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Nov 2020 · 240
The Lady Who Holds Us Close
Leigh Nov 2020
She rambles a bit when she's excited to see us.
We're brought up to speed with her goings on
In the home that was built around her

As fast as her walker will go, we scurry to the front room
Where bread is cooling on the rack, and her excitement brims
To regale us with the morning's itinerary

It's all done to bring us into her world; to make us a part of it.
It's how she holds us close, making sure we're there with her,
As she may not grasp enough to be there with us...

She doesn't hear so well anymore you see,
But she didn't hear that from us as we smile and nod intently;
Just happy to be there, to be a part of it all
May 2019 · 1.1k
Crowded (Song)
Leigh May 2019
Crowded streets, alive with a rhythm
That moves too fast for me.
I carefully weave through a town for the artists
Who need someone to be,
Into a quiet place;

A crowded mind, sustaining an echo chamber
Fit for our times.
Surrounded by a thousand decisions
I look back at a life
Up on a pedestal.

Where I missed the signs in smiles and glances,
And hold out for those second chances
At the moments that I've missed;
Never lived.

(I) Detach from the dream disrupting the rhythm
That makes you you, and me?
Lost in time;
Compulsively collecting the moments
That made me want to be
In this quiet place to read

(Read) All the signs in smiles and glances;
I won't change the world discarding chances
To move on from when we lived,
But we'll live, we'll live, we'll live...

(I'll live)...through all the second-hand supposed answers
Composing poems in hopes of small advances
Towards the peace of mind I need
To find me again.

Crowded streets, alive with a rhythm
That moves too fast for me.
Mar 2019 · 1.3k
What time do you finish?
Leigh Mar 2019

Meet me for a pint after work.

Take me through the days, weeks, or months
We've neglected ourselves -
Overworked and inebriated respectively.
You've never been without a job -
But don't neglect a word.

Take utmost care through the moments
That define your time: The trials, troubles,
And metamorphic events which reframe
Your view of the world, or your relationship with it.
Tell me about the ones who make it easy.

We'll allow time for the detail.
Your moments constitute a vicarious roadmap;
A means to improve my world.

In return I can offer up a Dublin dinner:
The best advice I've never followed,
My sincere admiration,
And a proper pint of Guinness.

Sure there's eatin' and drinkin' in that!

Dec 2018 · 1.6k
If She Knows
Leigh Dec 2018
If she knows, she's keeping the secret of generations. When she leaves a room, it resonates for her until she returns.

A generosity of spirit unsurpassed and a one of a kind soul.

I'll miss her something serious.
It was better knowing she was there. A little light to treat the bleak.
Nov 2018 · 1.3k
Leigh Nov 2018

My everything swelled

Until my fear grew legs

So to carry me from you

And your everything too

At all costs.
Leigh Oct 2018
I've always known her on her own;
Bereaved by the man whose name I carry with me
Before I first carried it home, ******* on my thumb.
With no time for waiting on the day to catch up,
She's up and gone on tomorrow's adventure.

We've often run to her along the trail; To lose her again
As she paced up the Burren, or along a country lane in
Liscannor until met with a natural place to pause -
To fill her lungs with a wistful world,
Then to double back for the ones she loves.

I've always known her on her own, but never alone.
Oct 2018 · 3.7k
A Lake That Bears Your Name
Leigh Oct 2018
Ease yourself in up to your waist
And grit your teeth against the cold.
Take a slow step deeper with searching toes;
Learn to wade again against the tide.

I have always preferred the land;
To stand where I can see a horizon's
Distance and not risk being
Enveloped by it.

My risk was his wish underlined
By a body of work. He's away now from a life
Made up of **** ups, and break ups,
And love, and changing lives.
For Scott Hutchinson 1981 - 2018

"... a version of man built to collapse in crumbs."
Oct 2018 · 781
Spiral Out
Leigh Oct 2018
Stand down
And guide me
Through this pantomime
Of old improvised distasters
Amalgamating in real time to create a start,
Or start to create another
End to cycle through
Next time 'round
With more
Feb 2017 · 3.8k
When she was just a girl
Leigh Feb 2017
She never humoured anyone,
And she never made us small.
She gave our words more meaning
Than we dared and she thanked us;
Not with a word but with the understanding
That was her nature; Born in her
And given to us freely as she felt us worthy.
Another thing taken for granted,
Or to reflect on;
To learn.

