Mariner Girl

 

Mariner Girl

Take me away, said the mariner girl,
From the islands of ought-to which circle the sea,
Let me be lady and lord of my world,
And let all obligation sink gladly from me.

The valleys are flowing with nonsense and noise,
As the hills raise their heads to command and cajole,
The air is a millstone which crushes my joys,
I will sail from the land, or else forfeit my soul.

Send me a star, said the mariner girl,
To blaze through my darkness and show me a path
Through the waves, to a place where my mind can unfurl –
Just me, and the sea, and my brave little craft.

The currents are flowing with maybe and might,
And the swells are a surge of why-not and just-be,
The salty-skinned air gives a kiss of delight,
As I sail from the land and join hands with the sea.

Farewell to you, restless mariner girl,
For I’ve neither a boat, nor the courage to sail,
As the land keeps me bound, so the sea claims its pearl,
But your spirit shines on in this dream-spinner’s tale.

 

© Nina Parmenter 2018

Photo by Ahmed zayan on Unsplash

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There Are Days

There Are Days

There are days… when each moment crushes
While everything rushes
To some futile end

There are days… when every voice mocks me
My solitude shocks me
I’m blind to my friends

There are days… when I feel luck has played me
And choice has betrayed me
For giggles and thrills

There are days… when my ceaseless fixation
With self-reformation
Just worsens my ills

There are days… when fear shakes its rattle
Each step a tired battle
Of me versus me

There are days… when perhaps it’s all worth it
My mess is as perfect
As screwed up can be

 

© Nina Parmenter 2018

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The Hollow

The Hollow

I’ve been down to The Hollow, and I’ll never be the same,
Have YOU been to The Hollow? Would you dare to speak its name?
It’s a place as cold as gravity – it grips, and you descend,
It’s featureless, it’s soulless, and it seems to have no end.

There, you will find longing that has lost the will to yearn,
There, you will find love that has forgotten how to burn,
There, you will find anger with no energy to fight,
There, you will find emptiness that claws away the light.

Many start to stumble down – yet find a path to climb,
Some are lifted safely clear by love and care and time,
But some, they journey further – they’re the ones who can’t come back,
For they’re lured into the neverending numbness of the black.

There, they seek a refuge from the mirror of their mind,
There, they seek out nothing, leaving nothingness behind,
There, they seek to silence dreams, for dreaming brings no pleasure,
There, The Hollow chalks another victim to its ledger.

Have YOU been to The Hollow? Could you break its hold, and tell?
Could you rip away the veil of shame which harbours it so well?
Could you show someone a pathway with a fragile map of words?
That tiny act could be the spark which breaks The Hollow’s curse.

 

© Nina Parmenter 2018

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Photo by Artem Sapegin on Unsplash

To Cherry Blossom

The cherry blossom is out in my garden, and as we enjoy its brief moment of splendour, I can think of no better excuse for some “proper poetry”. So, here’s my tribute to spring’s most fabulous diva.

To Cherry Blossom

Vain cherry blossom, loud and peacock-proud,
You flutter at the oak tree with disdain,
His spring display is workaday and plain,
Whilst yours draws veneration from the crowd.
You flourish and you flaunt – your fans are wowed –
It seems you’ve won spring’s pageant once again,
But soon, and with a showman’s sigh of pain,
You’ll make them weep – you’ll tumble to the ground.

Yet I’ll not cry – just as, I must confess,
I won’t mourn midnight fireworks, come the dawn,
Or grieve the short life of a wedding dress.
Like gorgeous gift-wrap chosen to impress,
Your brevity’s no burden to be born –
No, therein lies your true seductiveness.

 

© Nina Parmenter 2018

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Nevermore

I am blessed with two children, and that’s the family I always dreamed of. But  it does seem like only yesterday that starting a family, being pregnant, the whole baby thing – well, it was all an adventure that lay ahead of me. And now, it’s all behind me.

And I think it’s OK to ponder on that, without everyone hollering “Ooooh do you want another one then?” No, I don’t. But yes, just sometimes, I feel a little wistfully sad that that phase of my life has gone by.

Nevermore

Nevermore the swell beneath my fingers,
Nevermore the flutters in my core,
Nevermore the secret smile that lingers.
Once, my womb bore nothing but potential,
Now it’s finished, done, inconsequential,
Nevermore to matter, nevermore.

Nevermore the sleeplessness that floors me,
Nevermore the ligaments so sore,
Nevermore the nausea that gnaws me.
Once, the humdrum hit a strange hiatus,
Once I was cocooned by special status,
I’ll nevermore be special, nevermore.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

Toddler Tantrum

Here’s the latest in a long line of “parenting stuff I worked out a bit too late”.

