Another new poem

This is yet another new poem.

you stole my words
my voice
my language
and i hate you for that
more than for what you did to me
because my words are all i have

you ripped out my tongue
ground it beneath your feet
and it took me seven years to regrow it
but the new tongue is never the same as the old
never as fluent
sometimes it forgets how to speak
and so you silence me still
half a lifetime away

i screamed inside for years
but couldn’t be heard
i still can’t scream out loud
my tongue can’t bear it
but at least i can speak my truth
my new tongue can do that much
and that is enough

© bardofupton 2019

A new poem

This is another new poem.

your words fall upon me
like a thunderbolt from the sky
the air crashing together behind the strike of your speech
every word another stone on my shoulders
weighing me down
with your rage and grief
passing your pain
to me
so you can walk away
relieved
as i stagger on
under your burden

© bardofupton 2019

Another new poem

This is a new poem. I seem to be on a poetry-writing streak at the moment.

poetry is my heartbeat
essential
necessary
words are my blood
constantly moving through me
my fingers snap with the rhythm
my feet move to the beat
my brain flickers with phrases
they spurt onto paper
uncontrolled

poetry is my breath
keeping me alive
i move through a sea of words
diving here is second nature
i swim to the shore
pearly poem clutched between my teeth
spit it triumphantly onto the sand
and immediately swim back out
in search of another

© bardofupton 2019

the box (poem)

This is a new poem.

I have locked myself in a box
it’s a small box
too-small box
gender box
sexuality box
race box
I have locked myself in a box
or was it you?
did you build this box, and stuff me in it?
before I was even born, did you make this box for me?
without asking
without knowing me
you made a box and called it girl
called it straight
called it black
but none of those boxes quite fit me

I have been cramped for years
joints folded tight tight
face pressed into my chest
I have locked myself in a box that you made
I was locked in the box that you made
it was cramped and uncomfortable
I couldn’t breathe
I tried to cut parts of myself off to fit
but they grew back
they wouldn’t go away
eventually I broke the box
I couldn’t fit at all
all the parts I tried to remove are too big for the box
it’s a small box
too-small box
you made me small in the box

sometimes I try to climb back in
it’s not comfortable but some days it feels safe
just my head pokes out
I almost fit
some days I want to fit
it’s easier if you fit in the box
easier if you have the right parts
right face
right brain
right heart
I’m not right
all wrong in fact
that’s why I don’t fit in the box
the small box
the too-small box

I locked myself in a box
as a child
I grew up in a box
a small box
a too-small box
to break the box
I had to learn to see it
I had to feel it crush me as I grew
to feel my breathing constricted
my limbs twisted and bent
I had to let the box damage me
before I could break free

I was locked in a box for years
a small box
a too-small box
and it takes years to break free of the box
it’s always there in the corner of the room
somehow I can never throw it away
the box
the small box
the too-small box
I’d like to throw away the box
but I’m afraid you’ll force me back in it
if you find it lying around outside
so I keep it safe

the too-small box smells of fear
and despair and denial
it smells like where hope goes to die
it smells like where I used to live
but I don’t live there any more
I live outside the box
but I carry it with me
all the time

© bardofupton 2019

A new poem

This is a new poem.

some poems strike like lightning
straight onto the page
some poems trickle like drops of water
slowly filling the paper
some poems are made word by word
like building a wall of letters
some poems blaze fleetingly through the mind
leaving you groping for their beauty
some poems reveal themselves shyly
blossoming over time

i’ve written them all
the easy the simple the time-consuming
the painfully extracted and the meticulously crafted
have all flowed – eventually – from my pen
and this one embodies them all

© bardofupton 2019

A new poem

This was inspired by the fog, or at least it started out that way.

adrift in mist
floating in fog
i feel suspended in time
out of place
positively unmoored
or unmoored positively
open to possibilities, time and space
luminous and emergent
lucid and incandescent
metamorphosing second by second
from one self to another
and yet the same
dissolving and reconstituting
i create myself by an act of will
embodying my identity
i become, i am, i was, i will be
my many sides fit together into the puzzle of myself
i coalesce
and step forth
reborn remade
into myself

© bardofupton 2019

Poetry review: introduction

This is going to be a fortnightly feature wherein I review a poem, the idea being to get me reading more poetry. I’m going to focus on professionally-published work. Rather than choose an author, I’m going to start by choosing a poem at random from one of the anthologies I have: hopefully this will mean reading some things I wouldn’t necessarily choose myself.

As I’m a bit of a geek, I’m going to use a random number generator to choose my poem: I will choose a number between the first and last page of the anthology, and read the poem on that page. The only exceptions will be if it happens to be a poem I’ve already discussed in my Favourite Poems or Reading Project series, or if it ends up being a repeat.

© bardofupton 2019