( Response to a napowrimo prompt)

A look will do, the shape of the smile,
Honest, inviting or squirming and vile.
A touch too, no need for words
Fingers talking, softness or swords.

Bodies arching, together or apart
Can say so much right from the start.
The reaching out of a hand to care
Tells more than an essay would ever dare.

A chill distance kept on coming home
Leads a loved one to inwardly groan,
In silence, for daring to voice the fear
Brings the end closer, makes it more clear.

So be careful to communicate what you mean
Because the unspoken will always be seen

No, I am not a nurse
though I tend you when
you’re ill,
cool your heated brow,
softly bandage your bruised
pride,
soak up the spillage
of blood.
No, I am not a teacher
though I help you
understand about
the world we live in,
show you how to
master life’s problems,
sit with you throughout the night,

till finally you get logarithms.
No, I am not a chef
though most days
I dish you up your favourite
tasty delights.
Occasionally I go the extra mile
and create an exciting
new recipe.
No, I am not a cleaner,
or office manager,
or football coach,
or taxi driver,
or fashion guide,
or relationship coach,
or driving instructor,
or an expert in writing cv’s,
or a money making tree,
No, I’m just your mum,
that’s me.

Breathing

Crowds

Breathe mist into icy air

Scurry along this dark evening,

Eager to get to …

Theatres, Shows, meetings with

Friends.

Keep cold at bay with

Furs, scarves, hats, gloves.

Hurry past…

Past railings

Where you’re sat on

Your cardboard mat

Past…

You…
In the air

Tempting aromas — burgers,,
chips, onions,

( I’ve always loved the smell of frying onions).

You,

Hunched over,.

Hands gnarled, red

“a man of the road”.

They, look away.

Are you invisible ?

No, they don’t want to see..

Don’t want, to “get involved”

Make excuses:

“There’s no need for anyone to be

Hungry in this country”

Your blanket,
pulled up under your chin,

little protection.

A small family notice,

See you,

Are moved,

Bring coffee, chips.

A cheery word,

Acknowledge you,

Listen to you,

Then go their way,

You, watch,
Hands caressing warm cup
You, smile…

The Minack

“Anyone want a cup of tea?” I call out, lifting the kettle to fill it anyway. I wince at the pain, my hands aching after spending a couple of hours scraping old embossed wallpaper from walls in the hallway.

“Please…” they all — hubby, daughter and son in law — shout back in unison.

We sit unceremoniously around the large farmhouse table, four mugs, two plastic beakers containing water for the grandchildren — Raphy must have the dark blue one and Molly the pink- and snacks of biscuits and fruit to keep us going. We’re all tired and…

A response to the prompt “listening to ourselves”

How are You?

How are you?

A simple greeting,

most of us use it.

What does it mean?

Is it really asking

the question,

or is it code

to be deciphered.

Does it require

an answer?

The Irish will say,

expecting it

mirrored back,

“How’r ya…”

which , translated,

means, hello.

So often, “how are you?”

is short for,

hello, nice to see you,

but please don’t

actually tell me,

how you are,

I haven’t got time

to listen to you today.

But occasionally,

with upspeak tone,

and a soft pause,

we hear the question

and know someone

will listen.

“What about this one Grams?”

“Wow, love that. Put it here, in my bag.”

Rosie runs on the beach, looks for more shells,

forgets, for a few seconds, to be sad.

Her soft hair wafts in the wind.

Waves rush in.

Within me oceans rise up, to meet them.

With my sleeve, I

Wipe tears from my eyes.

Musn’t let her see me cry.

Only three, not aware.

The seriousness, the sadness, the significance,

of the morning’s events,

Wash over her.

Just for these moments, she is wild, she is free.

Just for these few moments, she buzzes like a bee.

She run’s towards me.

“Gram’s, I’m cold. Can we go home now?”

I pick her up, hold her close, bury my face in her coat.

Can we? I wonder…

Butterfly

Slowly, the butterfly

emerges from its cocoon,

opens wide it’s wings,

reds, yellows, blues,

all hues,

sparkle in the sunlight.

It readies itself to take flight,

You, like the butterfly,

you also, have gone

through many changes,

you also, have had

a long journey.

Now, you also

are beautiful,

you also, are free.

Fly little butterfly,

Fly

Like entering the tomb,

I step from grassy hill

through an outer, modern, brick wall,

down, into this small, dark space.

There, feet in two inches of

muddy water, my eyes try to focus

in the dim light.

A whiff of ancient ancestors,

still held in these old stones.

Jangling, clinking

rosaries, haunt

the ruined altar.

I expect an apparition of St Piran,

in brown habit, halo round his head,

to shimmer past.

In silence I pray for

a new life.

Snippet memories of my nan.

A few poems

The Range

Scrunched up newspaper in hand,

You rub the top of the range.

Every morning,

You perform this ritual.

A little bit of spit,

Your strong arms working,

Back and forth,

Then, circular movements,

till it shines.

Standing back, you inspect your work,

Your sigh of satisfaction,

Is not just in the job well done,

It says, I’m still here, still alive

You throw the dirty newspaper

Into the oven.

And smile

Messages

You take your old black bag,

One, you’ve had since

way back in my memory,

One, who’s leather

The Coffin

I peer down at you,

Your face serene, wrinkles smoothed out,

A heavenly countenance.

Your hands clasped together,

Resting on your favourite dress,

The blue one,

What is that weird, stretchy, material?

I’ll remember in a minute –

Oh, yes, crimplene,

In your hands-

Hands, that milked cows,

Toiled in harvests,

Baked soda bread,

Scrubbed kitchen floors,

Softly caressed loved ones-

In those hands, gnarled

with a full life lived-

your rosary,

wound between your fingers,

as it used to be,

when we,

prayed together,

in the kitchen, or

in your bedroom.

Your sing song voice,

Speaking to love itself.

Maz Green

Family minded writer of short stories, poetry a blog and other stuff gramswisewords.blogspot.com

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