is flecked with blight.

I zone out to rope and medicine
And vomit down my front
There are monsters haunting me
From which I turn and run

They’re down every hallway
Handprints on every wall
They’ve cracked every floorboard
Pandemonium feels so small.

My body’s not my own now
I’m blood and flesh and shame
That’s why I call him Monster
For I do not know his name

Tears rip through my eyelids
And spill right down my face
This isn’t what I wanted
This boiling, burning place.

But I see him when I close my eyes
And count, so slow, to ten
I choke on black and empty space
And whisper my amen.

I’m begging you to save me
Just pull me out of here
I don’t know if I want to die
But I do want to disappear.

I want you to rest me easy,
Cotton, for my face,
Press til I stop kicking,
And over me, say grace.

Purge the evil from this vessel
And rid the monster, yes
I s’pose I’ll meet you in the elsewhere
It’s not for me to guess.

The Fate of the Wood

They are ripping down the cherry trees,
With teeth of steel and iron,
Before dusk, when the moon’s still up,
Beneath Draco and Orion.

The grunts of sweat and blood and men,
Are deafening in the night,
Shadows painted on the soil,
From their glowing torch of light.

The fruits were picked off long ago,
It was winter when they came,
Soldiers clad with helmet and axe,
And titles instead of names.

Amongst the throng there are no cheers,
When the first bough hits the ground,
A thud, then a scatter of leaves,
A resolute and aching sound.

On the Cobalt

Hair dark as driftwood
Eyes clear as glass
The time of the Ancients
Has not come to pass

You fly through the water
You stare back at me
Your home is the rivers
Your home is the sea.

Shipwrecked, we lay
On sand and soil
Your silent words bubble
Like eggs in oil

When I look to you
I see nature bare
Like the sun, my eyes water
If for too long I stare

You pull me under
My lungs tear apart
You gasp and remember
My mortal start

Holding me close
In your plywood arms
I gasp at the surface
Your hand on my heart

That’s where you keep it
Coming forth I see sails
And the yachtsman gasps
At the girl with the scales.

I Don’t Think Cupid Met Us

I wish that you would hold me,
As dusk brings the end of day,
And all my aching troubles,
Would get up and fade away.

Like shadows they would leave me,
Cast long in evening air,
But then you switch the light on,
And the shadows go elsewhere.

Darling, reach inside me,
There’s a storm behind my eyes,
I’m trapped in life and body,
I’ve grown crooked, to despise.

Take the fire out, leave me empty,
And kiss the stars goodnight,
I will blur the lines of emptiness,
Or calm behind the eyes.

If you held me I’d die happy,
I could pass soundly in my sleep,
I just need to think that if I did,
Over me you’d weep.

And I’d look down from three feet up,
And smile softly too,
That I didn’t waste twenty years,
But when you leave I know I do.

The Change I Never Wanted

I don’t know if I trick the world
With kind words and smiles aplenty
But I have looked inside myself
And seen that I am empty.
 
If I sink my hand into my skin
And show my white ribs bare
Break open bones and break the cage
You’ll see there’s nothing there.
 
Two tobacco lungs like corridors
Surrounding an empty hole
A blackened pit, a blot, or stain
For a girl without a soul.
 
I don’t know where it went at all
If it was stolen when I slept
Or if the lonely ache was too much to cope
And so got up and left.
 
But I woke up one cloudy morning
To the birds and woodland chimes
And my body was heavy with emptiness
And a blankness to my mind.
 
I work through seas of rain and fog
Can’t see straight, can’t navigate
My map is wrong, the road is gone
Where could I have gone so wrong?
 
And I sat down on the gravel
And let the darkness take me home
Not the one I lived before
A relic of a time now long ago
 
The shadows are my blankets now
And one room remains my cage
I can’t fathom feelings – joy or life
Or aching sadness, rage.
 
There is nothing here any more.
I have no words left in my head.
There’s medication in the dining room
I might off myself instead.

 

Friday Night Mistakes

[while a lot of my poetry handles themes of mental health I feel this one may be particularly triggering for those with experiences of abuse and trauma, so if you have felt discomfort reading things with such themes in the past, I’d recommend against reading this]

I’ll get drunk, I’ll be naive
I’ll choke on shots you won’t believe
How familiar this all is to me.

This downwards spiral down to hell
What percentage’s this let’s take a smell
Yes, yes this will ruin me nicely.

Poison, bottle, down the hatch
The world is blurring what a catch
This whole ‘existence’ deal is

I want to scream I want to die
I want to drink I want to cry
I want you to give me a single reason why.

So kiss me hard ignore my no
Put your hand around my throat
Take me back to places I don’t wanna go

It’s your face I see but not your eyes
Is that a frown is that a smile?
Do you shout my name in anger or in rage?

The tarmac’s hard against my knees
Tear me up, I want to bleed
I want to know I’m real now.

I’m halfway here I’m halfway gone
It’s not just the alcohol
It’s the Elsewhere that has taken me so long.

You get it now you’ve cottoned on
I don’t know why it takes so long
For the shouting yes the shouting to start

Let’s walk away let’s leave the rave
Just beat me to an early grave
I’ll be quiet now I promise I’ll behave

Smile at the taxi man
I’m here enough I know I can
I promise babe he won’t suspect a thing

I’m not nervous please look past my shakes
Tomorrow I’ll cry for my mistakes
But the moon’s still up and the world is different now.

We get out here panic sets in
My heart hammers hard as you break my skin
I see myself fall apart on the floor

A broken toy a damaged good
I’m so fucking weak I knew I would
Ignore me please this crying isn’t me

Okay so maybe I don’t enjoy all this
But it helps me see beyond the mist
It grounds me, helps me, if you will.

Those words this blood it’s what I know
The cries, the pain – I call it home
So if you enjoy it I guess it looks like we both win.

I’m the drum you beat and here it starts
There’s an empty hole right in my heart
It won’t last long but for an hour I’ll feel full

No, I don’t know how it got this bad
Therapy and pills, six years I’ve had
But for the pain that’s left I medicate myself.

Summer Wine

A line of kisses down my front,
The stitching from my head to heart,
Where you live amongst the scarlet,
As if I knew you from the start.

Your skin’s the shade of fresh milk,
The top – the froth beneath the lid,
Spoiled, with bruises like,
The fruit the farm hands hid.

If your neck is peach your hair is lemons,
Squeezed for the finest lemonade,
Tart – not bitter – the colour of summer,
For dizzy dreams beneath the shade.

I lay beside the fallen trunk,
Delirious from pollen and drunk on wine,
I’m in heaven when I’m here with you,
Wishing for a stretching, endless time.

But your eyes flutter open, widen still,
Push willow leaves behind your ear,
I’m sorry, I really should get going
Into the evening light you disappear.