dying flower
Photo by Wendy Corniquet, public domain

Poems by Indigo

/

LeipGlo contributor Indigo shares a selection of her poems with us and talks about some of the processes and inspirations behind each lyrical work.

Trigger warning: the following poems contain references to eating disorders and the death of a friend.


Ghosts

We are the flowers on the water

& the leaves upon the breeze

We are thistles in the meadow

the bark of copper coloured trees

We are the ghost of all you know

 

We are a familiar fragrance

a scent-it-meant of home

We are birdsong in the hedgerow

& keep you company when alone

We are the ghost of all you know

 

We are made of drifting clouds

& come to you in the rain

We are the fruits of all you sow

the salty trickle of your pain

We are the ghost of all you know

 

We are footprints left by shadows

& the dry breath of the dead

We are the moons subtle glow

& the memories in your head

We are the ashes of all you know


This poem is about separation, from people and from places, and from the lives that we are used to.

During the pandemic, I felt isolated. Not only due to repeated lock-downs, but I also lived in a foreign country, unable to speak the language, and my friends and family were all across the ocean. It felt like the world was crumbling. It felt like everything we had taken for granted was disintegrating.

I remember I took a walk in the countryside around Stolberg when I came across this beautiful field that was completely full of thistles and I instantly thought of all my friends back over in Scotland and of my walks around the Scottish borders. I had a strange feeling of happiness and sorrow. I wondered if things could ever be the same again, and I doubted it. When everything is unfamiliar, yet some things touch you still, remind you of someone or somewhere or sometime that is gone, remind you of how things can be so distant and unreachable – it’s a sense of loss.


Corridors

This corridor doesn’t lead to anywhere

It has no centre

No beginning or end

Suspended

Open ended

It dangles

It disentangles

From life

From the universe and the stars

From belonging

To self-check-outs and empty cars

It rides

In unchartered skies

On hooked beaks of cranes

The metal complains

It creaks

And squeaks

As the corridor swings

Caught on its hook

High above the down of luck

The grass

The dirt

The muck

the people rushing by

Oblivious

To this corridor in the sky

Oblivious

To all

Who live outside their world

The cold and hungry

The broken girl

The corridor knows

A list grows

Ever longer by the day

Those who have lost their way

In corridors

That have no centre

No beginning or end

Each person who enters

Will never leave again


dark corridor
Photo by Peter H, public domain

I was out walking in Liverpool a few years ago and saw this big old metal crane hanging over some buildings near the docks. It held a huge section of pipe. I wondered what the world looked like from that high up. It made me think of how distant people can seem even from where I stood.

I thought about the growing number of homeless people that I passed on Bold Street and about how many lives happen around us all the time and we don’t notice, we take no time to connect.

I also thought about addictions and how hard it is to get out of bad routines. It was on my mind a lot at that time, as I was trying to recover from a very destructive eating disorder. I guess it’s about routines in general, getting stuck in a routine, a pattern of behaviour that is at the cost of any other interaction, of any connection with others and a disconnection from life in general. Selfishness, lack of empathy, disinterest on the one hand and on the other it is very much about the sense of being lost, loneliness and being forgotten.


At Sea

Daughter of the air

Beware

Don’t give your gift so easily

Let time melt your beat-less heart

Your father in the waves

Waves

At a ship that sways unsteady in its course

and soon beaten by the heavens force

It sinks

into the drink

and carried off to distant shoals

are all aboard that ship of lost souls

For you, sisters have shed sharp tears

For you.

They have bled.

A river runs red.

But for you, your earthly body is shed

It dwells

In spells

with copper coins lost to wishing wells

A memory an imprint

A forlorn dream

A lost innocence

A silent scream.


two boats at sea
Photo by PixelAnarchy, public domain

My favourite fairytale has always been The Little Mermaid by Hans Christian Andersen. The poem “At Sea” is very much inspired by that story. It’s about feelings of emptiness and depression. The rejection of life. The importance of not losing yourself to a moment but recognising that life and time are precious and not to be thrown away.


Dead Flowers

There are no flowers anymore

No sweet-smelling perfume to linger

The bright coloured petals have all fallen

A new season has come

Dirt

That is what remains

Dirt and dead grass

No colours

No scent

Just cold tar and icy pavement

A Corpse covered in crows

Lays open in the road

the bus drives by

and crows retreat to the sky

High

So high

They wait

their meal

imprinted on the wheel

I close my eyes

not to sleep

rather to close my shutters

to retreat

to a slower heartbeat

the rhythm of the road and chitter chatter

of gentle soothing mundane matter

fills my ears

but not my head

for that is full of the words you said


I was riding on a bus from Hawick back to my home in Jedburgh, Scotland. I remember watching some crows on the road, picking away at some poor unfortunate creature. It was a particularly cold Scottish winters day.

I was feeling exhausted from not being able to switch off the voice of my anorexia.

It had been getting increasingly louder because I had been getting increasingly healthier. That’s what happens. It’s odd because when I was really ill I felt amazing, full of life, energy, and ideas.

In recovery, I felt depressed, miserable, and like a failure. There is something in anorexia, an energy, a focus, a creativity that pushes you and you feel invincible like you are really good at something – at least that’s how it was for me. Anyway, this poem is really about the exhaustion you feel in recovery and how you feel like you are losing yourself, losing a friend. In reality, I realise, I was finding myself.


My friend Maggie

Watching the sun

as it tries

to set behind your eyes

though this day is too soon to end

my friend

Don’t let your bright light die

or the burning orange flame

flicker

uncertain

It is a strong wind that blows

trying to extinguish your light

please fight

it is too soon

to bring forward the night


I moved to Jedburgh in Scotland in early 2016. I was still very noticeably ill with the anorexia and I was about to embark on a very inadvisable (and short-lived) stint as a chef in a local cafe, having recently qualified as a pastry chef.

One day soon after my move, I was out walking when I ran into a very friendly, red-haired lady who came bustling up the street with her little Schnauzer dog ‘Monty’.

She introduced herself as ‘Mags’ and we stood and chatted on the street a wee while as if we were old friends, and soon we were. She tried her best to support me over the few years I was in Jedburgh, she encouraged my recovery from the eating disorder and really helped me reduce my reliance on exercise.

She introduced me to her friends and in general, she made my life a lot less lonely and much, much happier. She became family to me. It was not long after I had decided to move down to Liverpool that Mags discovered she had lung cancer. At first, it seemed they had caught it in time. We were all really positive. I wrote this poem during that time when it still seemed there was a good chance to fight the cancer. It makes me incredibly sad to know that her illness deteriorated during the pandemic and the lockdown and that she had to face a lot of her last months in isolation. My friend died in June 2020, just a few days before her birthday.

A British woman living in Germany since March 2020 with my husband Benny and my cat Grimalkin. I write and illustrate short stories, poems and draw comic strips.

Previous Story

Halle 14: Future of Cities. Not for Granted

movie projector film
Next Story

LeipGlo events round-up: highlights of November 2021

Latest from Literature