Instrument of Thought. A poem.

Every thought is a mere
grace note, a barely
consumed pinpoint
in a barely thought out
world, an architectural
nightmare of unplanned
infrastructure and roads
to nowhere.

But every once in a while,
that note combines into
a chord, and the vision
and sound brings a
joy of logic and
circumspection to the
almighty chaos.

This instrument will
always and never
let you down.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

The Difference. A poem.

Not the same,
not the way it was before,
even though it was nothing less
and nothing more,
it’s not the same.

Just a shame
it’s not like it was before,
even though it could never be,
of that I’m sure.
Such a shame.

No one to blame,
and neither here nor there
or anything in between, you see,
of that I am aware.
Nothing left to say.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Punch Drunk. A poem.

I can feel the jagged terrain
of your knuckles on my face,
the force of mountain slides
delivered on winds of fury
and ever-reckless contempt.
Should I return the favour
or turn the other cheek,
as my saviour recommends?
I’ll go down this time
with measured complacency,
keeping my fumes interned.
Because, after all:
what’s an absent punch
between absent friends?

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Mermaid. A poem.

For far too long have I been bereft,
a lonely thing, dragged and left,
taken down to quench my thirst,
to bitter shoals to do their worst.
No sails upon this mast of mine
to catch the winds of better times,
to slice the waves and undertow,
one more soul, one vast ocean.

But things it seems are looking up,
the current here bends to my luck,
it guides me to the surface there,
and to her arms, a mermaid fair.
Perhaps it’s all a distant fancy,
a reverie, a wholesome fantasy.
Just illusions in my head?
Perhaps this drowning man is dead.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

Haiku Friday: The Path. A haiku.

The Path
Thank me when the night
journeys into day and the
path is lit again.

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form with a strict 5/7/5 syllable and line structure.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Return to Form. A poem.

Why do you care

if

I

feel more pain

than

you?

Your subtle glance

in

half-light,

barely aware

of

my

passing shadow.

How

far

will your hurt

take

you

back again

to

rile

so hypocritically

against

the

burgeoning gates?

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

 

Aimless Wanderer. A poem.

Aimless wanderer,
where do you wander
and what do you see?
Helpless and circumspect,
lost betwixt light and night.

Aimless wanderer
What do you wonder
In times like these?
Empty and argumentative,
found betwixt might and right.

Aimless wanderer,
wander another day
until you can wonder no more.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Apology. A poem.

I’m so sorry that I left you
to face the world alone.
I’m so sorry for the things I said
and did, I will atone.
I’m so sorry I can’t help you
now, in your time of need.
I’m so sorry you won’t read these words
and know the pain I feel.
I’m so sorry life’s against you
with no allies by your side.
I’m so sorry I can’t save you
from yourself and from the lies.
I’m so sorry that your tears
now fall from vacant eyes.
I’m so sorry, this apology
will only just suffice.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

An Elegy. A poem.

It’s almost surreal
when your back’s against the wall,
your toes upon the razor’s edge,
one slip and then you fall.

It’s the strangest feeling
when all the good you’ve done
is dismissed as mere circumstance,
and everything undone.

It’s so hard to describe
when you’re under a microscope,
black dog by your side,
you’re victim to genre tropes.

It’s trying, to say the least
when all your pain and hardship,
is written off as wistful thinking,
then summarily dismissed.

It’s truly heart breaking
when your life is deemed unworthy
and you’re reduced to an empty elegy,
just a litany, said briefly.

Perhaps the fabled next life
will treat and judge you better,
enable all your hopes and dreams,
to live your life unfettered.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Sea of Love. A poem.

I long for the sea,
to feel the bright whispers
of the surf and salt
between my toes,
the sand crumbling
beneath my feet.

I long to float in her,
to move my restless shell
along her graceful curves,
to feel her cold embrace
and her watery kiss
upon my face.

The sea, my long lost love,
that seems so near and far.
I beckon for a taste
of her abyss and
her fulsome depths.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Grave. A poem.

I stand before the hole
that wouldst be my grave.
Where sullen earth
and tepid worms do cry
and call to me, my ample soul.

This grave I’ve dug
to fit my fettered frame,
denuded in the wintry night
to lie amongst the frost,
colluding with the fog and fug.

I will lay me down
and rest awhile, until my bones
do merge with dust and dirt
and the finery of such a life
is wasted and unwound.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Upstart Photographer: Old Tree

I was driving on a country road a few weeks back and came across an amazing tree (I love photographing trees).

I was so happy with these shots I wrote a poem to accompany them (so what’s new lol).

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Old Tree. A poem.

