Stay on my shore

I often visit the sea in a little boat in my dreams and when I meditate. There’s more on this to come soon. I love the words in this beauty. At the moment my boat is broken out on the rocks. But I’m letting the smoke do the cleaning, the pages of my story are about to begin. Happy adventures all.

Stay on my shore, and don’t desert me
And if you go, the wind will blow you back to me
And if your boat is broken out on the rocks
It wasn’t anger but a longing
We feed the birds, syrup and seed
So they stay near, so we can see

Flashing red and blue amid the green
When the fruit has long since rotten
Rolled in the needles and wrecked our skin
Gave it all to be empty
Wrapped in leaves, wet and clinging
In reeds, so holy

We split the cord
Of cedar and holly
And lie indoors
Let the smoke do the cleaning
And sweeten our skin with the salt and a stone
There’s the pages of our story

Joan Shelley

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Labels

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I have eight labels around my neck,

Compartments that you put a piece of me into every time it breaks.

Sometimes you take the label out and look at it with that silent furrowed brow,

You take out your pen and scribble it out.

 

I have eight labels stamped on my being,

Explanations for being not quite right.

I read them so often I forget my own name,

When you doubt them I question my existence and identity.

 

 

I have eight labels stuck to my skin,

You can’t always see them but I feel they’re still there.

Each is an instruction to give me something to swallow,

A licence to brew 14 medicines in one body and see what happens.

 

Sometimes I wear my labels with pride,

Like badges on a lapel and membership to a club.

I want to tell people how heavy they are,

When you question them I feel lost and defensive.

 

There are 8 labels around my neck,

I’m still me.

 

 

 

Fight/ Flight

phlegm-fight-or-flightFight me again and I’ll stand once more,

I’ll see the good in your fist and take it again.

What’s another bruise on something already so broken?

I fight the tears that heave out in an ugly mess,

Bubbling with the mew of an animal in a snare.

Take your aim and I’ll defend you rather than myself,

I’ll help you drive the arrow home.

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Take flight, I won’t blame you,

Soar free on your own ego and tell yourself more lies.

Just don’t fly too high because your wings will burn.

I know, my bloody stumps where they were cut remain.

I fight because its all I know,

Just sometimes I want to glide on an upstream,

Feel the joy of the air and dare to be,

But it scares me so much I give in.

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Unable to focus I want to walk and not stop,

To drive into the night to an unknown destination,

To find my wings again and join the stars.

But I’m still here with the broken pieces,

Most of them are not even my own.

I glue the fragments and pieces, I fill the gaps,

It’s never enough.

 

Fail For You

This is getting hard to bare
Face it I’m not getting through
I don’t even think you care

All the things I want for you
I have been your champion
So why do you walk awayI, bought you the sky
And the oceans too
By, the look in your eye
The only thing I couldn’t do
Was fail for you
Don’t ask me to fail for you

My neck is so it down with gold
My glory always on display
Strangers in this street behold
You just turn your head away

I will be your victory
Still, you walk away

I, bought you the sky
And the oceans too
By, the look in your eye
The only thing I couldn’t do
Was fail for you
Fail for you
Fail for you
Fail for you
Fail for you
Fail for you
Fail for you
Fail for you

Grace Cathedral Hill

Grace Cathedral hill
All wrapped in bones of setting sun
All dust and stone and moribund
I paid twenty-five cents to light
A little white candle
For a New Year’s Day
I sat and watched it burn away
Then turned and weaved
Through slow decay
We were both a little hungry
So we went to get hot dog

Down to Hyde Street Pier
The light was slight and disappeared
The air it stunk of fish and beer
We heard a Superman trumpet
Play the national anthem

And the world may be long for you
But’ll never belong to you
But on a motorbike
When all the city lights
Blind your eyes tonight
Are you feeling better now?

