Wednesday, 28 February 2018

28th February 2018

dwarf conifers
lost under the snowfall
my stubby dog


© Rachel Green 2018

Extra food today.
I try to breakfast
on two bananas
but the snow is falling
and I'm hungrier when I'm cold.
I'm trying to diet
but I confuse the constant pain
in my abdominal area
with the sensation of hunger
and my kidneys ache.
Honestly, I'd be happier
if the headache went away
but as my sensei says:
Positive Mental Attitude
overcomes all ailments.


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 27 February 2018

27th February 2018

bin collection day
occluding the early crocus
whispering snow


© Rachel Green 2018

He taught me to write
the elements of story;
how to ground the improbable
into the shared experience
of the everyday.
people are just people
whether they're homophobic racists
fearing the oncoming train
or those who adapt and change
fitting the steel key
into the sardine can of life
and finding corned beef.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 26 February 2018

26th February 2018

cold snow
settling on willow's bare branches
courting blue tits


© Rachel Green 2018

tell me
why repeat prescriptions
are no longer allowed.
Who benefits?
"It's to discourage hoarding"
the leaflet says
but what about the cost
to doctor's time?
receptionists?
pharmacists?
What about the people
who forget to order in time
and just run out of medication.
What about the one with heart problems?
diabetes?
blood thinners?
Who takes responsibility
when old people die
for lack of medicines?
Oh yeah.
Teachers.
Let's give teachers guns.


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 25 February 2018

25th February 2018

roadside gorse
offer flashes of yellow bloom
cold wind


© Rachel Green 2018

She was never friendly.
Hurt too many times to let down her guard
no matter how pleasant you tried to be
she'd cut you down with one word answers
and 'why do you care's
I was offended, to be honest,
I had more in common with her
than most people of mutual acquaintance
being trans and all
but it didn't matter.
I gave up trying
withdrew from the general sphere of friends
and renamed the character
who shared her name
long before it was ever here.


© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 24 February 2018

24th February 2018

warm sunshine
over purple spring crocus
the scent of oil paint


© Rachel Green 2018
Mr Johnson
sent my product back
"not what he wanted."
Disappointing, the money
would have paid a month's jiu-jitsu fees
but I understand.
I wish he'd send me his bank details
so I could repay him
because frankly,
I hate owing money
(except to the bank,
obviously)
and it weighs on my mind
like a cemented boot
to a drowning girl


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 23 February 2018

23rd February 2018

morning frost
killing off my newly planted cyclamen.
Bollocks.


© Rachel Green 2018

golden paint
flashes on fresh canvas
just to see how it looks.
There's no contrast to it
just a splash of gold
against the white ground.
It's almost perfect
but how could I ever justify
such a simple painting?
At the very least
I'll have to cover the canvas
in tints of ochre and blue
just to justify the cost
and the delight I have of surface.


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 22 February 2018

22nd February 2018

tulip spikes
reaching through the leaf litter
old bones


© Rachel Green 2018

a 'like'
from my sister
on a facebook post.
Did she follow the link?
A new beginning to an old story
where complicity runs riot
instead of fractured reality.
My poor protagonist
knew what she was doing
when she was a teenager.
A simple out of body experience
leads a world toppling over
and a ten year sentence
to an untimely death.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Introduction to Dead Girls

You Think You Know?

Have you ever wished yourself dead? More to the point, have you ever wished someone else was dead? If you did, did you do anything about it, other than a general prayer to whatever gods you wished existed?

I did. Not in a physical, tangible way. I didn't go out and purchase a Wilkinson Sword, eleven inch carving knife with serrated blade and dishwasher-proof steel handle so it couldn't be identified by blood smears, or at least, I'm not admitting to it. Nor did I go out and buy a gun, but mostly because they're illegal in Britain and you can't buy one anyway, and especially not if you're a fifteen year old girl at a Catholic school and living at home with your dad.

What I actually did was much more sneaky and completely deniable, should anyone even suspect I was connected with a series of seven tragic, unexpected deaths; four of whom were in my year at school, one of whom was a teacher, one three years above me and the seventh a man I'd never met who happened to be driving a taxi at exactly the wrong time.

I asked the devil to do it. The whole 'sell your soul to the devil thing' isn't the urban legend it's made out to be. At least, not if you know where the devil actually lives, and you deliver The Guardian to him on a daily basis for a year and a half.


