Wednesday, 31 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 096

Not You

I expect you've forgotten
how I used to cup your cheek,
roseate veins pulsing against my palm
and tell you how much I loved you
when the sweet dark scent of the night
enveloped every pore
and kept us smiling through the day;
how I embraced your interests
but only where you wanted them shared –
music and dancing, yes, but
you hated the competition of art
and so I gave up my studio, my work;
left you the sole creator
of magnificence in oils
(all those self portraits wore me down)
and even when you had affairs
stayed faithful through weekends
away with your lovers, pretending
not to see the looks, the furtive touches
the pity of our friends who knew.
Perhaps another life
will allow circles to touch once more
but this time I can turn away
and relish the touch of love again
from someone who sees the beauty of truth.


© Rachel Green 2016

short forms 31st August 2016

she asks
after Jesus
but the woman just shrugs
People ask me to talk to him.
Estranged.


© Rachel Green 2016

across the path
a wind-broken tree
unripe apples


© Rachel Green 2016

losing time
on the internet
so easy to do
today was a series of illustrations
of life as an adult


© Rachel Green 2016

paintings
with nowhere to live
stacked on their sides

I should get rid of them
before I fill the house
with more rubbish

Writing takes less space


© Rachel Green 2016

serial killers as modern-day icons

© Rachel Green 2016

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 095

The Bones of Youth

At fifteen I was a regular
in the Alvechurch Red Lion;
a member of the darts team
drinking beer and fending off advances
from those who thought I shouldn't be in the bar
(I should be in the lounge, maybe,
or the outside urinal with my lips
around somebody's cock)
I looked much older than my years
eyes pinched by the sight of death and
my arms well muscled despite the thinness
of freckled wrists, thanks to nights and weekends
hefting bales of peat and compost.
Pints of bitter lined along the bar
no Babycham or CherryB despite
the history of my gateway to alcohol.
My sister always drank port and lemon
though the only time we drank together
was at our father's wake.
the Red Lion still stands;
the church, the school, the crumbling park,
though the brook where we sailed paper boats
has been sent underground in disgrace
and the five bar kissing gate
has long since rusted to nothing.

short forms 30th August 2016

Mary
calls herself 'Maz'
to separate herself
from the religious fanatics.
Tin foil.


© Rachel Green 2016

warm sun
through water-spotted glass
huffing dog


© Rachel Green 2016

painting
in a street artist style
like my mannequins
controversial subject matter
British serial killer


© Rachel Green 2016

DK's birthday
I'm touch he valued the staff
I made for him

I thought it passé;
a coals-to-Newcastle gift
(He has several staffs)

but he treasures it


© Rachel Green 2016

stinging eyes. The return of melancholy.

© Rachel Green 2016

Monday, 29 August 2016

short forms 29th August 2016

Stevie
seems to like her
(assuming the absence
of abuse or bullying means
'to like')


© Rachel Green 2016

threatened rain
gull patrol the beach
looking for chips


© Rachel Green 2016

armless Ted
Amos' soft toy
lost for weeks
Lu finds it under the oven
major tail wags


© Rachel Green 2016

bank holiday confusion
I thought Sunday was Monday
and put the bins out

unsightly
on the side of the road
but they may as well stay

Leave the neighbours to catch up


© Rachel Green 2016

tired and overweight. Photographs of her.

© Rachel Green 2016

Sunday, 28 August 2016

short forms 28th August 2016

Not God
but the Mother
living in a rented
terraced house, though she isn't a
virgin


© Rachel Green 2016

raindrops
hanging from drooping grass
garden snails


© Rachel Green 2016

painting
by spray can
and stencils
I'm pleased with the result
though it needs work


© Rachel Green 2016

DK's birthday trip
all the kids and grandkids
off to Scarborough

headphones, Kindle
waterproofs, hat
umbrella and wellies

English Summer


© Rachel Green 2016

The return of family brings anxiety

© Rachel Green 2016

Saturday, 27 August 2016

short forms 27th August 2016

she tries
an argument
about the multiverse
but the demon just laughs.
You wish!


© Rachel Green 2016

ripe plums
already eaten by snails
windfall apples


© Rachel Green 2016

painting
left outside to dry
until morning
I am complimented on the ephemeral silvering
snail trails


© Rachel Green 2016

new start
to an old painting
white primer.

It occurs to me
that I only need three canvases:
one to work on; one to dry, one to hang.

they're only for me, after all


© Rachel Green 2016

New depression. Her lack of talent.

