Update & Mindfulness

I apologise as this little writing section of my site is pretty out of date. I've been pretty busy working on my illustration business and working towards exciting things with Magic Hands. It's nice to be productive and as I grow older, I realise how crucial to my wellbeing it is that I am creating most of the time!

I thought i'd share a couple of articles I wrote late last year about mindfulness and meditation. Both are about my experience with anxiety and a bunch of other things, my struggle and how I came to discover mindfulness. Many people around the world have contacted me since I wrote these articles, and a common thread is how alone they feel in their current condition. If just one person is helped by these articles, I will be stoked x

Article 1 - Tiny Buddha
Article 2 - Smiling Mind

Walking to the store and back / A Christmas poem

I sneeze
and a woman says
Bless you
without smiling
or looking up
from a milk crate of kids shoes

the plaza is;
cheap plastic, nail polish remover
heat singed hair and toasted cheese
older men, canes propped, talk
pausing to test a cooling coffee
or look up at women walking

I felt guilty
plucking pine branches
virgin bulbs, nature strip blooms
as though I was cutting a life short

once I forgot
shock of green in my fist
tucked in my palm
for another six blocks
before laying it down
in a pub window box

a sleepy teen boy
works the chemist check out
he served me last week
we had laughed - ballad blaring
from a porsche pulling up
he fumbles with my mouth gel
folds the receipt

if we were friends
I’d probably leave
with a reference, a wink
or slow broadway kick

I came home, venetian blinds open
you often tut when I leave them up
but I’d sooner face a burglar
than a shadowed room at noon

I wanted Christmas holly
borrowed underneath my skin
tinsel for hair, glacé fig eyes
so I made panforte;
ginger grating
cinnamon simmering
Bing singing
of treetops glistening


SOMEWHERE & WASTELANDS

Hello!

Pleased to say that I am currently having printed a very limited edition of my new book SOMEWHERE - Poems & Illustrations from a place. In addition, I am releasing a revised, limited edition of WASTELANDS (poetry from 2009-2012.) There will only be 50 of each printed and I can't wait to get them out of my computer and into the living world of hands and eyes. Will share more soon! x

 

lucyroleffbooks.jpg

High Street

a man I have never seen before
enters the corner petrol station
summer night, pre-pay pump
when teenagers buy icypoles

something in the way he comes
says he is alone, perhaps
the way he thumbs the fifty note
held as though a baby bird
you know he’ll pick the Maxibon
and Gatorade, a two-for-one

street is primed for night walking
before concert, after film
skyline bleeding phosphorescent
tangerine and curdled cream

this neighbourhood plays host
to tiny ghosts, entitled;
felines pawing garbage cans
leathery cloaked fruit bats
men cradling Big Ms
women, sporting friends

something concrete

I left the back door open
to teach the cat decision
making. she, in the morning
is an alarm clock, 
a pesky mother
I went out til two
a merlot bar room
single candle winking
my friend, pinned hair 
cradled a whisky
I gulped pear cider and felt 
inelegant
I like the gap between 
her bottom teeth
and how she doesn’t laugh
on cue
unlike me, grinning before
the punch line. hoping
it shows politeness
we talk in turns and I
wring fingers, skimming
the topic of my bleating brain
how it
lately cowers at thoughts
of universal things
like planets
and booming sounds
she smiles 
tiny white pearl shards
I ask her if she had dental
work. like what? fillings.
yeah. no, she says
but explains the process
it sounds like art.
sculpting. shrunken versions 
of Venetian treasures
sighted on her vacation there
the steps it seems,
though tiny scale
deliver something concrete 

I heard you talk in your sleep

 

fell into morning. a golden psalm
etched on the breakfast tray, milk
in a tin can. pull ring
sun
in your eyes
as you wake too quickly
see me bare backed, hunching head
in the stretched arm hole of a t-shirt

how, when the weather changed
did I move from where
your long body lay
across a lacquered floor
to where the toothpaste tube
sat, curled beside a reading lamp

those goose skin legs, kicking quilts
you bound impala swift to shower

what, when the sunlight shifts
will I become to you. to myself
to my sisters, the dentist, the cat
to the woman who sold us
cigarette filters

before we learnt to coil card scraps
before we learnt to touch
before we learnt to wake an hour
ahead of the alarm clock
and stretch to click
the oil heater on

 

 

how can I tell you?

how can I tell you? through a mouth full of ale
as a pinball machine screams in a corner. truck
screeches past. a bomb detonates in the gutter.
this. tiny. sleek as marbles rolling in my mouth
an ink trace. a half smeared stamp on a wrist
reaching over Sunday morning eggs, coffee cup
thumb and forefinger eye socket pressing, those
tinged pink whites, lash thin crater line blood
the lead singer with one hand in a pocket
on a balmy wednesday night, competing with
the bingo slots, siren wail, complimentary beer
nuts, girl who just doesn’t quite look eighteen
would she go home with you, darling? If you
asked with a finger dipping, tracing her wrist
lip curled as though you could be kidding, but
she knows you are not. is anyone ever really?
how can I tell you? in the morning as the first
beams tint your sleeping body hospital blue
filtered through the makeshift curtain, grainy
looking where I knew you to be unblemished
as a bathtub lip, or garden hose water stream
curving into a giggling mouth of milk teeth

happy birthday

the evening had shifted. a family birthday, held
in the kitchen and living room of my parent’s house.
reclining, we, deflated as the supermarket balloons
scattering the sofas, lay limp at the limbs. middles bulging
talking of Easter six years back, of barbequed bratwurst
and who brought that salad; the one with the raisins in it?
some paper plates still lay, picked at, scraped, or the edges torn.
the sickly smell of tomato-sauce smears, discarded cake icing,
and the beer and the wine and the socked feet and the coke cans,
that were left out in the sun, by our old, peeling cubby house.

