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And others?
Wonder of the glistening ripples as the waters hush gently.
And these ones?
With ink webbed nets capture a reflection in words to share.
And you?
I cower mostly to try.
Is a fisherman a fisherman if he never caught a fish, or is a poet a poet if he's never contributed a real poem?
Perhaps in his heart.
seconds in a day
it took just
three of them
to make mine
one for every word you said,
“I love you.”
Being puny, young and too impatient to understand time would eventually change me, I sulked at the unfairness of the world.
He sensed I felt exactly what I was: a limp sapling too fragile and green to be allowed join the hunt of adventure with the older children.”Fetch me water from the well,” he said, more so a suggestion than a request.

Galloping to show my pace under his constant protective eyes, I reached the stone hemmed shaft.
Looping the rope through the eye of the weighted pail handle, I eagerly watched the vessel plummet into oblivion. Savouring the echoed dunk and gulp. The silent count to seven reverberated within.

Bracing myself in a determined stance. Straining against the initial load, I heaved. Hand griped over hand grip on the thick rough hemp cord. I allowed its slack to gather as it wished on the earth by the foot of the attached secure spike.

The last hoist was always the hardest for me. Trying as I could to avoid the bottom of the pail from striking the lip of the well. Swinging it clear, I untangled the umbilical cord. I carried the burden with dread. One arm was awkwardly angled for balance in case too much sloshed over the brim and soaked my feet, or worse, dampened my chances to prove my worth.

“Place it on the bench.” He nodded to the far end from where he sat as rigid and as tragic as a dense tree stump hinting at the might which he once was. Standing by his shoulder, I watched him overlap the flesh of his bog-wood tough hands into a cup. Without a flinch or goose-bump to note the coolness of the water, he sank his hands into the pail.

He slowly raised the basin of flesh. From the gathered pool minute drips seeped back into its source. He looked at me with his tricolour eyes of pitched pupils moated by iris of speckled cloudy blue in a sclera battlefield tinged with a sepia hue.”This is all I can lift. You’ve carried more than I one-handed.”

He sipped the last of the diminishing pool, only wasting the dampness of his fingers upon his woolen top. I followed his gaze to my own petal hands. I did not notice him leaving as I examined my palms in a new light.
They were compelled to whisper
Sitting in a room softly lit by a candle's flicker
Its ambient flame was just right
For intimacy and secrecy,
For gentle movements,
Delicate promises
And honesty.
from my little book "There is one here for you"
I babysat the rain
Watched over it all day long
The sky didn't come to collect it
Until the early morn

I was fine with that and didn't mind,
But I had to draw the line
When the following night I was asked if I might
Look after the Sun by its mother Dawn
There's two eyes of the Hurricane
both blue
flecked with grey.
forecasting the direction.
Ominous hunch
it is heading
my way.

