Saturday, 25 February 2012

A Day At The Field

Three Word Wednesday. My first entry. This week's words are Cancel, Elastic and Labour.

She bends over the seeds
Golden paddy husk
And the sweat of her labour
Coat her tanned skin
Stain her blouse dark

Her spine bends over
Then straightens, then bends
Bones like elastic
Matted hair greasing her neck
Fingers worn and cut

She bends over the river
Deftly scrubbing her dirty clothes
She slips in among
The gentle lapping waves
To cancel away the day's grime

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

The Loss of Pride

In my worried head
I planned a gentle discussion.
I made it a point
Not to be bossy.
I know you hate that.

I said, "can you" instead of  "won't you"
"Try to" instead of "I want you to".
I heard my quietness.
My pride, bleeding
On the floor.

You enjoy the power
My weakness
Gives you.
As I try to hide
Behind stubborn eyes.

I don't ask you again.
You shan't reconsider.
Breath punched out of my lungs
I'm sorry you said, "No."

Sunday, 12 February 2012


Your fingers hold the cigarette with the unapologetic nonchalance that coats your every move. You have that severe look on your face, with your eyes crinkled, as if you are angry at everyone. You look at me quizzically because my eyes are intently fixed on you. I am trying to take a mental photograph of you with the cigarette between your lips. I want to seal it in my brain and summon it at will. But you take a drag, my concentration shifts for a second and I lose the picture again.

Your chest rises as your mouth fills with white cloud. A small, almost solid puff of smoke escapes your lips, but only for a second and then disappears back into your system like a ghost in limbo before it is whisked away to the underworld. As you breathe, I wait.

Exhale. But no, it isn't a warm jet of white nicotine that rushes out. Your exhalation is slow. The smoke curls around your parted lips like a lover's slow, teasing fingers. It floats over your mouth, trying to seduce you. It eases out of you gently, tentatively, like it isn't certain of the way you want to be touched.Your face shows no change of expression, no relief or submission as the chemical buzzes in your brain. I watch the paper burn under the midnight sky. The cherry burns bright red between your rough fingers and eats away the tobacco to leave that sickly grey ash that meets the dusty sidewalk with a swift touch of your finger.

Every drag you take seems more mesmerising than the last, even though you are doing it the exact same way. Or maybe it's because you do it that way. I could watch you for hours like this, just standing in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night. When you finally reach the end, you send the filter flying across the street with a stubborn, effortless flick.

With a chilly inward breath, you begin to walk back home.