Poems from Thailand & Greece

THE LAKE 

We have not seen the moon since we arrived.

All these nights of dark, and stars, and song,

all these fears of returning to the world

that feels so lost but has been there all along.

 

If I could roll over and over in this water

between reflections of Orion, Gemini

Ursa Major, over and over between dark 

and light until I lose all sense

 

of up and down, here and gone,

air and ground, melt into a liquid peace, 

what would I feel but happy,

what would I find but release?

 

EVENING

The sun sets softly, suddenly, this far from home.

I’m sitting in my underwear below the veil of a mosquito net. 

 

When I close my eyes I still see the Lake,

the trees, and you. So easy to be lost in this longing.

 

For a moment, I’m sure I see the particles that make up the world, 

and you, and me, and her, dancing in their perfect glory

 

while we dance around each other, imperfect, sometimes discordant, 

sometimes in tune. A broken-hearted melody.

Earlier, in the water, I was sure my heart would break right out 

of my chest. My breath, like an erratic bird, would carry it away.

 

My precious heart. My precious breath. This precious life.

Too much, too much, and yet never enough.

MANDRAKI

The light here reaches straight to the heart,

like a match to a candle sets you ablaze.

Watch the sun chase cloud shadows down 

the rocks, across the water, and onto your skin.

 

No part of you is unilluminated.

 

When you wake from half sleep on Mandraki beach

to the sound of the sea, the music from the taverna, 

the endless miracle of this light dancing on water

birds gliding in the hazy distant forever

 

You will have no more questions, nor answers either. 

 

HYDRA

Where swallows fly low along narrow streets

and cats with pretty eyes watch you from beneath tables

where there are purple flowers and lemon trees,

and on Sunday the imposing black hatted priest

drinking coffee in the shade. This is a place you could come

by yourself and feel more found than lost, 

where you can half sleep in the sun 

listening to the sea speak its many languages

to the rocks, the light so joyful it stays 

inside you when you close your eyes. 

 

2 Poems from 'How Do the Parakeets Stay Green?'

Two poems from ‘How Do the Parakeets Stay Green?’ published by Indigo Dreams Publishing Limited

HOW DO THE PARAKEETS STAY GREEN?

1.

Bats swift past our balcony,

flit, dark, and then gone.

Dusk, and this vast city where 

we’ve lost too many years.

 

2.

 By the man-made lake

a crow shines darkly,

beak open to swallow the sun. 

I’d do the same, that burning 

heat on my tongue,

if I weren’t tied to many things,

I’d open feathered wings,

ride high notes of wind, and

with every rising

I’d breathe in.

 

3. 

 The city sprawls before us,

her concrete skin all too familiar,

 we have travelled her veins 

too many days to number .

 Chameleons, we’re turning 

grey to match her.

THE BRUISING STONES

 Then I was a fish, sliding

my marbled body over 

the bruising stones,

blue limbed, pale, and 

misted as Scottish mornings.

 

Later we sat, a circle, fire

smoked our salmon skin, 

an adventure away from walls,

rules, all things that

bewildered us.

Hot chocolate comfort wrapped 

in my numb fingers, thick and

semi-sweet as darkness. 

Your faces lit fire-glow 

between shadows.

 

You have scattered since

like feathered dandelion tops,

migrating birds, those flocks

of geese we used to watch 

leaving each year.

 

I am living as a human now,

fully grown, carving 

my life in stone buildings,

searching for the ways,

the words, to stay in touch

with us when we were fishes.