My Black Walls. A poem.

My walls.                Are.

Black

                                             As oil and just as wet.

Wet. From. All. The.

Spurious

Aimless.                      Thoughts

                                                                                                    I throw at them.

All the pointless.                         Shit.                              That.

Leaves.                         A snail.                Trail

                                                                                                            In its wake.

That.        Wends.                            Its

Way.                             To.               The floor.

                              I keep throwing

my aimless.                   Pointless.               Thoughts

                                                        And hope that.                       One.                 Day.

They will Coalesce.                                                                             Into

Something truly

                                                                    Worthwhile.

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.

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Blister. A poem.

The outer skin chafes
like the cajoling blister
on my consoling heart.
Only those who look deep
can perceive the anxious,
pitiful, exhausted souls
that have walked so many
miles in this inclement weather.

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.

Rancid. A poem.

All my rancid surprise,
broken and doubtful,
flayed thoughts drifting
behind sullen and tired eyes.

So many unspoken wishes
given lonesome flight
from these effluent cliffs
of anger and despair;
all the improbable,
impossible angst,
the seething pain
that my aimless tossing
and turning will allow.

I linger on the edge.
my toes sense the drop
and yearn to dance.

The sheets are a roiling sea
where my hope drowns deep,
the pillow, an almond-bitter cloud
that suffocates my dreams.

.

Steve is an 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.

Down again. A poem.

Down, again,
and the anxious riptide in my brain
wills and drags me to sullen depths,
where the ocean bed is pock marked
with tears and fears and
ample insomniac nights.

Down, again,
and every fading couple in the street
with supple smiles and ignorant eyes
just make me want to waste awhile,
and shrink into a microcosm of truth,
a vast and endearingly unsubtle void.

Down, again,
and the shelter of my artless womb
is where I find myself wholly entombed
in bitter isolation and self-immolation,
to smother my feckless heart and cheer
as I watch it gasp and choke.

Down, again,
and every word upon the doubtful page,
each cluttered and endearing artifice
brings relief through its catharsis
and brings me slowly
back to dreary life.

Down, again, until I’m not.
Until next time,
my lonely, lovely
black dog refrain.

.

Steve is a literal starving artist.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting his worthy cause.

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.

Still Standing. A poem.

Still standing.
Waiting.

Where are you?
When are you?

Your bus is long, long overdue,
but I will wait, anyway,
wondering if my timetable
is completely out of date.
Hoping my ticket to ride
is still valid, not expired.

Still standing.
Waiting for you.

Poets are facing extinction.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting this worthy cause.

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.

Finish Line. A poem.

Down again, in November showers
that wash the sin from my crown.
Out walking my black dog in the rain,
skirting hills and wither deep.

Just another day in here,

Under my skin
Under the hood

Where the engine strains and groans
as it drags my weary chassis
to the finish line.
Where I’m content to lose again,
to choose again.

And choose life this time.
Even with its witless overtures
and empty virtue,
it holds the one thing
that burns like fire
and wakes me from my bitter sleep.

All Because Of You. A poem.

That overbearing, all pervasive
dark matter,

the swollen river that floods my
heart and breaks my banks,
chokes my throat and pierces my
brain stem, that sticks it’s bamboo
needles under mental fingernails, creates
tattered meat from perilous fortune, twists
my will until my spine shatters like crystal
and leaves me

a pointless fool.

All because
of you.

The Sadness. A poem.

The sadness creeps over,
a ponderous behemoth,
encompassing my lands and being.
It seeps into my streams, polluting them
with its murky ill-will,
making a mockery and a mire.

It kills off my grass and trees, turning
my greens to blight, leaving
animals once proud and determined
now abject and homeless;
caricature mascots.

It crawls over my buildings, infesting
every room and board, making
inhabitants into castaways
with the shore so near, so far.

And everything collapses under
the weight of its load, a gravity
far too serious for this light

head(ed) over heels,
a Hercules turned weakling,
bent knee and broken aspect,
an actuary who can’t reconcile his records
to account for the loss
of his greatest love.

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.

Fools’ Gold. A poem.

The road smouldered as
steel-tread fingers ran over it,
each car an indifferent lover.
Nothing was out of the ordinary
but the extraordinary.

I could no longer look upon you,
the pain too sharp, a constant thorn.
My cannibal hypocrisy consumed me
with self-deception.
One last glance
(you, the diamond amongst coal)
and I drove away into the
hazy mid-afternoon grey.

That was the day.
The day I let my muse fade.
The day I turned from you, away.
I realised dreams were
mirrors and reflections,
untouchable and jaded.

I wanted tears, but an empty
shell holds no water.
No reason to
cry/hope/dream/love.

Melodrama, my cold and
calculating friend, nudging me
awake and laughing at every
stuttered riposte
(all in good natured fun),
smiling in deepest irony.