Old tree, gnarled and
twisted beyond reproach.
What dark days and
sundered years have you
borne witness to?

Out here on the sullen veldt,
where an asphalt artery
keeps you company,
squirming for reassurance
in the afternoon glare.

Your rings are tired and
worn, wasting like the
wintry spume that lingers
on a breeze of pretence
and happenstance.

Old tree, wise and wizened,
faulty and faultless,
crooked and dumbfounded.
Here you stand until tomorrow,
while the world passes by
without a wave or tear.

Stephen Thompson 2018

Angry Tweet. A poem.

Sweat on brow and lip,
fit to flood your world
with salt-flavoured angst
and sticky date dues.
Heart pounding like the
proverbial train that lost
itself somewhere down
the overwrought tracks.
Time to swat the flies
of decision and derision
and bring it all back to
earth, just in time for a
Twitter-fired response.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Your Road. A poem.

Before me is asphalt,
an active metaphor.
My journey’s just begun,
never ending or undone,
upon this path I’ll drive,
forever sanctified.
On the eternal road of life
Your cross will be my guide.

I write a lot of poems, some from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

In the Oasis. A poem.

I shivered in the cold snap,
persevering
until I found the warmth
I’d been missing
in the safety of your lap.

I drank from your lips,
an oasis
to placate my needs,
to fuel these desires
with every sip.

The rain falls constantly,
an environment
of conscious trust
and anxious ambiguity
in which to breed.

No hurt to flourish here
amongst roses,
where bitterness is
cast aside and
could never feed.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which comes from my head, some from my heart. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Haiku Friday: Spectrum. A haiku.

Spectrum

This tincture of light,
these pigments that colour you
the spectrum of love.

Just in case you weren’t sure, Haiku is a Japanese poetic form with a strict 5/7/5 syllable/line structure.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

I write a lot of poetry, some of which comes from my head, some from my heart. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy to treasure forever, or at least until some other e-book takes your fancy 😉

Wilderness. A poem.

I

   No

        Longer

                    Wander

                                  Alone

                   Now

    You’ve

               Joined

                          Me

                                In

                                   This

             Wilderness

With

        All

             The

                   Other

                             Lost

                   And

    Lonely

                Souls

 

I write a lot of poetry, some of which comes from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy

Thoughts. A poem.

I thought the flow of tears would end,
the self-hate, internal rage would mend.
I thought my path was bright and clear,
a new and ever-present destiny.
I thought a kiss would heal my mind,
exorcise the demons stored through time.
I thought a touch would raise my hope,
a helping hand out of this hole.
I thought I’d bid black dog farewell,
but he smiles and snarls here at me still.
So many thoughts that rest in me,
this head and heart longs for reprieve.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which comes from my head, some from my heart, and some from my a$&@. Many of my poems don’t appear on this website. For more, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy to treasure forever, or at least until some other e-book takes your fancy 😉

Eternal Grace. A poem.

Upon the cross, through time inured
You gave Your life, so pure and true.
For mankind’s untold sins and strife,
You left this world when time was nigh.
Beyond the pale of man’s disgrace,
bequeathed the world eternal grace.


I write a lot of poetry, some of which comes from my head, some from my heart. Many don’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy to treasure forever, or at least until some other e-book takes your fancy 😉

The Pool. A poem.

Whence does this darkness dwell?
This foetid blight that weighs
down consciousness and soul.
The ebon pool that hampers thought
and confounds me to my core,
that pounds upon my limpid door
until my head is filled to burst
with brittle ambiguity
and stranger things unsought.
Unto the well, this pool it flows,
within the well, this darkness fell.
Perhaps one day I’ll walk alone
beyond the pool where darkness dwells.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which comes from my head, some from my heart, and some from my a$&@. Many don’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to find out how to purchase a copy to treasure forever, or at least until some other e-book takes your fancy 😉

Morning Glory. A poem.

The street cars and sweepers,
bird twitters, sidewalk seekers,
beyond my pane and pain are
my riotous alarm call,
a doctor’s silicone grip
bidding me to womb’s exit
to face gelidity again.
Trees shading the low-cut sun,
her rays breaking humdrum,
reborn and only just begun.
Distant voices natter
like roaches in my walls,
matching voices in my head
too soon before the fall.
And this first time do I pause,
take stock and then be damned
to despise the blessed thing I am,
until the day can take from me
all my pain, regret and lucidity.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to buy a copy!

Save the Poet!

via Save the Poet!

The All or the Nothing is my e-book of poetry. Click on the link above to find where you can download it.

For poetry lovers and endangered poets everywhere!

