Sunday, 4 December 2011


Copyright: Samantha Ledger 2011

Sunday, 4 September 2011


She says she has words
plentiful in a vocabulary of Welsh,
I cannot content with
vowels and concepts spoken,
in my language                  another language-
passion rages beneath  the fine veneer
of motherly attributes,
if she were astute wisdom
it would lead a merry path
past our (un)holy vision

I have birthed one
long       desire to give others a sense
of freely available oxygen,
are there drugs that alleviate
such sentiments,
I heard her annoyance and relinquished
control to another-
                here is my power
take me.

I have suffered and suffer
indigenous cramps of native
blades and humorous felinity,
                here seeps substance
of women.

I have failed and fucked
twenty eight moments,
only one leading to this-
                hope fails me ,
 he will see

So I say,
                she has my eyes
they are filthy-
I thought you would lead her
towards other paths,
dreaming you would not make
another women
                in my own image.

Copyright: Samantha Ledger 2011

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

of spiders and water

I heard them
flying across the sky
despite myself and the longing that
they were not real...

I hear he went France
I remembered Agincourt,
so many graves
and the knave skewered
on his own sword
pretending it was just a dream,
but we were standing there
carefree and five years short
of seventeen.

There are bats circling
on this- a cool august evening,
I watch for the men
of eight legs or arms
to creep silently
unhinged through the night,
women speak in verse
I find myself terse
turned on or off from their ramblings.

Rabies is an affliction
that gives us reason
to foam readily at the mouth
and my southwards lips
shift as my hips,
dance with longing forgotten
steeped in dealt blows-
I am slow to return

Yet do
                as I must.

While the endless thrust of blood
same type and route
delivers notes of music,
she hears despite my muting
of sounds
found only in ways to deafen,
spreading five fingers
and palm over ears.

Here is the truth
deeply interred to recur,
yet we repent not a leisure
head swimming under
sacrifices of ones own lies

There is no poets act,
no chiming chords to accompany
the cacophony of wailing
sailing into seas,
deep oceans of uncertain living.

I cannot forgive
despite having read my own explanation,
they are coming
I feel their limbs
clambering over me,
her waking fitfulness to letters
addresses with first names only.

There is always the river
but it offers no consolation,
she has already staked it
as her own home
and I am known to its waters.

Slaughter is a word we associate
with death
of a body,
but when will you see
it is more a death of memory
and soul

I am mute beneath fluid,
daughter- mother-  lover
inescapable the melody
I hear it now

it knows only this,
the resonance of my name.

Copyright: Samantha Ledger 2011

for Iris

There is fate
I hear it calling   distantly,
I had not reckoned that it knew my name
but he did           and spoke it
with an eloquence I would not have
associated with a poor
upbringing-         we are poor (I)
in moral fibre and perhaps character,
so they say         of me and I behave
only to your expectation.

You see this love and assume
the demons caught beneath,
under the net of capture are yours.

is there per         sist         ence
in memory,
I cannot will it so or         stow its feed or
stem its hunger.

I watch dutiful
Catholics recounting vows
hopeless and lost,
for her sins of innocence-
understand mighty,
I thank Iris
for delivering this body
complete to its road.

There are many paths
to lead hope astray,
they remark on fragility
yet seemingly engrossed by the frailties
of a woman grasping
at womanhood she believed
denied to her.

I feel the tug of reality
pulls at wounds gripped
by a recall-
manufactured efforts,
if they are wrong
then am I held together
by misguided hope,
string     twine and glue.

Deliver me from evil,
                I prayed or pray- yet
you never came.
Now I am alone with her
                 protesting beautifully
in a language I cannot speak
                but find myself agreeing

Copyright: Samantha Ledger 2011


Over the years
the voice has dissipated
to a small chiming sound,
pitched so to almost be unheard,
it seems so much better to be
unheard               unseen.

You said it was the comment
I made across the table
dressed in a suit,
               Just be kind to us
my reference to professional conduct
but you heard it as
              Just be kind to me

We began with discussions of
poetry and art
over coffee and cigarettes,
            a middle of
my legs spread from
one side of a room to the other,
                          ended with you leaving
while I carried our child
        under my breastbone.

