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5d · 219
Summer's End
Clovers in the cold autumn air -
Alive for now and unaware
Of winter on its way.
No four-leaved luck
Can keep the muck
Of rainy days at bay.
I envy them, their mindless bloom,
The way they know not of their doom,
Of snow beneath which they'll rest.
For I know my approaching frost,
The summer bliss came with a cost,
And soon the crows will lose their nest.
Your love is far less than I thought,
The press of your lips means naught,
And I remain in this alone.
This cursed knowledge in my chest,
Claws at my soul without rest;
Poisoned veins, flesh, and bone.
The evening wind gives me chills,
Yet I'm impassive as these hills -
The physical can't hurt me now.
For my heartache is much stronger,
Its freezing cold lasts far longer
Than any weather knows how.
I care to deeply - that's my cross -
Then pay dearly for each loss;
My foolish heart cannot quit.
I can only hope to leave a mark
In your memory a tiny spark
Of the fire we once lit.
(for G.)
5d · 312
Even when the gray
Overtakes the day,
Even when the cold gives me chills,
The thought of your embrace
Puts a smile on my face,
Fond and soft - fog over hills.
You are my warmth in the night,
My antidote to frostbite
When life weighs me down.
With you I feel safe, finally at peace;
I pray for the feeling never to cease:
Royal bliss, no need for a crown.
And days will keep flowing,
Like waves that we're rowing,
But we'll pull through the storm.
Whatever life throws our way,
We have our quiet bay,
Just you and I, snuggled up, warm.
(for G)
Aug 22 · 702
Missing You
Haley Protega Aug 22
Just ten days but it feels too long,
being without you's way too wrong,
and I miss you lips latching onto mine.
Miss your hands sliding on my skin,
miss the taste of our sweetest sin,
four long days 'til the finish line.
Your honeyed voice is what I need,
feel your strength as you take the lead;
gotta melt again in your arms.
I feel so safe when you're holding me,
the warmth in your eyes - all I see,
getting lost in your charms.
The way your laugh lights up the room
will raise me up, out of my tomb,
like the Universe is all ours.
Oh my love, my soul, my light,
I can hardly wait for that night,
So I can breathe your scent for hours.
(for G.)
Jul 22 · 801
Hurricane of Fire
Haley Protega Jul 22
This love is a hurricane of fire,
a billion droplets of little things about you,
wrapped in sweetness and desire;
I never thought my dreams would come true.
Without warning, I didn't have a clue
How much I'd feel in such a short time,
Swept away in the blazing winds of you,
Yours to the bone as you are mine.
Against all odds, it seems like fate
That we should be a perfect match;
If it's a trap, I'll take the bait,
Lock my own cage, secure the latch.
Too good to be true, I heard you say -
My own thoughts whispered from your lips,
Embraced in bed as we lay,
Drinking kisses in greedy sips.
Don't wake me if it's a dream,
for I have never dreamt this well;
In your eyes, that warm gleam,
Could safely guide me through all hell.
It sounds cliché, and it feels so,
A bliss too perfect for real life;
All I know is I can't let you go,
The thought itself feels like a knife.
And my chest might burst from this,
a feeling larger than my soul,
My fiery hurricane, in your kiss
I burn up like a chunk of coal.
18.07.2023. (for G.)
Jul 2 · 320
Shooting Star
You are my shooting star:
a brilliant light, impossibly far.
A brief spark of hope in the black,
before the universe took it all back.
With every word, with every glance,
you made me believe it wasn't chance
that brought you to me against all odds,
and each day I thanked the gods.
The warmth flickering in your eyes
like rays of sunset as the day dies,
made me believe once more in fate,
but if it's real, we were too late.
Like spring frost on rosebuds pale,
life went ahead and stabbed a nail
into all that we could have been,
oh my angel on the head of a pin.
Ground to a halt at the very gate,
with nothing that my hunger could sate;
why'd I think that for once I'd win?
Hope, **** hope, should be a sin.
And it hurts all the more,
knowing that we want the same,
but destiny has shut the door,
nor you nor me are to blame.
How can it be in present day,
when wonders everywhere abound,
that they could take you away,
when you've only just been found?
I pray and pray, in grim despair,
feel my soul for you ache,
God, bring him back, it isn't fair,
Please don't give only to take.
20.06.2023. (for G.)
Feb 23 · 1.8k
Haley Protega Feb 23
You can hear the alarm bells,
See the red flags.
You know this will ruin you,
And you walk in with eyes wide open

You try to justify it to the world,
To yourself.
It's the end of the road;
a sense of belonging, finally,
of having a purpose,
and you're tired.
So tired of wandering, searching,
Choking on the salt in the air, the sea an endless barren desert with no land in sight.
So when you hear the siren's call,
And you know it spells doom,
You answer it anyway.
At least it will be over.

Except it's not death you're heading towards, but not a life either,
You'd be called crazy
If there were anyone around.

You're tired, and this feels safe,
To fall sleep in a dungeon,
To drop your heavy defenses.
It's hard work keeping them up,
And you're tired.

There's no room for mistakes in chains.
Your hands can't move to sin.
You're clean, and good;
Your mind is light, free from worry
And planning.

Your eyes fall shut.
You don't dream.
23. 02. 2023.
This poem can be interpreted in a few different ways, and I wrote it with more than one meaning in mind. Choose whichever you like best, the significance is always in the mind of the reader.
Aug 2022 · 3.1k
Haley Protega Aug 2022
There's something about the sea:
In feeling a force of nature,
So much stronger than yourself,
Surround you in its embrace.

There's something about the waves,
Their raw power,
Their cool, demanding strength.

And there's something about his hands,
His voice, his eyes.
The way his body pulls mine under,
Like waves,
Indomitable, forceful,

And I'm floating.
I'm sinking.
I'm thrown around in the current.
In his arms: the sea;
The breath he steals
Then grants it back.