It has taken until my second child reaches three-and-a-half to work out that a child having a tantrum (a proper one, not a fake one) is NOT generally a child that can be reasoned with. No, a child having a tantrum is a bewildered trainee human, confused and overstimulated by a overloaded, malfunctioning lizard brain.

You wanna reason with that? You go ahead, supermum. For now, I’ll just stick to giving him space and cuddles.

Toddler Tantrum

Your brother pushed the button at the crossing,
The bowl you want is blue; you got the red,
The world dissolves. And suddenly you’re lost in
A cruel new place, uncharted in your head.

This world is wrong; it threatens your survival,
Raw panic meets bewilderment and rage,
These primal feelings brawl and churn and spiral –
It’s all too huge to process at your age.

Your skin turns red, you scream, emotions wheeling,
Your chubby hands curl tightly into claws,
You hit the ground, you pummel out those feelings,
That seem too big and scary to be yours.

I meet the stares from passers-by with shrugs.
I’ll give you space, brave boy, then give you hugs.

 

©️Nina Parmenter 2018

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Perplexing Child

We know that part of the reason for our success as a race is our diversity. And yet, we still sometimes don’t know how to cope with difference. Especially amongst our children.

Faced with sensitive children, artistic children, gifted children, ADHD children, autistic children – we’re tempted to try to homogenise them, make them conform, quash what makes them brilliant. Because, as much as we desperately love them, what makes them brilliant can also make them a huge, perplexing challenge.

Perplexing Child 

My brave, perplexing child – you are unique,
You do not touch the world like others do.
The words we say, our rules, the things we seek,

They’re all a strange cacophony to you.

What does life feel like, there behind your eyes,
Your mouth, your nose, your fingertips, your ears?
If I could breathe your breath, what fresh surprise

would hide within your thoughts, your dreams, your fears?

You challenge life. You rail against the norm,
Within this world that needs us all compliant,
You’ll blossom, though, while they rush to conform,

You’ll grow in your own skin, become a giant.

One day you’ll burn magnificently bright,

Until then, there’s a world we have to fight.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Shipwrecked Brain

This one’s for all the Mums who had their own mental battles to face when their baby was first born.

New motherhood is an onslaught on the brain. Your life changes drastically and permanently. You’re exhausted. You’re overwhelmed with questions, information and scrutiny. Nature has generously popped you into a “cow-like state” (not my words!!) in preparation for early motherhood. And to top that, you have a 25% chance of suffering post-natal depression.

To overcome these battles is extraordinary. You are warriors. And I salute you all. x

Shipwrecked Brain

When baby’s born, you’re meant to feel
a rush of love.
Hey, that’s the deal.

But sometimes…

Birth is blood and shock and pain
and steel. And when your shipwrecked brain
resurfaces, you realise –
the love
did not
materialise.

Instead, a claustrophobic fear
encloses you. This new career
cannot be given up, and yet
it’s tough –
as tough as life can get.

But…

Although you’re crazed with tiredness
and panic, you still nurture, kiss
and hold your child.
And deeply care.
The months go by…
Then love is there.

This hard-won tear-stained love you feel
was made by you.
And that’s unreal.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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Confetti

OK. Hold your nerve (I had to) – this is a serious one. Never fear though, it still rhymes.

In deciding to have a poke at something serious, where else could I start but with a sonnet. And who else could I write a sonnet about than my fabulous husband.

Strictly, a sonnet should have fourteen lines, but I read some rather lovely poetry written in this slightly extended twenty-line form and I was inspired me to try it myself.

So here you go. This one’s for Dave. xx

Confetti

Our wedding dance was carried on a breeze,
We spun with the confetti round the hall,
Then life howled in and blew away our ease,
For time brings dust and debris to us all.
I press your hand. You wink. The pressure falls,
Together we will laugh amongst the squalls.

Our children, home and work engulf my day,
While worries and to-do lists flood my brain.
Just when I fear I might be washed away,
A look, a smile from you and I am sane.
And when I’m born askew by angst or pain,
You find the words that balance me again.

Asleep, your body rests with sweet aplomb,
While my thoughts knot with quarrels and with qualms,
I fear the dark, or worse, the dark to come,
Your mellow stillness softens my alarm.
I touch your back, you breathe beneath my palm,
And, unaware, you lead me into calm.

When you’re with me, I sense the peace within,
And I can feel confetti on my skin.

 

©️ Nina Parmenter 2018

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