12 Degrees & Skiving

what began as year-long challenge has become perpetual until further notice


Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 5.57.05 pm

she placed them so high above her tree line
that when she tended to their feet down in the forest loam
her antennae snagged the low slung branches
the half-light made her believe
and she ill-read tattooed there

laureate words hummed into an inchoate breeze
don’t ever think of the human voice
or ear
or the buzz beyond there
for when she moved higher
turned, pressed the back of her head to their knees
instead of the view over the tree crowns she
looked up to below their chin
to that soft hollow that dips with every withheld yawn,


well, her truths
dribbled like a bee over the bow of her bottom lip
overwintered, free and,
silly, she
expected the honey that comes
from the hard hive of candour

yet the bee had pilfered her tongue
wore it away, warmed
left her its language as downpayment
(of course, few speak bee
these days)

she without her gold sting spun
sudden and tongueless
to the forest floor
the only sounds:
the silver strum of wings
the slam of a ribcage door

thought she,
truth’s for the birds, then
whosoever said otherwise

she’d stabbed too far
learned sideways (perhaps at last
and probably not)
that if you pull the sting
you take the guts
and one needs their guts
for that forecast given
right there at the very beginning

so it’s best to leave them in


4 comments on “Candour

  1. Angela Highstead
    November 24, 2014

    Hello Ali,

    I couldn’t seem to hook into an email response in the comments section. Unfortunately antiquated enough to only have email.

    Is the message in the poem that candour is not always a good thing? I recently lost a friend of nearly forty years because of what I saw as truth and honesty. BUT not what she wanted to hear. A life turn and situation had put her in a place of great rage and after listening and listening and listening to the negative and the rage I felt I had to present a different perspective. Unfortunately she was in a place of wanting to maintain the rage and didn’t want a different perspective and I became the bad guy too.

    Sad but in a way relief. These days I tend to be thinking if I live as long as my mum I only have 17yrs left. Too short a time to be in some one else’s extremely negative space. Especially as I have reached a place with time, observation and life experience to know love and forgiveness are the only ways forward; for our mental, emotional and physical health that is.

    Love getting your blogs even if at times I don’t quite have the right brain turned on.

    Love to you both,

    Angela xx

    Sent from my iPad


    • Kittykatmandoo
      November 24, 2014

      Hey Ang, your message seems to have worked now 😉
      Yes, the poem’s about keeping your version of the truth to yourself and is an experience that sounds somewhat related to yours: I placed myself in a situation to be present and connected and received the negative overflow, which I did willingly and with understanding…only that I was sidelined for much of the nice, fun, sunny, positive stuff that was there, too, even in what is a complex situation for my friend.
      When you hear only the negative, you worry.
      So I made the age-old error of offering solutions. And while candour in friendships is encouraged it comes with fineprint that obviously I didn’t read. When it came down to candour, off I went a tumbling without my sting.
      Thanks for reading, Ang. Always lovely to hear from you.
      Love from the Etruscan pair,
      Ali & Marco xxx

  2. Aquileana
    December 4, 2014

    Powerful poetic imaginary… I love your detailed verses from a bee´s perspective and particularly the second stanza.
    Sending you all my best wishes!. Aquileana 😀

  3. Kittykatmandoo
    January 11, 2016

Tell me wotcha reckon

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