And I pray only
That the tide never subsides.
Apr 2021 · 604
Healing (wrong)
Haley Protega Apr 2021
A broken leg, open fracture -
All the pain like a price for rapture.
The sweetness festered, feverish, ill,
After the feast, came the bill.
Just like that, heartbreak followed,
Once giddy love left black and hollowed.
But that was months ago, or years,
No fresh cut in my flesh sears.
Time moved in to mend the break,
Agony now dulled to ache.
A bone healed the wrong way, free,
Crooked branch of a poison tree.
And so it hurts, albeit less,
My sin that I cannot confess.
Like an old wound numbly stings,
When weather changes, and rain brings.
It's a limping leg, it is.
But free of teeth, of a bite that's his.
It's functional, it does it's job,
Despite the faint random throb.
Will it ever heal? Be right?
I don't know. I hope. It might.
But I never had such a sore -
I'd never been in love before.
07.04.2021. (for S.)
Jan 2021 · 524
Haley Protega Jan 2021
You are my anchor in the roaring storm,
A comforting presence, like a candle warm.
The winds still howl, waves cruel in their force,
But you help me not to stray too far off course.
And sometimes I fear I'll be ripped apart,
Between you, my dear, and the storm in my heart.
When the whirlwind's embrace, like a siren call
Lures me overboard, to the weightless fall.
But other times it screams, the Scylla rears its head,
And I cling to my anchor, the safety of lead.
What insane captain is tempted by the waves?
Sees beauty in chaos, and a shipwreck craves?
You keep me grounded, and centred, and sane,
Lying on the deck, despite the chill of rain.
Breathing through the night, not to wake my crew,
I think I might, might even love you.

But what of the journey the charts laid ahead?
No continents discovered by staying in bed.
"A ship is safest in its port, but it wasn't made for that",
Am I a captain, or a cowardly rat?
And when the big blue calms at last,
Will I leave this port in memory and past?

The sapphire depths beckon, now mild and tame,
Quiet for a time, they whisper my name.
Oh I am rotten, to prefer the fickle sea
To the static safety that does love me;
But staying put was never my path,
Even if it leads to another storm's wrath.
I dream of isles, new and uncharted,
Onwards again, it's time we parted.
Oh but it stings to leave your embrace;
How gently it sings, a lullaby of grace.
I don't deserve it in part, let alone the whole,
With my treacherous heart, my ever marred soul.
Stay safe, stay well, spare me a thought,
But don't dwell on this wretch that's worth naught;
Ours paths diverge, but you must know,
Without you I wouldn't have come up from below.
Thank you, my solace, for being there,
And as much as I can, I swear, I care.
But some flags are too damaged to let go of the past,
Ever condemned to fly at half-mast.
And you, you're of more value than a whole fleet,
Stay safe, my darling, my comfort so sweet.
(for P.)
Jan 2021 · 517
Haley Protega Jan 2021
I'm drowning.
The waves crash around me
And the storm rages,
The rabid sea pulls me under,
Foaming in its fury.
And in the darkness, I cling to a lone rock,
A coral reef? A whisper of an island?
I'm deaf to whispers of comfort -
The wind and waves howl and crash,
Outside of me, and in.
Diamonds are also rocks.
This could be one, but I'm blind to see.
The night is black and the current strong,
I gasp for breath and clench my fingers,
Cutting myself, but I can't let go.
It's all that keeps me afloat,
This bit of stone, a lone companion.
I'm still drowning.
The feel of a small salvation,
The solice of solidity
Under my fingers,
Isn't actually a rescue.
The waves are merciless;
I breath in salt,
Gasp, and cough and heave,
And my rock can't stop that.
There's no defeating the storm.
It crumbles under my fingers,
Weathered by the ocean,
As am I.
The deep dark blue
Whips against us both,
But is it not my hands that break it faster?
I'm beyond saving,
Yet I cling, selfishly, taking it with me as I sink.
For the small comfort,
The solice of solidity under my fingers.
As I cough, and heave, and gasp,
Losing sensation in my limbs.
It's too much effort, holding on,
And I am tired, faded, worn.
Cold, and numb,
I feel the thrum through me now:
I'm one with the sea.
As I let go, and silence covers me,
Like a blanket against the water,
Lulling me, slowly,
To the deep dark blue embrace.
There’s peace in giving up,
Relinquishing the fight.
The ocean hums now,
So far beneath the surface,
It's quiet here, away from thoughts.
(for P.)
Sep 2020 · 2.6k
Haley Protega Sep 2020
My lover has a scar
Just above her hipbone;
It's not a small ****,
a forgotten accident.
They're words -
Straight lines she etched

I trace my fingers softly,
Not to wake my love,
But I can't soften their bite.
Words of cruel warning,
An order, imperative.
Commanding, even faded,
Echo a silent scream.

They mock me, mock us,
For they still have a hold:
She is only half mine.
They hurt me, cold,
Like unblinking eyes,
Knowing that she stares back
Every day.

I barely brush them,
Intruders on soft skin,
Indelible scripture
Of darkness within.

And they keep whispering:
don't eat.
Sep 2020 · 2.0k
Black Lace
Haley Protega Sep 2020
I fashioned myself a dress of black lace;
Dark and elegant, epitome of grace;
Soft on my skin, caress like a lover's,
My comfort, my design, a haven of covers.

They called it macabre - filled them with unease;
Dangerous, they said, termed it a disease.
And yes, I'm unwell, but darkness is my veil -
A reprieve from hell, solace without fail.
I am the tailor, the sculptor of shadows,
The reaper of melancholy my art sows.
And yes, it is odd, fragile, morose -
The marble thorns of an obsidian rose.

The judging whispers that follow in my wake,
Can't comprehend I do this for my sake:
The sharp edges they call jarring and cold -
They are my palace, impenetrable stronghold.

