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Birmingham City Council

Poems by Claire Guest

Claire Guest is theYoung Poet Laureate for Birmingham 2012-2013.

Here are the fantastic poems she submitted as part of her application for the post.


My Star

My star; my dear, my light, my love,
sometimes I sit and stare above
me, to where life has placed you; high
beyond the earth, the clouds, the sky-
so high indeed it seems
that only in my dreams can we be close,
and yet still never meet,
and I continue to reach, and leap
and long for the impossible.

I know that we may never be.
you are forever bound to lead,
and I to follow far behind,
your light, my guide,
my every hopeless stride in your pursuit.
Yet why do I chase with such passion
an event that, if it were to happen,
would be of such intensity
that I could not bear its heat,
and it would kill me?

You remain unaware of my existence,
yet tempt and lure me from a distance,
and, untouchable as you are,
you light my life from afar;
you touch my world and make it shine,
yet with this brilliance is left behind
those places that remain unlit-
the deepest shadow, darkest pit.
And I’ve realised that although I may bask in your glow
without it, I would never know
the icy hand that grips the heart
when I sit and fester in the dark.

My star, I fear reality
could not hold your majesty.
Such as you are could not bend to laws,
could not conform to this world’s norms,
and so I know that, should we meet,
it would not be the stuff of dreams,
for what is there that could compare
to the mind and the wonders wondered there?
I am your planet, held in orbit;
Your pull prevents me leaving;
ever chasing, never meeting-
I stay away to maintain the illusion,
content as I am with my delusion.
So continue as you were my dear,
I’ll sit and watch you from down here.


Wherefore art thou, Romeo?

Wherefore art thou, Romeo?
It seems you left some time ago.
I can’t believe I’ve been so blind,
that I believed your honeyed lies.
It’s like you knew just what to do
to make me fall in love with you.
You gave me flowers, bought me wine,
called and text me all the time-
I was ensnared by what seemed to be
your genuine warmth and honesty.
So I gave to you my heart, my soul,
and evidently, these were your goal;
once you’d achieved them, the game got boring,
we met less often, and you stopped calling,
but I didn’t know something was wrong,
that you were bored, were moving on.
The truth, I just could not believe-
Why would Romeo want to leave?
Then you text me- ‘It is over,’
and at first, I thought ‘What a joker,’
surely, this is not for real,
you’ve told me often how you feel,
said we were meant to be together,
two souls intertwined forever?
But then you split then, tore them apart,
you stole my soul and smashed my heart.
Left me, gave no reason why-
I wanted to curl up and die.
But I carried on and gained perspective;
a relationship was never your objective.
You tried to break me, but I moved on.
Where I had weakness, now I’m strong.
I got back up when I was low,
and now you’re nothing, Romeo


Untitled

I hate you.

For so long you’ve tried to hide from it,
but I think you could benefit
from someone bursting your bubble,
it blinds you, and that’s the trouble;
you hide from your flaws,
safe behind the walls you’ve built up,
but now I’m gonna blow ‘em up
with my honesty like dynamite,
and you can’t hide from the light
of the truth as it shines in your face
and we illuminate, enumerate every mistake
and you’re gonna face up to it and change-
you may even thank me for it, someday.

I hate that you’re lazy.
Without me here to push you
To do what you could do
you’re happy to leave it there
you don’t care
you’ll give it fifty per cent, or less.
I want to give it blood, sweat and tears
to raise it from down there to here,
‘cause, yeah, you could get by
on minimum effort, and waste the rest of your time,
but tell me, where will that leave you in ten years; looking back,
trying to accept the fact
that you could have been someone,
but you’re not, ‘cause the path you took was the easy one.

Where’s your ambition,
the key for the ignition to drive you, ‘cause right now, you’re drifting,
a sailboat going along with the wind.
You need to get inspired,
need to feed the fire,
need to pick a heading and take it;
full speed ahead is the only way you’re gonna make it.

Perhaps hate is too strong a word,
but I needed you to sit up and listen, I couldn’t be ignored,
and you needed a shock to the system, ten thousand volts through your spinal cord.
Truth is, you’ve got a lot going for you.
Problem is, you won’t let it shine through.
Others may contribute, but you do the most to impede
your chance to be the best, to succeed.
Don’t be half hearted and scared to fall-
if you’re gonna do it, do it right or don’t do it at all.
You gotta grab it with both hands
if you wanna stand a chance
of getting where I wanna be;
gotta walk the knife edge in between
‘cause there’s only a fine line between crossing over
from not giving it your all to burning out like a supernova.
We’re destined to march along the same track,
and I’m not gonna let you hold me back
so let’s make it the path of the heroes.
No one loves you like I do.
That’s why I’m hard on you’ I’m hard on me too.
‘Cause I can see the spark we hold inside,
like a firework ready to ignite,
we’ll shock the world into silence-

Together we’re invincible, I know that we can make it.
Our star ticket’s there if we just reach out and take it.
Yes, we’re two opposites living in one mind,
but you’d better buck up your ideas sunshine
because you are me, and I’m going places.


Words

Trapping words in a paper cage,
is like pinning butterflies to the page,
their beauty can be hard to see,
until you let them go, set them free.
Say them quickly, spit them out,
sound them softly, or just shout.
But don’t leave them in black and white,
to slowly die and lose their light.
Words mean nothing left unspoken,
living sounds that have been broken.
Speaking them gives power to words,
and with this power, you’ll rule the world.
Turn words to weapons, their rapid fire
will clear the way to what you aspire,
or form a pendulum for hypnotizing,
slow and seductive to sound enticing.
Use a word as a seed, to plant in the mind,
an idea that will grow, given time,
maybe soft, for gentle comfort,
a soothing balm to heal what’s hurt.
The words you speak will always say
more about you than your resume.
Words used well will last forever,
can be worth more than the best of treasure.
Know their impact, don’t abuse them,
but most of all, just remember to use them.

More poems by Claire Guest

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