Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 2

We did not build a bridge over the lake in the house grounds, nor did we return to the place where we first kissed, at the merging of north and south roads. Instead, there is now a wrought steel fence surrounding the lake, and the roads out of this place are unmaintained, cracked, broken. I sometimes lay flowers at the side of the road, close to your favourite view of the rolling fields. The fields are the only colourful place, dense with vibrance under late sunsets. The stiles are uncrossed, simple lines deconstructed, missing the weight of your arms from when you used to lean, your eyes gleaning the golden depths. Looking for something that cannot be fathomed, amongst the many faces of the sunflowers turning towards the moon. The crows, which dip and dive, have croaked their answers thick enough to hang like mist despite the warmth of the evening. The air is heavy and ripples the surface of the bright fields.


The Cherry Blossom

Nine years ago, an amazing person left this earth. This is for SMR, one of the most beautiful people I was lucky enough to know.


There is a paradox between life and death. An inconsistency between fragility and the eternal. They fit, overlap in some places, and leave holes in other parts.


Where the wild lilies grow,

And the cherry trees cast off their satin shells,

I lie, face skyward bound,

Body echoed against the ground,

Limbs tightly held

And eyes wide, watering in the wind

Which should be warm

Yet renders heat blind,

A flame blown out but smoke still on the rise,

Signals on the hill

And in the glen

Footsteps tracking a line to your earthen den,

Boundaried and blocked

Six feet deep

I hope you have enough peace to sleep.

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Locked Lips Tell No Lies – Extract 1

There is a sense of recognition from feeling another person’s heartbeat. What there is to be recognised cannot be given a name, an all-encompassing feeling that you’re about to go somewhere you’ve been before; and if it weren’t for the skin that shows where the self ends, the ribs would be locked together, no other, no I, no you. Macabre maybe, but the mind is greedy and close is not close enough oftentimes. Perhaps it’s the hunger to learn, to be set on a voyage of discovery which can’t be placed on paper. I know you like your tea with two sugars and a small splash of milk; that you get cold easily and your favourite colour is blue. These things can be verbalised, to basic points of who you are. But the quiet unnamed thing, only skin deep yet evasive, is what is familiar and faraway. The anatomy of knowledge is what lies outside, the facts not springing easily from locked lips. Give me a library, route planned out like a motorway, pages and pages bottled up sentences, flattened versions of the world to leaf through.

But I know I like the peaceful places, and will stop there to read; to picture your face. Who has to say A directs B when the syllables in your name don’t run in a certain order. 


The other people we could be, or who we might have been. Anything is possible once the mind is opportune during the REM stage. But sometimes, identity is too set in its ways.

That night I slept;

Stumbled through halls past the

Crone with Medusa stare

Who had set wooden

Pan upon Pan on steps

And put

The baby by the cold hearth to


The me in that bleak house

Was appalled, my hair

Sibilant with indignant snakes,

Hissing, “You hold

The weight of it all”

I shook my head,

Rattled serpents asping,

And played the pipes, low

Drone, smooth notes to

Charm, circle in feet slipping

Over marbled floors

Whilst I fled

From face beguiling freeze;

The mirror shone

As I woke alone


Someone stands with outstretched arms in front of a field of sunflowers, true or false. The sunflowers follow the sun, fixated, paying no attention to the observer. Meanwhile, the moonlight pours into a room.


My arms,

Deconstructed lines,

Open to the rolling fields,

A heated assurance,

Lost in summer’s appeal

The crows caw,

Thickening calls hanging as mist;

The answers we cannot


Dense yellow in the depths,

Sunflower eyes

Tilted to a lazy setting star

Inside, the moon trails

Crescented, slim; I can

Pretend tonight has a

Curtained orbit, circling

Luminous line

For those who cannot resist