Where others see emptiness, I notice lace,
The gossamer threads of a misty embrace;
They are but blind to the kingdom of nothing,
Only see moats, and wall canons jutting.
My castle of ghosts, the court I control,
Those remain hidden, deep in my soul.
The siren song, my foggy lullaby,
The velvety clouds on which my thoughts lie.
It is morphium, made in my mind
Embroidered dullness only I can find.
The words bounce off my protective bubble,
Your bombs shatter into a gray rubble.
I blow it away, along with my fears,
I got good at this, during the years.

Give me some credit, I am no fool,
Where others would drown, I can rule;
I know not to freeze, when water's too cool,
The fire you'd burn in, I use as fuel.

Yes, it's a thin line, I know it best,
But I'm a trapeze-artist, can pass the test;
A veteran of trade, the air is my nest,
I've learned to live without getting rest.

And I know my limits, how far I can press,
Worry you not, I've survived on much less.
I'm not glass, disperse your concerns,
If need be, the lace to razor wire turns.
Sep 2020 · 328
Haley Protega Sep 2020
Two a.m. and it hits me like a freight train -
The realisation that I'm never letting go,
You're too familiar, too engrained in brain,
My highest high and my lowest low.

In every whisper, gasp, and sigh,
You're boiling in my blood,
Far away and yet close by,
My senses drown in your flood.
My avalanche, my hurricane,
my natural disaster,
My shelter from the pelting rain,
Machine-gun pulse racing faster.

A spectre, haunting, never gone,
Your imprint ever by my side,
Knight and bishop to my pawn,
Commandment that a must abide.

And every new experience,
Every wayward thought –
Shadowed by the remembrance –
Fights what can't be fought.
Each new one I compare to yours,
Forever my default script.
A room without windows or doors,
This heartache is my crypt.

You never knew and never will,
Just how deep I buried
The memory I couldn't ****,
In my soul seared and carried.
A keepsake, invisible brand,
Bittersweet reminder
Of doomed castles in the sand,
Love poems in a tear-streaked binder.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 1.3k
Full Moon and Dawn
Haley Protega Aug 2020
A full Moon on the horizon of a powder-blue sky

The gentle breeze of Dawn passes me by,

caressing my cheeks like a lost lover,

soft as the clouds which in the distance hover.

I turn around, my back to the Moon:

the melody of daybreak begins its silent tune.

The first gossamer threads of Dawn's embrace,

cobwebs of brightness, Light made of lace.

A lonely bird towards the Moon flies,

hoping in vain to stop its goodbyes;

and my romantic soul melancholically sighs,

attempting to imprint the image in my eyes.

As the sunrise ripens, a celestial fruit,

it robs the lunar ambience, grabbing its loot.

And it basks in the riches that it slowly steals,

in brilliant ombre shades, as the Moon - defeated - reels.

The night's companion quietly fades,

ethereal pallor on now greyish shades;

no more powder-blue, grey turns to white -

it's the bed of clouds, prepared for the nightlight.

You've done your job, illuminating the way,

to travellers and dreamers, lest they go astray;

Rest for a while, take a little break,

until Sun retreats - then you can awake'.

The Poets' Lamp, nocturnal glow,

you'll shine again, with stars in tow.
Aug 2020 · 1.1k
Guiding Moon
Haley Protega Aug 2020
I stand in a dessert without a single dune
- just flat sand as far as the eye can see,
And high above me: an unreachable Moon,
silently shining its silver on me.

Too distant for me to hear,
- but I know it sings
A soft lullaby about fear,
And sorrow, and broken wings.

So I keep walking, further still,
Through this nothingness of sand,
An emptiness I cannot fill,
I wish for a helping hand.

But there is none, and anyway
A helping hand I couldn't use:
I alone must walk this way,
Stand and win, or fall and lose.

A whisper from above and far
Tells me I'll be home soon;
I need no guiding star -
I have a guiding Moon.
Note: The dessert is a metaphor for depression, while the Moon represents the will to live.
Aug 2020 · 1.1k
Haley Protega Aug 2020
A quiet, calm, serene place,

contrast with my heart's pace.

Gently slipping into silence,

just like plush, soft and dense.

The smell of books my spirit sedates,

new or old, they are the gates

of my comfort castle, made of words,

where pages fly instead of birds.

Safe and warm, paper and pen,

I can write, this is my zen.

For paper puts up with a lot,

every line, curve and dot;

with each word I lay on the page,

I'm one step outside the cage;

Outside myself, this prison of mine,

the chaos spills into written line.

Away from problems, light and free,

peace at last, in the library.
Aug 2020 · 621
Mea Terra
Haley Protega Aug 2020
My gaze flickering across this landscape divine -

a whirlwind of sentiments unfolds.

Yet a single word echoes across my mind:

mine, mine, mine.

These hills, these trees, the distant shore,

as sure as the breeze caressing the steeple:

they are part of me, and more -

I am at home, safe, with my people.

I feel it, I know it, the comfort it sings -

whispers of safety, a lullaby to my broken wings:

familiar and gentle, deep in my bones,

the ancestry calling from ancient white stones.

Rosemary, lavender, olives, and fig trees,

they tell me of history, of proud victories;

of battles, of sadness, of stories untold,

the generations with lingering spirits of old.

This is my land, I belong here;

the soft hum of time; a smile and a tear.
Visignano, Istria (Croatia)

(Latin, mea terra = my land)
Aug 2020 · 313
Clouds over Antwerp
Haley Protega Aug 2020
The clouds over Antwerp (so far from home)
Caress the cathedral, barely brush the dome.
The sun is mild, and the wind soft,
Yet darker, boiling things come aloft.

Tendrils of remembrance, making me a liar –
I said I'd extinguish that treacherous fire.
A torch that shouldn't be, let alone be carried,
What should stay hidden, locked, and buried.
A flashback unbidden - your easy laughter -
There is no hope, not in the After.