The stability of shelter
is a lottery
of hope;
if caught in its
I'd be squashed
like a paper cup.
At a glance,
she can obliterate you
just like that. (click)
don't look into the eyes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
You shuffle in
from the kitchen
half stooped over
under the cover
of your nightgown.
Dry lips smeared with Vaseline set in a lazy frown.
Stinking of Vicks vapourub
and oxtail soup steaming from your favorite mug.
Eyelids heavy and more than a little dozy.
Hand reaching for a *** of tissue to blow your dribbling nosy.
With the mug in position you slump on the sofa
propped up with pillows, I've no choice but to move over.
Despite the max level of the central heating
I can see you are still shivering.
A fit of coughing erupts, raw and bone rattling.
There's a wheeze to each breath of your laboured breathing.
Moments pass and then comes the first snore
like an animal staking claim to its **** with a roar.
I carefully remove the mug and fallen tissue
Softly I kiss your forehead and whisper, “Get well soon. I love you.”
even suffering with a cold she is still beautiful
When limbs are floppy
and bodies soft
when dreams slowly drift away
the cosy lovable sleeping spot
hugs you and begs you to stay
the snuggest feeling is the one before you have to get up out of bed
I can't see me any more
or remember who I was
or understand what I am
or build and equate a plan
of what I will become.
Lost within,
desperate without.
Slipping with hourglass grains
getting squeezed though
an unavoidable hole.
I'm sinking,
to where,
who knows?
The walls offer no purchase
I'm falling.
Will it hurt when I land?
simply put,
broken down
to an ocean smooth stone
one of many on the shore.
one you're drawn too.
it waited for you.
laying in palm's cup
it feels snug at home.
You don't know what you're missing until it's gone.
You don't know what you were missing until it's found.
It's carried around.
sometimes it's a burden
sometimes it doesn't sit well at all.
sometimes you throw it away.
sometimes, without warning,
it falls.
sometimes it's a casual fling.
sometimes it's comforting
feels as though it belongs.
sometimes it's the foundations of a poem.
Stomping from above
stealing the opportunity
to guess where she is.
Door slam.
Stomp, stomp, stomp.
Clunk, clunk,
There goes her shoes discarded across the room.
Slide, pause, slam
Slide, pause, ....
Slam- the dresser draws.
Thump! What was that?
A jump?
Stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp
Dr-----a-------g and stop.
The creaking tiny top door of the wardrobe,
The one she can't reach without a chair!
Shunt- the top door never closes properly.
Stamp and whump
Bed springs whinge
....then the call
and mercifully
Yesterday's lies fell like the cards
from the sleeve of a dying gambler
clutching a pair of deuces to his chest
while kings and aces littered the floor.
He was dealt a decent hand
but played her badly.
When she upped the anti
He should have folded
but foolishly raised the stakes
hoping to call her bluff.
A big mistaken
At the flop he showed his hand.
Claiming honesty as the one-eyed jack
She flushed him out,
but didn't celebrate.
The *** was full of chips
each one shattered from her heart.
Charles used to say hello to everybody
even to us children
as he quickly walked to the shops, for the bus or home.
For us children to be counted as equals with adults
to be included
in a kind greeting
was something special.
It felt nice.
Often he'd spy a piece of *******: a cellophane wrapper lodged in a bush, a squashed drinks can next to a tree trunk or a balled up newspaper tumble-weeding across the road.
He'd pick them up, but only on his way home.
We guessed he binned them, but we never knew.
"Hi, hello. Grand morning, grand, grand," the words spoken as rapidly as his feet moved.
"Hi Charles. Yes, it's a fine day." This was the most anybody replied as he swiftly paced home clutching a takeaway bag while a pile of litter was hinged in the crux of his arm by his chest.
A giant of a man
A head taller than the tallest father.
His face was that of an aged cherub: warm, friendly, cleanly shaved and full.  
I am uncertain, but think his jet black hair was styled like a Teddyboy.
Still as children, but a little older,
a little less naive,
a little more curious,
Something kicked in.
A discovery that he was not like the other adults in our lives.
He always smiled.
"Hi, hello. A bit nippy today."
"Hi Charles. Best wrap up."
"Yes, yes," he would add with a nod and smile before carrying on about his way.
Older still and I asked about him.
Not fully comprehending all the words such as "Mental breakdown,"
but he had one a long, long time ago.
"He used to be a scientist in London," I was told, "but he had a mental breakdown."
The phrase carried weight because it was always whispered as if he could hear through the walls and houses two streets away.
Everybody said how terribly sad it was.
But Charles always smiled.
I wondered who it was saddest for.
Despite my ignorance of things I understood that I should feel sorry for him, so I did (a bit).
I really felt sorry for was us children.
It was understood he only ever said hello because he had a "breakdown" and if he didn't he would be like the rest of adults in the neighbourhood.
Knowledge stole this from us.
For Charles who was a kind man once.
For the lonely,
for the loveless,
for the forgotten and overlooked,
for the discarded and trodden on,
