Missing: Creativity. Last seen 15 years ago

There, below the skin, sleep keloid scars. They run across the insides of my hands, on the quiet side of each palm.

Death lies underneath the smooth shiny witness. The embryonic bones of brush strokes and pencil marks that miscarried. The imprint of a pen and the touch type calluses never made.

I pull pull at the skin. Thirsty and dry I see overworked tools that bled for a life. Lines guide my nails. Incisions follow. I wonder what lies beneath the scar tissue.

Maybe brush, pen and keyboard will conceive something from a dusty blueprint. And maybe I won’t find keloid scars. Maybe they’ve only ever been coarse scabs that need to be picked awake

Advertisements
Standard

Mother tongue

I have no other tongue but this one.
No rising intonation singing a tropical song
Then turning in a flash to lash.
No deep belly switching of codes
No knowing eruptions.

It’s root was severed
like Beloved’s head.

Slashed.

In my babe’s mouth tears fell as blood
and my tongue
swung
low.

I grew a phantom.
Pink and white it blossomed.
Hungry for all the crannies and crevices.
It sought out walls and confines.
Found it could move and throw words out into the world.
Singular and wide
my tongue held onto English sounds.
Comforting and complete
not fragmented and impenetrable.
We adopted each other in the ether
while mother and father
tongues turned away.
Each to their own
leaving me an orphan.

My heart dances to soukous
but moves deaf to Swahili.
Shona is only a thundering vibration.
I still speak with a timbre.
My voice still finds it’s way home.
But my once new sprung tongue
is of this isle
And when it lashes, thrashes and loops
It is unashamed.
My tongue is mine own
And I claim it fiercely.

Inspired by ‘Epilogue’, Grace Nichols, The Fat Black Woman’s Poems, 1984

Beloved ref to Toni Morrison novel of the same name.
*Shona is spoken by Zimbabweans
*Swahili is spoken by Kenyans. It is also spoken in other East African countries.

Standard

01.48am

Retrograde plays in the pitch
Palm rests centre of rib cage, fingers upon my breast
And I vibrate with each out of sync heart beat.
Under each eyelid I can see each rise and fall.
I can hear my own silent song
Base notes strong and faithful.
Stretched limbs let the sounds take over.
Blake’s echo fills the room, swirling and at once I am under the wave
Warm and suicidal I let the water slip like syrup into my lungs.
I surrender to the arrest.
Then the tide subsides
And the black summer’s night returns.
A hollow velvet.

It is time to tune out, to sleep.

Standard

Free writing…a little something written in July

Here take my hand child
Don’t be afraid
Don’t gaze up at me suspicious
Don’t you recognise my face?

Think, think child. See me.
Don’t you know my name?
I was there when you were born child
You and I are the same

I saw you when you were lonely
Cried when I found you in pain
Got you up in the morning
Made you catch your train

Watched you clean up the mess
Again and again and again
I rubbed your brow when you were sleeping
Felt you going insane.
From listening over and over
To the same tired refrain.

Not to worry I am here now
No child don’t you fret
Your cheeks will dry in time child
Your path is not set

I’ve always been beside you
Even when all seemed lost
Saw you holding an abacus
When you were counting the costs

Come home to me baby
I’ve always been here
It’s time for a new chapter
It’s time to shift up a gear

Let’s face the future together
Let’s go to the moon and back
Let’s compose a new beginning
Lets mix a brand new track

I’ll step up to do the vocals
You can hop onto the decks
It’s time to surrender to the music
And let life take care of the rest.

Standard