Embrace. A poem.

I remember your embrace
Enfolded and ensured
Encapsulating all and nothing
Bittersweet and banked upon
Softly sweet and silky smooth
And as fettered and lasting
As a dream

I remember your embrace
And the downy remorse
That feathers every memory
Of the loss

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

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Occasion. A poem.

Regulate this feeling
Clamp it down and fix it
In a final, vice-like repose
‘Tween twilight and morning

Unburdened by the hollow
And fulsome moon
Let all your tears flow freely
And whisper words
Retained for this occasion

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

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Sometimes. A poem.

Sometimes, I feel old.

I feel the weight of years
And the stress and strain
Of injuries and tears
That make it hard to lift
Myself from bed.

It hits me, awkwardly,
When I’m lifting a box
Or philosophising alone,
Shooting through my brain
And body and bones.

Or when I see the young
Living carefree lives,
Neglecting masks
Far too selfishly,
Because “only others die.”

It’s the burden of memory
(And sometimes lack thereof)
That gets me calculating,
Writing, learning, gaming;
That fires me off and up.

It’s the strength I feel
When I hit the weights
And lift like I never have,
Watching records break
As if I were half my age.

Sometimes, I feel old.

But not today.

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

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Vice. A poem.

A tightness in my torso
In my arm and in my jaw
Unlike anything I’ve felt before

(Maybe indigestion, it’s a start)
Everything I know says fit
Healthy, young of heart

This dreaded feeling I confess
Grips me harder than the vice
Squeezing life from my chest

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

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Depression Is. A poem.

I always work so hard, you see,
With such effort and resolve.
Working towards my lofty goal,
Another problem I can solve.
Setting the bar too high, it seems,
But reaching every time.
Again, a pinnacle achieved
And a feeling so sublime.

But then the mighty outcome,
The success which I have craved,
Turns out to be so minimal
And all the thoughts I’ve saved
Turn inwards upon myself
To a sickening degree.
And suddenly I’m burdened
By self-doubt, hypocrisy.

As if all of that endless effort
Was not it’s own reward,
As if the milestone that I reached
Was falling on a sword.
And the black dog deep within me
He just smiles his toothy grin
And laps up all the hatred,
Despair and self-loathing.

Maybe one day I’ll learn again
To take each small success
With the pleasure and conviction
That will, black dog, address.
And send him far from this place
So he will plague me never more.
But until that day, depression is
All I am and more.

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

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Why? A poem.

I can see your place
When I turn the corner.
I’m shifting gears,
Downshifting and slowing,
Braking and breaking
To the sound of singing tyre tread
And siren goodbyes.

Such a short time,
But what a time.
And how we wished
It would last and would be different
From all the times before,
When empty promises and vague circumstances
Made the weight of everything
So much less
Than ought.

Defences raised,
A call to arms,
And suddenly every scrutiny
Seemed ridiculous
And uncalled for.
Lingering at the door
Without a last word,
All left for text messages,
Bound to be misconstrued.

Every fire burning (b)right
Was put out in the storm
That followed.
Harsh rains
And lightning wit
To paint a picture
Few artists would admit to.

And that was it.

Another tally on the board,
But not one you or I wanted
To be scored.
Not a picture perfect ending,
Not a thank you or goodbye.
Just a shopping list
Of indignations,
And a lonely question:

Why?

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Worst Enemy. A poem.

All the hells that we conceive
Nurture in our heads and breed
Far worse than any promises
That the end could throw at us.
My greatest and worst enemy
You are mine and whole in me.

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

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Laugh. A poem.

It builds, it shudders
Creeping its way up
From gut and soul
Slicing through proximities
Of weariness and ennui

Now

Surging up so easily
No Marathon or Thermopylae
Stretching wings of fearsome resolve
And filling our worlds
With promiscuous promise.

I laugh with you
Like no other.

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A Letter.

Hi SS,

I know you’re not going to read this.

I know these words are simply an elegy sent out into the wires, read by strangers and not the intended.

I had never before connected with anyone the way we did. We saw the best and, ultimately, the worst of each other. The ending, like so many convoluted stories, was hopelessly misconstrued. Two uncommunicative communicators and a texted aftermath swathed in hurt and regret.