The sky seems paper-thin, a fake screen of blue,
Threatening to peel back, revealing only you;
The cottony clouds, an illusion that will melt,
Spilling the intensity of all that I felt;
Still feel (oh god), and I can't disperse,
You are woven in the fabric of my universe.

I wonder if you're gazing, taking in the stars,
Or dark forests whose trees seem to me like bars;
A prison: I'm trapped, without being held,
My heart saw yours and decided to weld
Us together, but the alloy didn't match –
My forever, your bad batch.
Bleeding, I hold on to the damaged patch,
Too stupid to let go, too stupid to detach.

My life stands still, as chances pass through,
And all I see, all, is that they're not you.


There's fog now, heavy like lead -
I wonder if the veil seeped straight from my head;
Shrouding the world in a numb ache,
Distracting my thoughts, for sanity's sake.

And your presence pulses, a soft thrum of power,
Pitter-patter of rain, a ghost of a shower.
Just like a ghost, you're gone, but you're here,
Too far to touch, but to forget - too near.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 299
Haley Protega Aug 2020
I've forgotten how to breathe without you.

And now that you're not around,

I'm suffocating, or I'm about to;

Fallen, and glued to the ground.

Claustrophobic in my own skin -

It feels wrong, existing outside your space.

Wish I could destroy the vacuum within,

What went on too long, what I should replace.

Even the world-wide plague would fade,

if compared in magnitude,

To the way you cast my soul in shade;

The memories in solitude.

And my lungs feel full of flowers,

Sowed by your unknowing hand,

And my doom above me towers,

I gasp for air - I breathe in sand.

And you, unaware of your powers,

Sleep somewhere miles away,

While I watch rainy, grey showers,

And chase my breath that just won't stay.

Seems some raindrops, small and week,

From the storm have gone astray,

Wandered in, onto my cheek,

That's why it's wet (or so I say).

And I hear talk of Crown* blight,

The fear it drives in people's hearts,

While my own still pulses with your light,

Riddled with Cupid's darts.

And they had lied when they said,

All wounds would be healed by Time:

Some sorrows stay without being fed,

Only good for fuelling rhyme.

So, on half a breath I learn to live,

Just getting by to the next day,

Tired, untethered, but with plenty to give

- for I know I must follow my way.
(for S.)

* (Latin: corona, -ae, f. = crown)
Aug 2020 · 368
Haley Protega Aug 2020
The petal on the cherry tree

gently whispers: "Let it be.

Don't think back, don't reminisce."

Yet you I cannot help but miss.

It's been too long, if truth be told;

my scarlet flames should have run cold –

but they burn bright as the desert sun,

a million candles joined in one.

You're the one that got away.

Only memories decide to stay,

to remind me of your eyes,

your smile, your not-goodbyes.

Are you safe? Are you well?

That's all I wish to know;

You haunt me – an angel of hell,

a rose-arrow in Cupid's bow.

I have no right, and never did.

Still, my thoughts keep wandering,

Pandora's box without the lid,

a kingdom lost without a king.

Spare me a thought, just now and then:

flicker me to life, for old time's sake,

My butterfly un-caught, remind me of when

I dared to dream of you, wide awake.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 280
Hell and Rain
Haley Protega Aug 2020
What else is there left to say?

I wish there were something new;

Some novel, sweeter way,

To tell you all you know is true.

This one-sided, stupid dream

Isn't something you can mend;

I'll learn in time, to make it seem

That I'm okay, just as your friend.

I can't promise to be well,

Only that I will try

To get up from where I fell,

And do my best not to cry.

You don't deserve this burden,

The mess I dragged you in,

My battles, I am certain,

aren't yours to win.

I only hope you never learn

The extent of this pain

Despite the hell in which I burn,

I wish you only soothing rain...

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 191
Elm Tree
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Softly. Silently. Slowly.

You wandered into my heart.

Made a pagan learn what's holy,

shot down with a single dart.

Or was it the other way around?

You did nothing – it was I,

who roamed until I found

the realest dream, the truest lie.

I gave up the fight.

Tendrils of my affection,

uncontrolled and light,

still fly in your direction.

I close my eyes to your indifference,

but still feel it cold and harsh,

Like a castle in the distance,

Beyond a hostile, dark marsh.

I'm sorry, love, you're not to blame;

This ******* has all the fault.

You never asked to play this game,

I locked myself inside this vault.

A cage of my own making,

A trap for a fool,

Giving always, without taking,

Drowning in a shallow pool.

Truly, dear, I ask for naught,

for I have found my peace at last.

Feelings cannot be bought,

I leave my hope in the past.

And these lines put to rest,

Even when I leave this realm,

They will be my very best,

The last leaf on this tree of elm*.

(for S.)

*in Celtic mythology, the elm tree symbolises both death and creation.
Aug 2020 · 188
Running Fuel
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Mine. Mine. Mine.
Your presence, more intoxicating than wine.
You're my running fuel, infinite power,
In a howling storm, a proud-standing tower.
A beacon of hope, a lighthouse on the shore,
Through winds and waves, I come back for more.
More of your visage, your voice, all you are,
My darling, my fate, my eternal star.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 248
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Seven coffee cups worth of energy,
But without the jitter,
A drug-like bliss, minus the lethargy,
Only sweetness, nothing bitter.

With their colour of black coffee,
Your eyes have me melting like toffee.

And I'm in love, I love you, I love it,
I walk the streets with a stupid smile,
Ecstatic and unable to quit
This high won't wear off for a while.

Like Christmas morning for a child
- though that comparison is old -
Overwhelming joy, limitless and wild,
Keeps me warm even in the cold.

Oh heavens, I've missed you so **** much,
I could catch fire at the lightest touch.

Am I projecting? Or is it real?
Could you feel what I feel?

That smile, that smile is my all,
Especially when I know I made you laugh,
These little things, no matter how small,
Make all my worries diminish by half.

