Nicola Cayless.
Looking for light in words.

Home Message Archive about & links
« / »
My poetry collection is finally, finally finished.

I know that there are other ways to show love. Like hands entwined, and gelato together by the sea. But sometimes I just like the words. I like how they sound, how they taste, how they roll gently over me like summer breeze. The words are so very beautiful, and from you, they never ever ever seem overused, because I know you mean them. I know there are other ways to show love, but sometimes I just like to hear you say, quite simply, ‘I love you.’


There is a certain romance
in finding
of the dead.

Who knew, before,
that the dead could speak
with unmoving lips and dustdriven fingers?
Can you write within the dirt, within the damp
mud, in which you melt and meld with the universe?

(I long for death.
I imagine it will be intimate.)

And with trembling fingers,
your brother will unlock the drawer,
hiding unmanly unspoilt unexpected tears.
You regret now, beyond the grave, the hate
you spilt forth and left in ink.

Words are not permanent,
but memory is.

No one will remember you.
They’ll remember the drawer full of letters
that you wrote with trembling dead fingers. 

Sometimes I look at everything around me and think, “Where’s the poetry in this?” or “Where’s the story, the characters, the novel?” And sometimes it works, and I end up writing a thousand words about one little glance between the lonely boy and the beautiful girl in the coffee shop, or I can write a sonnet about lavender and sunshine, but other times I just see everything that I’m not a part of, a world that has so much beauty that I can’t connect with or understand, a world that I feel I should be exploring but I’m stuck in bed with the blinds closed knowing that it’s a wonderful day outside. Sometimes I am completely uninspired by everything terrific outside, and I can’t help but turn my gaze from the windows and back to the dark corners of my bedroom. I can’t find anything anything anything.


(Perhaps this is what it is
to be alive.)

I photosynthesise in the sun.
I speak in silent tongues to the warmth,
as heaven smiles down upon me.
We speak of tomorrow and flowers
and love. The sunflowers love her.
Perhaps I am a sunflower.

Or rather,
a dandelion,
fragile as children’s dreams.
They pluck me from my home
with grasping chubby fingers,
and scatter me into the wind.
I am sent out over the harbour
on summer breeze. They asked me
to bring back hope.

But I lost my way home again.

on the other side of the river,
there is lavender.
I am quiet and mauve,
and I endure the cold.
I will be here next month
and next year and next romance.

Forget daisy chains—
entwine me with weeds. 

I cannot wait to be my own person, to explore the world and the little coffee shops down the road, to walk down to the harbour at three in the morning, to drink four beers and write pages upon pages of terrible writing before scrunching it up and throwing it out, to sit in a cafe for hours with too many coffees and free internet, to spend the money I earn during the day on whiskey and skirts that twirl when I spin, to lie in the sun for hours and to dye my hair teal.

Important things.

Sketches of fairies, the moon bright in the middle of a summer’s night, lavender on an autumn breeze, words that are softer than silk, freshly pressed skirts, cups of tea on the balcony, flowers picked from the little park by the harbour, caramel lattes on winter mornings, poetry at three in the morning, new candles, melted down candles, burning new incense for the first time, hands held while walking through the city, ‘Summertime’ playing over ad over and over in your mind, cider on New Year’s Eve, pages dogeared because they made your heart skip a beat, falling asleep on long road trips, The Little Prince, writing letters by the water, your birthday on the beach, woollen scarves and kisses kisses kisses…

"I will wait for you. But don’t take forever."

"Define ‘forever.’"

oh, my mélodie

I want to love you
like Gymnopédie No.1.

I want to kiss you
like Ice Dance.

I want to make love to you
like Clair de Lune.

I want to live
in piano strokes
and ivory keys. 


They told me,

'Watch the way you burn;
your wax will spill
and stain the glass
with the colours of your insides.’ 

And I trimmed my wick,
and flicked my matches,
and set myself on fire.

I have been burning
for days, and the smell
of gardenia and lavender
(the perfume of my thoughts)
fills the silent lounge room.

And I did not watch the way I burn.

Wax spilt down the glass,
and I am now mangled,
twisted and full of individual