in madness and sorrow
turn from the depths, child,
and bathe your face in sweet light
let the current be your baptism
instead of your death
emerge clean, shining
know this darkness is not forever
beyond shadow, there is always light
for one does not exist without the other
give the river your sadness
but not your soul
your beauty is needed here
your joy brings joy to others
an ending means a new beginning
but not this kind of end
there is more for you here
than what one man could take away
let another you come forth
make the water your mirror
what do you see,
when you search for yourself there?
Brother night, take me -
Let me feel the coolness
Of your hands on my fevered skin
Sweet darkness -
Drop your midnight veil
The harsh light of the sun
Burns my eyes Sears my lungs Scalds my heart
Pour on me the countless raindrops
That become the flood
Let darkmoon silence
Hum in my ears a mute ritual
Float me womblike in
Comfortable ebony air
My lacquered bones holding
Prickle my stomach
Pierce my skin
I pull them out one by one
Careful not to spill my own blood; watch
The glitter spread on towels
Mind my step
Crushed hearts are sharp when
Only stars light the way
Each shard wet with the broken promise
Of an empty vessel
For Leonard; You Freed Me
Someone else brought your words to me,
but I was mesmerized from the start.
Who was this stranger who seemed to know
all my secrets? Where had you been,
on those endless nights I needed to feel
Where were you when everything I wanted
to say was choking me, and the wellspring
threatened to drown the flame
that burned behind the bushel
of my heart?
No matter. A rare gift, pulled
from a shelf with a quiet hallelujah
and my life was never the same again.
The world needed beauty and dignity
and quiet strength, and so did I.
You gave me hope; showed me
the beauty in my cracks and taught me
how to love my damage.
Poems from Amanda McLeod in Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 (2019) “Inclimental Anger” “Day With Perfect Storm” “Anchor” “You Are My Sun, Except When I Am Storm”
The storm comes in hard and fast and angry, just like you did so many times.
I can still see the rainclouds in your face
and I knew back then to make myself scarce
when you blew in thunderheaded and fierce fisted.
Most nights I let you blow yourself out over whiskey and television.
I learned to avoid the violent soaking.
I duck and shy from the windows when the weather turns quarrelsome.
Thunderclaps still make me jump, even when I know its just nature,
with a sweeter temper than yours ever was.
I slide the deadbolts across the door, just in case,
and watch the towels I left on the clothesline flap thickly as sheets of rain
slap them into submission.
Day With Perfect Storm
The tornado swirls turgid
with terror and I can't run
fast enough to prevent
your escape and secure my own
The door shakes
Thor's hammer, a weapon
of anger, wielded fiercely
Until the storm drops---
blown out, a candle
as quickly as was lit
The breath of prevailing
wind becomes a sea breeze---
It cools anger's heat
I turn from leeward,
eyes closed, to feel
the sweet lift of my hair---
salt licks, my cheeks
dry sticky with downward
pressure. The Vacuum
ebbs and flows
the rush a tidal wave
of stripped oxygen.
I drown in the air
as my heartbeat thrums
in my ears, a rhythm
tapping out my
I'm frozen in the roar; the
searing deprivation takes
all reason from me, leaving me
lost... until steady hands
anchor me by my shoulders,
make me feel
my feet - heavy on the
remind me ---
there are reasons
get washed away.
You Are My Sun, Except When I Am Storm
When you come out,
all saccharine and sun
I rest against the moment of relief.
Today might be one filled with goodness,
as long as everyone's on their toes---
I am not a ballerina; I stumble along,
unsteady - the spinning, the wobble:
A tornado of unbridled terror.
Yet no witch am I;
I can't convince the weather
which fills your mind
with all this thunder
Nor do I know how
to steady the ballerina toe ---
My only chance is to batten down buttons
until the tempest does exhaust;
sky clears at last
The wind drops
the clouds wisp
The light behind your eyes comes
Bio from 2019 in Fevers of the Mind Issue 1 & from twitter info:
Amanda McLeod is an Australian creative. Her fiction and poetry can be found in Elephants Never, Ghost Parachute, and other places. She is also the managing editor at Animal Heart Press. When she's not playing with words, she's usually looking for wild quiet places or good coffee. Find her on twitter @AmandaMwrites
link to her book "Animal Behaviour" on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Animal-Behaviour-Amanda-McLeod/dp/1838104127/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=amanda+mcleod&qid=1621520925&sr=8-1