the heart laid bare

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Bedtime
the one time
prisoner
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

Bedtime

On nights when you and I are engaged in our companionable parallelism,
And your task cannot be easily interrupted 
When drowsiness begins to hijack my eyelids, 
I'm quite happy to kiss you and wish you a good night,
And wander off to my bed alone.
 
But on those same nights, 
The absence of your heartbeat next to me is noticed,
And the warmth of your arms sorely missed. 
The soft notes of your voice and the pressure of your fingers,
Squeezing mine as I curl around your back while you pray
Are as much a part of my nightly ritual as the prayers are of yours.
And I find that Sleep comes more reluctantly,
Shy and uncertain despite the relentlessness 
With which the Sandman had been pounding against the windows
Mere moments before;
As if he knows my day has not been properly completed.
 
Instead, my fatigue notwithstanding,
My mind lies awake for minutes or hours,
Like a child determined to see Santa before succumbing to the call of their dreams.

© mjc 17 October 2022

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the one time

The one time you got me to cut your hair,
You were surprised that I insisted on trimming it all short with scissors first,
So that the clippers didn't choke on it.

Your dark curls with their wisps of interwoven silver slipped silkily between my fingers as I tugged them away from your scalp,
Then hissed against the snick of the blades before tumbling like fallen leaves around my feet.

Your soft, boyish charm fell away under the work of my careful hands
As you sat in front of me, my legs entwined with yours.
I stepped around your knees as I sheared the youthfulness from your scalp.

You lean back and rest your head against the comfort of my body once I am finished,
Dusting my already covered clothing in still more stubble.
I chuckle and brush the stray hair from your brow.

The intimacy of these small moments are the lifeblood of love;
They endure long beyond those first flushes of infatuation
Or the elaborate romantic gestures.
A memory in the years to come of a shared moment,
Where 'nothing special' becomes very special indeed.



© mjc 31 May 2022

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prisoner


I listen to the grawing of the seagulls that flap around the carpark,
Fighting over scraps from the public trashcans
That overflow onto the well maintained lawns of this small local park.
Their cries are oddly soothing in their raucousness.
Somewhere, out in the cold autumn surf that is lit golden just like a million other sunsets,
He bursts from the waves and brushes the saltwater from his curls.
Strong hands strip the drops from arms and legs made pale by too many secluded days,
And he revels in the feeling of sun and sand and chilly water reminding him that he is alive.
In mere moments, he'll smooth himself dry with the towel I gave him last Christmas, 
Then begin the trek back across the sand to the carpark where I wait:

Immobile, bitter,
Simmering with envy in my broken prison.

© mjc 24 april 2022

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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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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.