(Such irony: knowing what we know now, we would sync even better than we did.)

I tried to persuade myself it didn’t matter. Just another stopover on life’s insistent highway. Time to move on, move forward – the urgency of age demands continuity.

I didn’t know until today, but I’m in mourning. And trying to lose myself in other pursuits provided no catharsis. Not even writing this.

I find myself wondering what you might be going through, whether you might feel the same. Purely projection and wish fulfillment on my part.

I know you’re not going to read this.

But I miss you.

More than you will ever know.

Sincerely,

SSS

All Apologies. A poem.

What did I see? Mirage or destiny?
Outstretched hand, grasping for life 
And failing so miserably

Seems you weren’t the one for me
We misread the contours of the land
Now what’s left is all apologies 

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

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The Last Word. A poem.

The last word
Is a flail across my back
Stripping flesh bare to bone
A blood eagle worthy of Vikings
Exposing heart and soul
And ready for the killing thrust

Your pain mingles with my own
As you strike again, again
And I’m drawn and quartered
On the yoke
Hung out to dry
A pendulum in the wind

Blithely embracing my only friend
His scythe scratching my cheek
He who lingers, unblinking and unmoving
And always waiting in the wings

The black dog growls and snaps
In the background
And I’m underground
My coffin little comfort in this repose

Today I die a little more
Today I take one more step
Towards the door
Where Death beckons to me greedily
“Perhaps today,” I say
“Why not?” He replies

He offers the silvered razor
So many have admired and aspired to
His gift in memoriam
An everlasting metaphor
Of our misbegotten friendship

And I reach with greedy, outstretched fingers
And lonely, fettered veins

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The Sum of All. A poem.

I was indisposed
And exposed
And all my fears
And dreams
And insecurities
Came home to roost
Like a feast of crows
That consumed me
And spat me out
The sum of all
My many woes

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

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Smack Down. A poem.

Smack down
And the floor
Is sandpaper on my cheek
And the scent of sweat
And dead skin
Permeates my senses
Until I’m up again
And punching
Way above my weight class
Again and again
No more canvass
Only the fight
Only the win
And I’m alive
To fight another day
Until the next
Smack down

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

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After the Show. A poem.

Where did you go
When the curtain fell
And the audience went home
Critiquing the show
No after party tryst
No drink for the damned
Just a lonely player
On an empty stage
Stealing Shakespeare
And fittingly rebuked

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

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Listen. A poem.

Here in the unyielding silence,

I hear lonely, pensive thoughts;
Feel anxious heart beats drumming;
Sense ageless rain extinguishing the fires of a thousand shining lights.

A constant elegy,
Soundtrack to my existence.

Do you hear it, too?

Listen

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Forgotten. A poem.

Blinkered, leading the way from behind
This train of thought left the station long ago
Left you standing vacant on the platform
Waiting for another to come along
But you’ve forgotten who you are
And they’ve forgotten you and your scars
Consideration and commiseration
Time to come in from the cold

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

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The Darkness Won. A poem.

When darkness kneads my shoulder
Like an old and long, lost friend,
Tar dripping from his fingers
Bringing pain and bitter ends.


I kneel and bear that heavy weight
And thank him for his visit.
And sink below, a drowning man
With a lead weight for his business.


And darkness smiles, cackles with glee,
His foot upon my face.
And crushes the last vestiges,
My soul gone, without a trace.


And before he leaves, he glances back,
To make sure his work is done.
And there I lie, a craven corpse –
Thus, has the darkness won.

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

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Cold, Hard Facts. A poem.

Empty out these cold, hard facts
Pour them in a bowl to inspect
The entrails, mysteries unsolved
By the clueless and the klutzes

Cold, hard facts and nothing else
But a ringing that won’t leave
Your heart and ears, a reminder
That you had it better, once

Before these cold, hard facts
Blew you away one lonely
Windswept day in August
And left you better off dead

All these cold, hard facts
Pounding at your temple
Like a barrel to your head
A bullet of cold, hard facts

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

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Ice Cold. A poem.

