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RLG Feb 2017
When Feb-the-fourteenth calls,
Behead the roses for the cause.

And when the crimson colour blooms,
Crush the cocoa and milk-infuse.

The day the diners rub elbows,
Mine the gold for knee-bent shows.

When the need for romance spikes,
Pay for words that Hallmark writes.

And let the men show they care,
One single day per-calendar-year.

It beguiles that this day exists,
Where expensive gifts outshine a kiss.

Do you mind if I just make a pact?
To love today, tomorrow, beyond and back.

RLG Jun 2017
A poem is a capsule
Of a moment.
It's how I felt
At the time.
Right now, for instance,
I feel okay,
But I expect
I'll change my mind.
RLG Jan 2017
Humans clothed in their own skin,
Bare for all to see,
Chasing plastic bags,
Turning towels to face the beams,
Like soft sun dials,
Who leap in the waves
And share salty kisses
As the foam breaks against
Their cooked leg meat;
Then return to dry in the grit
And the dust of the beach.
The eternal sand,
Found weeks, months, years
After the beach is forgotten,
In creases at the bottom of bags,
Dug out by finger nails searching
For some miscellaneous crap.

We must go back to the beach
RLG Jan 2017
An open letter
to those poets
who align
to the center:

                                        When prose sits in the middle
                                         it resembles gift-card drivel.
                                             It cheapens your work;
                                              your use of italics irks.

Choose a side.
I don’t care if it’s
left or                                                       ­                                right,
                ­                                                                 ­ Or center-right
                                         ­                                                     or alt-right­
(whatever that is).

The indecisive
have a lot to answer for
us being                                                       ­                                                  divisive.

Did that centered
poem you wrote
distract you from
casting a vote?

Stop fence-sitting
                                                   ­         in-between
and enjoy a
splintered 2017,
                                            ­                                                   from one side.
Disclaimer: I have used my dislike for center-aligned poems as a device to be 'political'. I understand this is a stylistic choice and I do not mean any offence to poets who prefer this layout. My opinion on this matter is dwarfed by my political frustrations.

If non-voters feel uncomfortable reading this poem, that is precisely the intention.

And yes, this was a nightmare to format on Hello Poetry. It is less of a mess in a Word doc. Still a mess though.
RLG Jan 2017
Fell the Christmas tree
for us to dress
and pine-scent our homes
in weeks of Nativity.

Discard the Christmas tree,
as January blows in
and the council men come
to clear the needled streets.

Forget the Christmas tree
as we start again
and media’s ‘Blue Monday’
brings the suicide spree.

Grow the Christmas tree
for us to dress,
pine-scent our homes
and delay unwelcome reverie.
RLG May 2017
Is anyone reading this,
Staring into Microsoft's abyss,
Wondering: is this why we exist?
RLG Jan 2017
My father’s watch,
I notice stopped.
His movement ceased
to turn the cogs,
that spin the gears,
which move the dials,
that give the promise
of a while.
The watch now mine,
but still it’s stopped.
It sits inside a precious box.
The frozen hands,
my father still,
his whispered breath,
his secrets kept.
Regret, regret.
One day ready
to wear that watch,
I’ll move the gears,
start time again,
in good knowing
the hour I’m stood
will come to be,
RLG Mar 2017
Where there was something,
Now there is nothing:
A glade in the forest
Is all that remains.
The woodland of youth
Became wasteland;
No serum or tonic
Could Regaine* its flourish.
Sometimes, I run my fingers
Through the ghost
Of what was there.
I am, of course, speaking
Of my phantom hair.
*Rogaine to my North American friends.
RLG Apr 2017
A piece of me here.
A limb of me there.
A hidden feeling to escape.
A palm in the wrong hands.
An eye pointing the wrong way.
A caustic air in my nose.
My heart was left alone.
My body was in places unknown:
Split. Apart.
Then, I met you.
Now l'm together,
And I can do anything.

Thank You.
RLG Jan 2019
Holiday: a man backstrokes
oh so gently in the hotel pool.
It’s breakfast time. Bean juice
coagulates on my plate.

I watch the man’s languid, enchanting
backstroke and, for some reason,
it inflates my heart with sentimental joy.
This semi-corpulent middle-aged man,
is, right now,
The Most Beautiful Thing On Earth:

His arcing limbs do not slap or thrash,
but plop into the drink like skipping stones.
He is a babbling brook. A water feature.
The splish-splosh trickle-truckle of a spa waiting room.

And what’s more, this forty-something baldy
gliding through the water
fills me with love for all humanity,
because he seems blithely rapt
in absolute peace
(despite the room rates at this place).

