Upwards


Maybe it’s the dim midwinter light, but January seems to be dedicated to  taking a rather harsh view of ourselves. In reality, most of us are already doing our best with a lot, and need to be taking on not more, but less.

Well, at least until cloning machines are up and running.

Upwards

I am scaling a mossy wall
whilst plate-spinning
and playing the bagpipes.

[On distant asphalt, a
side-plate smashes.]

Before I know it, it’s January 1st.
“I will now also paint
the wall as I climb!” I proclaim.

[My bagpipes flail
like a spent lung.]

The wall giggles.
“You should have just vowed
to grow more hands,” it says.

[I kick the wall.
Descent is rapid.
Cancel the paintbrushes.]

 

Geek notes: I don’t often post free verse here because, er, domain name. But I do enjoy a little tango on the free side from time to time. As far as I’m concerned, keep it surreal, and it’s OK.

 

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Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

 

 

Juggernaut Growl

This is, perhaps, a slightly unsettling one, but as it’s World Mental Health Day today, I wanted to post something a little more challenging.

Juggernaut Growl

Adrift on this rattling sucking-dry river
I’m twisting like flotsam, my energy peaking
and troughing, my will being tested
and tested…

I’m smashing
I’m shattering
Over and over.

The eddies are frenzied with power, the current
seems drunk on futility, stripping and tearing
And on rasps the river
so careless, so cold…
As my essence is shredded and fed
to its time-silted soul.

Yet somewhere beyond the great roar of this monstrous
onslaught, I know you are talking to me,
And your voice, that smooth sanctuary,
Beckons me home with a pillow-soft promise of healing.

But you are more alien now
than the juggernaut growl
of this river, for I am
the grist to the grind of its fury, its
face-slapping, limb-snapping, life-sapping
venom, its shores as beyond me as meaning
or reason or pleasure or feeling…

 

© Nina Parmenter 2018

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Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash

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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