running free

Climbing trees, juicy mangoes

pliant flesh and ashy elbows

to be running free through the long grass

and burrs sticking to legs, gaze widening

no thought for shiny brown skin

causing hate, no thought for others

just green

Englishness

white starched lace dress

sweat between breasts

so out of place it’s painful

at one time, just exotic plants

traced on paper, here

they touch their wide glossiness

English paleskins

burning red

intruders but still

the belief of ownership

I learn to watch, watch and learn,

to stay safe, to stay alive

I know them better than themselves

and yet I’m the primitive one,

the spicy savage

a transaction in their day.

Compassion for all parties involved

In a gondola steered by a bunny with pink
ears and white feathered wings, I rest.

Serene and floating upon a turquoise body of water,
I keep my eyes closed, keeping out the light,

keeping out thoughts of failure.
Let me just drift into the unknown

where there may be green shoots to suck
and damp grass to tinkle my toes.

Who knows, what’s around the bend.
All I know; I’m wearing my favourite bow,

my rubber giraffe is sinking like a ship
along with my rocking horse of dreams.

Fear on the Playroom Floor

An oversized, blue fluffy bunny
is the things of nightmares.
Garish, stalks the playroom floor.

I hide behind the enlarged
building blocks, hands over ears and heart
busting my chest. Afraid

the bunny will hear me, find me
and beat me. Beat me for being me.
I didn’t do anything wrong.

I fear this fear. Not knowing
where the next blow from the taloned
paw is coming from and why.

Not knowing if my existence
is an affront or punishable offence.
I dream of other floors

with soft cushioned landings
blankets and warmth, like
under autumn leaves breathing orange.

Rubbernecking

She’s called Daphe, the woman running the business training out of her Notting Hill home.

The Thames curves south from here by Chelsea, sluggish brown. The city’s awake and burning.

Have you been to see the damage yet? he asks, in our snatched conversation.

Almost gleeful in his hunger to hear details about the tower block which blazed leaving so many people missing or dead.

He says there’s photographs of the missing stuck to tree trucks, walls and railings. Black, brown and olive skinned and missing.

I don’t want to see this suffering. The ruins becoming a tourist attraction. Leave them with some dignity. Always having to endure the gaze in life and death.

The Outlook is Good

uncomfortable sensations which can only be described as pain course straight to the core

to release endorphins of joy

the outlook is better

the outlook is golden

the outlook is diamond

the outlook is bright

the outlook is purple

the outlook is a gift