Monday, 30 September 2013


I want to dive in this cold water
At the bottom of this glass will I find some peace?
Away from the heckles of the idiotic
And the ignorant
Who need to open their eyes and maybe learn how to live
Step out and feel that breeze through their hair
Maybe take some risks, realise
It's fine to take a few seconds to not care
If you step off the line, you can step right on back
You don't always need a street map
To walk along the track

It's fine, take five
Learn to read the signs
If I wanted to share the intimate moments of my day
I'd hire a screen on Times Square for everyone to see
Maybe post a poll online, seven choices, make the ratings game
Why bother me with the minutiae when my replies
Are one word, a death glare
Leave me to myself for a few
Better yet, put the meatloaf in the oven, shut the fuck up
And stop being a slave to indecision
Your second guesses are crippling anything in your head
That even resembles intuition 

Take the hint
I want to live inside my head tonight
Take the hint
I'm trying not to bite
Please back off with the questions
Step aside

I just want to dive...

Friday, 20 September 2013

Lingering Regret

This last moment of consciousness
Before I surrender to the dark
Those last flickers like blurred photographs
Caught in sidelong glances
As held breaths and prolonged choruses
Of drunken singing chase me into my dreams
But, oh,
The red tinged morning, a mouth full of gravel
Black coffee and a vague memory
Of sharp edges caught in street lights

And then, with the knock at the door,

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Not quite the happy ending promised

If I called your name in my moment of need
Would you come, would you release me
From this purgatory where I flutter like a caged bird
All for the sake of a smile, for the sake of a word

This penny I throw into the wishing well
I close my eyes as I pray to God to save me from this hell
And the image of so many angels lining up to take their piece of me
As the laughing devils split the sky and nail me to a tree

I call for salvation
Repent my sins
As I count my losses
You notch up the wins

No thorny crown for you, no submission in a shirt made of hair
As I stand on the precipice, thirty floor over the street, do I accept your dare?
Will you catch me in my free fall as I surrender to gravity
Or will I just be a mark on the pavement and a space in the obituaries?

I call for forgiveness
Wash my hands of my sins
Lost count of my losses
But account for your wins

Around you gather your disciples, thirteen faces at the feast
As I starve out here in the wilderness, a petty morsel for the beasts
If I called out your name to save me now, release me from my pain
Would you answer my call, catch me as I fall... or is it all in vain?

Do you even know me at all...?

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

...only love

Love... only love...

Pre-dawn grey, shadows peel from the corner of the room
Where we lay deep in slumber
Outside, winter calls, a voice heavy with sadness
Punctuated by rolls of thunder

Your hair spills in silky rivers over your pillowcase
As you roll over, caught in this dream
I could stare forever at the imperfect symmetry of your smile
As the world around me comes apart at its seams

It's love... only love...

Sure, the stone is semi-precious, the gold ring plated only
But the circle never ends, love
That's how we want this love to be

Outside, soft rain is falling, gently tapping on our windowpanes
We can watch the clouds chase across the sky
A stretch of silver for eternity

This is love... only love...

3.37 am
The bedside clock, in red lights
Counts out the minutes I am not sleeping
Entranced by this angel in my sights

While my eyelids drag and threaten to close
I fight the need for sleep
It's one thing to have you in the waking world
But so different in the world of dreams

Oh... this love...

Sunrise, sunshine
Eventually you will open your eyes
I want to be the first person you see
I want you to smile at me...

My love...


The battle joined for your attention
Throwing dice, to make a connection
Loudest voices will entreat
And those softly spoken, soon retreat

Once tasted, love, is bitter sweet
As at an altar we fall at your feet
The sun and moon pale, entranced
Bitter is the ashes of doomed romance

I believe in love but
Love doesn't believe in me

I once had a song to sing
But the silence has taken me

All I can do is stand back and dream
Hoping to find that flawless seam
The promise of forever, at my outstretched hand
Torn asunder, I can barely stand


I believed in love but
Love doesn't believe in me

I once had words to say
But someone stole them from me

Too often given, way too soon
You are the sun, and I am the moon
I can only glow at your behest
And hope next time to pass the test...

"...the poet, his words a blunt sword, have his precious art ignored... to die so many agonising deaths...
...until he has buried any and all regrets..."

Monday, 16 September 2013

Don't deny me

Sweet sugar
So fine on my lips
How I yearn for your touch
Skin soft on warm fingertips

Oh, please
Don't deny me this

Tell me now
How much you want what I want
How can we resist this temptation
When temptation is all that we've got?

