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A clearing dappled with light,
soothed with the gentleness of the wind,
such is where the knight laid to rest.
His long sword astride his horse,
and his lance upright against the tree,
he nursed wounds endured thus far.

He would build a fire
to fight the chill of his armour,
but rest was all he could manage.
Dropping his shield, a clatter
which eclipsed his armour's crashing,
the knight fell against the tree.

And his weary eyes drifted
with the consistency of smoke,
scanning trees he'd passed
and seeing his slain amongst them.
He feared that, looking hard enough,
would force pale spirits to rise before him.

He struggled to remember if these slain
were his brothers or his foes,
the line of the dead blurred and stirred
until he felt at one and apart from all.
"Oh Mary protect me," his dry mouth struggled,
"I feel my hour is upon me, and valiantly I've fought."

And with his prayer came rustling,
a brigand bursting forth from the brush
and two Catholic knights behind.
Stumbling with his wound,
he fell down to the bluebells
and tried to stand with his falchion.

"Curse you," he cried,
"you will never see heaven,
on God you are not worthy!"
They prepared a final blow,
but stopped when they heard
the wounded knight remove his helm.

"I prayed to the holy mother
and you were what she gave."
He made a laboured stance,
the difficulty clear in his face,
and clasping his lance deftly
"all of you enemies of heaven, all of you!"

His horse was much too distant,
and he stood painfully against the tree
breathing heavy with lance in hand.
No one moved, no one breathed,
least of all the Catholics
who recognised this lone knight.

Exchanging glances
they too removed their helms
and our knight, winded with shock,
he pointed to them with shaking hand.
"How can this be, my brothers...
You are with the church again?"

"And you are not," one spat;
contempt a thick venom in his veins.
But still no move was made
until the brigand tried to run,
at which point the Catholics grasped him
and forced his rebellious body to the knees.

Instead of facing trial and execution,
he was stabbed on the spot
and told he may leave.
He took slow, laboured breaths,
and in five paces collapsed to the blossom,
the sunlight speckled but soothing upon his skin.

"You're cruelty has no reason, my friends.
The church is controlling your hand,
and I shed a tear for your souls."
Taking his lance in both hands,
our knight pushed away from his tree,
and he bravely stood with wavering strength.

"I dreamed of ascending
both of you at my side,
but I see I've been cheated
and though it gives me the will to fight,
I almost wish I had the strength
to drop my lance and give you my soul."

"Our fates will be heroic brother,"
one of the Catholics managed to say
with tears clouding his vision.
"I will not disappoint you,
in delivering you to paradise,
though I know you will fight well."

So they fell to battle,
in that ring of green,
all the world so still,
in wait of the victor.
The birds and the beasts captivated,
the people sensing tremors in the air.

The wounded knight led,
with clumsy thrusts a plenty.
But the Catholic short-maces
struggled to counter the lance-stab.
So they circled and stumbled,
echoing metal throughout the wood.

Knowing he is surely doomed,
yet showing no signs of concern,
the lone Protestant breaks out-
roaring-running and driving his lance
straight toward a single enemy,
and the Catholic is caught off guard.

Past his defence, into the plate,
and somehow through interlocking rings,
on God the strongest offensive
those three men had ever seen.
So he fell back, breathless and still,
his cry but an echo of his former word.

And the Protestant defender fell unarmed,
exhausted to his knees and accepting
the imminent fate before him.
"I've slain your ally, so take your mace,
and slay me now so he may be avenged."
But the Catholic's courage began to wane.

He dropped his mace, fell to the side of his brother,
and his words came out tearful and slow.
"Be avenged? Be avenged, for what?
You have minutes to live Protestant
and that's if I do nothing...
I've lost my taste for vengeance."

"I see her you know..."
Our great knight said.
"She says it matters not,
he will join me, you will join me."
And the survivor was quiet,
he looked over to his enemy.
"Who do you see... Who?"
But alas our loyal protestant had passed.
During my University course I've been reading a huge amount of medieval literature. Tales such as Gawain and the Green Knight, or even The Faerie Queene inspired me to write a Protestant Vs Catholic poem that borrows from the context. I don't claim this to be perfect by any means, and I think that compared to those works it is but a fledgling attempt in comparison, but take it for what it is. I enjoyed writing it.
Peter Watkins Jan 25
If the glassy concave yields only
to the perceptive eye of a lonely soul,
whose mistakes pile upon
the feather-scale of the psyche,
then that concave shall keep its secrets.

