Dark clouds are gathering behind my eyes,
inside my head an imperfect storm is brewing.
Black waves of thoughts froth and swell
then surge and crash
against my resolve.
A resolve that is a castle,
a castle built of sand.
Whose smooth walls have
withstood many storms and
although some of its parapets
crumble today the rest stands firm.
Once the storm passes I
lower my drawbridge, then
as for the rock pools of doubt
left behind, I tread carefully
round them.Wary of what
they might conceal.
Yesterday I forgot
that I only needed to stretch
and the stars would
have been easily
within my grasp.
Instead I scrabbled for
dirt, that quickly
slipped through my fingers.
Today I have promised myself
that I will stretch
and pull the stars down.
And even if they burn
I won’t stop until I
hold the planets in
my hands as well.
This is the poem that refused to stay dead
it clawed its way out of my head.
The words struggled and scrambled for the light,
pressed together in a shambolic incoherent half-life.
A poem eager to escape the shallow grave of my brain
a rhyme I thought I’d buried and would never see again.
This is the poem that came back from the dead
that has no heart or spirit left.
Verses that have no right to exist
an unliving, unloved family of misfits.
Constantly struggling just too even breathe
yet unwilling to die despite being so ill-conceived.
This is the poem that should have stayed dead
it shouldn’t live, it should be six feet under instead.
With no obituary pinned to a church noticeboard
no wreathes of roses and no time and place to mourn.
It will be buried tonight in another dark corner of my mind
and I hope that this poem will now quietly lay down and die.
And you know as sure as hell that your
black dog ain’t gonna let you be.
Howling outside your window
scratching at the door
impatient to be let in.
That hound can smell fear,
it’s drawn to it.
So let it in, let it come close,
then slap the lead on it.
If that black dog’s gonna follow me
the least it can do, is learn to
walk to heel.
Sometimes the world thinks you’re made of steel, when really it’s just clay
and you chip and crack a little more and more each day.
You’ve kept a lot of secrets but never kept a single promise,
as it’s easy to lie to everyone when to yourself you’re never honest.
You dragged yourself through last week and now it’s starting all over again,
It’s another Monday and you wake to your alarm’s incessant cry of pain.
You vaguely recall another weekend that flew by much too fast,
So you force yourself out of bed when your brain is begging you to crash.
Stumbling around your flat in the gloom and cold,
Your body complaining of aches and pains, you feel prematurely old.
Slumped in your untidy kitchen you eat your toast alone,
As you summon up the will to get up and leave your home.
Setting off to the bus dragging your feet,
Kicking at the dead leaves clogging the street.
The wind is like an icy fist punching you in the face,
You feel like a conscientious objector to the human race.
Hoping if you make it to the end of the week they’ll be a solution
Then maybe, just maybe to your problems they’ll be some resolution.
But buried deep within you is the thought that this isn’t true,
This will yet again be just another week of surviving as you.
And the only real goal for which you feel you should strive,
Is trying to make it to the end of another week alive.
When I finally worked up the courage
to take the plunge and ask you out,
I felt as lost as a diver
plummeting to the bottom of the inky sea.
Buffeted by currents
I panicked about what I’d fallen in to.
Until you pulled my helpless body
to the surface where
I floundered gasping for oxygen
as you pounded on my chest and
started my heart beating again.
Lit only by Indistinct pricks of bobbing light
the Styx like water whispers of a dark crossing to come.
I board the ferry like a spirit
gliding through its many bars, where
bonhomie orders just one more nightcap until
it slips down it’s chair into sleep,
mumbling to itself face down on a table.
I too want to be cast adrift intro slumber but
with each dip and fall of the boat
I feel like I am alone and flailing
in troubled waters.
Like a solitary sailor or channel swimmer
I’m valiantly pushing forward forcing
a tired body to execute stroke after stroke,
leaving me breathless but
knowing that this ceaseless labour
is bringing me closer to you my love.
The sea has tried its hardest
to wash this beach clean,
countless times over countless years.
Yet no matter how many waves
hit this shore or
how many times the tide
advances and retreats,
there are memories here
that cannot be washed away.
For when heroes’ blood is spilled
their sacrifice becomes
engrained like DNA
into the very cliff face rocks
and every single grain of sand.
So the memories here
could never be washed away,
no matter how long and hard
the persistent ocean tries.
Some days I feel like a neurotic pigeon,
pecking out a meagre existence,
surviving on my dumb luck alone
in a world full of cats.
I constantly walk on eggshells,
while all around me the
sleek fat chic pad confidently by,
their lips curled in sneers or snarls.
I’m an endangered species
with no defence except
my novelty value.
Which is no real protection for a neurotic pigeon
whose dumb luck could run out at any time,
constantly scrabbling to exist
in a world full of cats.
A pigeon who realises that his problem is
he’s that bloody stupid he’s forgotten he’s got wings.