Poetry by Faracy Grouse

Steady Ground for Sea Legs

I want to write a very grown up love poem
for this seemingly
very grown up sort of love,

the kind which is polished of most of its sharp edges,
is warm but never burns the tongue

the kind of love which sleeps in late on Saturday mornings snuggled under 1000 thread count sheets,

This love doesn’t lend itself well to sweeping semantics
It’s too quiet and sophisticated for that,

Gone from it are the teenage dramatics
Empty threats, idle dreams and false needs,

I want to write you a love poem,
from a very grown up woman
who has completely grown into her own skin,
but here I am still fidgeting and pulling at my sleeves

So here is this,
from someone at that strange fevered edge of youth,
sea legs accustomed to violent waves
hobbling about on smooth seas
not yet believing that the likelihood of drowning
has been forever decreased.

Faracy Grouse may be reached for comment at alumine3@gmail.com.


Life and Death

I was born in the month of Death


According to reports,
fighting very hard to live

She coddled me
Touched my face
And sang lullabies

draped me in
a big black blanket
and paid monthly visits
even after she had been kicked out of the house


She lingers
As a slipperly escape
In front of the trap door

a painless sleep
from which to wake
as something new

I follow her again
as I have so many times
through those well waxed tunnels
only to turn away as the door cracks open

realizing  again
that it is not  death that I desire
but a chance to live.


The Life Plant

I found myself quietly weeping last night
for a dead plant
I haven’t been able to discard,

where flowers once grew and fell to the floor,
leafless brown sticks stab lifeless soil;

No amount of water or sun can bring it to life,
a permanent fact-

This plant has been dead longer than it ever lived,
but the simple fact that it was once beautiful-

Could there have been something more done
on my part?

It breaks my heart imagining a life
that will never be.


In Dreams

The smell of summer is the smell of you,
grass and green leaves
charcoal and flowers
from familiar gardens
in a parallel universe
in a parallel home
wrapped up under a blanket
with a man I felt I’d never not known–

How you haunt me
in these familiar corners,
how you haunt me
in the gentle fog of dreams
with open arms and “I love you”
before fading into wintry blackness
snow under feet

You come and go
light as a scent in the air
to remind me that you are still there
somewhere, missing me
with open arms and an empty bed
hoping that I lose myself enough
to find you again.


I must swallow this beauty,
this love,
this joy

because it is not mine to have

And I
am not yours to hold

We must give ourselves to the icy waves to wash the thoughts away

Curse the stars
curse fate
curse time and all his trappings

So now I must pray to forget

because the memory of what cannot be,
but almost was
will eat me alive.

Together Again

Gatwick airport, South Terminal-
no-man’s land;
The place where none of us reach home,

Sun drenched beaches,
terracotta tiled roofs
and the remains of Islam’s last stand
punctuated with the slogan “Andalusia Loves You”
above our heads

It’s here that my ex-husband and I meet,
where our daughter is handed back and forth
between visits

These short exchanges are the only time
when we are a unit,
without grandparents, lawyers or  step-parents

And for those five minutes as the three of us walk through the terminal, daddy on his way back to Spain, Madelaine having just returned,
we are a family again

Strangers pass by us and smile, seeing the little girl who looks so much like both of her parents,

We look like we’re going on vacation

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