oppresence

In your presence
I cannot write
I cannot read
I cannot dream
I cannot wonder
I your presence I count
hours and days
that won’t count
but will account
for the waste I leave behind
In your presence
I count the beats
that will never repeat
yet will ever be the same
I your presence I take all
and offer but remarks
of what falls
short of its mark
yet not far enough
to be ignored
In your presence
I long to lay on the ground
and let the rain
wash my remains away
leaving my soul
to seep into the ground

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under cover

that lie that used to slip
off my shoulders each night
threatening to leave me
naked at your side
fits better since
I no longer stand so proud
and stay close to the ground
more common to your kind
it keeps us warm
when the sun goes down
and the wind sneaks up
on our weathered hearts
still I don’t dare declare peace
lest we ease off into sleep
and dream of what
we cannot keep
without these lies
weaved to lift
our heads towards the sky
and shroud our gaze
from the grave we’ve made
of this bed where we lay
at the end of each day
spent picking loose threads apart

on any day

I marvel at contrasts
lull over dirt
admire the patterns
left by rust
I clear the clutter
focus on points
feast on colour
connect the dots
I look behind
savour the best
then look ahead
to face the worst

And all the countless
in betweens
I try to fill
with endless reams
of lists of things
that I should do
All to stopper
thoughts of you

because

when I saw you
words bubbled
to the surface
reflecting universes
of all that never was
and would never be

a modest supposition

We
who cherish
the hope of finding
that rare hidden gem
often redefine
the common or vulgar
as special
to make our effort
to grab its attention
worthwhile 

Perhaps we
are the gems
that long to be found
worthy of attention
amongst all
the tinsel and noise

maybe then

perhaps when the last item of clothing
worn in your presence
is threadbare and forgotten 

when I’ve changed job
and the walls that contain me 

when my daily route
filled with the thought
of seeing you at one end
is definitively altered

when I’ve moved
the orientation of my bed
and the pillow that absorbed
those dreams
so the morning beams from a different angle 

when I’m emptied of words to describe all the spaces you left behind 

when I no longer recognize
my face or the place I stand in
or do any of those things
I did with a heart full of you 

perhaps then
I will have moved on

back seat

I wanted to create
but I cleaned and arranged
and sat and listened instead
It’s less important
than others’ needs
when all is but in my head
Their words rang loud
and clear as signs
of a rail crossing up ahead
And what could I say
that could count in the swell
of a train speeding on its way
I’m a humbler fumbler
still trailing in the smoke left behind
An outlying liar sitting silent
lest I not count for much in the end
I’ve tried to sing and speak words
and spur others to take a chance
Leave what’s best for what’s true
─║eave what’s safe for what’s right
but I convinced no one

do not print these on your t-shirt

when all your firsts
have been coerced,
nostalgia is more bitter than sweet

sooner or later
all unrewarded behaviour
however good, will cease

if all endings
were new beginnings
no one would mourn them much

still I make the best
of the next best thing
though it never mesures up

perseverance is praised
only when it pays off
else it’s harassment or waste

now all I want
is to be surprised
but in a really good way

fine words

Those were perfectly fine
last words chosen to define
the space between
where we were
and are
and won’t be
But there were words
I swirled in my head
and rolled in my throat
never reaching my tongue
to pass from my lips to yours
words swallowed back to emerge
from my fingers
imprinting stains on my heart
on their way to a page
that remains as indifferent
to them as you

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