Perfection exists in balance
of all things,
handing trust to your lover
because they know
             what it means,
how fragile its beauty-
          for them to break it,
scattering       shards
like a trail of breadcrumbs
               that I must follow
to put myself back together.

I heard your voice calling
through the distance,
remembering becomes rose tinted
I loved you so deeply,
              I love you
for making me a woman
want to lay myself out for you

yet it always was toxic
                 it always was toxic,
chimes the voice
speaking slowly
calling this masochist to prayers.

Copyright: Samantha Ledger 2011

everything to nothing

She used to be pretty but lived
as she dreamed
dreamed as she lived,
never speaking unless
spoken to,
simply holding fragments of
herself and a worn book
of scribbling by poet unknown.

Not knowing how to read
she stared endlessly
at the contrast between ink and paper,
losing herself
too often
between the lines.

Her voice was slow like honey
thick but with a bitter

Strangers remarked
upon passing in the street
of her likeness to someone
they once knew,
or seen captured
on celluloid,
turning for one more look
only to see an empty space...


...have you ever found yourself
waking from a dream
with the metallic taste of blood
in your mouth,
only to realise you have bitten
you own tongue
in an effort to wake.

I used to scrawl out visions
in a notebook with chewed edges,
lines of poetry that came to me
before reality grounded creativity
through gravity and a sense
of someone next to me breathing,
as they dissipated- the words
I would gnaw the pen to stave of hunger            
turning my lips blue,
a sure sign of suffocation.

I danced a jig to my own voice
out of tune and semi dressed
just to raise a smile from my daughters
pink lips and gap toothed mouth,
the shrieks piercing
through a three day hangover,
limbs pencil thin wrapped in paper
all before I fell inward -
onto my own sword I had sharpened
only that very morning.

I have given nothing to everything
everything to nothing ,
emptiness keeps me full
and I no longer speak
unless spoken to,
or write and I have forgotten
how to read.

of sisters

She spoke in a song in a tongue
not of our mother
through a determined narrative
of spite and menstrual blood,
                gorged at fates own eye
until he was blinded from seeing her.

Hope spoke slowly for we did not understand
how to grip tightly to her coat tail
through wind and rain
                a bitterness of a long December,
when we woke in April nothing looked
as it had done when birth was new,
fresh scents of afterbirth
sickly sweet        tender tendrils.

                I cut the umbilical cord
before it wrapped around my neck
she carved the date under her skin
                so we could not forget,
I folded away skirts and blankets
no need for them again
                under the weight of disgrace.

She held the knife close as we swore
promises skyward           in defiance,
I have scrawled down her laments
                in fingerprints and coded lists
of names and atomic numbers,
there is no balance to us
                drifting from place to place
invisible as the day we merged,
she is my voice
                we are sisters.

our night

I can hear the Murder Ballads
                playing on repeat in the background,
he asks if we should walk hand in hand
talk about Proust or why I scrawled red paint
across the canvas             or how the cadence of my words
evokes sentiments as it does.

My only answer is to shrug and give a hand over,
there is no reply to questions I don't understand
they simply are                 or have been    or will be.

                Baritone whispers call across sheets
of a bed never wide enough
                or close enough                                the clear space between us
dissipates until the need to sleep claims me
for it's own fantasy,
                then there can be no connection
physical or otherwise.

Slight touches to a shoulder from time to time
calm timid mutterings                    to sooth,
lightness weighed to perfection
or else lights must be switched on
to remind us (we) of our geography,
wardrobes and shadows illuminated to prove
non existence of monsters.

Or we face the three am wail of the banshee
dragging us from sweet dreams,
only the tight force of arms ropey
from years of yielding horses to a halt
can contain thrashing     screaming,
the deep sounding hush, hush, hush
                you are here I are safe
I will never let you go...

                let me go, let me go
                                please, please, please...
                echoes frailly from a mouth.

He will not relinquish      for fear of consequences
until my breath has         sl-ow-ed              to an exhausted pace of after ,
loosens then his cramping limbs.
It could be moments      it could be hours,
I feel like a child                                become one,
while ours sleeps in the next room

By morning it shall be forgotten
                no need for words or explanations
over coffee and cereal
                half chewed toast and the babble
passing over four teeth.