© Rachel Green 2016

Friday, 26 August 2016

short forms 26th August 2016

despair
a prayer declined
God refuses her pleas
she turns to the other power
for help


© Rachel Green 2016

blue sky
after the heated rain
exploratory slugs


© Rachel Green 2016

night terrors
waking up at dawn
sheets soaked
anxiety-based sweating
doesn't lead to weight loss


© Rachel Green 2016

morning
the exuberant greetings
of fellow inmates

Moose wants scritches
Trickster back scratches
Jack wants belly rubs

The cat wants breakfast.


© Rachel Green 2016

depression. Last night's painting looks shit.

© Rachel Green 2016

Thursday, 25 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 094

The Vanity of Belief

A good Catholic even
after my mother died, walking
to the tiny church in a converted school
every Sunday morning. I believed
in God, and therefore Satan,
the walls of my bedroom covered in notes
and graffiti – all I learned from the
study of expensive texts bought from
a tiny shop at the back of the British Museum.
At home, my Catholic Bible perched next to
The Book of the Law. Do As Thou Wilt
on one side of Themis' scales:
Give and Ye Shall Receive.
I sacrificed much at the altar of adolescence
not least my humility in exchange for
hubris. It took me many years to win at back
but I remain broken, my Faith burned
on the vanities of science, my patience
flung far from the grasp of fools.

short forms 25th August 2016

a prayer
for her lost dad
goes unanswered by God.
He's got his headphones in again.
Humming.


© Rachel Green 2016

red rose
arching over the trellis
fading buddleia


© Rachel Green 2016

empty house
several paintings in progress
wet oils
I can't help thinking that
might have been a mistake


© Rachel Green 2016

acrylics
not suitable
for my taste

I hate the way the colour flattens
the lack of vibrancy
in the visual cortex

I'm just a sensualist


© Rachel Green 2016

She needs more time to herself

© Rachel Green 2016

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 093


Northampton, 1996

The indolence of August
fills the spaces between silences.
You shift position, uncomfortable
even in the shadow of a tomb.
Augustus Montclair 1814-1872
but the carving of him faded
under the onslaught of acid rain;
a product of the traffic
he could never have predicted
when the church he patronised
was a good walk from the village
(the better to collect your sins).
Now he looks generic, a mud man
from a fifties sci-fi and his sword
has become a ridge of limstone
populated by lichen of a dozen hues.
I glance across at you, streaks
of cold mascara from your tears.

© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 24th August 2016

dead dad
her fervent prayer
"Why did you take him, God?"
He answers with a text message:
"His time."


© Rachel Green 2016

sunshine
through the montbretia
nasturtium echoes


© Rachel Green 2016

paintings
refugees from the greenhouse
all over the house
I have to live with them
to see if I like them


© Rachel Green 2016

silent house
with everyone else away
personal projects

Several paintings on the go
I try using acrylics
for a new portrait

how I miss my oils


© Rachel Green 2016

She thinks God uses a Nokia

© Rachel Green 2016

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 093

Stubbs Road

An escape
from the cold and damp
and the three-bar gas fire
we couldn't afford to light.
Beer from the gallery;
home made wine,
bathroom fermented puccine.
We tried drying banana skins
he having read somewhere
they were a narcotic but
the resultant stench from the oven
brought down the wrath on the tenancy holder
convinced we'd get thrown out
of the ratty little shithole we lived in.
Hydrangea florets, nutmeg;
cannabis when we could afford it
(it was easy to procure)
resin, leb, black, double-zero,
skag, skunk, ganja, weed.
The names were a catechism to poverty
the less you could afford
the more you needed it.
Scrounging canvas from the polytechnic bins,
paint from the B&Q skips
we could manage food
from the back of Marks and Sparks
(on Saturdays we ate like royalty)
but narcotics never got thrown away
and after seeing Brian on Evo-Stick
brown paper bags were out.

short forms 23rd August 2016

old man
wears tin foil hat
to stops the constant prayers
Even God has his problems here.
old git.


© Rachel Green 2016

all those seeds
scattered in the spring
next year's poppies


© Rachel Green 2016

details
advanced self defence
guns and knives
teacher is unimpressed
with my elbow strike


© Rachel Green 2016

 I once read an argument
for the existence of God
based on the banana

Evangelist Ray Comfort
claimed the banana
proved 'intelligent design'

Exactly. It used to be inedible.


