your hands

1/
when you would rub your hands together
as if they were cold
the strange tension and then release
and the way your face would screw up
and then relax into one of your glorious smiles
your nails curved over the ends of spatulate finger tips
a cigarette held loosely between two fingers
palm up, hand bent at the wrist, while you talked
strong hands, capable, practical, tender

2/

when you rolled a cigarette
when you used both hands
to gather your dark heavy hair
and lift and twist it up
and away from your face
fingers stained with paint
long, slender, graceful, the colour of weak coffee

3/

when your hands gather tomatoes
or test the weight of cucumbers
I see the knuckles enlarged with age
the scar on the side of your thumb
the clean, neat nails

these hands would have held me once
when I was a baby, a tiny child
they would have lifted me and felt my weight

and when we are gathering lemons
and you are passing them to me
you pass all the times you held my hand
stroked my hair, and tucked me in close beside you

your hands have been open ever since
waiting for mine to close over them

Writing prompt from Sarah Selecky:
“write a list of times you remember staring at someone’s hands”.
https://www.storyisastateofmind.com/

These are my memories of three special people.

©clairegriffin2017

 

 

 

blue

thoughts on the colour blue

I think of water
salt and fresh
rain and wave
spring and snow
I think of tears

the sea is blue
the sky is blue
lakes and rivers and
your eyes are blue

what else?

on my windowsill
my tea caddy, my teapot, a vase
and nestled deep in memory
your willow pattern plates
your cornishware jars
and my eyes and Billy’s eyes
and your eyes
all blue
all together
in a small dark wooden house

blue is the colour of love
and I lose myself
in its deep waters

now, in my garden
there grows borage and thyme
lavender, sage and rosemary
ajuga, hydrangea, lobelia
and delphinium
for years now
I have been cultivating
food for the belly and the eye
for the heart and the soul

it all comes back
to our eyes
the windows to our souls
and all the earth’s water
the eyes of this land
and our blue planet
seen from space
as if the universe was watching
holding one eye closed

©clairegriffin2017

 

 

 

 

 

darker (r.i.p. L.Cohen, sincerely)

tears fly
like a thousand birds
into a midnight sky

I hold your voice
in the palm of my hand
my skin vibrates
with every breath

your words surround me
confront and shelter
the essence of what it means to be male
expressed in every husky rumble
and nuanced vowel
my very bones are shaking
as your low tones reverberate, resonate

my dreams are waking
from the dread I’ve carried
that you’d soon be gone

its been nothing but rain and fog
for two whole days
while you climbed the stairs
to your tower of song

I’ve lit a candle
I’ll keep it burning
I don’t want it any darker

©Claire Griffin 2016

 

dusty memories

I am sorting and packing
getting ready to shift the bookcase
and lift the carpet
vacuuming old dust and cobwebs
from the edge of every book
before I put them away in boxes,
and finding that each one
triggers memories
that I haven’t thought of until now.

I wonder
when these books are hidden from sight
will I lose the memories?

I want a better bookcase
with glass doors
so I can see into the past.

 

© Claire Griffin 2016

milk strawberry

IMG_4047 (1)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
“MILK STRAWBERRY”
pink and brown
and sweet

a gift from a friend
“celebrate memories” you say
and I do now

I remember the sweetness of first love
I remember the pink blush
of embarrassment, of excitement
of tongues and lips and other bits
I remember the warm brown skin
from lying together in the sun
the brown of the wooden walls
brown hair falls forward
brown tiger’s eye falls forward

and milk
straight from the glass bottle
passed from hand to hand
white and cold and wet
all we ever needed to recover

© Claire Griffin 2016

(With thanks for thinking of me and for your friendship – you know who you are )