Thursday, 31 May 2018

31st May 2018

bumblebee
examining the cornflowers
mum's patio


© Rachel Green 2018

no respect
for the overweight student
just fat shaming
Is it any surprise she left?
He calls her a quitter
and keeps the money.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

30th May 2018

common geranium
peeking from the fronds of a French lavender
the cat


© Rachel Green 2018

my old dog
still giving me comfort
from his pot
Ashes


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

29th May 2018

with the rain
the disintegration of chestnut flowers
muddied path


© Rachel Green 2018

she has conversations in her head
people she once knew
still talk and taunt her.
Past lovers, past lives.
The lad from school who hated her
but refused to shake hands on the last day.
The teacher she lied to
who knew she was lying and let it go.
The husband who broke her teeth with a backhand
then complained about the blood.
The ex who kept her dog when they split;
the builder who forced his kisses
the neighbour who called the police
because she had a girlfriend.
Most recently,
the teacher who bolstered his ego
by calling her fat and useless.

another broken night.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 28 May 2018

28th May 2018

peony blossom
whipped by the wind
yesterday's sheets


© Rachel Green 2018

she sneaks past the house
low to the ground
using hedges as a cover
and pausing behind the rhododendron
just for a moment
peeking through the leaves
to check the coast is clear.
The a quick dash
running, running
through the vegetable garden
past the cabbages and the beans,
past the raspberries and the potatoes
to the gap in the hedge
where the holly crowded out the privet
and into the meadow
where the evening sun
sets over the witch's hat
and Stevie shares his cigarettes
for kisses under the chestnut tree


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 27 May 2018

27th May 2018

Lea Gardens, Matlock
warm sun
the scent of hedge parsley
in the fields

© Rachel Green 2018

morning politics
What do you get
when a transwoman,
an Italian and a Scot
give their opinion?
Accord.
Pro Europe, pro socialism
a Britain for the people
not for the Fat Cats
Social responsibility
and land use

© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 26 May 2018

26th May 2018

tulip leaves
blowing across the garden
next door's litter


© Rachel Green 2018

recovered hard drive
with thousands of duplicate files
and an awful lot of adult stuff
can't be reformatted.
A screwdriver and hammer
provide the means
to render it inrecoverable.

Faces from the past
debase themselves at my altar
no more, old friends, no more.


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 25 May 2018

25th May 2018

sent to the loft, alas
leylandii hedges
wind and rain prevent clipping
hedge parsley


© Rachel Green 2018

An effort to remember
the time when they were friends
or at least on friendly terms
results in nothing.
There was never a time
when he invited her
to an evening out
or a meal or a social gathering.
She can only remember her partner
asking 'how was he today?)
and she would shrug and say'okay'
and once in a while, "Good."
but the latter happened more rarely
as if he begrudged her lessons
which he shortened week by week
and fat-shamed her;
belittled her progress
until she'd had enough.


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 24 May 2018

24th May 2018

new pink aquilegia
safe among the crocosmia leaves
high winds


© Rachel Green 2018

she sheds tears
for the loss of a relationship
student to teacher
after five years.
a jiu-jitsu blue belt
is worth very little
placed against twice-weekly belittling
and fat shaming.
She put on weight when she was ill
and struggles to get it off again
but that's why she did sports.
Another passion will come.
This is a five cycle of her life
she will repeat.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

23rd May 2018

wild geraniums
braving the chill winds
an extra jumper


© Rachel Green 2018

brightly coloured jigsaw
toned done by Payne's Grey
and Prussian blue
Shellac based inks
wash over an uneven surface
thick layers of impasto.
The dog stands on it,
leans against it
carries the Prussian blue
to the sofa blanket, the floor;
the doorframe and she squeezes past.
Now I have to keep this old cloth forever
because the pawprints
bring me joy


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

22nd May 2018

may blossom
cast at high speed
peony petals


© Rachel Green 2018

sending love

she writes it everywhere
thinking it endears her
to the recipient
Does she think the victims
of the Grenfell fire
are soothed by her ten seconds?
I think they'd prefer some positive action
by the government who skimped on the regulations
then offloaded the blame
on the previous incumbent
(he's already retired so that's okay)
Unconsciously,
she echoes the orangeman
thinking of you
as if that's a viable solution
to the seventeenth school shooting
in eighteen weeks.
Thinking of you,
and how much the NRA
lines my personal pocket.
A small sacrifice of thirty kids
for another personal billion.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 21 May 2018

21st May 2018

morning cacophony
neighbourhood dogs all barking
lilac-scented breeze


© Rachel Green 2018

he swears he found it dead
and was just curious
about what makes a cat work.
The shed smells like a charnal house
the walls speckled with blood
and weapon trails enough
for an episode of CSI.
The acrid smell
of intestines and stomach acid;
blood-heavy fur
disguising the original colour
and the hammered-flat head
denies identification.
"Boys will be boys," she says
as she ushers him into the house
for supper and a bath before bedtime.

