Neither you and neither me – Candice Daquin

 

Behind closed doors I am a different animal

I eat my food protectively and with great bites

I play dress-up and pretend

I am a typical only child used to a secret life

sometimes it is lonely and sad and often after

socializing I long to rid myself of the feeling of being

filled up with too many people and too many words

the reason I have few lines on my face is

I don’t speak for hours often gallivanting in my head

stories and themes and wonders

whilst outwardly impassive and calm.

When I was younger I loved to

wear fancy dress and make up stories and climb trees

when it became the time to give those things up

I did never find a suitable replacement

if I had my way I would dance and blow up balloons

eat cake and make love and little else

a hedonist with a conscience, one friend said

you care so much and then you wish you did not

people have always remarked upon how

well together I am, with my matching colors and my greese-proof make-up that doesn’t run when I scream

but it is absolutely a mask, clowns buy in bulk

one becoming a little threadbare as I

get out of practice and grow older

my hands resemble a milk maids and the times I have howled

show in the corners of my yawning mouth like apostrophes of regret

in the past I’d just have plaited

ribbons in my hair and worn a torn chemise

all the world would have said; Adorable!

But now, damn it, I want to be liked for who I am

not that miracle of long hair obscuring

layers and layers hiding, the girl beneath

who never did like how she looked

too masculine, too strong jawed, too high forehead

as I age I see the thin-lipped hydra smile of my dad more pronounced

vanity whispers; Botox and Rejuvaderm can solve that

yet I hesitate

something unbrushed and feral in my blood saying

don’t give up being wild and seeking the rheumatic lore

thinking in my mind of all my family, how

like short-lived butterflies they bloomed young and grew old fast

in things of skin and bone

but their spirits were always wild

like they continued to roam

and I love that

it’s the one thing about my legacy I am proud

when it is quiet and I am sorrowful and piteous

I think of my grandmother stomping in her big heavy boots

lines around her mouth from dragging on her fags

taking the dog for his seven mile walk

up into the heath we clambered

her giving me tips on avoiding a receding hairline (well coconut oil didn’t fix that)

whilst I longed to sneak off for a cigarette myself

we’re a nest of night tokers until we become unwell

or if there had been a lover, a little bit of slap and tickle

I was always unrestrained and apt to be naughty

she was exactly the same that I knew

we all possess a fierce loyalty to the idea of love

even if it disappoints

you might say

we’re a cracked family of romantics

ransoming reality for a second bite of cake

I smoke in my dreams

and I kiss you with closed eyes

I don’t want to be 34 or 73

even as we all shrivel and decrease

I long to find that diving pool again and

swim underwater long enough

when I emerge I am neither you

and neither me

 

Liar- K. Barratt

Liar KB

At night, she pretended she was one of them. She

Did her oms and chants, anchored her feet behind

Her ears, shared the organic rice with pure, cold-pressed

Virgin oil and laughed, with them, about

The rest: the junk food eaters and murderous meat

Eaters; the zombies attached to I-phones and I-pads;

And the junkies getting high in the poison Big

Pharma had convinced them to buy, to be well,

To think well -oh poor dears, not seeing the truth

That only came from a dedicated life of oms and chants;

And cotton weaving and whale watching from a kayak.

And she would remember the whales watched

From a tourist catamaran. And the hamburger shared

With Mike when Mike was still around and she

Was part of ‘Jenny and Mike’, and there was no tombstone,

Somewhere, polluting the earth, saying ‘Mark’.

Mark with no Jenny. And on and on they spoke,

About all their wisdom, masters, gurus, shamans.

One even swore he had seen a fairy and no one doubted it.

Yet she dared not to confess about the gorilla

In the kitchen, the child in the corner, how she

Knew she belonged to another dimension, and

There was a planet where fish behaved like men

And they came and visit, some times,

Through the multi-plane hole behind

Her fridge door. She breathed deeply

With them, a communion of air, someone

Said, and she heard the noise in her head, the

Voices pulling left and right, and the anger

Raging, her heart pounding, like a giant

Drum in a slave galley, and all she wanted

was to scream that she wanted to go home,

Wherever home was; yell them out, to get out,

Shriek them out existence,

Tell them to go, that she knew not

their names, their words meant nothing

To her, nor did the hated green

Smoothies and raw nuts, and she just wanted to

Vanish, disappear, and find that quiet

Place inside of her, to which no prayer, no

Meditation, no gong bath or drumming session

Had ever taken her before.

She was sweating, panting, but not one noticed.

They were deep, inside  their holly, hallow selves.

She tipped top to the bathroom

And took her magic pot, her miracle

Pill, velvety white.

Swallow it.

And waited, until upside down became upside right.