I typed these words
and let my muse fade.
The clouds let loose their
ill-gotten gains to ply
a sympathetic trade.

Dreams are fools’ gold,
shining brightly.
And without my muse,
all mere deception.

Coriolis. A short tale.

He stared at the mirror, at the composite he had become. It held a reflection capturing his bitterest Hyde and Jekyll moments. He placed his hand firmly on the vanity, turned on the tap and watched the water spiral down the drain.

“You f$&@ing, arrogant, conceited prick,” he said. In the mirror his other self sneered, spitting vitriol. “Who do you think you are? Do you think you’re better than everyone else? Do you think you deserve more? Are you entitled? Who gives you the right to think you should be f$&@ing happy?”

The unblinking visage stared back at him. He was eye to eye with a ghost, a soliloquy made real. “She doesn’t even know you, you stupid, f$&@ing idiot.”

And there it was. The source of all his ire, ensnaring and holding him hostage, his personal Stockholm Syndrome. The one thing that kept him awake every aimless night. The thing that kept him longing insanely and losing himself sanely.

He thrust his finger at the mirror accusingly. “Why would you even attempt to believe that she was right for you? She doesn’t know you from a bar of soap.” He grabbed the slimy soap block from the vanity and threw it hard into the bathroom wall, where is clonked and slid to the floor. For dramatic effect? He didn’t know. He didn’t know anything anymore.

Tears welled in his eyes. He wiped them away with the back of his hand. “I’m giving her up,” he said. “I’m tired of loving and hating how I feel when she’s around. I’m tired of never being able to let her know how I feel. I’m tired of fooling myself anymore.” His mirror self slumped, the weight that should have lifted now magnified a thousand fold.

He looked at the empty eyes—the hollow, skeletal black holes were event horizons from which only sadness could escape. “It’s better this way. Who needs hope, anyway? There’s no point in purpose. It’s just another anchor to drag you down.”

The room seemed darker now, the embodiment of his thoughts. He slid to the floor, pulled down into a personal ocean of despair. He turned his back to the wall and collapsed into himself like the singularity he had become.

“It’s better this way.” But there was no one else to listen, and the whisper of his voice sounded even more hollow in the tiny tiled room that was just as much a cage as his head. Better this way, he thought.

The tap kept running, the stream of his pain a twisting coriolis, swirling downwards to a confusion of pipes and an endless, empty sea.

.

Actually, a true story. But if you’ve been following my posts you’d know that, lol.

Cheers

Steve 🙂

When (part 3). A poem.

When will I be free of this life and all its bitter swill?
Force fed, every grueling meal mixed with bile and contempt,
returned to sender in a spray of misgivings,
a spent force that paints the tile in acrimonious colour.

When will this life leave me be, so I can rest in audacious peace?
When will I sleep and dream of nothing, free from pain and imagination
that only ever led me astray.
When will I break the chains you locked me in, through no fault of your own.

When will I leave this sad and weary shell behind,
wander with spirits, both bottled and ghostly,
and drown my last remaining dregs of hope in failure.

When?

When (part 2). A poem.

When did I lose you?
When did I turn my back on you,
then turned around and you were gone?

When did any hint of recognition
leave your eyes.
When did I become a third wheel,
constantly turning out of place
in time and space.

When did this supple heart grow dried
and worn, to wither in the sun
like a weed.
When did I lose the will to be with you,
let the scales unbalance and my
love be cast aside in bitter rebuke.

When will I ever learn?

When (part 1). A poem.

When I talk to you,
when I’m lost to the sanguine artfulness
of your words.
When your silken, soothing tones
surround me like the warmest winter blanket.
When the only light I need to guide me
is in your rainbow eyes
and sunshine smile.
When the aspect of your face is the only
solitary star in the darkening sky.
That’s when I know
I’m home.

And that’s when I awake
and know I’m still alone.

Tired. A poem.

I’m tired.

And my drifting aimless gaze
settles on a distant mist-like haze
that wells up continuously inside,
like savage, misplaced pride,
and makes me drop like a stone
into waters unknown.
Lost on cruel tides that wend
the capitulating ocean to its end.

So tired.

If only sleep could solve this quandary,
instead of leaving me on the periphery
of a world that spins aimlessly,
through head space and trickery,
and leaves me wanting nothing less.
And nothing more.

Just tired.

Time to leave this place.

Steve is a literal starving artist.
Please keep the dream of poetry alive by supporting his worthy cause.

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.

Phantom Limb. A poem.

I’m forever haunted
by this

phantom limb,

writhing in my sleep,
guilt stricken for my
sins.

I see you in every couple
on the street, and at the
coffee shop,
where we drank each other in.

