Empty. A poem.

Empty head
Empty rest
Empty place
Emptiness
Empire
An empire of emptiness
A place to rest my empty head

 

My head hurts. As always.

If I drank, I could blame it on something.

Alas, the blame is all me.

Frail. A poem.

Frail
Voice quivering
Life cluttered and confused
 
Frail and empty
Never quite the half-full glass
A landscape littered with dust devils
Twisting in your head
 
Frail and empty and broken
In need of resolution
Absolution and restitution
Hanging by the barest, slimline thread
That leads nowhere
 
Frail and empty and broken and lost
No trail to follow
Invisible despite your best efforts
Wandering the ways of cold, dry frost
Drifting in ether
Is this where you should be?
 
Hope returns, but like a wayward friend
 
Doesn’t visit long  

 

Yep. Like I said, last poem. Depression is a pain in the…

Deep. A poem.

I double over and sink
Into waters far too deep
And far too black
I’m drowning here inside myself
Don’t you see me?
No, you never do
Until I’m gone
Dragged down into the depths
Lost forever far from shore
Just another sailor drowned
For the cause

 
Down, down, down, I go. I thought once you hit rock bottom the only way was up. Guess I was wrong.

Depression sucks.

Magic. A poem.

As if by magic
One world ended and another began
Furtive baby steps into the new dawn
I raised my voice, emboldened, and sang
 
As if by magic
Suddenly you appeared, I was invested
I was lost in you so deep that before I knew it
My heart was bursting free from my chest
 
As if by magic
I reached out, brought you close, let you in
Finally moving on from tears and bitterness
All the endless waiting worth it in the end
 
As if by magic
The better person I had long resolved to be
The impossible you became my everything
And love had finally found its way to me   

 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a sap when it comes to love.

Still looking. Still waiting. Still imagining.

I’ve got a good feeling.

Soon.

Date Night. A short tale.

The mirror image was unflattering.

She had been trying on dresses for the last hour. They always looked better on the rack and in the fitting rooms before she bought them. She knew there was something about the mirrors in stores. Like the ones at carnivals, but warping everything to look better (maybe she should get one installed…).

It looked like jeans and a blouse were a better option. Three changes later and she was satisfied. Black skinny jeans (almost a miracle needed to get them on; not quite the parting of the Red Sea, but almost) and a billowy white shirt, untucked (why did her ass and thighs look so big? Where was that carnival mirror…) over a black tank top (she was sure it was bigger, before. Had her boobs grown? Maybe the top shrunk in the wash. That’s okay, it emphasised her cleavage more, now. She would just leave a few extra buttons open to show ’em off. Face palm: that was so slutty.)

All this crap for a blind date. And what if he looked worse than she did? What if he was some loser, no job, aimless? She shook her head. Her best friend wouldn’t match her like that. All her fears and insecurities were rising to the surface. Best push them down, keep them buried, like they usually were. “Yeah, real healthy,” she said to the empty room (hmm. It was pretty empty. Maybe she needed to get a cat? Hold on a minute – that way lay long term spinster-dom and more cats…)

Makeup applied, not overdone, but not sparingly (less whorish, more Watergate cover up. Big sigh). Her phone alarm beeped. Time to face the music, she thought. She pouted to the mirror, mouthing silently “it’s so nice to meet you”. Tilted her head. Silent pretend laugh.

She rolled her eyes and headed for the door. One last glance back. Maybe she would get a cat…

 

What is this flash fiction stuff? I only started it recently (and maybe my short tales are a bit too long to be called flash fiction. I don’t know). This one is a bit clichéd, but that’s okay – nobody’s perfect.

Not even with the benefit of carnival mirrors.  

 

The Wait. A poem.

The wait is the hardest
Butterflies and nervous tension
Hand wringing
Squeezing defeat from victory
Anxious minutes until the call
Surrounded by strangers
Fellow passengers on this train wreck
The wait is the hardest

 

Ever had to wait for an appointment, meeting, etc., where you’ve been unsure of what would happen? Your paranoid thoughts tend to get the better of you. Afterwards you realise they were all for naught, and that everything was always going to be okay.

Stop worrying so much.

I should take my own advice, shouldn’t I?

Online Date Tragedy. A Haiku Trilogy.

