Time Out and Life in a box. Two poems by Bec Cameron

Time Out

I think I’ll take a holiday, said Death

Perched on jagged mountains, I’ll watch the sunrise
dark tattered wings will flutter and dance
prayer flags on a crystal breeze

Let the cells of the unborn divide, for now
as they flex finger stumps in gentle gloom
pirouetting on threads to muffled beat

At noon I’ll fly low over desert expanse
swooping and twisting in the bronze light
my bleached bones warmed by molten dunes

Suffer the little children for one more day
let them sip black water in the heat, fly-eyed
their weak tears drying on gnawed lips

I’ll enjoy a late lunch to the echoes of a canyon
pick at my gap-tooth chaps with stalagmites
then spiral upwards with the bats, hallooing!

Soldiers, no need to take cover in the dust
Migrants, push your crowded dinghies onto surf
Workers, shrug off chest pain and suicidal thoughts

Afternoon tea will be supped on the hoof
drinking in the tuneless, timeless cacophony
of rainforests, stripped and shorn

The young can dream their dreams today
lie down in traffic, storm the buildings
brave shields and batons, gulp tear gas as they cry

Dinner will be subtly lit by capital cities
Tiny neon dots of hope, far beneath me
warding off the eternal yawn of space

Revellers, drink and drive, screw and snort
Medics, snatch an hour on your narrow cots
retreat from morgues and wards as quiet as the grave

I’ll spend the night with the solitude of icebergs
float in inky seas under a scarred and pitted moon
find a resting place of glacial silence

Let the old folk see their last visions tonight
Smoke cigarettes in bed, quaff whisky
Wrestle cancer through the wee small hours

Then I’ll return to work, said Death
with a vengeance

I will alight once more, by this old lady.
She will be here still, sighing through a tube
for her young self; her husband, lover

Her eyes will be half closed in pain, and welcome
Then I will draw close to her, refreshed
And kiss her mouth, with gossamer softness.

Life in a box

I wear no bra, sip coffee
scan smug email from the ex

boy next door swears at the game
flicking thumbs in panic

girl down the road kisses phone
cool planes of lover’s face

old granny at number twelve
coughs phlegm into sleeve

numb nurse dresses buddy
face mask, apron, gloves, fear

prime minister puffs commands
From behind his plastic muzzle

patient near him sleeps on
ventilator gasps in shock


Bec lives in Highland Perthshire and loves life, and writing about it. Keep on keeping on.

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