But then, I realise, all of this might be
free association of the mind
linking this moment to a scene in
the Oscar winning motion picture:
Forrest Gump;
when a legless Lieutenant Dan
makes peace with God (for taking his legs),
and backstrokes with the same carefree beauty
into a pink and orange sunrise

(funny how the mind does that).

And suddenly the bubble of beauty is burst.
The portly swimmer becomes just that
(FYI: legs intact),
and my wife returns from the buffet
with a plate of vibrant fruit segments; Cheshire melon
and the greenest kiwi I’ve ever seen.
Lo! Only now have I tasted true kiwi.
And I remember: I’m on honeymoon!
And my wife, in this moment, and forever more,
shall be the only human to be known as:
The Most Beautiful Thing On Earth.

Similar to the way Forrest felt about Jenny,
in the Oscar winning motion picture:
Forrest Gump.
RLG Apr 2017
'But what does love feel like?'

'Um... It’s a spectrum of all feeling,' I said.

        'I don’t understand.'

        ''s sorrow when she leaves.
It's anger when you fight.
It's deep hate, but knowing
You cannot be apart.
It's happiness unparalleled.
It's the comfort of nothing,
And the confusion of everything.
It's the fear you love too much,
And the shame of when you **** it up.
It's the pain when you know it's gone,
And a yearn to try again.'

        'That doesn't sound so good at all.'

        'It's the greatest thing there is.'
RLG Sep 2016
Passing ransacked umbrella stands,
grasping newspaper with their hands.
Holding shelter above their heads;
sloshing through tar riverbeds.

Hailing taxis from the pale;
the diesel saviours from the hail.
Wading through the flowing street,
committed to their client meet.

London converted to a wet-room,
The Shard engulfed by humid gloom.
Meetings start with sweaty handshakes;
small talk steams as some run late.

Returning home to tiny flats,
they open up the door out back,
to sit on decks and regroup,
but the garden slugs have staged a coup.

London mourns suede shoes:
ten thousand pairs lost in June.
Today the weather won again,
we must prepare for war,  good men!

But sleep well, beloved city,
for tomorrow will take pity;
the weather programme on TV,
said, “Mostly sunny, highs of twenty-three.”
RLG Mar 2017
At dinner for two
I chose a tasting menu.

Chatter was pleasant,
Until the sous-vide pheasant.

Conversation digressed:
My faults were expressed.

I did not forsee,
A deconstructed m
RLG Mar 2018
I saw things
that weren’t there before:
mirages of pain
I was once blind to.
But now I look upon
the overweight girl,
etched in scars
that ladder down
her pleading arms,

and the woman,
tall and beautiful,
who smiles with life,
but who's arm is
a hidden stump,
twitching with longing
for fingers long-gone,

and I flinch from my
seat at the side of the road
at eye-contact
with the girl who
crosses without a glance,
and I see the tattoo
of a rose, covering
the healed gashes
on her wrists.

And I wonder,
why I never saw this pain
before I had to move
with the help of these wheels,
And strength of my fists.
RLG Jan 2017
Blame it on a family feud,
Or the funeral of a man you knew.

Blame it on your strange childhood,
Or the lack of proper food.

Blame it on the wind outside,
Or how you need to feel alive.

Blame it on your last girlfriend,
Or your mother's email thread.

Blame it on the lack of sleep,
Or the ***** you drank last week.

Blame it on the guys at work,
Or the girls who look and smirk.

Blame it on the industry,
Or the drugs you're offered free.

Blame it on the clothes you wear,
Or the balding of your hair.

Blame it on your wasted youth,
Or the constant search for truth.

Blame it on the way she sees,
Or how she shouts when angry.

Remember when you sense the blame,
Defend the honour of your name.

An action caused by outside force,
Should now form your discourse.

Words that flow so easily,
'Never, love, not me.'
RLG Sep 2016
Pollen scented halos
float on tin music
played from under
pop-up gazebos
(providing insurance
against dark clouds
blotting the horizon).
Light dims and glares
as the sun plays peek-a-boo
with infants running
to no end.

Pram junkyards,
picnic islands;
the territories of the
green and daisy-dotted land.
***** thumped with bass notes
in wrong directions;
dads run after toe-poked
spheres into the road.
Trees watch from the edges;
a shallow forest leading
to suburbia, where the *****,
gazebos, children are stored.

Dogs. Oh, the dogs.
This is their land, of course.
They make the rules
and pull their clothed
owners like staggering drunks
into the deep of the park.