for the neglected,
for the ignored and mocked,
for societies weeds,
for circumstantial weeds.
For you outcasts are weeds
the flowers nobody wants,
weeds are resilient.
They persevere where others can not.
Often mistaken for weak, but no,
weeds are strong
and tough enough to break through tonnes of concrete
and metal.
Clever enough to find growth in places
others perish in.
Adaptable to every habitat and
brave enough to exist on barren wasteland.
Weeds need only the tiniest of a chance to flourish
For the unwanted,
for the unclaimed.
You are beautiful.
You are equal to every other flower.
You are the Charlock, the Buttercup, the Clover,
the Pinapple-May-**** and so much more.
Next time you see a **** by the roadside,
or peeking out from a crack in a wall,
or between paving slabs in a busy city,
or overgrown in a garden,
or weaving through rubble and debris,
take heart
lonely ones.
You are not worthless
You are magnificent.
I've always loved weeds and have been one for so long. We are many, mo cara, we belong
Walk with me.
Let us stroll together, you and I,
Just the two of us,
Away from here for a spell.
Let us link arms, or hold hands, or simply walk
Side by side.
Nowhere too far
Nothing too rigorous
A leisurely step in the open.
No need for words,
But if you wish, let us speak easily,
And respectively.
If one should ask an intrusive question
Let the other be quick to forgive
In the understanding it was asked out of care and sincerity.
Or if footfalls should be the only sound between us
We'll enjoy it for what it is
A ramble,
A wander,
A friendly saunter.
We can return when you feel it is right
Or if the hour is getting late.
And if you want to continue
I will be with you every step of the way.
Come, my friend,
Let us remind the path why it is there.
from my little book "There is one here for you"
Are they born of cruelty or blessing
those fleeting moments of recognition that brings you to mind?
Those rare occasions when I spy another with your frame,
your hair,
your posture,
or catch an echoed vowel in an overheard conversation
filling me with hope
of seeing you.
Is it cruelty or a blessing
when I'm stopped with the thump
and press
of sadness
before I can form an eager smile.
.you died.
Cruelty in acknowledging the truth.
Blessing to have memories of you.
It kicks you like the shrill of Dizzy G's trumpet blast when you expected violins:
Finding yourself rolling with the disjointed rhythm.
You savour the unexpected jolts
And know things are changing.
It's a whiskey sour before midday
Tasting oh so perfect
When you would have settled for a glass of red wine after dinner
Or a tonic water.
But that's OK too.
Its the glare of the sun after the darkness of the cinema.
Its the startling phone call at 3a.m.
That turns out to be the wrong number.
A relaxed edginess.
It's cracking open a seal of thought and imagination.
It's gasps of "What was that?"
and "I think she fancies me!"
Breaking the block
Sudden inspiration smashing through.
Pounding down doors
You've got to sink the hooks in deeply.
Expect anything.
You don't want too, but you wonder
Has it always been there
Or birthed anew just for you.
She misses his delicious kisses;
relishes his teasing touches,
and wishes his seductive whispers
said in secrecy beneath sheets and covers
while limbs twist and spasm,
axis spring and swivel,
and torso arches and collapses
during shared soft and salacious caresses,
shall soon return in such sweetness
to serenade streams of heightened senses
causing erupting screams of
was going to end it - he wishes his mistresses kisses are as delicious as his is---but that was too much
They were dry tinder
   Cautious of the passion on the cusp of friction
       Back-stepping each possible spark
          And ignition
            To burn feverishly.
Their retreats only added kindle to their bodies' desire
   Crying out for flaming tongues to lick
     And flicker
       And erupt in
        A blazing inferno of utter combustion.
It was not the uncontrollable white heat they feared
  But the fear of eventually running out of fuel
    The backwash when nothing but
      Char and ash remain
         And the last embers snuffed out.
The yearning like smoke
  Forever lost on the bellows of time
    It was not the burning they dreaded
      But being burnt.
Slivers of hope remained.
Though scarce, it was enough to push on.
The Call.
Hushed movements
The glimmer of faith,
A diminishing wick,
Cruelly snuffed out by the pinch of confirmation.
The waiting.
The weight of the words
A peripheral flash
Preceding a perpetual storm.
Muffled by cupped and shaking hands.
Bowed heads and silence.
Fallen tears of volunteers.
Distorted and stricken faces
Searching for other faces
Wishing they were home.
When a person is missing, men and women and in some cases whole communities volunteer themselves to help find the person whether they know them or not. Their help is always appreciated, but often their own anguish goes overlooked....
I first posted this on Penlateral a year or so back.
Hesitant to approach a subject,
To breach delicate issues
which hold curiosity.
A carrot of rumour
best to leave it hanging
forever out of reach
and remain hungry
than foolishly attempt to
taste the
off gossip
forgive the sun
its jealousy
unlike you
it only shines for half the day
We sidestepped the stars and became engulfed with the vast nothingness of space
without which they could not shine.

