Warriors I: A Reckoning Of Forces

A warrior is a funny creature
As much fierce and fire
As she is mud and mire.
As much tears as blood
As much ebb as flood.
And when once you have fought her
Seen the triumph you have brought her
You’ve done no more than teach her
That wars are won by no higher
Force than our daughters.

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Warriors III

Before we had things
To put in our house
They danced in the empty spaces.
And sometimes when we sing
Of all we have lost
The night flows past in their voices.
How many times I’ve laid them down
My weapons and my defences
Only to find them forged anew
And alight in my daughters’ faces.

Courage II (Or: What the Lady M can teach us on Shakespeare’s birthday)

“But screw your courage
To the sticking place”, she said,
And I think of my fear as
Something you can embed –
A small, innocuous wooden peg.
Of my grief as a
Finely tuned thing, a string
Instrument, where each
Memory is stretched
Clear and fixed
At its appointed pitch
Across a body delicately
Calibrated, the mind a sturdy
Soundpost, designated
Survivor, carved with incisions
That each anxiety may breathe
And all, in resonated precision
Hum in its wake
And I take
My fate in my hands
Like a bow on the wing,
And courage is the song
That the strung heart sings.

For Anannya, as always

And my last poem, as ever,
Is dedicated to those
Who save us from our
Lives of prose.

We are those warriors who
Forge weapons from sorrow
From the things that haunt us
From our consolations. From each
Thought too tiny to share, from
Those fleeting visions too
Overwhelming to bear. Our wars
Are those that keep beauty awake
That inch of ourselves that remains
Defiant at the end of the day
And finds that one thing that
Is worth our while to say. So you,
My fellow berserkers, give me
Madness for my armour, my
Bearskin of words, and your open
Hearts that are a battle cry. Our
Voices sing each other’s songs
For thirty days, never long
Enough to douse that thirst
Till April ends with May the first.

Warriors I: A Reckoning of Forces

A warrior is a funny creature
As much fierce and fire
As she is mud and mire.
As much tears as blood
As much ebb as flood.
And when once you have fought her
Seen the triumph you have brought her
You’ve done no more than teach her
That wars are won by no higher
Force than our daughters.

Warriors III

Before we had things
To put in our house
They danced in the empty spaces.
And sometimes when we sing
Of all we have lost
The night flows past in their voices.
How many times I’ve laid them down
My weapons and my defences
Only to find them forged anew
And alight in my daughters’ faces.