Three girls in a churchyard

Three girls with robin egg blue

school skirts past the knee 

skip,

linked,

arm entwined in arm

under sudden flurries

of coloured leaves

sailing, swirling,

pirouetting

in orange and gold

glory.

The girls accidentally serenade

the weathered man

on the bench

with their high tones

and laughing songs

about roses and cradles

and cats.

He clutches a bottle,

his eyes open sky.

Arm in arm

the girls step

more slowly now,

the silence of stones

muffling their voices

as the ghostly wind

lifts their skirts

and tangles their hair.

Through the churchyard

they go,

past chalk grey 

headstones

at all angles 

each holding

the story of a life, a full life,

of a mother, sister, hero,

writer, dreamer, singer,

friend.

At the edge of the road,

a howl of wind

evokes shrieks,

cold bites

at the sweet point

of their necks.

In swirls of robin blue

they hug and break

and wave to each other

dashing down the street,

towards home.

Later that night,

they are tucked up warm.

Through the window cracks

the wind blows in

sounds from the churchyard,

the rattling of leaves,

the rustling of bones,

whispers in the dark

and the drunk man’s

rasping song,

his heart in every note.

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Spider Teach Me

I feel there is no wrong way to read this poem. But here is one way, in linear form:

Spider, teach me

for I do not understand

your weavings.

 

Your symmetry of silk

glistening in grace,

loved by diamond drops of dew

reflecting rainbows in the first sun.

 

How?

 

I walk this way

and that,

and know things

and unknow them.

 

Will you teach me to

navigate the tightropes

with such delicate balance,

to weave my web

into a whole,

 

a pattern

the dew kisses

and the sun dances upon?

 

And spider,

once you teach me

to weave

such a wonder,

will you show me how

 

to let the strands

break and sail

so the earth can know them

once again?