I am curled up in the storm shade of afternoon

about to clap its hands

into night.

My fingers run the cracks in the purple-grey,

not lilac, not lavender,

just some ghost of purple,

though I suppose these walls were lavender once.

I am a shadow

a printed copy of yesterday

and today,

carved out in hollow light

and freckled with empty sleep.



I feel like someone has taken a spoon to my insides

and scooped all the human bits out,

hollowed my abdomen,

reaching in,

sucking out my organs,

with a long paper straw,

my heart an uncorked bottle of pumping red

sitting on your shelf

next to my freshly plucked eyes

fogged up with stills from inside my head.



I am hyper aware of my mouth,

its bright red flare

shooting sparks across the space

between us and the heavens,

my rosebud lips in full bloom,

petals spilling from my mouth,

blowing in the wind

as I peel aphids from my skin.

I sing of sea and salt and air

pickling time,

flying feathers across champagne skies

into my hair,

catching leaves and branches

as I tumble through the thorny undergrowth

and out onto the sand.

My paper tongue flitters uncomfortably

as I scribble my name in the shoreline,

the thorny breath of sitting too long in silence

pricking my throat

as I sit alone and wait

for them to hear me.



                                                                                                     I found a cavern

                                                                                                     filled with fireflies,

                                                                                                     their yellow-green light

                                                                                                     all wrong.

                                                                                                     Why are there fireflies

                                                                                                     in my gut

                                                                                                     when my eyes are carved in darkness?



I am filled with the break of white light,

dipped in the honey of early morning sun,

and sinking my pen into her velvet skin sky,

striping out my fading dreamy head

in inky echo of her tongue

across my sea-salt bones –

I am morning.


© Hayley New 2016


The Sea

The sea

staring with unblinking eyes,

sucking on the bleached bones

of driftwood skeletons

stripped and mangled

and thrown against the shore

sticky with sand.


The sea

nibbling on the toes

of feet that are too cold

for the ocean to keep

in its mouth

for more than a moment

at a time.


The sea

licking at her skin,

washing her of the grime

of two tides ago,

slipping its gums

across her hair,

staining them seaweed

and shell.


The sea

chopping at her memories

of brilliant midnight blue,

scattering them in salt

and swallowing them whole

for safe keeping

with other sinking objects.


The sea

shining bright against the moon,

slinking slowly forward,

teeth glistening,

devouring god’s lost objects

strewn across the shore.


© Hayley New 2016


This poem is the third and final poem in the ‘Involuntary’ poetry cycle. 


The night stretches out behind me

long and oval and deep deep blue

until it echoes black.

The siren call of midnight

hours ago

and minutes away,

I am not tired

though my eyes protest

as my aching feet scream for bed

for more comfortable shoes

next time, next time.

My mouth opens wide,

a dark train tunnel

sending me home,

the ridges of the roof

train station tiles,

my voice an empty platform.

The sweet taste of sunrise

sings in my throat,

my lips stretched so wide

I birth the dawn

from the fullness

of the night before.


© Hayley New 2016


This poem is the second in the ‘Involuntary’ poetry cycle. The remaining poem in the cycle will be published on INWORDSANDINK soon.

I see everything,
the brightest light on a harsh day
keeping my eyes
but I see everything,
until my eyes scream.
My lids are forced closed
by the sun’s arms,
stronger than my will.
I fight, my eyes swimming
against the tide
of tears spilt in this war
with light.
I see everything
and then, nothing.

© Hayley New 2016


This poem is the first in the ‘Involuntary’ poetry cycle. The remaining two poems in the cycle will be published on INWORDSANDINK soon.

An invisible man keeps kicking me
in the chest,
right under my ribs,
pushing air from my lungs
in vengeful misdeed,
the loud catch of it
echoing through my throat,
my ears,
the room.
Eyes turn and ears prick up.
The invisible man laughs
and kicks again.
My body ricochets with the force
of yet another kick
and another.
I try to drown him.
As the water pours down my throat
I feel him wriggle,
attempting to avoid the torrent,
the squirming uncomfortable in my chest.
I continue to drink.
Soon enough, he stops.
Somewhere inside, his brother wakes,
revenge in his eyes
and set in his heart,
biding his time
until he too takes a swing
at my insides.


© Hayley New 2016


The stop is quiet, eerie,
haunted by cars that drift listlessly
under dim street lights.
The bus seems years away
at the corner
traffic lights holding it for inspection,
dousing it in questions
red green and amber
as I rub my shoulders self consciously.
My eyes and bones are weary,
my legs lead and jelly
all at once,
a yawn
stretching my faded lips
in silent O
up my face.
I yawn again before my mouth closes
making room for my eyes to open
and my tongue to taste
the fog of sleep
at the back of my throat.
The bus opens its doors.
I pause
the moment echoing before me.
I climb aboard.


© Hayley New 2016


A Visit From the Muse, or The Stranger

Her hands were rough,
hands that were used to work,
busy hands
brushing against mine
as she told me stories,
tales of artists
living, breathing, dying,
and lives led after that.
Her voice was soft,
leaving a trail of feathery husks
blowing in the wind,
lips full against my cheek,
her eyes bright as stars
in the dark of the evening
before us
and after us.
And then
she was gone.