Poetry: Selections from Rachel Lightfoot

There are plenty more fish in the sea

The sea is also filled with:
Bottom feeders,
Toxic waste,
Perpetual darkness... also known as The Abyss,
95,000 cubic metres of human shit.
Stay away from the sea.


The thing I could not say
The thing spoked in my throat
The thing thrashing on my lips
Well, That thing is this

I have been unwell.

I didn’t realise it at the time.

I slipped into grey,
the colour washed out
vulture filled skies.

Exsanguinated people,
malnourished souls
using sticks and stones
to patch up their holes.

The vultures they came,
Lifeless, cold eyes
talons tearing out my flesh
as I screeched, “I’m not dead yet!”

I could shake them off temporarily,
paint a smile on thick
all while sending a tooth
sailing right through my lip.

The vultures spoke of death
and decay,

nothing better to come
drumming the noise in with a dulcet kind of hum.

Circling in the sky
turning over the moon
her belly exposed
as predators loom.

But like kick-back from a horse,
I produced one final farewell
and commanded those things go
straight back to hell.

I staggered off of the merry-go-round,
the hamster wheel of humdrum
and stumbled into the streets
cocked like a loaded gun.

I fired off shots
and as the shrapnel fell
I realised that

I have been unwell.

So I returned to the earth
to repair in the dirt
to really feel the hurt
and lift up its shirt.

Maggot-filled brain - coffin-covered cries - boxed in with my thoughts - hoping to survive.

But once the silence fell -

There was peace to be found
and with quieted mind
I healed in the cold ground.

And when I finally emerged from my grave
digging up all that I’d buried alive,
I sent that army of kamikaze skeletons
charging toward the light.

Fractured Water

Meet me in the pool of fractured water
I’ll be scattering pieces of my soul.
Born of white sea foam, the Ocean’s daughter
Where Heaven kissed this Earth and paid the toll.
Goddess of the sea and of seafaring
Aphrodite breathes dew into the west wind.
Shattered, worn fragments of misplaced caring,
Shipwrecks of hope gather, the shore rescinds.
God of war tore the trite clouds asunder
Tempestuous skies screamed at his behest.
Lightning crash and rolling waves of thunder,
Mournful suds gathered to form the swell crest.  
The troposphere cried with the weight of the sorrow,
Soothed only by the moon and her promise of tomorrow.

The Tree of Knowledge/Ouroboros

I always arrive with my heart on my sleeve,
in anticipation of an inevitable trampling,
it’s almost like a masochistic need –
with my yearning to love,
the collar,
and my hope of being loved,
the lead.
Once upon a time I found myself within the garden of Eden,
lying within the warm arms of a man
who gifted me freedom.
I thrived joyfully as his rib,
I felt honoured to embrace and encase his heart,
and as his bone I truly lived.
Soon though,
I was tempted by forbidden fruit,
a shiny, serpentine apple dangling from a tree,
my eyes were in pursuit,
the beginning of an insidious uproot.
And my penance, the fee?
A life ever after
to be half lived,
tainted by misery.
Ever since my fall from grace,
Paradise lost without trace,
I've eaten only rotten apples
and become accustomed to that bitter taste.
Original sin punished:
cursed as an Ouroboros doomed
to forever eat my own tale
of arriving heart on sleeve,
trying to fulfill an unmet need,
collared by yearning, with hope that misleads.
I repeatedly discover
the undeniable truth,
that knowledge is proof
we were set up to fail:
A never-ending cycle of swallowing our own poisonous tail.

A Love I Buried Alive

I sometimes toy with the idea
of writing a letter to an ex,
to translate the weight of my heart into text;
ten years gone and still bereft.
         I swallowed all of the memories
         as if I were Grendel devouring his enemies.
         I Gobbled fistfuls at a time to make them disappear                  
         gorged myself on a rotting ever after.
For a time I choked...
              … I’m alright now though, I cope...
... It’s just that I carry the lump in my throat.
This was a love I buried alive,
but remnants of its coffined screams
still rumble through the earth from time to time.

A Modern Day Fairytale

Once upon a time….
There lived a Princess
Locked within a tower of bricks
By a wicked, wicked witch.
The wicked witch was named,
And she was a real bitch!
The Princess was glum,
Too much work to be done
And she worked herself blue
As Mortgage cackled, “I own You.”
The Princess was only fed scraps;
no food for the soul,
But Mortgage gobbled
Pay packets whole,
Drool rolling down her greedy chin
Grinning a deadly grin
And sucking on the bones.
One day, Temptation called to the tower
To say,
“Princess, let down your hair!”
But Mortgage was there
To say,
The Princess was sad,
Mortgage was really bad
And as if that wasn’t enough,
I’ll tell you some really Grimm stuff…
Mortgage had wicked Sons:
We’ll call them ‘The Bill’s’
And they could drive you to pills!
They multiplied at an alarming rate,
Leaving the Princess in a real state.
And so all the Princess could do
Was await….
A knight in shiny armour
To unlock the gate,
And climb up the tower
To bear some of the weight.
And one day,
A Knight did finally arrive
In a clapped-out Chevrolet.
The Knight’s name was
‘Best Friend’
And she’d come to lend
A helping hand.
The Knight took out her sword,
And held back the horde
Of wicked things for a while.
And with them backed against the wall,
The Knight cried,
“Princess, I heard your call!
You can always rely upon me,
Just utter the magic plea:
For, every time you cry, ‘Rescue me!’
I’ll be here with bread and tea.”

My Collection of Weirdos

I have a hobby of sorts,
To collect the strangest of cohorts,
Those that fall between
The cracks in the serene
And provide an elixir for the droll.
Wearing trauma as a badge,
Openly half mad,
Scarred and scared,
Bad and good, good and bad.
This is my collection of weirdos.
Each piece is unique,
Individual, tarnished and boutique.
No manufactured, peroxided plastic,
Or conveyor belt symptomatics.
Antique treasures hidden
Under the rest,
Bottom of the pile.
Allow them to beguile.
Their bruises sparkle like Popping candy for the soul.
Come and behold!
My shelf of damaged wholes,
Those who refused to fit the mould,
But instead turned stories of ash
Into pure gold.
Here you’ll find the greatest tales to be told.
Roll up!
Marvel at my troupe of weirdos,
An array of frayed heroes;
The best I have known.
My clarion call to home.

Rachel Lightfoot is an Arts council funded poet based in Sheffield, UK with a degree in Film & Literature, a dark sense of humour and a passion for creative self-expression. At age 21, Rachel built her very own burlesque empire, 8 years later she hung up her heels and had a brief stint working for ‘the man’. Rachel decided she did not like this and instead, she went on to chase her creative dreams once again. Now pursuing poetry and acting, Rachel spends her time creating short works of poetry inspired by her life experiences and working on film productions.