It will remain closed,
for me a clumsy object
that others address as a portal.
An object to shatter,
and bury the cutting fragments
in dew-soaked and sunny meadows,
where innocence may drown out the screaming.

They say it's open to all
call me a liar,
tell me I won't look hard enough.
They say I'm scared,
but I tell them I don't need a **** mirror for soul searching,
and then they shut up and leave.

They always do when I disagree;
Leaving me alone with these spectres,
that rise from stony thoughts and quickened breaths,
placing their ice-fingers
deep into my eyes
and searing truth upon my genetic canvas.

"You are dead, you are history"
is all I can scream,
as the cacophony of memories
drudges forth in plain-**** confidence.
And it is here!

It is so here, that I would see it,
whilst eye-less stumbling through a sandstorm.
Enveloping and caressing,
integrating,
becoming both me and it until I can't discern
the likeness of my reflection from those fragments in the meadow.

I am lost without my friends,
aimless without my past,
yet infinitely aware of both.
A poem resulting from a writing prompt I took recently. The theme was "looking back" and so it's supposed to focus on introspection.
Peter Watkins Jan 20
The bustling disquiet of shopping centres at mid-day makes me feel uneasy now. The people appear, as crashing waves of peachy white and pastel brown. I can’t stomach this buzz. Don’t they have something better to do? I think a woman’s screaming, clawing after the last carton of milk. A gentleman decks a teenage boy, for having the tenacity to take the last fifty-two-inch TV. I can’t really quit laughing. But everyone looks so serious. I think they’re staring at me, as though I’m making fun, and I am so not!
          
          You’re all a joke regardless of my seeing you! Go on, and on and on and on, keep going like no one’s watching you. As much as I’ve always wanted the rapture, I see now I’m a fool. This wave of people, no, better yet: animals. This flood of ******* genius is exactly what God would send forth. Oh I’m laughing again. What a ******* he is... They really do move like water, if river, ocean or tide had a mind of its own. I can’t really stop seeing their fluidity now. Overlapping and sliding off, and doing the same again, and crashing until frothing over and over, again and again until they flow away with less of themselves.
         
         Gentle, sweeping ecstasy floods my mind in tsunami. The pleasure overcomes the little ***** which festers in my skin. It gapes at me, that festering wound: red and raw. But I’m too busy, staring at the wall, seeing faces and writhing bodies struggling against the dense brickwork. I drool as I watch my shoe and the ******* sprouts wings.
          
          I feel him struggling, flapping, making me laugh tryna’ get away. I wiggle my toes and he giggles too, and I ask him “Hey little shoe, you like that so why you run away?” And he goes all dead serious, and straight away I know things are starting to turn out bad, as he says “Mister, it’s just what I do, and you gonna be running too, soon enough.” And I see the walls moving again, his little wings cover his head, and I’m teeming with all sorts of bad feelings. But for some reason, I keep on looking at how my laces create a little mouth, and how his little leathery hide, spotted all white, flexes with my foot. It keeps breathing and breathing, compelling me to tear it free of its spine; swinging it to beat the terrible walls back, back and away.
          
          But then I’ve woken, such a hacking cough, crucified on a bed of broken glass leagues below my window. On my feet, cracked and blasted bones, stumbling through the neon night compelled by the itch of home. Not particularly sure where this park came from, with tangerine lights and dew-soaked grass. There is a desk in the middle of the grassy field’s expanse. I’d go and ask who put it there but it would start talking all over again. It looks like little hands are clawing out of the dirt, but I later conclude (after stomping one of the annoying *******) that the grass just looks all wobbly. I’d have gasped at this revelation but I fell over first, and it felt like I didn’t really stop tumbling. Call me Alice and give me a dress, it’s **** like this that I live for. I’ve fallen into a slippery pit that’s dark and wet like a huge throat, but oddly cold like being beneath ice. I feel like I’ll never hit the bottom, when a falling candlestick sneezes engulfing me in flames. I’m kind of screaming now, but it doesn’t really hurt it’s more just reactionary. And the great whirring noise! My breathlessness and whimpering, I can’t see: such sublime golden heat and... ****! ****! Thud.
          