© Rachel Green 2016

peace and quiet teeter into loneliness

© Rachel Green 2016

Monday, 22 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 091

Tin Jewels

As a child
I peeked under the skirts
of topiary;
trailed my fingers along the petals
of flaking rust
and dug the splinters of loneliness
from the pads of my fingers.
I ran barefoot through the slugs
and breathed the soft fur
of dandelion fairies;
catching thistle seeds as they drifted
through the echoes of schoolyard taunts.
Sundown bats along the banks of the canal
dead pigs and half-submerged bottles
the targets of juvenile missiles
and the soft huff of a horse's breath
on a frosty October morning.

short forms 22nd August 2016

aching
from the tough love
her mother insists on.
The bruises with fade but knowledge
remains


© Rachel Green 2016

seed heads
on the front lawn grass
morning rain


© Rachel Green 2016

silent house
everybody has gone
Cornish holiday
I am left with a bit of peace
looking after the animals


© Rachel Green 2016

Painting
secondhand canvases
less than ideal

Until I start selling
I cannot afford canvas
no art school nearby

sumptuous colours


© Rachel Green 2016

disturbed night. She wakes up late.

© Rachel Green 2016

Sunday, 21 August 2016

short forms 21st August 2016

young girl
is encouraged
to go out and find God.
Turns out he lives in a terrace.
Old git.


© Rachel Green 2016

opening the door
a slug is at eye level
waiting to get in


© Rachel Green 2016

oversleeping
leads to late poetry
and missed appointments
I really intended to work out
at eight in the morning


© Rachel Green 2016

nightmares
I endure a stroke
in a pet superstore

when I get out of hospital
my beloved dogs are gone
adopted to new homes

I wish I had died.


© Rachel Green 2016

How does God tune out hymns?

© Rachel Green 2016

Saturday, 20 August 2016

short forms 20th August 2016

plotting
to get his phone
and delete the photograph
of her skipping school last Tuesday.
Wish hard...


© Rachel Green 2016

brown stalks
the ascent of garden snails
summer dry wolfsbane


© Rachel Green 2016

bookshelves
are still overcrowded.
Time for thinning.
Does anyone need some
"How to write a novel" books?


© Rachel Green 2016

defence
from the ground
choke attacks

he shows me simple moves
designed to save my life;
gain liberty

Jiu-jitsu scholar


© Rachel Green 2016

Mad house. Soon she'll be lonely.

© Rachel Green 2016

Friday, 19 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 090

Use of Wood

There's a bed in loft
more than a double – a California King
made for three people
which was fine in our thirties
but less so with advancing years.
An eBay sale ( a hundred quid
is less than I paid for the wood )
became the kiss of death
“Can you hang on to it for me?”
until...
until...
The buyer broke up with her partner,
sold the bed to someone else who said:
“Can you hang on to it for me?”
so weeks became months and
tidying the loft became impossible.

I wish I'd done what I originally wanted to--
a frame for a garden hammock;
would have been lovely this year
or my latest thought...
a full-sized easel for oil painting
and enough laths for a dozen stretchers.

To be honest, I'd be happy with an emptier loft

short forms 19th August 2016

pining
for some justice
she reinvents herself
a vigilante crimefighter.
Bullies.


© Rachel Green 2016

night rain
a slug takes shelter
dog food cupboard


© Rachel Green 2016

night out
with my daughter
cinema date
she wants to see Suicide squad again
but won't go on her own


© Rachel Green 2016

writing poetry
is a bit like navel gazing
literary masturbation

I'm honestly surprised
when people read my rubbish
and seem to like it

Would I still write in a void?


© Rachel Green 2016

she is afraid of starting again

© Rachel Green 2016

Thursday, 18 August 2016

poem 2016 / 089

Tuesday, 11:17 AM

There is just moment –
this one now, between the groan
of the tumble drier and the whine
of hedge trimmers
from the open window.

Breath it, savour it. Let it fill
your heart as air fills your lungs
and the scent of sweat
soaking into cotton sheets
anchors you to the now;
to the memory of my lips on the arch
of your foot
and the rasp on my hands on your ankle.

Remember the moment,
the buzz of a wasp battering the window;
the barks of a distant dog,
the call of a neighbour to a passer-by.

The moment passes.
A bus clatters by, filling the air with hot diesel
and disappointment. Someone shoves
a leaflet through the letterbox and your dog barks
and I am gone;
a twist of the light on birch tree shadows
and the hard knot of my love in your throat.

short forms 18th August 2016

scabbed hands
lead to a prayer
for vengeance on the boy
who wants to keep tormenting her.
Answered.


© Rachel Green 2016

microcosms
on crocosmia trumpets
drops of rain


© Rachel Green 2016

overnight rain
lends the garden
a sigh of relief
Less so the two paintings
I left outside yesterday


© Rachel Green 2016

Why am I painting?
Nobody has the money
or inclination to buy

I paint for myself,
but what's the point, exactly?
I have no room to hang them

I should just repaint the same canvas,
over and over


© Rachel Green 2016

How can she downsize even further?

