Poetry


“A tough life needs a tough language – and that is what poetry is.”

Jeanette Winterson

 

MOOD SWINGS

How many moods did you experience today?
Did your heart feel real joy at the sight of a child laughing
a pure white cloud passing
over a field of rape-seed.
Did your heart bleed
when a young mother swore at her child
and a wild-eyed man
stood on a corner beating himself
with his fists.
Was it despondency you felt
in the season of mists

if you’re anything like me
I hate to see the sun acting weak.
Does it all feel bleak
when you think of the future
or when you remember
what it use to be like
before things got complicated
before you were obligated
to satisfy others.
Does it make you feel sad
when no one bothers
to remember you care
when life seems totally destructive
and unfair.

How many moods did you experience today?
Did you start the day gloomily
progressing to looking
optimistically
at the hours unfolding.
Was it that moment
when you were holding your loved one,
or was it that instant
when you were excited about
seeing your daughter
or hugging your son

if you’re anything like me
that’s what I look forward to.
When I see that they’re safe
those moods,
those heart-tearing moments
that fill you with fear
suddenly disappear.

When you hear their voices
the choices you’re
faced with are boiled down
and the frown on your face
quite frankly feels
irrelevant and wrong.

How many moods did you experience today?
Did your heart ache when someone you love
raised their voice.
Was the choice all theirs
did you think who cares
if you’re crying or dying
for stability and love –
did you think
what have I done
to deserve this situation
that painful altercation
with the people I love?

Is God above watching and controlling
the journey you’re on,
are the devils at work
where shadows lurk,
do you look in the mirror and see
a cold-blooded smirk.

Does that dark scary mood go away
when there’s good
is your drug of choice laughter and light
or hatred, of course
that’s when the might of your heart bears down
with a terrible, terrifying force

yes, you experienced thousands of moods today.
No matter how hard you try
they won’t go away.

Those moods – you can curse them
or nurse them
because they are here to stay.
Those uncontrollable feelings
will always haunt you and
get in the way.

 

(C) Maree Giles, November 2, 2011

 

KINGSTON TATTOO

she showed me her tattoos today
the unveiling took months
she thought I would criticize
chastise
disapprove
cry

but I did none of those things.
I did say: please don’t get any more
that’s enough.
three is enough
any more
you’ll look tough.

the words she chose in some dimly-lit back-room dive
could have been written on paper, good and hard
in a special book perhaps
or a hand-made card.

I understand her longing, regret and sorrow
but now there’s something written there all the time
a constant reminder
today
tonight
and tomorrow.

she thought I would criticize
chastise
disapprove
cry.
I did none of those things.

though I watched from afar
my heart was pierced by that needle
ink
blood
pain
set forever in a permanent scar.

Maree Giles (C) 2012

 

ARAMOANA

He arrived in the small south island city

got right to the nitty gritty.

Everyone opposed what

he proposed, an aluminium smelter.

No poetry in that –

Fat cat from Switzerland

planned to plonk it right by the ocean.

His promotion shattered the dream

A scene of edelweiss,

wild strawberries and

mountain goats.

Clear-throated yodellers, spa centres

where bracing air

could cure any disease.

Please tell the truth

the uncouth

fact of the matter is

that Swiss valleys lay dead

from contamination.

Civilisation and

safety not being an issue.

Can you believe the stupidity?

A touch of serendipity, protesters

a great deal of persuasion

scared the brazen official

back to Geneva

the deceiver no match

for local unity.

 

(C) Maree Giles, March 17th 2010.

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