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Best Charlotte Puddifoot Poems

Below are the all-time best Charlotte Puddifoot poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Willow

My slender boughs are bowed
by the great weight of my grief,
and these are not leaves

cascading to soil, but tears of teal.
I am shaken by a sorrowful breeze;
my sap taken by the fading light,

dried out and hollowed, a rasp of parched bark;
creaking and weeping
with the weight of my mythology

as cold takes hold, scoring its mark on bark,
rippling and stippling my leaves;
a shivering shroud of green settling over me.

Yet eternity rings coil at my core, ensure
tiers of teardrop leaves will glisten with life again,
drooping and dripping in a shimmering baptism of rain.

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2013

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Double Phantasy

Mama, did you know the precious amethyst shadow hours
I spent beside you, cuddled cosy-close, nestled in blankets of light,
shawled in your red-gold hair? I kissed each tear you cried;
each one a starlight pearl forged from the depths
of your fragile soul. I rocked seashell-shut to each lullaby note
and silently watched as you rocked my cold, empty cradle.
Sometimes you sensed me coiled at your breast -
a small, balled knot of grief. You felt my tiny fingers plucking at you
as tingling shivers. And sometimes I bounced sunshine-free
on your knee, a giggling orb of light.

Little one, once again I felt you here,
entombed in the womb of this eternal everywhere room,
your spirit sifting through my fingers like hourglass sand.
Pain has blanked my mind wraith-white, but I felt
your lips nip the warm rosebuds of my nipples
as I pressed a lullaby to the delicate shell of your ear
and brief blessed seconds spun out like years.
My sentient heart will always hold you, my grip will never slip,
as my earthbound hands, human-warm, reach through time
and heather-shadowed ether to love and care for you.




18/6/2011

*'phantasy' is a deliberate misspelling, an amalgamation of 'phantom' and 'fantasy'

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2011

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Rape

October: I'm eighteen, shortcutting home
through an autumn-burnished churchyard -
copper-lustred leaves, moss-skinned stone -
a jaunty swing of skater skirt and arm,
college folder square-sturdy in my hand.
In the moment. In the last pale pulse of sun.

"Hey, can you tell me...?"
I halt. I turn...

Cold earth. Colder blade dimpling my skin.
My coral cameo earrings scatter,
daisy-dotting the green.
My back is spiked by needles of yews.
Sun skews, sky side-slides
until his face is my firmament.
I'm staring into the tumid blank-bloat of blue;
the ground hardening beneath me,
the death-spike trees stiffening.

Heavy Special Brew breaths,
grubby, moist fingers
like grubs crawling over my breasts,
and, weirdly, I'm smelling pepper -
horror-spice of pungent lust,
its acrid nose-thrust -
and woodsmoke is drifting from somewhere...
lung-flame, tongue-flames
of searing words - his words -
blazing like the umber tumbling leaves.

"Please...Please...I'll..."
Fear-forced bargaining, but I'm beyond care.
And I'm aware
of the church steeple rising,
its phallus penetrating sky.
The tilting church could topple
as tears crystal-crush in my eyes.
Fear-faint, already half gone
in a soundless scream, my muted mouth
mouths silent goodbyes
to Sarah, to Mum.

Time slows to a crawl.
I try to call. Nobody comes
but the man who has me ground-pinned.
Bleachy stink of semen
whitening my ripped skater skirt,
but some things don't fade
and there is no clean in this, just dirt,
wet leaf-mulch, shame.
Ineradicable hurt.

Sacred soil is soiled, sullied.
Stunned, I stumble
shoeless, knickerless,
into the trees and heave
into the mud, into the leaves
strings of spittle-sick,
my thoughts strung out,
reality spun out.

From stinking, pulped leaves I retrieve
crushed coral earrings,
ground-grimy knickers,
my white court shoes
that whitely scream the 80s,
the scattered tatters of essays -
white, like fallen feathers, sunk in the sludge,
muddied, the red-inked words bloodied.
I gather them together.
Gather myself.
I go

forward into my future, stained from pain
and tainted touch, the smears of fear, self-disgust.
And oozing slime-soft into my ears
the mire of incongruous apology:
I'm sorry, don't tell anyone -
I won't.

I don't.