© Rachel Green 2016

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 088

Morning Walk

The summer heat is already turning
last month's mud into cracked and shattered paving.
Three dogs of varying ages – one young,
king of the street and barks to prove it.
I imagine he has the canine version of Tourette's
and is telling dogs and cars to fuck off home
but his tail wags and he dances around the lead
when it gets stuck under his armpit. The old
dog trots behind; blind deaf, feeling his way
by familiarity with the path and the scent
of his companions. Pause to urinate, to defecate;
never in one pile but walked along; a garden trail
of finders-keepers where the only prize is warm hands.
The third dog is ten. Young enough to embroil herself
in the exuberance of the young dog but old enough
to walk to heel, silent except to compete in the chorus
of fuck-you-no-fuck-you when they pass another dog.
In the woods we are alone, but for the myriad piles
of rottweiler shit from the owner of number 2
who never picks up after his dogs. Always the same
but my dogs are cowed when they pass those metal cages.

short forms 17th August 2016

new tale
featuring girls
who make bad life choices.
Summoning the devil is too
easy


© Rachel Green 2016

old vines
the thickness of an arm
wren's nest


© Rachel Green 2016

early rise
her train at 7:30
station ride
West Bars lights are out
backed-up traffic


© Rachel Green 2016

he remembers
the request for ice cream
from Harold

Expects the same
of this young lady
proven wring.

She wants a pint of Ben and Jerry's


© Rachel Green 2016

exercise seems to do her good

© Rachel Green 2016

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 087

Everyone's A Loser

A handful of copper coins
my hand green from holding them so tightly
reluctant to spend even one
of the twelve our father gave us.
They have to last us an hour
among the whistles and ringing bells.
My sister plays the one arm bandits,
wins sixpence on the penny falls,
a shilling on the Allwin spiral
then loses it all on the grab-a-doll.
I am drawn to the fanfare bugle;
the taran-tara of the horse racing game.
There's a trick to this. A penny bet
on one of six horses along the motor driven
four feet of dome-covered metal grass.
Red and blue, easy bets at tuppence win,
green for threepence, yellow for sixpence
and white will net you a shilling
if you're the luck of the Maker.
Not God, we understand, but the man
who made the machine and always wins.
I want to bet on the black horse
but there's no button to press.





short forms 16th August 2016

how to
avoid homework?
get leverage on boys
with evidence of her truanting
Stevie?


© Rachel Green 2016

cabbage whites
investigate the nasturtiums
orange blooms


© Rachel Green 2016

doc's appointment
about my heart scan
later today
I'm sure it'll be fine.
It's just routine, right?


© Rachel Green 2016

bleeding knuckles
the product of punching
a bit too hard

building up stamina
punching through the bag
it's all in the hip

upper cuts become palm strikes.


© Rachel Green 2016

exhaustion leads to her improved fitness

© Rachel Green 2016

Monday, 15 August 2016

Dead Girls Love Cats



Chloe Good paused as she went through the door. All Saint's school was built in the sixties, and the crumbling and shored-up exit from the main hall meant pupils went from darkness into light, an observation common to any teenager having a bad day, but more to to Chloe than anyone else, ever. She blinked against the afternoon sun, momentarily blinded while her eyes adjusted from the darkness behind her, then pitched forward as a shove from behind sent her down the three steps and sprawling onto the paving slabs below. A cardboard bound exercise book landed beside her.

Steady on, Chloe, you needn't grovel. I'll gladly give you my English homework to do. You only had to ask.”

Chloe turned, rubbing her arm where it had hit the ground, and glared at David Bond. “You could have broken my arm doing that you great wanker.” She pushed herself to her feet. Her left knee was bleeding from a cut and she bent to tease a tiny piece of gravel from the wound. “Who do you think you are?”

Someone whose getting their homework done for them, that's who.” His statement elicited giggles from his mates and he glanced around, smiling acknowledgement.

What makes you think I'd do anything for you?”

Because I could show Mr. Chappell this.” He flicked though his phone and turned it to show Chloe a clear, time-stamped photograph of her sneaking out of school the day before.

Chloe sighed. “When's it for?”

short forms 15th August 2016

doctor
suggests weight loss
when all she went in for
was something for anxiety.
Too fat.


© Rachel Green 2016

honey bees
sampling the lavender
meadow brown


© Rachel Green 2016

children
playing with the dogs
gentle Amos
Trickster does not want to be
a dolly's horsie


© Rachel Green 2016

her uncle
runs a pub
free drinks

late night pizza
on the way home
midnight feasting

anchovy kisses


© Rachel Green 2016

dealing with weight issues. She eats.

