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

cradle to grave

I’m afraid

I am not brave

fingers move

over stitches

bump, bump, bump

tiny precision

treadle, needle, spindle, cradle

what good does it do

to share your opinion

say fix it

my way

drink and pass out

in front of the TV

when every night

I imagine

swimming out

scarred, unscared

because

I won’t return

to worry

about courage

unaired


Photo: Daniele Levis Pelusi on Unsplash

Magpie

I could stay on this train all day

because the memories

are not even about drinking

or maybe they are

trying

flying like

magpies swooping

make me afraid of all birds

for a time

remembering

how he

came sauntering

out of an angry office

to laugh with us in the afternoon light

his best work, unpaid

sun through window panes

shines out from

amassed clouds and

glimpses of bowl-blue sky

oh, excitement

the dangerous world

outside

tucked in behind

with music and disease

dirty balconies fleet

from the carriage

safely watching

stacks of old things

forever-unwanted

spilling

from too-small rooms

where corner cobwebs

are never cleaned, then

a ragged white rubbish

plastic bag or cloth or thing

flutters like

a cloud-water dog

on the side of the tracks

I’m emptied out

like an undersized room

and refilled to the brim

with

memories of old sunshine

mixed with new risk, it

sparks my magpie eye

once again

life takes wing

 

Photo: Claire Doble

treadmarks

 

I am the watcher

the runner

unofficial custodian

alone

non-partisan

my feet pray

to mother earth

my breath

synthesises

salt-sea molecules

of sky

and my eyes

monitor

the ways

in sweeping surveil

from mountain

to ocean

and over there

the horizon

mine not mine

owned only

in a global

internal

knowing

tread the land

stomp the sand

it’s yours, ours, no one’s

take care

 

Photo: Claire Doble

Tottenham

The sound of birds

and soft air

made me think of

cottages in Tottenham

all those ago years

 

I was the only one

who saw them

well, the only one who walked there

traversing miles

with a sleeping child

music in my ears

mid-green haze

dappled English sun

never blazed

quietly rolling through

knife-crime enclaves

and weird parks

no one used

the way I-

stepped the streets

keeping on-side of sane

and baby

entertained

 

Now a smooth Jenga piece

that slots in my brain

time out of mind

small corner of terrain

untravelled often

fond and strange

tunnel-vision place

 

new seasons carry

old memories’ trace

 

Photo: “Seven Sisters Snail” by Claire Doble