Until tonight,
                when we combine again under feathers
and cotton          to dance electric,
                before others come to claim me as their own.

the fugue state

She has been lost in a fantasy
of horses running across furrowed fields
                riding her out to the sea,
clinging to a muddied mane
                thighs gripped naked around a belly
thinning               starved                 but still his gallop
        is like the wind

I  kneel in sand
waves breaking across my back
already I feel the salt stinging
wounds believed heeled,
 I cannot see my own spine
resent looking over my shoulder
in states of hyper vigilance

I dream of chasing myself
                across deserts searching for water
only to wake with a mouth full of
frogs climbing over each other
sliding down my throat
                coating it with secretions

I have tired pushing six fingers
from two hands inside
in an effort to remove them
but end only with blooded fingers
chewed to bone and nail.

And she says,
                shall I get you something
to take away the taste

                Twenty five years I have been waiting
for someone to offer to prize them out,
only to realise they cannot
do more than bear witness
to the unravelling of them
from my tongue.

I have an obsession with sharps,
pieces of broken glass
collecting them
                tucking them away
just in case
                just in case
I do not wake from the fugue state.

cuts to bone

When it cuts to the bone how does it feel...
                ...I can't recall - I am all bone...
...are you constantly bleeding...
                ...only marrow and memories

There is an impromptu interlude
of improvised music,
a voice lilting into a groove
fashioned from off key notes,
 crooning sounds of inhumane behaviour
spun from fibres and redden tissue
rubbed too hard
for too long so its shine has
worn to a mottled russet.

She can be seen no longer (as herself)
 flesh painted with fingerprints,
                there is no Botticelli touch
brush strokes have been hard
                heavy with a pummelling motion
until purple pools
at the surface,
they say there  are four thousand tears to weep
under lace and sounds of Puccini

If we (I am, I do) feel the raging passion of perversion
laid out across an abdomen
scars open to the air
who will pick over the remains,
                I fear I cannot stay here long enough
to hold onto myself (lovingly)
without holding my head under water
                beyond the count of one hundred

After years of solitude...there is an urge to breathe you
back to life
allow you to do it all again.
                They must be so

I have been to Venus
                and back
but fear I have lost myself somewhere in the middle,
I am reaching my own event horison
laying hererupturing thoughts,
                should have known better
than to stand my ground,
there was a delicate intricacy
in the beauty of uncertainty.

an eternal ocean of violence

Born in January when days were black
night could not be discerned from day,
my mother wept when they opened my legs
to see the lack of masculinity,
I could not grow the meat
to sustain her hunger,
laid instead
out as sacrificial lamb.

I used to wish you never gave me away
into a martial bed,
dressed as a small china doll
watching Him gather a vision
of lace and taffeta,
there were no hymns or hymen in those long nights.
I would rather have slept in the disused pig pen
great uncle could have castrated me,
I would have happily
watch the virginal blood spilling
all the way back to the slaughter house.

Daughters are dreaming
I can hear their confessions
seeping through walls
under pressure of deep sleep,
guilt under finger nails
mingled with the dirt and sin.
History will not repeat
under this roof,
the song of a night lark resonates from walls
as if I had caught and caged her,
I am the only caged animal here.

The wildness of my history gnaws
at womanhood and breasts
reminding me of femininity       
desire for my own kind,
awakening a long deeply drawn ache
running from nipple to navel and down
beneath folds of motherhood.

I cannot dance but have mastered an art
of choreographing myself into contortions
giving an observer insights of disordered chaos,
they come into the umber of my being
come under skin and lay deep
within me.

Where is truth.

Upon the shore she rests
 a woman bruised from the rolling of the sea,
breathing desperately,
despite herself,
her last moment  washing over her.
Naked but for the small amethyst
around her neck,
a noose or a idol of sobriety.
There are no words heard above the noise,
only the roar of water raging
against its own defiance.

There is nothing between us now,
but an eternal ocean of violence.

Friday, 15 April 2011

(disintegration) theorem

The cradle broke.
I didn't see it coming,
spoke no words,
let my body bend -
curve over the air
turn upon recrimination
allowed the indication of my being

Tear ducts
cinder dry closed sores,
the recourse of dreaming
frightens me -
let me be someone else...