© Rachel Green 2016

Sunday, 14 August 2016

short forms 14th August 2016

black cats
can be possessed
by itinerant souls.
Try not to let one witness your
last breath


© Rachel Green 2016

slugs appear
in the dog food cupboard
foetid drain


© Rachel Green 2016

dog flaps
cut into doorways
allow egress
Bedroom arguments
should stay inside


© Rachel Green 2016

painted canvas
turns blank once more
freshly primed

sinister lady
looking for bodies
dead children

was she coerced?


© Rachel Green 2016

She suffers depression. Black dog romping.

© Rachel Green 2016

Saturday, 13 August 2016

Poetry 2016 / 086


Birchwood Smoke

The rattle of tyres over a cattle grid
in the pre-night darkness of an east facing hill
sends a dozen sheep racing from the headlights.
There are no lights in the cottage
but we have been promised a key
above the outhouse door. We find it by feel
and the light of your mobile screen.
The outhouse smells dank, and tomorrow we'll see
the glory of an ancient spider's web
bedecking the ceiling and inhabited
by a dozen hungry occupants.
An earwig scuttles away from the light
and you shout, more surprise than fear,
though I know you don't like those pincers.
They remind you of the calipers they used
to hold open your eyes during surgery.

Inside, we find candles where the owner said they were
and matches on the mantlepiece. I light the fire
already set out for us and see the peeling wallpaper
by the dancing light of birch log flames.
We pull the cushions off the sofa and open a bottle
Blackberry '89, a present from my father
drunk from mismatched glasses, with bread
torn from a loaf and cheese cut with a penknife.
You take a selfie of the two of us and I wonder
if it's all downhill from here on in.

© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 13th August 2016

dead cats
still multitask
Penny doesn't want to
think about where the souls of mice
end up


© Rachel Green 2016

Welsh poppies
still flowering
fresh lavender


© Rachel Green 2016

rewriting a novel
the reissue should reflect
what I love
cats with bloody paws
and tiny, tiny contracts.


© Rachel Green 2016

the purchase
of a large canvas
from a charity shop

plans are afoot
for a figurative painting
of a seventies killer

Thanks, Lina.


© Rachel Green 2016

reminiscing about the past. Dead sisters.

© Rachel Green 2016

Friday, 12 August 2016

Meanwhile in Laverstone

Pawarding Address

Jenny knocked, looking down at her phone while she waited for Penny to open the door. Three pages of FaceSpace updates later, she knocked again. Still no reply. “Oh, come on, girl. We're going to be late.” She tapped out a message on her phone and his send. In the house she heard the ping of Penny's phone. She leaned down to the letterbox and pushed it open, setting her mouth over the gap. “Penny. Hurry up.”

Bobbing her head down, she peered through the slit. A cat Jenny didn't recognise stared at her from half way up the stairs but she could see no other evidence of her friend. “Puss puss puss?” What she'd do if the cat came to her she had no idea. It wasn't as if she could stick her hand through the letterbox and pet it. It was a nice cat. Mostly black with a white patch under the chin as if it had been caught stealing milk. Cute. Black tail. Red socks.

Wait...

Jenny looked again.

short forms 12th August 2016

her push
to be herself
and live her own life now
involves being someone else, too.
Dead dad.


© Rachel Green 2016

new growth
on what I thought was cleared ground
teasels


© Rachel Green 2016

novel
returned from publisher
contract expired
I need to give it an overhaul
and re-issue with new title


© Rachel Green 2016

unexpected:
a minor argument
about language

my defence of literacy
outdated and inappropriate
The New Generation makes its own rules.

I am a dusty old has-been


© Rachel Green 2016

Why would anyone want her company?

© Rachel Green 2016

Thursday, 11 August 2016

short forms 11th August 2016

lament
for her lost dad
despite the lack of death.
He moved to Halifax with his
mistress


© Rachel Green 2016

birch leaf shadows
from a midnight street lamp
moonless night


© Rachel Green 2016

bran flakes
filling the cereal bowl
cheap sultanas
Jack turns a blind eye
to my consumption


© Rachel Green 2016

morning wake-up
a couple of gifts
and a birthday card

a joint present
to come sometime next week
new PC

Thanks, everyone


© Rachel Green 2016

Writing. She's obsessed with the seventies.

