like a brand new ink cartridge
you pushed me into your pen
and drew with me
such beautiful lines
and I caressed your pages
you used me up,
but not completely,
my colour was never enough.
you wanted more
and yanked me out
without a glance
discarded me on the floor.
i look to you
to do something.
to take it back forever;
press the reverse button.
we handle it,
by not handling it,
says the voice.
my anxiety hops inside;
like dried beans on a table
jumping during an earthquake.
a familiar tightening,
a squeezing grip -
a closed fist in my chest.
there is something
i should be doing.
i seek forgiveness
that i do not deserve.
i remember you,
and worry what you’ll think.
a solitary hermit am i,
in a dark cave i do reside,
whilst they come to me in strides,
so i might flatter all their pride,
with the wisdom i’ve acquired.
so long ago since i became,
a much sort after humble sage,
who dwells here in his lonely cage,
whilst the people send me endless praise,
for their spirits that i do raise.
they seek me always for advice,
on love, vocation and their life.
they want not truth nor painful strife,
for truth can cut just like a knife,
so i just sing them sweet delights.
“you sir, i see, shall be a king,
and adorn bright golden bejewelled rings.”
to these falsehoods they will so cling,
and hang off every word i sing;
oh the happiness my words can bring.
merrily they’ll dance and skip away,
without making a second’s delay,
to tell the others of their day,
and how the fates have finally swayed,
and life’s debt to them shall soon be paid.
oh when will these small humans learn,
life is not responsible for their return,
on everything that is not earned,
and into my old mind be burned,
all the falsehoods that i have churned.
i built this house
stone by stone.
my fingers bled
from all the work.
i pulled up the drawbridge
but not before letting you in.
i witnessed you plant something,
i allowed it to grow and grow.
now ivy climbs and strangles the walls.
buried deep in the foundations
and lifting my floors.
the windows now completely covered,
i forced those shutters closed.
i locked the basement,
but the flies crawl through the cracks.
i swat them away; more come -
the body you hid down there no doubt.
the yellow wallpaper that i hate;
peeling at the edges and tobacco stained.
i risk a glance outside, is that you?
i know it has been years
since you last climbed that fence.
i must find those shears,
i thought i had them here.
did you take those too?
the near constant drizzle of rain;
oppressive clouds coagulate over me
like voluptuous rolls of fat in the sky.
i shiver against the damp chill,
but the fires cannot be lit.
i imagine you surrounded by light,
bathed in an orange, diaphanous glow
of warm July sunshine.
i stand upon a chariot
pulled by two beasts
that i cannot unite.
when they fight,
we must stop.
so much for riding in unnoticed.
my neck and shoulders hurt;
straining against the gold chains.
they ignore me;
remaining at odds.
i could not see a way out.
the trees had been moving again.
i could not see a way out.
the snow fell heavily;
the darkness smothered us.
"why can't i have what i want?"
because it is not yours,
said the voice.
i would not.
they started to fight.
with scythe like claws.
i doubled over in pain,
never wanting to get up.
"stop hurting us!"
the beasts roared.
i whipped them all the harder.
eventually they collapsed;
exhausted and bloody,
foaming at the mouth.
i lay down next to them,
a knight galloped towards us,
riding a gleaming white unicorn.
he offered me his hand,
when i went to take it
he laughed and then scorned
before disappearing entirely.
my poor beasts howled.
i stroked their fur
gently dressing the wounds.
"we'll try again tomorrow."
and slowly they fell asleep,
safe in the relief.