Storm

December 24, 2012

Sitting here, beneath this aging oak,
– they told me as a child not to do that –
I look out at the rain.
My improvised shelter is no great shakes;
giant drops drum at my scalp
and run, chillingly down my back.
One, two, three, four.
Close.
I can’t tell where I’m wet
and which parts are just cold;
all I know is
my rain-coat wasn’t made for this.
Raining so heavy,
all around me looks a strange shade of grey;
the water beats the ground,
splashes growing larger as the level rises.
One, two.
Getting closer.
People lucky enough to be in cars
race past, forging through the floods,
great sheets of water cascading around them,
sending ripples –
no, waves, towards the curb and me.
Thunder deafening now, right above me,
flash and bang hand-in-hand,
nothing to count,
heart of the storm,
nature’s rage all around me.
Twice I think it’s about to subside;
twice its fury redoubles,
as though it’s telling me personally,
it will calm down when it’s good and ready.
It. He. Whatever your take,
there’s real power in the skies,
crashes and flares
shaking the earth,
shaking souls,
striking fear.
My tree sways, groans, lists, screams;
my stomach lurches beneath it
– they told me as a child not to do that.

Signature

Daddy

October 26, 2011

He told her, “This is just for now.”
She said, “It’s okay, Daddy,
we’ll get through somehow;
we have each other still
and you always taught me that love is what counts.”
A single tear appeared in his eye,
he turned around,
refused to let her see him frown,
much less cry.
Such a strong young thing she was,
amazing really, after everything,
a child her age should never have to feel
the sting
of loss
like she,
so he had to be her rock,
her superhero,
had to lock
his pain and fear away,
had to make sure every day
was filled with love and happiness
and joy and laughter
and nothing else.

xix. She Sells…

August 25, 2011

Dreams,
like seashells held to your ear
echo foreign lands and happy times
but as we know too well,
the sounds you hear in shells
are only lies we tell ourselves.
Are dreams any different?
But still we dream,
not because of the promises they make
but because of what they represent;
because every lie told
is a glimpse at a truth that could have been
or could be
just like every soul sold
is a reminder
of a world where angels reigned,
when the devil existed only in nightmares
and stories told by mums to naughty kids.
Now, we need these dreams to see those angels
and to believe that the devil isn’t real.

xi. Cold

July 22, 2011

My heart beats hard,
tries its level best to
remind me I’m alive
and yet I don’t feel it,
not the way I should,
not like it’s within me,
not like it’s a part of me.
My breath speeds up,
steams on the mirror.
I feel no in and out,
no oxygen to the brain
just like I don’t feel
the blood pumping
just like I don’t feel
the joy or pain of life
just like I don’t feel.
Cold makes me numb,
dulls my senses, yet
this doesn’t feel new.
Dullness comforts me,
like an old friend might,
wraps its arms round me
and slows my heart
and slows my breath
and reminds me that death
is always around the corner.

Parasite

June 25, 2011

Hatred is a parasite.
It burns out from within.
It starts with the soul
of its host –
its carrier –
and slowly turns it black
until the vessel –
because, that is all we are:
vessels to carry souls
around this weed-ridden garden
we call Earth –
until the vessel
is completely overcome.
But, like a cancer,
when the soul has been consumed
hatred does not cease to grow.
It seeps from its host,
affecting all those around,
attacking them
with its vile disposition
until it finds a new soul
weak enough
and it pours inside.
Like this,
hatred spreads,
traverses the world,
and as it becomes bigger,
stronger,
fewer can combat it.
Like this,
hatred takes over,
becomes our tyrannic master.
Like this,
love is taken out
and shot.

Dream

June 9, 2011

I saw you once before in a dream.
I don’t remember it all but
I recall you were some sort of queen;
some supernatural being.
People around you were on their knees
and others danced in the breeze and
they sang songs of love for you
and as I looked on,
I fell in love too.

You were bathed in golden light
so bright that all those around you
were mesmerized,
hypnotized by the sight
and as I looked on,
I fantasized that I might touch you –
a dream within a dream
that I might kiss you;
hold you;
at least just get to know you,
but even in my dream within a dream, I knew
you would not be mine;
you would never see my face in the crowd.
I could have called out for you but
my voice would not be loud enough
and anyway
I had no name for you –
I had no way to catch your eye.