© Rachel Green 2016

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 085

Casting the Future

She falls, her handbag spilling
across the paving slabs outside the library.
Men of augur stop, transfixed
by seemingly random cleromancy.
A red lipstick rests next to a stray button
while heart-shapes sweets scatter, broken,
across the crack in a paving slab.
A child's pacifier next to a cowrie shell,
whale a partially eaten chocolate bar
shares the edge of the water mains cover.
A headless Lego stormtrooper saddled
with a boiled-sweet deformity
presides over a napkin, tampon,
spare pair of knickers
(in case of an accident).
Two ballpoing pens, four keys on an Eiffel Tower
and two-thirds of a human finger,
withered and grey.
She scrambles for everything,
one knee bleeding from a hole in her tights
while overhead, clouds begin to gather.


© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 10th August 2016

rude boys
call her bad names
lardarse, lesbian, loosey
she tries to ignore them but seethes
inside


© Rachel Green 2016

gull's cry
over the cemetery
red tail hawk


© Rachel Green 2016

bad dream
thanks to our guest
carer
married to an abusive man
with no morals


© Rachel Green 2016

words
fall off the page
unused paragraphs
I feel I'm drowning
in the unused phrases
unable to tell the tale

black dog


© Rachel Green 2016

Her legs ache. She feels good

© Rachel Green 2016

Tuesday, 9 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 084

Breakfast

Before work
the TV on Channel Four's show
where the segments were interspersed
with curtains opening to sunshine
even when it was raining outside.
Later, after marriage,
I took cereal in the summer garden
where a patch was fenced off
as a wildflower meadow
full of bees and cabbage whites.
Later still, another house,
where the garden rose above the houses,
higher than the church steeple
and I could watch the sun pick out trees
on the Staffordshire hills.
Now I sit in front of the computer,
reading news headlines and composing haiku
while the old dog looks over my shoulder
hoping for the leftover milk.


© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 9th August 2016

her dad
left long ago
a victim of lost love
altered gender identity
transmom


© Rachel Green 2016

garden thrush
consuming raw escargot
sparrows look on


© Rachel Green 2016

Fight Klub
(oh! How the K irritates me!)
modern boxercise
My knuckles raw and bleeding
I should have worn gloves


© Rachel Green 2016

online friends
make the best poets
inspire me

why then
are they not published
by the top houses?

It's who you know...


© Rachel Green 2016

Dream. Working for the Government. Nightmare.

© Rachel Green 2016

Monday, 8 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 083

Maybe That's Why

I drove too hard along the dirt roads
of my youth, too fast around the corners,
narrowly avoiding oncoming vehicles
(they all snarled at the uninvited.)
I was unpopular, Asperger's even then
though it wasn't a term I'd own to. I took
things literally. Drop in anytime
would see me knocking on the door at 3AM
waking a household because I'd had an idea
I wanted to discuss with someone
or else I'd run out of milk for my tea.
I borrowed other people's tapes from unlocked studios,
listen to them over and over, replace them
in the hours when even brushes cried.
Painting went on by day, by night,
wherever I was (though my flatshares weren't keen
on the twelve foot canvas in the kitchen).
We used to keep the door locked
else the dealers would barge in and steal from us at knifepoint.
Heathtown in the Eighties. A no-go zone
for the police unless they wanted to play dodge-the-brick
thrown from the fourth floor balconies.
A dalliance with a married woman left me
despised by her grown-up kids (older than me)
though I exhibited the nudes I did of her often.


© Rachel Green 2016



Thank you for stopping by

short forms 8th August 2016

she acts
independent;
a go-getting seizer
of opportunities but she's
just scared


© Rachel Green 2016

nasturtium flowers
the exact shade of orange
crocosmia


© Rachel Green 2016

outside
the air smells like farts
or burning rubber
I want to close the window
but it's too hot.


© Rachel Green 2016

mild panic
about an appointment
fitness club

will I receive abuse
from the other attendees
who perceive me as 'other'

old and unfit


© Rachel Green 2016

she wants to hide away again

© Rachel Green 2016

Sunday, 7 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 082

Hair Dye

The lady from 84 has dyed her hair
in deference to the abuse she gets from 82
and the miserable git from 86 with whom
she has a shared access. They all got on
while she was a single mum but now
her marriage to a lovely bloke
has conjured passive aggressive actions
for playing football in the garden.
That's my fence you're kicking the ball against
and she calls the police to arrest the eight year old
who lost three footballs already
(the neighbours won't give them back).
I wish her a cheery good morning and briefly
fantasise about buying a semi-automatic
(easy on the black market, you know)
and making her life easier.
I dismiss the thought. My police-officer
martial arts instructor would not approve.
Besides, I won't even kill flies or wasps
(though I have no sympathy for pigeons)
and Mr Miserable and Mrs Moaner are
more important than blow flies. Just.
Maybe I'll save the act for when I'm dying
and request a secure hospital room
while my rotting heart fibrillates.
I wave goodbye and walk past, two dogs pulling
and the old, old dog dragging so much I pick him up
and carry him for thirty yards.
The youngest has a shit and I stop to encase it
in a plastic bag from a roll in my pocket.
Someone else has done the same but unlike me,
they left the bag behind.
Gawd knows what they think happens to it then.
I pick up theirs as well, deposit all of them
in a bin on the cemetery where the blackberries
look ripe until I try one and spit it out.


© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 7th August 2016

dog licks
with a grey tongue
so happy to be returned
His breath smells of  rank necrosis
rotting


© Rachel Green 2016

two crows
on the cemetery field
magpie henchmen


© Rachel Green 2016

bruises
on my chest
training injuries
I hate the woman in the mirror
body image conflict


© Rachel Green 2016

another milestone
I'm about to pass the age
when my sister died

I've already outlived
my mother's final score
father's is some years away

irregular heartbeat


© Rachel Green 2016

Her loneliness increases with her dismorphia

© Rachel Green 2016

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Poetry 2016 / 81

Scalpel Baton

Spider's webs
clustered around the corners,
the ridges between the panes of glass.
Once I grew plants here,
before the neighbour's trees
blotted out the sky and the brambles
threw ropes of thorn from one side to the other.
Green glass, occluded by moss and lichen,
shroud the tiny space within –
room for a work bench and a seat
bur not the space to stand back.
Once I had a studio
where oils danced under the light
of a cold Wolverhampton sky;
where water froze in the kettle
and fingers outside of mittens.
Painting by numbers. Embassey No 6;
Players No, 7, Lucky Threes.
What was so lucky about them?
I had a deckchair and an old novel
where I stared at paintings day after day.
Doctor Rat still provides my titles.


© Rachel Green 2016


Image: Red Chrysler / Black Crow 2016 by Rachel Green. oil on canvas 40" x 32"  £135 free postage

short forms 6th July 2016

a wish
for her dog back
should have been specific.
How was he to know she meant 'not
rotting'?


© Rachel Green 2016

sparrows
picking aphids from the plum tree
replaced by ants


© Rachel Green 2016

Amazon review
of a new keyboard
I hate it
I can't wait for dogwalking
Switch off and change it back.


© Rachel Green 2016

webcam
bought for peanuts
from China

I spend a frustrating hour
trying to set it up
for live streaming.

It used to be so simple


© Rachel Green 2016

Asperger's syndrome. She takes things literally.

© Rachel Green 2016

Friday, 5 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 080


Blondie

She called it 'Butterscotch'
but honestly? I call it mousey
though it was long and clean;
the sort of hair
to turn heads in a strip club
and we all like the £10 minimum
stuff in our G-string.
I dated her for three weeks
until she moved out of the spare bedroom
and into mine. All downhill
from there. I like my women
like I like my newspaper:
Independent, though even that's gone
now and I never could get on board
with the online perusal of copy
when my notebook screen is covered in biro
from the daily crossword.

© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 5th August 2016

the cat
left home again
unwilling to share space
with a resurrected boxer.
Smelly.


© Rachel Green 2016

Holly blue
on the windowsill
the cat


© Rachel Green 2016

keeping cheerful
the demon depression
ever looming
sometimes it's just money
and my failing career


© Rachel Green 2016

the photograph
of my late mother
with her roses

she would have loved
the blue rose DK and Lu bought
a thoughtful gift

I love roses because of her


© Rachel Green 2016

exhaustion. she feels better for it.

© Rachel Green 2016

Thursday, 4 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 079

Resisting the Pull

Identical bags of museli
in green and blue – same brand
same price. I wonder
the difference. Is one light?
The lady next to me, face round
as a cabbage and hair like wheat
informs me one has coconut flakes
and the other is edible.
She tells me a tale
where she bought the wrong one,
spent hours picking out the white slivers
and gave them to her grandson
(who never suspected such duplicity).
I thank her, take the one
she doesn't like and later,
in the queue for the cashier,
when my trolley is stuffed with milk and fruit
salad vegetables and haloumi;
bottles of sparkling water
and enough toilet rolls to grind
the flesh from the bone,
I let her go in front of me.
“Thanks, love,” her cemetery smile
encompasses the world,
“I was lost in beer selection.”


© Rachel Green 2016


Image: Ungodly 2016 by Rachel Green. oil on canvas board 89mm x 63mm  £35 free postage

short forms 4th August 2016

a date
her visit to
the psychotherapist's
at the insistence of her mom.
Morbid.


© Rachel Green 2016

sideways birch
the patterns of leaves
on my bedroom wall


© Rachel Green 2016

morning duties
the sink looks like Rio
piles of dishes
to be fair, though,
the cereal bowl was mine.