She was out of the hole. She could breathe.

She could slither back to her place

And joint the meaningful silence,

Just in time. In time to smile, beatifically.

In time to adjust her saintly mask.

In time to lie, again, to lie because

She did not know what else to do,

Where else to go, who else to turned to.

And as they left, one of them commented

She had not finished her smoothie. She said she would

As she close the door. And then threw the

Green concoction down the drain.

The gorilla handed the cola as

He faded and she sat in front of the TV,

Drinking her coke, eating her chips,

Watching her game show, at peace.

Accepting herself completely just

As she was: a pill-popping nut

Case wanting to fly. Like an angel.

Like a saint.

And for today, that was okay.


I can’t say I follow any particular tendency or style. I pretty much let my heart sings and copy the notes into the computer, and then play with the sounds and meanings until I feel the poem, idea or musing have taken their own shape and personality. I am originally from Venezuela and have been in the UK for 14 years. I am a writer, poet, blogger, life coach, interfaith-minister, celebrant, language teacher, Domestic Goddess with an edge,  Tarot reader, mother to a girl (light of my eyes), a dog, a Guinea pig and five plants, and wife to the most patient man in the world, who sometimes appears in my poetry. I feel very lucky to be multi-racial: Spanish, Nigerian, Native American, Jewish, Italian, Arabic and Finnish. Somehow I think that influences my eclectic style, which flourishes in almost everything I do, from my writing to my cooking. Like everyone I have had my ups and downs. I have experience domestic violence (first hubby) and ridiculously sweet loving (second hubby). I am immigrant and right now I am witnessing the loss of my country (long story) and yet I have been very much welcomed in the UK and have grown to love it very much. I am bipolar, psychotic, suicidal and suffer from psychosomatic epilepsy, which can make life a challenge at times, and, at others, weirdly fun.

I blog at Singing Heart

Summer is Over-Stacey’s Mum- K. Barratt

Staceys Mom KB

When Summer was at its heights,

And my life was still mine,

I had a name, I had a voice, I was

A girl with a plan.

With bridges to build and castles to conquer.

But Summer is over and I’m just

Stacey’s mum.

I am dear, I am babe,

I am Mrs Whoever, Lady X.

I am the invisible woman in the second

Lane, at the front of the queue, catching

A glimpse of herself

In the reflection of the vending machine.

And I know why the caged bird sings,

And the lonely teenager rips her skin

With a razor, and the town’s weirdo

Put his life at risk doing an impossible feat,

And the cat lady screams in the middle

of the night, like crazy.

They do it to feel.

To convince ourselves that we are real, here, still,

Ugly, fat, slim, old, grey, faded, strange,

Still here, our beating hearts still playing

The summer song that gave us flight,

That made us reckless, that made us dance

And dance, until that dance and we were one,

The dance still dancing inside of Stacey’s mum.

Summer shines in me, summer rises in me,

Flowers bloom in me, working their way up

To the cracks of my casing, to break the

Cloak of venerability, like dandelions

Pushing pavements apart,

The cement of the years, of Lady X and little dear,

Of the names given, imposed, baptized,

The mask I am told to wear, ripping at the sides.

But inside, I’m getting high, darling; stoned darling;

Intoxicated darling, with guitars and moonshine and life.

Singing in a red dress on the top of the bar,

In a smoky club to the notes of jazz, blues, a few

Suede shoes twisting and tapping in my heart.

And I’m not over yet.

I’m not done yet.

I’m not broken nor wrecked nor cracked nor shattered, yet.

I am older,  wiser, perhaps, but not obsolete,

There are still rainbows forming beneath

My cape of invisibility.

Summer is over, true, and outside autumn has

Painted the world red. But strawberries roll

Down my throat, and mead, and cheese on bread,

The green grass growing inside my oxford pumps,

Not just Stacey’s mum, but me, the me who had

A name, who had a plan, who had a game,

The me who held the sun in her hands and made it shine.

In aisle three I may walk, Lady X, looking for butter and eggs,

But inside I am surfing, writing my name on the sand,

Listening to the sea trapped in a shell, my shell,

This what you see, a fraction of myself.

Outside, the breeze is chilly, the autumn leaves

Whirling in the air, like a dreaming dervish waiting for death.

And I sit still, stand still, make myself still, in this role, still,

Pretending summer has come and gone,

And I’m just babe, dear, woman in aisle one.

Stacey’s mum. Still. Non-person with no name. Still.

But it’s fake news, darling, because in this half-world

I have been put in, like a mute extra in a play,

There is another side yet, another place yet, a time behind yet

Where Summer neve ever ends and the roses know my name

And on my motor bike I ride and I ride and ride, a bit of wild of

Sex on the side. A few blues, a little jazz. The crackling

Song of bonfires calling the early morning light.