She left long before
I flicked through her life in an album;
Before we cried and before I sang to her,
Or for her.
It's not clear anymore.

I hope you've found everything you were searching for.

Sleep easy.

Mar 2016 · 4.7k
Leigh Mar 2016
You are only lovely when I allow it:
When I let you out to trace the times
Your perfect puzzle-piece body
Sat home with mine;
Quiet hands on your chest
And on your stomach,
Breathing closer;
Holding tighter to muffle
The 'nails in skin'
Sort of **** that was
Held at a distance

You are only lovely when I allow it:
When I let you out to suffer the nights
You were left alone with my mood

You are only lovely when I allow it:
When I let you out to worry
As you hold together -
I sink into my crawl space
Pushing the rubble to the top

You are only lovely when I allow it:
When I let you out to relive and to relove
The way I should have
Nov 2015 · 1.1k
Leigh Nov 2015

Bloomed in a chasm of faith -
Life-deep, bereft of touch -
Where mass spoken seeds of grace
Morphed misanthropic and vile;
Splintered roots grow
Crooked - inwards - under laws
Force-fed and born from chaos.

Righteous hands - drenched in black -
Reaching to tear homes from
Homes and return the bones to
The hole from which this started;
Sticky fingers reaping lands
In what was said to be  
The name of God or just revenge.

No falsehood lies in belief as
One from one can cast their judgement
Born of love and greed and hate and pity
But faith takes the softest targets;
Detaching fear and hope and innocence
From names; bleeding all  
Into the earth to feed the bloom.

Sep 2015 · 810
Leigh Sep 2015
A seat at the precipice -
Stained and rusted -
Weathered by decaying leaves
Fallen inside the boundaries;

A caste to live within,
Without tight-knotted
Morals on wrists -
A place of slow progress

And little growth
To foster little changes
Meant to brace a wall
Built of shortened breaths.
Aug 2015 · 1.2k
Birthday Card [10W]
Leigh Aug 2015
The blank space beside her name carries him back home.
Aug 2015 · 3.8k
Leigh Aug 2015
Slick grass glistened heavy
After summer showers fell before a sun
That trickled veiled toward transcendent trees
Towered on the outskirts of the demesne - It unsheathed
A pearlescent canvas for a dreamer who paints ideals;

A reader finding signs in smiles and glances
Strolling paths free of fear to free imagination;
Summoning hopes against a fresh red/orange
Backdrop, and ignoring perilous heights to cast
A thought to moments yet unlived -
This fool's masterpiece.
Jul 2015 · 1.0k
Life Changer
Leigh Jul 2015

Blurred hibiscus
Sit alongside the
Bravest boy in
New York but
Offer nothing of
The judgement
He feels in his heart.

Sitting on the
Red brick steps
Of a porch which
Opens to the world
He pours himself
Through the focused
Lens of a life changer.


Jun 2015 · 1.5k
The Silent Treatment
Leigh Jun 2015
Through tight slits in wooden slats
I catch the three-legged wind chime
Which hangs by a thread from
An overhung roof, by the gutter.

The owl - whom keeps watch,
Double sided, double gazing
At the goings on in the garden and
Mirrored happenings on the wall -
Sits quietly at the centre of his universe
With knotted thoughts so intertwined
For years he has neglected
Or perhaps forgotten how to
Play the jingle resting on the breeze.

The legs which dangle from the
Moon with noisy knees have
Lost their tone or dulled to make
Their silent stand against my wanting ears -
A fitting punishment.

The only steps to stifle my regret are
Toward the watching eyes to
Shake the clapper;
Summoning a tempest to end an age
Of silence from the much too long
Forsaken keeper of the chime.

I looked out the window I sit next to every day and spotted a wind chime that I hadn't heard in years.

Jun 2015 · 935
Family Tree [10W]
Leigh Jun 2015
It doesn't fall far but it falls hard --
Bruised fruit
Jun 2015 · 7.4k
The Creature
Leigh Jun 2015
The creature waits clenched.
It waits hunkered and steadfast
For the quintessential moment to
Dangle your pride and cut its
Throat where you can see it.

The creature waits fuming.
It waits - shadowed and drip-fed -
For the penny to drop from its height;
To pierce the soft body of calm
And let loose the mess.