A perilous montage
Belies the truth
A potent mix that
Soaks in waters
Where icebergs
And submersibles
Hide bittersweet
Goodbyes

A dangerous place
Windswept with lies
A potent reminder
That all is not
As it was or could be
An icy reminder
Of yesterday’s
Foreshadowing

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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.

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Sh&t Show. A poem.

This sh&t show never ends
I would change the channel
But the remote’s on the fritz
And there’s nothing else
Worthwhile on anyway
And even if there was
I’m too apathetic to care
And too down to get up today
Too spent to make some change

And too

Too

This sh&t show never ends
Until I
Finally

Tell it to

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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.

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Currents and Whirlpools. A poem.

Somewhere along the way
I lost sight of yesterday

Drifting on currents and whirlpools

Threatening to take me
Down to places I’d rather not be

And so I fell as deeply as one could
As far down as one never ever should
A stone and leaden weight
Sinking deeper into fate

Violent currents and whirlpools

Threatening to spin me right around
To run my hard fought world aground
Like a ship without a helm
Like a lifetime overwhelmed

And after all that, I survived
Left somewhat ragged and indecisive
Yet I struggled, rose to my feet
An embittered revolutionary

Fighting currents and whirlpools

(That won’t take me there again
Won’t spin me down the drain)

Although I live with constant hurt
The culmination of this work
I will walk with head held high
Still standing and not crying

And to all those currents and whirlpools

I am not afraid of you

For more Poetry, click here.

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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.

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So. A stream of consciousness poem.

So.

So so so.

So, a lot of people seem to have an issue with uncertainty. About where they are headed, about the meaning of life. You know. The big questions.

I’m one of those. Sometimes.

So.

So, I know I’m on a path. I’m a believer in predestination. Destiny. Fate. Call it what you want. I never used to be, but too many things have played out in my life to be coincidence. Believe it or not.

So.

So, yeah, I’m a believer. And as such, I’m not really uncertain about where I’ll end up, big picture-wise.

But I am pretty uncertain about where I’m gonna be with the little stuff. The nitty gritty. The stuff that drags us down. Money problems. Love. Family. Getting by.

So.

So, I write poetry, and I use it to express myself and talk about sh&t that worries me and stuff I need to get off my chest. I bet you do, too.

Even this train of thought is a poem. It flows. It expresses. It’s me.

So.

So so so.

So, yeah, I worry about stuff all the time. Just like you. Just like every f&@$ing person in the whole world. But I’m selfish, like every f$&@ing person in the whole world.

And although I think and worry about others, deep down I worry more about myself because I’m just a selfish pr$ck.

Who swears a lot.

So.

So, a train of thought doesn’t always have to stop at the station to make its point, you know.

Sometimes it just has to ride along those tracks.

Even if it never quite gets to its destination.

So.

So, uncertainty sucks.

So, let that train get to the station.

And try not to worry so.

For more Poetry, click here.

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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.

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Briars and Thorns. A poem.

All these briars and thorns—
Sticking and slicing,
Pricking and enticing—
Patterning my body
And reflecting my somber discontent.

Marking a trail upon this empty flesh—
A patina of scar tissue,
A fleshy, vertiginous map—
To guide me like a lost,
Angst-filled, wayward child.

Back from the emptiness
Of my long congealing heart.

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Blame. A poem.

I took the blame
For it was my lot
To stumble and toil
And make my weary way
Back to life
From whence I was cast
Aside

But blame should be
Apportioned
Fairly and to each
For blame lies not in one
But in the actions
And inactions
Of all

Forevermore

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Murder of Crows. A poem.

A tendency to exaggerate.
Variable and inconsistent,
A migratory bird, unaware
Which hemisphere is up
Or what time of year it is.

A mountain and a molehill,
Keynotes of your dependency.
Furtive and insecure
And longing for approval;
All wayward illegitimacy.

Time to find the truth within
And not try so hard
To be party to an
Estranged and inconsolable
Murder of crows.

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Practice Makes Perfect. A poem.

I reach
And yet
Everything
Is so
Far away

Unknowable

My fingertips
Brush
The surface
Of something
I cannot

Grasp

No matter
How hard
I try

But that
Won’t stop
Me from

Persevering

Because

Practice
Makes
Perfect

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Switch. A poem.