We avoided roses and carnations and gave ourselves over to the earth from which they sprang.

We ignored the music, but marveled at the waves of vibration which made sense of the sound.

We shunned the masterpiece, becoming enthralled by the technique which allowed its longevity to be enjoyed.

We spurned the story, but delved into the grammar and structure of every single word.

We spoke not of love, but acted. We cherished each breath shared in between without which there would not be us.
Beads of rain
fall upon the window
So light
they are barely audible.

Placid trails link
forming brief dribbles
too lacking to create
a proper trickle.

If only tears gathered
to fashion such delicate gems
of broken watery veins
instead of desolated dreams.
I will not mortalize them by name or rhyme
Or paint their character with prose
they are the spiteful, bitter ones
the same ones everybody knows
to become immortal they must first become mortal.
I watched her crush him as she broke his heart
Then she wanted to grind him to dust
with the expectation of friendship.
Heartless *****,
hasn't he suffered enough?
He has the heart of a tattered harlequin
Patched and re-patched with rags of broken times that were once good.
The cloth of its chambers is worn and threadbare
Held by the shreds of borrowed nights and comical stolen mornings.

He has the heart of a battered harlequin
And regret has turned his blood to the colour of rust
Unanswered questions congeal and clog his pulse
When he is lonely and aching, time - not isolation- is his worst enemy

He has the heart of a knackered harlequin
Kept moist by whiskey and gin, and uppers and downers that he pops like candy
He has a patchwork sack of a heart
It can never be filled and often feels empty.
It is only a little word, but carries so much on its shoulders.
Often overlooked as an emotion when placed next to the big ones:
fear, love, hate, jealousy, happiness, greed.
Without it what would we be?
What purpose would we have?
It is a catalyst from which dreams are cast
and possibilities reached.
As an idea it is only touched upon, but without it nothing would be worth following through.
Nothing would drive us
Life would lack ambitions.
When it is gone everything seems broken
no last gasping chances left.
It is embedded in every aspect of life
and yet it quietly hides.
When uttered, it sounds weak,
but can be strong enough to move mountains,
overthrow governments and rattle tyrants off their throne.
Or simply it is enough to finish third in a race,
or be on time for a meeting,
or for the tests to come back negative.
Our hope.
I caught a nasty dose of loneliness
I'm sure it was from the man on the train
Blowing kisses through the window to his children and partner
Whose tears trickled au revoir in the rain

Or maybe it was from the two women smooching
In the night club on the seats opposite me
They were gasping and panting, but  not for breath
while pawing each other with urgency

Perhaps it was because I left my window open
On a sizzling summer night last week
Through which I heard devotions of love being shared
By a tipsy couple gaily romancing on the street.
For all the goodness this screen provides;
for its instant gratification;
for the evolved digital relay of self-published creativity;
for the immediate responses and comments
from half a world away.
For its space saving mastery.
I long to hold all your words, verses and rhymes intimately
within glossy or plain protective coat of hard card
Your spine dunked in the cup of palm
headcap to tail resting in crux of arm
or nestled like a lover upon lap.
I could take you to bed.
I want to thumb through your pages
Pages once mashed and pulped and pressed to dry.
I long to feel the weight of words physically
to smell the freshness along each hinge crease,
and caress the texture.
To return to those most fond
charactered with dogear
underlined with ballpoint
and pencilled margin notes.
Even the mild smudge of finger tip dirt
when I simply could not wait to picking you up before washing.
If only this screen was a page
One of millions ever changing
I could hold all your work close
and fall asleep with your words
waiting in rest beside me
I mean every word
"Run down the list, if you please."
"OK. Doc, let's start with these:
An earwig with shin splints,
a worm with heartburn,
A cockroach with a cold-"
"He should have wrapped up like he was told!"
"-A bee with hay-fever."
"She never listens either..."
"A centipede with a migraine,
A fly with wing sprain
And a woodlouse with suspected vertigo."
  "Is that them all?"
"Well, no. There's an elderly spider with a blister on his ***. He can't spin a web to build a trap or home.
There is a grub with possible depression,
A slug with a stomach bug
And a ladybird with gout."
  "Too many greenflies, no doubt."
"There's a butterfly with signs of hypochondria due to a swollen antennae,
no matter what I say he's certain he is going to die.
Now, the last is a delicate imposition: the Queen ant wants birth control,
Because she is sick of her pregnant condition."
It ain't the flame
                                        that causes fire
                                        it be the heat.