Cheers

Steve 🙂

New beat. A poem.

Time to
move
to the
beat
of a
new
rhythm,
oscillating
to the
pounding
of hearts
and minds,
lost in
thought
and
wandering
at the
significance
of it all.
This, the
new drum
of existence:
the tempo,
cadence,
meter;
the measure
of each
new
breath
and dance.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to buy a copy!

Diver Down. A poem.

Standing on this scarp’s edge,
a precipice, keen and lofty.
Stare down with me
at unknowing depths,
where new enigmas await,
an insinuating breeze.

Dive with me, together;
let the blossoming currents,
those flowers of fate,
guide our way blindly
through the consuming dark
into the great unknown, beyond.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to buy a copy!

Haiku Friday. Talk – a lone haiku.

Talk

Talk like you want to:
let your velvet expletives
fly free like the breeze.

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form with a strict 5/7/5 syllable and line structure.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to buy a copy!

Fingertips. A poem.

Fingertips slide
Along the patina of your skin
Seeking gullies in which to hide
Crevices, creases and other things
Sketching highlights far and wide
Feeling their way with rarefied touch
Until they whisper to the underside
Until they’re lost and found and such
In sweat-soaked draperies
And windswept finery
Fingertips slide

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to buy a copy!

Square Peg. A poem.

I was always a square peg,
out-of-place in round holes
with all the rounded souls.

An outsider striving
to make his way inside,
always locked out in the cold.

A perpetual stranger,
dwelling amongst strangers
and stranger things, I’d wager.

Hold me and shape me,
mould me like supple clay
into a thing of better ways.

And let this tactile process
knead this square soul
into a rounder whole.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers.
Click here to buy a copy!

After the Cataclysm. A poem.

The cataclysm,
the implosion,
the thing that left me frozen.
Eking out existence
like a hermit crying “why?”,
wandering through a wasteland,
a prisoner doing time.

The aftermath,
a dawn, rebirth,
the world that to me opened.
A brand new meme that screams,
all in high fidelity.
No more wandering for this monk,
no more pity will I need.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

Fulfilment. A poem.

I’m mister brusque, mitigated
by your infinite charm.
I’m the wallflower waiting
for your effervescent sunbeams.
I’m the wall of condescension,
you’re the ebullient ladder.
I’m the aching pit and you,
You are my fulfilment.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

Pavement Cracks. A poem.

When I was a child
I skipped pavement cracks;
each one the border
of its own little world,
a patented microcosm
enclosed by grass and cement
and enshrouded by my shadow.

Now, as an adult,
I still skip pavement cracks;
not because I’m superstitious
or supercilious or superfluous,
but because I imagine myself
trapped in those little worlds,
remembering a time
when I was.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

The Brink. A poem.

More alike than we like to think.
Along a chasm of separate worlds,
here we stand upon the brink
of more than lowly words.

I long for you, for a subtle touch
and you long for just a thought.
Perhaps we want these things too much,
perhaps it could never work.

But if we tried and tried again,
made dreams from vagaries,
perhaps our love would never wane,
like the sun, land and sea.

I write a lot of poetry, some of which doesn’t appear on this website. For more poems, check out The All or the Nothing, my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

The Core of My Being. A poem.

My being is the core of my being.

My being is the core of my being.

My being is the core of my being.

My being is the core of my being.

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

 

Haiku Friday. Shadow – a lone haiku.

Shadow

The lone flower in
the field is shaded by the
shadow of your doubt.

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form with a strict 5/7/5 syllable and line structure.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

The Poetry Writing Process

Okay, a few people asked me this. I thought I’d oblige with a post.

I write the majority of my drafts on my iPhone, while I’m walking, watching TV, or sitting on the toilet (my compositional repository of choice). My writing very much depends on my mood and what has impacted me that day. I generally write better material when I’m depressed or in a dark state of mind.

As to process, I set up a draft on my iPhone, which is either edited or ‘done in one’ (a first draft not requiring edits). Generally, most of my drafts stay on my phone until I revisit them a few days or weeks later. My editing process includes reading the piece aloud, adding enjambment, line breaks, punctuation, altering words or lines as needed. I edit whenever I return to my notes on iPhone. Sometimes, I edit older poems after writing a new one. This also depends on the amount of time I have, location and mood.

Sometimes editing can change the meaning of one or more lines, which can subtly change the context of the overall poem. Sometimes it’s just a change in the words used to convey a metaphor or simile. Very occasionally the poem is scrapped and I start over with something completely different. Generally, I find something that I like in everything I write, even if it’s only a scrap of cloth. That scrap can be shaped into an everyday shirt or a tux, depending on my mindset.

