The sylvan paths are empty
Oriental winds no longer sing
Cosmos flowers bend their heads
At the loss of something that's never been
We hold sunset in our teacups
Swallowing bittersweet loneliness
Until it streams out through our eyes
And forms clouds of heartfelt longing
Rain gushes down the valley
The sky bells are heard no more
As all that speaks is the silence
And the heart's downpour
Poetry's soul is never damaged
So on echoes your evensong
Dancing sky lanterns hold vigil
Through the dark night of the soul
Emerald skies sigh softly
I walk alone - with you - in thoughts
And sing of light unto the breeze
Stringing it with love, hoping it carries
Something is hardening within me,
causing a bitterness,
a dissonance between
who I am and who I seem.
There is something unseen
lingering in the nerves of me,
taunting from painful memory.
It ultimately goes against my heart --
picking at my wounds until I fall apart.
Scrambling, I am almost vanishing
from the intense empathy
that sits abundantly within me.
It is a most tender, grievous seed
that forever flutters and ruptures
deep inside of me from the slightest bit of pain.
I rearrange myself into another’s shoes
and feel the sadness that they’ve accrued,
until it is no longer me that moves
through these fragile, mortal veins
and I can no longer feel the same.
I build strong, defensive walls
to stop from feeling this way.
I blame my past for how it made me bleed,
making me feel as if I cannot breathe
another sigh of aching sorrow.
I shroud myself in endless tomorrows,
weakening beneath the strength of today.
And when I feel heartache and need
squeezing through the sensitive pieces of me
I clutch them tighter so that no one can see,
not wishing to feel too acutely.
I hide senselessly the depth of my sensitivity --
which rolls inside of me endlessly, in complete discord
as if I can no longer afford the price of an open heart,
as if the wealth of myself could one day start
to suddenly seem cheap in truth.
What to do when your soul is innately kind,
but at times the only things that you find
streaming from your lips are soulless scripts
of detached and cryptic cynicism?
What if in order to run from the intensity of feeling
you tie tight knots deep within your being
to stop the feeding of your lifelines
from saving anyone else,
because you’re too afraid you’d lose yourself?
What if you never allowed yourself to use the gifts
that were born within you to soothe the rifts
that fissure through people's lives
in these most desperate times?
What if you never even tried?
What if your ultimate sacrifice dies,
only known to your silence?
There’s a crooked picture on my wall
It needs straightening
Up on the right, a little
Down on the left, a little
If I tilt my head
It looks ok
If I squint
It looks ok
I could straighten it
You could straighten it
But it hasn’t bothered us
For all these years
We still view the same painting
Just from different angles
whisper your secrets
to the safekeeping of silver sand
and to the hush and shush
of a rolling wave
let your words dissolve
in the spume and surf
so the ebb steals them away
on a receding tide
sing softly and speak
so even the terns
and raucous gulls
cry in empathy
wear your bitterns
on a smile
that flavours the oceans
as sweet as honied tea
pray to the primordial womb
scratch your words into her skin
or on the flatness
of a skimming stone
or the fossilised bones
of dams and sires
do not scream your loneliness
but let the winter gales
be the shedding of your
stand bare and let her strip you
back to birth
allow her lips to kiss your feet
and her embrace
to take your grief
and fold it
into the creases of a wish
exhale it on the sliver
of a half held breath
set it free
and send it to its death
float to me
your trembling lips
in bottles made of bated air
tell me my dear
the things you will not speak
Sandalwood, cinnamon, essence of rose,
lilac and liquorice root,
lilies and jasmine, juniper, cloves,
gunpowder, liquor and loot,
rain on the hot summertime tar,
of all the world's perfume,
my favourite by far,
page one of a paperback book.