A man jogs past.
A bike rings it's bell.
A laugh wins the
battle of decibels.
A plastic bag rustles
in the exhaling wind.
The daisies vibrate
and reach to leave their
grassy bed.
But they are part of the park.
May they never leave.
May England remain this
way in memories forever.
RLG Jan 2017
There is a sweet
scented place
where all the Earth
melts into air
and I float,
weightless, in bliss,

If I could lay my head
on this spot
for all my life,
I'd ****** that deal
and swap for nothing
the peace I feel
as I sense your breath's
rise and fall,
and hear your heart's call.

That is the place
I value most.
and no one knows
the secret of  
this priceless plot
upon your chest.
RLG Jan 2017
My heels clip on
London concrete.
My hamstrings strain
To increase my stride.
I slalom around
Pavement zombies,
Phone junkies,
Loitering monkeys.

Don’t they see?
I’m late for a meeting
With a client of grandeur.
A key player.
A major money man.
(I can’t drop the name
Due to a
Signed NDA).

It was suppose to be
A blue sky meeting
On a grey winters morning.
But I slept too long,
And the tube
Went wrong,
And now I’ve
Got the dreads.

If I’m late,
My rep will be tarnished.
I’ll never secure
Another meeting again.
Because in this town,
Time is a diamond
We can’t possess.
But we know it exists;
Out there on the outskirts,
Out there in the sticks.

It’s below freezing but I’m
Working a sweat;
A pavement cardio,
A sidewalk rodeo,
A street athletics show.
There’s no way I am going
To be on time.
It’s curtains for me;
I’ve sealed my P45.

Finally I arrive.
I collapse at the entrance,
My power-walk ending
In a muted reception.
I approach the desk.
Glared a future
X-factor entrant.

‘Good morning.
I’m here to see
The top brass.
The big cheese.
The head honcho.
I was delayed, but please,
Pass my humblest regrets,
I am spinning a lie
Which I hope he accepts.’

‘I’m sorry, sir,’
The young lady chewed.
‘The Great Man is away,
Tanning on a beach.
You’ll need to reschedule;
He returns in two weeks.’
RLG Sep 2017
Holes are dug:
a rite of passage
for the young
and beaming
as parents delight
in viewing themselves
from long ago.
The fickleness of thought:
the world has changed --
the world is not so different...
a trench without purpose:
made meaningful
with ethereal sentiment.

There will always be
this life on the sand
where little can be
enhanced or altered.
Grit will always
find its way into
the unseen grooves of
bags and toes;
the sand of timelessness,
of now and yesterday.
Castles are built and
fall and are built again.
And the sand will remain,
and little, so little,
will change.
RLG Apr 2017
It's the swell in your throat,
The tick in your brain,
The burn inside to do it again.

It's the loss of time,
The day gone by,
The shame you didn't even try.

It's the friends you lost,
The family feud,
The love you once knew.

It's the promise you break,
The lives you waste,
The hope one day you'll change.

It's the job you blew,
The card declined,
The shrinking of your pride.

It's the labeled disease,
The dopamine,
Escape from responsibility.

It's the last time,
The 'never again',
The 'one last chance, and then …'

It's the swell in your throat,
The tick in your brain,
The burn inside to do it again.
RLG Jun 2017
should the poles meet as often as they do?
if formed by hands on high,
why lay ecstasy and pain
as the first clay?
within the same woman,
the same flesh.
release me
from this poison ******.
it is death.
surely, longevity passes over
those who submit
to its bitter tang,
the moreish pain
that lives beyond parting.
when the highs and lows
call a draw, where can
one turn?
I am defeated.
the game has won.
I can feel nothing alone.
where do i sign?
RLG Jun 2017
Do you know
What these eyes have seen?
I'm not going out
The bodies lie on
Surrounded by the
Litter of emergency
The faces of
Tormented by
Their ventures out
How can you sell
The idea of
Fresh air,
When I've
Seen it exhaled in

