We had nothing but rags Bags of old costumes Piled in the corner Of a dusty room Discarded scraps Of forgotten dreams So I taught myself to sew Building a tapestry Of my patchwork life Knees folded on the Chilly bathroom floor Its cracked blue lino Like ocean waves The tattered curtain Tucked up over the rail Learning to navigate By feel and intuition As I frowned Squinting at my needle Trying to get the thread Through a tiny hole In the mushroom-coloured dusk At the awkward age Of thirteen years and one month I wore them out My colourful creations And people stared Admiring and mocking In equal amounts When I grew Good enough That you could see Design in my skilful Manipulation Of throw-away stuffs I sold some For coin, or bartered favours Tailors can be born And they can be made I took commissions If you could describe it The perfect dress I could draw it in my head Then threading your dream Through my careful fingers Seam by seam I could make it Come alive
Loopy Luna shines
Lighting her own face
A secular paradigm
Let me not feel more than may be borne
For others’ troubles, cares and strife.
I am too young to be thus forlorn,
Too old to hope; to love; to wife.
Give me but coin, my span on Earth
And lend me not another’s fear;
(I’ve precious little left of worth
Still less to broker bargains here).
I promise, but to do my best
And nothing more may take from me
Those greedy souls, whose “Fie!” on rest
Would wrest what time I, false, term ‘free’.
I cannot speak, but as I find
All else would be as empty air
What use, my hand, my heart, or mind
When weighed against such meaty fare?
And fair or foul as all may be
At moments suited to their mood
I can no more deceive than see
Through blackest darkness; I’ll be good.
The Night Train
I love to watch the lights flash by
Travelling from town to town
Throughout the inky, velvet night
They lift me when I’m down.
And following their smoky chains
As far as the eye can see
I am quite grateful for their pains
To light the way for me.
Expulsé du Paradis
Ce qu’on aurait appellé l’atout principal
de ce pèlerinage m’est perdu.
On a laissé mon coeur se distraire pendant
assez de temps. Maintenant, il est cuit.
Et on n’a plus de voies, plus d’avenues,
plus de dépit, plus de tristesse.
On n’a plus de sentiments actuels, seule, nue.
Je devrais te quitter, aller explorer d’autres possibilités
de ce monde, dans ce monde,
puis qu’il existe de plusieurs possibilités.
Mais j’ai plus de volonté me jeter dans l’océan
Pour voir si j’ai du quoi flotter, ou si
Je me suis habillée avec aplomb en plomb.
Et les jours passent, sans que je m’en aperçoive…
La vieillesse m’atteint à l’âge d’un quart de siècle.
J’ai un regard fixé, tout droit, sans voir.
La lueur que j’avais trouvé dans vos yeux s’est éteint
Et je restes dans le noir.
I leave the light on, late at night,
I don’t quite dare to face the night.
Leaping from the floor to bed
In case some creature grabs a leg.
For who can tell what lies beneath
Childhood terrors cause much grief
And only morning brings relief from
Witches, Goblins, Vampire teeth.
I close the curtains, windows, door,
Yet leave a light on down the hall.
I cross my fingers, sneak a peep,
Hold my breath and pray for sleep.
The windows rattle, floorboards creak,
The wardrobe holds demonic sheep
Whose glowing eyes are keeping watch,
Counting seconds, ‘mid my socks.
I’ve hated bedtime all my life.
I rarely sleep, but feel the knife,
The cold sweat trickling down my spine,
My sister’s snoring – sleeping fine.
And yet I daren’t drift myself,
Fearful of some vile elf.
Reading, writing, all night long,
Drawing pictures, whispering songs,
Anything I can devise
To keep from closing these tired eyes
Until at last the morning’s come, and,
Gentle saviour, brought the sun.
Then at last my watch will end,
Trusting in my faithful friend
Who watches me from day to day
And holds my demons all at bay:
Light will keep my dreams quite pure,
So I may fall to sleep once more.