Miki Byrne – three poems

Heaven’s Gut

The sky is thin as paper here.
I could scrape my nail along
a blue seam and open a gap,
a mouth that could swallow me.
Gulp me down to where
new dimensions
throw different shadows
and other languages dance
on the edge of hearing.
I could slide into heavens gut,
see if it too
holds stuff it doesn’t need,
people it doesn’t want
and become part
of a peristaltic movement.
Squeezed out into a different time,
ready to brush myself off
and start again.

Assessing Jade-rock

Silent William walks round the boulder,
steps lightly for a big man.
Touches the rock as if blind, finger tickling,
stroking it like a cat’s back.
Takes time for texture, thought, his skin’s salt
to open mouths in the boulders gritty surface,
let it suck his calloused fingers.
As he pictures pale seams, a hidden heart.
Feels flaws, protrusions of crystal or fossil
that would take his blood if he let them.
He knows stone as another would know
their garden, a much-loved horse,
the contours of a lover’s spine.
He whispers thanks to his ancestors,
asks permission to lay his blade and guidance
for his hand.
His mind spirals now, probes deep, teases out
the rock’s truth from lies, finds the place
it wanted kept secret.
Lapis eyes view ‘til every contour is known,
a map formed.
Satisfied, he knows now where to place
his first cut.


It’s a lot of strum for throwaway coins
and the lug of gear on a chilly day.
Fingers stiffen, wind moans
over greasy tiles in a damp subway.
Acoustics govern choice of place
catches sound, keeps him out of the rain.
A smile hangs on his cold face,
in the pluck of songs, lie love and pain.
Washed like a log to a streams bank
a walking river keeps him pinned.
Coins in the hat glisten and clank,
his jeans hems are wetly rimmed.
Cold, hungry, a back that aches,
he pack his guitar in a battered case.
Counts the pittance his songs made,
trudges to crash at a mates place.
One day, there will be a band,
guitar, vocals, bass and drums.
He sits in a pub, beer in hand,
marks time, till that fine day comes.

Miki is inspired by nature and by the complexity of the human condition.
She lived on a narrow boat for many years and is the author of three poetry collections. She has had work included in over 170 respected poetry magazines and anthologies, has read on both radio and TV and was a finalist for Gloucester Poet Laureate. Miki founded and runs In Your Own Words poetry at The Roses Theatre, Tewkesbury. She feels that writing is as necessary as breathing and that the pen is indeed, mightier than the sword. She began reading her work in a bikers club in Birmingham and now lives back on the land in Gloucestershire.


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