The Silence Along My Spine


It is a dream I do not remember
But remember all the same
Like those faces I desire
Without knowing their name
As if in the grand scheme of things
Wherein a million stories unfold
I am just a chapter
Of a young man who grew old

These oceans which are open
These skies which are blind
These forests which aren’t silent
These mountains sans a mind
Are mine to behold and break
To bind and to find
For the similes to be kept never similar
And metaphors ever one of a kind

You can call my claims childish
Or let my words make you weep
When you see the vacuum in my voice
Hover upon my lower lip
Where the broken wind balances
Those desires and despair
And life in its likeliest form
Is heartbeat at the end of a hair

If only I could myself see and show
What I have lost in my pursuit to know
The allegories of living
Without wanting to grow
Alas, I have my own
Reason to bear the blame:
For to the man who shall leave no footprints
The dust is all the same

Fault of the Flower

Would it pain
She asks
Knowing all too well that it would
But I said No
As if saying thus shall make it so
And watched
Drifting in the lap of the night
Horror’s hand take hold
And smother
The last filaments
Those final particles
Ruminated remnants
Hers and my own
Settle on the dying petals
Of the flower we painted
But forgot to plant
If only we had not been
Part myopic, part colourblind
There would have been gardens to tend
New flowers to sow
Some fragrance to find

Filaments

Have you been silent for so long
That you wondered if you belong
With the people
Who left
Listening to all that could be heard
Whilst wondering about each word
As if the carcass of it’s meaning
Will somehow survive
Those ages spent playing dead
Trying to stay alive

Nothing to Dream

Image by Atlas Green @unsplash

If I could be free
From the echoes of other people
And be something more than
A traffic light thought
Winking in the dim halls of their tragic mind
I would prefer being a butterfly
Frozen in ice
That way
My beauty though long lost; euthanised,
Will live still
In regret
That beautiful cancer
Common to all men
Drooling on sad lips of time
Like honey gone bad;
A tasteless parable for
Once a good man now gone mad
From the cold touch of metal people that I meet
With their eyes upon my river back, my other face and feet
With yellow leaves gathering
In a dry rage to drown
My steps towards the hilltop
Within the noise of a dead town
Asking me to surrender
Asking me to still
For being born amidst wrong angels
To die right under heel

On nights like paraffin
When shadows too burn
I curl into concrete
And cease to ache
To be deeply awake
Of all the things I am not
As sought by those carvers
Shaping my form into chess pieces,
Dull black and off white;
A crooked king, a broken queen and two quixotic knights
To be kept alive and conquered
Or cast into the unheard
Age of borrowed sentiment
A proud brick in a ruinous monument
Should I now pray
To whetstones
Wet with sweat wounds of men
Pierced alive
With the worms of their own wisdom
Or within the confines of my
Diluted divinity
Fall prey
To the sinful delight
Of being right
And fall asleep
With this winter as witness
And awake when the dying dream
Is truly dead
And the sound of turning wheels
No longer praise
Destinations remembered along forgotten ways…

Some Lotus Are All Roses

I have spent half my life
Looking how I was wanted to be seen
Powdered to the tip of my nose
Accurately thin
With anklets on my feet
That laughed alone in night
And a locket round my neck
Buried out of sight
I had flowers on my frocks
When I was a lotus bud soft pink
And roses in my hair locks
When I was allowed to think
As if my beauty was just a face
Without a wish or voice
As if being born the way I was
Had something to do with choice
If only I could have told them then
The thoughts I had in my mind
Of my mantelpiece existence
Of being beautiful but kept blind
Alone as my own mirror
Echoing solitude
Days spent dressed for the world to wonder
And nights being ashamed to be nude

In The Heart Of What We Know

The Sea reminds me
Of falling in love
With a shadow
Of a Dove
Who, having slept in flight
At the stroke of midnight
Awoke falling for
Dewdrops of sunlight

But the Sea is sadness
And her roots are all songs
Left by sailors
Too eager to sail
Alone into oblivion
In a hope to live a tale
Written by some abandoned watchtower
Laughing beside the dock

And the Dove, crystalline in her virgin whiteness
Covets the Shore;
With his silence a song
Played by the sand
Unaware that only the lost
Will be found
In the seed of his sound

Thus they remain knitted
The Dove, Sea and Shore
In search of another
Forevermore
So blind in their yearning
Of the love they cannot find
That none waits to see
The one left behind

Remains of the Rain

Image by Mehrsad Rajabi@unsplash


I saw my children standing in the rain
Their faces lined with age and late reason
Watched the abandoned bicycles
And broken seesaws
Being pulled down by the weight of raindrops
Their hands, long and thin, like dead seaweed in the summer wind
Their legs green and gold, like new leaves suddenly old
Seemed painted
In the moist color of quiet
The abandoned delight
Having dissolved
In the lament of the rain
They turn; the motion a sad song
An unfinished lullaby
To look at me with eyes
Half awake but never asleep
As if I with my window earned wisdom
Would know
Why all things grow
Only to die
If life in the very virtue of living
Is a lie
But they know the answer
As well as me
It is better to forget than to believe what we see
In the everyday aftermath
Of the daily demise
Of choices left to chances
And promises made before goodbyes
For in the end all paths
Shall return where they began
Even the oceans with all their eternity
Are but remains of the rain…

Sleepwalker

All I can think about is dust and dusk
And drowning in a shattered sea
Made of glass
Like a photograph of a falling man
Who is never truly falling
But eternally trapped
With a suspended scream
In an endless dream
Like a dreamless wraith;
Weightless and wordless
As an orphan in death

But sometimes the night is too strong for me to sleep
And the dreams I have are too dark for me to keep
So I become a cobweb on the far wall
Or a three pin plug lost in a socket
Some crumpled paper on the floor
Or a faded face in an old heart shaped locket
A catharsis of cause
Building prisons to be free
An empty ship sailing
An emptier sea

Where there is fog in the air
And yet I stare
Like a blind man blinking
Without thinking at the sky
Wondering in my own vacuum
About the mute purpose of ‘Why’
With voices at the edge of my vision
And footsteps at the back of my mind
I am dreaming of being asleep
And afraid of losing what I cannot find

Thus, in this black and white world
In this sharp and smooth world
In this loud and quiet world
In this bitter and sweet world
In this dull and fragrant world
I shall remain awake
Till a different tomorrow

Incandescent

I was born out of the blue
Like a star without a face
And shall one day be falling too
As dust without a trace
In hope that when I am gone
Those very few whom I knew
Kept something of the light
With which their wish came true…

The Painted Panther

She was a painted panther
Black skin and velvet dye
Her eyes had all the answers
But her lips knew when to lie
Her home was a silver wasteland
A piece of moon was her throne at night
She spoke only in shadows
And heard only the sound of light
Her shape was god and movement
And her name was without a face
People worshipped her from far
Like a pilgrim without a place
And before long we all will be dreaming
Her dreams on the final bed
Where all eyes turn inward ever after
And no more any word is said
Because she was a painted panther
Black skin and velvet dye
Her eyes had all the answers
But her lips knew when to lie