fight fear

She remembers-
standing rigidly, moving fluidly,
knuckles smarting, muscles burning,
a thud, a groan
staring up from the floor-
his gaze unyielding.

He remembers-
the held breath, the release,
elegant storm breaking,
admiration, distraction
a wince, reflex, regret-
her glare defiant.

They watch, curious-
As she learnt hurt to stay safe,
Wore bruises to seem strong,
So she wouldn’t stare up again
-in helpless horror


this game we play

what a game of snakes and ladders:
where slides grow rungs that end halfway
and ladders curve sideways

one way in and one way out
still you trot round and round
led by string
(you once tied your heart with)

if you tilt your head you can just about see
the end
– and beyond
just waiting for thee

one yank brings you back
a tug and you’re done
tumbling tumbling
back to square one

unguarded heart

fists clenched, deep breaths –
do what you do best

brave smile, clear eyes –
they can’t tell the rest

stand tall, it’s a test
of strength
it’s a mess
of tears
you press
your hands
you try
to mend.

enough of burying
your head in the sand
your head in your hands
your heart in a jar;
no more
eyes turned away
go away
stay away
mouth closed
with nothing to say

it hurts, but you heal
there’s nothing fear can steal
from an unguarded heart
– it’s a gift.

accidents of the apology

so beautifully conceived,
my apology swirls–
around my head
and spills out mangled.

it had crashed into the pain in your eyes along the way.

along the way? what way?!
it’s all of two finger spaces between the limbic system and cerebellum
(barring the dip into the cerebrum to get it sorted
-what for, anyway?)

it had ran at first,
with wings of Hermes (the greek god no one heeded)
so fast, so sure

along the way-
it met,
a fragment of song
a whisper of hope

what a chance coincidence! it later told me
for when they bumped it st-stu-stumbled
and was never the same thereafter

it limped along – wary now –
of the second familiar stranger
they brushed
and warmth and smiles (such weightless wonders)
were added to its burden

it pulled itself forward
inch by inch
to the next one it knew was waiting.
this one was different; they didn’t Touch
but a look,     it swore,
was all it took
the third one didn’t need a hook

when it finally crossed the two cm sea,
it could barely move
so weighttted was it,
the former spark!

the line it was tasked to carry had grown.
on its own.

two seconds one takes to open a mouth, yet-
two years echo in the silence of words unsaid

the quivering apology whispered modestly
but alas it was no longer heeded, needed
(who wants a message mangled?)


a new signal had come along
fresh and strong;
it had learnt from its predecessors’ folly
two seconds the signal took-
and the mouth closed
with a final look.

poetry: more than distance

they say an inch is 2.54 cm.

it’s not.

It is the distance between faces smiling too bright
brightness burns sometimes.
It is the distance between all our selves
infinitely reflected, palms pressed to the mirror.
It is the distance between words spoken and unspoken
trembling in the air, a melody of their own.
The distance between souls
carefully measured, painfully maintained.

they say an inch is 2.54 cm.

maybe it’s just that.

longing builds

longing builds. bit by bit
swirls ‘neath the iron grip
of soft pages thin yet thick
of numbers cold yet
once so warm
RED ink bleeds across the page
while pale blue scramblesaftertrying
its darndest to patch up the holes
red slashes.
right. right. wrong?! right. (phew)
brilliant colours never seemed so black and white

and you wonder, when the skies clear–
not what is right
but what is… left.