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Peter Roads Jun 24
There are no monsters but the night
it fills
these blankets, looming heavy
over a narrow bed, empty
but for me
my fears
and weak lungs rasping
for the peace I fear
will not come before the sun
-  -
I am here loved one
You are next door but I am here
to tease soft sense from fingers clenched
about a sheet dampened
by the absence of dreams

You will find sleep again
for the horrors of the wide awake cannot face you with aught but empty space
heavy blankets hold you close
it is not a shroud but a cloak
to shed darkness like rain
That faint rattle and rooftop roar
is water falling
Not footsteps
A gentle touch to this switch
a little flick and click!
You can be free of it
Rest love
Let peace be your companion
let darkest lips kiss heavy lids
with soft promises
whispering in a new day waiting
just for you
Tomorrow is coming
and that right soon
so be ready love
to spring from this mattress
and until then, do not fear the dark
- -
This whispered breath
I welcome it
This beast so familiar with this room
a gentle tomb to watch over you
and press me to the wall
knees clenched to my chest
until dawn makes monsters of us all
Peter Roads Apr 9
I hear voices in my head
I hear them sound like dead
people on Any Given Sunday
an ungracious abundance
of other peoples’ voices

I hear them most
when other people speak
loudness leaks from moving lips
to say words that make no sense
that say something else
the Politics of Experience
unfold me like some geometric inkblot

I see Batman
I see Batman
I see BATMAN

Did you hear that?

It sounded like Batman
like a Batarang
catching some villainous cape
like a car door closing
on a Great Escape

it sounded like
                     two people
competing for head space
the one being said
the one being meant
the silence in between them
speaks volumes to itself
No, please say that again
in a sonorous tone
it snores my inner demon
to groan behind an asinine
slumbering inside each line
wound with reservations grinding
our hero chopped off from loose lips
to fit in the caustic grimoire of actual fact

I am the Bat
I am the Bat
I am the Bat

I hear voices in my head
that sound like conversations
an unwilling participant am I
by virtue of presence, my
lips unlocked never seem
                       to speak enough
though lips move more gratefully
than these feet that just want to leave
this place, to never talk again
sit behind a screen
be pixelated, a thinly
gleaming monitor
of the fun facts lacking
in a lark-full repartee
I check up on myself
look up the words that I doubt
check my bruises
from roundhouse kicks
split lips bloodied with small talk
sweet silence is
to stay home and smoke

I should stop talking

Did you hear that?

and when they play like they don’t know
don’t let them go
make them stay
to tell us what
they meant to say
#againandagain
#againandagain

I hear voices

Did you say something?
Peter Roads Nov 2018
what person could have known
how a cataclysm rolls in
            slowly
         obscuring
the towering force
                  of nature
what person could have known
that there was a tip to that tower
how cold is the view from its peak
now clouded by teardrops
now rising through
though heaven made mist of the sky
rising from a cotton mouth
to make a liar of the tongue
what person could have known
for we do not speak
of a lonely tower
but to climb it
we do not speak
of a distant summit
but to find it
we do not speak
but we see it
rising from a bluff
on a cold shoulder
turned away from gruff land
on a plain sky residing
it is not enough
to pierce the sky
to see through it
where there is a window
there is a view
it must be seen to be true
where there is a cloud
there is the sun
shrouded though it seems
get high enough
to find the clue
what person could have known
that you were here alone
watching for a break in the storm
unless it was them all
and the tower was home
to everyone
all at once
Been a while since I wrote but the storm rolled in, it’s raining in Sydney and I have finished teaching for another year. Time to reflect on success and failure. We reach out and hope to enrich even a single mind, too often trapped inside our own fear, but we try
Peter Roads Apr 2018
Help yourself
to the words we left out
in this sunburnt tree
we call them a well turned phrase
because tree corpse
makes books feel macabre
and we love books
like we love words
like we love giving trees
hugs to release oxytocin
but none of this will help you read
between the lines of your unease
so do not look for help
between murderous sheets
self-help is called living
It doesn’t come from a book
and yes I’m aware of the irony
of writing that in a book of poetry
so
help yourself
to these burnt out words
and please
stop cutting down dreams
Self help, wellness, being, meaning, understanding, trees
Peter Roads Mar 2018
Of higher learning