Some way to greet the year:
Your eyes all bright and
Brim with tears
The pilgrims, pills, and tourists here
Will sink fifty-three bucks to buy
A brand new halo

Sweet on a green-eyed girl
All fiery Irish clip and curl
All brine and piss and vinegar
I paid twenty-five cents to light
A little white candle

And the world may be long for you
But’ll never belong to you
But on a motorbike
When all the city lights
Blind your eyes tonight
Are you feeling better now?

Walking

The trouble with walking so far is getting back.

Every gate I open has to be closed in case I set the beasts free.

Every footprint retrod in a different way.

All the effort with none of the anticipation.

A glance to check only my shadow follows.

The world is big and I am small.

The day has turned tail with me.

I’m back to the safe and known,

I’m back to something new and unknown.

Just breathe

They say just breathe.

I do,  counting in and out until I can’t breathe.

 

She said she colours in when alone, she does half.

It’s not good enough so she stops.

 

They say do stuff for yourself, I try,

I achieve nothing but tiredness.

 

I tell myself seek beauty.

I walk, it makes the world an uglier place.

 

He said it was dead.

It died when I thought it was alive

 

We’re at the hospital waiting for the grown up to decide.

They don’t come, it’s only us.

 

I see comedy to find a smile.

There’s  only tears,  I tremble.

 

I listen to an old song to feel.

It breaks me all over again, press repeat.

 

The radio instructs me walk to clear my head.

Alone on the path, my head is more full than ever.

 

He says he’s tired of explaining.

Who to? You only told me and yourself lies.

Pull your socks up, the glass is half full, this is the worst it’ll be, be positive, eat better, exercise more, make a plan, breathe, be kind, be compassionate

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I do all these things and am back to the start. Just breathe.

A Year

Inside it was damp and stank like the garage, too many winters had passed.

It was full of snail shells, skeleton leaves and the big chest freezer.

 

You saw something in there, a hideaway, where I saw old,

You pushed your way through years of uncollected belongings.

 

You pulled out forgotten items of no use and found a purpose,

You began to make the unloved beautiful again.

 

That Spring you flung open the windows and let sunlight warm the darkest corner,

You dared to build from what others said was rubbish.

 

 

That Summer I grew things and tended them for it felt OK to dream,

We ate them greedily whilst sitting on an old palette bench in the sunshine.

 

The year grew on and we marched amongst the red apples and purple berries.

The fruits began to fall, their bitter decay intoxicating and vile.

 

As Winter came and the light dimmed you became distant and cruel,

We had a fire to keep and searched for solace amongst its flames.

 

The nights grew longer and the black filled our hearts.

Little by little the dream became frostbitten and bare.

 

One day you were not in the garden, or the house or anywhere.

I searched but only found more emptiness.

 

Brambles and ivy crept through the garden and into my heart,

I clawed at them to be rewarded with their thorns embedded in my skin.

 

With one last attempt to keep warm and see the winter through I lit the fire.

This time it was inside, the house and inside myself.

 

It raged and burnt in glory, its sharp tongues licked but provided no warmth.

For days it burnt with choking black smoke.

 

Inside it is charred and hollow, inside me is charred and hollow,

I’m waiting for you to clear the ashes and let them become the earth again.

You+Me

 

You and me were always with each other
Before we knew the other was ever there
You and me, we belong together
Just like a breath needs the air

I told you if you called I would come runnin’
Across the highs, the lows and the in-betweens
You and me we’ve got two minds that think as one
And our hearts march to the same beat

They say everything it happens for a reason
You can be flawed enough, but perfect for a person
Someone who will be there for you when you fall apart
Guiding your direction when you’re riding through the dark

Oh that’s you and me

You and me we’re searching for the same light
Desperate for a cure to this disease
Well some days are better than others
But I fear no thing as long as you’re with me

They say everything it happens for a reason
You can be flawed enough, but perfect for a person
Someone who will be there for you when you fall apart
Guiding your direction when you’re riding through the dark

And they say everything it happens for a reason
You can be flawed enough, but perfect for a person
Someone who will be there when you start to fall apart
Guiding your direction when you’re riding through the dark

You + Me