I haven't been putting poems online because they get re-drafted these days and I want to submit them to journals and competitions which means they can't appear online but I really miss feedback, the thrill of the instant share and how it makes me hone my work. So I've decided to get round it i'll put new poems up here for a limited time. So let me know down below what you think of my first draft.
I Go Back
To get my hair done at a slice of the price,
by the lady I babysat for, whose garage is a salon.
Go back to see mum, for Christmas, Easter,
occasions that require traditional preparations.
I sift through formal attire in a wardrobe
that hangs remnants like a photo album
only rooted out for visitors, who go back
to excavate my childhood ruins
in the shapeshifted playgrounds, riverbanks,
and bricks that have been repurposed.
I go back to a new flyover, strip mall, bypass,
until the rat run is no longer my burrow.
Go back to consult the oracle, the wise one,
signposting in the mists of whiskey, rum and truths.
I go back to dust for myths I never learnt properly,
to remember why I left, to speak in tongues
sanded smooth by rolling, shattered from shifting.
Go back to taste slow, to savour the greetings,
the bread, air, hills, wellies and waterfalls.
I go back to the ones who haven’t left,
who know the skin I’ve discarded,
to detect the bog in my body, to plot
if I could live in the drizzle of a village
I only ever wanted to escape from.
I go back to survey if it’s still backwards,
to identify if I can bring it forwards,
to hear if it’s calling me back home.
Typed up for Yogatry a Yoga and Poetry workshop
To breathe through two nostrils
Is a gift from the universe
The glory of letting go of anger.
The first time I felt the air
Through that passageway
Was like the first time I got my head
To my knees, that unlinking of holding.
The acceptance of being alone in a home
I’ve been rescued by for so long
That has the space for community
around a table, life is unpacking suitcases
That live in closets between moves,
Notebooks falling from back racks
A rehearsal for quitting and learning
That somehow there’s winning in failings,
In not worrying if you’ll sunburn, accepting
That you’ll learn from the reddness.
In knots so deep you can’t breathe into your belly
And there is release when you feel fingers expanding
Like ribcages breathing into frustration
Balling in the back seat of dad’s car,
when you’ve failed your test again.
It’s all just an opportunity
To repair the puncture, pump up and go.