I'm so not over you, not even one bit,
My heart is a puzzle, and you're the only fit.
I miss you, and you've only just left,
You've stolen my sleep, but I don't mind the theft.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 144
Haley Protega Aug 2020
"Puppy love", someone called it,
And what an apt name;
A heart too full to try to hold it:
For its escape I have no blame.

Like a bird with feathers bright,
It flew away into the night.
All my yearning, all my love,
Embodied in a graceful dove;
It seeks to find you,
Across an ocean,
Attempt to bind you
With equal devotion.
Perhaps you would;
Your teasing eyes -
Brown, soft, good,
Like lullabies.

You'd be blind
If you didn't see
How dearly kind
I speak to thee.
So I deduce
That you must know
This love is loose,
Will only grow.

Would you allow
My dove to land,
Safe for now,
In the palm of your hand?
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 161
Love is a Landscape
Haley Protega Aug 2020
My dearest demon. It's been awhile since I wrote,
And yet you dwell in my mind.
I wear my darkness like a heavy coat,
Beneath which, only you I find.
You stick to my skin, indelible like ink,
My vice, a death grip, some unbreakable link.

I'll admit, you make me weak,
Liable to make mistakes;
Bit by bit, my heart will leak,
Drop by drop, it will form lakes:
Vast expanses of free blue,
Unhindered by reality -
Filled with bright shades of you,
And my dark duality.
And in the distance: mountain peaks
- Beacons of a lying hope -
That a desperate poet seeks,
In the night, so one can cope.

And so you're here, a living ghost,
Despite the distance and time passed,
Still a wish that I miss most,
Trapped in the shadow that you cast.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 125
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Who am I kidding, calling you a crush?
When clearly you are so much more.
Oh, these confessions, whispered in a hush,
For nobody's ears, still raw and sore.

My wounds are fresh, I keep them from healing,
Cutting the flesh, to cut out the feeling.

It's futile, you're still here, in my every breath,
I obsess, I confess, it smothers me to death.
I hesitate, desperate, I tell myself to stop it,
But stubborn heart won't let go, not even for a bit.
Like gasoline, dangerous, wild once it's lit,
These shackles bind me, drag me down, to the bottom of the pit.
This infernal storm, this hurricane,
Consumes me from inside -
this hollow everlasting pain,
This ache I have to hide.

Fear not, my love, this tidal wave
Will only damage me,
To this affliction I'm a slave,
It'll drag me into the sea.
No one will hear as I implode,
Consumed by my own soul,
The self-destruct has no code
To prevent ashes and coal.

I won't die on the outside, but this much I know:
This hollow husk carries a torch with an eternal glow.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 118
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Like a chemical burn, poison on my skin,
The truth slices and stabs from within.
You're out of my reach, distant as the stars,
As if separated by hard iron bars.

An aeroplane flying overhead, to a far-off land,
A ship in the distance, as I lie on the sand:
Yearning for mirages that I'll never catch,
A lost left shoe, without its proper match.

I am a fool - I'll say it yet again,
And write it, indelible, with a stroke of pen.
Sanely insane, aware of my flaws,
Yet Cupid won't let me out of his claws;
He is no angel, but a demon instead,
His cruel jokes strike me like a weight of lead.

I am an anglerfish, and you a coral reef -
I dwell in darkness, while you could blind the sun.
I wish I could turn over a new leaf,
But I'm stuck, like a jammed safety on a gun.

You've made it clear,
I see it now:
There never was a chance;
And yet, my dear,
My heart will bow
To you, as if in a trance.

Curse you, curse me, curse this Universe and Fate,
**** these feelings and this hunger I can't sate.
(for S., still)
Aug 2020 · 324
Haley Protega Aug 2020
You are my doom, a Laura reincarnate,

and I Petrarch, bound to you by fate.

I'd pray for salvation, but whom to implore?

You? Or a deity I believe in no more?


You lurk, uninvited, in the corners of my mind,

the edges of consciousness, never hard to find.

Invading my thoughts – it's not very kind,

it is a death sentence, that I myself have signed;

Because I made no attempt to dispel such a thought,

visions of you, my heart blindly sought.


You are my drug, and recovery I shun,

I've tried rehab, but addiction has won.

You wouldn't ask Earth to give up the Sun,

or a bullet to fly without a gun.

So, trying to quit – with that I am done,

After countless failed attempts to run.


You are my sorrow, but these lines ease the pain,

as burns and bruises hurt less in the rain.

I turn my heartache into verse, and time slows,

as bittersweet loneliness into words flows.

I drain myself of the pain, I keep it at bay,

however, it never completely goes away.


In these poems, it is you I address,

but I wouldn't ever let you see this mess;

I write so this torture would hurt a little less,

as, repeatedly and fruitlessly, my love I confess.

So, these lines will never ever go to press,

as you won't hear my lips whisper: "S".

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 260
Haley Protega Aug 2020
You're just a symptom of my mental state,

that I've romanticized into love and fate.

Escapism has always been my trait,

avoiding reality until it's too late.

Forgive me, darling, I used you as a distraction,

built glass castles off of mere attraction.

I got attached, written you poems,

to avoid facing my own problems.

But obsessions are dangerous, and I wish you well,

I won't drag you with me into this hell.

So goodbye, dear - a farewell to pining;

in this last poem, there's one silver lining:

I'm just glad I never did tell;

and now I'll rise up from where I fell.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 340
Haley Protega Aug 2020
And so, you slip through my fingers, a chance I never took,

I want to convey it all in one final look.

You're going away, for who knows how long;

I smile, wish you well, and try to be strong.

Perhaps in another life, it will be our time,

Perhaps I'll be yours, and you will be mine.

I never had the courage – I still have none –

To tell you, even now, when it's all said and done.

I didn't think you'd be leaving so soon;

You left my sky empty: no stars, and no moon.

You're moving on, to bigger and better things;

The world is your oyster, wind beneath your wings.

Care to share a hint, of what victories await?

