Friday, July 29, 2011

The moult

At first it felt so good,
so exhilarating to be free
from the prison
of that cursed, confining shell.

I could breathe again,
sing,
even shout, expanding
my chest broad as rubber,

and I could twist
front to back, loose and lithe.

But slowly I became lost,
forgetful of who I was
and there was just that hollow
feeling that comes with twilight,
the cooler nights
and voices distant,
but nobody close.

My limbs slowed
and I sought out a rock,
or some safe refuge to salt
my soft new bones.

Rachel Westfall
July 29, 2011

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Into the margins

Help me cover my tracks,
sweet howling wind,
sweep them full of sand
and autumn’s bitter rubble to help
make fast my escape. The rabbits,
the foxes will press the earth
smoothly into neat new grooves,
confusing the trail, collapsing it
into a weave, a sieve of dotted lines,
around and through the bush.

Rachel Westfall
July 27, 2011

Escape

Forgive my long absence.
I have been held hostage, wrists
chafed and limbs withered,
so long
until
one
day
his attention wavered, his delusions
shifted and I fell
outside his peripheral view,
and
slithered
as silent
and fast as I could, a snake
tasting the air blindly
with each flick of pink tongue,
on a desperate search
for home. Now, I think,
I am back, but muted;
concealed; my stripes hidden.
I don’t dare risk capture again.

Rachel Westfall
July 26, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

When the sweet rain falls

When the sweet rain falls,
pulling the pollen down
licking your parched hair curly,

your cracked lips swell,
softening like the thirsty clay
under your feet, like a kiss

you’ve waited long
and lonely years for,
and can’t quite savour fast enough
to ever appease that ache,
that ravenous, infinite hunger

Rachel Westfall
July 26, 2011

Monday, July 18, 2011

Out of bounds

Bleed, and I will lick the salt
of your sap, the pain of the sudden pruning
flowing rich as honey over my eager tongue.

Recoil, and I will cradle you
firm and tender until my chin and breast
are sticky with your tears and you melt again.

Mine and yours is the sting of betrayal
and the anguish of our bond,
the bittersweet ache of our reunion.

Rachel Westfall
July 15, 2011

Friday, July 15, 2011

An old song

I sift your ancient sand
and draw out a bead
of my own making, a bead

older than your stories,
older than your earth’s caress

and drop it tinkling
into my sieve of antler and bone.

These artefacts I gather:
a crow’s feather, tattered and glinting
blue in the pale spring sun;

some weathered strands of seaweed;

a ring of whale bone
and a slip of rainbow shell.

The mask I weave is sparse,
salty and hollow as a drum,
fit for a dance of eternities

the sea witch and her consort,
the sand-stripped sleek black god.

Rachel Westfall
July 15, 2011