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We’ll build a monument to who we are,

Pack all we own and board a fast car,

We’ll leave our mark in tracks upon the road,

And throw away the things that we were told.

We’ll build our legacy in glass and stone,

And swear to silent gods we call it home,

But never turn and never look behind,

At promises we made to be that kind.

And were the castles that we built on sand?

The dreams we took meant for another’s hands?

As effigies grow taller by the day,

And all we see behind our eyes grows grey.

The mirrors steal the souls we never had,

And our capacity for good turns bad,

But still we build and sow and sow and build,

And empty hearts we hold are never filled.

Distorted truths the way we kill the time,

To make the scenes we paint all fit the rhyme,

And as we kneel before our saviour’s face,

We give ourselves one final loving grace.

And still we build our monuments so high,

A sign to all that we will never die,

We’ll leave our mark in tracks upon the sand,

But turn our eyes from actions of dead hand.


© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018



A Ghost to Haunt


I am the name you never said,

The one who slips from bed to bed,

The favoured book you never read,

A constant doubt within your head.

I am the cross upon your door,

The creeping root beneath the floor,

The tortured dress you never wore,

An icy vein that will not thaw.

I am the word you never spoke,

The mirror’s face behind its smoke,

The frozen time behind night’s cloak,

A laugh too late to catch the joke.

I am the time you never planned,

The days that slipped out of your hand,

The rusted icon on the stand,

An effigy on broken land.

I am the cry at dead of night,

The splintered dream lost in mid-flight,

The falling bird that knows its plight,

A final line you could not write.

I am the bridge you could not cross,

The path below grown old with moss,


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Watching Suns


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She sat and watched the suns

Come and go as if they were

Strangers passing on the bitter streets:

A nod, a glance, perhaps a smile.

They rose in the levelled east,

Fought their way to the highs of their days,

Then struggled to climb each obstacle,

The mountains of the west.

She watched from the window

The porch and the gate

As the clock stole the hours,

Spirited them away,

And filed them under ‘lost’.

Emerald vines grew like memories

Creeping slowly over the garden fence,

Tendril-fingers seeping into the grain

Tenderly choking the life unlived.

She watched the marks of the years

Engrave themselves into her hands,

Pathways followed and gone,

And so many dreamed,

Her face the scorched and dried

Map of ages,

Marked, but abandoned before the mark of treasure

Had burned itself into her.

And the suns still came

And the suns still died,

And someone else took her chair.


© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018

Nothing Changed


Nothing really changed at all,

The mark still stayed upon the wall,

And as we looked for something new,

Behind our backs it grew and grew.

Though we thought that we’d moved on,

The chains that held us were not gone,

And darkness clouded all our arts,

And spread its blackness through our hearts.

Things we thought that we had tamed,

Clung to our shadows hurting, maimed,

To heal themselves when night took hold,

Our sweetest dreams to then enfold.

In the light it brought its gloom,

In every corner, every room,

The stain it grew with fitful glee,

To pin us here and make us see.

Every footstep brought us here,

But never freed us from our fear,

Hung heavy over every head,

And coloured every word we said.

Dreamed we’d come so very far,

Our feet stuck fast in blackened tar,

We felt we had so much to…

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Wooden Pieces


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Above the birds circled

Silhouette patterns in the sky,

Monochromatic mosaics which shuffled like aging hands

Moving wooden pieces across a board

In some endless game,

Watching, always watching

Waiting for that killer move

That only Time knew

Would never come,

As far below, talking monkeys

Hurled sticks and stones across the fields,

Reached over the seas to tear the rage on others such as them

Moving invisible pieces across a board

As if they had a goal,

Forgetting that they had the gift

Of sound and word and voice,

Turning time upside down

As if it bore the blame,

And still above their sightless heads

The shadows wove designs,

Building plans like those before who came and failed and fell

Moving broken pieces across a board

As if there were a point,

Waiting, always waiting

Til aching wings gave way

Above the spinning rock

As silent Time fell still.


© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018


Dreams Fall Down


Dreams fall down like shadows slow

Can’t stop them now, can’t even try,

I feel them shroud me like a curse

Can’t see behind a clouded eye.

