The Blind Sailor. A poem.

From one moment to the next,
I am a transient in time;
seeking eternal mystery,
enigmatic and sublime.
Mired and overblown is me,
a windward sailor seeks
beyond Creusa and Medea,
his fabled Golden Fleece.

So forgive me if I hurt you,
for I know not what I do.
Forgive the misbegotten sailor,
who turns and bids “adieu”.
A blind man set a wandering
without sight to truly see,
the one I’ve searched
for constantly,
right there in front of me.

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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The Not-So-Burning Bush. A short tale.

I haven’t written a flash fiction for a while. Here’s my poor attempt at romantic fiction.

Cheers

Steve 😊

I was ensconced in the bush, its leaves and branches irritating and scratching my face. Completely hidden, I craned my neck to hear what was said, while trying to maintain some sort of focus on Jenny. I could see her back through the foliage.

“…and I just couldn’t believe what she was telling me, y’know? Like, the guy she’s been going out with has been cheating on her for weeks, and she knows it, and she’s still seeing him. Is that pathetic, or what?” The other girl nodded and they both laughed. A few more words and her friend left for a lecture across campus. Jenny sat on the bench near the tree I was hiding in, started checking her iPhone.

At that moment, a sparrow landed next to me on a branch near my head. It was so unexpected that I yelped involuntarily, spun, fell through the bush and collapsed on my back on the pavement next to the bench. My head hit the concrete with a crunch, and I’m sure I saw stars. Yes, just like in cartoons.

Jenny swore, startled by the sudden miracle of a man from a not-so-burning bush. She stood over me, looking concerned (I assume for my potential medical condition, and not for any perceived mental condition). “Jacob? Oh, my God, are you all right?”

I was swearing. “Yeah, yeah, I’m fine.” I rubbed the back of my skull, tried to get up, decided I felt better lying there. “I take that back. No, I’m not.”

Jenny kneeled next to me, unsure of what to do. Students walked past, amused, bemused, uncaring, or a combination of all of the above.

Jenny raised an eyebrow. “What were you doing in that bush?”

“I think I might have a concussion…” Avoidance is the better part of valour, so someone once said. I think it was me, just now.

Jenny frowned as it dawned on her. “Were you stalking me?”

“No, I was just…resting in the bush. For a moment. Getting my bearings. Bird watching. I love trees.” Lying on my back, rubbing my painful head, coming up with terrible excuses. I was the cover model for lame. “Yes, I was stalking.”

She crossed her arms, tilted her head in that delightful way she did when she was being judgemental. “Oh, my God, that is so creepy. And I used to think you were cute.”

“You thought I was cute? I had no idea.”

“Obviously, or you wouldn’t be hanging out in bushes, spying on me.”

“Would you like to get a coffee, or something?” In hindsight, probably not the best time to ask, but I was hurt, desperate and concussed, covered in leaves, scratches and embarrassment. Probably could try for the sympathy vote. Or an insanity plea.

Jenny laughed. She laughed so much she had to wipe away tears. After about a minute of further humiliation, she smiled. “I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but okay.”

“Really? You just caught me stalking you like some crazy guy.”

“Oh God, you really are an idiot, aren’t you? I said yes, already. Shut up, get up, and let’s get that coffee, before I change my mind.”

Jenny helped me to my feet. I stumbled a bit, grinning all the while.

“Am I going to regret this?” she said.

“Maybe,” I said. “Maybe not.”

We both smiled.

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 😊

Magic. A poem.

As if by magic
One world ended and another began
Furtive baby steps into the new dawn
I raised my voice, emboldened, and sang
 
As if by magic
Suddenly you appeared, I was invested
I was lost in you so deep that before I knew it
My heart was bursting free from my chest
 
As if by magic
I reached out, brought you close, let you in
Finally moving on from tears and bitterness
All the endless waiting worth it in the end
 
As if by magic
The better person I had long resolved to be
The impossible you became my everything
And love had finally found its way to me   

 

Yeah, I’m a bit of a sap when it comes to love.

Still looking. Still waiting. Still imagining.

I’ve got a good feeling.

Soon.

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.

Third Time Lucky. A poem.

Twice I have loved
Many more I have not
But twice it went sour
Like milk left out too long, shelf life expired

Twice I have loved
Felt so good for a bit
But twice realised
They weren’t the right fit, mortal square pegs

Twice I have loved
Hearts long were in sync
Twice I was wrong
Should’ve trusted gut instinct, churning inside

Twice I have loved
And twice was mistaken
Now I seek one last time
True love never breaking, unlimited, unbound

 

Ever get the feeling you didn’t get it right the first time? Or the second? Here’s a poem I wrote to celebrate third time lucky, whenever and wherever she may be.

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