red and green

on my doorstep
a brown cardboard box
tied with string

standing in my kitchen
I cut the string
and open the box slowly
lifting away the paper inside

and all is red and green
and smooth and curved and fresh and ripe
skin and leaves
one long green crunch of cucumber
and balls of plump red juiciness

I lift one round red globe
and the sunlight bounces off the surface
five green fingers reach out from the stem
gestures of greeting in the quiet room
I hold it close and there’s the distinctive tang of tomato
the scent of a summer garden

and so much more
I see the hands that lifted each rosy globe
felt the weight and pressed thoughtfully on the skin
the hands that snapped the ripe fruit from the vine
the hands that nestled each one into this box
arranging and rearranging for the perfect fit
I see the hands tying the string
and checking all is secure
hands that reached for me
and held me as gently
as these tender fruits

all acceptance
and generosity
the hands of a gardener
growing love

©clairegriffin2017

green

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your footsteps play
on the skin of the land
as on a drum
I feel the ground vibrate

you are coming

you will lie beneath me
and I will drop
sun-ripened fruits
into your mouth

you will stand still in my arms
as the wind blows around us
I move so slowly
this is how we dance

you will hear me singing to you
while you sleep
I speak so quietly
you can only hear me in your dreams

I am strong and grounded
the one you seek
my roots run deep
my tribe is many

you are a bright brief burst of life
and I am older than your generations
you are constantly astounded
my hair is green
and yet you love me

©clairegriffin2017

tears

the blue sea I was born in
has condensed into tears
tears that hold the history
of my ocean birth
tears drying into salt crystals
that crumble between
my roughened fingertips

pomegranate juice trails behind me
my gift to the sea
I bite down hard on the seeds
and crawl across rocks
to reach the shore

and there, as I lie nestled in the sand
schist and quartz pebbles
clutched in my hand
bones bleached white in the sun
I think of you
are your colours so different?

I came ashore
with nothing more
than the skin
my mother dressed me in

do you see?
we are all tears and blood and bone
open the door
take these stones from my hand
hold me and welcome me home

©clairegriffin2017

 

Sorting through some papers I found notes for a poem – at first I had no idea what they were about – though I was fascinated to see my thinking and editing at work while I was writing. Then the words “One Million Poets” registered – and it all made sense.
This was a poem I started at the end of last year/beginning of this – but never finished. Recent events make it so much more relevant. Working closely with the initial notes, these notes became “Tears” – a poem for immigrants, refugees, anyone seeking a home. (I’m intrigued by the cloud formation I unintentionally captured to the left of the poem – what does it look like to you?).

The “One Million Poets” project was begun by World Poetry Open Mic to address “feelings of separation” and to “share messages from the hearts of real people”.

If you’re interested in this, go to the link above, and offer a poem. The following is from their website:

How To Get Involved

  1. Write (or decide to cover) a poem that resonates with you with a some sort of message about community, humanity, and love for all of humankind.
  2. Create a simple video or audio recording of you reading it to the camera. In your video, challenge three other people to do the same within three days.
  3. Upload your video or audio to YouTube (video) or Soundcloud (audio). Make sure to write “One Million Poets” in the title. Also, if you use hashtags, make sure to use #Onemillionpoets in your description and tag section. 

 

So I took the plunge and made a video!

February

Preparing for February – finding and maintaining balance will be important as I settle back into work. 


seek balance between earth and sky, light and shade, warm and cool – soar on the updrafts toward your dreams

©clairegriffin2017

Just a note – one or two friends checked in with me recently and I told them – don’t worry – I’m fine. It’s true that I hadn’t been feeling that great for a while at the start of this year. I went quiet for a while and then posted a couple of dark pieces. I go into the dark sometimes – but I’ve learnt to trust myself to re-emerge. I’m not afraid of the dark – and I like to think – the dark – that’s where the seeds start to grow. 

Take care everyone – hoping the next month is good to you xx. 

the black jacket

this black jacket
has become a costume for talking to the past
rows of ribbons are metaphors
for the loves and stories and moments lost
stitched into the fabric
with the black thread of memory

(original short thought)

 

this black jacket
has become a costume for talking to the past
rows of ribbons are metaphors
for the loves and stories and moments lost
stitched into the fabric
with the black thread of memory

I have been revisiting my past
time-travelling as I stitch into the black
hearing and seeing I reach back
I put my hand on my younger shoulder
and say “beware”, “slow down”
I hold her while she cries and tell her
“I carry your loss, it is with me always”
I am the voice she didn’t hear
I am the voice she couldn’t speak

these memories are deeper and darker
than I expected
but they connect me with my self
I am becoming whole

I am becoming the wise woman
all edgy energy and persistence
I am becoming the dark
the black that attracted me as a child
the black I wore as a young woman
all depth and shadow and suggestion

these ribbons are the feathers and flowers
that connect me to the wild world
my collar is turned up
against winds of criticism and ignorance
my sleeves are edged
with beaks and thorns and claws
I would add mirrors and shells
I would carve runes into bones
and hold them in my pockets
tools of divination to read the times
all strength and resolution and power

this jacket, a cloak across my shoulders
a veil to cross into the night
darkness and mystery calls
and yet it is the light that gives me shape
there is no shadow without the sun
it is is the light that draws me forward
the truth
is the voice I speak
the future
is the path I walk

(complete version)

©clairegriffin2017

so – this began with a real black jacket. I was adapting it for a themed eighties party – but as I worked on it – I reflected on my self at the time – and the only idea I felt comfortable with was something I would have worn if the me I am now was transported to those times and could influence the me I was then

becalmed

I have been becalmed
the word-winds are blowing
across some other ocean
I’ve been circling slowly
in a sea of reminiscence
unable to move forward
my hands are still
my sails are empty
the sea is flat
the horizon slices through
my wide blue world

far below I sense
there is an immensity
a mass of constant movement
a creature of sickening proportions
sending its sightless arms toward the light
I recoil as it breaks the surface
and blindly reaches toward me

I slow my heart
and hold my breath
and wait
a day, a night
a day, another night
slowly it retreats
and the quiet waters close
over the abomination
intentions still unclear

a storm is forecast
the sky will darken
the clouds will hang low
dense and heavy with text

I will open my hands
squalls of rain will drive
ice-bound words into my skin
the wind will come
and my sails will swell
I will shield my eyes
and search the skies for seabirds

 

©clairegriffin2017