There are lines in my skin,
A wavering taunt;
But I’ve grown old a thousand times
And I will die a thousand times more
I’ve been married twice,
Had children, not all with names,
Some I don’t even recall.
But I shall marry again, perhaps even twice,
And children; a thousand more.
Sometimes I die,
In a room, in a bed
Or on the floor.
But no need to scream
‘Is she dead’?
For I will die a thousand
This poem is about looking into the future; how we go over events in our heads that haven’t yet happened or may never happen. If we live moments enough in our mind, can they eventual seem real or at least strikingly familiar? I’ve particularly thought of this with regards to getting older and life’s impending death. (You can always trust me for an optimistic spark to your daily reading!)
Also, by thinking and imagining the less fortunate futures, do we tamper with our present?
‘If you are a nettle, then I am stung.’
These are undoubtedly the sweetest and most profound words that have ever been spoken to me. Although perhaps formed in an air of jest, I believe they tell and acutely accept the very nature of what it is to, and be in, love.
To love is to accept that humans have the capacity to inflict pain and are, in so many other ways, flawed.
It also encapsulates how love isn’t a bed of ever blooming flowers. It is, by definition, the extremity that incorporates the entire spectrum of feelings and emotions. Love can indeed sting but it can also blossom. It can grow in the quiet corners of our mind until it becomes impossible to ignore- releasing its unruly consequences- much like the spurs of nettles.
I hadn’t quite reached my teens when a stranger first asked me ‘what are you?’. In those days I wore eye-liner like it was going out of fashion, which, of course, by my corresponding chains and striped tights, wasn’t something I was evidently following. ‘Are you a goth?’ ‘Are you an emo?’ In a town populated by few residents, most of whom belonged to this ‘backwards’ parameter of England, it was inevitable (as my mum would often caution me) that a young girl experimenting with styles would garner a little attention now and again.
I didn’t and still don’t know how to respond to questions like this as I am sure most people can’t and wouldn’t care to fit entirely into a single ‘box.’
“There’s such a lot of different Annes in me. I sometimes think that is why I’m such a troublesome person. If I was just the one Anne it would be ever so much more comfortable, but then it wouldn’t be half so interesting.”
This quotation, I feel, perfectly encapsulates my inner and outer conflicts. I have rings through my nose but I also smell of Japanese Cherry Blossom; I often trade my shark-tooth necklace for a string of pearls and a black dress can be a white dress the next day.
But of course this isn’t entirely an inner turmoil dealing with merely the trivial issue of aesthetics. I am conflicted in so many areas of my life that it’s not even a matter of not wanting to explain ‘who I am’ to a stranger but more that I couldn’t, even if I wanted to.
Whilst I desire to be a character of morals and impeccable integrity, I simultaneously don’t want to live a life bound by contrived edicts of what is deemed correct or otherwise immoral. In a world that couldn’t deny its propensity to judge and label, it seems that ‘who we are’ is a question of limited answers.
I want to be so many things but, at the same time, nothing at all.
When my body
Is turned to dust
Under a stone
Scoured by gust
When my eyes
Forget to widen
And leave me
In a dark
When my nerves
Cease to tread
And I feel
With words not said
I will be nothing.
But it is living without you
That turns me dead.
Not so long ago a friend and I were out one evening and decided to dance, using this term especially loosely of course, and did so in the darkness of a Winter night beside a river. That same week a body was discovered in this river and this string of events hasn’t left my mind.
Our fingers traipsed
The glistening molecules
That made up a river
Turned by the moonlight
Into a stroke of jewels.
We danced in the darkness,
Felt beneath the sprinkled light
With breaths of cold
And bustle out of sight.
But under the veil of darkness,
Beneath the façade of springs
Laid a girl of no dance.
She lay as still
And as cold as the night
Under the cloak
Which stole her breath
Our ceiling was a
Crowded moonlight sky
But the only backdrop was death
Although I try to steer my life through the means of logic and reason, somewhere, it appears, I have left enough room for a little superstition. As a generally arty-farty kind of person, it wasn’t unusual for me to attempt to draw the people who I had a crush on or was otherwise ardently ‘in love’ with as I’m sure I would have told you at the time of this passing fancy.
But, after maybe a few sketches along the road, I noticed a pattern between the sketching and the heart-breaking. It seemed it was never long after I’d drawn a person when that character would disastrously escape my life… which, of course, is a happier euphemism for ‘I was dumped soon after’.
Of course this emerging pattern of coincidence did leave me to question myself as an artist; perhaps my amateur skills were more disagreeable than I had believed and enough to turn hearts as well as heads.
So now, out of sheer superstition, I never draw people who I’m remotely fond of, for fear that it will be the inevitable catalyst for a hurried escape! It’s become so true in my mind that this ‘curse’ exists, that I’ve even found myself tempted to draw people who I dislike for the single purpose of wanting them out of my life. Is this the kind of confession that might nullify my science qualifications?
No wonder Bob Dylan has not yet responded to my letters of proposal!
A recent self-portrait, although I don’t believe I’m going anywhere any time soon.
Talking to strangers is generally characterised, especially through novels and films, as an enlightening experience full of shared wisdom and thought-provoking pleasantries.
Although this certainly wasn’t the case when a thirty minute conversation with a stranger left me contemplating the career of gold-digging!
At a bus stop I had around 30 minutes to kill when an old man of around 70 sat beside me and began what initially took off as typically British weather-related small talk. Before too long, however, I was given a grand old glimpse into the early dating life of this fellow which seemed to involve a few women who, perhaps, went beyond the step of merely contemplating gold-digging. He told me about one woman who, after he’d spent an entire week’s wages on, left him after that single date and was never heard from again.
But this experience certainly hadn’t made him bitter, rather, he was encouraging me to follow in this girl’s footsteps! He advised me to take everything I can from men when I have the chance.
He was certainly a very sweet man and I don’t doubt his kind intentions but I’m not sure I’m entirely won-over on his amicable advice!