in feverish forgiveness, until death do us part – 16 may 17

‘Feverish forgiveness’, you whispered before me,
the goddess shrouded in gratification,
melting in a moonwave of love and hate.
At the altar,
all smoke in the chest and burnt brandy in the throat,
you smiled as the blood went down your softened cheeks and was welcomed,
at the sunken chin,
by the hope that I would know what you meant.
The crescendo of the expectation held itself in your trembling chin
and you repeated it again – feverish forgiveness – and I wanted to ask how you knew
it boiled my blood to relinquish the sword but scolded my heart to pursue it –
and so in feverish forgiveness we stand before the almighty ‘I do’
and the blurred, no, marred, yes, charred gratitude,
with which we melt into moonbeams of love,
forged by a hate hardened by our holy cheeks,
unwelcomed by our lofty chins which hold in them a steel expectation,
an always burning crescendo.

-SARU MILLER //16 MAY 2017

a hymn: psalm of lilies – 16 may 17

The lilies sing a hymn on the deep green hills of madness.
The lilies sing the psalm of people whose clasp on the sane has (not slackened) but cracked.
And people think there is weakness in cracking or that with cracks comes weakness,
but that’s not what the lilies sing.
The lilies sing the psalm and the psalm says that when one cracks, one lets the air whistle between the gaps,
one lets the sun weather the newly born surfaces
and when one cracks,
one expands.
But when one weakens, one shrinks.
One loses their surfaces,
one loses their contacts to the lilies and the deep green hills
and when one weakens,
one can no longer hear the hymns,
no longer hear the psalms
and when one cracks the psalm dives head first
and the hymn hits the soul.

the things we leave behind – 15 may 2017

There are growths in us that make us breathless,
that have the smell of our home;
of fresh, floral laundry, 
and
stiff,
hostile, white bed linen,
of polished and proud mahogany floors,
and well-loved and well-kicked, well-laughed-in-and-lived-in couches,
and bedroom doors that creak as they giggle (and whisper as they slam)
and of kitchens that are all clutter (all clatter), always hissing (always clanging).

These growths house the touch of our memories –
all soft fingers, like feathers and down
(but warm like bread and biscuits),
like water that rests in a beck until the sun goes skittering into the night.
Memories greet you, heavy, like mid-summer heat,
(meet you)
like mid morning august caught between the lungs.
And in the heart, the touch leaves behind
(the touch of the memory forgets to take)
that dizzying rush like stars shaken up
(like leaves in the torrent at tide)
in a sky that spins without an axis,
without grounding,
without gravity.

And the growths make us breathless,
but only when we press against them,
always when we are arriving(always when we have departed)-
the growths make us breathless no matter the distances we travel

(far
and
wide)
to find a way to breathe,
to try and leave growths behind,
to try and let go of yesteryear’s aches.
And the distance has a presence that is closer than the present.
It pushes against us as the future
(as the horizon)
pushes us into tomorrow and so we find our sides
(our insides) feel sharp
and feel weighted
and we call it homesick
but it’s really the way the things we leave behind still house us,
or rather,
the way we house the things we leave behind.

-SARU MILLER // 15 MAY 17

there is only creaking aching panic here – 26 april 2016

Is there any lonelier place
than the abyss, the canyon
of one’s mind. Has one ever faced
a more echo-rhymed abandon
than that of the self – a more
reckless hope of desolation
of desperate, clawing solitude.

Has anyone ever marvelled more than
the ways in which one gazes
transfixed on the burning,
smouldering orange of the sun
it’s breathless, dying gaze.
Have I ever missed,
more than warmth in barren freezes,
the order of a thought?
The one before the two and the three before the jump?
I have never been on such a quest,
never maddeningly searched,
never gaspingly sought
the alliteration
the melody
the bird singing perched
on the constant repetition of dawn.

The cave homes echo. They curl around each other
disturbed by our presence
and go chasing
racketeering
around in the sea’s ear.
But that thrilling cat and mouse
the adrenaline dry oxygen-less shudder
would I welcome now in the silence
of my own mind, to shatter the
creaking, aching panic I feel here.

-sarumiller

a sidelined seat reaps no reward – 28 february 2017

An old woman sits on the side of the road in the July world. The sun is so close you can see her take a breath, hear her hum. The sky is cloudless (they’ve all gone on holiday) – and the tarmac can’t stay put anymore. The mothers turn their backs to the iceboxes and all the tarmac children erupt and dart off in a million directions.

An old woman sits on the side of the road in the July world, the sun close by, attentive, the sky barren and the tarmac meltingly mischievous.

And as she sits, the passerbys stop and some get out of their cars – mums in never navys and fathers in powdered please-pinks. CURIOUS CHILD DASHING LIKE THE BEE, the guineapig, the dog, and all emerge out of the car, moving like molasses on an incline –

Some stay inside and gently shout from a window wound down enough to show face and neck but never shirt. Some enter the scene and others only observe but they all ask –

‘Are you okay?’

She’s waiting. her skin in all of it’s crevices, in it’s folds, in it’s canyons of years, her excess, her blue backed snakes under the brown saran wrap skin had she erected colosseums of ‘the wait’.

Her hair stood stiff and still, the only young part of her – every hairspray soaked hair follicle stood waiting and her –

Her smile was reserved. All she revealed were tightly pursed lips. She was holding words, ideas, revolutions, liberations back and her eyes closed – she was saving the passion, the tenderness, the love of the world.

