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Imagining you standing, watching the ocean,
Our bare feet pushing into the soft sand,
The setting sun warming our backs, pleasant,
A gentle breeze trifles with your wayward hair.

Waves rush in, foaming, churning, tickling,
Then pull away, sand shifting beneath us,
Losing our balance, ‘ah,’ we adjust, ‘yes,’
Seeing things differently, altered perspective.

We stroll along the strand, quite content,
Sun kissing the mountains, whilst to the east,
The impassive moon rises with stolen light,
You exclaim, ‘look, they share the same sky.’

I nod, knowingly, squeezing your fingers,
‘There’s a name for that,’ I say, ‘I forget though.’
‘They name everything these days,’ you reply,
‘But they know nothing, not really; just names.’

I sigh, happy with our friendship, so good,
Forged across the ocean, solid, dependable,
Wavelets erase our footsteps, yet we walk on,
Our past resting, but always with us: always.

You look at me and smile, tears in your eyes,
I try to brush them away, you clasp my hand,
‘No,’ you say, ‘I’m fine, please, just let them be,
The tears are part of who I am; I accept them.’

I know you are right, I understand now, I do,
You’ve shown how not to let go, how to hold,
I awaken on my side of the world, smiling,
Imagining you standing, watching the ocean.
A poem about friendship and mutual respect, written for Tonya Riddle, finally, after almost a year of trying to script a poem of 21st century connections over the ocean between two people who have never met, and maybe, never shall meet. After speaking with Tonya, the essence of how she feels about her two lost boys, is present within metaphor. Thank you, Tonya, for the inspiration and permission to publish.
Paul M Chafer Sep 21
Ah, beautiful girl,
Lovely Lorraine,
I can see you now,
Your long brown hair,
Heart shaped face,
With a smile to share.

So young and fresh,
We were just kids, you and I,
Laughter came easy to us then,
As did the kisses and squeezes.

The scent of you lingers still,
Peachy soap on pale skin,
Cool Beechnut breath,
Is that a hint of apples?
Maybe from your hair,
Your long, brown hair.

You had a serious look in your eyes,
When we snuggled up tight,
Clinging together against the cold,
A look I could not fully interpret,
I get you now, though,
I get you now, Lorraine.

Too late now, though,
All these years later,
My very first love,
Taken away so young,
With distance between us,
Did you ever think of me?

Our kisses from another age,
Escaping on the edge of memories,
Emerging in a new century,
I can see you now,
Lovely Lorraine,
Ah, beautiful girl.
For Lorraine Woodward, a kissing-friend from school, taken from us by Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Goodbye Lorraine: you were loved.
Paul M Chafer Sep 15
I think,
I know who I am.
Do you know who I am?
Or maybe I don’t; after all.

It’s true; I don’t know who I am anymore!
What I do know, is that I try for sincerity,
Try to match ‘your’ forthright honesty,
While disguising how lost I have become,
Which is not an easy task to set oneself.

Do you sense my damaged spirit?
Well, my heart was lost long ago,
I fixed it, though! At least, I tried.
Yeah, sure, it’s not perfect: but what is?
Understand, those wounds went deep,
That’s the trouble with loving, giving,
Opening up, before the fated falling.
Even with distance, a virtual world away,
Always the landing, the dreaded crash,
The scattered pieces of shattered affection,
Embarrassing detritus of human emotion,
Becoming flotsam on a soughing breeze.
The confetti of feelings; unrecognisable.
A whole person, just floating away,
Left to wander, bereft, unwanted,
Loved no more, until inside; something dies,
Desire, crushed into nothingness: dead.

Survivable, though, oh yes, never the end,
Love is unique, a true, ******* phoenix,
Preening gaudy feathers, calling, calling,
Forgetting the pain, the yearning,
As it rises, seeking, wanting, needing,
Searching for that elusive phenomena,
After all, it’s more than just attention,
Surely, way more than that, surely!
If we’re honest, we all need to be loved,
What is life without ever caring?
A friendship devoid of true sharing?
Just existence, shadows and dust.

I do know who we are; even what we are,
As do you, if you search deep inside,
Or, maybe I don’t, after all,
Do you know who I am?
I know who I am,
I think.
Written for a friend
Paul M Chafer Jul 2017
Love addicts,
High from a single touch,
Trembling from a single kiss,
Sighing for what might be
Could be, and should be,
Hooked into our own groove,
For I am your drug,
And you, sweet woman,
You are totally mine,
As we lust for a fix,
Lost within a vertiginous miasma,
Reeling from a passion that sates,
So blissfully satisfying, and yet,
Also leaves us wanting more,
So much more that we ache,
Cast adrift upon an ocean,
One previously unknown,
The swells heaving,
The currents swirling,
Tides of wanton desire,
Surf crashing over us poor,
Love addicts.

