Clutching at Straws
Clutching at straws,
But what if those splintering
Pieces of plastic
Are the only thing
That reaches down to the depths
And sucks at liquid gold?
I’m told and told
To release my grip
A little bit further down
Into a different pool,
Not a pool of light,
But one that grabs at my feet
Hurls me down,
To a bottomless pit,
A pit that cries a siren’s call,
It’s death to us all,
If I don’t reach up and clutch
At those splintering
Pieces of plastic
And suck at liquid gold.
Pebbles ground up,
Around your neck,
As we lie in a twist
Of sea air
In the clasp of now
My face is a blur,
In my muddled up hair
The water creeps up
And bites at my feet
Is it cold?
It’s frozen, not there
My life in a box
Was wrenched from my side
I notice, too late
Do I care?
The cracks and gaps in the pavement,
Don’t tread on them or you’ll break,
That little voice in your scurrying mind,
It told you not to tempt fate.
Your body will split down the centre,
Casting half of you here and half of you there,
With your heart in the dirt,
And your brain in the air.
Each bone will snap and litter the ground,
If you admit that those cracks are there.
Pin me down against the shade
Your eyes like holes they take and take
They sap the liquid from my tongue
The lamplight down, the blisters come
I know your name your name is mine
I know your game I know the time
I know it’s fixed, set to implode
I know the floor, the ceiling’s low
I grab the rope you pull back tight
The safety shore cuts out the light
The safety shore is filled with clay
It sets a mould and here I stay
Reaching up I grab at clouds
They shrink to dust and then the sound of
Thunder shudders up my spine
The stars disperse, then realign
My pupils bolder needing more
Summon strength to leave the floor
I’ll pin you down against the shade
My eyes like holes they take and take.
Honey, down in the depths of the pot
It stops if you reach its core
The glistening dulls to a mucusy blot
That clogs to rot in the back of your throat
It turns to dregs but the barrel is bare –
You licked it clean of its salt.
The hand that grabs is met with a snare
But the fingers that linger are forever without
They open and close like the mouth of a fish
Gaping at bubbles of air
You swallow at rocks ’til your body is sick
But you know that the hunger’s still there.
From the sides to all your stories
I’ve made myself a shape
It grows with every added edge
With holes that start to gape.
I stuff the gaps with fairy dust
And line them all with glue
But the sides they keep on coming –
For every one there’s two.
I bought a pair of scales
To help me with the load;
Decide the sides that have to stay
And which must surely go.
I bought myself a racket
I’ll stand in half a court
To bat the stories back again
And take the score to naught.
I’d take the score to love
But it’s gone beyond the point
Now the game is truly over
My shape becomes a coin
A coin has just two sides
But there’s a side to every story
So when I leave it up to fate
He’ll bask in all the glory.
The Four Leaf Clover
If the four leaf clover is so lucky
Why does it stand in a sea of familiarity unseen
Alone, waiting to be plucked
From all who are the same but different?
To be greeted with such excitement
Expectations too high to fulfill
It becomes unreal, a myth, a lie
And yet it lies in wait
Hoping to be found, safe and secure
So it can become so much more
Than something so utterly fake.