4/16/2016

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2016

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Moonlight Sewing Night

pearlescent moonbeams satin spools unravelling through dark threads of trees fragile crocheted filaments luminous lunar lacework scattered sequin stars bright beads on night's black fabric silken starlight strands darn darkness with silver yarn moonlight's purled embroidery

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2011

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Aftermath

That December
I stumbled through twisted tinsel streets,
oblivious to ice and seasonal shouts,
muffled by snow-silence; a mannequin moving through mists,
quietly fragmenting behind frost-fragile walls of frailty.

Bleak winds blew open the hinges of my hypothermic heart,
wailed a wintry lament only I could hear -
ice-shrapnel words blown to lodge in my ear: you've lost the baby.
Those four words were spiked icicles, glacier-cold.
Hope disintegrated like snow-powder as they pierced me.

Streets seemed pregnant with the plumpness of babies;
their waxen doll faces bluish and cold,
their pink, gummy mouths demanding, demanding.
And my breasts were frozen roses,
too iced to feed their tiny need.

Snowflakes trembled like butterflies blown from the Arctic,
or the feeble flutter of a failing foetal heartbeat.
The town became a barren expanse of white:
cold crystals drifting, acres of snow-diamond light.
But shops shimmered with heat, bulged bauble-gaudy

with the fatness of consumerism.
And I was reed-slender, my womb a hollowed-out tomb.
Everywhere, babies bloomed, precious as poinsettias,
mouths like petals, squirmy with hungry red cries and squalls;
echoing, echoing, as I squinted into the white squall.

And a ribbon of milk unloosed itself silently,
sudden and scalding, like a fountaining of tears;
a lacework trace soaking my shimmer thread sweater dress;
a single, small, white thaw as I silently unravelled,
stumbling through streets that spooled like silver yarn -

that December.





9/11/2013

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2013

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Recalling Her

It is thirty six years ago, and I am with her in the garden,
where July is a picnic of egg sandwiches, cress-stippled,
fuzzy-downed peaches, yellow-tangy lemonade.
Her fingers have the delicacy of dancers
as she deftly mixes paint on a palette blue as the sky -
blobs of acrylics bright as sweet shop candies.

Summer is a sizzling colour wheel, spinning in its heat hues -
cadmium orange, pyrrole red, gold ochre -
those fever-flames that blaze across her page.

My small world is warmed by the sun in her smile.

Russian vine stitches a delicate doily over the shed roof.
The heat-glazed garden shimmers and buzzes.
There is a twilight world under sweet clusterings of lilacs:
a cool shock of shade, pendulous-legged black flies
hovering in the murky mauve.
China white stars of jasmine light my way.
Please keep me close. Let me stay.

*

It is twenty six years ago, a morning of mourning,
and the notes of the dead bells toll
as, mist-muffled, they roll
through November's sleet streets.

I close my eyes and the sun in her smile parts the clouds.

Sober-suited people crush and cluster in pews;
row upon row of perylene black, winter-pale faces titanium white.
Stained glass windows filter and warm the ash-grey light
until her coffin is a vibrant palette of rainbows.

There are stories - lots of stories - anecdotes,
a crimson-backed journal she wrote,
a painting she painted, coffin-propped,
a poetry reading - one of her own -
Tapestry is a wondrous thing, in it the lovely colours sing...

Creamed rice-colour roses heap sweet
on her stone - a slate plate serving up a dead name -
and carnations splash cadmium scarlet
like blood throbbing from the gash of grief's raw wound.

*

It is now, and I am alone, taking a short cut home
through evening's rich palette.
Elegiac elms shed viridian tears
and the sky is a burnt sienna explosion.
October's umber seeps into November's sepia tones.

My mind is coloured with her and then.
I hold a small cameo box that held
the colourful spill of her pills: kaleidoscope planets
orbiting my loneliness, spinning off into nothingness...

Dark figures fill the park: silhouettes, shadows
following me home; spirits stepped from her portraits,
faces pushed down into coat collars, crinkled with frowns.

Paint-pinned people in their primaries and pastels,
on canvas, under glass; stopped heartbeats of the past.
Trapped moments on paper and boards.

I close my eyes and see the sun in her smile,
recall how, since her passing, life has become a free fall,
a parapet leap without parachute.

And the smudged charcoals of memory
are beginning to blur, fading like her watercolours...




in memory of my grandmother

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2013

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Aspects Of Winter

I wake to a world of tin,
white and pewter light enters my soul,
all is quiet, muffled, wrapped in cloud.
And the trees are no longer proud;
they are brown withered old women,
I have never seen them so before.
This season must be sacred
that it can drain the world of life.
How long can my heart survive this great freeze?
The sky, too, seems to be dying -
it is still and completely colourless.
Dolorous bells chime; they carry on the wind.
 
