the heart laid bare

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iris
adore
delicate
Untitled 10
never him
lockdown
procrastinating
advice to the imaginary man of my hypothetical dreams
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
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

iris

I could swim in your eyes.
The cool, calming slate-blue overlays my frantic limbs and tranquilises them
To a lazy, hazy state of lassitude.
 
They pull me closer to the emerald green that pierces through to my lungs,
Drawing the breath from my chest like a central line deep into my core;
The mossy, deep lushness that whispers, “Come closer.”
 
You cling, with the reptile hue that scampers over my skin and gives me goosebumps,
All long summers and baking heat
That toasts a desert landscape to a crispy finish.
 
And that green, in turn, becomes the amber fire that consumes me,
Envelops me to a stasis I cannot fight,
And holds me trapped for ten thousand years…
 
A moment in your gaze, frozen in time.
 
 
For K.
 

© mjc 10 May 2021

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adore

How, exactly, does one write a love poem?
When the agility of my tongue does no justice to
the myriad sensations that grip my throat
at the very sight, smell, taste of you?

The sureness of your fingers, equally facile in delivering
a light, feathery stroke to make me shiver,
or a ringing slap to make me gasp
And catch my bottom lip between my teeth;
These hands are a volume unto themselves...
How could I diminish them to fit upon a page?

And the words that would lend accuracy to the scope of your mind,
the compassion in your soul,
or the gentleness of your spirit
Are no more mine than those required
to describe the surface of a distant star,
whose landscape I could never hope to traverse within my lifetime?

I could wax poetic for a full circumvolution of the moon
on the way that candlelight glints gold flecks in your eyes,
And yet be no closer to the truth of it than when I began.

My words, unfit for purpose, continue to stumble and blunder.
Like baby elephants stuffed helter-skelter into tutus
and shoved onto the stage,
Accompanied by a symphony of the tone deaf,
Conducted by a madman,
As the composer whirls dervishly in his grave.

So instead
I will simply say

That I adore you.


For K.

© mjc 08 May 2021

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delicate

She's delicate.

She draws the hands she doesn't like across the skin that makes her nervous to expose.
And her eyes are wary
and weary for her age.
Their pale blue hides behind short lashes and glass lenses as she apologises yet again for something she never did,
And tries to make her curvaceous frame seem frumpy and unappealing
As a form of armour. 
As if she could be. 

She sits mouselike in her unsafe corner with her fingers clasped tightly together 
To stop them pulling anxiously at the hair she shaved off.
Her breathing shallow, 
Eyelids lowered,
Hackles flattened in the presence of danger lest she attract its attention. 
Oh-so-carefully pretending not to exist until the clicking of the lock, the crunching of gravel, the distant fade of the engine finally edges into silence and she stirs.
Stretches,
Bathes and eats,
Does what she can to soothe her final fraying nerve,
Before opening her journal and calling to her other, younger demons,
"It's safe to come out now,"
And like a swarm of angry bees they flood around her.

With pen and ink and tools hard won she catches them and pins them to the page once more, 
Keeping them secret and keeping them safe, 
Guarding them stoically from discovery until once more she is alone and can let them stretch their wings.

Yes, she is delicate. 
But not delicate, like a butterfly.
 
Delicate, like a bomb.


For Nicole

© mjc 19 February 2021

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Untitled 10

Why have you deserted me?
Your silken taste upon my tongue every morning has become a highlight of my days,
Along with the bitter sting in your tail that reminds me of my place.
But you're gone now and I'm lost.
I wander my house like a tortured soul, unable to fully connect with my surroundings,
And my family don't know what to make of me.
"It's like talking to a ghost," they say sadly as I stare into the distance,
My pale and trembling hands cold and bare.
Every second of cogent thought I can wring from my grieving mind
Focuses only on your and your absence.
I want you back.
And I'm told to "stay strong" and that "it's for my own good" but I don't care.
I miss you.
And I want you.
I want to feel you deep inside me,
Warming the soul that will curl gratefully around you and awaken once more.


"An Ode to the Coffee I Don't Have This Morning".

© mjc 21 December 2020

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never him

I reread my own words with a sense of revelation.
The misdirected anger, frustration... longing.
Whole worlds wherein I walk blindly,
Describing what I think I see through the wool I have pulled over my own eyes.

Each piece, startling in its own way, tells a story I never knew I'd written.
The comfortably empty spaces that were never truly empty;
The hands I held in the silence of my mind that were all too familiar;
The hearts I thought broken to pieces,
I now see in the light of this epiphany were merely fragments of my pride,
The few trailing strands that held them together sliced through
By the sharp but fleeting pain of rejection.

In truth, I have become somebody else
In the time it has taken for my body to renew itself.
The brand-new hide that still bears the scars of my old, discarded skin
Tingles at the realisation that the myriad stories I have told in this last septennial
Echo with a leitmotif
Of men falling short of a benchmark
I didn't realise had been set.

© mjc 19 September 2020

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Biography

Daughter, sister, aunt, godmother, friend; 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.