High Levels of Invisibility

Another day, another merry rejection email winging it’s way across the wires to my inbox. Never mind. See if you can spot the theme for these poems…

Bruises are open to interpretation
Marks of a life lived
Without the inconvenience
Of diversion
No avoiding sharp corners
And as we bump along
Grinding truth into one another
All efforts to avoid
Lasting damage
Remain futile

I grew up under a piano
Looking at grown-up shoes
Out of the way of the weary
A quiet child, too shy
For the floating world
Of theatrical parents
I only became visible
At three years of age
When my sister appeared
Her adventurous spirit
Blonde hair, blue eyes
Loud voice
Dragged me into the chaos
Of a downstage spot
Where everything was my fault

Swirling fog furls
Around my headlights
Their beams soft and unfocused
In the quiet of a country lane
So deserted a setting
Bunnies bedded down
Snug in their burrows
Birds silent on slippery branches
Anything might happen
Out here where you can’t see
Where you might be driving
Through clouds
Your wheels barely meeting
The frozen ground
Off cliffs and onto
Sleepy railway lines
Unseasonal weather
In the chilly calm
Before the dawn chorus
Takes their cue

An arm buried
In a grimy sleeve
Stretches out
Lost in a crowd
Seeking the solace
Of friendly faces
Finding nothing
But coins

Being seen
Red circled defects
Are a validation
As glossy headlines
Tell terrible tales
Of celebrity cellulite
Beautifully bad behaviour
And once again
The publicist knows
Someone noticed them

In the spotlight
Dust motes dance a Mazurka
To an empty room

The Powers That Weren’t

It’s that time of year again when I trudge through my various bits and pieces and root out those submissions that were rejected outright or (worse) that never received a reply. Those that were written to a set theme or spec, I usually post here, as they are rarely suitable for resubmission elsewhere.

As you may be able to guess, these were written to a set theme – Power. I generally try not to over-explain my scribbles as I often feel if they require an explanation, then they aren’t finished yet, however this particular publication requested a brief introduction to each poem, so I have included these in my post.

This poem was written from the perspective of a Liberal politician nominally ‘In Power’ within the current coalition government, musing on the present state of the UK.

In Power
Feel my rhythm, see my vision
Fear the schism of this prism
All must work in culmination
Bettering the nation’s station

Tweaking noses, stomping toeses
Pack a pocketful of posies
Quick to hide the stench of rows
All long-since passed their sell-by codes

Darker glasses for middle classes
Out on arses for making passes
No more handouts for noisy standouts
Put up, shut up, we’re boss and bandits

Tailored speeches to tired teachers
Bitter leeches and lay-down preachers
Sieve for truth from the lie-buffet
Here’s a vibrant youth, let him have his say

Disenchanting, we see them panting
For what they’re wanting, and now recanting
Scrambled egg stains the ties of old
And the very dregs of the yellow fold

This poem was written about a turbulent relationship with an imbalance of power as one person chooses what is best for both of them on a whim, without reference to the other person’s thoughts or feelings.

We’re together
Off and on
Depending how light
You are feeling
That switch in your brain
Flicks from one
To the other
And once again
Here I stand
In the dark

This poem was written on a miserably cold morning, sitting at a desk in a room with no heating, trying to summon up enough energy to face the day and gazing out of the window at one kind driver helping a total stranger get a battered old banger going again.

Jump Leads
Give us a bump start
A quick start, a jump start
To be smart and hearty
A powerful party
Yeah, kick off the traces
Of car-to-car chases
I want to feel spaces
See people, go places

Public Transport

I take the bus to work each day –
Prefer it to the tube
I get to see the surface
Though the people are just as rude

It gives me some hint to the seasons
Not something you see much in town
And if I reach the stop early
There’s even a chance I’ll sit down

It really doesn’t bother me
That transport is half the speed
Our day’s the same length anyhow
And this way I get to read

The faces of my fellows
This aptly named human race
Who zoom in private vehicles
Not seeing the world they face

Stream of Unconsciousness

Sitting in the passenger seat
Watching you drive my car,
Drive me, to places I’ve not been.
Foreign, fresh territory,
Countryside-open or big-city-closed;
I watch the people pass, with strange faces,
Search through the streets
Looking for something. What?
An ending, a beginning?
An answer to the unaskable?
My mind wanders, I lose the map.
I close my eyes and sit back,
Comforted by the mindless noise
Of a badly-tuned radio;
The buzzing static in tune
With the humming void between my ears.