stain

there is a stain. marla, the neighbour’s daughter, gallops to your side and announces this. her mouth; wide, and her hands; spread, tell you of its size and colour. the tiny body then turns to dart into the garden, shoeless despite having had fifteen nettle wounds tended to with tweezers and black jelly beans only the morning prior. “you’re hurting!” she had cried, through sticky dark saliva and a stream of tears, her pink, grubby foot twisting and kicking.

your rubber-gloved hands emerge from the hot water and foam, leaving the twin plates and wine glasses to soak. filmy bubbles rise and burst. you loosen the apron and drape both gloves over the tap to dry. marla had not thought to disclose where the stain had been discovered, but only that it was large. large and red. she needn’t have told you, for you know, and walk directly into the bedroom. so warm. you can hear the glass creak with the chill from outside. so golden; a swarm of dust particles, made visible by the slant of afternoon light, greet you; dancing, flooding your nose and throat. you lightly cough and look upon the unmade bed. the sheet and quilt twisted around one another - a licorice rope, lying limp, diagonally across the bed. the pillows, strewn, two on the floor, two stuffed between the wall and the edge of the mattress. and the bright beacon. like spilt ink. red. darkest in its centre, a solid pigment. then lighter, feathered about the edges.

without hesitation you bundle the quilts, you peel the cases from the pillows and linger, for only a moment, a single finger upon the dark dry shape, before stripping the sheet from the mattress and gathering the bed linen in your arms.

you plunge your hands into the hot, soapy trough, just as the telephone rings.
straightening, you take a towel and dry your arms to the elbow. you enter the kitchen and observe through the window, marla, still in the garden, sitting on the wooden bench, swinging her legs and holding a daisy in one hand and a dirt clod in the other. her lips move as she touches them together. soil falls into her blue skirt. you cringe; that flutter behind your ribcage as you answer, hello. and the plummet, at the reply; a wrong number. an apology. and you wonder what you expected. and, after all, why you would expect it.

returning to the trough, you take the lid from a bottle of bleach. you squeeze and kneed. you scour and scrub.

manfred

smouldering, he says. wilting like lavender
grey as the rubble or swollen cadaver
spilling, sweet sachets to splatter blue jeans
smudges of oily ash marring his hue. pallor.
streaked. like a renegade. like an animal.

traipsing through wild grass, now lavenderless
he pauses by sunken marsh, heavily reeking;
soured skin. fetid flesh. innards. dank hair.
clasps a moist palm to his mouth, slightly gaping,
flushed red and heaving. as though in bewilderment.

wilderness; tangled, plain matted in parts.
like an animal, he tears through the knots
swift and violent. with gnarled, tawny tooth.

summer song

all too ready to bid goodnight to the day whose warmth hovers like a dense fabric, heavy as wet wool, sagging to touch skins, churning lazy blood, drawing glistening particles from reddened brows, leaving fingers to fumble in agitation; peeling down pants, clawing at shirt buttons.

i watched your lovely arms swinging

what is it? do my teeth jut out at such sharp, varied angles, like broken pickets hammered into gum. my lips slope, scabbed and flecked with grey-white spittle. my voice, sounding shrill as the haggard magpie in starvation. my thighs, bruised skin sacks of doughey, dimpled flesh, sickly mounds hanging heavy over rippled knee caps, like candle wax spilling.

saddled

my shoulders tremble, creaking as you lay on my back like a dead weight. my eyes mutate, stretched, wet, black slits, darker than you remembered, when you pull my hair hard in a tight, tugging fist. my neck exposed, bruised in places where fidgeting fingers pinch, where palms press and where thick teeth clamp with such intent.

but be it my own doing, the brunt to bear for standing on tables, stamping my feet and hollering. daring you to try it.

no sleep

not sleeping again, six am. bed side table lamp glowing dim as I lie like a bored sunday child; with my head off the mattress, feet to the ceiling. and also not eating again. in a suburb burger restaurant I sat, idly picking and sipping at tepid tap water while chatting of crockery and movies. to my left, two twin siblings, boy and girl, battling it out on a red vinyl seat to decide who will sit by the father, with the Nintendo t-shirt. her white-stockinged legs stretch, a tiny foot pressed to her brother’s soft cheek as he slaps at her knee, sets a palm to her forehead. push each other away. to my right, wide young lovers talking music and Jesus, her makeup like warpaint, his hair gel like cedar sap. i am not talking again. better ask you forgive me, when i’ve little to say, it is for i’ve had five hours sleep and I cannot keep fleeting attention from minuscule things.

cool change

the cool change coming. in the garden, he was. cross legged with a blue tin in his lap. the last of the Christmas biscuits. called to her he did, ‘Susan!’ to the fly-screen door with the long line gash through its worn-thin netting. and no reply. she, inside. seated at the table next to Granny-Gran, Louise and Helen, bickering about the fish that Granny overcooked, “and less we say about the bones!” Helen snatching nibbles at the fruit cake, nestled in her lap whenever her companions are not looking, hisses ‘disgusting girl!’ at Susan, finger in her nose and sitting on a grubby heel. ‘Susan!” she hears him call this time, the metal of the chair leg grinding into ivory tile, ‘slowly girl!” then Helen snaps, baring teeth, Louise sees the piece of date stuck in between her molars. the screen door groans on its hinges, slams. little fingers pinch and grab at clumpy crumbs left in the biscuit tin, Susan scoops them to her tongue and sticks it out for him to look at. “disgusting!” laughs he, tossing dry grass blades that cling to her hair and overalls. the cool change comes, they lay their bodies down. the soil breathes. cicadas hum.