Tag Archives: poem

White horse poem

White horse emerging

From amidst the trees

We are on the borders

Of faerie now

All is enchantment

For the space of a breath

If I could choose

I would live on this margin

In this moment

For all time.


Blackthorn Poetry

This poem came out of some recent divination undertaken on my behalf. I was told that what lay ahead would be blackthorn, and I got to thinking about what that might mean for me.

 

On the Blackthorn Path

 

I walk a blackthorn path

This is a hard way.

The longest, cruellest thorns

Keen to breed infection

When they cut your skin

Pierce your shoes, snag

Your clothes, scratch and wound.

I will bleed on this journey

It demands sacrifice.

You cannot pass through

Blackthorn hedge or spinny

Only take the path suggested

Go where it tells you.

If you would take control

If you would lay a blackthorn hedge

In the old way, it is the hardest

Wood to cut, or bend or tame.

What results is long enduring.

Walk the blackthorn path

Through the first frosts and harvest

Vibrant purple sloes, make magic

With alcohol – there are rewards

On this difficult adventure

Reasons to take so hard a way.

Survive a winter and in spring

The pale, sweet profusion, blackthorn blossom

Waits for those who will travel this far.

Heart torn, soul battered, hurting

I walk the blackthorn path.

I will turn my frost into sweetness

Find strength in my obstinacy,

Learn from the blackthorn

Make what good I can

Honour the unforgiving guardian

Until the very end of the bitter road

No matter what that means.

If you are walking this path

I may find you along the way

However hard the walking

It is easier faced together.

There lies richness in fruit and flowers

And the path with fewest thorns.


For You – a poem

For You

 

Let me tell you a story about

How good you were, even when it seemed

Your were failing and flailing and could not

See what you put into the world,

How precious and vital you are, how glad

Was I for the fact of your existence

Your beautiful, unique presence

Your glorious, irreplaceable self.

Even when you were wrong

You were so utterly worthy of love.

It was never about what you

Could do for me, never use or utility,

Only the sweet delight of your being

The joy of your perspective, your insight

The way you see the world.

And even on your down days, your dowdy days

I found you remarkable and enchanting

Watched out for you with joy

Felt your friendship as a rich blessing

In my life.

When you were ill, tired, lacklustre

I worried for you, wished to do more

That could ease your load, comfort you.

When you raged, I felt your anger

And wanted to punch through walls to fight

Whatever threatened or horrified you most.

Even though I’m no warrior, no saviour.

When I was lost, you showed me paths.

When my heart broke, you held the pieces

Kept me together when I fell apart

You shared your food with me, your tears

Stories, hopes, fears and passions.

You shared what wisdom life had taught you

Reached out hands to welcome me

Opened your heart, your life, your soul.

You were more amazing than you ever knew

Your generosity humbled me and made me bold

A smile from you enough to transform

A grim day into a hopeful one.

You are a star in my sky

And my sky is bright with starlight.


Landscape poetry

Marginal

 

Life is richest

At the margins.

Wood edge, field side

Light and shade.

Butterfly places

Flower haven

Alive with bees.

I eat wild herbs

Underripe blackberries

Spot small birds

Too fast for naming.

Happiest at the edges

Where wild lives

Cling to the unwanted

Land at the boundary.

Untamed, uncut, unfarmed

But not unloved.


Poetry with Mr Death

For several years, the Piranha Poetry nights in Stroud were a key community space for me. I wrote a lot more poetry because there were people to read it to. It was a space that felt safe and welcoming, and that was reliably inclusive. I tend to show up in community spaces and fail to figure out how to be other than awkward and peripheral. But Piranha Poetry always felt like home. I’ve really missed it.

Organiser Gary Death had one of those large birthdays this year, so back before lockdown I wrote him a poem, because I thought it would be funny to jam on the ee cummings line about Mr Death. And then I lost the poem.  By happy accident, I found the hand written first draft at the weekend.

 

Happy birthday Mr Death (belatedly)

 

And what I want to know is, how do you like your blue eyed boy, Mr Death?

ee cummings man, his very how pants of the outside of his

Many bells trousers leaps to the microphone.

In the audience, three former students of English literature

Faint at the very sight of him.

No one who has ever tried to answer that question has survived

Unscathed.

But Mr Death is ready, like he’s been waiting his whole life

For ee cummings man, poetic anti-super-hero in a war against

Capital letters, to storm his stage and enquire about blue eyed boys.

Mr Death is ready.

Turns.

Lowers his trousers.

Moons.

This is his superpower and in the glowing radiance of his posterior,

Literature’s caped crusader has nothing more to say.

One elderly member of the audience has a nosebleed.

Seven will later require counselling.

Three will be haunted by erotic dreams.