My favourite poet is T.S. Eliot. I find a wistfulness and solemnity in his imagery and love the way he uses language to alternately hide and expose meaning within his poems. My favourite poem of his is The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock; it moves me with the way it flows and insinuates its way into my emotions. He’s the sort of poet I aspire be; if my poetry was only a fraction of the quality of his, I would be happy.

Excerpt From The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, by T.S. Eliot

Let us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question …
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.

Cheers

Steve 😊

Vault of Years. A poem.

I crawl the vault of years,
hunched and broken,
bereft and decaying.
Unforgiven and unforgiving,
trapped in webs of deceit,
waylaid in poisonous shrouds.
Are you here to free me?
Or join the gallery?
Come crawl this vault of years
with me until eternity.

 

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

 

Far. A poem.

I climbed the path on the mountain of no return,
and viewed the valley, so treacherously far below.
From here everything seemed so far away,
so inconsequential and purposeless.
And there I would sit, through rain and snow,
living an inconsequential and purposeless existence,
looking down on a world that teemed with wonder and nuance,
but was too far away for me to know.

 

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

Keepsake. A poem.

I hear you,
I see you;
your mirror face
tells no lies
but hides the truth,
like a waxing moon
hiding the sun
from the subtle stars.

I hear you,
I see you,
I hold you;
you are wine
within my mouth,
light within my vision,
tincture at my touch.
My keepsake.

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry, available at most online book sellers. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

Zeitgeist. A poem.

Zeitgeist                    all             around       

me.

It’s          willing              and            able

     but         I’m     not         sure        if

I

want                 to                buy             what

it’s                   selling. 

This              spirit           of        the            times

              has             not               enabled                

me

         the             way               I           thought                it                

would                      should                        could.

I

guess                    I’ll                  just        wait

  this               one                out.

 

The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry. To find out how to buy a copy,
click here.

 

On Writing and Editing Poetry

Explain your editing process. What works best for you? Do you take risks? Are you objective? How have you taken the poems through its steps to completion?

The Song Poetic. A poem about writing and editing poems.

The toilet provides solitude,
composure in a setting sometimes peaceful,
sometimes filled with the keen echoes of urgent battle.
It is here that fingers flicker with grace and iniquity
across the silky screen of my smartphone,
where auspicious notes take shape,
mellifluous harbingers of lyrical intent.
In minutes an ode is formed, a symphony is saved,
then forgotten until the next; sometimes minutes, sometimes days.
 
I return in no short time, or perhaps too short time,
to read and ponder, as you do, to consider
already considered notions of pomp and circumstance.
Sometimes the music is given voice, in all too muted tones,
whispered like dark secrets to a musing world.
Delete that line, change that word,
antonym or synonym, hyperbole or metaphor
magically enchanted with a wistful edge
that would hold a man to ransom (if only he were not so deaf).
What risk lies in changes? The page will not consume itself
in bitter apprehension, or come back to haunt
my sleepless nights, like an insomniac ghost.
 
The supple net awaits, for me to cast my feeble musings
on the virtual sea, where they be caught
or slip into watery depths, obscured.
Perhaps, all for better, or all for worse,
one man’s love is another man’s curse.
 

Stephen Thompson 2017

I came, I saw, I edited.

I read my poems out loud once they’re written. I often return to them, sometimes several times, to edit and change lines, words, imagery. Sometimes they’re written and done in one, without any further editing. Sometimes my poems start off being longer, then get whittled down as the twisted bracken and rotting undergrowth is macheted away with the poise of a manic chainsaw juggler. But not often.

The poem above was written in one — I read over it, changed a few words and line breaks, but the length stayed the same, as did the imagery and intent. I read it out loud a few times. It took me, all up, about 15 minutes to complete. Most of my poems take less time, but then they’re generally shorter. Some poems just seem to flow from some undammed river of consciousness.

Editing requires patience as well as objective and subjective vision. I wish I could say I have more patience, but I don’t. I’ve often published poems I’ve looked back on later and said “DOH! I wish I’d edited that.” Sometimes I can be objective and subjective enough to edit succinctly, other times I’m too attached to the poem.

I truly believe that the reader is free to interpret a poem any way they choose, as poems, like songs, affect each of us differently. They wind and wend and burrow their way into each person’s soul, connecting or disconnecting as they see fit.

Editing poems is like editing stories: you step back, re-read it, reshuffle and rewrite, and then hope for the best. But I’m always hoping for chocolate, even if it just turns out to be vanilla.

Cheers

Steve 😊

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