Mrs Morris bangs a spoon
against an empty tin can.
Calling for Whiskers.
Calling, calling.


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 20 May 2018

20th May 2018

nature's tricks
avoiding the mower's blade
dandelion heads


© Rachel Green 2018

when did she lose
her love of colour?
In the details
she delights in the play of paint
one texture over another;
but when she looks at the whole
all she sees is chaos
She needs to find the darkness
of pthalo blue, Prussian
and Payne's grey
for only then
will her light shine through.


© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 19 May 2018

19th May 2018

dandelion fairies
drifting through the open window
birdsong


© Rachel Green 2018

in the window
of an overpriced junk shop
'the antique store'
a cartwheel
for decorative purposes
give me the idea for mounting
a circular painting.
Lack of funds prompts innovation
and the use of plywood
and cross-braces
but yay!
new painting.


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 18 May 2018

18th May 2018

dappled sunlight
early morning dog walk
forget-me-nots


© Rachel Green 2018

young lady
invites me to her graduation
4000 miles away
alas, I can't go.
More to the point,
I fail to make her a gift in time,
so last minute flowers
from a shop local to her
cost me an overdraft.
Should I finish the gift
and send it late?
Or save it for someone else?
or sell it for the price
of the flowers I sent?


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 17 May 2018

17th May 2018

dandelion clocks
ripening in the sunshine
running children

© Rachel Green 2018

learning to paint
thirty years
after art school.
I think my father was right:
I never did get a job as an artist
or gallery director.
that fine arts degree
got me a job as a car park attendant
followed by the DSS
and a nervous breakdown
but at the very least
I have real art on my walls

© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

16th May 2018

high winds
piling up debris
cherry blossom


© Rachel Green 2018

cutting the hedge
was an annual week-long chore.
my father, in overalls
and canvas overcoat
to protect him from the wrath
of hawthorn and holly;
tent canvas laid out
to catch the clippings
and an ever present fire
constantly burning;
dealing with the product
of two thousand feet
of ten-foot high hedging;
the scent of burning twigs
a constant neighbour



© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

15th May 2018

sparrow
breaking dead stalks from a chives plant
careless dog


© Rachel Green 2018

a chance scent
sweat, tobacco, old spice, old farts
and I think of my father;
his morning routine
of bacon butties
and radio two
while he performs his number twos.
Old armpit sweat,
his braces down
framing his buttocks as he washes in the kitchen sink
white hair, white whiskers,
still red on his arms
where sixty years of freckles pile up
a fake melanin tan
and I am a child again
wasting my life because I can't tell him
"Dad, I'm a girl,"
years spent trying to be someone else
accruing debts, college fees
and suicidal tendencies.


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 14 May 2018

14th May 2016

tulip petals
scattered among the dandelions
dog eggs


© Rachel Green 2018

she constructs paper flowers,
a gift for a lady
just graduating,
They've never met
but her mother,
tragic and desirable,
tells her she was an influence
of the girl's life;
artist, poet, young goddess
she'll take the world by storm
in politics or the arts
a beacon of light
for another generation.


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 13 May 2018

13th May 2018

muddy banks
white with wild garlic
accidental tumble

© Rachel Green 2018

sometimes
I draw a blank
about what to write about
and besides,
I pulled a muscle in my knee
trying to cross a muddy stream


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 11 May 2018

11th May 2018

warm evening
walking among fresh leaves
keys locked in car


© Rachel Green 2018

Late Night

She makes space
among the sodden tea towels,
the detritus of peel-off backings
and sterile dressings
enough for her hands to curl
around the gentle heat of morning Joe.
Her daughter's phone
covered in the fingerprints of regret
declaring seven: forty-six
the screen locked.
She can't see the image
that drove her daughter to despair;
the facebook post from her best friend:
Jordan kissing Daniel.
The last three months of her daughter's life
swallowed by the thin steel blade
prised from a disposable razor
and the fast, fevered dash
of a paramedic unit
and a bill the size of Texas.


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 10 May 2018

10th May 2018

overnight rain
encourages dandelion blooms
budding wisteria


© Rachel Green 2018

A girl
passing by on the pavement;
a momentary distraction
as I wait at the red
of a temporary traffic signal.
She must be all of nineteen,
maybe twenty, twenty-one,
and is everything I like about the female form.
Is it wrong to fancy her?
I don't think so,
as long as I never act on it
or impinge on her in any way.
It's not her fault she's beautiful
(to me, at least)
and she won't want some old granny leering.
Oddly, when I was her age
I looked for beauty in older women
a maturity in thought
far more desirable
than transient appearance.

