Player. A haiku.

I refuse to play
the games you place before me
…maybe just this once.

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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Scene, Set and Match. A poem.

Scene: a small, Italian restaurant.

Two newly-matched.
Time set aside.
Something right
and something wrong.
Laughter and humility.
Understanding and empathy.
Certainty and unreality.
Scene, set and match.

Let’s do this all again,
shall we?

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.

First Meet. A poem.

Audacious, the old me would have said,
To fly so straight and true,
Like an arrow knocked and loosed
To sail into the air above the heads
Of warring knights and daring do,
To find it’s mark in the heart of hearts,
The tree of chance that lies in you.

No mysticism here, without/within,
To charge a sense of fertile whim,
No voodoo dance upon a grave,
No flight of fancy, or too close a shave.

Just an unsure step in the midst of things,
A minefield of broken hearts and cherubic thoughts,
Of misdemeanours, tales of woe
All heaped and gorged upon, just so.
An all-you-can-eat bonanza
Of insecurity and misanthropes.

How are you, it’s nice to meet. Would you like a coffee,
Maybe something to eat?

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.

Code. A poem.

I am yet to crack the code,
the enigma that I see.
These thoughts temptation sowed,
this conundrum that you’ve been.
I will try each combination,
I will twist and turn and pry
and after a long privation,
I will crack your code—in time.

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.

This Maze. A poem.

This maze we walk,
denies a bitter truth.

Our fingers trace its periphery
and yet still we walk in circles.
If escape is what we truly yearn

then perhaps there is
no maze at all.

Or perhaps the maze
is just a labyrinth of pain,
navigated by fools
like me and you.

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.

Incontrovertible. A poem.

They say that proof
is not incontrovertible
and that the essence of truth
can be hidden in the words
encapsulating it.

I say I only need you
to touch me and say it, too—
your words punctuate and spell out
my incontrovertible belief
in you.

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

You and I. A sonnet.

I am found: tears and fears and blind,
wandering far from the font of my regrets.
The nurtured pain in me enshrined,
to forgive and finally to forget.

The prisons in which we held ourselves
have run their long and lowly courses;
we languished apart within those hells,
and now, together, walk without pause.

These pale shackles cast to ground,
winsome tales steeped in honesty—
shared more and less, in time unbound,
to shake our guilt and shake the tree.

As obstinate as misguided dogs
with countless tricks to do and learn.
Slim pickings on cajoling bones,
but passion enough to slowly burn.

You and I were destined, it seems to me,
For something greater than a simple fling.

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

 

Too Small A Word. A poem.

Love is far too small a word

to express all the things

I need
and want
and say
and believe
and feel
and do

when I’m with you.

But then maybe that’s the point.

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Whimsy. A poem.

Sometimes, I get lost in your whimsy
and my elation at the thought of you
leaves every lowbrow, thoughtless convolution,
standing at the wayside, thumbing for a ride.
I choose to leave them all behind,
because I’ve found a better travelling partner.

Let’s lose ourselves in whimsy,

together.

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Stealthy. A poem.

You sneak into my world

past locks, alarms, sigils, wards 

down corridors of fatalistic compromise

through rooms of idealistic circumspection

and find me waiting earnestly

wanting, more or less

what you want

no need to be so stealthy 

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Haiku Friday: Strong. A haiku.

Strong
You are my true strength
Pumping bloodline of my heart
Unquenchable fire

What is a haiku? Glad you asked. Click here to find out more.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Shiver. A poem.

This shiver, a sliver
of ions up my spine,
a delectable point
of contention on my mind
shaping continuities
of ecstasy, baking
hormones in my pituitary,
activated by your touch
in mine.

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.

Want to support Steve with a donation? Click on the donate link at the bottom of this page. Thanks!

Twosome. A poem.

You creep up on me
An inveterate stalker
A ghostly presence
A firefly somnambulist
(Shadowing its prey)

You wrap me up
(A Christmas treat)
In sunflower petals
An itinerant limpet
Squeezing me senseless

You take me down
And bleed me until dry
Subcutaneous showers
(That eventually leave me)
Drained and serendipitous

Now we entwined
Seek a sunlight sojourn
(In darkness we are)
A tattooed compromise
Until morning arrives

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.

