Ripples

ripples-and-light-on-water-surface

An infinite keyboard,
on which raindrops
play their circular melodies –

instead of do-re-mi-fa-so,
or A-B-C-D and E

we hear ‘plip-plip-plop-plop’

and little sampans
drifting,

in their
uncertain ways.

© Zelda Reville


 

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Succubus

girl-hidden-by-white-smoke

You – that guides my hand –
not towards the page;

but, slowly –
a spark softly striking –
the little firefly that hovers
in between gaps.

Deepening velvet blinds.

You – who visited,
crushing my back
in a middle of a muted scream –

you – !

© Zelda Reville


This poem was originally published here on 6 September 2017.

Ayahuasca

 

woman-lying-in-the-shadows
Original image by Valentina Aleksandrovna on Unsplash.

i

How, best,
to persuade myself,
that the dark
was only the sonorous prelude
to a devastating new dawn?

How best, then,
to swallow
my owned ennui,
tasting as bitter as the medicine
it was supposed to be

where you could feel
it going down the throat,
working its twisted magic
around that seductive word:

“This is you. That is definitely you.”
“Why don’t you? Why can’t you?”
“You! What did that person say!”
“That’s not you! Defend yourself!”

As the first spit
of bulleted words
come out of reflex,
allowing cynicism’s seeds to win the war –

Thought patterns of negativity?
Nope. Nope!
Welcome to my new positivity!

ii

Now let’s take the other roundabout.

Maybe I should
sip gently at grief instead,
taking it for a flute of champagne –
which Ol. Mrs Diddlydum thrusts
into your shivering hand, saying:

“Plum, and plumpest
of them all –

the entertained always pull
the biggest strings.

So, of course,
the most bigoted capitalist

makes for the best agony aunt!”

Tell me, then –
who spins the purple umbrella,
while coaxing
the most virile tongues
to do the dirty work?

iii

 

All the woodwork
of the old,
the bastardizations
of the new –

Is this now
the only exception to everything:

a strictly allowed diet of blood, and only blood?

Moodboard – Poetry: Cyril Wong, “for nusrat fateh ali khan”

From Cyril Wong’s gently undulating chapbook, like a seed with its singular purpose –

The first sounds of the tabla
like a god’s knuckle gently

knocking against the heart’s
resounding door, then your

voice, followed by the others,
rivaling, as if at war,

but I prefer to envision trees
plunging skywards into

light, oblivious of each other
yet fuelled by that sustained

impulse to swell, to ornament
a single chant into endless

branches of pure yearning,
eventuate in a vertiginous

forest of sound, each high note
sewn into a chord vast and

dense as the canopy of trees,
then a peace as when the wind

pauses in its marathon across
the landscape to catch its

breath, then begins again to
go; trees shrug off their awe,

revving up, flexing every leaf,
twig and branch, set once more

to sway, the same way your
phrase – the final solo now –

spirals up like a gold vine to
recapture height, or how those

of us willing to lose our hours
to your melody commence

once more to move our heads,
shaping a new infinity within us.


 

Poem “To Gongyla” published in Figroot Press’s Sappho tribute issue

girl-with-fern
Photo by Caique Silva on Unsplash

I am proud to announce that my poem, “To Gongyla”, has been published in the September issue of Figroot Press, a very special issue wholly dedicated to celebrating Sappho and her poetry. Please excuse me while I cradle my head, it’s been utterly wrecked by reading these exquisite pieces now fluttering around in my mind like angry lacewings. Aaaah! And before I forget, here’s the link to the issue. Happy reading!

Self Confidence

If staunch bravado
could be prevented from drying
to an awkward patina,

it would look
like a well-oiled coat

merely undulating with ready smiles,
smartly absorbing arrows;
never crumbling to pieces
at probing questions.

Unfortunately
I’m not privileged enough
for this fantastic suit,

so all that I can say
is that I admire greatly those
who strike a fine balance
between the two…

© Zelda Reville