These tremors take my sweated hand

Can’t shake them off, can’t cut them loose,

I feel them chill my aching bones

Can’t rid myself, a waiting noose.

They drag me through mistakes I’ve made

Can’t justify, or reason why,

They show me futures drowned in pain

Can’t close my ears to other’s sighs.

Devils dance and duel within

Can’t stop the tune, can’t still the sound

A masquerade, no end in sight

Can’t hide my face or go to ground.

Voices call inside me now

Can’t make my own be heard instead,

They pull me into depths unknown

Can’t heal the scars inside my head.

Dogs are barking at the walls

Can’t silence them or stop their call,

They speak to me my…

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I watched the planes trace ice-ribbons

Across the sky before

They were lost to the

Cirrus wisped blueness

And their tails faded

Like promises written in

Tide-threatened sands,

And hopes took restless souls

To the promise of utopian shores

Not realising that they

Like all that came before

Wore the mask that hid

The fault-line masquerade

That spread like disease below,

I watched them come and go and

Taxi slowly on the grey

As if discarding the seeds of doubt

That grew beneath their wheels

Like ancient gods burying

Defeated foes unaware that

They would rise again,

And as the stuttered raging roar

Splintered hearts like candy then

Tore holes into the sky

Which like starving angels

Swallowed fleeting flailing dreams

Cocooned within a safety shell

They never saw,

As standing rooted in my

Futures past and present

I watched the planes




© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018


Glitter to Rust


We dance and dance to jingle’s tune

And eager swallow every lie,

The promise of the silver moon

To hang ourselves in crystal sky.

We offer up each golden prayer

To mark our lives like none before,

And drape ourselves in jewels so rare

Like none but us can read the score.

And on our faces painted clear

Desire and lust out stripping need,

The thought of less our only fear

To justify our burning greed.

Our eyes fixed firm towards the light

That guides us to the good and true,

Expectance lingers in our sight

At offerings for the chosen few.

We grasp at gold within our reach

As fortune smiles her twisted grin,

To claim the riches that we seek

She offers us a way to win.

But what is it we find we hold

When all the glitter turns to rust,

And we are weakened, frail and…

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The Road


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The car stops

The middle of the road

Deserted, quiet

A hundred miles from home

Lights flash

Blinking out a warning –

Should I be here

Or still at home,

Still in bed

The dreamscapes spreading

Like melted butter

Or redemption’s promise?

Still blinking

Yellow, orange, red

And what was it that

I came here for?

A change

A retrospect?

A reason tattooed

On life-worn skin?

A number on a page

In a book

On a shelf

Of some forgotten library

In some forsaken town

Where you leave your shoes

And your belt

At the gate

And listen as

The doors close in?

Engine silent

Stills the night

And chills the tremors

As they sleep

The cub-fox whimper


Swallowed by its den

And isolation’s silence


Grid marks in the night

That lead to neither

Here nor there

But feast upon

The stars,

And cat’s eyes fade

From memory

And power’s whimpered


But dreams return

Assassin ghosts

Their fangs and claws


And was it this

I came here for

To drown in silent words?

Or find myself

Upon a road

That disappeared from view?

And all these signs

That I once saw

Flooding into view

Did they sprout

From idle hands

To lead me from

A home?

And was that

In the distance

Another car like mine

With tail lights dying

With the stars

In the middle of

The road?


© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson 2018


Ruffled Edges


We came here so

Many years ago,

Chasing the ruffled edges

Of a crumpled photograph

Its monochrome hues whispering

Hushed voices still echoing

From white-edged border to faded frame,

Days stilled by wishful perception

Of contentment borne on wings

Which hung like the slow-mouthed moon

Captured by the eye but slipping ever

Between the fingers that reached out

Lost like the hopeful,

And frozen images caught our eye

Like souls entrapped –

And did we know that ours would follow?

Or was it all a dream

The promise that we shared

With a belief in something better?

And we’ll meet again one day

When all the pictures have faded

And all our dreams have died,

We’ll visit them at night

And walk along the rows

Of all we never knew

And ponder why we came

And shred ourselves on all we ever lost.

© All original writing copyright Chris Nelson…

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