Online Date Tragedy

Profile

Look at her profile
Magic encapsulated
Is that photo real?
 
Meeting

Nervously waiting
Looks nothing like her photo
Not much in common
 
Failing

Apologetic
And good luck with your soul search
A face palm moment

 

Okay, so I got tired of writing dark poetry. This one’s a little amusing. And 5/7/5 syllable Haiku’s are entirely appropriate for short-lived non-romances.

This is based on my own experiences, of course. I’m sure other people have a great time on their online dates.

Poison. A poem.

Your words are poison
Entering my ears, seeping to my brain
Flowing through arteries, capillaries and veins
To my torso, arms and legs and beyond
Sapping my strength, dropping me to my knees
Feeding my ever-present pain, drawing forth tears
That return your bitter poison to the earth beneath my feet

Another dark poem. Some day I’ll write a happy one. Just not right now.

Eyes. A Poem.

Look into these eyes
That see so much and so far
Binocular imperceptibility
Local acuity skewed to emptiness
The sight that slices darkness like infrared
These eyes filled with tears and subtle defiance
Look into these hollow things and see imperfection
The blade that pierces heart and sinew, cuts it out, slices it up
These eyes
That have seen so much pain
But have yet to know
Real love   

 

I’m not sure how some of my poems come to mind, or why they are all so dark.

Oh, yes, I do. It’s because I’m a depressed and anguished soul. Well, that was easy. Next question?

Awesometacular Justice!

The new trailer for the upcoming Justice League movie is here. I’m sure it will be the first of many as the November release of the movie approaches.

For those who don’t know what the Justice League is, they are the premier DC Comics super team, made up of Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Flash, Cyborg and Aquaman. And they come together to kick evil’s ass.

In the comics the Justice League was created before Marvel’s Avengers, but Warner Brothers, the studio that owns DC Comics, has been dragging its feet and has finally got the celluloid version going. The JL movie comes after the Wonder Woman movie released in June.

I’m looking forward to Justice League. I think the first trailer is pretty good, but I think the upcoming ones will be even better. So, enjoy:

Yeah! That’s what I’m talking about.

And while you’re at it, check out the Wonder Woman trailer.

Player. A poem.

I am a poor player
With little left to show
For the game of life I’ve played
One arm behind my back, restrained



Here’s a very short poem I wrote a few weeks ago. Not sure why I didn’t publish it then. Had other stuff on my mind, I guess.

The Wellspring

I’ve been writing a lot of poetry. I used to write poems when I was a teenager (sensitive, new aged, guy that I was), but then nothing for twenty years or so.

So what made me return to it? One morning I woke up about 4:00am (as I sometimes do) and decided to write a poem…about waking up. And it worked out. So I posted it. People seemed to like it. Buoyed by my new found confidence, I decided to write some more. After a week I thought to myself, this can’t possibly keep going, at some point the wellspring will run dry.

But it didn’t. So, I’ve been writing poetry ever since. And loving every minute of it.

Following is a linked list of every poem I’ve composed on my blog, so far. Hope you like them.

Here’s to the wellspring never running dry.

True Love. A poem.

Where
Does true love sleep
And what wanton dreams
Do dwell 
Inside a mind so keen
 
When
Will true love find me
And what stories will it tell
That love
Perhaps, will set me free
 
Who 
Will true love be
Will she pass me by anon
Like smoke
Or will she reach out for me
 
What
Will true love do
Will it quench this longing thirst 
That binds
Like a desert tide consumes
 
Why
Must true love be
the soul yearns to find
The one
That fills the aching need
 

I like writing poems about love.

Still hanging out for it. Someday, it’ll find me.

Hopefully, when it does, I won’t be like the skeleton at the bus stop.

Hole Man. A poem.

Stand still long enough
Time slows to a stop
The event horizon
Of a gaping black hole
The world moves on
The traveller ages not
Until soon, all too soon
He’s accepted his lot


You know, theoretically, a man falling into a black hole would appear stuck on the event horizon as he approached the speed of light i.e. we wouldn’t see him actually fall in.

