photo from yorkshire.com
Solitude I miss you. I miss the shape of you wide, homely, and then your soft-edged suffusive warmth. You have always cocooned me quieted me eased me I miss your voice the sweetness, low, vibrating and how you are just the queen of silence commanding my faithfulness, ordering order to disrobe lay down sleep I miss your welcome making pathways, bridges all a way home. I am a stranger to myself so often but you, you welcome my thrumming dark and illuminate my heart. Examen All my life the years have fallen away the way water surges over the edge of an infinity pool without care or regard Now I cup that water in my hands hold it close and when the last breath of the year comes I watch it ripple across the water the way a mother watches her newborn sleep intent, alert, full of awe, wonder, and weary too I choose tenderness as I watch compassion for every mistake, each false step and joy blooms and reflects back at me my hands cup the year I contemplate the holding then, scarcely moving at all, I let the year go Robin Hood's Bay I remember skipping down the stone slipway (“slipway” - I learned this word later) Mum, Dad, slower down the slick slope calling out “take care” (“take care” - I learned later how to give, how to accept, how to value, how to be free, not how to take) the sky a low grey blanket the stone-strewn sand dull at my sandalled feet I picked up gleaming slivers of the night sky clasped them cold, wet in my fist “jet” my mum said with a smile (“jet” - I learned. I learned every time a mouth utters the words “jet black” I would be once again a small child skipping down the slipway carefree being taught wonder by her smiling mum) Undoing I undo the day reject twelve kinds of demand shore up the walls of my being I light a candle become small, bright in its holding I open the unturned pages of a book waiting to be written and let the unravelled hours fall to the floor a shed skin, discarded Bio: Vicky Allen is the author of Broken Things and other tales (Hedgehog Poetry Press, 2020). She’s been widely published in print and online by journals including Mslexia, Stravaig, Saccharine Poetry, Writers Cafe and others, as well as anthologies published by Proost, Dove Tales, Fevers of the Mind and Black Agnes Press. Her spoken word work Wonderlines was performed at the Edinburgh Book Fringe in 2018 and Fringe at the Yard in 2019. She was a 2020 Pushcart Prize nominee. Vicky has a forthcoming “Stickleback” micro collection being published with Hedgehog Poetry Press, and is currently working on a full collection. She also practices as an illustrator/artist as well as working in the charity sector.
Find Vicky on Twitter and Instagram @bringonthejoy