sober

child crawls into my bed

at 1am

don’t know why

bad dream?

lie there

with that tiny flame

of joy

thinking how before

I’d have been…

now I’m sane

next morning

wake early

and run

through the rain

endless liquid

absorbed easily

in sand

no glass of wine

competes with wild

wind and waves

drink the moment

shake my head

at empty beer bottles

that roll and smash

on picnic tables

the drunk won’t see

beauty here

in this moment

just for me

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Dear You

 

Dear

 

about to start my second draft

and I need to talk to you

it’s uncharted territory

big stuff

expectations. hopes. ideas

we must discuss

what others have said, articles read

I’m scared

but weirdly prepared. Like, I can do this.

can I do this?

where are you?

think I might know

while having no fucking clue

about

something you never got to do

can that be right

feels untrue

selfish, me. Just wish you were here-

and I’m still listening to Taylor Swift. I know

it’s sad

… you preferred me as a goth boy

maybe I did too

never got to send the lyrics I speared

and I’ve been meaning to tell you

how I volunteered?

parts of my life

already different and remade

paths being erased, fazed

and where are you anyway?

I ran today

pulled out my phone

to send a g’day

you’re not there

who would check

we really need to chat

It’s just not fair

you went away

and

how is it

that I stay

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Haven’t asked

 

tucked in to benches

in the park

possessions in plastic

old toys look tragic

and

I pass by masked

thinking

he doesn’t know what I think

hasn’t asked

isn’t that always the way

we look to our own

take the payload

build an ark

navigate with mirrors

sail in a trance

dance, alone

but if my weight

cuts a wake

like he says

I see

virtually

no mark

then again

haven’t asked

 

Recording on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/clairevetica/havent-asked

 

Photo by Kirstin Heckmann on Unsplash

The Wreck

A wreck of gold and crimson

over the horizon

an island out to sea

not far

frothed in waves and it’s

windy out there

back home the damp seeps

into everything

carpet, eiderdown, towel and bone

while the daughters rev and roar

next door

smoke blooms in the night

once more

peachlight clouds against grey-to-black sky

nostrils flare

all is so quiet but that smell of fire

over the horizon

there

it’s

a wreck of gold and crimson

beyond the shore

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@wtexxfaa1

Somewhat inspired by https://poets.org/poem/diving-wreck

Nightbird

 

a nightbird calls outside my window

I am sick, so sick in the dark

it’s 4.24 on the morning of your funeral

life makes no sense, there is only love

 

you talk to everyone at the party

buy them gifts, exchange views

share laughs, drinks, stories

my only conversation is with you

 

grab my phone to check messages

that remain forever unread

missed your call, I miss you: indelible

a nightbird’s sick joke you’re dead

 

Photo: Sierra Narvaeth on Unsplash

 

 

Onions & Garlic

 

would it be weird to say

we were all in love with each other

a little bit?

the best friendships

pan out that way

I don’t know sometimes

the difference

between a kiss and a good conversation

when I remember how

she held me close

and put her lips on mine

and the way she writes

as faithfully as the moon

I can get melancholy

on Sunday afternoons

holding memories

listening to Nick Drake

or Cave

ignoring the kids

cooking onions

with love pulsing through my life

beat, beat, beat

in time

and what about that day

you made aglio e olio?

we were all so careful

with each other

so quiet

our eyes, cautious

your bathroom’s cold green tiles

because we wouldn’t

acknowledge

who’d slept with who

the night before

 

Photo: mayu ken on Unsplash

 

A dear friend passed away this week. He made chopping onions and garlic a work of art. He was also someone who read and took time to comment on this blog occasionally; as a fellow writer, he understood how wonderful it is to get that kind of validation! This poem was inspired, in part, by our friendship, as well as referencing various other treasured friends. It reminds me that it’s always worth taking a moment to appreciate the love that beats through your life. RIP JAn, my world is poorer without you but richer for having known you. x

Felled

 

Someone ripped out all the trees

between my house and next door

and

although we never did gardening together

or talked horticulture

it must be for you

because

the uprooted mess

of destroyed earth and leaves

is like how my heart feels

it makes no sense

why

won’t we ever talk again?

or laugh about

unsolicited plant-vandalism

there was so much more

I wanted to say

I need your input

on this thing

and what about a new tattoo

of a dead tree with roots akimbo

just won’t be the same

it’s all broken

there’s a hole

in my ground

without you

 

Photo: Claire Doble

 

Unfinished

I’m hoarding hairdye

don’t trust the supply chain

waiting to be

renewed again

it’s on the to-do list

but never

gets

done

 

I think, think, think, think

I can think my way out

of this

I’m wrong

but who’s to say

if the error is me

or the other

one?

 

I use you like an addict

taste it

all the next day

and unfinished sentences

don’t make

you safe, no

not on this

run

 

 

Photo: Photo by Florian Klauer on Unsplash

Glitter

Burst of glitter

clitter clatter

click-slip wince

sharp edges shatter

a thousand bits of

shiny sugar

danger lurks

in tiny matter

it could be

sand, or crushed ice

carve your name

on a grain of rice

toss it away

at the beach,

not nice

microscopic microplastic

that’s your glitter

on my fish bone

saw your mark there

next to mine

since God said

“have dominion

over every thing”

do not question

sparkle-shard ephemera

you’ll find our glitter

for millennia

 

Soundcloud recording: https://soundcloud.com/clairevetica/glitter

 

Photo: https://unsplash.com/@sharonmccutcheon

Nightclubs in Russia – poem published

My new poem Nightclubs in Russia and accompanying spoken-word (also by me) was published this month in the awesome Canada-based Galaxy Brain magazine.

Head over and take a look, as well as my own piece, there’s loads of fantastic content there.

Link to Nightclubs in Russia by Claire Doble

Claire Doble