The Giantess

My father once told me that

As a child in the mountains

Far from the city

And where the plants feel alive,

That he had once seen

A pile of giant bones

Where they had said that

A giantess once lived.


Then I asked him why

That she was just bones

And he then replied

That the Winter was harsh

And cows had all died

And crops didn’t grow

that everyone starved

And some children had passed

And mothers were crying

So they’d gone to the giant

And asked her for food

So she sawed off her foot

And offered it up

Because a giantess didn’t need to run.


And it fed the whole village

And the village rejoiced

But the seasons still came

And the winter was harsh

and the children still starved

And the crops would still die

And the livestock wouldn’t breed

So she offered her hands

Because a giantess doesn’t need to write.


And they kept coming back

Each winter and summer

Sometimes for the children

Sometimes for themselves

And each time the would take

A piece then another

As she offered

And their need was stronger than hers.


They took her hair for great nets

Her breasts for the young

Her eyes for the old

Her womb for the girls

Her thighs for the men

Her bones for the dogs

Her nose for the cows

And her flesh for the ground .


They took pieces and pieces

As she offered and offered

Sometimes for the children

More often themselves

And sometimes not desperate

They even just sold them

The pieces of her

They’d carved off like meat.


And my father looked guilty

As he told me the story

Of the giantess who’d carved herself up

To be eaten

I asked him what happened

To the giant and the people

And he told me she’d given

Till nothing remained

But that for a moment

When they came for her tongue

That she had asked why

And they couldn’t say

But that they took it regardless

And said it was fine

A girl won’t say no

And if she ever did

Then they’d cover their ears

And no one would hear.

Ritual at 2am

It’s somewhere and someone is thinking of them

Though they’re not sure if they should just laugh or just cry

Cause the wall in front of her is flecked with pale grey

And the bath where she’s sitting is colder than ice

And there’s someone’s sat slumped by the side of the tub

And his hands do not comb through the ends of her hair

And she’s not felt a moment that’s like this before

And she’ll not feel a moment that’s like this again

But he still pours cool water all over her head

And she’s scared that the dye will stay stuck to her skin

And she wonders if this is as clean as she’ll get

And she’s scared that the water will change if he feels it

Cause red wine has caused him to scream out before

And she knows it’ll end when the dye leaves the bath

And it will leave a mark on the side for some time

And she doesn’t quite know if she wants to just stay there

But she doesn’t quite know if she wants it to stain

I only feel alive when you watch me dance at midnight

Zombie is an overused metaphor

I am only alive when others observe

To spit white fire and jealousy

Red hot slurring from mouth to my vein

Magma thrown blazing across crowded rooms

Or halls or house or countries

I am potters clay waiting to be formed

Your judgement my salvation.

A suggestion of gravity

As a child,

more often then not,

when looking at the sky,

She felt like gravity would reverse

and she’d float,



up into the mottled black of the great expanse so far up,

the bedroom light would be the stars




more often than then,

when she lies awake

to watch the mottled drywall

of her bedroom ceiling,

She wonders why she doesn’t fall up

and questions

if its only gravity

that keeps her tethered to the ground.


I miss you in your ruffles,

In the corners and the creases.

I miss you in the shadows,

In the tiniest of pieces.

I miss you in the night chill

In the rain, the snow, the sun.

I miss you in the morning,

When the day has just begun.

I miss you in my heartbeat,

In my pulse and in each breath .

I miss you in my living,

In my middle and my death .

I miss you in the big things

In the whole and the almost .

I miss you universal

But the small things hurt the most .

I miss you in the crook

of my left arm when you are sleeping.

I miss missing yet still knowing

you’ll be home to stem my weeping.

An understanding

That you jumped off the cliff,

And into the sea

Was no surprise.


As a child you had laughed,

At eddies and ripcords

And a million glimmering droplets.


You had peered,

Stood eyes wide open till

they cried of their own accord.


Stood Alone,

In pools of rocks

And waves and salt.


Played there with dreams

As real as the sea

And the sand


That you jumped off the cliff

And into the sea

Was no surprise


As an adult it became

Less about the sea

And more about the land.


I would watch you stare,

Mutter nonsense words

Into pools of mud and silt


Watched you,

As you watched salt and sea

and dirt and sand .


That you jumped off the cliff

And into the sea

Was no surprise.


No surprise,

But it hurt just the same .

Please be reminded that eye contact is not permitted on the underground

Do you think she stands there just because she can;

To feel the pulling wind of soon arriving trains

Balancing the tightrope of the platforms edge

As she sways to the echoed vibrations?

Does she see herself through technicoloured screens;

Holding court from across the yellow line

Stretching out to the bated breaths

Of her watching captive audience?

Or does she teeter on the edge of something else;

The subtle lure of the space between the tracks

Or the gnawing, hungry, vicious biting

Of her life outside the station?

I wonder if she feels your stare?

Feels you cut yourself on her soft edges

And questions if you’ll meet her eyes

Or stand there still,

Till your train stops at the platform.

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