Imagine being frozen in time…

‘The Curious Mind’ – a haiku trilogy

OCD

A love of patterns
Obsessive, compulsively
The brain so focused

Again

Walking in circles
Logical circumvention
Freedom lost again

Gone

Short attention span
Passing in sixty seconds
Out of mind and sight


The 5/7/5 syllable structure of haiku allows for wonderful poetic experimentation.

My obsession with haiku in threes is almost like the compulsion I wrote about here.

Awake. A short tale.

(I exit my room. The sun is shining through my open window, bright beams illuminating me from behind as I stretch and face the world. I imagine a choir announcing my return, like a second coming, of sorts.

“So, where have you been?” says Alpha Girl, sprawled on the lounge and not looking up from her magazine. My choir slurs and stops, like a wind up record player reaching its end.

“Yeah,” says Beta Max, not taking his eyes off the TV as he plays Xbox.

Scratching my unruly head, I yawn, waddle sleepily to the kitchen and pour cereal into a bowl. “I’ve been working on my blog,” I say. “And sleeping.”

“We haven’t seen you for a week,” says Alpha Girl. “Thought you’d moved out. Or died. A good outcome, either way.”

I stick out my tongue, but she doesn’t see it. “Did either of you think to knock on my door?” I say. “I suffer from depression, you know.”

Beta Max moans as his onscreen self is killed again. He looks over at me and grins. “If you died, we would have smelt it by now, dude.”

“It’s nice to know I’m surrounded by such caring, sharing people,” I respond, smiling and flipping him the bird.

Alpha Girl, still engrossed in her magazine, flicks her hair. “You told me you made a commitment to your family not to commit suicide,” she says. “And I know how responsible you are.” For the first time, she looks up and smirks. “Besides, whenever you isolate yourself like that, you put yourself through hell. And I love it when you torment yourself.” I can almost hear the sinister orchestration in the background. Thunder booms. Lightning flashes. A glint of predatory canines as she sneers.

Beta Max throws down the controller as he dies again. “I hate this game,” he says. Loping over to the fridge, he drinks orange juice straight from the bottle. Alpha Girl gives him a death stare. Suitably rebutted, he pours a glass of juice and meekly places the bottle back. “Dude, you know we’re always here for you,” he says.

I laugh. “I’ll remember that the next time I update my will,” I say.)

Embrace. A poem.

Start The warmth of embrace Lingering Bodies merge Hair mingles Tentacles feeling their way Gingerly at first Then with understanding Forthright Bellows breathe Entwined Reason forgotten Locomotion Salt and sea Taste the ocean Fish on your tongue Drilling for oil In the depths Until the end The fast release Raining inside The empty gesture The habit of escape Finish

Another experimental poem from me. Just in that kind of mood.

The Player. A short tale.

Steve picked up his guitar. It was an old acoustic: earthy, time worn and weather beaten, with thick gauge strings slightly out of tune. He plucked the neck harmonics and adjusted the tuning heads, listening intently as each tone wavered and steadied. When he finished, he strummed an open G chord, and, satisfied with his efforts, commenced  playing a song he had written long ago.

As usual it was a tale of woe and forgotten love. Blues, but not quite blues; some jazzy sevenths and ringing open strings brought a gentle dissonance to the melody.  Lyrics breathily whispered to the night.

Steve drifted lazily back to bars long since closed and audiences long since forgotten –  he could almost smell the drifting smoke in the room. Gently rocking, his left foot tapped out a rhythmic beat in time to his strumming.

Then it was over, as if it had never been.

 

This is a uni piece I wrote many months ago. Everyone had to write an introduction for themselves. The final assignment has been marked, so I can post it now.

Time’s Up. A poem.

I am a stupid man, a stubborn man

I’m waiting for you to come to me
To extend a hand (‘save me’, he cries)
But will I reject you, will I turn away
As I have before?

(so many times before, always repeating the same old mistakes, cap in hand, then ‘no thanks, i’m okay, I can manage, I can do this alone, I don’t need your help’, can’t you see that he’s drowning)

What makes it so hard to take your proffered hand
To swallow my pride and let you in
To stop HATING myself
To stop KILLING myself
Every NIGHT and every DAY

(every heartbeat, every notion, every teardrop, just wash him clean so he can wake up and start the day again and maybe, just maybe, he can get through that day, then get through that night, rinse and repeat, again and again and again and again) 

I am a stupid man, a stubborn man

And I’m nearly done

Time’s up

 

Okay, this poem’s a bit dark. But then, I’m a pretty dark person. My poems reflect all aspects of me, not just the happy stuff. (‘Happy stuff?’ I hear you say. ‘When have you ever written happy poems?’ Good point. Scratch what I said earlier.)