© Rachel Green 2018


21st February 2018

from Gotham, via eBay
yesterday's sun
vanishes behind dark clouds
fading snowdrops


© Rachel Green 2018

this seems my worst year yet
plagued by illnesses
and hospital visits.
My eye is finally better
(though eyesight seems to fade)
and now my ankle collapses
and I contract a cold.
My jiu-jitsu coach blames me
"All you need
is a positive mental attitude"
and honestly
I'm tempted to walk out then and there
but at least
I've got a plot point solved
in the current novel.
Will her leg grow back
if she thinks positive thoughts?


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

20th February 2018

bright sun
warming the frigid air
dry grass stalks


© Rachel Green 2018

drifting
the edge of sleep
where stray thoughts intrude
I worry about money, health,
whether I will write again
or if I should abandon the tale
of a girl plagued by demons.
from the other room
the sound of a houseguest
with a vibrator
and I can't decide
if I'm jealous.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 19 February 2018

19th February 2018

under the rain
cyclamens rescued from a cemetery bin
anoraked schoolchildren


© Rachel Green 2018

reading Iain Banks
for that moment of clarity
on perfect writing.
How he blends past and present
without artifices
chapter headings and italics.
I begin rewriting Chloe
for the fourth time.


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 18 February 2018

18th February 2018

weak sun
breaking through the clouds
a cacophony of sparrows


© Rachel Green 2018

Grandson's child
born at 8:56
patient mother.
Meanwhile, I birth ideas
for more paintings;
order another cable drum
ti stretch canvas over.
And more paint.
Always more paint.


© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 17 February 2018

17th February 2018

hawthorn blosson
along a muddy path
dog prints


© Rachel Green 2018

stretching canvas
the way I used to
strip by strip.
It uses twice the amount
and circular canvases aren't easy
still...
worth the effort.


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 16 February 2018

16th February 2018

sunshine
on my winter-white back
the welts of Lupercalia


© Rachel Green 2018

a cardboard tube
with a nameplate on the top
my dog's ashes.
Odd, how such a big slice of my life
can be reduced to memories and dust
I almost want to keep them
but he wouldn't have been happy
shut in a tiny box.
Run free, my spirit dog.


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 15 February 2018

15th February 2018

Morning sunshine
drives away the cold rain
steamy windows


© Rachel Green 2018

hard to tell
if I celebrate Valentine's
but my partners seem to/
I make jokey cards
to illustrate love
from an Asberger's viewpoint
but honestly?
I couldn't do without them.
I'd be a different person on my own;
introvert and reclusive
and angry,
always angry,
and sad.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

14th February 2018

morning frost
littering the ground
paint chips


© Rachel Green 2018

memorising phrases
that were seventies dialogue
for use in a novel.
Were we really that racist
in everyday language?
I cringe at the TV shows
that celebrated the casual
dismissal of immigrants.
The first people in Britain
were black, apparantly,
so where does that leave the fascists
who control everything.
My neighbour is from Handsworth.
He doesn't want to go back.


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 13 February 2018

13th February 2018


yesterday's snow
washed away by wind and rain
dog's enthusiasm


© Rachel Green 2018

gearing up
the return of an artistic life
of writing and painting
but not today.
Today is a wind and rain
staying home with blankies day
and looking up old artists
and reading favourite authors
for tip on how they do it
and ordering flecks of gold
for highlights.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 12 February 2018

12th February 2018

morning sun
over a blanket of snow
magpie's Chinese fan


© Rachel Green 2018

The doctor's surgery
gave me a welcome package
when I was eight years old
including an appointment note:
ALWAYS KEEP THIS CARD
Almost fifty years
and I still have it.
My name has changed three times,
my pronouns twice
my gender once.
Doctor Theopolis died
when I was eleven
but I still have his card
and remember the bruises
he left on my arm.


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 11 February 2018

11th February 2018


snow flurries
burying the tulip stalks
my old dog


© Rachel Green 2018

scratches
on a girl's arms and chest
doctor called
submits him for hospital tests
Social services called
the house in disarray
accusations and recriminations
temporary restraining order
separation
divorce proceedings
criminal investigation
suicide and burial
allergies and night terrors
spiders inside her skin
where's Daddy?


© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 10 February 2018

10th February 2018

snow flurries
Rosemary shivers
over the primroses


© Rachel Green 2018

circles
the benefits of painting
on a round canvas
balancing the composition
in 360 degrees
Oil paint in fractal deconstruction.
I recall my student years
trawling through galleries
for the great names of the eighties.
Where are they now,
the modern heroes of art
passed through the public
and relegated to teaching
in some distant polytechnic.
Would that I
had persevered.


