Alone

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In a room of smiling faces

The old man stands

His left arm gripped in clammy hand

Falls to the floor

Word filled head cries, ‘Why now, why me?’

A scarecrow doll

Swollen pupils the silent cry

Mute lips can’t speak

And all around slow motion acts

Impotent breath

In desperation’s final throes

The figure stands

An empty platform waiting room

Nobody saw

And of the faces peering on

Did any know?

With resignation’s final sigh

He smiled at last.

Fear of Change

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What was it

That kept me here –

A hope that this

Would be enough,

Or just a fear of change?

The thought that all

Would, in time, return

To repeat itself

Once more?

That those who left

Would lose themselves

And on their pointed

Memories fall?

Or perhaps the grip

Of ties unwanted

Held me far too tight?

The chance to step

To move apart that

Shook me to the

Naked core –

Or is this place

That I call home

Really all

I need?

‘Glory, boy; glory’

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Caught in the web

Of nationalistic pride

Swept on by the cries

Of ‘Glory, boy; glory’

The lad grows man

Before her eyes

The mother whose wave

Dries tears on her cheek,

Against the backdrop

Of futures left bleak

By ruin and greed

Things he’ll never see

The promise like sunrise

Shines down on him now

As foreign fields beckon

To him and his pals,

And as the day dawns

And bleeds into night

No respite no pity

From the blind and the deaf

He sees in one flourish

The lies he was told

And he cries like a child

As he sinks in his hole.

Strangers Then

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We were strangers then

When you held

The silken veil so close

To your eyes,

The Moon’s promise

Dripped honey from

Your lips and seeped

Beneath my skin,

Naked wings spread

Like caramel

Their succulent temptation

Before me,

And I, with patterned eyes,

Lay open, exposed.

We were strangers then

When you held

Your lips so close

To my ear,

The Sun’s last tear

Bitter salt from

Your eyes washed pallid

On my flesh,

Failing arms spread

Like withered branches

Lifeless now

Before me,

As I, with empty eyes,

Lay open, estranged.

Solitude

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Solitude rose

Like an autumn sun,

Early rays pallid

Burning through comfort’s

Cloak of mist,

Casting down light

On what had lain hidden:

Shadows growing longer,

Reaching out like

Venomous snake-roots,

Twisting digits around a heart

Cosseted by inertia

And complacency’s kiss:

Too late the memories of Summer,

Their faces fading like Sun bleached lines

Whose watered paint marks

Had hoped to stay,

Lost already to Winter’s

Future cold,

As creeping silent

From shadow to life

Solitude takes hold.

Remember

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I see you in my dreams,

Always in the dark,

The part of me that died

When I was seventeen.

 

The laughter at my side,

The smile upon my face,

The look within your eye

From which I cannot hide.

 

If only I could,

(See through your eyes)

If only I could,

(See from outside)

If only I could,

(Remember)

What took it all

Apart.

 

Lost amongst the trees,

And blinded by the light,

Living in the shadows

Thrown over all we see.

 

The tears we never cried,

The things we could not say,

The faces that we lost

At least I know I tried.

 

If only I could,

(See through your eyes)

If only I could,

(See from outside)

If only I could,

(Remember)

What took it all

Apart.

Against the Tide

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Brought his thoughts out

Into the light,

Let the rays of gold

Breathe warmth into each

And everyone,

Exhaled and watched

Their woody shells,

Grow their hardened spines

Against the tide

Of other’s eyes,

With steel heart

And stubbled soul

Stood beyond the crowd,

And watched himself as

He slowly sank

Below a malignant

Horizon.

The Interview

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     When they had asked me what he had been like, the man with the knife, all I could say was that I couldn’t really say. He had been, to my mind’s eye, nothing more, or less, than average.

     He had stood at average height; not discernibly taller nor shorter than myself. His hair had been worn short, but neither cropped nor shaven, and his eyes, well I could barely remember the colour of my closest friend’s eyes, so that line of questioning drew a blank.

     What of the colour of the man’s skin? I could confidently say that he was white, but boasted a tanned face; or had that been a more olive complexion? It was difficult to say with any degree of certainty.

     Distinguishing features? He had a knife: a response that solicited a look which could have been annoyance but equally disdain. No, there were none that my sapless mind could recall.

     He had been, the man with the knife, nothing more than average. His accessory had been all that made him stand apart. His unremarkableness reminded me only of myself.

     In fact he might as well have been me.

Sleep Away

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Let’s sleep away
These winter days
In dreamscapes
You and I,
And dance on air
Our wing beats sing
A soundscape
To our love,
As hand in hand
And eye in eye
We hold each
Other’s love,
And trust our dance
No other saw
The footprint
Of our love,
And should the demons rise
I’ll take you in my cloak
Keep you always safe and warm
And kiss away your pain,
So let us sleep
These winter days
In dreamscapes
You and I.