Odes to the Things I Love

Hi! It’s been a little while, but I haven’t read or seen anything that merits a review (or rather: I don’t have the time to write a review). So I thought I’d upload a few of my poems — whether that’s good or bad, you can decide! (I’d love to hear what you think in the comments!)

Ode to the Feeling You Get When You’re Going Somewhere with Your Life               [6.5.2014]

The scent of clods of packed earth
—almost mud—hangs in the air, mossy,
mouldy like a cave wall, and although
I’m in the open, outside,
it smells like I’ve crawled somewhere
cold and ancient and safe.

That woollen beanie, black
and scratchy as a witch’s cat, toasts
my ears like a slow kettle,
powered by the pounding of
heartbeats in eardrums,
(Talk about natural thermal energy.)

by the thrum of many motors moving,
some mass exodus towards
God-Knows-Where (everywhere).
But I understand my destination;
feel the power beneath
my feet, and the control squelching
like clotted boredom between
my fingers.

The cold-pressed glass is dotted with
dust, and the glaring sun
thrusts itself, unwanted,
unasking for consent, into
my presence. I change glasses
to cloud, not my judgement, but
the brightness from my vision.
I see clearer for the added dullness.

 —

I Hunger for the Chill of Your Embrace               [6.5.2014]

I treasure your bone-nibbling
insight, that soul-cutting knife
of yours that seesaws through
skin. I cradle your trembling
floorboards, breathe in your
tendrils of wood fire smoke
creeping out of chimneys.
I fall asleep rocking you in numb
limbs, my child, enveloping your
blood-pounding lethargy in
arms I can’t tell apart from yours.

I yearn for you, Winter, but
only when you’re not here.

Technology, eh?                   [6.5.2014]

An ode to you; a grateful nod to Snapchat

You sent me a Snapchat from Engadin St. Moritz,
a phone message from the Swiss Alps, thinking
of me in the midst of there, of all places:

wish u were here xx

The picture was beautiful, but only because
the frame was filled with your face.
Eight seconds wasn’t enough to
take it all in, but afterwards I could still see
you with my eyes clenched closed:
a smile like lime juice—fresh and stinging and sweet—
lips the blood of berries—made that way
by the cold, no doubt—lips I wanted to trace with
my tongue, lips I wanted to pore over like
a map of somewhere I wanted to go—no, somewhere
I needed to go—and a nose long and straight but the kind
of nose that means we don’t have to tilt our heads
when we kiss—it just squishes aside, ever so politely—
smeared with a constellation of freckles like the
pattern you get on your bare calves when you ride
your bike through mud—except they’re the colour
of stovetop toffee the instant it starts to harden, the
instant before it’s too late and it’s gone bitter—your
freckles are the perfect instant, captured frozen in
stained ceramic skin—skin the colour of a polaroid
just as it, too, changes; ceramic not because you’re
fragile, but because I don’t ever want to see you
shatter, no matter the reason, because I couldn’t
bear to see a shard of you lying discarded on
the floor, or worse, swept into a pile of dust and
dead dreams. No, eight seconds wasn’t long
enough to stare into the forest-galaxy depths of
your eyes, the verdant foliage of your mind, the
wind-tousled nature of your psyche. And no, eight
seconds was not enough to run my hand through
your russet hair, feeling the fibres ‘twixt my fingers,
so at odds with the rusty appearance—the first time
I smoothed your hair I half-expected brittle, metallic
strands to crumble away—so how could it be
enough to satiate my sight? Oh, to look at you
for longer than eight seconds. I’ve heard
absence makes the heart grow fonder, but
it’s this teasing technology that makes me crave
you. Why did you not set the timer for ten seconds?

An ode to my backyard (and the wildlife therein)                        [8.5.2014]

When I look at you, I see:
a trio of ducks that rapid-fire-rifle
through muddy water with
a sound like machine guns;
a mother’s meeting of slow-
clucking hens, hunched over
and hands behind backs as
though they’re heavy with
secrets (but really it’s just
eggs, one each, eight a day), and
I wonder if we had four more,
would we need a religious rooster
to lead these apostles to peck
their own sharp-beaked way
to a heaven most fowl;
two dogs, the odd couple,
one large and shaggy, the other
small and wiry, both the colour
of sand; three cats—two black,
each hating the other because
they can see more clearly in
their enemy that which they
hate in themselves, and one
white-and-grey, lounging in the
sun-hugged dirt (white no more).

When I watch you, I feel
as though you could go
on forever, verdant and lush
and slush at times, but yellow
and coarse and crackling at others,
but always full of life—baking snakes,
and splendour-weaving spiders
making constellations that occasionally
tangle in my hair, and chirruping frogs
singing in harmony with the thrumming
crickets, and birds I don’t know the name of
thundering by overhead while fish thunder
by in your dam where it’s cold and murky
but free, and before I know it, it’s
night, and you’re a tiny expanse
underneath the gaze of galaxies,
weathering that nocturnally ancient stare
as easily as you do mine.