Her bones are brittle
under sunlight,
calcify through the night
until dawn peaks,
when I may retreat
from my watchful stance -
perched on haunches.

My body is a tomb
for you,
before the day is born
before I ache.
My body is barren now
turned inside out,
I can feel the skin
lining my throat

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

letters of apology

Haemoglobin gloats,
floats upon the water
my son
crouches on the periphery
between life and
here -
my void of being.


should he burn,
his skin peel
to be reborn
in the arms of another woman,
a mother.

These are my questions...

through shadows
I crave
warmth to cast
deep long shards of sunlight
over translucent skin.
Fever breaks as cold sweats,
rolling over the bow
of a ghost ship

Twenty-seven thousand miles
I shall crawl,
bare boned over grains of sand
carved sharply
to torture my journey
back to you,
always you,
laid sleeping on my chest


He is my gravity,
my natural phenomenon.
Through my feet
I shall drive
two twelve inch nails
to keep me grounded.

My apologies
scatter far
and wide,
across the vista from our porch
and I know
they are meaningless
scraps of paper
in my absence.

Monday, 11 April 2011

acquiescent in essence

Splitters of you penetrate
spitefully under the tips
of my fingers,
I have tried gnawing you out
freeing you from the confines
of my alabaster flesh.

I used to be supple,
now an intransient supplicant
washed out over blackened print
of divinities frail words,
where has forever gone

It is here with you,

I was to be your lover
under swathes of pale
blue Caribbean water.

The body remains
peacefully muted
on a bed of palm fronds,
lips parted
as if waiting for a final breath.

I wanted to bury her
beneath the sand,
you said there wasn't time,
eager to feed a hunger.

My tears are lost,
stolen by the sea
lapping at my feet
too much salt upon my tongue.

Am I cured;
simply raw beneath the surface

Laid in the crook of your arm
eyes closed against a day
fearful of the sight of you,
my courage prefers the shade
of long drunken nights

Whispers roll as waves
across browning skin
hers or mine
I cannot tell the difference anymore.

We always were
acquiescent in essence

let the lying lips be put to silence

Don't presume my innocence
before you speak my name,
we never expected recrimination
through a halo of lies,
the ilk of nature
over nature
courses deep into the night.

Women walk
draped in velvet and taffeta,
callous - weathered
beneath breath they speak
in nakedness,
slow constricted vowels
these words...

"Let the lying lips be put to silence;"
Psalms 31:18,

...ripple across lips,
pulled back
exposing missing teeth,
rotted from the festering venom
pooled under serpent tongues.

I have been split
forked across to halves
or beings,
brittle boned and swathed
in moulding cloth,
here is my birth...

Symmetry bemoans duty,
I made my mother cry
in fits of delinquent temper
as I fell from the peddle stool.
A reflection
cracking under the weight
of a heavy or heavenly virtue

I have turned to stone

Imagery carved under skin
in ink and ash,
we knelt at your alter
alternated positions
to ease your tired back
from the groaning pain
of teaching us our lessons


I can hear music.
She danced  across the water
drifted far out to sea
to sit upon rocks,
calls out the name of
begging for him to come -
collect her sin and take it back
beyond the river.

Her vision distorts
contorts with the wind,
aggrieved by the storm
swelling upon the horizon -
akin to the man.

We feel into you
backward until staked
upon  doctrine
upon recollection
gut symmetry.

I am not your passion,
a recreation -
a biological echo of your sin,
the apple of your eye

"who will make me a liar, and make my speech nothing worth?"
Job 24:25, 

pusillanimity's twin

I had been sleeping with butterflies
until bees sprung up
form between my petals
and stung you on the mouth.
Suede lust,
animal skin holds its scent,
life captured
as its ripped from a carcass,
snared in a man trap

It was a man.

He was a man before
we anchored him to wooden stakes
through his limbs,
I tied the ropes myself
until my hands bleed,
I liked the calluses,
chewed the skin
to keep the sores open

I wear red ribbons in my hair
they dance on a breeze,
conjured up by our cajoling -
howling and foot stamping
under the gaze
of a waning autumnal sun.