This fickle thing we've got going
is burning me up sweet.

                                        It ain't your lips
                                        that drive me crazy
                                        it be your kiss.

I'm getting addicted to you
and fear I don't want to break this
                                        it ain't a cage
                                        that imprisons me
                                        it be the time

The longer I'm kept from you
I accuse circumstance of this crime
                                       It ain't money
                                       that lures gamblers
                                       it be the risk.

The odds are stacked against us
time to roll the dice, draw a stick.
They are starting to grow and I am so, so proud of them.
With every little achievement they succeed, they are blooming
But a selfish part of me silently cries
Because I am becoming less and less needed in their eyes.
They no longer need me to push them on the swings,
Or warn them not to pick up ***** and stinky things.
They can wash themselves and brush their own hair
And decide for themselves what clothing they ought to ware.
They have mastered Velcro and zips, buttons and laces,
But sometimes they need reminding to wipe their scrubby little faces.
They can open the fridge and help themselves to a snack
And are sneaky enough to swipe extra cookies behind my back.
They are growing quickly and will definitely be
Taller and stronger and smarter than me.
I pray for their happiness, their health and their safety.
No matter what happens they'll always be my babies.
I do and will always love them, come what may.
And I hope they will know I do each and every day.
for my beautiful kids
taken from my little book "There is one here for you"
Let's retire to bed
we retire the bed
I wish I was her cup
her favorite cup
the cup she holds affectionately several times a day.
The cup she urgently needs to place her mouth upon
first thing every morn.
The kick-start her day cup
her pick-me-uppa cuppa
I wish I was the cup she always holds
the one she never argues with
the same one which helps sooth her.
The cup that receives those intimate thoughts
she shares with a stare
when lost in reflection of its depths.
If I was that cup
I'd not be envious of the others she uses
the ones she disposes of once her needs have been sedated.
Or the fancypants ones
she uses when guests visit
she'll always come back for me
let another hold me as she does,
I'm only her lover.
“Play me something bittersweet
and mildly melancholic,” asks she.

I punched the buttons

then noticed the
“Out of Order” sign
on the jukebox
as it ate my coin.

I told her this.
Said she, “That'll do fine.”
The cobbled stone street unraveled like bubble wrap
waiting to protect her delicate heals as they tip-tapped
and echoed back
the lateness of the hour.
Hard shadows softened and relaxed
when her silhouette
blackened out the neon's stuttering
prolonging the blinking candy colours
into moments of borrowed night.
Her movements were that of a swallow on wing
liquid and seamless.
She was a lullaby traversing beneath centuries old granite walls
Stepping blindly, but never missing a step.
Even the gutter rats wondered who she was as they scurried to avoid startling her.
She disappeared with the diminishing tip-tap. The sound tapered to a fine point more.
You can pour love completely
into a wine glass body
Write heart wrenching verse
pure soul poetry
but when you are beat,
the lover beside you
becomes dismantled
and arranged into parts
of burden
Pointy elbows drilling into spine.
Rock hard knees buckling thighs.
Razor sharp toenails
ankles and calf.
Sprawled limbs
invading your bed half.
Thieves of warm sheets
and cosy duvets.
snorting roars
snoring away.
Or teeth grinding
piercing anvil,
hammer and drum.
When extremely tired
Only then your love isn't as fun
as and hour ago
when limbs, torso and flanks
eagerly woven
discarding blankets,
But that was then.
Sleep has a stronger lure
and retorting with your own elbow
or *** shunt
just can't end the snore.
Crying for snoozeville,
you can't take any more.
a choked snuffle
then blessed silence
as they roll back onto their side
And you sigh, “I love you,”
But grateful for the stop
Better off with bunk beds,
one can still go on top.
Once upon a wounded soul
a broken promise took its toll
the cracks cut deep
though the scars are old
Once upon a wounded soul

Once upon a bitter tear
a suppressed aching reappeared
regrets can't be shrugged off
after all these years
Once upon a bitter tear

