the key

there are rooms in this house I’ve not walked into
doors unopened, windows closed
paths that lie unchosen

I used to think
give me the key and I will fear I’m not worthy
give me the key and I will lose it
I will hide it
I will throw it away

but now – where does this fearlessness come from?

I walk down a dark hallway lined with doors
there are rooms I’ve forgotten
rooms I remember
but I don’t seek to re-enter those

its these other doors that intrigue me
doors that will open onto rooms I’ve never seen

I place one palm flat against the next door I come to
regretting that I never kept the key that once was mine
but it swings inward as soon as I touch it
and a flurry of small birds fly out
and I stand staring in bright light
at the dry golden grass beyond the open windows

I know this place
I was here once when I was young
I had forgotten it still lived within me

I step forward into a white room
white-washed wooden floor, white walls, ceiling open to the sky
as warm winds blow sheer white curtains toward me
my hair lifts in the smell of ozone and wild thyme

and here, on the table, in the centre of the room
is a carved box and a small bronze key

I recognise it
the same key I once abandoned
I mistook its purpose
this was never a key to open doors
doors that I had only ever imagined to be locked

this is a key to the future
and some strange magic has restored it to me
a whole new fertility is setting seed and ripening
mortality is making me brave

I unlock the box, and inside there are pencils and pens and bottles of ink
I shut the door behind me
and start writing on the walls

if I ever need to leave
the windows are open

 

©clairegriffin2017

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

winter dreaming

IMG_2491

it’s the tail-end of winter
and I’ve been feeling low
I have days when
I can’t imagine
how I will rise again

but I stand here today
overlooking the sea
on the verandah of a house in another town
in the distance I hear birds call, voices,
the low hum of the waves
little flurries of wind
blue sky to infinity
the sun pouring its heart out over the land
and I can feel, if I stayed here
my spirits would lift

I can see myself living here
in a two-storied house
overlooking the sea
with a room for books and writing
and quietly watching the world

I’d take the dogs I don’t have yet
for walks on the beach
bake bread and knit and talk

until the ‘real’ world changes
and catches up with my imaginings
part of me will go on living in this dream

© Claire Griffin 2016