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.

You and Me. A poem.

This touch fuelling
DESIRE
wanton and wastrel
ECSTASY
diamond moments of
PLEASURE
placating needs in
FIRE
that scorches earth
THIRST
no longer barren
CARNAL
swollen contempt
SATED
eventually
and now just
YOU and ME

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 😉

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!

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.

The Year of Living Dangerously.

Is love hard to find?

In today’s fast moving and super-connected society, it can be. And for those of us who are shy, awkward, socially inhibited, or just plain old, it can be dang near impossible (yeah, old people use ‘dang’. What’s that, they don’t? Oh, shut up).

That’s where dating apps come in. No longer much-maligned and embarrassing to admit, they’re an invaluable tool for meeting new people.

My Tinder-esque experiences over the last year varied from the wonderful (a woman who appreciates my sense of humour) to the indescribable (foil hat-wearing oddjobs). I can certainly say the crazy gamut of wild and wanton women made my life interesting.

But the time came to put childish things away. I retired my dating app a few months back (only writing about it now? Sorry, had a few things going on).

I’m not saying I’ve found a perfect love (we’re both at the “like ya a lot” stage); we’re still testing the hot waters with each other, occasionally getting burnt, but not bad enough to run for cover. And that’s as good as anything in this crazy old world. Especially for this crazy old guy.

Now, I have to take my woman (oooh, she hates me calling her that…) shoe shopping. And I’m liking it a lot.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

Half-light. A poem.

Sweat and toil and creaking
springs, grasping fingers and the scent of hallowed
limbs. Perfect and imperfect rhythms in
motion, bestial howls and fire and tender
susurration, collated in the
half-light of a muted TV.

From this vantage point we survey the hedonic
battlefield, where dust and smoke dissipates and we
victors rejoice with liquid tongues and golden
perspicacity. The half-light lingers;
we prepare to charge into the fray again.

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

Backseat. A poem.

Random musings and the
explicit constancy of touch,
a quickening cadence
strafing the scene like
machine gun fire.

This beckoning equivalent,
captured in steamy windows
and whispered expectations.
Here on this unsubtle backseat,
fertile new world exploration
begins and ends.

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

Tinder Time. A poem.

Flick left, swipe right.
A pallid, Saturday night
police line up of unambiguity,
measured by nervous
fingertip and amygdala.
A feature-filled array
of fatuous smiles
and narcissistic natures,
whereby motherly and mad
skip hand-in-hand with the
otherworldly and overwrought.
Consider this winsome
wheel of fortune,
spinning around and around
but never coming back to the one
I truly want
and can’t live without.

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

Entwined. A poem.

Entwined, we two;
encapsulated in a mad
statement, read between lines
and screamed between pages.

A subtle madness,
shortness of breath,
long, laboured movement
and languid, liquid refrain.
Teetering on the brink
of apogee, into a light
that breaks this shared darkness
and brings ecstasy.

This pleasure and pain
could last forever and a day,
if we so choose.
But the yearning world
entices us beyond this
twined embrace.

Our coda demands
it meet a fitting end.

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.

Hello. A poem.

Linked by thoughts
known and unknown;
blinkered and guileless,
liberated, yet uncertain.

Your hand brushed mine
and every inhibition
was washed away by a rain
of dream-soaked inebriation:

You had me at “hello”.

Steve is a sad and angst-filled poet, who needs your help to continue being one.

His first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors – click here.