What is your plan, for this clean slate?

"When the Universe reveals it to me, I'll let you know",

Mysterious as always, even as you go.

And though it's not forever – you'll drop by here and there –

It feels like a death sentence, it just isn't fair.

Because although you don't, I still care:

I want to see you, no matter how rare.

It is pathetic – I am well aware,

You'd think my heart would be the worse for wear.

I still carry a torch for you – I don't think I'll cease,

This heartworm will never let me have peace.

So goodbye, my love, my Adonis in a tracksuit,

My silent suffering, the melody which leaves me mute.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 137
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Do you feel as lonely as I often feel?

Are you also misunderstood?

Perhaps we could help each other heal,

Would you try? I know I would.

A kingdom for your thoughts –

I only wish I knew

how to connect the dots –

What's making you blue?

You say you can't sleep,

but you won't say why,

your secrets you keep,

I try not to pry.

Beneath an icy surface,

a hidden magma river;

an unseen furnace,

as silent as ever.

You let no one in,

an armour with a smile,

but can you truly win,

isolated on your isle?

Let me share your troubles,

prove to you my worth,

rebuild castles from rubbles,

gold and silver from the earth.


(for. S.)
Aug 2020 · 71
Haley Protega Aug 2020
It's these days that **** me - the good ones:

when we get along and you laugh at my puns.

When it seems like we could work, and our interests align,

am I projecting or did you just give me a sign?

When you lean in to whisper an inside joke,

do you know how many feelings you just awoke?

I had them sedated by distance and time,

now once again I need you to be mine.


I tease you lightly and you crack a smile,

and my gaze lingers on yours for a while.

Whenever we talk, I tend to find

little similarities that seem bind us

- has it ever crossed your mind? -

the tiny barriers we leave behind.

I want to know even more,

to open every closed door.

The mysteries in your core,

all the details that I adore.

I want your secrets, whatever they are,

every dream, hope, and every scar.

Trust me, let me be who you need,

I'll be there even when you hurt and bleed.

Let flowers blossom from the seeds

of trust and care, above the weeds.


What's the matter, love? (The last word I don't speak)

You say it's just life, and no further I seek;

I won't ask more, lest I push you away,

when you're ready, I know you'll say.

I'll wait however long it takes,

I'll stop when you want to push the brakes.

For time is truly all I've got,

time, and this Fire, burning hot.

Fire, that could melt the ***,

all that is, and all that's not.

One day you'll see that that's a lot,

this red string in an eternal knot.


These silver cobwebs cannot rust,

the dewdrops on them sparkle just

in spite of all the charcoal dust,

and one day, I will earn your trust.

(for S.)

"The red string of fate, as it is called in Asian culture, is a legend of an invisible red thread, connecting two people who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The two people connected by the red thread are destined lovers. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break. This myth is similar to the Western concept of soulmate."
Aug 2020 · 74
Haley Protega Aug 2020
'S' is for Sorrow, 'S' is for Sadness,

today and tomorrow, driving me into madness.

'S' is for the Sweet Sound of your voice,

for the Seduction that gives me no choice.

'S' is for the Smiles you flash without thinking,

as I feel my heart inevitably Sinking.

The fresh Start I thought I could have

if I Stayed away, but I wasn't so brave.

'S' is for the Song my heartbeat sings,

so close, but not mine, and that Stings.

The Simmering feelings that just won't fade,

the truth behind my everyday facade.

'S' is for Silence, that cuts me deep,

alone, without you, and I can't sleep.

'S' is for Sunlight incarnate,

bound by a red String of fate;

a hunger only you can Sate,

my weakness, which I hate;

my Sanity - for that's too late,

this love has become innate.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 316
Red String of Fate
Haley Protega Aug 2020
You have me reduced to dust again;

signed my death sentence with an invisible pen.

Why were you there? I wasn't prepared

to pretend I'm cool and that I never cared.

Surprise attack: you called my name,

from behind my back, suddenly you came.

Your lips are moving, but my mind is one-track,

I was getting over you, why are you back?

But you have no clue - do you, my dear? -

Just what you do to me whenever you're near.

I maintain a facade of smalltalk mundane,

smile to you brightly to stifle the pain.

You're mildly bored, looking over your shoulder,

Polite yet detached, like ice, but colder.

An ice sickle stabbing into my heart,

cruelly careless, as I fall apart.

Then she calls you over - you have to go -

there are more people to which to say hello.

Who is she? I dare not ask,

Barely maintaining a carefree mask.

I have no right; like a homeless vagabond,

I bid you goodnight, as you go beyond

my sight, trailing a red-stringed bond.

(for S.)

"The red string of fate, as it is called in Asian culture, is a legend of an invisible red thread, connecting two people who are destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. This magical cord may stretch or tangle, but never break."
Aug 2020 · 48
Over You
Haley Protega Aug 2020
I used to have hope, devotions ran deep,

would have given everything for you to keep.

Like clay in your hands, I could have been whatever

you wanted of me, but the answer seems "never".

Could have taken a bullet for you in a heartbeat,

and perhaps I still would, but this feeling must forfeit.

I'll get over you, I have my pride,

I'll look away, to the other side.

I've been acting like someone I don't know

irresponsible, weak, soft like dough;

I'm taking my life back in my hands,

I won't be controlled by my heart's demands.

A chemical cocktail I was drunk on,

it's time to get sober, the party is gone;

and as the night turns into dawn,

you will fade too: brown into fawn.

Chestnut into sand, for the wind to drive away,

time heals all wounds, only memories will stay.

And I'm not sorry, darling, for the poems that I wrote,

but I'm moving on, I have found an antidote.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 280
Haley Protega Aug 2020
I know now why you don't drink alcohol -

can't stand the competition at all:

You are a shot of spirits distilled,

the highest percentage, ethanol filled.

I may have had a brandy shot,

on an empty stomach, that's a lot.

