The Young poem in a backless dress poems by Laura Lamarca

She's just another cigarette burn on a corpse of curse and whim.

No motivation moves her defeat
where these creased sheets
lie limbless; here, where the
duvet drowns her in a white 
waterproof way, so even shit 
smears and wet legs cannot
heave her fat ass out. She is

burdened by streaks of day-
light, as its plight peeps through
blacked-out stains of yesterday.

The dust makes magic
with dirt, paving paths that split
odours of sweat and stale skin
in thickets of resentment stretched
across her house. Among chores

as monosyllabic as death, she must
make merry with the shapes of hate
that birth themselves between burnt
toast and cups of cold coffee, while
her eyelids fade with fifty shades
of depression. 

Ousted from the forgotten confines
of her warm farewells, those that 
berate her bones into disabled
dreams that fuck her future into single 
slots of 24 hour refrains...

she yearns to return there
so she might not live again.

Young poem in a backless dress.

She tacks moon-crooned songs to the inside of her sighs,
strumming sorrow between leaking lashes, 
that look down on her stone-built soul, 
so she can be micro-bodies of words without names, 
anchored to mastectomies 
by hung shoulders and her mammogram muse.

Her fear is fierce and shoots sparks—
those little orange daggers, that dare to settle along her cries. 
But she is stuttering again and the forty-something years 
she wearily wears
lie down like corpses in her fading hair.

She is burned wishes and bending headstones
that sing of regret in ancient cemeteries,
while doctors decide if geographical brilliance will bestow
her the beauty…of life.

Its enigma is enormous, she says, while you stitch stigmata
to my skin, in a suicide of seasons that pockmark
these absent breasts; I sit high
in sanity’s open-topped coffins while society
forces me to frame fat between my bones, and begs me
to break blames, like sacrificial bread
along a vertebra of my own voice

and all the while, this unblinking death prefers me
to be human
as I hum sonatas through the cruelty
of cancer’s callous aim.

I captured you Caernarfon, but we can't claw it back.

I have crawled along castle walls for us,
grown beside you like the shiver to your fears--
your fading fears, becoming bright flames
amidst a season of my shadows,
but all the while, you've been welded 
to a whole web of lightning bolts
laced across my night skies,
climbing ruined rungs of life's ladder
without me, until all colour is gone
and I am phased back
into the nothingness between your exhales.

I am several small skulls
stitched tightly 
to surround your lack of conscience...

mere split hairs many moons long
that lie limply
across the ice-mountains of my cries.
Your retreating shoulders beat blame
like torrential rain inside goodbyes
and my thighs thrum ballads without you.

You have been the wheels that moved me--

those I love yous yelling life
into such terrible stains
while I rotated my spines
around an absence of blackmail:

I didn't pay you to make mud
with my ever-evolving earth, nor did I 
birth miracles 
from three decades of my wounds;
but still, you rolled down from my teeth
to tell of genuine worth.

You have made me untouchable again,
with universal agonies 
aerating from my sins...and everything
we caught together as cliché 
has revealed itself conditional--

when I bleed, you opt to be my past,
vampiring emotions
with the burning of words,
ones I struggled to believe in anyway...

because actions belied them
in every yellow light.

I want infant incantations 
to inter themselves inside my sharks,
so veins can voice me gilded,
woven into incessant storms
we should never survive,
while I bewitch us both begotten 
along tainted turrets 
of this body's grieving ghosts.

© Laura Lamarca, All Rights Reserved. 

Laura Lamarca is a 48-year old professional poet who currently resides in Brighton and Hove, UK. She’s the author of 5 books of poetry, including a series titled “Memoirs of a Messed-Up Mum” published by Close to the Bone Publications. Lamarca is a psychic medium, Demonologist and Modern Exorcist who now writes poetry in her spare time. She says that poetry is her “exhale” and a means to release pent-up emotions in a safe and sustainable way.

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Living with the Elephant. A Poem by Cynthia Bernard

Living with the Elephant

I guess the fog has little cat feet 
sometimes, but around here 
it dances with the wind,
wild and fierce,
especially at dawn.
Howling across the ocean, up the hill,
gusting my robe against me,
sloshing coffee into my face as I try for a sip.

I guess aging is gradual 
sometimes, but around here
it’s a tempest, arising suddenly,
wild and fierce 
and relentless.
Wrenching my days apart
into a before that can never be found 
again -- and a very different now.

I guess one could fight it
sometimes, hair color, face cream, 
supplements and potions,
exercises, affirmations,

I guess one could simply accept it
sometimes, but around here
arthritis has swept in on elephant feet,
fierce and relentless,
and no pill, no potion,
no affirmation, no meditation,
can sweep it out again.

I guess one could handle things gracefully 
and sometimes I do,
but around here there are other times, too,
when everything seems to hurt
and I want to stay under a quilt
for whatever part of forever
I get to see.

And then again, there are
yet other times, sometimes,
the majesty of the ocean at first light,
the sweetness of love found late,
my hand sliding into his.
New buds on the camellia,
rain on the roof, deer in the yard,
granddaughter’s smile,
or a nothing-special-time
in the exquisiteness of the now.

And I find that 
sometimes, increasingly often,
I welcome it all:
the cat’s feet and the elephant,
things wild and fierce,
quiet moments and raging ones,
lines on my softening face, 
creaky joints and aching bones,
wind in my hair,
full heart,
fog over the ocean at dawn.

(This poem was originally published in Multiplicity Magazine) 

Bio: Cynthia Bernard is a woman in her late 60’s who is finding her voice as a poet after many decades of silence. A long-time classroom teacher and a spiritual mentor, she lives and writes on a hill overlooking the ocean, about 20 miles south of San Francisco.
Publication history: Her poetry has been published in Multiplicity Magazine, The MockingOwl Roost, The Vita Brevis Press Poetry Anthology, Last Leaves Literary Magazine, Flora Fiction, fws: a journal of literature and art, and Open Door Magazine, and will appear in upcoming issues of Passager Journal and The Fresh Words Magazine Anthology: Contemporary Poems 2022.

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