The Bells of Saint Mark’s

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And I heard the bells of Saint Mark’s

Their plaintive cry counting the distance

Like crows on the wind

That stretched between us

Each solemn tone a landmark

On the horizon that I could never reach

Each echoed silence a hollow

Where all your words lie naked bruised

I hear that the winter bites hard where you are

Its vampiric grin suckling the life

From the earth and the sky

And you

Yet here beneath a sun that grills the soil

Parches, carves wrinkles into skin

Marks the places where you once were

I feel only the cold

The door you left ajar deep

Inside my soul

And I shiver at the loss or at the knowing

That the shape you left

Will never fill

With sound or warmth or hope

And I stand in the shadowed frame

Of the window

Which reaches out like an old man

Dying in the night

In the moment that he realises

The loneliness that has always been

His companion in the dark

And the light

And across the town across the plane

Still rings the sound

Of the bells

Of Saint Mark’s.

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

 

To Your Heart

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I sent a message to your heart
That only reached your head
A string of words which hung on silk
Around my neck like lead
I wrote a tune, a melody
And hummed it in your ear
The open heartbeat spaces there
The sounds you couldn’t hear
I smiled a smile behind my eye
To bridge the gap between
And grew a rainbow in the sky
If only you had seen
I sent a message to your heart
That only reached your head
And only questioned with my tears
The words you never said.

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

Lies We Weave

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The lies we weave
Hang from the ceilings
Of the rooms
We dreamed up once
Upon a time
In nighttimes held in
Hands so large and warm
We never had to breathe,
They hold us there
Afraid to move or break
The cord that winds its
Silken thread
About our limbs
Until the will to step from corners
Dies and lies in silence
A shell bereft of care,
And still we spin
Draw in those who fly
Too close or
Cannot feel the risk
We show so plain
To believe the lies we say
As if they were anything but
The web we sleep within.

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

The Screen that Hums

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With the TV on
And no-one home
Does it matter that
We’re all alone
With the dramas and
The lives of those
We’d wish to be or
Are glad we aren’t
To dip in and out
Of colours loud
Where death rings tears
And heroes bleed
But we’ll see them all
Again next time
In costumes grand
Or just like those
That reflect our lot
In kitchens where
Machines that feed us
Ping lap-top sustenance
Remind us of the
Lives that we could lead
Behind the screen
That hums and moves
In steps more constant
Than our own or those
That move our hearts to bleed
Or cry out in our heads
For the credits to roll
Once more.

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

Return to Dust

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It’s a slow parade

That passes through this town,

Faces hung so low

On every one a frown,

It’s a darker night

Than those we knew before

Still wind still so cold

No breath behind the door.

 

Can’t write the future

Won’t even try,

Can’t change the past

Was born to this,

Came here staring up

Towards the sky,

Soon found my feet

Forgot the kiss.

 

Learned how to wander

Far from the place,

It all began

And how I lost,

My sense of time

My sense of space,

And felt my fire

Turn to frost.

 

Grew so soft inside

A thicker skin,

My wisdom died

Upon the bough,

And those who came

Would not come in,

My amber heart

It kept them out.

 

It’s a slow parade

That passes through this town,

Faces hung so low

On every one a frown,

It’s a darker night

Than those we knew before

Still wind still so cold

No breath behind the door.

 

Can’t write the future

Won’t even try,

Can’t change the past

Was born to this,

Came here staring up

Towards the sky,

Soon found my feet

Forgot the kiss.

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

 

The Closeness of Circles

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How long did it take –

A day, a week, a month –

To realise

The width of a circle

And all that moves within

Touching always from a distance

Too safe, too sanitised

Too little revealed through

A door ajar

A netted window

Flickering – half a picture

Brush strokes on a hidden canvas

And all that falls from sight

The things that we

Are told we need

The things that we

Can do without

And the music that still plays

Sings so loud and brings

The circle closer still.

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

 

Passing Cars

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All this will end

And you’ll forget me,

Not what I’d hoped

But how it will be,

All this will go

Like clouds in Summer

What once was real

Now just a number.

 

Spent half our lives

In passing cars

Our faces pressed

Against the glass

Down long dark roads

In search of light

 

Parade ourselves

In colours bold

Or shades of grey

The mirror’s call

A brief sojourn

Along the way

 

All this will end

And you’ll forget me,

Not what I’d hoped

But how it will be,

All this will go

Like clouds in Summer

What once was real

Now just a number.

 

Aim for the crash

That shakes us free

A roadside fall

Into the arms

Of someone else

We pray will see

The road like us

 

And some we’ll leave

Along the way

And some will burn

Like dying stars

And some we’ll wish

Had stayed awhile

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

 

Lead You Home

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And the octopus-arm streets

Lead me here

And lead me there

But never take me far

From this town

Whose sea-serpent limbs wrap

Themselves about ankles

Both delicate and firm

Their resolve never broken

Never blessed by the birds

Who swoop the deep

And trail their angel-feather wings

Across the water

Across the lives

Kissing the gentle waves

As they lap the shore

Like the ghost-friend visit

Of dreams

Now remembered

Now lost

And on the horizon

Ever distant

Receding like the thawing summer floes

Forgotten swallows swirl

Singing softly to ears that

Will never hear

Never feel their warmth again

Drawn ever back

Through lattice-laced skies

The tentacled paths that burn

But only in the light

And lead you home at night

At night

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

 

In Histories

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Fires now are all burned through

And hollow windows stared

Memories kept close to you

In priest-holes never shared,

Hands that cut your ragged stone

To hold the world at bay

Marked by time’s cold blood and moans

Feted Lords have their day,

Cast upon the bloodied land

Proclaim the rise of one

Beneath the foot, beneath the hand

Dynasties now gone,

And winter has the final word

In histories we fall

Ruins carved beneath the sword

In time repeated all.

 

 

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2000-2020

The Poets Symphony AVAILABLE NOW

Delighted to be able to announce the release (and to be a contributor to) The Poets Symphony.
Read on
!

Raw Earth Ink

Raw Earth Ink proud to present (and super excited about):

The Poets Symphony

An anthology composed by thirty-one artists and poets. Inside you’ll find poems, lyrics, melodies, photography, paintings, digital art and more all inspired by MUSIC.

I couldn’t be happier with this book. It’s gorgeous on the outside but it’s the inside bits that are the best. This has truly been my pleasure to work with all of these fine creators.

I encourage you to check out the Published Authors page on the blog to find out more about any of them.

Recognize some of those names? You might, because many came from WordPress with even more from Instagram.

You can find the paperback at lulu (recommended), Barnes & Noble, or Amazon. Lulu has been shipping out books in about a week (or less) while Amazon is taking over a month to ship out book orders.

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