Oh, please
Don't deny me this
It is all that I crave
Grant this, my dying wish

Help me out
Save me from the darkness inside
From a world burning in pain
Where the blind lead the blind

Oh, please
Don't deny me this

Let me soothe
These words you so long to hear
Let me slide by with these honeyed lies
While the truth will just disappear

Don't deny me this.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Will you be there for me?

If I find myself flailing
These useless things I never said
Would you throw me a lifesaver
Before I am in over my head?
And if two wrongs don't make a right
After all is said and done,
Would you be the rock of sanity
Can you make me bite my tongue?

Sometimes silence is golden
If for the beating of my heart
Nature's song and the soft sigh of the ocean
Will you be there for me?

And in a day's tired reflection
Tossed upon the wild seas
If you find me wretched and ruined
Could you give me what I need?

Some days, it is easier, I know, to turn the other way, and run
Instead of racing to the glory of the morning,
It's easier to chase to setting sun

Like the drowning man clutching at the teasing straws
As if that is all life has to give
It takes a real man to surrender to his conscience
When it is only himself he has to forgive

And sometimes silence is golden
If not for the beating of my heart
Nature's song and the soft sigh of the ocean
Will you be there for me?

Monday, 9 September 2013

Tightrope Walking

I can't be fucked
With your catalogue of woes
When you don't stop to listen
When I want to talk to you
And plunge on, with your battering ram of despair
For items beyond your grasp
And frankly, beyond my care.

What is the point of tightrope walking
When you're afraid of falling off?
Or lighting the fuse when you're afraid
The explosion might wake the neighbourhood?

What use is it to bemoan and fidget, that which is beyond your means...
In this, the present, this speck of time
Why not seize the moment, throw a dart at a date
Close your eyes, take a leap of faith?

Saturday, 7 September 2013


I play guitar, well the four chords I know
Enough to make a few songs, with repetitive choruses
And dead stringed lead breaks, cacophonous noises
I sing along when I know the words, or just hum
It's music, all right, but not what you'd like to hear
My songs, if that is what they're called,
Are tinged with melancholy, casual observations
Of foot in the mouth love stories
Without happy endings
Because such things belong only in fairy tales
That end with a kiss in golden sunsets
In lands where romance is not the exception
And "happily ever after" is a fitting ending

This cheap thrill, this automation, grinding out rhymes
To the frantic beat of inspiration
Quick! Where is a pen? As idea after idea bleeds dry
My battered fingers, cut on the thin strings
I manically strum, defying the impossible
Making art, a poor mirror of reality, sure
But alive with its own promise, its own premise
A voyeuristic glimpse of my own dark shadows
As yet another muse turns to dust
Imperfect jewel, destroyed in recreation
A poor trophy left to remind us all of an
Existence too brief, as the beautiful exploding supernova
Kills the star

Here it is, the prize
In its glory, a shadow of beauty
A caught breath on a windowpane
Going, going, gone...

Each story is an epitaph to a great idea
Each song, its eulogy
And yet, into that well of ideas I am drawn
Dip my ladle, play that chord, create
I like the isolation it brings, the world with a world
Away from the noise of drudgery
And the slave driver of life
I can live the hermits life as the candle gutters
Moulding these words you now read
Passing to you, dear reader, this precious piece of my soul
Take care; it is yours now, if it pleases you
Until next time, I can rest and not lose sleep
Ah, next time, awaiting you with dread and fascination
To play again with the wonderful alchemy
That is my art.

