You, me, the sea

I do not live close enough to the sea

to hear this many seagulls,

the circling squawks echoing

through a red brick housing estate

which only knows the waves of incoming traffic,

which only knows sirens flashing red and blue.


Nevertheless I am grateful for their song,

their nails on chalkboard melody

reminding me of the distant ocean

which surrounds me even when I’m alone

toes in carpet not sand,

buried in sheets not metre waves.


My absence makes my heart bloom fonder,

growing in size like envy at Christmas,

increasing in volume like the pounding in your chest

whenever we meet again.

A wise ribcage steeling itself for a broken heart,

you hold me and it’s as if we were never apart.


I wonder if our distance feels the same

in your hands, in your eyes and ears

as it does in mine, forlorn and watching the time.

We crash like cliffs and waves,

our love a squall in the ocean’s belly

in the middle of July.


And so in your absence,

my skin is calm – untouched tranquility

begging for a storm,

for you and me and the soar,

the chance to deafen a gull’s screech

with the breath in our lungs.

© Kristiana Reed 2018

Image: pixabay


The Littlest Things

You didn’t close the cupboard door

upon your departure

and I wonder why that is,

as my eyes prick with tears.

Is it so, in closing it, I feel you

where you last were,

the contours of the brass,

your spine curved around mine.

Is it so I’m reminded that our future

is ajar,

not fully open or closed

but a breath holding in between;

a tight chest maybe.

Is it so I convince myself

you’re still here,

your shoes still there;

you are just elsewhere.

Is it so I smile because you

probably just forgot

but you love me so well;

I believe even the littlest things

you do,

are for me.

© Kristiana Reed 2018

Image: pinterest


The storybooks say

you should have been the wind

in my sails,

not the drunken sailor

weighing anchor

in the middle of the ocean.

Perhaps I should have believed

in you more,

blinked away tears

to hold you in a blue gaze,

bright eyed naivety and wonder –

not cold heart mutiny.

Except this mate

does not draw her sword to kill,

she lays down her arms,

whistles into the blue and wobbles

along the line you drew for her,

to the edge of the plank

she chose to leap from

before you forced her to,

and promises her unborn daughter

she will find better books

to read to her.

© Kristiana Reed 2018

Image: pinterest

Rock Bottom – featuring Eric (from My Sword and Shield…)

I’d like to tell you a story

about a mermaid who saved herself

at the bottom of waters

so deep you could mistake them

for the midnight sky.


Her scales shimmer

in sparkling ripples,

mimicking the stars.

Beneath the pale face of night

her hair is deep auburn

with slivers of gold.

Her skin could be moonlight;

luminous with youth,

as her tail shifts

between pearlescent pastels

and ocean blue.

The sea wraps around her

like a lover

it holds her, gentle and sweet,

in the embrace of the tide

with the ebb and flow,

during the day

in twilight waters

the waves gently tug at her fins

come and play

in the topaz and cerulean,

dance with me

in dappled rays and shoals of fish

like gems and beaded curtains

like a May fair

or a gypsy festival.

Beckoned by the current

she wishes to reach out,

curl her tail beneath her

and glide from out of the blue;

not even a smile dances

upon her lips and cheeks

for in this vast, lonely lake

of life, for her it is always night.

She swims away from the shoal,

from the current pulling her close

wrapping her in sunlight

to cast rainbows between her scales.

She dives into the darkness

when really she falls,

tumbling into her fear

of always swimming solo.

The seabed shudders and sways

in the rippling shade,

rocks with torn edges looming

ever closer, Aurora’s spinning wheel

on the seafloor.

Here, she feels beautiful

shrouded in violet ink

only the bravest of rays

reaching her fingertips.

Here, among the stray shafts of sun

hover ancient skeletons

of ages long past

wooden relics of the surface

that bumped and bobbed

upon the briny fields of blue

and carried souls far from home.

Now they rest, like she

in the shadows of a world that was.

It is here she finds

amid the surge of the deep

betwixt rotten oak

and frayed rope

in a tangle of fishnet

the glint of a tail

neither piscine nor metallic make

and almost identical

to her very own shape.

Caught between man’s rope hands

emeralds glisten, wide eyed

fear and hope,

coral tendrils billowing left and right,

swaying with the seaweed thread

weaving its way about her waist.

Neptune holds a mirror

up to her – except her nets

are tied with the whispers

she imagines in her head,

and the seaweed, the bitter dreams

she wears like pearls around her neck.

The current parts as she glides

forward, navigating the bones

of Jupiter’s wreckage;

her hands moving swiftly to free

the lost soul, eyes full of sorrow,

a mermaid smaller than she

glittering opal as her trappings

fall to the floor.


She takes the hands of her reflection

and leads her to the surface,

to sunlight in motion

atop waltzing waves;

to sparkle as rainbows do

dispelling the darkness

of the rocks at the bottom

of life’s ocean.


Thank you Eric, for bringing this mermaid to life with me.

My Sword and Shield…


Image: pinterest

Breathe with me

Without her,

he forgets how to breathe;

he becomes a shore

which only says goodbye

sending waves away

with seafoam kisses,

his arms are crossed

and his chest tight,

water pooling by his toes

never reaching his knees.

A lonely shoreline

and distant horizon

washed orange and blue

until she takes his hands,

kisses each knuckle

and the honeyed skin

below his ear and tells him

to believe

and ‘breathe with me.’

© Kristiana Reed 2018

Image: pixabay

Birds and Bungee Cord

The birds are loud tonight,

they drown out the refrigerator hum

but battle the arcade of synapses firing

in my mind, which is doing a skydive

into oblivion.

I’ve decided I need to get better

at existing,

at being alone, because right now

I conquer my fear of being alone

outside, with the songbirds,

by remaining indoors, alone,

chained to the idea that change

will knock on the door

when it’s ready, when I’m ready

to take a spin in its convertible.

And let’s be honest,

all these images –

birds, bungee cord and fast cars

make little sense side by side,

much like the love I feel

when I taste your lips,

alongside the scab I pulled

from my jaw this morning

and my balancing act self worth;

juggling flaming torches

400 feet in the air on a tightrope

in stilettos.

Let’s face it, I’m going

to fall.

For you, for sunshine

peeking between curtains,

into a hot bath

and onto the mosaic floor

of my expectations and loneliness;

I’d spent days piecing together

since the last time

the cord snapped

and I gave myself whiplash.


But, I’m still breathing

and even though the birds

are loud tonight –

I’m glad I’m here to hear them,

in full red throat, ruffled glory.



© Kristiana Reed 2018

Daddy’s Weekend – feat. Alan Mackenzie Taylor-Reed


 There once was a girl who sat on a pew,

wondering if she should wear pink, white or blue,

if ribbons suited pigtails, if pigtails

even suited wandering forest trails.

She sat and waited, dangling her shoes,

the only part easy to choose.

In truth she knew,

all that was important was being with you.


Pt. 2

I know the girl who sat on the pew.

There was no wonder,

It should have been any pink, white and or blue.

Pigtails of red hue,

I wish I hadn’t let you dangle your shoe.

In truth, I knew…

I should have been with you.

Happy Father’s Day