Lucky me,
I found my revolution
hidden beneath my womanhood,
under my left breast
before I removed it,
turning black in the sun.

But still she didn't come
to stand beside me.

pennyroyal oil tea

I have woven webs
of intricate lace and dust
into my wedding dress,
my wounds are painted in lipstick
and blush,
evensong burns on my tongue .

(Y)our  church rocks
in the wind
under the force of earth
 venting spirits
caught in her belly,
children never seeing light

day – night – dawn dusk,
dreams resting on fingertips

Superstitious women    
forced heather into my hands,
they saw me
standing silent at the lake
watching fireflies,
pathos in indignation.

Twisted claws -
my hands un-ringed,
cramp claims them for its own.
Where has my potassium gone,
magnesium sulphate mutes my voice
when I am lost at sea.

When I was younger we sat
drinking pennyroyal,
kissing the sun before I discovered
running with the wolves
through fields,
snow covered from September.

First frost coming
before the fashion of men
under my quilted blanket,
should I have folded back
upon myself to accommodate need
 restless under the many folds
of placid skin

Pieces have scattered to the wind
torn from my book of prayer,
I cannot remember
(Mother) Maria whispering in my ear
words of Latin tangled in my hair,
I remember her palm
across my face.

Tenderness or torment

My mind twists around your
even voices,
sane so they say
standing over in contemptuous robes

The funeral possession is slow
low to the ground,
I can be cruel
I don't know why.

Birds circle over head
waiting for bones
to become frail,
we shall all lay here alone
at some point,
slowly disappearing
into the earth

oil (crude)

I want to peek
At your oil,
Let it soil me.
Feel it slide across my skin
The slippery slick
Sick substance.

I want your sin
Spread not thinly but thick
Deep and sleek into grooves
Smooth it is not-
Abrasion gives me more
Understanding of myself

Teach me.

I felt the removal of you
From the inner confines
Of my fake womanhood,
The wake of your
Tears a wound
None can stitch

I have sown my mouth,
Knitted south the infusion
Of my being
from this place.
The space - vast
Cast by the long shadow
Of you

Your peak oil comes
In a rush,
Not lengthy
But briefly.
This is a lifetime
In my time.
I am your unnatural disaster

the washateria

I can't get it clean
This unseen stain,
Perhaps I should refrain
From staring
Caring that it exists,
Consist of irresponsible

My mother taught me
That paying attention
To men intentions
Was the explicit instruction
Of a woman,
I learnt this while still tied
To the umbillicus.

Often I were fastidious
In my work,
Would not shirk request
No even if
It created less of me
To free from this circle.

I turn in a decreasing
Circumference of living,
Sinning sanity and staining
Now my mother is irritated-'
More inflamed
While I am shamed at my

I have all the money I could need
But won't buy a washer
To clean my dirty laundry
At home,
And though they stone me
As I walk along the street
I cannot retreat into shadows.

so I sit, watching the problem
Through the wet, wash, rinse
Spin cycle,
Knowing there is no repentance,
I forlorn at the washateria
Watching my reflection.

Friday, 21 January 2011

Glass Jars

Dreams are lined up on shelves
Embalmed in vinegar,
Pickled and perched for prosperity.
Every so often nostalgic urges push,
I pick a jar holding it close my face
Examining the memory of dreaming.
These precious things,
Captured captives
I run faster from them,
from loyalty,
From conformity stretching out its hand
To grasp tightly at my throat,
I am suffocating in my own ornate box.
Where are the pretty girls
Wrapped in crêpe paper dresses,
Dancing round in circles mouthing words
To songs long forgotten after the dance
Turned from dreaming,
To lusting boys in buttoned down attire.
I cut them one by one from old newspaper,
Colour them in lilac, pale pink and blue
Then strike a match and watch them burn,
Pushing their ash into heart shaped boxes
Lock them in my jewellery chest,
My precious memories.
I’m clinging to nothing but dust
That runs between the day
And black shadows.
When truth comes looking I hide,
Pretend that memories are real
Until the sound crashes through my lies,
And the feeling of broken glass
Underneath my bare feet reminds me
That dreams can never last.