the heart laid bare

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a strange distance
SWIMMING ALWAYS DOWNWARD
A ONCE-FAMILIAR LANDSCAPE
No Apology
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CIRCA SOLEM
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FIVE MONTHS
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Dad
after you've gone
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fix this
swallow me
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come dream with me
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you burn me
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I WATCHED A MAN DIE TODAY
THREE WEEKS
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Arrows
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The Talk Of Love
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No Apology

In one swift stroke you brought down your axe
And cut away a piece of the ground I stood on.
In one swift stroke, tilting the earth
That was already unbalanced -
For there were places left too empty
And I wasn’t enough for them by myself.
 
As I tumbled forever Alice-like down that rabbit-hole,
Filling the air with stories of myself,
I could only hope that you would understand
That I had to look inward to watch for cracks and crevices
In my oh-so-brittle shell.
I did not –
Do not still –
Have the strength to watch my watchtowers.
So I did not notice
That amongst those eyes that shone vigilant at the borders
There were some that blinked and turned their backs.
 
And there were words that hurt to say and hurt more to hear;
Tiny barbs flung thoughtlessly from my lips
To stick upon the meat of me, 
While in growing consternation I watched
Far too late to catch them before they fell.
I could not seem to catch them before I fell;
I could not seem to catch myself at all.
 
Would you have had me fall silent?
My bitten tongue plummeting to lie still in the dirt?
Would you have had me stand and drown in the choking waves
Of my own wounded blood?
Or pin a plastic smile to my face,
Dress myself up in tainted greasepaint and lies,
And play make-believe for my audience while the poison slowly killed me?
Would you have had me perching forever in your fair-weather dock
Pretending that it wasn't raining?
 
No.
I will not apologise for my grief.
And I am not sorry that it changed me so drastically...
Sometimes to encourage the strongest growth,
Everything you know
Must burn to the ground.
 

© mjc 20 March 2017

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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.