Magi Gibson

Poet and Writer

“Sappho with a laptop”

Wild Women of a Certain Age

My sisters, the time has come
to let your hair grow long and wild and grey,
to cast away the heated rollers and the tongs.
So when the moon is nine months full
let us meet out on our lawns.
Let us burn our diet sheets,
Let us pound our bathroom scales
to heaps of rusting springs.
Let us shred our measuring tapes,
our Firmer Buttocks videos.
Let us burn an effigy of Aphrodite.
Let us tip our eye creams down the pan.
Let us revel in our pink plump ripeness.
Let us wear our stretch marks like shining honours.
Let us celebrate ourselves – because we can.

For we have bodies that have loved.
We have bodies that have lived.
Mouths that have savoured cheese and meat
and dribbled over chocolate and fruit,
tongues that have tasted good and evil,
lips that have sipped fine wines,
fingers that have stroked . . .

We have been the carriers of babes.

Our bellies have swollen with drumlin curves,
our breasts have hung like ripened fruit,
our teeth have bitten skin and threads.
We have swallowed bitter pills.
We have known dark bloodstains on our hands.
We have been the carriers of laughter and of pain,
the healers of our children’s ills. We have lain
below the stars. We have lain below our men.

Yes, sisters, now the time has come
to claim our bodies for ourselves.
For in our silver hair, our well-filled thighs,
in those laughter lines that crowd our eyes –
we live, we are alive.

Magi Gibson

Confessions Of A Wild Woman

Dear god
Who art in H.Q. somewhere in America
Let me confess the sins
Which have made me the miserable witch
I deserve to be

In my house are many rooms
And it is hard to hoover and clean them all

And in a secret cupboard I hoard a Himalaya
Of ironing, which has been known to avalanche
Causing danger to life and limb
And the temporary loss of one small child

But worse than these Oh lord I must confess

I own a black and lacy thong
And a clingy backless dress

I have long hair and legs
And cause men to lust after me
Especially if the light is low
And their vision failing
And now, oh lord, even with the greying
Of the hair And the lengthening of the tooth
And the lowering of bum and boobs
I get drunk on Saturdays
And fornicate on Sundays
When I should be in church

I hide from The Christian Aid woman
When she calls for her envelope
And dodge the Big Issue Seller at the corner
(But only if I don’t have change)

I use foul language
(But only when sorely pressed
Or pissed)

I harbour ill-thoughts towards my fellow men
Especially those at work

I covet the Diet Coke Man
And the young guy at the bus stop
Whose shy smile brightens my day
With heathen and unnatural thoughts

Sometimes I forget to water my houseplants
And they die
Sometimes I over-water my houseplants
And they die

And for these sins, oh kind and loving god
Who is all-powerful, all-loving and all-forgiving
I deserve no better than to bring forth
In sweat and blood and agony and suffering
He who now borrows my car without asking.

I deserve no better than to be paid
A miserable salary for doing
A miserable job

While still trying to mother the fruits of my sins
And somewhere inbetween sing the praises of he
Who made me from mud and rib

So please forgive me,
Oh mother and father who brought me up right
And John Knox who lurketh like a flasher
In the shadows of my mind
For I have sinned
And am not finished yet.

Magi Gibson

A Letter to My Father

Dear father

who art in the pub
hallowed be thy distance
the day will come
when you will be gone
our lives no longer
lived in fear

Forgiveness, I'm afraid
is not in my heart
for you are the one who
taught me fear, pain, mistrust
your constant displays of violence
my daily bread

as you entered the room
my mother's battered face
invisble to you
her cries, her pleas unheard, ignored

Lead us not into contempt
for your situation now you are alone and lonely.

We do not forgive your trespasses -
let me make that clear.
Your pathetic excuses and apologies
thirty years too late
now fall on our deaf ears.

Nicola Burkhill

A Goddess Poem

My goddess fell from the sky
clad in crimson, the wind at her back
and in her hair

a molten-hot meteorite
setting alight the world
with her brightness.

A sheath swings from her belt
where her sword hilt glints
like a diamond at her side.

Lithe like a cat, she purrs
with contentment, strikes
with no hesitation,
claws and teeth bared,
ready for action.

My divine deity is
precious like platinum -
steely, shiny, unbreakable
she is the spark,
the kindling and
the flame,

seeking only
to empower other women,
blowing life into their
forgotten dreams,
her breathy words a
gentle whisper
in their ears

My goddess
is the comfort
you feel in your
mother's arms.

She is all those little inklings,
your sixth sense, your third eye.
She is the mother
of all mothers.
The feminist
of all feminists.
The woman of all
She is you, she is me.

Nicola Burkhill