i want to taste the change wind

WhatsApp Image 2017-04-28 at 19.07.18
Drawing by Tim Hewitt-Coleman


some days it’s a long walk
to remembering,
(berg wind breath down my neck),
slow to start the journey
when i’ve forgotten that we forget.

somewhere beyond the desert
a butterfly unfurls her wings
and here at the edge of the ocean
the wind begins to sing.
through the night i hear it calling
wind creaking through sleep and dream.

this morning i wake with new feet
learn to walk with the rising sun.
did not know that i had started
until the walking had already begun.


rain dance

there is electric
in the air
i taste it on my tongue
wet my finger to test the wind
breathless – i wait
run cool hands across the sky
under my feet
are threading towards
the light
hearing beyond the horizon
waiting for the storm.

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With drawing by Tim Hewitt-Coleman


standard five
toes numb with cold
in school shoes all the same
crossed at the ankles
long pants for boys, gangly
stockinged legs for girls
under rows of desks
metal frames wooden tops
carved with feeble resistance
a shelf underneath for text books
and illicit snacking,
silent apple crunching.

the teacher would hit the boys
shoulder high hand swinging down
with a small bat named stingray –
it was legal then
in our classroom
in our county.
this is where we spent our days
infinitely long days
in the silent hum of fluorescent tubes
blinds half drawn to steal the sky.
we would understand later
how lucky we were
to have classrooms and books
to be the soft clay
in the hands of a government
with a taste for crushing underfoot.

some days we did not yield enough
were not compliant enough
and out teacher, who had no first name,
would begin to pace the floor
lino tiled – grey from childhoods unlived.
he would walk to the door
with its small round window
look out on the silent expanse of corridor
sometimes resting his forehead
on that cool smooth glass
say the sea is rough outside today
think there is a storm coming.

and i so wanted to be the ocean
outside that window
looking in on the rows of children,
uniformed, heads bowed, clutching pencils in
hands too cold to write their names
or fabricated history.
i wanted to be the ocean outside that window –
i wanted to be the approaching storm.


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Drawing by Tim Hewitt-Coleman

almost time to plant the seeds

over read and stuffed
fuzz full with headlines
and bylines transferred
and absorbed in
so many megabits of
inconsequential per second
i come to walk the sun-warmed dew.
hoping my feet will remember
where to plant the cauliflower,
where i left the spade,
what being human feels like
in this body and the body
of this earth that i walk on.

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Drawing by Tim Hewitt-Coleman

so we put her back on the bus for the second term of her second year.

i imagine the sky
a little bluer
when you’re here,
hills a little greener
lakes so much more
ablaze in morning light –
and i smile with the house
smug on its spindly legs
sighing at her rooms
full of daughters.
but time shrinks
and rushes
when you walk
in the door
and cramming the days
back to back
full of beauty
does nothing at all
to slow it.
is it possible
that the tide
will not claim
our footprints
sandbound on
the sunlit shore.

at night in sleep
i nibble away
at the moon
watching the sky
turn the seasons.


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Drawing by Tim Hewitt-Coleman