365 Poems/29 – Pale (Rough First Draft)

Every month, I like to try and set myself a small, writing related challenges. This month, October, I’m going to be working with characters. I’m not going to be tying myself down with one form and one form only. It’s going to be totally free and open, so, one day there might be a poem, another day a short story, another day a character sketch. It all depends on what inspires me. Today, my inspiration came in the form of a beautiful portrait I found in the magazine Psychologies, and I’ve written a poem called ‘Pale.’


I remember your skin,

pale as whole milk,

resting in a cold, silver churn

after the cream

has been scooped off.


Lips, red as a sweet

quickly sucked, then dropped

back out, onto a palm,

to be exchanged.


The buttons on your clothes

were small, so delicate,

the only ones that would do.


I failed to imagine you

with clunky pieces,

unless they were to be

made of animal horn.


Even then, you would wear

them like a calm warrior.


I want to write about you,

but I know writing sixty,

seventy drafts of a poem

wouldn’t be enough.


You said you were a bibliotherapist,

take your tea in a black mug to the bustop.

But I didn’t  get your name.


You were a delightful distraction

and I fell in love with you in seconds.


You said you were brilliant

at time management,

but were unable to wrap

your blonde hair into a neat plait.


We talked about the power of focus,

seizing opportunities and benefits

of solitude. I want to put an advert

in the newspapers, but when we met,

I couldn’t quite place your accent.


Maybe you’ve even left the country.

I can imagine you in a far, northern place

where wolves aren’t under threat

and fur is worn during winter.