Haiku(n see you)

Edge

This edge, razor sharp
Ballet that tests your mettle  
One misstep: deep cuts

Rip

Her eyes, hidden depths
Breaking the surface tension
Rip tide, drowning me

Spirit

Stronger now, I walk
Inside my mind’s eye, I dream
Universally

 

I love writing Haiku – 5/7/5 syllabic compounds of poetic magic.

It’s like baking a very small, very tasty, cake. Only better.

Saved. A poem.

I walk in the light
Justified
I walk in the Word
Sanctified
I, by His Grace
Forgiven
I, the sinner saved
Forever

As a Christian I find I don’t write enough poetry about my God. Time to rectify that.

Love, Today, Actually. A poem.

He met her on Tinder
She met him on RSVP
He spoke to her on cell
She met him for coffee

I like you, he said
I like you, too, she said
Not as much as me, he said
Do, too, she said

I love you, he said
I love you, too, she said
I love you more, he said
Not as much as me, she said

He tweeted his love
She facebooked hers

He SMS’d his breakup
She emailed hers

Ah, love in the electronic age. It ain’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Wonder Woman – still great at 75

I don’t know if I’ve ever told anyone this, but I am a HUGE fan of Wonder Woman.

I love the current comic book version (in DC Comics’ Rebirth initiative), by Greg Rucka and Liam Sharp, and I love the trailers that have been coming out for the new movie.

Why am I such a big fan? Wonder Woman is not only a cool superhero, she’s also the first and greatest female superhero of them all. She’s super strong, can fly, has an unbreakable mystic lasso that forces people to tell the truth, can deflect bullets and stuff with her bracelets, and, although she’s trained as a warrior by her Amazon people, she’s an ambassador for peace .

When Wonder Woman was first created by William Moulton Marston in December 1941, the intent was to create an allegory for the perfect woman leader. Marston was a supporter of women’s rights and believed that women were more honest than men – and thus capable of being better leaders. Having helped create the polygraph lie detector, I guess he knew what he was talking about.

And for 75 years, Wonder Woman has been the subject of great comic book stories. Yep, it’s her 75th anniversary this year.

She’s got a movie coming out in June. Check out the latest trailer:

If you haven’t read a Wonder Woman comic lately, rock on down to your local comic shop and pick up an issue. Or check out her movie in June. She’s also in the Justice League movie coming out later this year.

It’s a great time to be a Wonder Woman fan. And to become one.

Haiku x 3

Hearts

Hearts collide as one
Messaging like lightning seeds
Bodies entwined

Glory

Whispers in the air
Glory is the mind that thinks
No longer a slave

Flown

Twisted words, she said
Love has flown far, he replied
Walk away, remorse

 

How many times do I have to mention that I love Haiku and its 5/7/5 syllable structure?

Here are three completely unrelated Haiku I wrote a few minutes ago.

‘Kong’, baby! A movie review.

No spoilers were harmed in the making of this review

Just saw Kong: Skull Island. Lots of big monsters, big explosions, soldiers getting eaten by big monsters, big explosions blowing up big monsters, crazy-ass leave your brains at the door logic. Awesome.

So, you know the deal from the trailers. King Kong is a humungous ape the size of a building. He protects the natives and the peace-loving animals of Skull Island, a lost world protected from discovery by a massive weather system surrounding it. Until Skull Island is picked up by satellites in 1973, that is. It’s the end of the Vietnam War, and Monarch, a company funded by the US Government to track down monsters and stuff, joins up with another expedition planning to map the island. Add a military escort, lots of helicopters, and you have a recipe for lots of head kicking goodness and Apocalypse, Now references. Cue shots of Kong smashing crap up.