But then you looked up
and the birds in the trees
took to the sky;
Their song filled the air
and a thousand butterflies
took wing inside
as you looked at me
for just a moment;
just a beat.
And in that glance
I felt the heat
of a thousand suns
shining down
on me at once,
such was the
intensity
of your perfection.
Such beauty ,
such grace
the world had never known
and all within your glow
could see,
could feel that you were some
divine power,
some heavenly flower
and as you turned to convey the land,
darkness cowered in your gaze.

But when you turned back,
you looked in my eyes
and, paralysed,
I felt you look inside;
I felt you scrutinize
my soul.
I saw the wisdom of the whole universe
in your eyes
and I knew that you knew me
completely
as soon as you saw me.
And after what might have been eternity
but just as easily
a heartbeat,
I felt you leave me.

For a while,
you just stood before me.
You did not speak;
did not move;
did not smile.
And then you raised your hand
and as you touched me,
all the land fell silent.
I felt the world, the universe
each grain of sand,
every petal of every flower,
every second of every hour,
every atom, every star,
every beat of every heart,
every sunrise,
every tide,
all that had lived
and all that had died;
I felt every possible thing
and I felt forever
and then it was gone
as your hand returned to your side
and from that moment on
I could not have survived
in a world without your brilliance.

I met you once before in a dream
and you embodied a purity the world had never seen
and ever since I’ve been
looking for you
and now that I’ve found you,
I can’t let you go
so please, let me walk you home.

Words Unsaid

June 7, 2011

I know you were smitten
while he kept you
and you felt bitten
when he left you
and you turned bitter,
so I help you
with these words,
unsaid but written.

At first,
before you read it,
you wondered why I wrote;
you questioned my motives
and queried what floated my boat
but as you turn the pages
you see the different stages of your life;
you read your every strife
and you realise
that I write
for you.

And as you read my words
you feed them
because what I write,
you’ve seen
and where I’ve imagined,
you’ve been.

This poetry
is what connects you and me.
Without these words
I wouldn’t be inside your heart and in your head;
without these words, unsaid but written,
the memory of me would be dead –
but when I write
I fight to stay alive
and through the words you read
I survive,
I breathe,
I speak.

And though I do not know you,
as I write, I feel you.
With this verse
I immerse you again
in the love that you first knew
when times were good,
before you thought
that he could hurt you;
back when you believed his words were true;
before you knew what love could do –
but now your heart is broken
but with these words,
unspoken but written,
you think you have the token.

And as you read them
they touch you,
they push you
to write too
and when you write
you fight
to keep the light on in the dark
so that your words,
unsaid but written,
may show some other the way
like mine show you today;
might help some other hurting soul
find a way to make themselves whole
like I am showing you.

Because though you’ll never be the same,
you hope that with your art
you can regain
a little part,
at least a grain
of who you were
and maybe start
again;
relight
the flame
inside your heart
and train
yourself to fight
the pain
and play
the game
another round
and with the strength you’ve found
you’re bound
to win this time
and learn to put his crime
behind you;
let someone else find you
and bind you
to their soul
because after all,
that’s your goal –
to be ready to make
the same mistakes again.

Awake

May 28, 2011

tick-tock, chiming clock,
midnight calls
tar-black backdrop falls
full moon lights the night
like day
you feel your consciousness begin to slip away
to be replaced
by fear’s embrace.
For when you sleep,
you cannot hear
it creeping up on you,
filling you with dark ideas,
thoughts that haunt you
when you wake,
that taunt and threaten to make
you do unspeakable things
that live in songs the devil sings.

you try to keep it all inside,
you feel like you cannot confide
in anyone, and so you hide it
’til it’s gone
or ’til you think it has, at least
but it will surely come again
to feast,
and bring along a stronger pain,
this beast,
like poison coursing through your veins
like screams inside your brain
that slice right through, contort, distort
your thoughts
’til all that’s left is fear.

you wish you could scratch out your eyes
but what you fear lies not
beneath the skies of this, the waking world
but in a place where peace curled up and died
a place you cannot hide.
The things you fear live within
and that unbridled din
is in
your mind.