My computer desktop

an image of a nineteen year old;
the same image I was in love with
when I was younger than that.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

9th May 2018

cloudless sky
the dandelions wither
fairy horses


© Rachel Green 2018

Amazing sculptures
made of lacquered paper, wire, canvas
Giant seeds and organic forms
growing, collapsing;
the beauty of threat
a vorarephiliac's dream.
She's delightful
interesting,
married to the Master of Cannons
on an estate near Storbridge.
We become close friends
colleagues, fellow artists
and share ideas, stories
until abruptly,
unexpectedly,
she refuses further contact.
I am left to wonder
if she ever knew I loved her.


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 8 May 2018

8th May 2018

Rosemary bush
withering heat
overpowering with blueness
aquilegia


© Rachel Green 2018

small boy
chasing butterflies in the meadow
wood whites and dingy skippers
flutter past outstretched fingers
while dogs bound through long grass
scattering dandelions


© Rachel Green 2018

Monday, 7 May 2018

7th May 2018

bank holiday
avoiding the outdoors
burnt skin


© Rachel Green 2018

he was a banjo player
playing Irish music
with a virtuoso's skill
in his limited spare time
while teaching infants' school
and raising two boys.
In the years before the smoking bad
he played in smoky rooms
surrounded by smokers
including his wife.
We shouldn't lose our children
so young to throat cancer
and lose a beacon of joy
to the whole community


© Rachel Green 2018

Sunday, 6 May 2018

6th May 2018

morning heat
looking at the bluebells
in the shade


© Rachel Green 2018

subtlety was never her strong suit
but she excelled
in passive manipulation
and veiled insults.
"I couldn't wear that," she'd say,
"you're so brave to try."
She went through batches of friends
as they were welcomed, criticised and ostracised
over a period of months of years
and she'd pick the group leader,
or the wealthiest,
and attach herself to them,
the better to manipulate the group
and scream "unfair"
when she was called up on it.


© Rachel Green 2018

Saturday, 5 May 2018

5th May 2018

almost summer
blue sky and bright sunshine
apple blossom


© Rachel Green 2018

I don't want you
to remember me fondly;
to think "she was okay,
she was innocuous, quiet..."
I want you to remember with with passion
as a writer,
as a fighter,
as an absolute bitch to her enemies
and loyal to her friends.
I want to be remembered
as someone who loved life
and celebrated difference
and loved with all her heart.


© Rachel Green 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

4th May 2018

tiny suns
track the real one behind the clouds
dandelions


© Rachel Green 2018

EXPO

Remember that time
you stopped me going into the loo
because you thought I looked like a bloke
and were doing your 'Christian Duty'
to protect the other women using it?
I moved the hand from where you'd placed it
(on my tits, naturally)
down to my crotch
because there was no bulge of penis there
and you recoiled
horrified
because I was either
(a) a man, forcing you to be gay
or (b) a whore, offering sin
and while I was neither,
merely an educator trying to highlight your prejudice,
I still chuckled at your rush to wash your hand.


© Rachel Green 2018

Thursday, 3 May 2018

3rd May 2018

strawberries
raising wild white heads to the sun
woodland garlic


© Rachel Green 2018

he retired early
content to live with his garden
and his memories
but the yawning emptiness
of his days spent alone
made him miss her more
the long days and longer nights
in rooms undecorated since her passing;
a perpetual shrine
until illness took him down
and the rooms upstairs
became a foreign territory
he could no longer visit.

Far away,
his eldest plots her inheritance
never realising
his legacy was disease.


© Rachel Green 2018

Wednesday, 2 May 2018

2nd May 2018

torrential rain
following the Beltane sun
peony buds


© Rachel Green 2018

digging dandelions
out of a stone circle.
Teasels, grass;
all go into compost.
Displaced ants scurry
their sandy home disturbed
while around the fire pit
decade-old stones have tumbled
into the cold, wet ashes
of the winter gone


© Rachel Green 2018

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

1st May 2018

Beltane sunshine
mitigating a cold breeze
hawthorn crown


© Rachel Green 2018

two ladies
knocking at the door
on a Sunday morning
pose a rhetorical question
about being happy.
I reply with a Sinead O'Connor:
"To not want what I haven't got"
which takes them aback.
They were expecting 'money'
or 'the perfect partner'
and the show me a Bible quotation
(edited from the original)
where Jehovah agrees with me.
I almost correct their pronunciation
from a 'J' to a 'Y' sound
but I am too kind.

Behind me, my partner snorts.
Why are you so nice to people?
They're homophobes and racial purists.


© Rachel Green 2018