Candy Haikus

Apologies to all real poets and Haiku writers. These are from a prompt to write horrible Haikus about candy. Brought on a wave of nostalgia. As you can tell from the first few, I had a misspent youth whenever I had the opportunity.

As you can tell from the last one, any coins left in pockets because people can’t be bothered to empty them before putting clothes in the laundry, become the washerwoman’s (e.g. my) reward…

Marathons, spangles,
A penny for four blackjacks:
A candied childhood.

Spittly Gobstopper:
Spat out wet and examined.
Slurping through rainbows.

Dry out licked toffees,
Wrap them with tongue-stuck-out care:
Gift for my sister.

Oh Flying Saucers:
Rice paper glues my palate,
But my tongue fizzes.

Opal fruits are wrong
When called Starburst. My childhood
Winces in anguish.

Laundress collects coins:
Lazy family pays for
Housewife Pick ’n’ Mix.

fair.jpg

Words and photograph copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Who Makes Me Fear?

Who makes me fear?
I says the terrorist
I with my gun
I want to blot out your sun
I make you fear

Who makes me fear?
I says the stranger
I might lie in wait
With a heart full of hate
I make you fear

Who makes me fear?
I says the gossip
With my stash of half-lies
I ensure the truth dies
I make you fear

Who makes me fear?
I say the press
I fill up editions
With unfounded suspicions
I make you fear

Who makes me fear?
I say the “friend”
With social media posts
I scare you most
I make you fear

fear

Words and photograph copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Kitchen Haiku

Hungry teenagers:
Spurn gourmet, demand junk food.
I weep as I cook.

Keep your head down low
Get outside quick and breathe deep
Dad’s frying chillies

Would it count towards
My five a day, if I ate
Vegetarians?

Dishwasher broken!
Husband! Disembowel it!
Mend it or wash up!

[2 hours later]

Bother Drat Bother
Dishwasher completely dead
Guests come tomorrow

Exotic cuisine
Without right ingredients:
Optimistic Dad

The scent of orange,
Cherries and almond essence
Recall Gran’s kitchen

Tell me to do it
To cook just like your mother
And I’ll add hemlock

bowl

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Loneliness

Loneliness isn’t only
the friendless room,
the fading tombstone name,
an empty bed, or no-one to sit with.

Loneliness can be trying too hard,
trying to be loveable,
trying to fit in,
trying to show your gifts
when you’ve forgotten what they are.

Loneliness can be feeling you’re out of step,
a panic before starting to speak,
missing the sharing of silence and pain,
hearing yourself boring and silly.

Loneliness can be feeling
cut off from someone else’s life
or shut out of their heart
or not being able to share
the truth in your own.

Loneliness can be slowly
failing to believe in yourself,
losing confidence,
becoming touchy.

Loneliness can be
wanting to move on,
because you’re too tired
to keep trying so hard.

lonely

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

In the Sun

He stands, lithe and supple,
His bronzed limbs glisten in the sun
He brushes back his hair and smiles
King of the beach
Walking like a lion to the water’s edge
Confident in his clinging shorts
Aware of the eyes of women on him
He breathes deep and his chest swells

She poses on the beach towel
Buxom, her full breasts tanned and billowing
The curve of her hips enticing
Queen of the beach
Sashaying like a leopard to the water’s edge
Filling her bikini with allure
Aware of the eyes of men upon her
She stands and poses, hand on hip

They stand together, King and Queen
Seeing themselves beautiful.
Let them dream.
Hide the mirrors.
No-one imagines themselves
Middle-aged, plump and grey
That’s not what holidays are for.

summer beach

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Just Drive

Don’t talk to me, just drive.
Drive without speaking,
into the threshold of night.
Turn up the music.
Drive out anything
other than music.
Lyrics unheard, rhythm engulfing,
Music spiralling deep in my heart,
lifting the stopper on feelings,
tuning them in and blocking out thought.
Enshroud me in metal,
in silence, in grey light.
Numb my mind with music
and let me heal.

