Writer, researcher, music lover, cancer survivor, optimist, Buddhist.

Category: Poetry (Page 1 of 20)

Mr Postman / Mr Sandman

In light of the news this morning that clinically extremely vulnerable people will start to get their letters this week inviting them to get the covid vaccine, I wrote this little parody – to the tune of Mr Sandman, of course:

Mr postman, bring me a dream (bom, bom, bom, bom)
Make it an invite for the covid vaccine (bom, bom, bom, bom)
Say it will reduce my risk of exposure (bom, bom, bom, bom)
And that the pandemic will soon be over

Postman, I’m vulnerable (bom, bom, bom, bom)
And all this shielding can feel miserable (bom, bom, bom, bom)
Please help me get the vaccine
Mr Postman bring me a dream

Bom bom bom bom bom bom bom bom,
bom bom bom bom bom!

31st December 2020

standing at the back door accommodating
winter in gusts, the clear sharp moon in my throat
and my friends on a screen on my coffee table
but I can’t hear them over the bangs and they
have left their seats already to watch their own
displays. I had run upstairs with Peter and counted
again, at least eight of them, like I did on November 5th.
It’s the first year I didn’t hear a countdown – I always
forget the Hootenanny ignores the coming of the
new year, carries on, and the TV was muted anyway,
but this time, with just the two of us in the house,
at least in flesh, we did not count but we did kiss late
and the bang and crack and light that had been going on
since daylight now overtook the house, everyone’s house
as our web conference brought six of us together in stereo.
Amidst the madness I was grateful for the fireworks blurring
one year into the next because the expectation would have
been too much weight to place on one count, on ten numbers
standing separate and fragile, so instead the community
decided we would have a gradual bringing in of cheer, a blurring
of time, as it had been all year, and watching all the displays from
the back door, the clear sharp moon in my throat made me hopeful,
each blast of light and sound proving that despite everything,
so many of us were standing upright on this earth
and celebrating, still finding some glimmer of joy or hope
and throwing it in the air like a penny in a fountain.

Poem: The moon behind the church

Happy bank holiday! For me, this long weekend is appearing between scans and checkups, as snatches of joy often do. I had my PET scan on Wednesday, which was a breeze – it’s always easier when you’ve done something before. I had a nap during the scan last time, and this time was no different, except this time my leg didnt jerk in my sleep and wake me up panicking that I had unintentionally moved. The results should come back in a week or two. Next Friday is my gastroscopy, at a completely different hospital, so Peter and I are continuing our tour of the local medical establishments.

Anyway, I wanted to share a poem today, because I haven’t posted one for a while and I haven’t submitted much to lit mags or had anything published for a while, either. Here’s something I wrote on the way home from a friend’s house last week, and the photo that follows is my terrible attempt at taking a photo of the moon that same night.

The moon behind the church

I want to live where I can see the moon. I want to be
with people who can see and nod and agree with my
assertions about the beauty of the moon. When the
traffic slows, I like to think it’s because every driver
is trying to get a really good look at the moon.
I want us all to turn off our own moons – headlights –
and slow to see the moon behind the church.

I pull over to take a picture. Get my good side, it says,
keeping its cheek turned. I comply, the photo doesn’t
turn out quite right – I don’t have the tools – but I am
happy to sit, forget the day the sun had burned, and let
my head cool as I admire the moon behind the church.

Several Seasons Later

Did it snow this winter? I can’t
remember watching flakes fall
from my armchair but really,
wrapped in recovery,
I was not here.

It was hot last summer. I remember
roasting watching the football,
sweating walking into town for
drinks to help me forget that
I was too much here.

I’ve spent sporadic seconds each
season wondering what the point
is in seeing the next one if illness
and fear is all there is for me, if
nothing I expected to happen
is waiting for me, wishing
I wasn’t still here.

Summer is slinking around again and
the bio oil I rub on my scars smells
like a Floridian hotel in a way I can’t
quite identify, but is surely a metaphor
for how Orlando in four seasons’ time
can heal, can erase, can smooth out,
can soften me, can help me remember
why I am still here.

Disney Springs, Orlando, Florida

Brightside Moths

I feel old
and torn apart
tired and torn apart
torn and tired apart

I tried living
alongside moths
brightside moths

they tell me to
always look on
the bright side too

but the chipper
clip of their wings
gets in my face
they always fly
towards the face

I was the patient
making the anaesthetists
laugh before we went
into the operating theatre
and I still am

but I have a library full
of memories now
and all the books
have been checked out
by me

I open one
and a brightside moth
lands on the middle pages

I slam it shut
the wings stop flapping
there is still no peace

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