She was all mandalas
and peace signs, a free
spirit dancing on the
graves of our society.
She was all recreational and shit,
she was the kind of music that
injected euphoria into your soul.
She was all pierced tongue
and piercing eyes that
would crash land you into
a sea of exhilarating trouble.
She was all smiles and swear
words, but she was unapologetic
about the way that she loved.
She was all me, until she wasn’t.
The Emerald Isle Herself
I packed up my whole life and moved
overseas for her. Granted it was more like
across the pond, only two hundred and
twenty-six miles, but it was two hundred
and twenty-six miles out of my comfort zone.
To a brand-new country, where they speak the
same language, only there it sounded more
like a song, and I could listen to her ad-lib forever.
She welcomed me with open arms, wrapped
a shamrock around my shoulders, poured me
a Guinness and asked: ‘how’re you getting on?’
We sat underneath Ha’penny bridge,
smoking joints as the Liffey went by,
rocking us with its sleepy stream.
These days, I’ll bet the tide is always high,
for every time I pass it, I refill it with tears.
Speaking In Tongues
When I say I’m cleaning what I mean is
I’m going to cleanse, wash the whiskey sweating
out of my pores, the smell of bad decisions
and cigarette smoke ingrained into my hair.
When I say I have a meeting, I mean I have to
get out of bed this week, open the curtains
to the blinding light of disappointment,
air out the nightmares haunting my mind.
When I say I’m doing laundry I mean I’m going
to fold all of my responsibilities. I will separate
them into neat piles and leave them at the foot
of the bed so I don’t have to sleep alone anymore.
When I say thank you what I mean is I love you.
When I say I love you what I mean is don’t
ever leave me. I’ll never ask you to stay,
but when I say leave, that is exactly what I mean.
You say: say what you have to say!
But those words echo in my mind because you
are not ready for the deafening tone of the
words that are spilling out of my eyes and you
do not understand what I mean by your eyes
make me want to skinny dip in the ocean and you
don’t speak the language that my body speaks
when it finds itself in enough proximity of yours.
So I sigh.
But you have plenty to say, you insist.
And I do. I want to speak but I can’t seem to get
my spoken words right, I try not to mind that
my mind and heart are in a constant knife fight.
But I can’t pretend around you it’s so intense,
you make them drop their blades and open fucking
gun fire. The bullets they ricochet off my brain to
the left side of my ribcage leaving the contents
of my broken heart splattered across my face.
So I say nothing.
Side note: Today is International Grandparents Day. A while ago, before my granddad died, actually, I started writing this poem for him. Today I translated it into Portuguese and although this is a first draft, I’m proud of it and wanted to add it to my portfolio. I understand a lot of people won’t be able to read and/or understand it, but you can catch the English version right here.
Dentro da minha caixa de recordações
As minhas primeiras recordações são imagens de ti,
de ir à rua contigo, buscar a Rita a escola. Lembro-me
tao bem, era preciso a minha mão inteira para
segurar só num dos teus dedos gigantes.
Na segunda classe a escola levou a minha turma a praia.
Eu guardei os meus óculos dentro do saco do almoço
enquanto fui a água, mas a professora não soube a diferenciar
entre banana e casca, e os ósculos foram parar ao lixo.
Lembro de chegar a casa com uma carta da escola a pedir
desculpa, e uma enxaqueca de não ver nada. Tu não
disseste nada, apenas montaste a tua mota ferrugenta
e desapareceste dentro da noite. Não te vi mais naquele dia.
Na manhã seguinte, tal como magia, apareceram os meus
óculos, vermelhos, redondos e intactos, na mesa da sala.
Tu resmungaste que não tinham sido difíceis de encontrar
mas eu vi aquele sorriso orgulhoso, escondido atras do teu jornal.
Foi neste momento que eu aprendi a amar incondicionalmente.
E ainda tenho esse par de óculos na minha caixa de recordações.
In a city where every day is a miserable
December evening she makes me feel like July.
She does to me what summer does to trees
dresses my branches in life and colour, and
holds my proud roots firmly into the ground.
She’s the hot chocolate to my crisp autumn
morning, our fingers entwined inside my pocket
feel like handwarmers and when I drink from
her lips I feel warm and fuzzy like a million
butterflies decided to throw a party inside of me.
She reminds me of spring because when she
laughs I hear birds harmonising to my favourite
song, because her morning hair smells just like
sunshine, because her eyes make me want to skinny-
dip in the ocean, and slow dance under the moon.
I’ve never been winter’s biggest fan, but now I
queue seventeen hours out in the cold because
she wants front row seats for the first snow of
the year and likes to take long walks in the rain.
Come thunder or lightening bolts, she is my shelter.
This Tiny Town
This tiny town
is a thousand
tiny towns. It is
of cultures. It’s
It’s mass produced
to be big,
this tiny town.
On the days that I miss you the most,
my heart weighs so much that
my body can not get out of bed.
I hear your voice in every
twenty-one pilots song
so I play their album on loop
and I sob along to every lyric.
On the days that I miss you the most,
I see your face stitched onto the green
of every snooker table that I pass by.
I miss the way waking up next to you
felt like home, the way your hair
smells in the morning. On the days
that I miss you the most, I am homesick.
Some of my earliest memories are memories with you,
how you would bring me along to pick up Rita from school.
I remember how it would take my whole fist just to
hold onto one of your fingers, your hands were that big.
When I was six years old I went on a school trip to the beach,
I put my glasses inside my lunch bag for safe keeping
but it turned out that my teacher didn’t know the difference
between a banana and a banana skin and threw my bag in the bin.
I remember, coming home with an apologetic note from school
in one hand and a fusion of blurry vision and migraine in the other,
after hearing my misfortune, you silently mounted your rusty old bike
and you were gone, my knight on a mission riding through the night.
The next morning sure enough, there they were on the coffee table
my little red glasses, like there were never gone. You mumbled something
about how I mustn’t have looked hard enough, they weren’t hard to find,
but I saw it, that smug little smile hiding behind your newspaper.
That was the moment that taught me unconditional love,
I still have those glasses in a memory box and I’ll always remember.
Loving you is
Loving you is sweaty palms
and sudden stutters,
it’s endless hours
and infinite laughter,
it’s intoxicating kisses
and morning regrets.
Loving you is uncertain
like British weather,
and exciting like
Loving you is unhealthy
like Ross and Racheal,
but addictive like nicotine,
its wanting what you can’t have
until you final have it.
Loving you is a car crash.