poem #24

shame

i look to you
for validation.
to do something.
or nothing.

to take it back forever;
press the reverse button.

we handle it,
but 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.

i feel
there is something
i should be doing.

i seek forgiveness
that i do not deserve.

i remember you
and worry what you’ll think.

poem #23

the hierophant

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 dept 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.

poem #22

ivy

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.

poem #21

unspoken

slowly, i move from room to room.
standing. motionless.
staring into the space.
only my shadow moves with changing light.
i want to lie down.

i boil the kettle for tea,
that buys me time.
a watched kettle never boils.
the familiar screeching jolts me back;
that didn't feel long at all.

a lump move upwards inside -
best to ignore it.
giving it attention gives it strength,
allowing it escape
as a scream.
or something worse.

what a waste.
all those unsaid words.
i had them well-planned.
your ears remain innocent.

what sort of power
can silence
without a gag?
suffocated - 
but still breathing.
perhaps you're a magician
to pull such a clever trick.
i'm convinced of your kindness,
whilst i watch you sharpen your knives. 

poem #19

valentine


i found a vase
with a flower
i could not 
keep alive.
i watered it
with falling tears,
it still wilted
and cried.
i sunned it 
with fake smiles,
the petals continued
to fall.
i placed it on
the windowsill
so it might
see outside.
but still the
colour faded,
my flower did
slowly die.

poem #18

will you chase away my sorrow,
that haunts me in the night?
the courage i must borrow
to escape misery and strife.
the darkness it covers me
like a blanket of despair.
the weight does suffocate me
as i claw and grasp for air.
the moon gives off no light;
the stars have been blacked out.
the fear does steal my sight
leaving just pain and doubt.
come play me your sweet music
that lulls me back to sleep.
the only thing that calms me,
your lullaby to keep.

poem #17

kintsugi

now, i anticipate the melancholy.

when it fell apart
every bit of it broke.
i realised i was trying
so hard to hold shards
together.
as i held on 
desperately,
i started to forget 
the shape
it used to be.

my arms ached
but i held on.
how could i do 
what i needed to
whilst trying to maintain
structural integrity.

and then i let go.
every piece came apart
and fell to the floor.
as i let them drop
i could hear the sounds
of several shatters
hitting the ground.

it was over...

or so i believed.

i returned to the fragments,
strewn across the room,
and considered them.
each piece unique.
point to one,
i'll tell you a story.

i laughed.
i cried.

i started dreaming.
what could i build?
i found a pot of gold
and got to work.

it might not hold
(i hope it doesn't)
i may decide to change,
what i decide right now.