Two Poems by Ele-Beth Little

The Cave

by Ele-Beth Little

A quiet baby grew into a quiet girl;

Swaddled feelings mute to brim, they held her tight,

Positioned to reflect a sham parental world

She occupied the plastic cave behind her eyes.

When night un-hushed her, tears soon found their form

For all that light erased through vacant days,

She grieved the space within that danced a storm

Compelled to sit and smile,


Sit and smile

And wait


And smile

And wait

For the bullshit cycle to replay

I know what they did without knowing, I know how they treat a doll before she is one, I know how they make one. The verbose guy with a few shirt-buttons loose, swaggering through his volumes of literary theory wanted her to mention philosophical concepts like spring boards for his ego but never out-do him. I know her eyes never close and she is silent while they speak, but where is she? Her arms reached out but they miss-grasped like two zeros, fall through one another. They hold her, she holds them, they ask her to hold space within a form, to hold nothing for them at all, to put a shape to their ideas, to retreat as a horizon they’d love to chase, for them to long to pave a way, and push her mind back into cavernous space, they go on about ‘your face your face your face’, they want a trail laid through the woods, they uncover the words they can exploit, the good-girl silencing spells; the lost self, and the well behaved, the shame. They say they want to ‘shake her’, to push and pull and rip, but they still can’t find her because of the cave.

It hollows, swallows, overshadows. It doesn’t care.

And if you’d ever really loved her – motherfucker - you’d have looked there.


by Ele-Beth Little

I say "your body is every season and I love all its changes". The woman and the girl, The ribbons I untie The many children dancing on a midnight lawn The mother collecting them all.

Our instinct is silent. A trapped autumn

Pale things glowing, a pulse slowing. The roots of a flower, no boot can stomp out Weeds, wiry and surviving. We are the ways we’ve been hurt, But flowers grow from the dirt And your bloodied hand under my skirt Heals me. I trust more and more. You push more and more. Push for the best in me. For the heart Buried like a bulb. The snow is always falling in your heart The seeds are always bursting in my mouth The wings are wrapping round our sleeping selves We burrow, blind, and I have you held.

Ele-Beth Little is a shy queer writer and zinester from England. She teaches psychology and philosophy (When she isn’t suffering from anxiety) and is working towards a Creative Writing MA. She has appeared in ‘The Chapess’, and ‘I knew a motherfucker like you and she said…' amongst other collaborative zines, and her poetry and prose have been published frequently by Paraphilia Press. Follow her on twitter here: @wintermuse

Image by Send me adrift., found on Flickr.

#poetry #elebethlittle #valentines #love #heartache #sonnets #nontraditionalsonnet #prosepoetry #februarymarch2018

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