The Girl and the Graveyard

I aim for home between the rubble and the dust,

Somewhere hidden underneath those messy layers

My clothes and shoes and regrets, laid bare and dirty

Mistakes I burrow myself within

I must be hoping to build myself a home

Since no one commits themselves to mass excavation unless they are looking for permanence

There is a vast cavern in me

It is the plot hole in the cemetery in which I am burying myself

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The Rotary Clothesline

All the things that could be said hung like wet laundry on the rotary clothesline

It’s groaning under the weight of stain removal, odour extraction,

Limp and heavy and soaking

They’ve been cold washed trying to warm in late summer when sunshine just isn’t that generous

They were wrung out and wet again

Tumbled and blasted

They’ve been through the motions

They are being prepared to be worn by a climate unready for things

That could be said

And are left waiting on the rotary clothesline instead

Hikari

My dearly beloved, bullet train

I was arrested in car number twelve

From Osaka to Tokyo

You had me at train now departing

I’ve committed to memory

Your clean blue and white lines

They remind me of calmness

And I sat transfixed

As Japan rushed me by

As if handmade, hand sculpted, hand nurtured

By an artist with the most loving caresses

Your countryside embellished

With farms of both rice paddies

And the photovoltaic variety

Greenhouses stitching them together

Your cities vibrant and technicolour

Advertisements of character

Tied in ribbons of rivers lined with sakura

And your mountains stood misty

Hooded and strong in a mask of green

Trees to protect what I know must be true

The earth is beloved, and held room in its heart for bullet trains and dreaminess

My own pulsed and resounded

To the rhythm of your topography

Keeping time with your wind speeds

There was no justice in photography

So I drank instead with my eyes

That I used as I wept to the sunset

The View From Nunobiki or Somewhere Close to There

I see it all

The trees and bushland on the edge of a city skyline,

It is neighboured by a saltwater harbour,

a gateway to the rest of the world,

guarded by the mountainside which draws my breath from me

To rustle autumn leaves and whistle through the branches I will imitate

To reach

Beyond my line of sight —

I see it all.

And yet I reach beyond to find within me the stillness I’ve been missing.

Shinkansen

I am patient zero, catching dream sequences at speeds exceeding three hundred kilometres per hour

My heart does not race

It sings, trembling

For the way the world looks back into me

The high speed whistle soothes

Tunnels blanket me

And window side I catch glimpses of unspeakable scenes:

The trees are serene

The rivers are gentle

The countryside need not scream

For me to listen

To its topography

The land on which I’ve roamed my wearied feet

My shoes worn to the world

I find instead the earth singing back

Each valley a blessing

Each bridge a prayer

You Are Cardinal to Me

Last night I dreamt of you

And my heart enlarged to twice its normal size

My chestward lump protruding

My eyes soaked in salt and sadness
In it I had gone away

And in it you had stayed

I had other things in mind

When you had passed away
I worried, wearied over smaller things

But you, the smallest in my mind, were largely left untouched

I left you for safekeeping in the arms of memory

Oh what a mistake, to trust such temporary means
You are the reason softness learned to grow

Why rivers learned to caress the earth

You season sunshine with your laughter

And my heart would sing when I held you
Beneath your arms, against your curious heart

You are cardinal to me, my lighthouse in the fog

You are the warmth I learned to hold flush against my chest

The love I nurtured from your beginning
When I returned, it was too late

After all, you had not stayed

And after all, I had not gone away

My Hopes for You, my Love

I hope that life,

like a grand circus finale,

catches you,

at the moment you waver off kilter, teetering on the edge of

certainty

as the wind picks up momentum

and the distance to the

ground

grows brave.

I hope you find a foothold.

I hope your limbs are sure and strong and lively enough to stopper falls too deep.

I hope your soul accommodates caverns

vast enough for thoughts like these.

I hope you adopt a stomach for the edges

and learn that digestion of adrenaline is an artful skill to have,

but I hope that nonetheless,

the wind does less

than force imperviousness,

and more to free

the looser ends of yours,

your hair,

your eyelashes,

and your smile.

And I hope,

that I will be there,

awaiting with applause.