         Slipping out of my bed, on to the terrace where the stars may see me; peaceful at last beneath the ultra-marine sky. The Maharaja approves of my efforts for the nation; the blood I have spilled, enshrined within scarred veins. I have journeyed for him, into the chrysalis of the mind. Folds of wrinkled DNA trapped deep in this eggshell cavity. Smash the egg, smooth out those folds and initiate rebirth. I raise my arms in rejoice, oh how proud he is, winking at me in the stars. My brain stretched across the sky, the colours swim and mix; fornicate in the open petri-dish. The truth emerges so.
A surrealist prose-poem influenced by the works of Ginsberg and Burroughs
Peter Watkins Sep 2018
The memory is as crisp in my mind,
as the incoming Autumn leaves.
Drifting behind my closed eyes,
thrown useless as they would from trees.
Slowly they clutter the bottom, fallen in fragility,
and the hard crunching of my treading echoes eagerly.

I can't escape the sounds in my skull,
sensations I still wish to forget.
I feel your suffering so clear and cruel,
and true I have much more to suffer yet.
I dream of holding you in place, as my panic sets in,
watching you strain yourself beneath every inch of skin.

That dreadful night relived in my head,
a ****** mouth from a bitten tongue.
The seizure taking hold of you instead,
and tossing you lifeless against your Son.
Such melancholy in that evening's gloom,
so strong that I see it in every room.

It's like an itch creeping under my skin,
groping around in the back of my skull.
Feeding frustration at my inability therein,
to take the reigns, and force thoughts to stay still.
My head is a frozen wasteland, and I am screaming,
I am screaming but no one hears anything.

I am the only one here who understands,
and so who can tell if I'm screaming at all.
No one can hear me, even when I cup my hands,
and no one really sees, when I slip and fall...
Down, down, down I fall ever deeper,
but I never stay down, I never sleep forever.

That fateful day came, months ago,
when they said you would never wake.
And my grieving has come so very slow,
my nightmares now surface at day break.
Soundly I sleep, just as you do mother,
and then I wake unpleasantly to this early hour.

I remember you are not here any longer,
there is a twinge in my heart and stomach.
I think of the goodbyes I may never utter,
think of the apologies I may never pay back.
But again I respect your soul and time of passing,
and again I continue to live because life is fleeting.

And as you sleep, I often remind myself,
it's well deserved for the mother you were.
A beacon of hope, an intricate golden wreath,
a role model that will eclipse beyond my years...
I love you as deeply as your endless sleep became,
and I will never forget the beauty of your name.

Dawn: the time the sun rises, whence we rise from slumber,
where life begins and the skies grow a healthy baby blue.
You gave me a fresh start, and your rays soothed me over,
in spite of anything you raised me lovingly and true.
I can find only respect for you, only love in my beating heart,
and I want you to know that I vowed to save you from the start.

All I did, I did out of love, out of fear of losing you,
just as I know you did for me too...
I won't forget you in your eternal slumber mother,
as I think of your words and revere...
In tribute to Dawn, my beautiful mother, who passed away on July 18th 2018. It's always hard to suffer such a loss, but I always remember that she gave me life and I remember what she would want for me. Wherever she is now, I hope she is happy, and if there truly is life after death, I hope that I will grow to make her proud in my older years. I love you mum.
Peter Watkins Jul 2017
Oh my muse and subject,
the ways in which I glorify you:
Place you on a pedestal of marble,
bathe you in the waters of my desire,
stroke your pristine skin until I'm unstable;
how you stoke my heart's deepest fire.

But in my passion is predicament,
as the way I cherish is too strong to last.
Your beauty envelopes me, comprised,
of all the grains of perfection in my life
and they drift through my fingers, one by one,
as they are lost to the wind with every caress.

I almost want to keep you,
locked in a little display case...
Filter all your air, cook your meals,
bathe you with gentle, emotionless hands.
I want to keep you just as you appear this moment,
to retain your youth, your mind, your body...

Yet I can not, for nought could,
impossibility blocks me as surely,
as my own loving heart compels me.
As suns expand skin wrinkles like parchment,
and eyes become jaded with the effort...
Nothing in this world could keep you pristine.