The world shivers;                                                                                                                                                            
the gutters run like rivers,
carrying, in their ice-curdled currents,
sweet wrappers, crisp packets,
and the mouldy stench of dead bracken.
There is an unfamiliar harshness in the air.
Raping the hill the wind's chill
gusts into my face, seizing my breath.
A flock of breathless leaves
assaults my body,
swarming like bees.
My five once-proud apple trees
are bunched and gnarled to five brown fists.
The brittle grasses rattle
and the hawthorn
proudly exhibits its prickles.
An orange spark unlooses itself
from a pile of burning wood
and ignites the colourless sky.
The flint light stares me down:
the icy iris of winter's eye.

Grey sky, grey river, two grey, drizzled walkers.
The last roses are over
and gardens are in their death throes.
The white light of winter dazzles me,
the wind gags me with my wild blown hair.
Sharpness shakes
on the needly boughs of the spruce.
I have your telephone number in my drawer.
It is the old dead bit of mummy cloth
of an old dead relationship,
coffined in its coldness.
There is a nobility to all this, an impressiveness,
in the face of it I am beaten small.
This I have to beckon me through the winter:
mud in ruts, and the frozen earth of March.
Meanwhile, amorphous clouds pass over
like souls.

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2011

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

The Passion Of Christ

Yes, it was real, it seared like desert sand;
I sensed a scorching sandstorm stirring -
warm winds whipping, hot cinders blowing in.
And you were there: compassion shining
in eyes that could read me,
a smile that could still a thrown stone.
Hostile tongues flung names at me like stones -
whore, slut, harlot.
When we met I was slinky-silken in scarlet;
your eyes, your smile, unpicked my harlot.
You loved the sinner in me,
embraced my human frailty.

Oh Lord, my lover,
how many times did my tears anoint you
as molten beads of your sweat anointed me?
I bent low at your feet, lowly,
like a fig tree bending to earth.
Was it tears or spheres of perfumed oil
that fell? I couldn't tell,
but I caressed away your cares,
wrapped you in silk spools of my hair.

Your memory is fire.
Your skin was desert,
burning bronze, scourged and scoured
by scalding winds of the puritanical,
yet thirsting for sensuality's oasis;
raindrop touches of my fingertips.
Liquid love poured from every pore
like aromatic oil.

I loved the man as they loved the myth.
And I could love you only like this:
pulsing in my arms with a human pulse,
incandescent with the zeal of my kiss.

Hot winds brought on hard heat.
Our final hours together were shifting sands
sifting through an hourglass, funnelling away.
But even as they drove each nail in
I felt the hot shuddering within,
knew that this was your release
from mortal flesh and sin.

Three days, three nights,
weeping at the womb of your tomb.
And now they find you risen, but I recall you risen
in my hands, your mouth pressed to mine.

So desert becomes oasis; arid earth
softening to the green of rebirth,
and I am a seed of love about to break -
my belly stippled and rippling with our child.

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2014

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Tea For Two

I love to watch the tilt of your tender-tipped fingers
cupping the teacup's rounded heat,

the way you would gently cup my breasts,
your hands coiled lovingly around their warmth.

The roil of boiling water, the fluid swirl
of aromatic amber flowing over delicate flowers

as spiralling steam scents the room sensual,
rose-redolent and perfumed with jasmine flowers.

Lustrous light turns the day liquid: our private gilded hour.
Lemon sunlight slivers sharpen our eyes to each other.

Your fingers move with practised, deft fluidity,
absently caressing the chintzy china;

the air heavy with heady scents of the orient,
a tingling-brisk kiss of bergamot upon your lips.

I watch you lingering, filtering the fragrant leaves,
your fingers fingering the fragile porcelain,

florid and swelling with heat;
your lips dipping to sip sugared gold.

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2012

Details | Charlotte Puddifoot Poem |

Night Visions

In the heat-throb of summer you'd come to me,
drifting in on the fragrance of June and July.
Beneath the flower-wreathed window, in lunar lambency,

the warm sandalwood wind tonguing my sweat-slicked skin,
passion's perfume seeped through pores,
love's heavy scent dried on my thighs.

You vanished in autumn - a rasp of dry leaves.
Now you appear in slivers of streetlight, muted in moonlight;
the sour yellow rind of a thin moon, gone bitter.

Copyright © Charlotte Jade Puddifoot | Year Posted 2010

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