Photophobia

It’s nowhere near Halloween, so time for a creepy rhyme…

Photophobia

The light is like the sound of something breaking;
he waits inside the upturns of the waves.
Don’t touch the switch. The click will find him waking.

The kitchen has the scent of someone aching
to live. Reflections hold the things he craves.
Their light is like the sound of something breaking.

If light consoles you, watch its edges shaking
in bedroom corners, cringing at his gaze.
Don’t touch the switch. The click will find him waking.

I wonder, have you sensed a brightness taking
your vision? Have you felt in recent days
that light is like the sound of something breaking?

You may be free. You may be quite mistaken.
I guess you must believe, for now, you’re saved.
Don’t touch the switch. The click will find him waking.

So come to terms with darkness now. Start making
new routes, believe your senses, and be brave.
When light is like the sound of something breaking,
don’t touch the switch. The click will find him waking.

 

First published by Snakeskin Poetry – www.snakeskinpoetry.co.uk

Geek notes: This is written in villanelle form, which has a very specific pattern of rhymes and repeating lines. You may have noticed there are only two rhyme sounds (although I’ve been a bit loose with waves – craves – gaze – days – saved – brave!) You might recognise this form from this slightly famous poem by Dylan Thomas. 😉

 

Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay

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Blooming

Bang!

This week I have been mostly… blowing up all the pretty flowers! Or rather, they  have been blowing themselves up in some sort of petal-strewn apocalypse. This poem featured on the lovely blog The Wombwell Rainbow this week, but I thought I’d share the fireworks here too.

Blooming

A celandine went first,
and if we had ever looked, we would have known
it was a freeze-frame of a live firework,
we would have expected
the violence that sparked from the inside out,
the heat petalling sweetly,
each stamen springing a hellmouth.

A rose caught,
thorns spitting pop-pop-pop from the stem,
the leaves crisping, and as an afterthought,
the buds, like charged kisses,
lipped the flames to ragwort and vetch.
An oxeye daisy burst,
white-hot in its eagerness.

We dialled nine-nine-nine,
we called the press, but our words burned away,
and as day bloomed into evening time,
the honeysuckle, its lashes
glowing in the last light of the sun,
tipped a long wink to Venus
and blew like an H-bomb.

 

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Artwork by Thomas Suisse on Pixabay.

Araucaria Araucana

I recently visited the weirdest place with my family. Called Robin Hood’s Bower, it has literally nothing to do with Robin Hood – it’s a clearing in Longleat Forest, Wiltshire, where the late Lord Bath decided to randomly plant some monkey puzzle trees.

The clearing is the site of an ancient settlement, and has also been a gathering place for battles of all colours and flavours. But what is particularly eerie about this dark patch in the forest is the evidence of human rituals that take place there to this day. Anyone fancy a night hike?!

It was a place that most definitely needed a poem, and you can find it here at Green Ink Poetry:

https://www.greeninkpoetry.co.uk/poetry-submissions-all/nina-parmenter-araucaria-araucana

 

 

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Lunacy

You make one simple mistake…

Whoops

Lunacy

I didn’t mean to kill the moon,
Your Honour. Just bad luck, I guess –
one hiccup, and the sky was strewn
with moon-rocks. Whoops! Who doesn’t mess

with isotopes from time to time?
I didn’t mean to kill the moon.
Ballistics? Well, if that’s a crime,
they’ll ban my vortex factory soon,

then what? Some health and safety goon
declares my new black hole a sin?
I didn’t mean to kill the moon.
Uh-oh – the shrapnel’s coming in,

prepare to die! No, seriously,
can we get under something hewn
from rock?  What’s up? Don’t look at me –
I didn’t mean to kill the moon!

First published in Snakeskin Poetry

Geek note: This poetic form is known as a quatern. It has four stanzas, each of four lines, with a refrain which appears in line 1 in the first stanza, line 2 in the second, line 3 in the third and line 4 in the fourth. It’s a really fun form to write in, as you fit the poem round the refrains like a jigsaw, and also very satisfying to read, I think!

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The Lockdown Lament

This one needs no introduction…

The Lockdown Lament

“Oh to spend time with the family!
Freed from our offices! Freed from our schools!
Imagine the hours of harmony!”
That’s what we said, we ignorant fools.

Have you ever tried video-calling New York
to talk about trends in a businessy way
while your kids disembowel the cat with a fork
and your husband walks by with his goods on display?

Have you ever tried tempting the kids from their screens
to do papier-mâché or make lemonade
or have ‘fun with a workout’ (whatever THAT means)
while they pelt you with attitude, grunts or grenades?

Have you ever tried teaching a nine-year-old maths
and a five-year-old spelling whilst muffling a scream
as you realise you’re living with sociopaths?
‘Is this it?’ you enquire. ‘Am I living the dream?’

“Oh to spend time with the family!
Freed from our offices! Freed from our schools!
Imagine the hours of harmony!”
That’s what we said, we ignorant fools.

 

 

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Photo by John Salvino on Unsplash

The Time Eaters

For some reason I find writing poems like this quite fun… no it’s not normal.

Warning: not for the faint hearted…

The Time Eaters

Snip! And your ear-bones are scraped of their meat
by the scurry-tap-tap of their friable feet,
as you cringe at the swivel of each cold obsidian eye.
The terrible dust of what-never-more-can
trails deep in their wake, and the shortening span
before them is crushed by a clamouring echo of “why…”

Their home is the night
of forever, and there
they will stay, half-hobbled and blind,
if you just keep them out of your treacherous mind…

Drip! And your fear forms a cauldron of bile
as they march on, their mindlessness masking their guile,
devouring the past and the present, consuming the possible.
They are the nothing, the shadows that scuttle,
their abdomens pulsing with malice and muscle,
their skeletal legs scraping paths to the pure diabolical.

Their goal is the triumph
of never, and there
we will end, neither living nor dead,
if you can’t keep them out of your treacherous head…

Slip! Your mind trips as they break through the lies
that help you to sleep. Oh those eyes! Those….

 

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Photo by Melanie Wasser on Unsplash