transition

I wrote this just after my first internship and I doubt I am the only young woman to panic at the stages of transitioning from child to adult:

 

My beige mack ties me up in a waist band of calm;

chosen to match my two-tone low cut heels.

 

Coffee mug in hand, containing hot chocolate

that threads me back to my marshmallow days,

 

Comfort from those high school stresses,

the successes that carried me to this internship,

 

as I transition my way into an adult world,

where people email someone sat next to them.

 

Moving from homework to no home and underpaid work:

I am a teenager; a young adult

 

who could have died for my country a thousand times

in the last two years, but only just allowed to vote.

 

Show me where my shadow of debt can shed itself;

make a suggestion of where I may be of use?

 

When I was six I held a sale for Water Aid

and I still tick the £5 box. But I’m not sure

 

that researching or fighting for ‘human rights’

in a ‘Western culture’ that abandoned my ambition,

 

has worked, because I’m not sure

of what I was once ambitious for now I’m here.

 

But I still smile at the child who points and says,

‘Look mummy, that’s the woman who works at the BBC’,

 

I was that woman; but not a woman

and where am I going next?

dusk wanderer

A poem by Heather Farley: 

You’re a wanderer of the dusk.

I’ll love you in the dark and in the light,

I hope you’ll love me in your shadows.

 

You were born to leave me,

Maybe tomorrow, maybe yesterday,

You’re not going to change.

 

I wish you would,

But I’m scared to think you might…

You’re a waltzing ghost to me,

 

I underestimated how erotic I find you,

The moment of understanding,

Awoke me finally from my nightmares,

 

Lying behind your shadow in the grey sheets,

I wonder if my smile is a memory you hold dear,

Yours made me hope I might be capable of love.

 

I’ll be immortal with you forever;

In haze of drunken memories,

You’ll stay burning on, even when I’m fragments of dark ash to you.

 

Run away in the lighting you most love,

Prove me right though I long to be wrong,

I’ll follow pictures of you into my past,

 

I’ll watch you wander away as you so frequently do,

Left alone I don’t feel guilt or torment, just empty.

Missing something I saw once in the evening’s dusk,

 

Someday I’ll stop writing about you,

Stop dreaming about you,

But not today, today I’m in love with the absence of you.

her sleeping ecstasy

A poem by Heather Farley: 

I’m a fool for that sound in your midnight whispers,
A fool for your young almond eyes,

Foolish for the dark strands locked on in my lips,
For all your ideas and dreams of worlds untainted by humanity.

In my movement,
In my gaze,
In my touch,
I affect you.
I see it in flashes when you look back and say;
You fucker,
You coward…

A tenuous bridge to a world undiscovered emerges in your stares,
And I balance carefully, walking the steps to your fort’s front door,
Grasping at anything to reach your home.
Your haven.
Your rusting brick wall you sit at;
For I want to join you in your dystopian love.

To be in your mind
inside your mazes,
Under your protection, your barriers and your sheets,
On paths of no direction;

Back and forth I walk in the mist,

Up and down I’ll run in your rain,

Spiral and swirl in your hurricane.

To watch the art create itself;
Like looking at a sunrise,
Watching a child growing into a woman or man,
The winter nights turn to spring mornings,
Your blockades and barracks dissolve in your mind as my kiss softens the blow,

You lying there;
breathing heavy,
Glistening in the moonlight,
for the sweat trickles down your side and glimmers on you neck,
This raw physicality,
Felt like the way nature intended beauty to be;
Uncorrupted just caressed in the company of two.

As I move and stroll across your surfaces,
Tracing your outline with my nails,
Painting your fine features with my tongue,
We make beauty implode into an arching symphony of ecstasy

My hands scratch brushstroke in your tanned skins,
While I hold you;
Hold your back off the pale sheets,
Keep close to your quivering frame,
Tenderly resting you down when I resist pulling you harder onto me.

To be the spark in the fire
Or the drop in the floods
The moon that fell asleep to let the sunshine burn alive again
To be part of you,
is in itself my elation

Never has sensuality been this safe for me,
I’ll remain a fool
A fool in your presence I’ll stumble and stutter..

But when time slows,
Nothing’s changing but were evolving,
When your eyes rest,
falling;
peacefully into your youth,
For you could just be just a girl,
when your hair is musty and you skin unraveled in blankets

I’ll watch as still life envelopes me,
Becomes the beating drum at which I’ll slow my mind to the rhythm of,
A constancy in twisted sheets and single beds

I’ll let go, and watching you,
I’ll fall carelessly to sleep,
Lying near that which I cannot cage own or possess,
Just hold until the morning sun rises again,
When I’ll fade foolishly like the moon always does at dawn..
 

my caged oasis

A poem by Heather Farley: 

I guess I just wanted to see you.
I wanted to see the falsified smile,

And hope maybe this time it was real,
This time it was in your eyes as well as your mouth.

I guess I just thought I could make it happen.
Make our lips come together,
be it our mouths or otherwise, it was no matter,
It just needed to happen.

I guess I just needed to taste the oasis of pleasure,
Feel your breathe exhale into me,
Your skin melt onto mine,

Like candle wax trickles down and moulds so perfectly onto itself.

I guess I just wanted to draw your body with my hand and paint it with my tongue,
A youthful pain apologised for my desires,
You’re beauty stabs me,
but I’ll clean up the blood spattered floor.

I guess I just wanted to save something worth nothing,
Because I see all that you are when you don’t see it in yourself.
I guess I began to intertwine two beings until there was nothing left to destroy except my own heart and sanity.
I guess I just thought I could hold onto something already caged in my mind.

 

poetry night

In June last year I wrote this poem in response to having been raped:

 

You raped me in a room where I had pinned up quotes

from women I find inspirational.