There are a lot of good actors in this movie, and some solid performances – Samuel L. Jackson as the crazed, vengeance-driven colonel, Tom Hiddleston as the ex-SAS tracker, John Goodman as the Monarch boss who knows more than he’s letting on, Brie Larson as the more-than-capable anti-war photographer, John C. Reilly as the war-lost pilot gone native. And more. But don’t let the acting get in the way. What you’re really here for is the big dino-like beasties and lots of ‘Kong smash’! The 70’s soundtrack  that accompanies it is freakin’ great.

You may have guessed that I really enjoyed this movie. I love a good, thought-provoking and message-laden film as much as the next literary nerd, but every once in a while, I just need to switch off my life-stressed brain and see some big explosions. And giant apes.

Kong: Skull Island delivers. Catch it now. Oh, and hang around for the post-credits scene – franchise building begins…

Third Time Lucky. A poem.

Twice I have loved
Many more I have not
But twice it went sour
Like milk left out too long, shelf life expired

Twice I have loved
Felt so good for a bit
But twice realised
They weren’t the right fit, mortal square pegs

Twice I have loved
Hearts long were in sync
Twice I was wrong
Should’ve trusted gut instinct, churning inside

Twice I have loved
And twice was mistaken
Now I seek one last time
True love never breaking, unlimited, unbound

 

Ever get the feeling you didn’t get it right the first time? Or the second? Here’s a poem I wrote to celebrate third time lucky, whenever and wherever she may be.

Firefly is back! Or, might be…

Fifteen years ago, a Joss Whedon TV show called Firefly graced the airwaves on the Fox Network. In no time at all, it was cancelled. In no time at all, fans started begging the network to bring it back. In no time at all, DVD sales for the series went through the roof, and have pretty much stayed there. In no time at all (okay, two years), Whedon was able to make a movie sequel to the series, called Serenity, something that had been previously unheard of, for a show with only one season.

So, what is Firefly? (I know you know but I’ll remind you, anyway). Firefly is an ensemble science fiction show about the crew of a Firefly-class spaceship, captained by ex-Browncoat revolutionary Malcolm Reynolds. The crew gets up to mischief and shenanigans in a wild west-style frontier region of space. In twelve episodes, Firefly manages to fit in more characterisation, charm, humour, and intelligence, than most long-term series can do in several seasons.

And people love Firefly. I don’t just mean they love it. I mean they LOVE it. Diehard fans are everywhere, and the one thing they have clamoured for all these years, is to bring the show back to TV.

Years ago, Fox was not keen on low rating series. That’s when Firefly was cancelled. If the series had run today, it would have been given more chances to establish an audience, or would have had multiple seasons on a cable network like SyFy. Recently, however,  networks have been reviving old shows, like The X-Files and Twin Peaks, riding a wave of nostalgia for TV old and beautiful. A few weeks ago, Fox indicated they’d be willing to bring Firefly back, if Whedon were  to run it (the “showrunner” leads the writing team and provides the general direction of the show).

I know what you’re thinking:  for fifteen years the fans have been asking for this, and all of a sudden Fox is saying “no worries”. In a 2013 interview with ComingSoon.Net, Whedon said, “If all the planets align that would be great, but I’m not going to do what I did the first time and move heaven and earth to make it happen.”

So, we may be waiting for longer then we think.

Still, it’s nice to dream. And sometimes, just sometimes, dreams come true.

 

This post seems a bit late, doesn’t it? That’s because I originally wrote it six weeks ago, as part of a uni assignment. It’s has only just been marked, so I can post it, now.  

English spelling, too, not American. Nothing wrong with American spelling, just letting you know.

Refill. A poem.

Now the tank is nearly empty
Waiting to be (ful)filled
The fuel pump lurks
Just out of reach
Too far away
All too hard
So Tired
Empty
Dead
Stop
No

Another experiment, this time in structure. I’ve done these sorts of “visual” poems before, but I liked how this one turned out, as well as the content.

Strike Three – I’m out!

I’m taking a break from online dating. It’s just too depressing. Awkward, tiring and depressing. Big sigh.

Aside from all the women I meet not looking at all like their photos (does everyone put their Dorian Gray pictures online?), I’m just tired of the cycle: excitement at the thought of meeting someone, then the big letdown. I end up feeling like a flat tire that’s been beaten with a dead horse (at least I can still mix metaphors, very badly).