I
stopped
to
think
and
thought

Perhaps I shouldn’t do so
Perhaps I should just stand and rise
Above all the crap I’m floating in
All the muck and detritus
I’ve let gather around me
All these years and tears
And heartfelt fears
That congest the waters
And drag me down
A skeletal grip upon my ankle
Clasping while I writhe
And shake in heedless contempt
Until I’m submerged within myself
And every opportunity to
Reach the light above
Is taken from me

As
easily
as
flicking
a
switch

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The Wait is Over. A poem.

The wait is over
And although you were active
All along
Spewing literary concerns
Like jaded opinions
And late afternoon enfilades
The time has come
For release
From this future tense
To revel in the irony
That what kept you going
Was a bitter sense of yesterday
And wanting
To get far away
From all the things you loved
Just a little too little
And just a little
Too much
The wait is over
And now the real journey
Can begin

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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.

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The Whole Shebang. A poem.

Attitudes entrenched by years
of disbelief, tears and fears.
Shaken, abused and confused;
broken, taken and refused,
again and again,
until there’s nothing left
but regret and emptiness.

An anger that shakes these
foundations of resentment,
these skyscrapers of doubt.
Twisting and turning
this rage about
until there’s nothing left
but wanton disregard.

Enough to sedate
a deafened mind and soul,
that’s no longer whole
but wasted
on you
and me,
and the

Whole

Damn

Shebang

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Centre Stage. A poem.

Saw you again the other day,
ring on finger, centre stage.
I smiled, a little whimsically,
through sad and bitter memories.

I looked back amongst the bric-a-brac,
how we laughed and walked, and fought like that.
And played and talked and teased again—
sometimes enemies, sometimes friends.

I realised, despite the lies of youth,
I was glad you found your personal truth.
Happy your road led to this place,
when another path, might mean disgrace.

Happy the circle is now complete,
That it helped you rise from your defeat.
Now, I’ll carry you in head and heart,
Until from this life, I do depart.

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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.

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Well Spent. A poem.

My arms like tree limbs,
gnarled and objectified.
Here in the last remaining light,
reaching for an unreachable sign
by the side of a road,
long and bitterly loathed.

My feet encased in clay,
entrenched along with attitudes
I left in yesterday,
along with foolish platitudes
and angst-ridden symphonies
in flight and obscure.

Still the creaking joints reach out,
suppressing every thought and doubt
that lingers in the weary caress
of roots and reeds and weeds.
If you are only passing by,
perhaps you could spend some time with me.

At least I can guarantee
it will be time well spent, indeed.

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Pulse. A poem.

Tar, congealing in your veins,
sheltering your heartbeat
in its quicksilver repose.

Aortic mysteries, dissected
atriums and ventricles
at ease and at odds,
pulling and pushing
through luxurious days
and overheated nights.

What will it take to quicken
your lackadaisical pulse,
to break your blood and soul
from this lethargy that holds
you fastidiously to ransom?

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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.

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Your Eyes, an Ocean. A poem.

Your eyes, an ocean

Setting me adrift at sea
Just one miscalculation
and
Suddenly there’s
No star to guide me

Your eyes, an ocean

Subtle ocean homily
Expounding on a sailor lost
and
Anxiously not
Where he’s meant to be

Your eyes, an ocean

Given a sextant to perceive
Directly and indirectly
and
This distance made wider
Between you and me

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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.

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Binge. A poem.

Timed and untimed,
A chaos of raindrops
Upon a sleepy roof
Filling gutters and trailing
Spume in snail trails
That wind their way
Drinking toasts to those
Whose evaporation
From the scene
Left such a hole
In awkward conversation.

The clink of glass
And amber froth
Disappeared in the wake
Like reeling in the catch
To be emptied later
Upon the deck
Before the toilet door.
Memories worth
Fighting for
But such a waste
Of good beer.

The last call
Of siren nights
A gentle gutter bed
For swift repose
And nights better off
Misremembered
Than recalled
Until the next
Your head laid upon
The tiers and tiles
Perhaps better off dead.

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.

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