A short piece taken from the collection of poetry, prose and lyrics entitled ‘Another Tease’ (links at the end of the post. Enjoy!
I sat on the bus, watching the night-lit streets as they passed by like frozen, shrouded memories. The juddering, stop-start motion seemed to bring an uneasy comfort to my body, detached as it was from my consciousness. Other vehicles, heading in the opposite direction, appeared and then disappeared as if they were on some mythic quest, their headlights dull and dim below my position on the top deck of the bus, illuminating nothing but the first few steps on a journey without end. For a moment it seemed as if only they knew the direction in which to move in order to find some salvation, some respite from the pain, and yet I knew, contained within each metal box, was nothing more than one more lonely figure hoping beyond all hope that something, some miracle, would appear to snap them out of their coma.
Buildings rose up on either side of me now; giant monoliths, some pale and dark, devoid of life, tired and waiting for release, others still humming under the electric glow which gave them purpose. Their eyes stared out without seeing through the dark, and were gone again, lost to me as I moved steadily on. Their facades hung momentarily in my mind like all the faces of people I had met in my life, before fading into a sea of ashen memories. The night around me seemed to tighten its grip as, like an abandoned vessel, we sailed on.
To both the right and to the left of me roads sprouted off from the main artery down which I was travelling. They sparkled and twinkled with the hope of the newborn before even their lights were swallowed by the darkness into which, it seemed, the whole world had fallen. I shuddered as the bus lurched around a corner: not from the cold – I had long since become immune to that – but from the impending realisation that we were, at last, nearing my stop, my final destination.
And then everything was quiet, but for the pounding in my chest and the pulsing in my head. What if I were to remain on the bus? Would it eject me when it reached its destination, its point of termination, or would it show a glimmer of empathy, offer up a hand and cradle me to its heart? After all, my brain reminded me, what point was there to alighting, to leaving the bus to continue without me, if you were no longer there to welcome me home?
There was a time when I was your hero; your idol, your deity. It was a time when nothing could take my place – there had been nothing before me and even the thought of anything beyond me was unimaginable. I was the first thing that your eyes saw when they opened and the last picture that they held as they closed with the days end. It was a time when I filled your every waking thought and gave meaning to every moment of your life, no matter how small or fleeting. I was the star around which the planet of you revloved; I brought you light in the daytime and dreams which filled your nights with wonder, joy and promise. There was no sacrifice too small, no challenge that you would refuse with me by your side. Your blood ran with my words, my thoughts and my desires, and you took them all as your own. I was your hero, your idol, your everything.
But now, as the turning wheel has worn the threads thin, and the veil has begun to slip from your eyes, you see me with clearer sight. My face has lost its magic, its magnetic pull weaken by over-use. My words, the music that once plucked so easily at your heartstrings, has lost its tone, its melody merely a feeble imitation of what it had once appeared to be. The etched pane has cleared, as if a sea mist had lifted, and you see me now as I truly am. And you realise that I am nothing more than a man, and all that I had to say was nothing more than words; no more or no less than any other.
And the thought remains that I was once your hero, your idol, your everything.
A crumpled card Seaside view, A sapphire ring Not quite new, The evening dress Never worn, A loving note Newly torn, A bluebell wild Favourite bloom, Hanging moon that Fades too soon, A hidden stream Once was known, A star-lit night Secrets shown, Cool eyes bright now Soaked with tears
A very short story today taken from the collection of poetry, prose and lyrics: ‘Another Tease’availablevia the links below.
Hope you enjoy this.
I thought of you then, on the day that I left, knowing, despite the words, that we would never meet again. I thought of you as I sat in the darkness, as the Sun dipped like a dying friend beyond the horizon for what might as well have been the last time. I knew that I, like the errant Sun, would rise again, but that neither of us would ever be quite the same: the Sun would burn fractionally less brightly, its gaseous source ever so slightly diminished, and I, with less reason to rise than before, would begin to become a shadow of myself. I thought of you and the words that we had shared wondering if you had ever truly understood my meaning. Had you thought of me as a friend or merely an acquaintance, and had I ever truly understood what lay behind your eyes? I thought of how close I felt that we had become, our shoulders brushing against one another as we shared a joke, our laughter spreading its roots between us connecting us forever, or so I had imagined. But did you leave me behind along with all the other artefacts of work when you closed the door behind you and returned to your home?
I thought of you and wondered whether I had been too obscure, too subtle in my words and looks, for you to see me. And what exactly had I felt? Was this a connection that I felt that I had needed or something that had burst upon me unexpectedly and had opened a new door which whispered quietly for me to go through? Perhaps the moment had come for me, after a life of living at a comfortable distance from the edge, to finally take a chance, a risk. But, of course, caution is a powerful bedfellow, and, by the time I had recognised the chance, if had closed its eye for ever.
I thought of you then and wondered if you had ever lain alone in the dark beneath the Summer’s heat: I wondered if, like me, you had lost yourself to imagination; and I wondered if you had ever found yourself with your hand between your legs, wishing its fingers were mine.
This one is a few years old, but sadly as relevant as ever, I feel.
Anyway, it felt like it needed to be out once more, so here goes:
What use are my words
If the shells still fall
From black-heart open skies
And bombs still separate limb
On a whim?
If lover’s nights are torn asunder
Each phrase of love declared
And punctuated by the rifle’s kiss
As bullets fly through skies
To deafen out the
If families fractured fall apart
Their bodies as their homes
And stuffed in ragged bags
They walk on paths anew
Hopes and lives askew?
What use are my words
If every judgement still
Depends on colour, race or creed
And not on who we are
Those who act so blind
Injustice our own kind?
If passion is fuelled by hatred
And shouted from the stands
Evolution’s backward stare
Feet that stomp and pound
Like we never left the ground?
If all that we can show
Is intolerance and hate
To mask the failings in ourselves
To stick within our clan
And say this is the Plan?
What use are my words
If all that we believe
Serves not to heal but pull apart -
Words lost behind the rhetoric -
And sets us off to goad
The wrong way down the road?
If our deities stand toe to toe
As we become the baying throng
Applauding every blow
Forgetting that it's all a game
And they are all the same?
If faith is lost behind the mask
And we think ourselves the show
Where Glory resides in riches
And ceremony makes us tall
Hidden safe behind our wall?
What use are my words
If those who shout the loudest -
The basest of our kind -
Earn mandate over all of us
To wield the sharpened sword
And cut the final cord?
If none of us is equal
And power comes through privilege
Whilst on green fields they scheme
To hold on to the wealth
Through division and through stealth?
If birth outweighs our merits
When change is just a word
And nothing brings a greater good
As islands we shall ever stay
To never see a brighter day?
What use are my words?
Again there was no warning
As huddled in our shell
We turned our eyes towards the skies
To take the fear away.
Those we trust and those we hate
Though ill-will we have none
Move us left and move us right
To pass the time away.
Fires burn within us
As fierce as those without
For futures stolen from us
And childhood stole away.
Your barren desert trophy
Reward for what you sow
The rape of all your greed can see
Can't take our hope away.