Roses were placed by the mother of an architect who died during the September 11 terrorist attacks
Their darkness has no end
and when visions,
blurred by hatred,
cloud our judgement
or ability to heal;
there creeps still a lonely
Cotinus Young Lady-SmokeBush-writingasitcomes
Been gardening again… love this plant.
Strokes of moonlight smother
whispers of the smoke bush
wavering against twilight’s
while pondering the water,
pondering depth and death.
Subdued, hushed panicles warp,
inside black steel ripples
made by water splashed sedge warblers
flung across the sheen of bleak, black,
where streaks of my childhood run
wildly ‘til they bleed into the perfect wash –
disrupted only briefly by daubs of
my more morbid notions –
a thousand indigo butterflies
dotted like inky death
become pinned to the eerie flatness of water
and of life –
finally, my drowning memories
are absorbed by stagnant fluid –
the whispers are hushed in the black, dead air
where mosquitoes live instead,
and for the first time, I begin to thrive.
Did you see too much –
get woken up again
far into the night?
black, inky dreams’ shade
hides thoughts that
sneak into the white chalk of daylight –
deftly wafting to mingle
with the sad dust
far from settled
since she died that night.
You still see too much
now you’re alone,
reaching far in the night
to hold her hands, soft,
and warm until all those tender
warp and realisation
stabs your heart.
I still watch you inside her dreams; sleep’s
invisible games throw
you from the bed.
Now you try to close your eyes
to sleep at night –
and dreams the dreams
before she died,
frantically scratching open
windows long since jammed
shut to breathe
the outside world’s hollow air –
the air waiting for her when she woke up –
all just to suck up
this fucking mess?
I wish it was possible to live
without a heart,
and walk inside a head
And as I was walking in my head,
the lighting wasn’t set –
good moods left me at the lamppost –
its metallic flavour permeated my tongue
as I wrapped my cold arms around it,
while your taste
and the taste of blood
brought me darkness and tears.
I had hoped reinventing
the sunshine would bring me
memories like ham rolls,
and hot mustard
spilled onto a tablecloth of time
where I’d lay out my choices;
of meetings in the square,
casual and attentive,
awash with shadows
when they came to serve the daylight,
and with more than enough warmth
to dry these morbid tears.
I still walk for hours and hours,
but never venture out.
Bring me sunshine,
bring me laughter,
bring me love.
smell so sweet
in tolerant nature
when within its walls
lie death and victims’ cries?
To scent this growth would be criminal, yet
we do, and we douse it with water – the flame
that gives it fragrance –
and when it blossoms wide enough to flourish,
we are as doomed as a black thumb should be.
Dusk settles like fine dust
when streetlights escort
evening into hallways.
Nightfall has attached itself
to the shoulders of ordinary people
carrying stories and news,
usually exuding on inhalation
of ritual warm kettle steam
through herbal nostrils.
Tonight is different –
his eyes still have big, black
dark circles underneath.
Just write poems for me.
Don’t tell me about your day.
She knows he’s secretly
hoping cupped china
will somehow soothe the aftershock
of his news as it wields its blows
nailing her heart against the chipped
its throbbing veneer draws his eyes
which bear cross-hatched shadows,
subdued and worn from penumbra tears
that fell only a few tea breaks ago.
What kind of woman is she
to make you want to do this?
It was by the coffee machine
that the sun began to fade
on all their stories
and memories; yellowing pages
turned into ghosted
fragments when shot to flames
under florescent tubes
only to dissipate with the aroma of coffee –
meanwhile, her aroma happily swirled
inside lipstick and white froth.
She sips her chamomile, redolent of betrayal –
Don’t tell me about your day.
Don’t shed the dust.
Could we plunge our hands
into damaged sinews’
frayed blood vessels
and find warmth in hidden spirit?
Have a tug of war and pull out hatred,
intolerance, indifference and anger,
to find the stuff we possess
but which remains hidden – buried
with the goodness we were born with –
tucked inside our own medicine chest.
There are things there to help us heal,
bind wounds, accept and love,
even force untainted oxygen to
cancers benign at birth
but which grow steadily malignant
once fed from the mouths
of devoted kin and a world rapidly
oozing its centre.
“When I despair, I remember that all through history
the ways of truth and love have always won.
There have been tyrants, and murderers,
and for a time they can seem invincible,
but in the end they always fall.
Think of it–always.”
~ Mahatma Gandhi
I thought all love was the same,
except maybe with time,
the thicker the blood
the stronger the pain.
Then I thought love was to blame
when your hand,
which was once so gentle
while it held my heart,
became the ledge it teetered on.
I was too frightened to breathe,
afraid to fly from that cold stone
where one push could send me falling
So I stopped breathing,
but you were always there
in your various ways,
I could feel you
slamming on my chest,
pounding and pounding –
you would fool me with this love,
massaging until you brought me back,
and like a fool I came back
only to stand with jelly legs
looking down into the abyss of you.
I thought love sometimes ended.
Picture Source: Egon Kronch
Let me swim in your moonlight
take the plunge in shallow breathing
one, two, three, four
and float back to you
Let me paint you a flower
you can hold for your own
of lilac, yellow, orange
bleeding a river
Let me be your oxygen
like your heart’s fluttering wings
rising, spiralling, soaring
Let me worship you
be not false nor made of stone
selfless, compassionate, empathetic