Nobody asked what she was waiting for but it wouldn’t matter. Under an August moon she would still wait.

 

life has holes – 16 june 2015

“Life has holes.”

My mother told me when I was younger that the world had gaps,
had gaping edges,
had unfolded patches,
places where the colour couldn’t run, where the crayons missed, places the sun wouldn’t reach.

She told me there were entire universes, cathedrals,
whole oceans of darkness and sadness
and sometimes, not for negligence nor for caution,
you can find yourself opening your eyes right in the middle of the black cathedral,
gazing up at the altar where the priest wears black, where his skin glitters like the veil on a bride. She said you’ll stare at the stain glass window, where the colour is always blood,
at a picture in black and white,
told in shades: shades of pain, of tears, of torn flesh and searing wounds.

One day, my mother found herself waking to darkness,
to a hole she was collapsing into and no one knew why.
She told me she had simply found a small detail God had overlooked
in his haze of finding a home for Jesus
and a cage for Lucifer in which he could believe in.
She said the pews were like canyons and once she sat down,
it was near impossible to bring herself back up.
She told me there were angels and sinners alike who had awoken lost on the pew,
listening like she, to the hymns of the Angels that God never intended us to hear;
the hymns they sing at the water cooler,
they whisper behind the bible,
they call in the hallways of God’s home,
they write into their diaries long after Cherubim and Seraphim have sent them to bed.
She said she saw a woman she didn’t know sitting beside her.
That the woman told her that life has holes,
that she once had had a son made of pure sunlight,
a son who adored a man who adore him back,
and then one day he found himself in a cage somewhere different than before,
with his light gone out,
and someone else’s name written in fire on the door.
My mother said the woman told her that when she went to visit,
she saw her Lucifer still in his eyes but she knew not how to separate him from Satan,
how to bring back his light.
She said he said he wouldn’t walk out of the fire with her,
he wouldn’t leave his cathedral,
that he enjoyed too much the hymns,
was tantalised too much by the stain glass.
She told my mother that life has grey areas but people do too
and that there is always someone willing to walk through flood and fire to help you.
She said my mother needn’t worry.
She said God sometimes missed the holes,
that he’s always so worried about finding us a home we can put our faith into he forgets to fill in the dark spots and the gaping edges so instead,
he tries to put people far from them.
My mother says people roam,
that we like to wander,
that souls collate,
hearts seek out those that beat familiar
and sometimes that means we meet in the dark
or one of us has to cross a sad canyon just to find bliss
but my mother told me not to worry.

“Life has holes.” she said
and so it does
and sometimes the people in the streets call the cathedral a treacle palace,
and sure we all lose a loved one to the endless cathedral
and sure sometimes we get to see a loved one walk out and sure,
they do walk out into the light like a newborn, gasping,
but mother says not to worry about any of that.
My mother says, “life has holes”
and I know she means that mothers stay inside burning buildings to protect their children,
that brothers storm black cathedrals to retrieve their sisters,
that friends drown in oceans to help another.
She tells me not to worry about the holes
and I know she means “I’ll follow you.”

POETRY SITS UNDERNEATH THE TOENAILS – july 23 2015

 

I have poems stuck in places I can never reach –
you know that dip between the backbones?
I must have spread them all out onto my bed and fallen asleep with them still in the duvet –
you know the notches of the ribs?
I must have found them on the wind on a cold, February morning –
you know the bumps of the teeth?
I must have forgotten them on the floor –
you know the spaces between the toes?
I must have shoved them all into a shampoo bottle when I was running out of space –
you know the knots in the hair?

My mum used to tell me that you’d never feel clean unless you got every corner of the body with soap but know I just think you can only feel clean when you’ve got all the dust out of the stickiness of the brain
and my teacher used to tell us to ask for help when we can’t reach things but now I can’t bear someone else’s hands on the poems in my skin.
And I’m sure theres a word for this – perhaps it’s delusion – when you keep seeing bugs crawl over your flesh, but they have poetry taped to their beetle backs so I can’t wash them off.
And people say storm clouds pass but they drop down letters and the folds of my tummy are missing 8 vowels and the canyons in my ears need a few more ’S’s so I’d welcome the storm to stay.

And I know there’s a word for this, for finding objects with poetry written on them in other people’s homes but my Aunt has a tea set with a poem about fragility written in it’s cracks and my best friend has a diamond necklace with a poem about worth wedged between the silver plating and theres a word for it, I’m sure, but my kidney needs 2 more rhyming poems and my sister has 3 whole rhyming poems in the ridges of a glass tumbler she bought in France.

I know theres a word for seeing things that no one else can – for running up to little children with my hands like a cup to collect the sounds they keep dispensing, for stealing the tears of the weeping on a wooden chopping board and trying to carve them into hieroglyphics when I get home and my mum keeps begging me to stop digging my nails between the flesh and the peel of the orange like that but I can see Shakespeare’s lost sonnets down there and I can’t bare to have her eat The Bard.

And I know theres a word for seeing poetry in places where it shouldn’t be but I saw it once on the underside of a jet but I was wingless and slow and so I never caught it – so I know theres a word for it but I’ll just have to tell you that I have poetry in places I can never reach.