We place a loose leash of knowing about slender throats
Caught hard in hollows, a not knowing breath
whose taste slipped into my words learned by rote
I wrote them all down then disregarded the terms
to a rattling gasp of old honour under contract
to self interest; a mid-career master of the dead
passing zombie bus stops still chasing the wind
past car parks come too late to a recording of record
bare baited notations pass status updates into the wind
Faith hung from some devils bargain by the late fee
What value has learning when you can’t find a teacher
Willing to work for the purpose of knowledge alone
Better choke it for the economics of high yield returned
To the word caught in this throat, it churns like cinders, last smoking
weft from the building we built just to watch it burn
Peter Roads Mar 2018
I don’t have the blues I’ve been gone too long to see colour that way I don’t whats in I don’t know whats hip I cant tell if its lit but I do know that a hit record doesn’t go on parade these days it stays hid inside the lamp light of a back street juke joint on Thursday night the red velvet curtain gives way to a gaping divide between tables, lamplight and this amorphous thing we called it something else and got another drink before closing time; craft beer is cool and not cool unless its so hoppy it bounces down your throat, well this is a rubber room after all hiding jazz behind a ukele doesn’t make a lick of sense, I don’t know the name of that chord but it sounds out a rainbow like the flag hanging from bars we don’t see ourselves walking away from, into, standing in line, I never saw a queue at the bar until I came to Australia and the beat generation don’t want me, my beard is too grey; I don’t look good in plaid and my tattoos are all of video games and science friction, so lets smoke a jay outside and call it 'peter roads is ****' until my back hurts when I sit on the floor, the sky is more blue so I’ll stay down on the upside of the inevitable decline into irreverence and try to flow in my own way; I cant sit under a tree to write this because all the trees smell like dog **** and I don’t keep pets not even hipsters on a loose leafed leash held tightly in a loose grip, if this party is lit light a candle for the cantrip and slip backwards into another poem about identity, inequality and privileged cleche, there is no beat to a slipstream left by a minority of white skin wishing doesn't make it so, so if I wish I could be cooler than this I can find the colour blue in a cheaply printed hue so try a monochromatic thin lipped smile we are not goths anymore just standing between the candle and the star, I tried to read more Jack but even that wont help unplug the colours in a rainbow - when it catches the breeze blowing through me - I wont remember your name but I see your face when I sleep and I like your piercings and your piercing gaze it sees right through my colour scheme to the heart of all this prevarication, I don’t have the blues and I don’t know whats cool, I don’t know whats cool, I don’t know whats cool and I don’t have the blues on a shoe string, I prefer bare feet on weekday; lets take a walk and see what the kids say when they hear this
Peter Roads Nov 2017
Let us share
        an incantation of the old world
Let us unfurl words like a string of pearls
torn from ocean deep - I battled Krakens
to bring you these words – let me wreathe
the drowning seed of ancient demons
in a modern tale of high rise jewellery
You can wear me at your leisure
for I am a book of poetry - open in your hands
caress my pages - I offer ages of wisdom in sand
strung sorrowful about a stony neck
can you see the mystery of that cloud
striated by the mountains tip carved
deep into the sky in defiance of the wind
unbowed by time yet so vulnerable
to lion and tiger, to the hermit and his tearful rain
did you know that every beach was once a mountain?
so every ocean floor kissed the sky in its youth
let us built these fragments into clamshells
string them on pearlescent pages turned
by curious eyes and ponder how time
makes a mystery or a monster of us all
Let us share
              this incantation of the old world
for in words
              we can live forever
The magic of book will never leave us, the old books section of your local thrift store, the library down the road, too often forgotten, read me... I am your book. This story is you
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