©Paul M Chafer 2017
Paul M Chafer Jul 2017
While I have memories,
While I can still capture the image
Of your serene, beautiful face,
Just a fleeting glimpse will do,
The sun, a prisoner in your hair,
Mischief rioting in your eyes,
Tenderness teasing your smile,
You shall live in my heart,
Within in the hearts of many,
Always, my darling, always,
While I have memories.

©Paul M Chafer 2017
For Tonya.
Paul M Chafer Jul 2017
Something savage roared, tearing me inside,
Clawing and biting, mocking and jeering,
Reminding me that we always forget
Far more then we can ever remember.

Life is a vicious trap, clamped so tight,
Constructed from many smaller traps,
That we unwittingly engineer everyday,
Hardly noticing the lethal snares we shape.

I did fight back, of course I did: I had too,
I am a born fighter, never one to just yield,
Alas, the reality, I was only fighting myself,
Lashing out blindly, but already defeated.

The primal savagery that lusts after life,
Yearns for love, beats strongly deep within,
Cunningly, knows me so well, so intimately,
That I am shaken to the core without mercy.

The unleashed crippling truth is excruciating,
Resistance shattered, will sapped, heart broken,
Becoming a hollowed husk, the very moment,
Something savage roared, tearing me inside.

©Paul M Chafer 2017
Just one of those days when we feel lost and alone, they pass, life moves on, then we find love and all seems well again, for a little while, at least.
Paul M Chafer Apr 2017
An intrepid outsider just visiting London,
Smitten, dazzled, by stunning illuminations,
From within a black cab, transporting me,
Not only weaving in present day airy streets,
But through stacked layers of storied history;
Some dark, treacherous and dastardly sinister,
Some light, celebratory and blithely triumphant.

On alighting from the Hackney Carriage,
(use of the word ‘carriage’ emphasising
a vivid stretch of a willing imagination.)
Museum of London beckons, offering pleasure,
Absorbing a tableau of delightful treasure,
Engaging unfettered thoughts and feelings,
Absorbing echoed cries of distant past eras,
Reminders of who we were and who we are,
Plunging archaic depths of vicarious displays,
Delicate fingers pressing upon vibrant pulses,
Within this webbed tomb of sanitised decadence.

In the coolness of encroaching night,
She slumbers, this anchored sprawling behemoth,
Suffering barking dogs, wailing of infants,
Sweet kisses of lust in cardboard-strewn alleys,
Screeches from a gaggle of hen-partying girls,
Screams from urban foxes, cries of a feral cat,
Curtailed by hurried rumble of clattering steel,
Train arteries busy pumping, wheel to wheel,
Ferrying the masses, crammed together classes,
Silent tubes exposing the numbness we feel,
At destinations end our tensions slyly unpeel.

Busy pedestrians skirting human detritus;
Shunning, vagabonds, tramps and thieves,
Amidst intermittent beeps of frantic car horns,
Squealing brakes and hot roaring engines,
She encompasses this amorphous miasma,
Towering skyward, snaking deep underground,
A blaze of coloured light, her own silent sound,
Inhabitants ‘pigged together’ the majority above,
But many, ignored and mistreated, surviving below,
Recognised, yet avoided; pretending, not to know.

Ancient sewers, dead rivers and even deader bones,
As far back as hunter gathers, howling and rutting,
Stout wooden pilings, now sodden river sentinels,
Whilst fire-blackened-pain from early conflagrations,
Blaze through time, ashes of destruction, no deterrent,
Romans plying trades in walled Londinium’, aye,
Emotional fingerprints etched into carved stone,
Resilient through Viking and Saxon times alike,
She survives, strives and thrives, our proud Lady,
Welcoming all, galleons, tea clippers and schooners,
Surging through her carotid artery, such spoils,
For the Big Smoke, tea houses and coffee shops,
Parks and palaces, bridges, tunnels and hovels,
Where now, the bedecked Town Crier? Is all well?

Brash glitz and glamour of threatened Tin Pan Alley,
Cultural elite behind facades of Doric columns,
While Roman foundations bold form, hold firm,
Twisting through the underneath, far beyond forever,
London crunches into the future, unstoppable,
Embracing humanity in a technological fervour,
She adapts, snarls, struts, proud and confident,
Akin to a sentient beast lapping up our needs,
Feeding desires, never judging, only accepting.

My very being saturated within this teeming city,
Of the city, I’m now enmeshed in the infrastructure,
Heart, mind and spirit willingly shackled, captivated by,
Cold agglomeration of steel, glass, concrete and stone,
Wreathed in transient emotions of warm flesh and bone,
Giving and breathing life unto all, even me,
An intrepid outsider just visiting London.
Subject: to write about London as an outsider. This was accepted and published in the Wells Street Journal - issue 6
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