Salty

Salt on my tongue,

Dissolves sharply into the roof of my mouth.

Salt in the garden,

Sprinkled on the earth to keep slugs away.

Salt along the roads,

Keeping slippery ice and snow at bay.

Salt over our bodies,

Drying on our skin after swimming in the ocean.

But my favourite salt

Covers the rim of my margarita glass.

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Fairy Queen

I wore a crown of tiny spiders

When I first met the Fairy Queen:

Soft and newborn, under silky green leaves

She gave at once a cry

And the spiders all crawled off,

Through dark undergrowth,

While I watched them growing farther away.

Softly, her nursemaids began to sing

So that she would sleep,

And as she closed her thin lids

The forest grew still,

And darkness fell like treacle

On all of us:

Then slowly, silently, the stars started to shine.

Au Revoir

One final visit to the town that has been my home.

Or perhaps one day there will be another?

Not for the foreseeable future:

When will I see that stretch of coast again,

Hear the many seagulls call across the breeze?

I will miss the open spaces, the narrow streets too.

I seem to fall in love with every place in which I live

And leave part of me behind when I go away,

But the urge to pack up and move does not leave.

Goodbye for now, to this green and sprawling town,

To the salted air and busy roads.

If I see you again, we will both have changed.

Butterfly House

The street outside is cold and grey

While the air inside is humid, heavy,

Full of water drops and a sweet scent:

Trays of orange slices line the path,

Which are nibbled silently.

I try to listen carefully:

Is that the gentle flutter of wings in the air?

Behind leaves and on branches,

Or high up in the air,

We observe the fleeting lives

Of colour, warmth and beauty:

The elusive winter butterfly.

Apology

Although this has stung I do not feel regret.

We can’t rewind now anyway

Yet I don’t regret meeting you,

Or any of the times we shared:

I won’t tear up our photos

Nor cut you off,

But I don’t want to be together again.

 

Our happy memories

Will remain memories,

Plans we made returned to dust.

It wouldn’t feel right:

Under the crook of your arm again,

Laughing as if nothing had changed

Because truly, everything has.

 

 

 

Leaving

At the top of the hill with my bicycle, I wait,

As I start to roll down I am going too fast, out of control,

I cannot find the pedals and my heart is in my mouth

My feet flounder in the air uselessly.

Tightly I grip the handlebar

While the incline decreases,

Allowing me to slow.

The speed was terrifying but unknown sights beckoned

And as I look around I cannot see you any more

Because you didn’t want to leave

So I had to make my own way.

Now I don’t know if we will see each other again

But at least I’ve gone forward.

Pollen is in the air, making my eyes water,

But the white blossom all around is beautiful.

Keepsakes

Grandma likes to re-purpose.

She once gave me a calendar from 1987,

Featuring photos of tractors,

In case it would come in handy.

It did not.

She has several mismatched teapots,

Yet she only likes coffee

And her garage is full of half-upholstered chairs.

Plump money plants and bright orchids,

Lining her windowsills,

Jostle with dusty cacti which make me sneeze,

So we must sit outside together , escaping the clutter,

Waiting for spring to arrive.

Rain drips from her gutters and the garden ferns

As she presses a rusty tin into my hands that once held fudge,

Because I’ll never know when I might need it.

I keep it as a reminder of these damp days.