Due Date. A poem.

The bell rings
(or tolls, or so it goes)
and I’m under fire again
rushing into no man’s land
without a weapon or a plan.

A last minute dash,
as if it were all she wrote
(and perhaps it is and was).
A lucid trance to carry me
through torrential rain and home.

And then, I wait,
with and without regret,
until fortune or misanthropic fate
deals me a winning hand.

I could strategise,
as a manager in prior life,
to sooth the way, somewhat,
to marry my goodwill
with happenstance.

Until it’s time to dance
this merry dance
untold times again,
and leave as I arrived:
to subtle refrains
and shotgun chicanes.

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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Divides. A flash fiction.

This is a short fiction I wrote for a Uni subject I completed a while back. Enjoy!

Cheers

Steve 🙂 

Divides. By Stephen Thompson.

My mother is dusting. The feather duster she uses swishes lightly over the mementoes and photo frames on the shelf, cautiously tracing a path through our family history like a ship through a field of ice. I watch intently as motes of dust shimmer in the light, settling to the carpet, knowing this is only a short pause on their journey.

My father reclines in his chair, reading. The air is pungent with the thick fumes of an unfiltered camel cigarette. This is how I will remember him long after he is gone, like a silhouette left on a wall after a nuclear blast, its form as anonymous as the figure who left it.

My wife sits before me. Her eyes are electric drills and I am the timber. I’m staring at the table before us and my apologies fall to the floor along with our shared lives; wood shavings, waiting to be swept away.

My son is sitting on the lounge before his games console, the light from the TV playing over his intent features. I sit beside him, reading, occasionally glancing up to see the interaction of figures on screen. Between the lounge cushions is a yawning chasm.

My girlfriend sits across the table from me, sipping from her cup. My own mug sits before me untouched, the tan creamer an iceberg on a coffee sea. She smiles and I see our separate shadows painted darkly upon the wall behind her. Dust motes reflect the light as they dance prior to landing. The apologies to come are an abyss I must eventually cross.

Time’s Up. A poem.

I am a stupid man, a stubborn man

I’m waiting for you to come to me
To extend a hand (‘save me’, he cries)
But will I reject you, will I turn away
As I have before?

(so many times before, always repeating the same old mistakes, cap in hand, then ‘no thanks, i’m okay, I can manage, I can do this alone, I don’t need your help’, can’t you see that he’s drowning)

What makes it so hard to take your proffered hand
To swallow my pride and let you in
To stop HATING myself
To stop KILLING myself
Every NIGHT and every DAY

(every heartbeat, every notion, every teardrop, just wash him clean so he can wake up and start the day again and maybe, just maybe, he can get through that day, then get through that night, rinse and repeat, again and again and again and again) 

I am a stupid man, a stubborn man

And I’m nearly done

Time’s up

 

Okay, this poem’s a bit dark. But then, I’m a pretty dark person. My poems reflect all aspects of me, not just the happy stuff. (‘Happy stuff?’ I hear you say. ‘When have you ever written happy poems?’ Good point. Scratch what I said earlier.)

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