Neighbours 

We are with you Manchester
We will stand together
We are the unit of the north
Proud and strong forever

You are the neighbour, the brother
The sister, the mother
The lovers, the fighters, the survivors
And your pain is felt worldwide

But through all the fear
We will always be here
The neighbour to lean on
The one by your side

The shock is still raw
But your unity leaves us in awe
And we stand by you, Manchester
As we go about our lives

Your spirit keeps the north one being
Through all the trauma and sadness seen
We are with you, Manchester
Sharing the tears in your eyes

Manchester and Leeds
We will stand together
Beacons of the north
Proud and strong forever

Apocalyptic Love

He held her until the end, and she held him until the new beginning

Eyes shut to the darkening embers of a dead world, they waited

The waves dashed their bare feet, rolled over their ankles, thrashed against their knees

The wind rocked them back and forth, like dolls strung up by a transcendental puppeteer

The sky growled its warnings, deep and rolling, making the ground shudder to its core

But this was nothing

They felt nothing

There was nothing

 

Their feet were dry, their hands were locked, their heads were bowed

Nothing could break them

Not the crashing waves

Not the roiling winds

Not the great chasms zigzagging across the earth

 

Not the sudden streak of sunrise, slicing the raging sky in two

Not the blinding clash of golden rays on silver water

Not the great, relinquishing sigh of the dying wind

For still they stood, brow to brow, hand in hand

Waiting for the new beginning of a new world

Kiss

I remember the first, the second, and the third. The first was funny, because my hands were in front of my face. I wore a starry dressing gown and fluffy slippers, because I’d just woken up. It was 9am, and you’d brought croissants and orange juice so we could have breakfast together. You ate, but I couldn’t eat a thing. My stomach was knotted for no apparent reason. You were just my friend, after all. It was a normal Tuesday, and I was set to go to a lecture in an hour, but you had insisted on coming over as soon as possible. I said yes of course, and there you were at 9am sharp (the only time you’ve ever been on time anywhere) with breakfast and a smile. You ate three croissants and I ate three bites, then I went to get ready for class.

You followed me to my room, stood in front of me, looked at me for a long time. I waited, my stomach so knotted it was practically twisted inside out. I turned away. You turned me back. I smiled, and jumped backwards to stand on my bed. You smiled, ready for this, for my awful indecisiveness although there was nothing to decide. I flopped down, tucked my knees up to my chin, curled my arms around to cover my face, eyes gleaming over the top of my arms. You were in front of me, at the side of me, above me, all around me, but I stayed still.

A giggle. A wriggle. That was all it took. Your hands held my wrists and firmly, gently, tried to remove them. I was resilient. No words, just smiles, just playfulness. I would not be won easily. A sudden laugh, and the barrier was broken. My arms parted, and your face was there, inches, centimetres, millimetres, a hairs breadth…

I tensed as the sudden hot pressure became familiar. I relaxed. I smiled, and kissed you back.

***

The second was full of hunger, so much hunger. You were about to leave. We both had places to go, things to do, lives to live. A fleeting hour, and our precious time was gone. Bitter sweetness increased the passion. A year of pent up feeling, all channeled into a moment. The hunger was immense, the yearning, the want, the need, all transferred in one fleeting gesture of affection. Breaking apart left me in a daze. I still wore my starry dressing gown and fluffy slippers. Why had I not attempted to look the part? Because I hadn’t believed anything would happen? Because I didn’t want anything to happen? No. Because I knew you wouldn’t care, no matter what state I looked. I was already yours.

***

The third was almost a whisper, sending me into a momentary lapse of reason. In front of my door we said goodbye. So much had happened in that hour. So few words, but so much emotional release. I don’t remember a word of what was said that morning, only those intense few moments of happiness, of emotional relief. You walked out of the door, and I floated back to my room in a daze. It was only the beginning of a long journey, but already I had seen so many different, hidden sides to you. You were a puzzle, and still are several years later. But I love you for it, and I love the complex passion you bring to us.

The Wish

Once upon a time there was a girl who wished she lived in a fairytale. All day every day she read books about warriors and heroes, evil queens and princesses and, like most of those princesses, she wished with all her heart for a prince. Every night before sleep she sat by her window and made a wish on a passing star. She chose a different one each night, after all, she reasoned, one of them must work. The wish went like this…

O Star, shining ever so bright

I pray that you listen to me tonight

Grant me the goodness of thy heart

And help me to find one who art

Funny, intelligent, kind and strong

And tell me O Star, if I am wrong

When I ask for true love, and he answers me

Pray give me thy insight to return to thee

Afore declaring any such love

I shall seek thy in the heavens above

And say O Star, is this right for me?

And I hope that you will glitter and shine and dance

And tell me ‘O Child, do not miss your chance!

For true love indeed is hard to find

But please my dear, pay this a mind

Look not to the stars, but to your heart

Listen no to the skies, for you must start

To trust in yourself, find the answers within

And answer once and for all, could it be him?’

Together We Fall, Together We Fly

Hold on to me tight, and we’ll fall away into oblivion

We will soar over the edge of the world, and leave the Earth behind

We will fly where even the skies and seas cannot follow

Where the stars glitter closeby, and the blackness shrouds us from harm

I promise to protect you, if only you will come with me…

Come For A Walk With Me

Come for a walk with me

We’ll go on a journey

Far far away

To the secret door at the bottom of the garden, and beyond…

To the waving rushes and long grass, in the meadow no one has discovered yet, and beyond…

To the forest of wonders, where the great oaks and ferns make a leafy, sun-pocked sky, and beyond…

To the beaches, where the sand is so fine it’s like tiptoeing on feathers, and the waves curl up to tickle our feet, and beyond…

To the caves of glistening gemstones… and they glisten like your eyes, orange and green and gold, and beyond…

To the deserts of nowhere, to lie on our backs and gaze and gaze until our eyes can take no more of the infinity of shining stars, just for us, and beyond…

To our dreams, where we fly together, fall together, rise together…

 

And back again.

Snow

His arms fastened around my waist and I leaned back against him, using his shoulder as a pillow.

“Let’s see…” I mused. “If I were a weather, what would I be?”

“Snow.”

Visions of painful treks through blizzards, icicles hanging from every orifice rushed to the forefront of my mind. I cocked my head up at him, “Why?”

He looked at me for a long moment. “It’s magical.”