Dollhouses & War

The first attempt at proper poetry and the next and the next.
"Not a tea stain, but a rain stain,"
"Does my heart tangle like headphones in a pocket?"
"...mascara tears registers exhilaration under rapid music beats. "
"Love is the only blood we will bleed as / Together we fall into a rainstorm."


3. Click Click




You remember the soft click, click of a camera-shutter,

And how the lens squeezed
unimportant details into stillness: 
the essential trail of rain down glass, 
the plummet of autumn-dead leaves, 
your grandfather's last blink when
his breath moved on. 

Your startled hands compressed
the shutter when you realized:

 This is it, 
this is the last movement he will take,
away from the silent drip,

drip of morphine, 
beyond the soft gasp of the nurse, 
past the sick, slow thud of your heart
moving in the luminous silence.

The last click, click of a camera shutter,

And how it was an echo of a shovel pushed against stubborn soil.


You convene in where the wind rules.

Where it can nip
to keep the fingers free,

grasped around cups of comfort tea.

You hope in the morning,

between paragraphs,

it’s clear of cold.

Faces taut with restrained effort,

making as if to shout at the bitter dark sky,

No longer pulled.


In the morning the cold still hovers,

a travelling crack on thin ice,

threatening to break and plummet,

ever further down.


All afternoon you count the sounds
until the cold-specked room crackles with silence.
Even the song birds noteless.

A thick drizzle
trickles rivulets down the window pane,
smears distance on fields,

curtains-off hills
and stubborn greens into greys.
It aches in the creaking gate and screws
watering eye to misting glass:
a hearse skids slowly up the muddy lane,
blurs in droplets on a spider-web,
spins sideways into darkness…

And away.


All day is splintered with pathetic words.

Your resilience broke and you pick yourself

up from the floor, mouth dry as a mourners grin.

Grasping at sound,



The windows steam with dark,

And you forget.


Valleys of skin mountains, dotted with moles and dimples,

Windows of blue eyes set into caverns,

A heart slow thudded,

free and gold.

A place on his own yet lost to eyes on earth.



Your mother frowns, tasting sea gull clatter and cold.

You steal yourself for a hard word

But its hostage among downturn lips.

Your cup scrapes a scroll of varnish

The length of string past the cold and dark.

You sit,

the photographer,

with a soft click, click

Of a shutter and the draining of breath through a tinted lens.


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