Friday, 6 September 2013

The Harvest - 2


When his shadow fell over her, Jennifer knew who it was immediately. Her heart paused its beating momentarily as the memories of fifteen years rose and fell, like an ocean wave. She straightened the last of the cheap roses she’d bought for the grave, dusted imaginary dirt from her hands and sat herself back onto her heels to look at the man who at one point she considered to be her alpha and omega.
            Fifteen years had barely changed him, at least outwardly. On the outside he was still the same young man who quit Stillwater filled with ambition and promise, all dark hair and dark eyes and cheeky boyish charm. His was the smile of a rogue, a subtle twist of his full pouty lips. In those features there was always something eternal about him, something that time would find hard to alter, and how true that seemed now after fifteen years. Sure, there were more lines around his mouth and eyes, and a deeper shade of blackness haunting his eyes... but outwardly... outwardly, this was the youth she’d given her soul to in those long ago days of innocence.
            She was speechless, staring up at his face, haloed in dark hair which caught the final feeble rays of late summer sun. He stared back, his eyes appraising her, and she wondered, albeit briefly, what maelstrom of thoughts coursed through his mind. Was her appearance how he remembered it? Was he, like her, recalling the late teenage promises they had made, those last infantile regrets, those final acts of reconciliation?
            He knelt down beside her and her nose filled with the familiar scent of him. Only there were other scents, too. Scents of fifteen years of life outside of Stillwater. Fifteen years of a different life, of different pressures, different experiences. These scents wafted to her, too, a confusion of smells. She felt in equal measures reassured and comforted, but also giddy and unstable. Old feelings floated once again to the surface; and old memories, flotsam on the ocean of time.
            Time seemed to pass slowly, but it couldn’t have been more than half a minute since he hunkered down next to her. With his inspection of her complete, she watched his dark eyes blink, saw them shift focus to the precious tombstone before them. In the briefest passage of time, so swiftly she wondered if it happened at all, Drake blinked again, his face seeming to blanch as his eyes traced over the gold lettering on the tombstone.
            “I never thought this would bring me back,” he said.
            His voice was a hoarse whisper, sounding as if it were the first time in years since he had spoken. She noticed the dark shadow of stubble on his cheeks and chin and the way his Adam’s apple bobbed up and down now in uncontrolled spasms. He was suddenly new, yet, the same Curtis Drake she had always known.
            She watched his long-fingered hand reach out to straighten the last rose that she thought she had straightened, only it had twitched over in the latest puff of breeze to caress the world. She found her eyes drawn to the plain gold band on his finger, saw the way it winked in the fading light. His hand played with the rose. He straightened it, only to have it fall over again.
            “The stem is too short,” she said, offering the excuse without it being needed because it was abundantly obvious just what the problem was.
            Drake gave one last futile attempt to straighten up the rose before allowing it to fall on its side atop the gravestone. A sound that could have been a heavy sigh escaped from his closed lips. Before she could register anything though, he was looking away, taking in row after row of neatly ordered tombstones. He could have been just generally taking in the sight, or his eyes could have been seeking an answer... but she had no way of knowing.
            “I tried to call you,” Drake said. The hoarseness in his voice was still there. But there was something else too. Accusation? No. He wasn’t accusing her of anything. “The number you gave me...”
            “Andrew and I are separated,” Jennifer told him. The words sounded hollow, deader than the denizens of the cemetery, coming from her lips in a flat staccato. Yet more memories rose in the ocean swell of her mind.
            Drake appeared to digest the new information for a few seconds. “I’m sorry,” he said.
            “It’s ok. It was such a long time ago.”
            Like everything else... she thought.
            She watched Drake rub a hand across his chin, heard the dry rustle of his fingers over his stubble. “I never thought this would bring me back,” he repeated. “Anything but this.”
            Jennifer could only sigh, because those articulated thoughts were the ones that were paramount in her own mind. After fifteen years, to have a tragedy reunite you was something that Jennifer did not want at all. Of all the situations under which a reunion could be made, this was the very last one Jennifer would have ever dreamt. Destiny, as we all learn through the process of living, tends to have a mind of its own.
            More time passed. Seconds bled slowly into a few minutes, with neither of them speaking. Jennifer was looking now at the defeated rose, seemingly held by its soft pink lustre. A single tear etched its way over the dam of her eyelid and began its silent slide down her cheek. It was certainly not the first tear to make that particular journey in this past week; nor, Jennifer suspected, would it be the last. What made it different from those that had come before it though, was that part of her psyche that was suddenly hoping like hell that there were to be no more. At least not yet.
            Beside her, Drake shuffled and regained his feet. In his trousers and business shirt, he was somewhat incongruous to the whole Stillwater scene. Jennifer wondered absently if there was a tie to match the outfit, or at least the expensive leather shoes that she was still at a level with. Of course that line of musing only threw itself down a dead end tunnel. She didn’t actually know what it was that Drake did in the city and whether that endeavour needed a tie or not. In all honesty, she knew very little about Drake after he had left Stillwater, and was certain that Drake knew just as little about what had become of her in that time. They were strangers, sharing a moment’s silence in the elongating shadows of a summer rapidly becoming autumn.
            Drake lit a cigarette, blew a jet of smoke into the air. “Hard to believe I gave up smoking not long after I left here,” he confessed. “Old habits die hard, I guess.”
            He smiled then, that semi-roguish smile of yesteryear. His free hand shot out to her, palm upward and when she took that hand in both of hers, he gently brought her to her feet. Standing no more than a few inches apart, she felt his eyes moving over her face, perhaps reacquainting himself with features he had long forgotten.
            “I just wish I was able to get here earlier, you know. For the service, and all.”
            He spoke in a deadpan, the last word punctuated by another jet of cigarette smoke. His gaze had left her face, hovered again at the small gravestone decorated with three perfect roses and one with a short stem.
            “You don’t have to apologise, Curt,” she said. “I understand. Times change. We’re different people now.”
            “That’s no excuse, though, is it?” he said, his voice still a deadpan. “You phoned me... what—? Four days ago? And I am only here now. Today.”
            “At least you’re here... you could easily have not come at all.”
            “I really don’t think that was an option.”
            Drake’s words hung in the air for a moment. Though spoken softly, they contained within them an edge that could have been forceful. A casual bystander would have picked those words as being the throwaway retort of someone shouldering a burden of guilt. Jennifer though, could sense in that phrase a double meaning.
            He was staring at her now, his eyes locking onto hers, holding her there. His eyes were glistening now, probably on the verge of running with tears. The last time she had seen him in that state was the very last time that they saw one another. It would seem then, that their separation would be bookended with tears. Tears, and the same lingering doubts.
            “You think... it’s happening again?” she asked him.
            He didn’t answer, at least not with any words. But when the gap between them was closed by the press of their bodies, and the cold of the wind shielded from her by the warmth of Drake’s arms around her body, she knew without needing to be told that yes, it was happening again.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