car window

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Mind The Gap

Here I am, swaying on the inbound train.
The seat warm from someone else, tea in styrofoam, personal space invaders and noisy conversations.
Rushing from meeting to meeting.
I should be preparing but instead, I’m daydreaming, looking out
At woodlands and slumbering trees, muddy fields and blasted oaks, sheep and horses clumping in the gorsey heath.
And catching glimpses of strangers’ lives – peering into homes and gardens,
And whizzing past passengers waiting at stations, caught in the space between leaving and arriving.
I should be reading the agenda but I’m thinking back to journeys gone.
Could I have imagined myself thus all those years ahead?
I think I thought, deep down, that life stopped with marriage and babies.
What would I have thought at twenty-one?
All those train journeys we took
From Chichester to Southampton to Salisbury to Neath to Kingston to Hove.
What if I’d looked at a woman, older, a proper grown up, staring out of the window day dreaming and known it was me?
What happened to all those years?
The gaps grew between hopes and reality, between plans and fate.
The same face is reflected in the glass,
Just older, plumper, the hair coloured but not for fun,
The smart office clothes I longed for then and loathe now.
The yearning to be at home creating and the job which pays the bills.
But across the gap the linked hands reach out from those barely remembered days.
The journeys I took with Deb and Mo, laughing on the train, imagining our futures.
How could we have envisaged me in the far off middle years, sitting on a train
Messenging them in their small corners far away –
The gap traversed by magic.

mind the gap

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Aftermath

When I held you first in my arms I knew
Somewhere your brand new existence
Represented something to be destroyed.
Why?
I wanted you to grow up;
In love with variety;
To look for beauty in every genre
Of music, literature, art, humanity.
I wanted you to see a world full of
Strange faces: varying colours, headwear,
Hear different languages and be
Fascinated by difference not repulsed;
To see the person not the generalisation.
To believe or not believe yet understand belief;
Not let any man’s imperfect interpretation
Form an immovable, uncompromising view.
How can I imagine bringing you up to hate
When love is the only thing which has meaning?
Yet the world is in fear of fools who lie
And believe a lie and enforce a lie.
They do not speak for anyone’s god
They have a different master –
One who wants to divide and aims to demolish
Until there is nothing left to wipe out.
You are nearly adults now.
I am about to let you out in the world
To put you in the trust of strangers
To know that you will be on buses
And trains and planes
And sit in restaurants and theatres
Without me.
And I pray that in the end
The fear will not devour you or us but
Consume itself in the face of love.
And today, full of tears of grief and anger
I wish I could reach and touch
The mothers who feel lost and empty,
Overwhelmed by darkness and loss.
Not just the mothers;
Not just the parents and friends or lovers
Whose faces and culture I understand
Whose country I love;
But everyone everywhere who woke yesterday
Wanting nothing but to love and live
And bring up their children
In peace
But had to face the gun instead.

Reflection 6

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Shapeshifter

She came to him as a woman but he ignored her.

She came to him as a nightingale singing outside his room. And he rejoiced, but shutting the window turned to his true love.

She came to him as a cat weaving around his legs. He caressed her arching back, planting kisses on her fur. But then left her outside to return to his true love.

She came back to him as a dove and flew repeatedly into his window. He picked her up and stroked her feathers; astounded when at death she became a woman with tear filled eyes.

cat tear2

Copyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

In Shifting Sands

In the valley of shifting sand dunes
I search.
Lost, I stare around me.
Disabled, terrified to move
Should I turn? And if so
This way or that?
Look up or down?
Fearful, confused
My whole self is lost
My soul is sinking fast
My life is already half buried.
The sand shifts under me
Forwards or backwards?
I cannot decide.
The sun blazes and my tears
Scald themselves dry;
My thoughts tumble
and spin in tumult.
What can I do?
What will become of me?
I am lost.
Someone please
Someone tell me
Where did I drop my phone?

sand queryCopyright 2016 by Paula Harmon. All rights belong to the author and material may not be copied without the author’s express permission

Check out other people’s entries in the Thin Spiral Notebook