The creature waits grinning.
It waits smug and hysterical
For the time and times before this
Where it beat down a smile by
Forcing the question:

What is wrong with me?
Jun 2015 · 604
Fires In Ditches And Fields
Leigh Jun 2015
Fires in ditches and fields with
Newspapers, boxes, and dry grass
As our accessible anthracite;
Once smouldering enough on its own feet
To become its own source is when
The limbs were stripped and introduced;
Torn from trees or salvaged from
The outlying waste - they fed the
Crackle - spitting whispering embers skywards.

As children with little sense, our noise
Was all we could offer to appease
Wayward youth's disorder.
The crippled heat was secondary,
But to watch things burn was valuable;
A ring of lives held tenuous.

One thing I came to know
From the nights we gathered in droves is
That within this life of loose bonds and swells
I soak in the hungry gloam.

Jun 2015 · 1.1k
Losers Love To Cling
Leigh Jun 2015
Don't think less of me for thinking too much of you
Jun 2015 · 2.1k
The Lowly
Leigh Jun 2015
As you speak careful words they fan out
From your lips to soak adoring souls -
You paint their cages with a message of escape
And you reach between bars to warm the
Cold cheeks of the lowly.

As you search for the people behind
Translucent skin you spare a kiss -
Guiding them out, granting them
The freedom you pen in never-ending
Spirals on unsheathed arms.

It wasn't you who promised your crown.

We all grew to take more than we deserved.
Jun 2015 · 3.5k
Amateur Tree Surgeons
Leigh Jun 2015
It wasn't tackled with a surgeon's finesse
But the battered brute of conviction.
I can still see the two man cross cut saw
Jammed deep in the bark - but a tickle.
A mail of thick branches disguised as
Dense fodder stood strong against waves.
Throwing everything at it - raining sawdust -
As the giggles were heard for miles around.
Now standing crippled, taunting as it sways -
The battle's won but the war will have its day.
Jun 2015 · 1.6k
Blackout Blinds
Leigh Jun 2015
The well-oiled clunk of padlocks
slotting smoothly home
for dark to close off
rooms to outside days
and droned opprobrium.

The morning shine that
carries breezes brimmed
with birdsong must await
the sliding click and clack
of opened blackout blinds.

Open to a bundled clump of
tumbled, crumpled, crass,
incessant, prickling,
self-reflective musings
binding me to doubt.

It is this lair wherein I
rest and find the peace of
reign; 'Tis here I manifest as
Father Time to forge a faulty
rise and set with blackout blinds.

Jun 2015 · 2.8k
Dribble Castle
Leigh Jun 2015
Dig deep in the sand with a cupped shovel-hand
Until you come across a healthy source of water.

Scoop up what you see and let loose the soggy contents,
Let them dribble through a careful filter fist.

Slowly drip foundations and upon them start your fortress
Using steady streams of trickled dribs and drabs.

Stalagmites in hyperspeed form walls and lookout towers
With the damp bricks one by one constructing peaks.

Spectators of all sizes will collect and cast their gazes
But you must keep up the focused droplet swell.

Maiden battles can't be won and so the masterpiece will crumble
To the tide that forces motes to overflow.

Waves crash and reek their havoc on the castle that you managed
To build with will and manky dripping palms.

The sand on which it once stood will be flattened out and polished
To make way for a palace twice as grand.

When on the beach as kids, my Dad taught us to make these incredible castles using only dribbled water and wet sand.

Jun 2015 · 925
Winter Warmth
Leigh Jun 2015
Stop kindling the fire.
Wait until the embers are
Enough to forge a season;
To kiss hot skin to sleep
Or to the raggedy edge, to tease;
Not all for fun but again to feel
The glowing ashes left in the pit

Kept alight, I felt their heat
And how they dwindle --
Stifled by the chill of passing time
And the many crystalline branches
Chipped from snowflakes

"Winter must be cold for those
with no warm memories..."
The sentiment reduced to shards;
You were my winter warmth,
But it's my spring that
Carries the frost

May 2015 · 2.5k
Cultivated Ruin
Leigh May 2015
A ripened sky splits and bleeds
Mangled reds and blacks;
An instant melts as heat from
Clustered newborn suns --
Blistered from the wounds --
Collects and beams 1600 feet
Earthwards from Fat Man's
Plump and pompous underbelly.

The pure-light pin-***** stopped
The city's pulse for a moment;
Collecting remnants of the
Beating hearts (of artists,
Doctors, students, parents,
Preachers, rats, and peasants)
To plant on rotting soil -
A hellish fungal pustule.