Feel their eyes looking, searching, deep
Inside your soul
Your skin crawls, a thousand millions
Fingers hold you in thrall
You try to run but your legs are iron
You try to scream but your mouth is sealed
All you can do is endure, endure
And pray
That you wake up this time

This is the world beyond the closing of eyes
A land leagues beyond mere comprehension
Shifting faster than the eye can blink
Feeding forever on your apprehension
A world of darkness and shifting shapes
Where the brightest joy becomes darkest despair
This is the world where the deepest truths
Reveal themselves to be the worst nightmare

Are you awake, or part of another's dream?
Are there rips at the edges of reality's seams?
Is the sun a ball of blood sinking into an ocean of black?
If you set down this path of bones... will you make it back...


This barren, empty wasteland, under an amber sky
Dotted with pointing finger crags, yearning the reason why
Sterile breeze picks up the sounds of footfalls scraping towards the flat horizon
Which eludes and taunts and slinks away, after every hard fought mile
Suddenly the air is thick and grips your naked body crushes your lungs
There will be no screams as you recognise these shadows from your past
Parade before you clad not in flesh, but bone, a mocking, knocking cast

This is the world behind closed eyes,
Hidden from our waking view
By the drawn veil of deepest slumber
When consciousness is bid adieu
A sneak peek, perhaps, of the realm beyond?
Who are we to tell
But as one's heart beat slow, slows, then stops
It is replaced by Death's tolling bell

