featured in the poetry forum June 12, 2024  :: 0 comments

Crickets screech in the night
In the ceiling, piercing
Competing with my tinnitus
Lying awake for hours
Hot days, warm nights
Legs out, legs under
Arms tucked in, arms flung out
Pillow’s too hot

Mind’s floundering
Jumbled, jelly legs running through a marsh
Feet momentarily bogged
Deep fear of being caught
I know; I know whoever’s there, chasing, gaining
Why can’t I ever see who it is

Frightened of life passing me by
Too many forks in the road to make sense
Too many choices, did I choose the right ones
Fear of missing out
I can’t do everything
Choices for healthy minds and healthy hearts
Compromises and expectations
Putting others first. Always.

Is this what’s chasing me
Leaden feet, concrete thighs, unable to run
Searing throat, gasping for air
Or just a silly, random nightmare

Too hot under the summer duvet
Turning cool at 3am
Duvet’s too heavy
Then not warm enough

editors note:

A seasonal scratch of insomniac’s itch. – mh clay

Jewelry Hugs

featured in the poetry forum December 10, 2023  :: 0 comments

Christmas 19-82
Two rubies and two diamonds
A gold ring, kite shaped
People are always remarking
How pretty it is
Always reminding me
The intensity, skin prickling
Overwhelming teenage love
Special doesn’t cover it

October ‘85
Engagement ring. In a peach!
March ‘86
Wedding ring sparkles
Joined later by an eternity ring
Thirteen diamonds in a band
Umpteen times a day
I fiddle with, touch and look at them

My platypus necklace
Earrings to match
Flynn Silver
Heavy, solid, strong
Swimming around my neck
Brings tears to my eyes
So me. So perfect.

Gwion Gwion tasselled figures
Earrings and a brooch
Flynn Silver
Depicting Aboriginal art
Over 20 thousand years old

It’s like wearing hugs.
You’re always there.
Your love’s always with me.
It’s like I’m floating
Wrapped in a huge
Toasty, warm coat

Overwhelming love
Special doesn’t cover it

editors note:

A girl’s best friend, indeed! – mh clay

Black Dog Cyclone

featured in the poetry forum May 6, 2023  :: 0 comments

Wind in my head
Throwing branches
Battering my eyes
Erratically roaring

Storm in my head
Turning everything
Black Dog’s calling

Cyclone in my head
Vision’s blurring
Noises, vivid,
Bouncing black arrows
Everything’s swirling…

Tree’s still standing, tall
Leaves rustled
Trunk robust.
Intact. Solid. Distinct.

Black Dog will. Not. Win.

editors note:

Storm warning! You’d best hunker down if you want to stand fast. (We welcome Julia to our crazy congress of Contributing Poets with this submission. Read more of her madness on her new page – check it out.) – mh clay


featured in the poetry forum July 27, 2022  :: 0 comments

Mondays were wash days
How did that tradition start?

Rituals and old wives’ tales
Pulling the diagonal corners
Stretching the cotton
Pegs colour match clothes

Living in Zimbabwe
Ironing. Ironing pillowcases and sheets
Ironing. Ironing cotton underpants, towels and shirts
Hang all nylons inside
Anything that can’t be ironed
Dries inside, away from the flies.

Flies lay their eggs in bulky, wet seams
Eggs that later burrow into skin
To grow into maggots.

Putzis. The dreaded diagnosis.

Always around underpants elastic
Or t-shirts’ armpits and necklines
Still damp, bulky seams ideal for hatching.
Only ironing everything will kill the eggs.

Putzis. Big red lumps grow.

Slather Vaseline on the head
Suffocate the maggot!
Squeeze. Squeeze, squeeze out the larvae
So embarrassing to have your Mum

Squeezing putzis from your bum!

(*** Putzis is pronounced Put-seas. A parasitic blowfly.)

editors note:

Wrap this 3rd world problem around your 1st world mind. An electric dryer is a must-have. – mh clay

Sustain yourself

featured in the poetry forum February 15, 2022  :: 0 comments

(Acknowledging Beyond Blue.)

If you’re blue, go green.
Flee the black dog
Into the garden – go.
Plant for tomorrow.

Flee the black dog.
Seeds. Cuttings. Multiplying bulbs.
Plant for tomorrow.
Dream of trees you’ll never sit under.

Seeds. Cuttings. Multiplying bulbs.
Flowers. Colour. Bees. Butterflies!
Dream of trees you’ll never sit under.
Tranquil, cool shade.

Flowers. Colour. Bees. Butterflies!
Veggies to talk about and share.
Tranquil, cool shade.
Dirty hands. Happy worms. Finding joy.

Veggies to talk about and share.
Bright sunlight. Dappled shade.
Dirty hands. Happy worms. Finding joy.
Watching, nurturing, things grow.

Bright sunlight. Dappled shade.
Into the garden – go.
Watching, nurturing, things grow.
If you’re blue, go green.

editors note:

An invitation to make green your game. Let’s play! – mh clay