The swelling abscess breathed
But once and burst to
Ripple excess outwards
Soaking up the landscape;
Ingesting miles and spewing
Spores towards septic skies to form
A mass of mushroomed
Might and pyrrhic triumph.

Leigh May 2015
                                        ­                     you
May 2015 · 3.9k
Leigh May 2015
The story of a tiny gift, half chewed and fear-stained
Left on the alter outside the back door:

When first stunned with a slap or a precisely timed
Bite, a vigil is held -- wings twitch and flutter.
With a curious tilt, widened eyes record
Muscle spasms; calculating the
Flight risk; metering the force of the next
Outburst; prolonging the fun.

A game or performance art?
The victim's peers yell and screech
From the rooftops - do they know
The show is for them?

After few manoeuvres more it matters little
As a tiny neck snaps between missing teeth.
The audience scatters and the corpse is left behind
As an offering for those who feed the beast.

The joys of owning a cat.
May 2015 · 765
Poetic Licence
Leigh May 2015
He took a heart and he plucked its
Strings recklessly to compose a second quartet -
Of love! Of passion! Of chaos! -
With sounds dredged from a hollow
Box inhabited by his masterpiece - Kamila.
Not the young, flattered, other man's living wife,
But the manifestation of his desire to depict
An artificial, delicately moulded, fervent

One of the great classical passions -
Up there with Dante and Beatrice -
Tarnished by a most deceptive
Embellishment in exchange
For radiance.
His melody - although bracing a lie -
Sings to the fizzle in your chest and
The tingle in your fingertips --
A lullaby to the desperation he required
To convince us it was at all possible.

"And in your withered heart you know it's crap."

I was driven to write this after reading the short play 'Performances' by Brian Friel. His take on the true sentiment behind Leoš Janáček's intimate letters to Kamila, which inspired and bolster his second String Quartet, is thought-provoking. Friel's idea that the letters were written to a perfect image of Kamila as opposed to the imperfect person in order to inspire the work he produced struck a chord with me. Pun whole heartedly intended.

Leigh May 2015
Clunky hands tick round
To beckon the rooster's crow --
No crisp morn summoned.

Perhaps sharp teeth sliced
Spilling chunks on moving gears --
Springs once sprung severed.

Though ticks still trundle
Their purpose swings freshly void --
Dense clunks breed gloaming.

With no shredding bay
Ending rapid eye movement --
Endless night transpires.

I wanted to write something with Haiku verses.


May 2015 · 514
Orders Come From The Top
Leigh May 2015
Construct your steel fortress
To keep the sanctimony,
Stones, and bottles from causing
More damage than the message they carry.

Chain your armoured Land Rovers
Around the outlying mobs
Just as the Holy Cross kids chained
Daisies to hang 'round their necks.

Don your plastic faces to match
Your plastic shields and be sure
Never to forget your baton, bias or bitterness
Lest you be left vulnerable or human.

Load your guns with rubber
And only pull triggers when provoked
To be absolutely clear just when it's
Okay to open fire on a child.

Hold your faith in your palm,
Grip it tight every chance you get
For it will guide you through the
Nightmares -- ones in which you'll soon feature.

"Great peace have they who love your law,
and nothing can make them stumble."
May 2015 · 1.0k
Leigh May 2015
An insistent past solidifies a present crumbling at my feet --
To rubble so fine it rains through desperately cupped hands.
May 2015 · 1.1k
Weave Me A Lifetime Of This
Leigh May 2015
Around the backs of houses:
Overgrowth cloaked a
Horde of little rascals with
Pockets full of pennies.

Some were almost as tall as the
Highest stalks and jumped
Once a minute to gauge the number
Of silly long strides left to spring from.

Eyes fixed forwards, soldiering
On to the treeline and then just
Beyond - Through the ditch and
Brambles, emerging onto stones:

Ten feet towered with a
Steep ascent as a clear warning
Raptly ignored by the imps --
The chasers of thrills and stories

And melted misshapen metal -
Wherein lies the innocence of their
Treacherous endeavors. Those
Pennies would return mangled and bent

Enough to weave a tale of valiance
And near-death peril so captivating
It couldn't possibly be spun;
For in your hand you held a token.

"The world vibrated and ear drums
Exploded, running to cover from
The screaming, steaming demon:
Dublin to Belfast express!"
They would say.
May 2015 · 2.7k
Sanguine Lips
Leigh May 2015
Let's go searching.
With hand over heart to
Set the pace, you can guide our
Way through goosebumps. We'll search
Close and thin for meaning
In fears we're yet to shed.

