Two Poems by Janette Ayachi


Dislodged in a wasteland of waiting
contemplating everything
as messengers preach time and connections
over tannoys, surveillance is implanted in walls,
so that in a control room somewhere
everyone is a digital shadow
a migraint, a traveller, a terrorist
all waiting our turn to get on board
take off to another city escaping one life
to step in to another story.
We feed a limbo of cargo into gluttinous x-rays
our belongings stripped down to bare shapes
as we stand in circles take cylindrical steps
backwards lines fragment, return to the beginning.
The planes engines surrender their gutturals
spluttering a fuel of song into the ether
an interegnam of language is performed
signals are instructed by the body.
An army of hostesses hosting high hair
high fashion and high eyebrows
walk their suitcases like small dogs
where every surface is a runway.
How long in this postmodern space
existing only as a passing place
where time is suspended, hangs from the beaks
of scavenger birds that drop morsels of time to other places.
Escalators escalate being, we ziz zag into various levels
of the cerebral, engaging with glass
rewiring frayed neurons asking ourselves questions.
I'm convinced even breathing is monitored here
our musculoskelatal choreograpgh marked
lungs ziplocked with a respitory stock of reasons
to why it is we are falling out of love
to how long we will be unhappy.
Airports are where the choked heart unclogs itself
it tugs at the plug of time to bolt towards variations of light
the ticket stubs from the screening of our lives
gathering into piles like the accumulation of cash
a wealth of experience corrugated down a dotted line
handing out pieces of yourself
to board on to the lives of others
our passes for ports wedged between fingers
like lime balancing its periphery on ice
in the glasses we place on fold down tables
linear flight serves premises from one cloud
of emotion to another, with an uncanny sense of unbelonging
and a longing never to be lonely again.


The Curse of Cathcart Place

There was sadness in the flat tonight,
in the room next door she had left him.

He mimed her presence in the emptiness,
waltzing in circles with his arms outstretched,

still hearing the rhythm of her feather-weight footsteps.
A stray hair on the pillow, quickly tossed against the door

a momentary flicker of false hope eclipsed his heart in a blink.
Who was I to judge the cupboard drawers in the hall, holding

now only the scraps of memories and dregs of relationship, something
as simple as a cinema ticket and a condom packet to mark existence.

What of me will fill your shoe box when I pack up my books to leave
how will you entertain the space that was once between us,

but now is only me. I am the acres of land
around your new property in life, what will you choose to build,

what desires and dreams will you plant and watch grow.
All this opportunity is my parting gift

I will tie it with ribbons and winter jasmine
and post it through the letter box with my keys.