© Rachel Green 2016

tablet errors
why do I have some extra
and some not enough

four weeks ago
I had 28 of each
now, odd numbers

and no renewal reminder


© Rachel Green 2016

bran flakes. she is so predictable.

© Rachel Green 2016

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 077


Promises to Keep

Teasel flowers striped
like Easter eggs in the morning sun;
the hum of bees, hoverflies
skeletal poppy seed cases dry and brittle
rattle in the breeze.
Clouds, rolling swashes of Payne's grey
against the summer cerulean
tickling the rooftops as swifts
dart past on boomerang wings.
Season-dried leaves clatter along the tarmac
hollow laughing promises of autumn
when the summer hasn't even gone.

A holly blue butterfly
buffeted by the wind,
caught in an eddy of draughts
at the junction of two walls.

© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 3rd August 2016

stepping
across the gap
new heating and floorboards.
She can see the room below her.
Mom's room.


© Rachel Green 2016

three swifts
against a bank of cloud
silver birch


© Rachel Green 2016

dismay
when the window cleaner turns up
barking dogs
My last £5
and no milk in the house


© Rachel Green 2016

unsettling
a series of palpitations
leaves me breathless

I sleep for a hour
hoping it will settle
on its own

waiting on a heart scan


© Rachel Green 2016

cereal for breakfast. And lunch. Dinner.

© Rachel Green 2016

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

poetry 2016 / 077

Five-oh-Three

Messages
left on the door of my shared room
mostly from tutors
(delivered by students)
inviting me to visit them in office hours
to discuss my failing grades.
Astrophysics was not my forte, it seemed,
and while I was good at mathematics
following the method in a class of a hundred
left me flailing and despondent.
My first period of Depression
(with a capital D) left me retreating
into music and pulp science fiction;
beer and bridge in the evenings
and keeping up with the final year Agrics
at the Student Union mosh pit.
I failed the end of term exams, of course;
thrown out to flounder in the world
of advertising executives and graphic designers.
Fast cars and faster sex
until the revelation of art brought me home,
out of the mundane and into the the spirit
where Michaelangelo's angels hobnobbed
with the Gods of Greece and Vincent's night sky
provoked Klee's emotional response
and mine.


© Rachel Green 2016


Thank you for stopping by

short forms 2nd August 2016

visit
the the school shrink
about her messy bedroom
The doctor thinks it perfectly
normal


© Rachel Green 2016

nasturtium flower
red against the green lawn
neighbour's dog mess


© Rachel Green 2016

rainy day
the cat is reluctant
to go outside.
When she asks for biscuits
I eject a cupboard slug


© Rachel Green 2016

6:30 start
driving Lu to the station
London working

All trains are cancelled
due to a bridge falling down
in Nottingham

The internet is down, too


© Rachel Green 2016

she tries to write. Watches TV.

© Rachel Green 2016

Monday, 1 August 2016

Poetry 2016 / 076

Over Hers

My father's expression spoke volumes
when after going through school
with hair down to my waist
I shave it off, bar a strip in the middle
after Siouxsie Sioux
“What the bloody hell did you do that for?”

Dyed black
to match my eye shadow
black leather pelmet and tights;
Doc Marten's boots (fourteen hole)
“What the bloody hell do you look like?”

A dozen earrings
stretching my lobe wide enough for a bar, a grommet;
multiple piercings in my ears and face
“What the bloody hell are you supposed to be?”

A phone home from college
“Dad, I got a First.”
I hear him pull on his cigarette before speaking.
“Is that good?”

And the last conversation I ever had,
trying to convince him to go into respite care
to give my sister the break she needed.
“Over my dead body,” he says, “What the bloody hell would you know?”

“Not over your dead body,” I said,
“but over hers.”
A mug of tea going cold on the kitchen sink
while cigarette smoke swirled around a fluorescent light
and his blind-eye glare of determination.

My phone call the following week
to the hospital ward he was rushed to.
“What do you care?” asked the nurse, “he's dead.”

short forms 1st August 2016

waving
at her friend's dad
trying to flag her down
about the arson on his boat.
Dream on.


© Rachel Green 2016

sunflower head
at the base of the pot
dickhead slug


© Rachel Green 2016

oh god
the pile of dishes
awaiting me
all the pans and plates
I don't even eat meat


© Rachel Green 2016

parents and child
walking past my house
along the pavement

the child
only four or five years old
behind her parents

she chucks her sweet wrapper on my lawn


© Rachel Green 2016

Grappling invitation. She declines to compete.

© Rachel Green 2016