In what world did you think I would be silent?

In what  world did you think I would not shout and scream

that I SAID STOP.

I have been silenced and not taken seriously

but my rapist will be written out of this history.

Rape does not have to be a silent crime

because being silent is not something I do well;

and while I will not, do not, cannot speak for others

I will be a rallying cry to survivors looking to tell their story,

a voice to be listened and learned from,

a reminder that rape doesn’t leave you alone:

because my voice matters,

because this is more than a feminist moan,

because I am stronger than my rapist,

because my narrative is my own.

 

You can see it originally published here: https://afterassault.wordpress.com/2015/06/14/megan-beech/

Recently, I performed it for the first time at a feminist open mic night at my university. It was slightly terrifying and very emotional but it felt amazing to share my story with people. Needless to say, the feminist society were incredibly supportive and I am proud to be part of such an amazing society.

Never underestimate the power of spoken word!

in love with a suffragette

Just rediscovered this poem I wrote when I was 14 (or maybe a little younger); shows I’ve always thought along similar lines!

 

I think I’m in love and I hope that it lasts

– she just strode purposefully past;

In green, purple and white,

she’s a radiant vision of might.

 

 

I’ll buy her a single red flower,

and build her an ivory tower,

She’ll want for nothing all her life,

nor know any form of strife;

 

 

I can still see her over there

– it’s an effort not to stare,

Her beauty’s enough for me,

and I want the whole world to see:

 

 

That one day she’ll be mine,

so that I no longer need pine,

I rush across to give her my hand,

but she won’t yield to my demand,

 

“Thanks, but I can walk without leaning on a man,”

 

Since the suffragette movement,

courting just hasn’t gone to plan.

miss munroe’s little sister

A poem by Heather Farley: 

And she wasn’t perfect, that’s what made me love her.
I wanted to save her,
I had saved all the testosterone fuelled, inconsiderate boys.
Helped solve their personal enigma; not quite Turing but I tried.
It took wave after wave after wave of emotion and desperate longing, a tied flowing in and out of my essential organs,
A relentless indecision, to realise she wasn’t shipwrecked and helpless but self-destructing.

Somewhere inside I knew I couldn’t save the purity dripping through her collapsing veins:
Veins that coursed through her as I wished I could.
To be the cocaine so quickly inhaled, so quickly inside her.
To run through all of her; her twisted mind and forever distracted eyes, and that indescribable body.
Explore her as though I was wandering, not lost, yet scared of losing myself within her.

Instead I sat back.
I admired the purity in the cracks and crevasses of pain and pleasure.
I buried myself,
I ran from my mind,
I hid from my heart.
But more than all else,
I hid from Marilyn’s understudy.

Her body was that of women in corsets, waving fans elegantly on green summer lawns as men played cricket,
Complaining of the heat yet their skin glimmering in the golden mirage of sunlight.
Her torso like a painting, untarnished by media portrayal.
Miss Munroe’s younger sister; the beacon of untainted but somehow damaged hope;
Petite but strong.
Fragile but stubborn.
And above all else;
fucked up.

My little Marilyn, she, she made broken look beautiful.
She was rotting,
the world around her polluted the waters she drank.
Yet she decayed from the inside out.
I couldn’t stop the flower from dying, instead,
I watched the evolving beauty as she willowed into her inevitable fate.

I let myself fall into the pools of her dirty glamour.
Swimming in the dark waters, throwing myself into the humiliation and torture of my own mind.
I was drawn to her with every inch of my being.
The intoxicating flower, my belladonna.
The craving to touch. To feel. To be felt.

She was my assisted suicide.
My commitment to drown myself.
To slowly poison myself, with her sweet toxins of imperfection.

megan beech

I have recently stumbled across the wonderful poet, Megan Beech, and cannot recommend her book ‘When I grow up I want to be Mary Beard’ highly enough. It’s one of those books that I came across by accident and has come into my life at exactly the right time.  She writes about being an angry leftie, hope, feminism, Twitter, London, old teachers… the extent to which I empathise with her work is extraordinary.

Having sat down and read ravenously through her poems, I feel refreshed and disappointed there aren’t more. I fully believe she is making a difference with her words and she has reminded me of the change we can make by standing together. When I was little I used to be terribly confused at the mess adults had made of things, probably too many Enid Blyton novels.

I was convinced that I would grow up and change the world and that would be that. It was devastating when I began understanding the complexities. The extraordinary thing is that I have met people who grew up thinking exactly the same and together we will change the world. Not all of it, there will always be problems but people are making a difference and changing things for the better every single day. I can be part of that.

We are the stars that together draw a constellation and if we are always shining against the night then I still believe that ‘the only thing needed for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.’ Change ‘men’ to ‘people’ and I am totally on board with Edmund Burke. Megan Beech has been a reminder that there are many like minded people out there, that she is one and that she is connecting us through her poetry.

After soaking up her words I sat down and scribbled some of my own. I am no poet and this is just my thought process conveyed through broken up lines but if you can overlook the terrible form and lack of editing, the substance has a message:

You raped me in a room where I had pinned up quotes

from women I find inspirational.

In what world did you think I would be silent?

In what  world did you think I would not shout and scream

that I SAID STOP.

I have been silenced and not taken seriously

but my rapist will be written out of this history.

Rape does not have to be a silent crime

because being silent is not something I do well;

and while I will not, do not, cannot speak for others

I will be a rallying cry to survivors looking to tell their story,

a voice to be listened and learned from,

a reminder that rape doesn’t leave you alone:

because my voice matters,

because this is more than a feminist moan,

because I am stronger than my rapist,

because my narrative is my own.