And so I fall to you again,
stumbling with my burden,
and I indulge in you so desperately
that I lose myself in lifted chastity.
I want what I can have, in this impassioned moment,
even as I see how it corrupts the beauty of your sentiment.

You tell me "I am yours" again,
so sure with your own dedication,
and I take advantage of your worship,
forgetting who follows in our shared religion:
our cult of two that want to be led by the hand,
and yet refuse to lead or assume the tallest stance.

Well I see the truth in us now love,
as I come to terms with our mortality.
And I prostrate before you, my dearest,
despite the fact you age and hurt just as I.
I will command you to ruin, my mortal Goddess,
for I know the futility of cherishing human flesh.
Our bodies wither with the passage of time, and so do the fires which burn ever so brightly in the depths of our hearts. This poem explores how focusing on these two things can lead to extreme and prolonged indulgence to a loved one and how it can seem like the most important thing in the world. We often worry about losing our loved ones, or the passion in relationships just dying, so this poem explores the realisation of that passion in the moment and the full indulgence of it to the point it reaches excess.
Peter Watkins May 2017
I've had too many poems already
that indulge in self-pity...
Too many pleas and pleases that embody
some sort of crisis of being.
Guess it's my fault for writing as a teen?
Well, I'm going there again.

If I wanted to be a winner right now,
then the reward is here to take.
But even so close I don't feel like the victor,
even as my limbs begin to ache.
Even as my fingers wrap around the prize,
or my lips tease the taste of well earned sighs.

Because the final step scares me silly,
it could honestly cost me everything.
My family, my love, my job or pursuits,
my legacy tattered and torn:
all ironically because of academia and ego,
the things I exploit to reach my goals.

I'm a conflicted mind of thrashing ideas,
fighting to maintain dominance and clarity.
But then of course that means I just can't think,
as the purpose of my life seems only to shrink.
Wanting to be elite, to not give a ****,
yet caring for everything like it's my own: my fault, my luck.

And so I understand as I come to age,
that I could have it all if I only tried.
If I said goodbye to everything I love,
if I made the ultimate sacrifice...
If I went and killed myself, spilled the blood of empathy,
and drained myself to the point of cold, calculating uncaring...

But I guess I was always scared to die so young,
even if I tell myself it's everything I ever wanted.
I don't have the heart to spill my soul and take the trophy...
To win I have to destroy myself, and that isn't victory.
It's a stalemate, it's mutually assured destruction,
taking this path means no way back from the horizon.

And therein lies the problem...
I don't quite know if the grass,
is greener on the other side.
Just current feelings and nothing more. Exploring myself is a good source of poetry which I suppose it why I do it so **** frequently.
Peter Watkins May 2017
I'm barely thinking straight again,
dreaming and believing to dispel,
the ache of the mundane.
My workplace is often a hell of tedium.
But something has caught my eye...

Adrian: normal guy, Romanian,
hardly knows any English but
he slaps the dough as though a surgeon,
hands darting with a precision unmatched.
And there is a girl watching him...

In the waiting room, behind the glass,
her eyes grow wider with every revolution.
And Adrian is in his prime, with rehearsed grace
he throws dough left and right effortless.
And for once, I watch him like the girl...

Her perspective is stunning:
To her Adrian is juggling with planets,
and there's charm to his mundane mastery.
This man is nothing special, for I know him.
Yet is God in her eyes so young and mystified.

And that makes me realise,
that every man must be great somehow.
We can be heroes in the eyes of the young,
the pure impervious to the sin
and the unrelenting harshness of truth and reality.

Even the simplest man, devoid of feeling or emotion,
can be the deepest enigma to the unknowing, to the innocent.
Adrian is just a man to me,
to her... Adrian is a God amongst men.
A poem idea I stumbled across whilst day-dreaming at the pizza place I work at. Adrian is a real person, and his abilities in regard to handling dough no longer impress me as they did initially, since we all have to work hard to keep up with the pace of the store. But I saw this little girl staring and I realised that, in her eyes in that very moment, he was the most incredible person on the planet. This one's dedicated to you Adrian, and all the fathers we saw as Gods before reality gave us a hefty slap in the face.
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