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 9 February 2018

9th February 2018

gold-limned clouds
the sad caw of a crow
wind-swept leaves


© Rachel Green 2018

on my phone
a hundred and ninety messages
between my partner
and his significant others.
Is it any wonder I ignore the group?
More sensible,
the primaries list
where he and our third chat
details about daily tedium
living away,
 working for The Man


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 8 February 2018

8th February 2018

pigeons
shitting on the snowdrops
unruly sky


© Rachel Green 2018

Goatherd's pie
becomes a synonym
for slow starvation.
Unlike its cousin shepherd's pie
(made with meat)
or cottage pie (beef)
a goatherd cannot afford to kill his goats
subsisting on a diet
of natural bounty.
Eggs, mushrooms, berries...
and, on the side of the A38,
a day-old roadkill deer,
slightly rotted.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 7 February 2018

7th February 2018

hard snow
stubborn as a skid mark
blue sky


© Rachel Green 2018

an old man
settled in the lee
of a supermarket wall
and the comforting bulk
of a road grit bunker,
his dog wrapped in a blanket
a bull terrier burrito.
He thanks me for the gift
and I want to offer him a bed,
a hot meal, a shower.
Instead I go home to all three
and worry about the money spent
of creating art.


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

6th February 2018

pennies
among the ashes
her closed eyes


© Rachel Green 2018

he wanted my heart
so I made him one
out of  papier-mâché
and sticky red latex
covered in the elderberry jam
I made in twenty-twelve
but never set.
He ate it in one sitting
like the queen of the Dothraki
on a throne of horse bones
and wondered
why I left.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 5 February 2018

5th February 2018


Imbolc bonfire
the last trail of smoke
flurries of snow


© Rachel Green 2018

no trace of him
in the fragments left behind.
There were, once,
but a succession of house moves
and repossessions
left my father scattered
among those who knew him not.
The thrupenny bits, the farthings,
the old army coat I treasured
all gone into the past.
Only his scythe left;
a treasured possession
for the chronicler of demons
but my life as his child
was severed long before his death.


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 4 February 2018

4th February 2018

yesterday's rain
washing away the dog shit
from the pavement

© Rachel Green 2018

across the road
the black door of number seventy-six
where a girl peers out.
She's about twelve,
pretty in the way all young girls are
in track suit and tee shirt
and a little black jacket against the cold.
She hugs herself,
jumps up and down, ponytail flying
waiting for someone.
Her dad, maybe,
while her gran watches over her
from the warmth of the living room window
as the number two bus rolls past.


© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 3 February 2018

3rd February 2018

morning rain
The damp ashes of yesterday's fire
bramble cuts


© Rachel Green 2018

the weeping cherry died
rotting off at the base
I rip it out,
put it on the bonfire.
Prune the roses
cut back the brambles
all goes on the fire.
The dog finds a pigeon
kills ti, carries it about
(she's a ratter, you know)
it, too, is consigned to flames
along with the book of sketches
that got damp in the study
and the painting you hated
I did the year before last.


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 2 February 2018

2nd February 2018

Imbolc
I have cereal for breakfast
watch the sky darken


© Rachel Green 2018

eye hospital
soft shoe shuffling
green painted corridors
through children's and neo-natal.
Should have parked on the other side.
Obviously.
The doctor is incredulous.
You put what in your eye?
Bleach? and then acid?
It's not like I did it on purpose.
Is it?
Do I have an unconscious urge
to blind myself?
The Van Gogh of failed writing
only appreciated after death?
She gives me different drops
while the nurse misgenders me.
'He needs a new prescription.'
Gee.


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 1 February 2018

1st February 2018

birch twigs
against a reddening sky
crow's complaint


© Rachel Green 2018

waiting for the eclipse
at two o'clock
on a Friday morning
(with work in six hours)
just me and a buddy
I've known since college years.
His beer clunks against the patio stone
while my tea warms my hands
even August nights get cold.
The moon darkens red
as the earth passes between,
blocking the reflection of the sun
and my friends confusion is palpable.
'Why is it round?' he asks,
'I know the earth is flat.'
Is he for real? I think so.
'The moon is far away,' I tell him,
'and the earth is very thick.'


© Rachel Green 2018