Lost Among the Carrots

Lust is not red, it is orange.

It lurks among the carrots.

It shows its immaculate, shaven head,

teeth boasting intimate knowledge of orthodontics,

in a broad grin to say

it’s found its prey.

 

He advances and asks if I shop here often.

I stop with cabbages clutched to my belly,

lettuce leaves trailing, wondering if I dare

make a grasp

for the cornflakes on special offer that day

without collapsing the display.

 

As I let it all tumble down in my trolley

he asks if I’m buying things for my family.

A mere basket for him, tucked in with chocolate, cheese, champagne,

the three shushing sounds which have been my undoing before.

 

‘Yes, my family.’

But still he persists.

All sibilant juices, he emotes and he twists.

Not crass enough to ask for my number, he gives me his card instead,

all debonair and gallant, he waves goodbye,

swaggering on to his next attempt.

 

No string touched,

I lose the card among the courgettes.

 

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Midlife, Middling

You showed me how easily

the cheesy wotsits crumbled through your fingers

sticky orange dust filling your hands

my heart pouring its molten mass onto your palms.

 

You hold out your hand

and laugh softly, beckoning, seducing,

wordlessly, I bend to lick off the crumbs,

nibble those long fingers,

caress my liquid heart aquiver in the scoop of your hands.

My tongue feels pure joy

electric flashes.

***

 

And then the morning-starved yell of one fat baby

pierced the thickening dawn

and that was it

dream gone

querulous mouths back demanding

running up and down those stairs

retrieving wellies and jumpers to pull on protesting limbs.

 

Yet that dream glow stayed with me all day

as I gave my serviceable Mum-shoes a miss

and slipped on lethal heels.

That day I felt attractive again.

 

We first kissed under the laden waft of Chernobyl

all that summer we were ablaze

counting the hours since our last kiss

you only knew my body in its sinewy smoothness

not the quaver softness of child-stretched flesh

you only remember hopes and ideals

not the compromises and shortfalls

I like the picture of myself in your mind’s eye

still dewy potential, spirit and energy.

 

But then the pale sceptre arises with rueful smile

admitting, ‘I’m tired now. I’m off to bed.’

 

Now for something completely different…

It seems that no sooner have I finished with one bunch of administrative tasks that I have been putting off for weeks, then it’s time for the next lot to arrive.  I would also like someone to tell me why they always arrive in bunches, like grapes, rather than in single digestible fruits?

However, I still managed to find time to stop and smell the flowers.

The cherry tree in our garden is nearly done with its blossoms, but my favourite flowers are out now:

Yes, lilacs.  I love them in all shapes, colours and forms.  Although I do have a preference for white lilac.

There is something about their scent that no synthetic perfume can capture.  I could set up tent under their canopy for two weeks every year.

And perhaps that is the reason for their magic and attraction: their transcience.  Like camellias or cherry blossoms, blink (or go away on holiday) and you miss them!

So enjoy them while you can. In spite of the rain and clouds.

Writing can wait.  No, I don’t mean that!  But admin tasks perhaps…

Here’s a last one, for luck.

I’ve found my dream location for thinking about writing as well.  Now, if that swing were surrounded by lilac bushes, you know where you could find me for the next couple of weeks!

 

 

 

The Maternal Twist

This is an older poem, which I have already shared on Cowbird, the storytelling website with which I am currently obsessed (I try to limit my time on it, but always end up reading ‘just one more story’).  I remembered it and wanted to add it here after reading the wonderful and funny poem  ‘Nursery Crimes’ by DP Bowman.

Twinkle twinkle little star

What a bore you know you are!

How the trill of sing-song rhymes,

high-voice patience, hurried smiles

breaks the wit that I had borne.

Salt in wound I stand forlorn.

 

Yet baa baa black sheep

Have you ever lived

‘til childish breath rests on your cheek?

Half-chewed toys brought to your bed,

wilted flowers, kisses wet.

Salted lashes fluttering now.

Sleepy smiles and furrowed brow.