The Red Robin

At length, one may describe the red robin as a robin that is red. At other times it becomes the blood crimsoned flyer, soaring, taunting pulling at my earth bound fears, itself too free and my own freedom bound existencially to self.

Stephanie Russell

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The Man in the Window

Office chatter, it’s hard to concentrate
I get a coffee from the kitchen dish water dispenser
Walking past colleagues who ignore my plight
My need for more, a connection to a world not found here

Squinting, the light beckons and I make my way to the windows
20 floors up there is no life, save the odd adventurous bird
But hark, through yonder window across the street
The blind moves and a figure appears

Placing my hand on the cold glass I beckon further
Reaching out with my id, “Please see me!”
I drop my hand despondently, and prepare to turn
No, yes, can it be, a hand is raised in turn

I place mine up again, feeling for the warmth
It is slow, a canyon to traverse, but it comes, ebbing in to fill me
The nod is simple, profound, human, confirming
I am still alive

— Stephanie Russell

Snow and Flowers

Spring shine, sun time
The meadow dozes no more, awake
Grass in patches, first flights venture
Green tips on brown dormant life

Watch carefully as the first colour pops
No green, no brown, certainly no more white
A pop of yellow, speck of red, carpet of blue
Abuzz with visitors, and a sweet exchange for service

Graze, fight, eat, spread, both fauna and fornication
Birth, pain, death, renewal at every strata
Lessons learned, patterns duplicated
Just in time, we are done here for this cycle

Withered colours turn, leaves and growth shrivel
Preparation for hibernation, shutting down, conserving deep
The last rays, on a heavy slant, warm no more
Crystals in free-fall, swept to their appointed beds

— Stephanie Russell

Time to Die

Don’t believe everything You read on the internet
Don’t believe everything You read
Don’t believe everything They tell You
Don’t believe
Fake News
Good News
Says who

God says
Good News for Man
Church makes the rules
They tell You what to believe
They tell You what to think
They tell You who to Hate
Lest You burn in Hell

Pass around the plate
Pass around the child
You have no right to judge
Religious Freedom
Gay Conversion
Female Circumcision
Slavery
God has a message for You
Time to Die … Sinner

— Stephanie Russell

Cage Fight

It’s the way we know it works
It’s the way we’ve come to know
That the way the world goes round and round
It’s more than ebb and flow

It’s the evil that men do
It’s the evil we all see
That calls on good men, eyes tight shut
To turn their backs on me

Fragmentary patronage
Concentrated hate
Divide and conquer while we sleep
Accept your painful fate

Get organised, get ready
Meet, disrupt, engage
Don’t leave your wrath of fascists
Until they’ve put you in a cage

— Stephanie Russell

You and Me

If I could give you moonbeams
And we could dance forever
The rain would never catch us
And we could be together.

If I could only love you
In the ways of Southern lights
Like the spiral shooting whispers
That illuminate the nights.

But, indeed I truely love you
And no comparisons are true
For nature and its beauty
Are all found here, in you.

— Stephanie Russell

One Day of the Year

Tap and step go the dancing girls
Boom and crash went the drum
Then came the elephants
Rumpty Tumpty Tum

A parade is worth a thousand words
A poem only some
Join with me and smell the saw dust
Rumpty Tumpty Tum

The tent goes dark with hushed delight
The master takes the ring
The lions, clowns, high wire and more
Amaze us as we sing

The night is over, home to bed
With sleep to come, but when
In one years time, if we’ve been good
We’ll get to go again

— Stephanie Russell

Ethereal Dreaming

The abstract draws attractively, embrace its golden hue

There is no truth that can be known to force it to undo

The physical laments its form and plays with its desires

Ethereum awaits those who shall die upon its pyres

Allow the harvest song to reign until its worn conclusion

Can bring to all the saddest tales of rent and retribution

In lasting cold that last of bold upon them finding nothing

Will turn around to not be found as no one else was following

— Stephanie Russell

I Just Wanted to be Wrong

It was a while ago
Just a child did you know
And a pretty naive one at that
When I realised to boot
That my parents were moot
On the subject of loving me back

I struggled at first
A child’s love is a thirst
And his parent’s a pretty big figure
But when they turn away
And you get it one day
Then you figure out who is the bigger

I summed it all round
There was no way I found
To sing this tune to another song
I wished my theory would suck
But it’s just my bad luck
And I wanted so much to be wrong

— Stephanie Russell

Identity Theft

Awake, aware, a thought, at four, a slip, an eye, a moment paused, a trauma cuts.

Far more than tears will flow to obscure vision and split a mind from its shell, in pain and alone.

Subject to care, its own extreme, no one can know. Lie still, move not, let darkness be your friend.

No memories survive, held close, held deep with years gone in a blur, to start again at eight.

Invisibly, my friend kept my pain safe while he thrived, and learned to be a vital part.

I switched to him to make exam time a breeze. His maths and grasp of the complex always better than mine.

And then it ended, those fifty years now gone, leaving me alone, back to an empty shell.

— Stephanie Russell