It feels like you’re still
across from me;
the conversation,
imagined and forlorn,
accusing
eyes that follow me
no more.

Your ghost absorbs my
days and nights,
a peripheral blur,
just out of
sight.

Time
heals all wounds;
such perfect sense,
but not in my
experience.

You’re the limb I lost, that still
persists.

A phantom limb,
my will insists.

Let down. A poem.

I’m let down, again.

Every letdown compiling
like a coded compunction,
in synapses despoiled
by repetition and disfunction.
Swarmed and overloaded,
categorised and goaded.

Too many times to make
sense of it all.

Letdown, like so many times before.
Who has any tears left to cry?

And why bother
to even try.

Clockwork. A poem.

Causal expectations
and experience will say
that I will just gain nothing
from this long and tedious day.

My movement winding down,
corroded, insecure,
scattered springs, nuts and bolts
and thoughts abound, unsure.

Who’s to say my automation
is better than before?
Let cogs and gears grind on and on
as I cogitate some more.

I was once wound so tightly
that I thought I’d never slow,
but now my springs are stretched and worn,
so tired and overblown.

Tick tock, cries the clock,
round and round it goes,
this clockwork man keeps winding down,
all the way to

zero.

Nothing Further. A poem.

I don’t hate you
Nothing could be further from the truth

Just because I don’t smile when I look at you
Or avert my eyes as I catch yours
Just because I get tongue-tied when you’re near
And I avoid you whenever and wherever I can
Or talk to others about you rather than directly to you

I don’t hate you
Nothing could be further from the truth

The prospect of losing you
Is my greatest fear
And I am the greatest fool

Because eventually

I will

See the Light. A poem.

How I wish to see the light
No matter how much it hurts and blinds
My eyes, so used to darkness here
To anxious crowds and bloody sights

Wave a torch, a beacon shining
Like a firefly that flutters in the night
Something I can reach, to aspire
Before the final round of this fight

When the canvass finally catches me
Punch drunk and exhausted
Let me see that final light
And know that it was worth it

Conveyor Belt

Here I am again. Back on the conveyor, darkness seeping to my core. I tried to get off but just wasn’t up to it.

I float through the day, lost in motion that takes me no where. The conveyor clicks and clanks and rolls and on I flow.

When I’m down like this I find it hard to break out. Hard to raise my head and look for a way. Hard to find a reason why I should. Hard to find a reason to go on. Everything is too difficult. Too pointless. But I don’t give up on life. I’ve been down and out enough times to know that’s no longer an option. 

So the conveyor rolls on, guiding me through the darkness that surrounds my head and heart. Maybe even now, there’s a light at the end of that long tunnel. Maybe then I could lift myself up and leave this place behind.

But not today.

Steve

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

The Long Haul. A poem.

The long haul north
The highway like a dreamtime serpent
Twisting forlornly through valleys
Of gum and wattle, towns and fields

I am an island moving
In the relentless torrent north
Towards faithless destiny
Not remembered or forgiven

Just complete the task assigned and say goodnight
I’m just a chauffeur on the fly

.

I recently drove 2200kms giving a lift to my aging parents to and from their holiday destination up north (there and back twice: all up 4400kms over 4 days).

I didn’t mind the distance. What I did mind was not seeing a family member I was once close to, who I haven’t seen for about four years, and who hasn’t talked to me since a falling out.

I’m not angry. I’m very disappointed. And sad. Maybe one day we’ll reconnect again. I hope so.

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

Ignorance Is This. A poem.

I ignore her when she’s near
Easier to build walls of insecurity
Defences built on shyness and rejection fears
So I talk to other women
Because I do not care for them
I pretend she isn’t there
Why am I so unfair (to myself, to her)
I wonder if she ever wonders why?
Guess not, I’m just some other guy
Who she connected with briefly
Forgotten in the landscape of friends, work, uni
Here I am: isolated, cold, stalled
Wondering why I can’t talk to her at all
Yet I hope and pray
That she might love me one day
Why do I bother to even try
Why do I bother to ask why

Ignorance isn’t bliss
Ignorance is this

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

The Light in Your Eyes. A poem.

I saw the light in your eyes
Burn bright then fade away
It was your last and final call
Before approaching Heaven's Gate

I smelt your very last breath
Felt your body as it slacked
It was holding you in my arms
That I finally faced the facts

You were heavier in weight
And I was heavier in heart
But I carried your limp, cold body
Once together, now apart

Under a new and tiny sapling
I buried you deep anon
And in a rain of falling tears
I wrote for you a song

I remember you on Winter days
On winds your soul has flown
Reminded when I see your tree
From which new life has grown

Just in case you didn't know, all my poetry is intensely personal, it's all part of me and based on my life.

Thank you to everyone who has liked and commented positively. It is much appreciated.

Steve 🙂

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