january

(a literary homage to ‘december’ by zoe boekbinder)

in january
so young i was
not a year ago
dark nights because

you were so far
in deserts cold
while in sun-strewn rooms
i felt so old

february then
brought you back
hearts flew high
as they shed their black

march my life
was hard and torn
as nights grew cold
you kept me warm

april escapes
to keep us sane
as long as it was you
i’d take any train

may was mere autumn
and life went on
nothing to report
was going wrong

june and birthdays
winter and hope
working my way down
my healthful slope

july the coldest
or was the next?
a sleety rainy blur
my mind protects

august descending
to knife’s allure
they brandished their forms
i said i’m sure

september is groggy
and vague in head
scars and holes or
morphine instead

october was still perfect
i thought it true
so many times i said
i love you

november it all came
so undone
life is so over when
you lose ‘the one’

now december
damp with sweat
cracked window
cannot save me yet

i feel so old
and still so young
i cannot see
how far i’ve come

(‘December’ is a beautiful, sad song. I once spent a tearful early morning waking around near-abandoned LES Manhattan singing it to myself after my heart was broken (albeit much less seriously) by someone else, pausing to consider going to church electively for the first time in my life, so lost I felt. Highly recommend listening to it – both the version from the Vermillions Lies ‘Sibling Rivalry EPs’ and from Zoe’s ‘Artichoke Perfume’.

I thought this year-oriented style would also be a good one to conclude the 365 pieces project – and before midnight, just like I promised! This is certainly not an end to creative writing being posted on this blog – but I am planning to concentrate more on longer format stuff for a while at least. But tomorrow I will post something, rest assured. Thank you to everyone who has continually kept an interest in this blog – readership – or at least ‘likes’ – has waned a little since a surge midyear, but ultimately, this project was for my purposes, to test whether or not I could carry out this seemingly huge task. And despite a fair few less-than-stellar offerings – and a few slapdash haiku here and there – it has been done. My goodness.)

a words with friends and christmas poem

we dined on the finest nosh
that the bazaar could provide
some would chug on eau de vie
brandishing an awl of their tribe
fearful that a foe comes
from the gulch next door
protect the pa from a golf course future
mesh fences protect
or add allure to
the broken yacht
where the moon wanes
and an old man clutches either
a broken lath
or instrument aiding ye olde yean
a confused ewe in the torque of the earth
as  her gut will ache

elsewhere
christmas
while a disk plays fa and la
viruses wiped by some dev
pass the turkey
say ta
play nim with aunty
a young voice like a filly’s gait
“na. nope. perv!”

(In my wonderful friend Annabelle’s honour – after finishing a fairly neck and neck game of Words with Friends, she suggested making a poem of them. Naturally, it was a case of challenge-freaking-accepted. Every word that featured in our game is contained within this poem, which managed to take on a slight family-shenanigans/pastoral Christmassy tone. Kind of. Or just ramshackle wordy madness. Take your pick!

AND! Last poem of the project tomorrow! I will be out in the early evening, but I’ll try to get something posted before midnight.)

raw

pink is the colour
of bare, fresh skin
not yet ready
to be touched by
the airs and the graces
of the world
it is the colour
of strange hair
bleached and stained
in a fit of madness
again and again
until it defines
the unloved
pink is the colour
of love and of hope
a thousand cards
for mid february
sent between lovers
with soaring hearts
the colour of childhood
for half of us
at least
dainty shoes and socks
kicked about
tossed asunder
for nobody wishes
to be so constrained
pink for pain
for madness
for heartache
for reverting
to childhood
because i do not know
how to live

stolen from us

when minds have changed
filtered through years and
whispered words
grown to believe in goodness
in the dark
grown to believe in letting go
and moving on
and leaving the lost
behind
sitting on a bed
in a room
in a faraway place
where the people
who once were there
have been stolen away
and all that’s left
is that void
to curse into
that the future and
friends
have been
stolen from us

the breaking in of the gifts

a pristine page
unwrapped and untouched
ready to be pounced upon
with pencil or ink
or careful strokes of both
inhaling the scent
of parchment imagined
papyrus dreamed of
soaps wrapped too closely
time for desecration

(just realised that this is the sixth to last piece of this crazy year long project. my god. it really is quite astounding on so many levels that this has come full circle, all things considered. let’s see if we can make these final few really count, hmm?)

auckland summer dreaming

grounds heavy with pohutukawa
and melted ice cream
and gritty sand traipsed
from beach to grass to
asphalt too hot for tender soles
janus of the isthmus
iron sands and blond
one face of either colour
talk about arabian nights
enter the aucklander
fifty shades of blue and grey
and white curling around
each other as paints
swirled on a practice palette
lightning struck and
hail in sunshining weather