Once upon a lonely night
a little hope returned its light
the soul prepares to love again
the tears have fallen, the eyes are wiped
Once upon a lonely night.
His fingers brushed the path of her arm
From wrist to elbow to shoulder
Gradually resting at the nape of her neck

Her head lolled back
Resting its weight in his offered cupped palm
Her breath reduced to a sigh

She briefly closed her eyes
Before pulling away from his touch
And hurriedly walked off in her own direction

No words were said, no declaration,
but his outstretched hand
Spoke volumes
The perfect someone does exist
it's our standards that are flawed
Peeling petals of wax
from fingertips
in melted tears
from the flaming eye
of the wick.
one for every lost love
that had no opportunity
to flower.
Our bodies have missed each other.
Let's let them catch up
It's not hard to enter a house quietly
in the dark
when weary
and drunk
with beer cans
swinging in a bag
clunk, clunk, clunk,
and a takeaway box
awkwardly tucked under one arm
while teeth
clamp keys
on a ring
jingle, jingle-ling.
When you have to hold up the wall
in case it should fall
and the light switch
shifted further and further along.
And you can't escape the tune,
but forget the name of the song
something like
“la-de-la-la da-dum, dum ****”
It's not hard to enter a house quietly
in the dark
when you live alone,
If you don't
others will soon bawl
and moan
“Will yah, keep it down;
what time d'you call this?”
It's then you find yourself giggling
at a joke
just understood
...hisss—sss-sss s....sss....s.
memories of times long gone,
the mornings were a *****
She wears an old fashioned shawl
laced wool of camomile
flecked with seeds of apple pip brown.
Wading shin deep with stork length legs, though lacking all brittleness,
she hems the thirsty sand line of shore
that's forever sipping foam
and swishing froth from the sea's diaphragmatic shifting.
The drag of each stride breaking
v's in their wake
all too soon dissipates
only to be replaced
with every surge and **** and lull.
She recites a poem as she treads the shallows
Hardly a whisper above a whisper
Blending lullaby syllables with the rhythmic surety of the tide.
Every word a billowed sail
carrying the craft of verse upon ripples and surf
back to the memory of one long lost across the sea.
form my book "There is one here for you"
Wilting shadows weep for the company of night
lacking comprehension they only exist where there's light
She calls no more.
There are no more letters or silly cards from her.
The spot reserved for her emails,
a picture frame thumbnail, sits vacant and sad.
I know I should delete it, but don't know why I haven't.
Ringtones are a dirge.
Pillows and covers and mugs and sofa divots wait expectantly.
I had to throw out my clothes, the ones she wore when she was cold
or too lazy to pick her own up from the floor.
Was it her scent i could still smell from them after a hundred washes?
Another life is being filled by her existence, now.
He wont notice her impact until it's too late.
I hope it works out between them.
And that she's always safe.
It was as common as grey slacks on a pensioner
Though smelled much, much better,
The shampoo she used, that is.
Used in abundance my numerous others,
None did justice as she.
Tempting chocolate tendrils skirting down
Colliding with shoulder and nape of her milky, silky neck.
I have kissed her there,
Suckled and slept.
Blanketed by her scented threads of security.
A sort of role reversal.
The supposing weak protect the strong as they sleep
And dream of where they are.
first published on my website Penlateral in wordpress
Hindsight's the sister of regret
"What ifs" tease attempts to forget.
Random objects mirror moments of reflection
Dejection's the brother of rejection.
How to talk of such things
When suitable words make a game of hiding;
verbs and adjectives are not rich enough in describing?

How to speak of such things
When a brittle voice trembles in the mentioning,
Tongue tied trickery trips every uttering,
While throat clench tightly trapping sentences to the point of suffocating?

Who to hear of such things
When guttural grunts are all that come crashing
and gasping breaths are too weak for their releasing
While listeners impatiently tilt heads from my scratchy stuttering?

Who to read of such things,
When the vagueness of text can't hold true meaning
and impulsive eyes leave print that is boring,
When you can't fault the font because it is indifferent to what you are attempting?

All the while the essence of a poem is slipping,
opportunity to grasp it is fading
and inspiration waning
The moment wilting
efforts are dying.
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