And me. And I. Still breathing. Still being. Still alive. Here.

Ready to take flight, darling; to be, darling.

To birth a second summer from the depth of my heart,

My inner fire much more than meets the eye,

A person with a name, a woman with a game,

Stacey’s mum piling away all the crap, and making it burn.


I can’t say I follow any particular tendency or style. I pretty much let my heart sings and copy the notes into the computer, and then play with the sounds and meanings until I feel the poem, idea or musing have taken their own shape and personality. I am originally from Venezuela and have been in the UK for 14 years. I am a writer, poet, blogger, life coach, interfaith-minister, celebrant, language teacher, Domestic Goddess with an edge,  Tarot reader, mother to a girl (light of my eyes), a dog, a Guinea pig and five plants, and wife to the most patient man in the world, who sometimes appears in my poetry. I feel very lucky to be multi-racial: Spanish, Nigerian, Native American, Jewish, Italian, Arabic and Finnish. Somehow I think that influences my eclectic style, which flourishes in almost everything I do, from my writing to my cooking. Like everyone I have had my ups and downs. I have experience domestic violence (first hubby) and ridiculously sweet loving (second hubby). I am immigrant and right now I am witnessing the loss of my country (long story) and yet I have been very much welcomed in the UK and have grown to love it very much. I am bipolar, psychotic, suicidal and suffer from psychosomatic epilepsy, which can make life a challenge at times, and, at others, weirdly fun.

I blog at Singing Heart

 

Lotus- Aakriti Kuntal

Aakriti Lotus

Upwards,

these lips, boat-like

inundating rivers

within their pondering girth

Upwards,

this skin, cellophane treasures

collecting color from the

sky’s subservience

Upwards,

hand, mouth, body

Organs shattering in

coalescent proximity

I raise my head

to an uneven sun

Watch its cadenced portions

Clouds ablaze against

the hum of detonation

I raise my body, my skin,

my entire being

My cheeks frosting

like cream

The irregular elongation

of life’s symptoms;

a fat ellipse around

my belly

I raise my departed teeth,

my chiseled naivety,

my tapping feet

I buzz and blink,

my face a periwinkle pink

The forgotten trick of

forgetfulness

clawing at my lip

I draw my navel to the mouth

and perch like a lotus

I raise

my body,

my skin,

my entire being

I spill

white like the flashing night

And I never burn

Poem and photograph by Aakriti Kuntal


Aakriti, aged 25, is a poetess from India. She writes because for her it is the most beautiful way to endure life. Aakriti writes for the Writings of Aakriti Kuntal, and her work has been published in 1947 Literary Journal, Duane’s PoeTree blog, Tuck Magazine and Indian Periodical among others. She won the Reuel International Prize 2017 for upcoming poet.

Expanse- Aakriti Kuntal

Aakriti Expanse
Sky devolves,
loose cloth,
parchment of coarse light
shifting through time
The skinny arm
of peacock trees,
goes round and round
collapsing like a skeleton
over rescued breath
Exhaling
a cold blue mist
over flakes of leftover fingers
I watch my body, hanging
Like a dusty day
over horizons
And for a minute there
I believe

that my arms are as wide as light

Poem and photograph by Aakriti Kuntal


Aakriti, aged 25, is a poetess from India. She writes because for her it is the most beautiful way to endure life. Aakriti writes for the Writings of Aakriti Kuntal, and her work has been published in 1947 Literary Journal, Duane’s PoeTree blog, Tuck Magazine and Indian Periodical among others. She won the Reuel International Prize 2017 for upcoming poet.

Torn- Austin M. Ely

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I am torn

So very torn

Between the seams

of fate

It seems too late

For me to suture the wounds

I sustained

As I sip this concoction

From a shot glass

As it numbs the pain-

Away…

I go far away

In order to tame myself

To become the man

I once was

So I strip the self

For I am to blame

For who I am

I take no regard

Regardless of the cards

Because I never fold

Letting go of the worst

Watching the pain

Wash away first

Is the greatest feeling

The best story

I have ever told

That of a torn soul

Searching for answers

On an endless road

 

Image courtesy of Pixabay


A poet based out of the city of Wilkes Barre, Northeast Pennsylvania. At the age of 13 he began writing poetry and short stories in a foster home in order to express what he couldn’t. Through the years, now at the age of 21, he has always sought to personally develop his word play as well as inspire those who read his work to perceive themselves through and to the world. He has dubbed himself a “modernai literary” which is a title prescribed by his generation in order to distinguish himself and his writing.

His blog, which can be seen at ameofficialblog.com houses much of his works for any and everyone to read.