Playground Poetry Pack

A Poem

by Lorelei Bacht


Prickly Pears

We have no interiority. 

We happen on playgrounds,

Through violent doings. 

 

Our insides dark, unknowable – 

We turn catapult, projectile,

To see ourselves. We aim 

 

For rigidity. We seek 

To destroy mulch – it is always: 

Us versus them versus girls.

 

The world a diagram of intentions,

Every purpose expressed through 

The throwing of balls, bullets, 

 

Into a hole, a net.  

 

*****

 

The Underside

 

Last night, I had a bit 

too much to dream. Treetops, 

a kaleidoscope above 

my head – I think they said: 

 

The way out is to do nothing.

 

Having tried everything 

except nothing, and everything

Having blatantly failed so far, 

I vowed to give nothing a try. 

 

So, this is me doing nothing: 

not crying, not trying to make 

a fuss, amends, things work. 

 

I am learning to hold. that.

thought – silence a replacement

for the throwing of cups. 

 

Nested within the undoing 

of all of the above, I found:

[an emptiness]

that is now my playground.   

 

*****

 

Weeping Willows, The First One I Met

 

Playground treasures 

for lonely children to find:

shiny bits of broken glass, 

crimson leaves, marbles (lost,

discoloured). Stones. 

 

With stones, you can carve 

your name into kerbs, but 

you can’t make a spark 

(older children might tell 

you otherwise). I spent hours 

 

bruising my hands to dust,

smell of fire, but never made 

a spark. Stones: not magical. 

For magic, the weeping willow –

taller than your mummy-daddies. 

 

And older: bent grandmother 

sweeping the ground with its 

branches, a tree quiet. Push

its delicate fingers apart. Walk 

under the vault of yellow-green,

 

And be struck with silence, magnificent. 

*****