I promised myself, never again,

but I saw you, unexpected, there and then.

I'm weak, I'm sorry, never good enough,

the truth, it hurts, it's course and rough.

And the taste of your indifference burns,

more than the brandy; my heart never learns.

I hate this, and I hate myself most of all,

I want to move on, not gravel and crawl.

To sleep, to forget, to finally rest,

not to think about what could have been best.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 106
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Verses find me in my sleep,

memories that go too deep.

Running from thoughts, I keep busy,

running from myself, until I feel dizzy;

Workaholic - almost free,

avoiding places where you'll be.

Because you've made it pretty clear,

kind and polite, but not always here.

Sooner or later, I'll move on,

I'll live, this pain will be gone.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 70
Chemical Burn
Haley Protega Aug 2020
You're perfect for me, but I'm not perfect for you -

time to face reality, I know that much is true;

Even though it hurts, like a chemical burn on bare skin:

10-molar hydrogen peroxide in comparison seems like a pin.

I promised I'd stop talking about you - I'm driving my friends insane;

so now I'm left alone, silent in my pain.

You make me want to be better, to reach for the stars,

igniting dreams I gave up on, healing old scars.

Nobody else is enough, whatever they do,

why can't I love another, instead of you?

I have no shortage of suitors - why can't I quit

this useless addiction, destroying me bit by bit?

I could be happy, if only I weren't stuck

on what I can't have, what's beyond my luck.

I need to travel, to get away far,

to another galaxy, find a new star.

Unfinished - my thread of thought breaks -

I'll forget about you - whatever it takes.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 73
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Metal music, vintage sound

feel the beat pulse all around;

Louder! Drown out my heartbeats,

drown out this fire that burns and overheats.

Play louder than my heart, perhaps I'll forget,

that it tears me apart, this unresolved bet.

Schrödinger's cat of blissful ignorance,

a stalemate, a draw, merciful ambivalence.

We could be a pair, like tequila and salt,

I'll just keep dreaming, 'til I wake with a jolt.

Smoke in my lungs, my hair in my face,

I'm lulled into numbness, in the music's embrace.

Sensory overload of lights and sound,

In a club's chaos, clarity I found:

Things will work out, in whatever way,

and even if they don't, I'll be okay.

Whatever happens, I know I can handle,

for I am a forest fire, not just a candle.
Aug 2020 · 70
Bubbles and Sand
Haley Protega Aug 2020
I obsessed over soap bubbles when I was a child:

how they dance in the wind, beautiful and wild;

so free, so perfect, but disappearing too fast,

and you're no different - too quickly our time has passed.

Like sand through my fingers, you're slipping away

I can't think of an excuse to make you stay

other than the reasons I dare not tell,

so I let you go, silent in my hell.

Even when you're not around, you're always in my head,

Overthinking everything: how you acted, what you said;

Looking for a hint, grasping at straws,

ignoring the doubt, evading its claws.

I'm happier not knowing, I'm too afraid

to break this glass castle my poems have made.

And so, like sand through an hourglass,

our time together continues to pass.

Never enough time, never enough sand,

I keep staring at my now empty hand.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 37
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Like nothing else matters, you make me feel free,

I could move mountains with you next to me.

I could reach out and touch the sky,

do anything I wish, with you I could fly.

I know you're not perfect, but neither am I,

we make each other better, higher than high.

Arms I could melt into, safe and sound,

just thoughts of you lift me off of the ground.

I walk the city streets, floating in clouds,

wrapped in fluffy fantasies, not noticing the crowds.

As long as there's the slightest chance,

I won't give up, I love this trance.

I could live off your smile, I've said it before,

Never enough of you, I always want more.

If I had to cast a Patronus, the image is clear:

the memory of you laughing drives away any fear.

The brightest star in a constellation, softest note in a song,

I've never been in love before, until you came along.

Even across distances, I wouldn't forget

this feeling, this fire, on that you can bet.

Only on you my heart is set,

I owe you all these poems - what a lovely debt.

Just say the word, I'll fall into your arms,

There's no way I could ever resist your charms.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 86
Instant Asthma
Haley Protega Aug 2020
From tall steeples church bells' ring,

Cupid's arrow has a painful sting.

And still of you I long to sing,

my heart glows blue, a crystal bling.

To stay away, I could not endure,

for this affliction I know no cure.

But writing soothes and numbs the ache,

red-hot coals, thrown in a lake.

Still, no lake is quite so cold

to quench these embers, truth be told.

When you walk in, I feel like I need an inhaler

- instant asthma - your eyes make stars seem paler.

Every time I make you laugh,

half of my soul meets the other half.

I said I'd quit, that these poems are done,

but I relapse, sentimentality has won.

In the morning again I'll say:

"There is no us, there is no way",

But evening melancholy crystallizes into rhyme,

the urge to write keeps winning every time.

Like an alcoholic taking a shot every other day,

I can't get over you if I can't get away.

And I don't want to, no matter what they say,

this fatal addiction - I wouldn't have it any other way.

Even if I get on my own nerves during day,

the nights are ours, as sleepless I lay.

Up until 3 am, thinking of the perfect metaphor,

for the call of my muse I cannot ignore.

So, call me silly, call me a fool,

I'm a romantic, under love's rule.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 100
Language of You
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Like a foreign language, I've learnt to read your face,

the changing expressions, synced with conversation's pace.

I can tell when there's something else on your mind,

or when there's a right word you're trying to find.

The way you raise your eyebrows at an interesting story,

or burst into laughter - my heart beats away to glory.

The way your face lights up, when you're making a joke,

and that lingering smile, even after you spoke.

Your speech dynamic, I know the melody,

the rhythm, the places where pauses will be.

Like a living book, I study each phrase,

a fascinating read, to get lost in your gaze.

I can't find a flaw, not a single misspelling,

no irregular verbs, just a story for telling.

And what a plot, a writing style that captivates me so,

A page-turner, every paragraph and row.