Let's go falling.
We'll feel fuzzy headed
When the bough breaks
With a crisp crunch and
We'll leave to chance
Whose fall needs fixing.

Let's go shaking.
We'll let blurry white stars
Propagate in petri dish
Pupils; A shudder
At the brink with
Nails buried deep.

Let's go dreaming
Dreams of finding
Soft sands stretched limitless:
A place to land
Where respite paints
Over sanguine lips now still.
May 2015 · 565
Dear Caroline
Leigh May 2015
Pictures of your tubes and a wooden cross
Engraved is all I know of you.
I wasn't yet a thought when perhaps you wrapped a
Tiny hand 'round a trembling finger to feel a beat,
Or when maybe you cried just enough for everyone
Who kissed your little head.
I sidestepped all of your goings on and the grief
By a few years, but I will always miss you.

I will miss our bond.
You didn't stay long enough to grow into your mannerisms,
But I wonder what we could have shared.
Would you have been funny or serious?
Together or scattered?

Somehow you've always been there for me.
You listened when I didn't know anyone else
Would and your flowers became my sanctuary.
Maybe you would kick my *** for
Being so uselessly sentimental,
And maybe you wouldn't.

It gets cold here, but you know that;
I hope you rest easy in your little garden,
Fit for a princess.
May 2015 · 1.5k
Hourglass Of Calcite
Leigh May 2015
A droplet in a cave echoes the
impact that I've made;
A life of dribbled
lime it takes
to lay this
path of


waves wash
out the resonance
I crave - That steady, stoic
drop too forms the biding end atop.
Time drips slowly by.

Also, this rhyming business is getting fun!
Leigh May 2015
"Heard melodies are sweet, but those unheard are sweeter"
John Keats, Ode On A Grecian Urn.

I'm never sure how I should take his silence,
It's not by choice, that much I know.
For he is a piper painted on porcelain,
Left to inspire a dreamer in an Ode.

His immortal canopy never sheds a leaf,
But offers no shade - frozen in time -
And as it was written, he never came to life and played
His fair maiden her melodious rhyme.

It sits on his lips as they chip and crack;
A dry mouth, a pipe for melodies made.
Sadly for the piper, I don't share Keats' hope
As he said of his maiden, 'She cannot fade'.

This brave boy's riff will remain dormant,
Haunting and quiet - laid on porcelain,
As I can't help this overwhelming jealousy
Of the notes he'll never play trapped within.

How they reel through my mind but leave nothing -
Not a sound or a ripple of waves,
Whereas mine float a while and decay with little grace,
The dotted-quavers left fading on staves.

I'm never sure how I should take his silence,
It's not by choice, that much I know.
Yet I envy more than words his lifetime in a moment,
In a world in which I wait and watch things grow.

If something grows, it must grow old.
This is a tribute to a poem that has always stuck with me: Ode on a Grecian urn.

Leigh May 2015
For the lucky, a million chances are granted
before their first day sleeps.
Unnoticed - mostly unspoken to the
screaming, restless, 'just wont settle' infants -
they are to be carried on the shoulders of  
protectors and handed down as time presents.

The chance to grow attached to that first teddy-bear.
The one in the attic with just one eye and
an off-white coat of the softest fur;
It holds all the heat from the nights you
nuzzled, before your imagination was clipped;

To wear your first little booties and
plod your first steps holding fingertips sky high;

To run headlong into the edge of a table
you could fit under but a day before;

To cry with your face scrunched up
and your eyes closed, mouth hanging ajar, after
falling from your bike;

And the chance to be embraced and told it will all
be okay by those same protectors, then handed another chance
with one less stabilizer.

Now let's replace the embrace with a thought -
For her;

Her protectors couldn't carry her chances.

When she awoke and filled her lungs
the chances handed down were a cold plastic bag and a
chance encounter with a passer by on the Steelstown Road:

Her chance at a first day, unnamed.

Given half a chance I would give her all of mine.

This is about a baby girl in Rathcoole in Dublin. She was less than a day old and found, alive thankfully, at the side of the road wrapped in a plastic bag.

May 2015 · 909
Perpetual Guilt
Leigh May 2015
Anaemic black mist creeps its way between toes,
crawling eyewards, worming stealthily up shins,
pausing only to cup bolted knees and find more
progress toward the stomach's pit where it will rest,
For now.

