You have my word

One word can change your life.

Tag: earth

The places I have travelled, you


You say: you are poetry.

I say: you have me undone in three words.

You say: I don’t know what to say.

I say: don’t say anything.

You say: I am in love with a writer.

I say: I am in love with the sunrise. I am awake.

Like a train frames the movement of a bride on her wedding day,

so the sun only sets to frame the trail you leave in the darkness for me to find my way.

Your eyes. Like fireflies. Vibrant. Alive. Bright.

On my bucket list there stands: see the Northern Lights. Aurora Borealis.

That was before there was an us.

I could look at you and feel like I’d seen the world – like I’d met everyone there was to meet, like I’d tasted India and walked Rome and surfed Fiji and climbed Everest and loved every land I let my feet shake hands with.

Your hands. Like oak tree branches. Strong. They know their place. Safe.

I’m that chocolate lad. Not sweet like you’d think; that was never me.

I am dark, through and through.

I am my darkest when I am with you.

Bitter to those who aren’t accustomed to the taste, but you have let me melt on your tongue,

you have let my tongue melt the creases of your waist, the small of your back…

relax into me. I will hold you safe.

I don’t have fancy words to make you stay.

I don’t have instructions for a bad day.

I don’t know any languages other than my eyes to ask you not to leave.

I’ve never even been overseas.

Right now in this instance, it feels like we’re oceans apart so maybe that counts for something?

So when people ask me where I’ve been and what I’ve seen?

I’ll simply tell them I’ve travelled your spine, and scaled your ribs and held handfuls of breast

that I’m sure even the monks would profess

the gods made just for me.


Become giants from the ground

Here is the unmaking
in petals falling with not enough weight
to break.
From faith of smallest measure,
a giant stems from ground’s hold –
pushing and making way
fighting against earth and air
It wouldn’t be called growth
if there was no gravity
for it’s only in the martyr of life
that we ever progress
or become less if we give in.
Let yourself rather reach and fall from the sky
than die half-height, half-strength
of what you could have been.
You will not break
nor smash
nor make a sound.
You will unmake even more into the soil,
and entrench yourself further into the roots,
and find the faith you thought too small to plant,
and birth yourself
ever tall
ever regal
ever made


This is the 10th poem in a series of 30. Read the previous nine here:

Day 1: Tighter than fear

Day 2: Do not wish me to be true

Day 3: Listen

Day 4: What to ask after the wreckage

Day 5: Even though they die

Day 6: Where will you go when the rain comes?

Day 7: You cannot do much for the dead

Day 8: Keep it together

Day 9: Wrecking the very gods we built | On statues and stories

Dark hearts


A trip-switch goes off somewhere in the basement of a high-rise building; no one can find it in the dark to turn it back on. Stumble. Somewhere there is a heart like this ground-sunken space. It is still night outside, it is now night inside too. Dark.

The sunrise has not yet smothered the Earth. Shadows stand stark against the star-lined sky; light has not yet taught these silhouette shapes how to be shy: “Go hide.”

There’s some static in the heart lines. The many  “how” and “why” questions need to be re-wired (a necessary process if the light is ever going to go on again). Connect.

Sparks fly. Spirit surge. Light.

The steady fluorescent glow permeates corridors leaving no cobweb-dusted corner to settle beneath dust. Vision. There is a heart here riddled with veins flooded with life.

Rip my heart from my hand

There you stand.
I hold my own heart
in my own hands
and truth is, however much you want to,
you will never understand.
I’m a man.
Nobody gets it
even in this poetry slam
and I’m spitting all I can
with the only words I know
how to han-
I handle my heart too –
you wish it were you,
whether you say it’s true
or not.
I’m scared my heart –
like my favourite china tea cup
thin, like my grandmother on her deathbed –
will be dropped.
I can’t help but think of the rot
that will set in
when you realise it’s broken.
So you walk away
like a loose-canon fan out a stadium
because you can’t bear to watch
the game be lost.
If I hold my heart
I know it will be safe –
safer with me than with you
and I can handle knowing that I need you
but don’t want you
because you see through
everything I try to put up.
You tear it up
and it ticks me off because,
don’t you know how long it took me
to put that barrier between us?
Now it’s gone.
Now I have to trust
even if I get there with clenched fists
and fights in the dust
right next to my heart that you dropped
and didn’t clean up –
I must!
So man,
here I stand
holding out my hands.
One holds my heart so you can take it
and the other you can grab
and hold,
so I won’t be able to take it back
and I’ll continue to stand
by your side
and I really hope you understand
that I will not be able to take it
if you break it,
if you crush my heart into the sand –
shards and grains of dirt and earth.
So hold tight
and we just might
make it work