the heart laid bare

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the tenth month
purple hearts
vigil
a glossary of terms
a week forever ago
The sixteenth
the curse
Under seige
Beyond the blues
Introspect
Balloon
push
a strange distance
SWIMMING ALWAYS DOWNWARD
A ONCE-FAMILIAR LANDSCAPE
No Apology
the thunder
tinder
VERBAL PORTRAIT OF A CAT OWNER
critical shortage
the sky we thought we knew
CIRCA SOLEM
almanac
baby
dearest orlando
FIVE MONTHS
A LETTER TO THE UNDESERVING
cactus heart
would we
the fall of giants
paradise lost
Dad
after you've gone
time
a smile from the eyes
trepidation
why so cold
fix this
swallow me
untitled 8
insular
cry alone
robin
quicksand
laces
D.I.S.C.
stripped
waving goodbye
your open eyes
enemy within
mortal
untitled 4
sleepless
OUTSIDER
untitled 9
come dream with me
in the face of adversity
one word
the dark of the night
untouchable
one and one makes two
you burn me
see me
this shaken core
my lover
helen
my room
his words
foolish
rita
chalk drawings
the longest night
stupid skeleton
CLOTHES MAKETH
FIRST LASTS
STELLAR
TODAY
I WATCHED A MAN DIE TODAY
THREE WEEKS
this slippery slope
untitled 5
Arrows
First Kiss
The Talk Of Love
Nicotine
Blackout

the tenth month

It was supposed to get easier.
We count the days with increasing dread,
Reluctantly tearing the pages from our calendars
As the indifferent grip of time drags us ever closer
To the tenth month,
And the marking of its bitter harvest.
 
Eight crosses
And the deep, abiding sadness that had dogged our steps caught up to us,
Caught our hands and spun us to look into its darkening gaze.
The ache sets in on the eighth cross.
 
Twenty-four crosses
And our happiness was tinged with a hurt
That no amount of makeup could erase from our eyes.
A hurt forever immortalised between gold-embossed covers of white leather,
As half of a face we barely recognised
Tried so hard to smile proudly from the middle of the frame.
And a part of the day that should have echoed with joy
Was shrunken, and stoic, and silent.
 
Twenty-seven crosses;
Twenty-seven steps of inevitability toward the unfaceable.
The world ended on the twenty-seventh cross.
The lights went out; the laughter ceased.
Songs forever changed their meaning.
 
The insult that the twenty-seventh cross brought twelve months later to add to our injury
Simply deepened the craters in the already war-torn surfaces of our worlds,
Scarred by the same disaster but in such different ways.
We carried its fraying wires and spiderwebbed glass gingerly in trepidatious hands,
Every tick of the second hand taking us away from the wounds of the tenth month.
At last emerging on the other side, we breathed our sighs of relief,
Only to have it explode in our faces just when we thought we were safe.
 
They all lied.
It was meant to get easier with time;
These vicious cuts were supposed to heal over
And leave scar tissue that was stronger for the experience.
They were not supposed to tear afresh
And soak our empty arms with the blood of our lacerated hearts,
With every step closer
To the tenth month.



Grandad (29 November 1922 - 8 October 2015)
Dad (16 January 1949 - 27 October 2015)
Nanna (28 July 1922 - 2 November 2016)
I love you and miss you all.
M x


© mjc 26 October 2019

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Biography

Daughter, sister, aunt, godmother, friend, public servant; self-confessed hermit, confirmed cat person, sporadic baker, irreformable yarncrafter, voracious reader; occasional wit, voluble shower vocalist, frequent sacrifice on the altar of brain-to-mouth filter fails, unrepentant purveyor of puns and dad jokes, writer and poet.

I have always lived by the theory that no matter what you do for a living - if you are compelled to write, if you wake up in the night to scrawl the contents of your dreams on a notebook beside the bed, if no event in your life seems complete without you recording it, if you are drawn to comment upon the world - then you are a writer.

These are my words.