Guide to the Unrequited Love Affair

Unrequited Love. That thing you have when you don’t have a thing—Clayton’s love (okay, only oldies may get that joke). Here’s a short guide on how to do it:

  • Fall in love with a person who is far too good for you, or is unobtainable. This could be a ‘love at first sight’ thing, or it could be a love that develops over time. Like a bizarre rash or a mild fungal infection.
  • Realise they are far too good for you, so avoid them whenever you can. Make sure you beat yourself up about not being good enough for them.
  • Learn to be miserable most of the time. If you’re already depressed this will simply reinforce how badly you feel about yourself.
  • Try and organise your time so you can run into them by chance. This will fail miserably, of course, because you have no idea what their schedule is as you were previously avoiding them and thus don’t know them that well.
  • When you do run in to them, make sure your conversation precludes any indication that you like them. Once they leave, beat yourself up about how stupid you are. Be miserable.
  • Realise you don’t know really know the person you’ve fallen for and that your conception of them is an idealised fantasy. Beat yourself up some more about how stupid you are.
  • See your unrequited love in public with another person, assume they are together and beat yourself up about it. Find out later this is not the case. Beat yourself up about how stupid you are.
  • Write poetry to reflect your passion and your sad and sorry state of mind. Realise your unrequited love hates poetry. Ensure that your unrequited love never sees your poetry.
  • Spend sleepless nights agonising over why you love this person and how you’re not good enough for them. Be miserable.
  • Find out the person you love is now in love with someone else and write more poetry to address how badly you screwed up. Get used to being miserable. (Oh, you already are. No worries.)

Note: No stalking! It’s weird enough that you’re in unrequited love with a person you don’t know that well, but don’t push it over the line into creepy/illegal territory. 

Come on people! Now you know how to fall in unrequited love, get out there and get to it! A whole new world of infinite yearning and morbid sadness is waiting for you!

Of course, you could try another tack, which is asking said person out and seeing if they say ‘yes’. But that would be too simple for your overly-complicated and insecure mind, wouldn’t it?

Cheers

Steve 😉

Beached. A poem.

Here, amongst a billion tiny souls
crunching below my feet,
sticking between my toes,
a first kiss of many.

Furtive, restless, heated,
fingers and palms hitchhiking
over a bountiful landscape.
A tsunami flowing through the fields,
disrupting your trains of thought
and once rational mind.

As the sun sinks lower and evening falls;
like time, we shall come to pass on these dunes.
Here, amongst a billion tiny souls
that crunch between our feet
and the small of your back.

Would you like to read more poetry and prevent Steve from starving at the same time?

Steve’s first book of poetry, The All or the Nothing, is available now as an e-book from most online distributors. For more information,
click here.

Peak. A poem.

You conquered me
like a mountain (or a molehill).
Climbed me and then left me here,
another spire to aspire to.

Was I just a rocky crag used as
a monument to your success?
What was my reward, just a
wanton moment, better to forget?

Here I stand, wind blown
and forever circumspect,
a peak waiting on another expedition.
Hopefully, one that’ll show me more respect.

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.

Chat(less). A poem.

Fractious conversations;
half-hearted, lip synced.

Frantic fingers tracing familiar paths,
back and forth across time
and space.

How much longer until each
gives in, or
gives up?

Until the melodrama
unfolds, like poorly crafted origami
and becomes
a crumpled paper crane.

Aimless fingers tap dance,
until the music ends.
You need to be somewhere
else,
other than your own space
and time.

Stop typing!
Feel the breeze on your face.

The world awaits.

Online Dating Sellout

Okay, okay. I admit it. I sold out. I downloaded Tinder.

If you have read my previous online dating posts (here, here, here, here and here), you’ll know that I was vehemently opposed to Tinder because of the considerably biased rep the poor app, and its users, have (note how I am now sounding more sympathetic). I didn’t want to be seen as someone just looking to ‘hook up’, and being a Christian, it was doubly inappropriate.

Well, I have now tried the Tinder experience and I can say that my opinion is pleasantly changed (read: eat humble pie). I have been on a few online dating websites and they have been somewhat…disappointing. Women with photos that look nothing like them, crazy stalkers and scammers haunt my waking hours (okay, that’s a bit overly dramatic, but I’m a writer. Cut me some slack).