The soaking - from outside in - is a violation as a pore
stretched aside is all the space this ten tonne mass
needs - a callused finger pulling back a fleshy curtain
to claim squatter's rights - mashing its body into a crawl space,
It curls.

Right here, in the depths, it will feed from its host and
gradually weave a tendril through intestines and bile
like a periscope, seeking and feeling for a route to the stem:
The source of everlasting sustenance;
The end goal.

Once it latches, it will live forever suckling stance.
The insipid parasite, the binding leech; as it takes hold,
consumes with its voidwalker embrace
and paints every memory with your fault;
Perpetual guilt.

Given some time, I will find a way to blame myself for just about anything.

May 2015 · 11.0k
Faded Firsts and Firelogs
Leigh May 2015
The tide collects it all by morning;
The drama and the ***** napalmed across the path.
The scenes at second warning for most had been swept away
Before they wiped the sand from their shoes.

Empty cans of Dutch and Tuborg slouched on the dunes
Are tight-lipped about the Velvet Strand's secret ecosystem;
An underground microcosm;
A peripheral cluster of seething emotions drowned.

Memories of those years - although some expired,
The vestiges take pride of place - hold a cosmic clump of smells,
Tastes, firsts, goosebumps, hangovers, and ends.
I never before understood what I was holding on to.

Winters down in the shelters nearly killed us but we
Huddled through the cold, lit cheap firelogs and
Found our oblivion. It didn't take much for me to develop  
A stagger - tolerance for a lot of things was learned later.

I narrowly recall my first taste of poor judgement and
Hazy-headed stargazing. Six cans of Stonehouse
Dry cider - most of which ended up on the hillside -
Was a ridiculous endeavour that will always be sublime.

At the heart of it, I did it to impress a girl;
The one every boy has or has had that sticks;
Who holds your firsts and your hands and makes
Things simple if only for her complexity;

The one that never fails to bring upon digression when
Pens are involved. Revisiting reminiscence on a jarring note,
I think of my Junior Cert exams and a cross-dressed man
Exposing himself to two uniformed boys behind the public toilets.

This one doesn't stir the joy of the others.
This one I wish would dissolve;
An ugly, awkward blotch on a childhood.

Luckily fondness trumps disgust when recalling that place
Because of sunrises and sunsets absorbed from the roof.
The Summers spent jumping the gap and drowning in the
Heat of the sun were everything.

The fugitive sand between our toes and under finger nails
Became an accepted nuisance, a part of the territory;
A lingering grain or two to drag you back.
I miss waking up with the smell of last night's faded fire.

Some weird and wonderful memories of my teenage years.

100 points if you catch the Derek Mahon reference.

Apr 2015 · 533
Leigh Apr 2015
The hourglass spills days while penning insides and outcries
leaking content soaking pages; infecting woven fibril.
Using sharp fragments of semi-coherent tangents I scrape away
the leftovers:

Scraps of unfit metaphors fed to mounds of misshapen sentiment
Rusted similes left strewn on margins like impotent flotsam
Sampled words that don't quite capture the yaw, pitch,
angle, vibe, or taste I'm gunning for.

All tossed - Useless on paper, but useful as a dense foundation
of nonsense to bolster my intent.
The scribbled-out waste; the deep black marks between the final
cut are the raw outpouring I can't let you see.

The mess is too mottled for exhibition
Too fragile and too honest to absorb the stones.

Apr 2015 · 604
On to the whiskey [10W]
Leigh Apr 2015
Muddled senses in honest circles;
simply delightful,
like a lobotomy.

Leigh Apr 2015
Cardboard mattresses lining doorways;
a warning to avert your eyes
lest you be caught off-guard by throwaways
or made to squirm because you empathise.

A pinched sneaky glance at a sleeping bag
to see if a wayward vagabond there lies
A woman and child, or a greasy toerag
Probably a ****** laying vacant on high.

It is with pacified ignorance you accept this -
society's stunted stereotype, which offers no prize
for presuming your time's of more value than his
hers or theirs, a lost cause - the shivering exiles.

A person cold and damp remains a person
whether they smile or they stifle their cries
upon losing their place when matters worsen;
we can help, we can acknowledge they're alive.

I'm not usually one for rhymes but here we are.