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Five Minutes - 4

The last two hours of that day’s schooling dragged pitifully out, so much so that when the bell signalled school’s end, the air was electric with excitement. Nathan Johnson was to be taught a lesson he would never forget.
            With school finished, David began the walk home. Usually, there were only one or two people who followed the same trek around the block as he did. With today being a Thursday, it meant that there was football training at four-thirty, and thus, a few additions to the normal could be seen fluttering about. But David wasn’t fool enough to think that all of these extra people had any personal stake in football.
            A fairly large group of kids were heading in the direction of Tyson Maloney’s grandmother’s place to ready themselves for training. It was a regular stop for Tyson, whose grandmother tolerated the friends he dragged around with him. David trailed behind this first group by a few metres, for Tyson did not hold him in high regard. He walked in the middle of the group, towering like a colossus over most of his underlings because of the enormity in age difference.
            These boys were tagging behind a very doomed Nathan Johnson. His walk was not the same confident march that had seen him into the schoolyard that morning, but rather the dawdle of a man about to be strung up in the gallows. Though David couldn’t see Nathan’s features clearly from the distance he was behind him, it was certain that by the way he aimlessly wandered that he expected something to happen. Nobody would be foolish enough to pick the bully out of the playground and expect to get away with it, would they?
            During those last two agonising hours at school, no fear touched Nathan’s face. He was jovial, calm… and, for probably the only time in his life… friendly. David had to admit that he felt a twitch of guilt in his heart watching him in those last two hours, knowing that come school’s end, Nathan was going to get hurt. As much as he wanted to alert him of what was coming, David knew to do so would imperil himself, but something Nathan portrayed in his persona told David that he knew what was coming and he thought it was no problem at all.
            So there he was, trailing with an overwhelming sense of guilt some metres behind Tyson and his thugs, who were trailing behind Nathan at a similar distance until they came to the vacant lot that had once been a park. It was here that Tyson made his first move; he ordered his hyenas, Vinnie and Damien to “grab the little motherfucker and hold him down so that I can administer some punishment.”
            Always happy to serve Tyson as if he was a King rather than an over-aged primary school bully, they quickly tossed aside their school bags and made for Nathan. Vincent was first to attack. He grabbed Nathan’s left arm, and was about to wrench it around his back when the most amazing thing happened. Nathan spun around quickly, and while he was spinning, he pushed out with his right hand, which he had formed into a tight fist. There was a loud squishy explosion as Nathan’s fist connected with Vinnie’s nose. Vinnie, with a squawk of surprise, staggered back with his nose spouting blood.
            All of this happened before Damien knew about it, and he unknowingly grasped Nathan in an attempt to put him in a headlock. Nathan dispatched Damien as swiftly and brutally as he did Vinnie, but instead of a fist to Damien’s nose, Nathan delivered one to his nuts. With an immense howl of pain, Damien was lying on the ground gasping for air.
            By this time, David had caught up with Tyson’s group, and could see Vinnie vainly trying to stem the flow of blood with his hands while Damien lay on the ground holding his nuts, sobbing. A secret smile spread across David’s lips at their misfortune, for never before had they been given a whopping as severely as what Nathan had given them. He now stood his ground, hands by his side, his cold blue eyes firmly fixed on Tyson.
            “This fight is between you and me,” he said, his voice clear, carrying well in the vacant lot. There was no sign of exertion—he had dispatched Vinnie and Damien with a minimal amount of effort, for you didn’t have to possess too much grey matter to know that neither of them were prize fighters. He continued: “If you haven’t the guts to fight me, Tyson, then go away. I haven’t got the time to waste on shitty fisticuffs with half of this fucking town.”
            Though Nathan’s face was too far away for David to see, he could clearly see Tyson’s; a mixture of surprise and anguish. Never before had he seen a two on one situation reversed, with the one coming out on top. Tyson was neither intimidated by Nathan’s speed, nor by the aura of calm that surrounded that kid. He let his back pack slide off his right shoulder effortlessly, cracked his knuckles and proceeded to walk towards Nathan with a large retinue of curious kids, David included, in tow.
            Nathan’s mistake was that he waited for Tyson to attack. Tyson, a veteran of the one-on-one scene, circled around and around his opponent, his eyes darting back and forth, scouring his opponent with the scrutiny of a scientist inspecting a microbe. Only when his scrutiny was complete did he move; and fast! For a boy of his size, Tyson moved swiftly, and because of his size, Nathan, despite all of his courage, was forced to back away, and he did just that. He took a step back, then another, and before he could stop himself, he stepped back again…
            …into a hole in the ground. Without having to physically knock him down, Tyson had Nathan on the ground, and when he had someone on the ground, Tyson had him. With his considerable weight, he grabbed Nathan in the headlock Damien had failed to put him in, and rained blow after blow into his unprotected face until blood poured from his smashed lips and his nose.
            “No motherfucker calls me dad a jailbird,” he said after one final blow. “Especially a motherfucker like you.”
            When he got to his feet, the front of his shirt was stained crimson with Nathan’s blood. Disgusted, he tore the shirt off, exposing a full accompaniment of chest hair that played the vital difference between him and his cronies. Having won the battle, Tyson walked off, but not before Vinnie and Damien each kicked Nathan a good one in the guts, trailing after their King feeling a little embarrassed for their misadventure.
            The tribe of kids followed in Tyson’s wake down the street; except for David, who for reasons unknown found himself helping Nathan into a sitting position. Nathan stared blandly up at him, the coldness still in his eyes, though they were barely able to remain open.
            “Take my hanky,” David said, offering a neatly folded piece of checkered rag. “Boy, did he make a mess out of you.”
            Nathan swatted at the blood that was coming out of his nose. “I’m gonna get that bastard,” he whispered more to himself than to anyone else. “Mark my words,” he said, before getting groggily to his feet, and without as much as a sideways glance in David’s direction, ambled down the street towards his home.