Within hours of being on Tinder (swipe left, swipe right – I feel like I’m in The Karate Kid and Mr Miyagi is abstractly teaching me some new defensive move), I had a few (admittedly vague) conversations.

Within a few days I had a date (yes, remarkable, given my jaded dating history). It was nice: a few drinks, dinner and a fun night. No, she wasn’t Christian, but we had a good time anyway. I have now had a few more decent conversations with other women and will try a few more dates. No, I’m not playing the field. I’m very upfront with my date that if we don’t think we are viable long-term prospects then we move on. Okay, maybe I do sound a little shallow (what does the guilty-looking emoji look like…).

Turns out Tinder is not so bad, after all.

Cheers

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

Online Dating Scams – don’t be a target and a victim

Good lord, I can’t believe it. Me, a guy who is so security and privacy conscious, who is IT-literate and generally pretty smart, fell for one of the oldest scams in the book.

Well, not quite fell, but almost.

Scams are rife in the world of online dating. Lonely older people are easy to prey on. And having been lonely for a long time, and now in the mature (over 40) age bracket, it appears that I’m now a target.

So how did it happen? Loooong story. How about I try to move on from my embarrassment and just tell you what to look for:

  • Beware of attractive younger people sending you winks/messages. If the message indicates they want to talk via email, rather than the date site’s messaging system, be cautious, and recommend using the dating site until you know them better. If they suggest using a dedicated messaging app like Yahoo Messenger, be aware that this app has been hacked in the past and has security issues. Also, if their email address sounds strange, that’s potentially another warning.
  • If the person provides too much personal information about themselves, especially too early in the ongoing email conversation, be careful: they are trying to get you to provide your own personal details and earn your trust or sympathy. Scammers know that many people use their dates of birth in their passwords, so never give it out. Also, don’t send photos of yourself in emails, scammers can use you info to create false profiles to rip off other people.
  • If the person’s story seems too good to be true, or too tragic to be true, it’s probably not.
  • The scammers will be working on multiple people through that dating website at the same time, so be conscious of slips (i.e. they use the wrong name, or repeat several words several times as if they have inaccurately cut and pasted a response).
  • If the writing in a message has poor grammar (especially where a person has stated on their profile they have high level or University-level qualifications), be aware that scams are often conducted from other countries where English is not the first language. Additionally, look for syntax changes in messages that sound like a different person is writing from the person who wrote before – it could be a team of scammers, rather than a single person.
  • Be wary if the other party doesn’t want to talk with you on the phone or meet in person. If they are working from another country they know their accent will give them away and that there is no way they can meet, so they will put you off as long as they can.
  • The scammer will play on your loneliness by finding out about you and talking about high levels of love/commitment very early, to gauge how easy it may be to manipulate you. They may even indicate that they have plenty of money (e.g. an inheritance or good job) so as not to arouse your suspicions of a scam.
  • Be cautious if the person is overseas or says they are going to be travelling soon. Generally they will be going to a country where they will have a “mishap” (e.g. lose wallet/purse) and will then attempt to get money from you, based on whether they believe they have built enough trust to try it on. This may include bank account details. NEVER give your credit card or bank account details in an email.

Once the scammer is aware that you may be on to them, they will stop emailing you. Block their address so you don’t get anything from them again. Notify the dating website of the scam so they can remove the profile. It may be a good idea to change your passwords associated with the website and your email, especially if you use your name or date of birth in them.

There are lots of sites around that give out tips on how to avoid online scamming – I’ve added a few links below.

I’m glad I didn’t fall for it, but part of me wanted to, and that’s because lonely people make themselves easy targets, and thus, easy victims.

Don’t be a target, or a victim. There’s enough of those in the world already.

 

Australian Government Scam Watch – https://www.scamwatch.gov.au/types-of-scams/dating-romance

Wikihow – http://www.wikihow.com/Spot-an-Online-Dating-Scammer

Romance Scams – http://www.romancescams.org/

Independent – http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/love-sex/online-dating-fraud-how-to-identify-most-likely-scammer-profiles-scams-a7553616.html

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.  

 

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.

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.

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