Through the Door

This is a poem about teenagers growing up and that stage where communicating with them becomes more difficult and less frequent.

I lived filled with your music
loud clear and bright
thoughts shared
differences aired
worries eased
growing beside you
but everything changes
and change hurts sometimes
and your music fades
the granite patinated strings
stretched out of tune
your door now closed
herald’s crisp tones dwindled
to ring-ding empty echoes
silent and cold
feelings locked in
unshared, withheld
seeking a reminder
a remnant
one last taste
licking the sardine tine lid
cutting my tongue
blood affirming life
so we keep talking
talking through the door

Poetry without a safety net

This is a poem about performing poetry – the need to hold the audience , to make them think. It is also about the feelings of trepidation and ultimately the satisfaction of a successful performance.
Here I go again
stepping out on this tight-rope stage
thoughts and feelings exposed
vulnerable through my own words
and they watch
and they listen
Oh god, I hope they listen
and I look down
no safety net
you should never look down
The rope feels slack
swaying under panicky feet
and I watch their faces
do they smell fear
can they see it in my eyes
will I loose control
crash to the saw-dusted floor
of mediocrity
and I look down

Deep breath
the swinging rope is my trapeze
the fingers of my words
struggle to hold their minds
to keep me flying
soaring through their time
and I look down
no safety net
you should never look down

I’m loosing it
falling to earth
my carefully chosen words
drizzle, randomly
spinning from a rambling mind
but I think they hear me
they fall silent
they know how I feel
They’re with me
I breathe out
and I look down

Can I make them laugh?
or cry
or stop to think
Am I any good
Does it matter?
Here I am
This is me
Centre stage
In the spot
The ringmaster
In control
And I look down
No safety net required

Blank

This is a poem about the problem faced by writers when trying to produce something to meet a deadline – the blank paper becomes a challenge or a barrier to be overcome.

The shuffled-in seat creaks

Chosen pen poised, black ink
Scrap paper scribble scrunched
Broad nibbed blotter doodles
Stark crisp paper stares back
Offers nothing, not a jot
fresh ideas gone stale
and the clock
The clock ticks, always ticking

Its not too hard, just words
Five thousand, just numbers
Use smaller words for speed
Big numbers, little words
Less to write, less to think
and the clock ticks

Nothing doing zip, nada, zilch
uninspired brain empty
Changes wrung
A different pen fine nibbed
Washable blue for black
Different paper lined feint
Pastel blue or beige
and the clock ticks, always ticking

Knowing just what to say
Wondering how to say it
A title perhaps, or
“Introduction”
“Introduction” wrote big, stares back
Challenging and strong
Condensed intimidation by
A single bloody word
And the clock ticks

One more armchair coffee
Bourbon biscuits nibbled
Ginger nuts dunked
Cold water splashed face
Cool fresh air under
Unhelpful darkening skies
Words evaded, delayed
The clock ticks, always ticking

Two more words, together
“The End”
Start and finish found
How to stretch the middle?
For four thousand
nine hundred and
ninety seven words
“The End” stares back
The clock ticks

Willfully blank blank paper stares
past cereal bowl remains
light through still drawn curtains
and the clock ticks
A non-writing writer
Stares back
Blinks
And the clock
ticks
Always ticking