tomorrow change is coming

 For too long
 our women have listed on the heels of patriarchy.
 For too long
 our men have governed the houses
 and hoarded the wealth in their towers.
 For too long
 our children have gone hungry.
 For too long
 our colour has suffered hate.
 For too long
 our daughters have been raped.
 For too long
 our queerness has been condemned.
 For too long
 our bodies have been controlled.
 For too long
 our disability has been mocked.
 For too long
 our faith has been maligned.
 For too long
 our streets have been unsafe.
 For too long
 our earth has been destroyed.
 For too long 
 our equality has been denied.
 For too long
 we have

 Yesterday we didn’t.
 Today we don’t.
 Tomorrow change is coming
 cos democracy is broke.
 Democracy is coming 
 of co-operation and care,
 for here is our love that conquers the fear.
 Here is compassion that collaborates.
 Here is our kindness.
 Here is our kindness.
 Here is our kindness.


you are a wild horse too

You are a wild horse too.
Had you taken yourself
for the man on your back
hunting down the herd.

Had you forgotten your wild ways.
Dulled by comfort
to stay inside the fences;
to bend to the bar between your teeth
and move in the direction of other’s bidding;
to surrender your aliveness for popular opinion;
surrender everything that might be
if you only tried.

You are a wild horse too.
Born for freedom and endless spaces,
for running as fast as you can.
You are not broken.
The wind still knows your name.
You are that child still
before the taming began
that knows she might fly
if the conditions are right.


one of those days

Some days I wake in the shadow of a dream
eyelids slow and weighted by ghosts
that crowd the corridors of my day
hanging in the eaves, hiding in doorways –
the dead bodies, sharks and prisons of sleep.

On these days
I'm better left alone -
people have a tendency to look like sharks.
Then I can’t accuse you of
yawning too loudly or
get annoyed
by the peppercorn still stuck between your teeth or
feel selfish for taking the bigger cup.

On these days
I eat chips and cheese and they incite
no defence and only a little retaliation
but then you go and love me anyway
and more often than I deserve –
It puts me on my knees.

Like the times we part
when the prospect of leaving
shaves off the lonely shelters
spinning appreciation to a fine point
filling my heart with the kindness of you.


living in front of the day

As I eat
I am walking.
As I walk
I am working.
As I work
I am showering, dressing,
getting ready for where I am going
and when I get there
I am leaving
thinking about tomorrow
and the holiday in October.
Living in front of the day.

Fall back - 
Watch clouds roll across the sky.
Hear birds singing to the day.
Notice thoughts come
and go.
Taste the earth in this pungent leaf.
Smell the tea before it's drunk.
Feel these boots on the ground -
heel, toe, heel, toe,


come on, come on

Sometimes Mum will say, ‘you know you don’t have to call me every day’
but on the days I don’t she calls me.
She talks of baking, friends, church, weather, gardening, frustrations, family
and funerals

then asks about my day which quickly blurs
as I recount bland descriptions
like communion wafers that stick to the tongue before
being judged jokingly as too much, too little or ‘nice for some’.

How to say I am reworking the pattern of my life, 
tying new stitches and weaving different pathways; 
or that I’ve been reflecting on the shape of hearts;
doing the laundry and naming the day.

Mum puts out a towel and flannel when I stay.
On the bedside table are flowers from her garden
artfully arranged in a teardrop vase –
roses, maidenhair fern, daphne and violets;
the flannel is never used
but these are her rituals of love and welcome.

How might we know one another
were we not immeasurably bound.
In her friends reflected gaze is a cheerful, well-groomed woman -
much younger than her eighty plus years,
always on her way somewhere to do something.
‘come on, come on’ she says
and her friends seem glad to be swept along.

One day Mum said, ‘you know I love you don’t you – when I grew up
we didn’t say things like that’.
Her goodbye hugs, whether for weeks or hours, start from ten paces back
her arms flung wide for a hearty embrace.
Now when we hang up Mum says swiftly ‘I love you’
like a last incantation when all goodbyes
are redolent with the possibility of forever.