Maybe my conversational standards are too high. Maybe my expectations about lonely, 40-something women on the internet, are unreasonable. Sometimes the woman’s standards are too high, or they’re just downright crazy. My last phone conversation ended with me not being a ‘good fit’, because she received messages from the universe which she recorded in an exercise book, and I mentioned earlier I’d met a medium who ripped off sad people who missed their dead relatives. She felt I wasn’t open minded enough (probably a fair call on that one). Oh, and her ex-partner was still in her life, helping out with the garden. What?! Wow, saved by the bell that time.

So I’ve closed off my online profile and waved goodbye, possibly forever (although nothing lasts forever, as divorced acquaintances are fond of reminding me). That leaves the problem of how to to meet someone (refer here for my issues with that).

I guess I’ll just have to be patient and know that the big guy upstairs has it all worked out (we’ve talked about it a few times, but as you know, he’s not in the habit of answering immediately. Big universe to run, y’know).

I’m hoping I don’t run out of hope along the way.

But that’s another story.

Bored, or annoyed, by Steve’s incessantly despondent ramblings? Try some excessively depressing poetry instead – click here.

Dietary Disaster

I have loved pancakes for many years. Although I make no great claims regarding my epicurean knowledge or experiences, I like to think I’m a bit of a connoisseur when it comes to pancakes. I’ve had all types of strange and exotic mixes, with sides too varied and eccentric to list here. During my previous working career, I travelled a lot, and would eke out pancake specialists in every new city to sample the local gastronomic efforts. To ensure pancakes remained special, I made sure I limited the number of times per month I had them. But when I did have them, I tended to take the “all or nothing/Geronimo” approach, which would leave me a sweating, sugar-infused, hyperglycaemic beach ball by evening’s end.

Today, I met with a mate for lunch, and I ordered pancakes for the first time in several years. My financial status as a student precludes me from eating out that often (and when I do it’s generally takeout or bits of cardboard from the local bin). So, today was a treat.

They arrived, an ebulliently fluffy triple-stack, adorned with golden reams of banana and radiant and succulent strawberries, sickly-sweet ice cream and lashings of golden maple syrup. Without a second to lose, I buried myself headfirst in them. They were delightful – sweetly incriminating, melting in my mouth and exploding in my mind like a closeted sugar-gasm. For a moment, I was in pancake heaven, complete with angelic chorus and shining sunbeam illumination.

Within a few minutes, though, I found the whole experience turning sour. My stomach was churning, and I found the taste overly sweet and distasteful. I sombrely left half of the last pancake, claiming I was full.

What had happened? Why was I rejecting what had previously been my all-time favourite delicacy? The ingredients were fine. The pancakes were cooked to perfection – just the right consistency, depth and taste. The maple syrup was real and there was lots of it. The fruit was fresh. Everything was right. So, what was wrong?

It wasn’t until I was walking back to the car, that I realised. For the past few years I had been living an overly healthy life (just check out my training blog posts, for evidence of that). I had been steering clear of fatty and sugary foods and treating my body like a church (literally). I realised that during that time I’d gone off pancakes.

WHAT?! GONE OFF PANCAKES!!!! How could God be so cruel as to deny the one secret, sugary need that I had left in my life?! As my post-modern culinary world collapsed around me (yes, at that moment, I had forgotten that 50% of the world was starving and living in poverty), I fell to my knees with my hands raised to the heavens. “Father, why have you forsaken me?” I quoted (although in hindsight, the context was probably somewhat sacrilegious). Pedestrians gave wide berth to the kneeling, wild-eyed monk with the smeared syrup and light frosting of castor sugar adorning his t-shirt.

I felt sick for the rest of the day, and it served me right.

No, the food wasn’t off. I hadn’t picked up a bad case of streptococcus (although, that may have been preferable. Then I would still be able to eat pancakes). My body just wasn’t used to that concentration of fat and sugar in one hit. I had left the amazingly fun pancake zone and entered the bleary and subdued health zone (not a place I prefer to be, but probably better for me in the long run).

And so, humbled by the experience, I resigned myself to a carrot, vegies and some quiche for dinner. Perhaps one day I’ll have pancakes again. Maybe a little less, next time…

Hmmmmm…Pancakes…

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