Aged. A poem.

Cranky at the portents:
The breeze, it smells of winter,
Even though the summer
Has settled in
Like a squatter, rent-free,
Taking advantage
Of your misdemeanours.

Have your eyes aged
With the rest?
Or are you seeing as you did
Before the withered cheeks
And dragging jowls,
When everything was new
And you were innocent
As hyenas on the veldt.

Age has not wearied
The sullen and the sacred.
You had a vision of the sea,
But it was simply
Hallucination.
Time is and was and will be,
And you will follow suit.

poetry books - stevestillstanding

For more of my poetry, check out Poetry for the Sad, Lonely and Hopelessly Endangered and The All or the Nothing, available in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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Day Trip. A poem.

Drive across the aimless asphalt,
seeking ventures gained and lost.

Your hand is soft in mine,
the patina of your skin a road map
of anxious lines and weary learnings.
Today the sun and hills call forth,
in a circus maximus fanfare,
full of rolling fields and girdled cows;
ecstatic lens flare in every vista,
like a bargain basement special effect.

These times we spend are fleeting,
flying from our lonely pigeon coops,
hankering for domestic ventures,
the taste of quixotically exotic foods.

Your hand, so soft in mine,
my hand, so soft in yours.

Drive on, until our conjoined experience
merges with the murky sunset
and the road leads to your door.

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.

New Face. A poem.

I am the ripple that turns the tide,
the plaintive cry that shakes the world,
the angry soul that brings the pain,
the lonely man, slowly gone insane.

Every time I turn around
I see my new face
and it haunts me.

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.

Wrecked. A poem.

My gallants and topsails,
tattered, torn and twisted;
shrouding the devastated deck
like grasping lichen on a forest floor.

My ship creaks and moans,
weary and spent from the storm;
a mass of broken timbers,
of shredded hopes forlorn.

The watery maelstrom pulls be down,
slaking this unholy, melancholy thirst,
grasping my hull solemnly
in an abattoir grip; a grating death rattle.

In the dank, dark green encircling below,
where dead men tell timeless tales of woe,
my ship will join my vacant hope,
upon the coral, where loneliness is sowed.

If you liked that, then you’ll love the poems in my first book The All or the Nothing! And at just $5.99 for 62 poems, that’s less than 10 cents a poem!
To find out how to get a copy, click here.
Support starving poets everywhere!

Surrounded. A poem.

Here I am, surrounded,
my enemies on all sides.
A pincer movement
designed to take my pride.
Am I not deserving of my pain?
Am I not due comeuppance?
I have unintentionally misled,
miscommunicated my intent.
I have been vain and bent
out of shape and arrogant.
So, let them come.
Let my enemies close in,
vanquish me, take me down.
I will not fight the inevitable
and will welcome each foe
with the open arms
of a man who’s learned
that in the final end
you reap what you sow.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

Hollow Tree. A poem.

I’m just a                hollow         tree
on less than           hallowed     ground.

My sap is drained
and pain, profound.

Within this forest,
where my cries ring loud

I’m just a               hollow          tree,
one of                     many,           around.

Just a single, hollow tree,

praying                 to                   be
saved, and            finally           found.

My first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. To find out more, click here.

City of the Lost. A poem.

I looked to the city.
The lights were on, but nobody was home.

I was alone.

I expected dust devils to whirl
as I walked through my world.
Behind every door a Marie Celeste,
of empty chairs and still full plates.

Always alone.

Wherever I looked reigned emptiness,
yesterday’s news and mild distress.
The dust and dirt of memories
clung to my walls like tragedy.

And then the lights went out.
That was when I knew, without a doubt:

I would always be alone.

But what was always there,
that I just couldn’t see,

were all the souls
surrounding me.

The Loneliness of Being

So what is life when you’re alone?

Many might say life is what you make it: that if you’re alone you make the best of the situation. But for others being alone is a wasteland that sucks the essence of their soul and leaves them a withered husk. Unfortunately, I fall into that category.

It’s not that I don’t have friends. I have a handful I can turn to in times of need, but the problem with having so few true friends is I hate to burden them too often.

There is one person that I long to have in my life, but she doesn’t know me (well, not really) and I will probably never have the strength to tell her. I am paralysed whenever she is around, unable to overcome my fear of rejection.

I’m sure there are others out there who experience the same thing. But it’s not the sort of thing you bring up in casual conversation. And so I linger, festering in my own self pity, lost.

I know I have much to offer. But that matters little when weighed against such fear. But for now I long for sleep. Maybe a new day will bring better things. 

Steve

On the Shelf. A haiku trilogy.

Lost

Another friend lost
Empty space upon the shelf
Whispered remembrance

Alone

Walking in my sleep
Dreaming alone as always
Isolationist

Reflections

Friendship, charity?
Mature reflections adrift
Empty shelf beckons


Friendships can be hard to find and to keep, especially as one grows older. If you’re an introvert it can make it even harder. It’s not easy to find someone you connect with and let it grow to a point where you can say you are ‘real’ friends, rather than acquaintances.

I recently lost a good friend. Lots of reasons why: circumstances, distance, family commitments, time. I’m not really sure why people ‘disconnect’. In a world where communication over distance is so much easier than before, you wouldn’t think it would be an issue.

But that’s how the cookie crumbles. I have less friends in my life now than I ever had, but the ones I have left remain true. And sometimes that’s all you can hope for.