Apr 2015 · 1.3k
Leigh Apr 2015
Settle your head, slow your breath and take a moment,
take a few and listen to the sound of your body.
Slowly close your eyes and marvel at the shapes snaking their
way across your inner lids; watch them paint the room
within a room as they pulse; fading and then leaping back in time -
a strobe diminishing with every slowing beat, eventually melting to static.
Breathe slowly in through your nose and out through your mouth.
Squeeze your knuckles tight and then relax once again. Focus on the
wave of tension momentarily created, coursing like lightening
up your arms and back, to your shoulders, your neck, and then feel it
dissipate as you exhale, spreading new energy to every nerve in your body.
Now open your eyes and find yourself
a heartbeat
in a shell.

This is what it feels like to be ready.
This is where you need to be if you mean to begin.
This is clarity.


Apr 2015 · 1.2k
Evasive Tendencies
Leigh Apr 2015
Holding back is an impulse for those of us
who spell 'happy' with a question mark.

We are the restless, thinking deeply;
trained to accept a consuming plateau.

We follow theories in patterns so as to clumsily grasp at
a conclusion to poke holes in and a reason to follow it
around again - the upended bicycle wheel spins and
we push ever harder - desperate to find something new;

Words to write or notes to piece together on a
set of strings or keys to show we're here and happy?

A little grain of our forever-doubt to leave behind
after spending lives tracing a question mark;

Weaving a pen around the joy that grows in the
middle of our road to arrive at an empty point.



Apr 2015 · 1.9k
Leigh Apr 2015
For Idil Ibrahim
In memory of Tim Hetherington - 1970 - 2011

I cannot stay and speak my truth while the front line has no voice.
The carpet doesn't share substance with the blood-clumped
dust of Liberia; Red wine doesn't stain nations and it hasn't
changed the world.

I cannot stay and walk these steps while the fragile youth stand.
Our Sunday morning route doesn't cover landscapes of wounds
and bodies; Central Park has never felt a thousand welted
feet march for death.

I cannot stay and see your face while molten plastic scars her world.
Your delicate eyes have never seen the darkness of a child's grief;
Our democracy cannot fathom the searing, slow drip after a family

I cannot stay and feel worthy of your love while injustice goes unseen.
My lens has immortalised what we held dear, but is yet to capture
the human condition; I spoke to you like I spoke to them;
Through decades of mortar fire I spoke to them.

Inspired by the life of Tim Hetherington, a frontline war photographer and journalist. His story is well told in 'Which way is the front line from here?' A truly remarkable person.

Apr 2015 · 616
Frames Missing
Leigh Apr 2015
Fleeting, rolling days, weeks,
years of half-memories with
no faces,
but places - parks,
playgrounds, forests, ditches -
in which youthful time was
spent without a thought for
permanence or preservation.
The "best years of your life"
twisted, tarnished, pastel-
smeared to indistinguishable
faces, places, seasons,
feelings, fears, loyalties -
scrunched up and abandoned;
left to seep inside a clockwork mind
teeming with trivial tenterhooks
and patchwork recollections.

How many details have been smudged by time and perseverance?

Apr 2015 · 754
Reilly's Hill
Leigh Apr 2015
I've walked the path many times
before and since.
It is always calm -
baron but teeming
with a muddled
disquiet of
once thought
final thoughts.
It's a place of peace
in which everything
resonates chaos
to the point you can
feel it invade
each synapse -
Ivy smothering
your process.
A slow-release
maddening hum
amplified by the
wind sweeping through
monstrous, scrawny
trees in formation:
They held the bodies
and winced when
their branches broke.
Yet still there is a draw
to the energy
festering there,
be it from the asylum
at the top of the hill
leaking memories
of abandoned
or from the long submitted
of martyrs who inhaled a
sharp cluster of reasons
as their last
with solidarity.
Leigh Apr 2015
Those who've lost, or who've been lost;
The people who have nothing left.
If what that red-brick shell provides

Soothes but one of these sufferers,
It serves a purpose to us all.
A purpose it should not overstep.
Apr 2015 · 440
Therapy Through Fingertips
Leigh Apr 2015
An hourglass, tightly bound,
fused grain in streaks;
each one taking on a different stain
giving the illusion of a thousand horizons
stacked to make up a body - empty but aching
to be filled by waves.

From knots wound into a headstock
grows an addiction: a need to revive  
the skin left behind between grooves -
skin which serves to soften the break,
but also feed character to the swell -  
granting purpose to decay.

It's about a guitar... Deep

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