I speak many languages - learning them is fun -

but the language of you is my my favourite one.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 69
Lost Smiles
Haley Protega Aug 2020
My smiles keep getting lost on their way to you,

ending up everywhere except where they're meant to;

You're a Northern star, unreachable to ships at sea,

but an indicator of direction, of where they should be.

Like petals of cherry blossom the wind blows away,

they're too fragile and light, to be able to stay.

I envy the breeze that caresses your face,

softly, like the gentle touch of fine lace.

And my smiles wander, disoriented still,

sensing the space between us, that they try to fill;

a bridge of smiles, held together by hope,

a love letter in a transparent envelope.

So I keep waiting, like a bud awaits the spring,

hopeless yet hoping, a bell on a string -

a silent melody, safely stored away,

waiting for Dawn, for the light of day.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 69
Haley Protega Aug 2020
Heartbeats in my eardrums, the rhythm of despair;

nobody ever said love was fair.

I know you are poison, I am well aware,

yet I cannot bring myself to care.

I clutch this rose, whose thorns bleed me dry,

drunk on the scent, so high I fly.

The crimson petals and blood drops that fall,

a lonely violin melodies a call.

Like Fire, the thorns burn into my palm,

I'd never let go – you are my calm.

At your command, a hypnotized thrall,

my soul, my love, you can have it all.

A dream, a dream! this must be it –

it overwhelms me bit by bit:

Sparks to stars to supernova light,

frost to 'flakes to an avalanche in white.

– My thoughts – in pieces – incandescent shine –

Conflagrate – this fantasy – finally mine –.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 56
Haley Protega Aug 2020
It's ironic that I keep addressing

these poems to you, to whom I'm confessing;

yet you will never read a single line,

just like you won't ever be mine.

We haven't much in common, truth be told,

you're a go-getter, and I'm not that bold.

You are the Fire - I merely smoke,

you're the real deal, I'm just a joke.

A reflection, a shadow, a distant dim glow,

the inklings of frost on a winter window.

Broken up pieces of soft sea glass,

a whisper that quickly will fade and pass.

You wouldn't even like this fluttery rhyme,

these wings without bodies that fly into time,

disappear in the veil of an anonymous abyss,

ephemeral sparkles that no one will miss.

My soul trickles into every verse;

not for a moment did I regret this curse.

It's bittersweet, this lovely pain,

your presence is a diamond rain -

sharp and brilliant, all in one.

You are the Moon, but also the Sun.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 264
Mad Heart
Haley Protega Aug 2020
They ask me what I like about you -

as if it could be said in a sentence or two...

As if words could even express,

all the ways in which you make me a mess.

Oh, mad heart, if you could just quit

wishing and yearning, just for a bit.

I need a rest, from this lasting ache,

to stop thinking about him, asleep or awake.

Just give up, just don't, there isn't a hope,

you delude yourself, just start to cope.

"It's better to know then to keep wondering" -

but could I stand the rejection's sting?

Just holding these feels, it's too much to bear,

Sorry, can't help it, I simply care.

This way, at least, I'm the one to blame,

this way, I don't have to face the shame.

Somehow, it feels, just like control,

I'm hurting but I made the call.

Giving up and losing are two different things,

one pain is dull, the other one stings.

This way you won't feel sorry for me,

this way I get to keep my dignity.

Gracefully retrieve, and bow my head,

it's better, for all, that nothing is said.

I can't fight for you, that's not how it's done,

stubbornness isn't how love is won.

Perchance, I pray, I am mistaken,

From this bad dream, I might be awakened?

You might be braver, reach out first,

finally quench this maddening thirst?

Oh, it's a fool's heart speaking again,

a dreamer's mist; wondering "when?"

when will you notice, what a blindman could see,

what I feel everyone notices already?

Darling, answer my silent plea,

don't be cruel, I pray thee.

For when you look deep into my eyes,

you must know, there cannot be any lies.

It's cowardly of me, to leave it to you,

Sorry, again; that's all I can do.

I'll stay nearby, since I can't get away,

an ember of hope, a dawn of a day.

But regardless of all, I need to say,

thank you, my muse, my sunlight ray.

(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 73
Haley Protega Aug 2020
You never let down your guard.

Charming and polite; a poker-face behind the card.

Around you are walls of smiles and lies,

a fortress in which the true you hides.

I wonder if you are a little like me,

behind that mask of "always carefree".

I think there's more to you, for the little things you say,

quietly, in the evening, more truthfully than during day.

You're a little too perfect, to be fully real,

and I'm dying to know - what is your deal?

You keep declining, to join us and drink,

you must have your reasons, and that makes me think.

I won't drink either, since it's of no use

in forgetting about you - it just lights the fuse.

Though it would be easier, to just blame the liquor,

and the liquid courage, that makes it all quicker.

But there you go being a Good Influence on me,

my Silent Suffering, my Penance, my Ecstasy.
(for S.)
Aug 2020 · 63
Haley Protega Aug 2020
My mood is a sinusoid - either bliss or the void.

You throw me in shackles, then give me a crown;

I get my hopes up, before they crash back down.

You make me grow wings, then clip them in an instant

with all the little things that make you seem distant.

A kind word, a smile, and I'm in a dreamy cloud,

until my doubts return, harsh, black, and loud.

I weigh every word, read too much into yours,

it's getting absurd, my heart falls and soars.

I'll get away! Move on, have a fresh start -

and then you smile - all plans fall apart.

I rise and then stoop, I break, and I mend,

caught in a loop, a cycle without end;

Just like the heartbeats deep in my chest,

you'll soon speed them into cardiac arrest.

My heart keeps pounding (I must protest!)

to get out, to you, like a bird to its nest.

Nothing else could send it into this craze,

there isn't a chemical as strong as your gaze.

It beats like a bass - that much is true -

because you like techno, and I like you.

(for S.)
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