Steve

Three Years Later…

So, here I am, three years after the most harrowing time of my life and everything is pretty much still the same. 

I’m not any closer to finding a real purpose. I still have no love in my life. I’m still socially isolated. I still have no idea what I’m doing (my prayers sound like they’re on constant replay). I still have nothing to look forward to. I still suffer from anxiety and depression (although I can walk around now without fear of the walls closing in, so that’s something), I still have no work opportunities, I’m still pretending to be a writer and I’m still just as much of an idiot as I was before (not sure why I expected that to change).

(Black Dog grins, as much as a metaphorical animal can. “Some more self pity and self loathing?” he says. “Goodo.” He settles in for a long session, head resting comfortably on his paws.)

All this might be fine if I were a teenager, just out of school, but I’m 48 and effectively back in school. So what to do to get out of this ditch I’ve dug myself into?

Maybe I need a new hobby. (“I thought self pity was your hobby,” says Black Dog. “You do it all the time and you’re so good at it.”) No, I have trouble finding time for my existing hobbies (and self pity is not one of them, although yes, I am good at it).

I wonder if I go on a hunger strike, whether that will make a difference? No, I snack too often. And I can’t stand not eating.

Maybe I could just give up and stay in bed, all day, every day. No, too many things to do, including a uni assignment due this Friday. Doh!

Damn this no suicide pact/vow/commitment thingy! Well, I was hopeless at it last time, so I’d probably screw it up again. Besides, the big guy upstairs might not be too happy about me trying again.

(Black Dog scratches his ear. “Never thought I’d say this, but I’m bored already.” He rolls over and goes to sleep, little cartoon sheep jumping in accompaniment to his snoring.)

Maybe sleep is the go. I’ll sleep on it and If I’m lucky, maybe I won’t wake up. Here’s hoping.

Amongst the Ashes. A poem.

Some days
I want to open my wrists
And let them breath in reverse
Take the irony of my existence
Paint it in the colour
Of loneliness
Emptiness
Hopelessness
And watch it flow
Slowly
Surely
Sluggishly
Down the porcelain sink
That holds all my pointless dreams
And wash them away
Maybe then
I'll find sweet relief
Amongst the ashes

Choose life. Every time. Don't give in to suicide. Life is too precious to waste.

Steve

For Sale. A poem.

For sale
Older model
Chassis in fine shape, no rust
Engine in good condition
Fiery but reliable
May need a lick of paint
And new tires
Great long term investment
Won’t let you down
Can be driven hard
Or from A to B
Whatever your fancy
Some wisdom and insight required
Best or nearest offer


Going cheap
Reduced to clear

The Wall Between. A poem.

I built a wall
Between the two
A wall to separate
The me and the you
Bricks and mortar
High as the clouds
And when I was finished
It stood tall and proud

But even with a wall
I could feel you there
So I watched the wall
With a longing stare
Because I realised then
It was my mistake
To try to interfere
With the path of fate

But the wall was built
And you drifted away
And before I knew it
It was far too late

So next time you try
To protect your heart
Tear down the wall
That keeps you apart

The Dance. A Haiku Trilogy.

Awkward

Somewhat awkward glance
I should look her in the eye
My reservation

Enigmas

Small talk at table
Wondering if she’s like me
Enigmatic souls

Fear

I should ask her out
Fear gets the better of me
Together alone


Love myself some haiku. No better way to express poetic whiles then in the confines of a 5/7/5 syllabic structure. I could build a wealth of poems on such a foundation.

You can read more of my haikus here.

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…

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.

Alone. A poem.

I am
always
Alone

Midnight wash me clean
For all my sins atone

I will
always be
Alone

Daylight, I’m a vacancy
Rent is always low

I am
and will
always be
Alone

Moonlight, occasional friend
Pithy remarks, then go

I have
and will
always be
Alone

I rest on laurels of silken sheets
Singularly enthroned

I have
I am
I will always be
Forever
Alone

Another Friday night, finds me alone.

Another lonely Friday night, and I compose another lonely poem. I like the visual, downward spiral.

Alone. A poem.

An ocean world of islands
Tarred in starless night
Crowded on the waves
Like vessels passing by

Around each lonely island
Dark waters, deep and cold
Vast, forbidding depths
And dangerous undertow

Closely float the islands
And each one has a goal
To reach out, touch another
Two to make one whole

On this ocean world of islands
I have made my island home
Just one more lonely island
In a sea of lonely island homes

 

One of those days. Unfortunately, the internet is not a cure for loneliness.

Valentine’s Day Massacre

I hate Valentine’s Day.

I don’t like the rampant commercialism. I don’t like being railroaded into an expectation of gift giving due to a marketing exercise based on a particular day. And I don’t like being alone on said stupid day.

When I was married, my wife and I celebrated three anniversaries (first time we met, time we got back together after breaking up, wedding anniversary). We used to buy each other little things at offhand times as well. Go to dinner on the spur of the moment. That sort of thing. Both of us hated Valentine’s Day. Our own celebrations felt more real.

Of course that was over two years ago, and here I am, lonely and down, hating Valentine’s Day with renewed vigour.

And wishing I could be celebrating that crappy day with someone I loved, instead of lying in my bed typing a stupid blog post about how I hate Valentine’s Day.

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