Words Are A Crow

No words
falling like rain
pooling around my feet
taking no root
no flight
no candle, no wing

no sound as they take off
in a squall of
feathers tossed aside mid-flight
spilling ink across the roof
and leaving foreign runic marks
on the back of my hand

A Case Against Pretty Bullet Journals

Not poetry but something I’ve wanted to write about for a while. If you enjoy bullet journalling, keep doing that; if not, maybe read on.

When bullet journalling became a trend, I felt wary. The pictures and videos were so pretty, so perfect. So much effort of drawing perfect boxes, practising handwritten names of months and days to perfection, so much pressure to make the lists of potential failures presentable for keeping them all year.
Nice handwriting is a noble art, a beneficial practise in patience, but it can be daunting for the less talented (or patient).

I had a long, hard, and honest look both at the whole concept and at my life, then went by the trusty rule I learned from a Stargate story (which in itself is probably telling) long ago: What do I have, what do I need?

I have a lot of different and unpredictable categories of things I want to keep track of, a brain that is way faster than my hands, and rather mediocre handwriting talents that clash with my sense for aesthetics. I already have a normal agenda in nice paper for scheduling appointments and events, which I want to keep as a separate entity.

I need something simple that doesn’t need a lot of time and effort to prepare, something flexible, and something that doesn’t involve lugging around pages upon ugly pages of poorly shaped words and unfinished tasks. I need something that doesn’t require opening a file or book but rather something out in the open. Something that comes without artistic pressure.

From that it became clear the best way to avoid dread of imperfection is — at least for me — to simply forgo the idea of a pretty tracking journal altogether and use lists which get thrown out once their job is done.

After some experimentation it’s currently still a rather mixed system of loose pieces of paper and a spiral notepad, but the notepad is slowly winning for private lists. If I have a list for the following day, I simply flip the notepad to that page and put it on my bedside cabinet or on my desk. There are lists with creative ideas, lists with things I want to reorganise in the flat, lists of gift ideas, lists of tasks I want to get done within a specific month, lists of things to try/learn …

… and when I’m done with an item, I draw a bold, ugly line through it. Or two lines or three, if I’m particularly glad the thing is over and done. It’s a very satisfying action, as is tearing out a list and scrunching it up into a ball once most or even all items have been taken care off. Some things get carried over to new lists or become irrelevant. Some things don’t get done and the record of such a failure will be shredded and pulped and become new paper in the near future, instead of living on as an eye-sore amidst watercolour flowers for months to come.

I never imaged I’d grow up to be a list person, but it’s growing on me.
There’s something liberating in knowing all the things to do and try and think of are in a safe place outside my brain while they don’t have to adhere to a predetermined format. Sitting down once a day or every few days to put ideas into categories has become a habit and in the end it saves time, without any need for special art supplies or ambition towards picture perfect planning.

The Odd Between

I inhabit
the odd spaces
in between:

between floorboards and carpet,
between wall and paint,
between thought and spoken word;

the idea between
waking state and slipping asleep,
the breath between
the day’s last second and midnight,
the fleeting line between
what is seen and what is not.

Hairy Magic

The price of magic was to be payed in hair. For each spell, each incantation, sorcerers lost a hair or even a whole strand. Sometimes, they resorted to using their eyebrows or, if they had one, their beard as well once all the locks were used up. A shining bald head was the medal signifying a magical life well lived.
One day, a new sorceress arrived in town. People started whispering, pointing at her full head of thick, healthy curls, bouncing against her back as she strode.

“So, you’re too vain to do any spellwork, then?” an elder sorcerer sneered, “Or are you just really bad at magic?”
The sorceress smiled sweetly but deadly at him. “Oh, I believe I’m pretty good. They never said anything about having to use the hair on your head, did they?” She winked at the flock of younger sorcerers behind the elder. “I was gifted with a healthy amount of leg hair, my friends, and I’ve never been afraid of making good use of that.”

I Don’t Have Stories

I don’t have stories to tell
but the shapes of tree branches,
long walks on cloudy days,
scuffed boots and cold hands;
a million noisy thoughts falling apart

and I don’t have words
but the blue of the sky
appearing in the gaps
where the autumn foliage
takes a breath

from the quiet emptiness
of outer space.

A Whole Different World

The profound otherness
palpable, a capsule under your tongue
containing the blueprint hologram
of a whole different universe

you cannot swallow it,
yet cannot allow it to escape your teeth
for it will expand and collapse everything around you

in a black hole

Ghost Messages

Leaving answering machine messages
to ghosts
on flimsy evenings
of cobweb dreams and dusty feet
running into tides of steel
while phone lines collapse
and cascades of glass swallow sunset
trapping the ghosts in tiny bubbles
leaving your messages unheard