I am not unified.
Solidarity will
Not protect my throat.
It will not block
A raging car.
Or a backpack
Full of nails.
So, call me:
I'm just
RLG Mar 2017
'Hello?' said James.
‘Hello,’ said Paul.
'Where are we, Paul?'
'I don't know. I can't see.'
'I'll try to find a light.’
James went to move, but he felt nothing. He felt nothing at all.
'I've got no legs,’ said James.
'Nor do I,’ said Paul.
‘This is most strange.’
'Well, I'm not to blame.’
'You were driving too fast.'
'Was I?' said Paul.
'Yes. You drunk fool.'
It was black and there were two voices. Nothing else at all.
'What happened?' asked James.
'I don't recall.’
'The road was wet.'
'Oh yes.'
'Then the swerving Corvette.’
'Oh yes'
'Then...a wall!'
It was black and there was nothing after the wall. Nothing else at all.
'Are we dead?' asked James.
'Of course not,’ said Paul.
'You are both dead,’ It said.
'Who was that?' said James.
'It wasn't me,’ said Paul.
'It was Me,' It said.
'Who are you?' said James.
'I am Me, and you are dead.'
It was black and there were three voices (two dead ones). Nothing else at all.
'This is awful,' James wept.
'No.' It said. 'This is wonderful'
'Really?' James’ heart leapt.
'Yes, as long as your name is Paul.’
‘It's not. He's Paul.’
'Oh. Then it is quite awful.'
'What of me?' James implored.
'Yes, what of him?' chirped Paul.
‘Well…I hope you don't easily bore.’
It was black and there was nothing for James. Nothing else at all.
'Paul, come with me,’ It said.
‘Okay,' said Paul.
'Where are you going?’ said James.
'To The Kingdom, of course.’
‘I thought that was a lie?’
It paused. ‘Surprise.’
'Why Paul and not me?'
'He never questioned a thing.’
‘But, he only thinks of himself.’
'I don't make the rules.’
'Who does?’
'Someone Else.’
A fearsome light consumed the black. Paul described a violent yank.
'Goodbye Paul.'
'Goodbye James.'
'Don't you feel bad?’
'I feel no pain at all.'
'This isn't fair.’
'When was It ever?' said Paul.
James paused.
'You've got me there.'
It was black and there was nothing. Nothing else at all.
RLG May 2017
a steel wind blew across the bridge.
one soul took flight.
table-buzzing brought the news.
office workers hoped
for a snow day.

a man died in war with the storm.
fluorescent images came after
the skies had cleared.
the Tube was quieter.
funny weather we’re having.
RLG May 2017
a steel wind blew across the bridge.
one soul took flight.
table-buzzing brought the news.
office workers hoped
for a snow day.

a man died in war with the storm.
fluorescent images came after
the skies had cleared.
the tubes were quieter.
funny weather we’re having.
RLG Mar 2017
A light-dappled square,
Buzzing like the
Center of the universe.
Flat-capped Frenchman
Strut like mid-century
Movie stars.
Cigars flaunt from
Languid fingers.
Serious facades mask
Red-blooded kinship.
They wait their turn to
To flick, to spin, to thud
Their steel onto
Provençal terrain.
What a life. What a game.
Title translated: Petanque Life.

Pétanque is a form of boules where the goal is to toss or roll hollow steel ***** as close as possible to a small wooden ball called a cochonnet (literally "piglet") or jack, while standing inside a circle with both feet on the ground.
RLG Mar 2017
A man from work
Is going to Vietnam.
I’ve been before.
I fell off a scooter.
I warned him:
‘Careful of those bikes.’
He winked.
He misinterpreted my advice.

I reminded him to get his jabs:
‘Yellow fever will get you.’
He winked.
He thought I was being blue.

I recommended a reputable masseuse:
‘Wonderful hands. Ask for Luu.’
He winked.
He misconstrued my review.

He told me:
‘My mission is to tan.’
‘Agent Orange,’ I joked.
He didn’t understand.
RLG Jun 2017
I must have seen
a hundred by now.
But I'll never bore
of the spin away
from the warming light,
the clouds transformed
pink and violet,
and the blinding glow
split in two,
like yin and yang,
like Saturn.

Tucked into a
cotton pocket,
weaving gold thread over
the cauliflower horizon.
A crown of shadows
blooms in the mirrored sky,
as the orb I'm tethered to
turns it's shoulder
on the light again,
and I nod goodbye to the sun.
RLG May 2018
what is this? some feeling like a song
after a lifetime of silence.
some touch to the soul
after a length of solitude.
a sense of comfort and ease
to relieve abject existence.

what is this? some feeling like a breeze
after wasting on a desert plain.
a raindrop on the tongue
after the longest drought.
a gulp of the surface
to a drowning man.
some feeling of life anew
to those who only saw the end.

it’s none of these and all of these
and inexplicable and intangible.
but it’s there: some feeling that
cannot be summed, forever finite and everywhere;
abundant and rare,
as real and invisible and precious
as air.
RLG Jan 2017
Rest your head on the shores,
Of the isle where the sun always pours.
Run your fingers through the waters
It is clean and cools and nourishes.
Sleep upon the perfect curves of the land,
Have a dream like never before.
The soil here is rich and void of drought.
Eat like a king, but never grow fat.
A storm can come, like any place,
But it will pass before the rain soaks your skin.
It is only there to quench the fields for your stay.
Lay your foundations with haste.
Build your home in this paradise.
Islands like this won't be found again.
Look forward to your life,
And your generations to come,
Because you have arrived, my child.

— The End —