Mr Death pulls up his trousers

And invites another floor spot poet

To take their chances.

He likes his blue eyed boys like he likes his piranhas

Allegedly.


A Selkie Poem

Storing a Skin

 

Not everyone who hides a selkie skin

Has stolen the soft seal fur

To trap a lover on the land.

 

Sometimes the skin is given.

 

Protect this skin for me

This secret self I cannot be

For now, this memory of

Water loving salt and playful

Swimming diving self.

 

Keep my skin safe, hold it

So that when I can bear

To wear it again

When my heart can encompass

The sea again

 

I may put on my seal self

And return to the ocean.

 


Ingredients for a spell – a poem

One face. Apparently good enough.

 

One body – sore, awkward

Also dancing, creative

Recently re-imagined.

 

One heart, much scarring

Bloody, raw

Easily broken.

 

Hands, two, open.

 

Words. All the words

To write a new life.

 

Love. (This is not a love spell)

Love is a key ingredient.

 

Time, trust, courage.

A spell to change everything.

 

I cannot tell

If I am making this spell

Or if it has been

Cast upon me.


Reclaiming Power – a poem

Let my power be

What grace I have,

The sway of my hips

A bolder spine

Defiant chin.

Available as I choose

Open arms

Open thighs

The power to say no

Is the power to say yes

With all my heart.

 

I claim the power to trust

That I will be honoured

My power not misread

As power over or excuse

No patriarchal Goddess

Of Justification, no deity

Of rape culture made to bear

The shame and guilt

Of violent transgression

I refuse this story, this history.

 

My power is in the gifting

Power to share and express

When that essential energy

Meets your generous power

When we are mighty together

For each other

None diminished.

 

Enchant me, seduce me, delight me.

You have no power over me

Except as I freely submit.

Gasp for me, yearn for me

Fall at my feet if you

Would give such power to me

And see your own strength

In the beauty of all

You give away.

 

Let my power flow in my hips

Open arms, open thighs

The willing, triumphant surrender

When it is safe to choose

Powerlessness

Safe to choose

Power.


How to be sexy

Like most female-appearing people on the internet, I get my share of weird approaches from men I barely know. It was worse back when I wrote smut, because a lot of people infer writing smut as consent to anything – something that has caused me problems in all kinds of contexts.

I’ve never found bodies attractive out of context. I fall in love with people and the people I fall in love with I find attractive. I have a weakness for high cheek bones, and that’s about it. I have fallen in love with people online, it’s something I can do, but it has always been about ideas, creativity, what was shared, and not pictures of body parts.

The following poem is mostly full of things that happened – not all in a romantic context, but, things I find appealing versus things I don’t.

 

How to be sexy

 

Don’t send me dick picks.

Not unless I asked for them because

If I am not hot for you

Evidence of your fleshy appendage will not

Seduce me, may amuse me and laughter

Tends to offend, so let’s not.

If I want to look at genitals

I can do that with no pressure

To divert anyone else.

Your thing is not the thing

To sweep me off my feet.

Send me a picture of the impossible creature

You imagined, drew, crafted in soap

Tell me about sexy maths

By all means, show me what you made

Out of mashed potato, cogs, daydreams.

Which philosopher are you turned on by?

Tempt me with imaginary saints

Or your three wheeled steam powered trike.

I want your landscape porn, your food porn

Show me your poetry videos.

Send me a play list of music

In a language I do not speak.

Show me your nerdy toy collection, your cosplay,

Your cats, your knitting, show me anything

I might care about. Could enjoy.

Talking is seductive. Ideas are erotic.

The brain is the most powerful sexual organ

In the human body.

Show me you are more than a way

Of getting your dick from place to place.

Be human with me.

It’s a low set bar.


Toward Beltane

A guest blog from Ing Venning

 

Toward Beltane

 

 

When presented with beige folding,

when gifted with pale pinkness,

do you argue that white

is the take-charge pigment

or that red has always been

the more supportive hue?

 

Can you accept

my pistil and my stamen

or are you merely a boy,

simply a girl,

never a budding flower

bright with the sunny joy

of scented days and secret nights?

 

Perfection is the flaw

that defilement approaches.

 

Will you ask only one

or two questions

before taking your leave?

Or will you open at the south

and beg a third?

 

Ing Venning is the outsider author of the Wheel of the Year saga (a fantasy series featuring pagan, LGBTQIA+, and non-capitalist characters), Sources (a collection of retellings), and, most recently, a poetry collection called Lexical Numerals (of which “Toward Beltane” is part). Ing is working hard to get off disability and raise himself up to the poverty line in uncertain times. Want to try a sampler of his work or his first novel for free? Visit https://ingvenning.com/