objective

you never sought me
but to redirect the image
reflected in my eyes

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parting remark

and now that you’ve taken
all I that gave
will the source matter
past that dark mark
from which you parted
fuller than
when you started
starved still
and unseeing
until I breathed you
into being again

if one day

And if one day, had we time
and cause enough
to meet and sit again
On such a day, the sun
would hang bloated,
steaming heat in a humid haze
so that moving, touching
would be unthinkable
There would be crows’ cawing,
pecking at the silence,
water flowing to fill time,
and trees huddling
to hide us from view
Perhaps we’d have snacks
to share or strew, or smokes,
to keep our hands busy
We’d turn off our phones
to keep us devout
And turn our eyes
to the garbage cast about –
a lone shoe – an empty bottle,
seeking something safe
to broach and spare us
choking on unprepared thoughts,
and over-rehearsed phrases
We might chatter about the weather, or that last episode,
too emphatically,
relieved to agree
or of someone
neither of us has seen since
There would be a breeze
to lift our scent
and bridge that gap
our gaze will not dare span
And it would settle on our skin
like the sunlight steeping
through the leaves, teasing
of what we lost along the way


Seems I’ve made it to No. 45 of Feedspot’s top 75 poetry blogs. I’m not sure what their criteria are, there are a few really good poetry blogs on that list worth checking out.

lost poem

This poem got lost
amongst your contours
and the careless wink of your eye
It fell into a daze
and sat dumbly curled
in the corner of your smile
long before it could grip
onto the grain of the page
and make images stain
like truths

This poem is just words
gesticulating wildly
snapping into line
when it wished to be gestures
dancing in your margins
dervishly spinning spirals
boring into your core

This poem is a shivering quiver
of doodles to dispel
the fear I’ve yet again
misconstrued
the space around you
to make it mean more
than the emptiness it frames

Originally posted on jotnrot on May 30, 2017

my station

I am sitting outside the train station in Amsterdam, checking my connection. A distraught woman talking in Dutch (I presume) ushers a girl about 8 years old toward me. I pretend not to understand to buy time to process the request (because through experience, empathy and the near panic in her eyes combined I have understood that she needs a stranger to look after her daughter for five minutes). She confirms it in broken English. The girl shifts her back pack and sits at the table in front of me. I try to recall the moment I must have said “OK”, as the woman disappears into a dense galaxy of people, lights and cars. Two worries bump and grind my thoughts to a halt. What if she gets hit by a car? What if she doesn’t come back? Though really they’re the same. A snuffed-out candlewick of a young man wisps toward me and I smell sour soot. He too says something I pretend to not understand, because there is no way I’m going to let anyone take my focus away from the girl, no matter how calm, content and unphased she looks. I’m a dog ready to bite to protect my guard. The man asks for change again, in English. (Does everyone in this damned city speak English?). I tell him I have no euros (because I have just weighed his need against the risk of losing sight of the girl while fumbling through my wallet for the 60 cents I have left and passed judgement). He pauses as if to decide whether to argue his case, but his need seems to fall short of the effort required. He shrugs and walks off with his black dog shadowing him. The girl turns back and smiles at me but I have just spotted her mother running back, so my smile back is more relief than reassurance. The girl follows my gaze and rises to take her mother’s hand. They both stand there a moment waving and saying thank you and good-bye. But the man’s sooty scent still lingers like a trailing siren. All is not well.

new green

the leaves sway
new green
marking seasons
since I’ve seen
your smile
unmediated
I’ve stopped waiting
for days
to bring change

yet nothing is
as it was
those songs no longer
play for us
all our secrets
have been bared
with no chance to stare
at their colors
or feel their shape
upon our skin
left blistered
in the wind

slow fade

I would tell you
of the flavours
my tongue
longs to savour
if it could pave the way for
a change of heart

but let’s not start all that again

seems I’m still stealing time
finding ways
to make you mind
these thoughts I force
into rhymes
to impress you

so we’ll send sorries
and smilies
until we tire
of overstating
to cover us from
facing our desires
dissipating
like anger
in the absence of fault

Let’s bring a halt
to waiting
for time to heal
or more likely, reveal
denial eviscerating
our hearts

acquiescence

Under the cover of winter
our desires lingered
growing ragged and wild
sprouting from the edges
of our untended lies
We pulled at the knots
combed and untangled
the matted masses
drew lines with excuses
parted them with reasons
explained into rows
divided to be conquered
into shapes we could wear
in this new season
With our heads held high
each strand reassigned
they pull our brow
into a semblance of peace
resigned and drawn
as we face our dawns
bridled to dignity

pause

I promise all I believe
in the light grown bright
but doubts grow
and intent bends
with the shadows
of the day’s end

I’m too tense to meet
the beats on the street
much too indiscreet
for senses grown shy
of a light so revealing
of time gone by

let the past lie
with the lies
we tell as stories
to entertain
the chance
to dance again
like it matters
what comes
after this rain

I will stand
as tall as it takes
to keep you
within sight
though you’re only 

a break
in the rhythm
a pause with a cause
for concern
that can only be discerned
when forgiven
the terse words
cutting to unearth
our shared aversion
to what must surely end

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