Week Twenty-Four/Twenty-Five

I thought I should do two weeks in one as I will be away from a laptop next week.

The Fall

The ground flies upwards,

A flame of copper spice.

Puddled stones and leaves

meet my falling knees.

 

The grate of a graze wets my eyes.

Empty trees are masked with fog.

The colours of the swing swirl

like the Catherine wheel you showed me.

 

Your vast hand grasps mine,

My frozen fingers pierce you.

The air is so sharp and my knee screams,

but this hand is safe and warm.

Week Twenty-Two

Here is the second installment of the Goldilocks poetry sequence.

 

Letter to Goldilocks

Dear Girl,

We hope this reaches you.

We wanted to make clear

the damage you have done,

our anger and our fear.

On Thursday we were out

when you broke into our home.

You smashed our bathroom window

using next door’s garden gnome.

 

You left footprints, leaves and dirt,

filth you’d brought in from the street,

and ravaged all our cupboards,

to find something to eat.

Once finished with your porridge,

you destroyed a priceless chair,

a treasured family heirloom

which was beautiful and rare.

 

We were later shocked to find

that you used our baby’s bed.

You left hairs upon his pillow

and your grime clings to his spread.

You even had some time

to dye your hair blonde too,

leaving evidence in the sink

of a rather ghastly hue.

 

So, girl, we’d like to know

what your motivations were,

Mrs Bear can hardly sleep

for the fear of your return.

The Bears

 

Letter to the Bears

Hello,

I broke into your house the other day.

I wanted to explain myself.

I don’t have a house of my own,

and yours looked so warm and light.

My home is the porch of the Chinese takeaway

where I sometimes get free dumplings,

but of course a girl can’t live on dumplings,

that’s why I ate your porridge.

I remembered the homely sludge,

and the steam curling in the air,

and I couldn’t resist, I’m sorry.

As for the chair, my legs ached with cold,

and I ignored the ‘fragile – DO NOT SIT’ post-it.

One day I will pay you back.

I hope I didn’t get the bed too dirty.

I tried my best to wash myself before I slept

but my skin is foul and I stink

like rotting fruit and old plaster casts.

I had a job interview today,

that was why I used your sink to dye my hair.

I didn’t get the job.

I was going to clean my mess, I promise I was,

but then you came back and I got scared.

So, if you want to find me,

I’ll be by the Chinese takeaway, blonde now.

Maybe I’ll go to prison,

and get a roof over my head.

 

Sorry again,

Goldilocks

Week Twenty-One

This is the first part of a sequence of poems taking a different angle on the story of ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’.

Burglary on Forest Road leaves the Bear family ‘confused and devastated’

POLICE were called to Forest Road

earlier this week following reports of a burglary.

The suspected break-in occurred on Thursday

between the hours of 10am and 11am.

The burglar did not take anything of great value,

however the suspect caused substantial criminal damage

to a chair and a bed. According to witnesses,

the suspect was a young woman of slim build,

around 5’6”, with golden hair,

and dressed in ragged, dirty clothing.

The occupants of the house, the Bear family,

who were out for a walk at the time of the incident,

released a statement: ‘We are devastated that

this could happen in our neighbourhood,

which is filled with families.

The burglar only took some porridge,

however they caused irreparable damage to a chair

and broke a window to get in and out.

They left our home in a complete mess

which thoroughly upset our three-year-old child.

We are confused about her motivations

and want her to be caught

so we can find out why this happened to us.’

If you have any information in connection to the incident or believe you saw the suspect in the area around the time of the incident on Thursday please contact the police on 101.

 

Hair Dye Packet, evidence from the scene

NEW! Natural looking blonde.

For colour so rich and glossy,

try our new ‘Golden Locks’ hair dye!

Works on Brunette hair and,

using the latest enzyme-replacement technology,

counteracts damage as you dye

for that pearly gleam and colour pop!

 

Mrs Fox, Eyewitness

She was blonde or brunette,

– I’m colourblind, you see –

but she was a plain girl.

Dressed in rags, she was,

they were hanging off her

like the wings of a crow.

Filthy face, she had,

blotched with dirt from the streets

like she’d washed in newspaper.

She looked thin.

As slight as a dandelion seed,

like the wind could whip her away.

It’s sad isn’t it?

The homeless problem around here.

She was probably starving.

She was running from their house,

– what a lovely couple they are, eh? –

glass glittering in a stream behind her.

Week Nineteen

We are all bullies

We weren’t mean, but we weren’t kind;

Not unhelpful, but we didn’t go out of our way;

Not irritated, but not welcoming.

 

We all looked away as it happened in front of us,

The images still burned the backs of our eyes,

But we pretended like we couldn’t see them.

 

And all the while, we were the ones that kicked and punched,

The ones that name-called, the ones that laughed.

We were kids, and kids can be cruel.

Week Eighteen

This one is a little lighter than what I usually write.

Big Night

Bright nylon snags

On the hairs of my neck

And the strap of the helmet

Grips my forehead,

Like some poor fella

About to be shocked in the chair

By 2,000 volts.

 

I make the cement,

and watch it churn.

I stand over it, a proud chef,

a pinch of cement,

a dollop of plasticizer,

and, for the final flourish,

a drop more water.

 

Chris, the apprentice,

yells on the scaffolding;

something about a body.

He stares into the house,

a hollow shell,

with its empty windows

like missing teeth.

 

It must be Jack, I think,

he is always pranking the young ones.

But Jack sits on his break,

hot tea steaming his red face,

looking as confused as everyone.

We all run to look.

 

There is a body,

But it is very much alive.

He shifts and twitches,

Topless and trouserless and dusty.

There is old vomit on the concrete,

And some of it crusts his wrist.

 

He wakes up and looks around.

His eyes are wild,

Bewildered, cautious.

He sees us all,

There in our neon and plastic,

And he jumps up and scampers.

 

We all laugh and watch his bare flesh

As it ripples during his escape.

‘Big night,’ Dave chuckles.

 

Week Fourteen

The Caves

The boys didn’t want to be there.

 

They took it in turns to bounce the barriers,

Uncontainable as ping-pong balls.

Their laughter echoed like gunfire,

and the old man nearby frowned.

 

The old man read every sign.

 

His fingers fumbled the guidebook,

Avid eyes inhaling the words

And roaming the hungry teeth

that bit from above and below,

 

The woman knelt on the stone.

 

Her camera a gun, she aimed

For the boys, caught in her crosshair

Height-order, a Russian doll.

She shot.

 

Later, she held the photo.

In the corner was a ghost, a smudge,

A ruffled feather of anorak,

As the old man, a bewildered goose,

Had waddled by.