So I’m now halfway through my residency as Café Poet at Sprouts Café in Berri. It’s been a jerky start with me flitting across the country for various other things but we’re slowly gaining momentum now. The Riverland is a funny community in that way, it takes a little time for people to get on board and come and play with you.
This month I’m writing on the themes of first love and love for a lifetime. My partner half jokingly asked me to write a poem about kissing. This isn’t my usual fare so it’s actually a lot more challenging than it sounds. I tried playing around with a couple of ideas but this is the one I think that turned out the best:
Lean in. Suck in the smell of you. The sigh of you. The curves of you. Linger there by your cheekbone. This waiting moment. Hangs. Across the sky. Across the distance between our curved mouths. A thousand stars are born and die in your eyes as we hang there. Suspended. Waiting. Aching. Longing for the courage. The deep bravery to lean in. Lean into the fear. The disappearing distance. The weight of a thousand and one old fears stands between our skin. And yet. And yet. Still. I lean in. Braver than I thought I’d be. A thousand stars are born and die in your eyes. The flash of knowing. Of living and breathing. And finally the distance parts. Our curved knowing mouths meet in the slim corner between fear and hope. Hungry. Needing. But slowly, gently. Loving you makes me brave enough. Thankyou.
Writing and thinking about love at both ends of the spectrum also raised the spectre of the loves that die. Or the loves that are brutally murdered by ourselves and others. The loves that never leave the ground. The loves that consume and ruin us:
Hot. Pouring. Sinking. Searing. Aching. Hungry.
All the things your skin says to you.
Your roiling, never still insides.
Your mistakes layered over your eyes.
Your sorrows lining and folding your face.
The forgotten, half believed moments.
Words. Words spilled out of the wound that is your mouth.
The things you did. Said.
from the life you wanted.
The life you had.
Today my page filled. And filled some more. Whatever you think of love. Everyone has a story. Some version. Some moment pinned in their mind that tells them what love means – come and share with me. I’m Cafe Poeting every Monday at Sprouts from 9.30am (usually till around 11.30am) however you can drop in any day of the week and leave me a note (a poem, a theme suggestion or just a casual hello) using the blue poetry box on the magazine counter. I’ll write a personalised poem in response to every note left in the poetry box too so leave your email or postal address or come back the following Monday to hear/see what I’ve written for you. See you soon!