The Pantomime. A poem.

The tears keep me awake at

night;

they burn my eyes and ducts,
sodden flames licking,
smoke broiling,
consuming the room of my

head

until I’m fit to choke
on all the pointless

condescension,

spluttering, unkempt,
raw and misbegotten.

Soaked in a pantomime
of longing and rejection
until the show is

over.

Those tears remain,
salty dew trails
that scar my cheeks,
a tattooed reminder that

never

leaves my side.

The All or the Nothing

For more of my poetry, check out The All or the Nothing, my first book, available at most online book sellers in print or e-book formats.

Click here to find out how to get your copy.

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Family Lost. A poem.

I’d long lost sight of my family
As I descended the stairs slowly
Those stairs they were so tricky
It was easy to trip and slippery

They climbed up the darkened stairs
Out of my tomb and into the air
Tasted golden winds of change
Above ripples in the water made

Four cold walls for my apologies
All lamentations and sobriety
Here I’d fallen and here I’d stay
We all fly free in our own ways

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.

Saturday Night. A poem.

Streets afire with love divine
Taking names and stumbling feet
Liquor-fuelled lust surrounds
Like ships that sail on silken sheets

Uproarious dinner conversations
Filled with gentle goodbyes
And enthusiastic hellos
And iPhone intermissions

A cello paints the night
In shades of blue and grey
Pining for the one that flew
Internal circumspection played

Each over-revved car drives by
Panthers stealthy, by light they slept
Reanimated by the sunset lie
To hunt abroad for civil prey

And here I am in bed, alone again
Listening to the many voices
Of Saturday night retreaded
And wondering why I am here by choice

Defeat. A poem.

My last vestige of hope
Beaten from me with the crowbar
Of fear and distaste in your eyes

Each blow taking my breath
Bloodying my mind and soul
Making me less of a man

Until there’s nothing left
But anger at the injustice of it all
The irony of lie and truth

If I’d lied there would be no hurt but my own
With the truth there is your pain and judgement which I bear
But my conscience will go on

I lost the war before it began
So raise your club and beat me
Again and again and again and again

Until the pulp and cartilage
That once was just a human being
Is formless and easier to scorn

Now I’m just a cliche told round campfires
Of monsters since brought low
Who found their just reward

Every story has two sides, you see
But history belongs to the ones
Who long conspire in victory

Wasting. A poem.

Wasting away for you
It’s the least that I can do

Collapsed into myself
My own considerable hell

Lying here balled and foetal
A fate completely total

Floating in dead space
All oxygen sucked away

Darkness perpetuated
Emptiness encapsulated

Exhausted and beset
Consumed with regret

Wasting away for you
It’s the least that I can do

Fish Story. A poem.

Vague and inconsistent
Your story grows in the telling
Like all good fish stories do
We’re left fishing for the truth
Amongst seaweed, old cans and bitter fruit
Do we get a bite or is it more wasted time
Until we’re ready to give up the cause as lost
And at what cost?
Only you can know why you say what you do
All circuitous circumlocution
Next fishing expedition may be more productive

Time. A poem.

In time, you’ll forget
Future becomes past
Distance and memories

In time, you’ll move on
As nostalgia replaces
Longing and currency

In time, you’ll change
Regrets and vicissitudes
Lost with familiarity

In time, truth will fade
As falsities interweave
Becoming the new history

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