The Final Phase

to all who looked

could bear to look

he was diminished

a skeleton of man

the faintest stamp

 

a vague tattoo upon

earth’s crusty dermis

his ink near finished

vibrant shades now

faded by his hands

 

a pencil etch-a-sketch

self-erasing shaken with

each dram and draw he took

a tracing watercoloured

in a wornout painting book

 

a disappearing frame on which

the cloth of life was worn

to disassembled threads

eliminating, obsoleting

even with each breath, he dreads

the final phase, the loss of vocal chords, the emptiness, the void of words – the stoking fear as death draws near, the absent smile, an unchecked tear – the fatal blow that takes him from those loved, those lost – the furtive reek encroaching, the avalanche, the bitter cost – the vapour misting, the misfiring heart, the solemnities, those torn apart – the shitting and the palour, the wasted times – the pungent puke of silence, he could taste the signs – his shell, it crumples, crumbles, vanishes and then – his one enduring, fleeting, ever-breathing thought that he should live, and live again – denying not his errors nor his sins long past – he sits, transfigured, mute, disfigured, and awaits his last-

behind the neutral mask

the fading screen

the maybe thoughts

of one still barely living yet

the might have beens

the deep regrets

desire to delay

the realisation

he cannot stay

a dying friend

and his careworn wife

the thoughts of death

the longing for life

no substitute

no greater bond

he sits and waits

for the not-so-great beyond

no consolation

in the years he had

too soon departing

husband, dad, grandad

a face resigned

while his heart’s aflame

no, no consolation

and I, I cannot him blame

for in the journey

we will never know

the choices taken

nor our time to go

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Lay Love

Lay love, if honestly, for who needs petals,

petals wilt and die,

as so they must,

lay love upon the earth, where life is buried,

love returns to source,

as all, to dust.

Lay love where’er we visit, who needs roses,

flowers fade away

like coloured time,

lay love upon each head, before the tombstones,

‘ere the death, lay love,

most potent sign.

The legacy was love, who mentioned flowers,

flowers are forgotten,

turn to seed,

lay love, upon each passing, before passing,

love’s wreath is all t’was asked for,

all we need.

Thoughts on ‘The Book Thief’

He came and stole the words she loved and hated,

In his pocket, while he gathered up the souls,

Confounded, over- under- estimation,

Humans with their fatal faulted goals.


Concentrating Nazis, all those people,

Compliant, in vicissitudes, they blamed,

As Death patrolled a world of colour flaming,

Where only very few were ever named.


The nameless marched and shuffled, sockets sunken,

Scarce of bread, more scarce of liberty,

Scapegoats for moustached aspirations,

Pillar-scourged by Christ’s humanity.


Muslims now, where Jews, or maybe black folk,

Gays perhaps or aborigines,

Red-skinned, each condemned in one stroke,

Pointed fingers back at you and me.


Death patrolled and wondered while he captured

Souls before they fell, he held them tight,

Whatever had they done and why the rapture

Of others he would meet one day or night.


Munchen times, the Dachaus and the ghettoes,

Golan Heights, Great Plains, upon our streets,

Look no further for the scythe or saviour,

Everyone we meet and how we greet.


Sickle thoughts while reading and to living,

One rush of air we’re gone, he passes on,

Steals our words, our actions, as deposits

Comes and goes, collects and moves along.


Banked eternally, all of our choices,

No choice for death, he does as he is told,

A Book Thief gifts her love, compassion,

Death carries secrets all should be foretold.

The Book Thief

 

 

Elegy

It’s beginning to look like I’ve given up writing poetry but, hey, what are lyrics but poetry set to music?

That’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it as I’m thoroughly enjoying this foray into writing and singing the lyrics to accompany Johnny’s fabulous music.

He and his lovely wife, Lisa, both put an incredible amount of work into compiling the video.

Where you go I’ll never know,

it’s a dream,

cast alone as a stone

into a stream.

I am void when you’re gone,

just a shell of myself,

you leave me there,

I don’t know where,

when or if I’ll be reborn,

recover soon, without you, my other self.

 

Why you leave I can’t conceive,

where you go I’ll never know,

into night you have flown

while I lie here all alone,

tie me to you,

take me on the voyage,

where you fly

as I lay here to die,

without you.

 

Where you go I’ll never know,

it’s a dream,

left alone while you roam

in the realms of a world

that is your home

from waking days,

each night I pray

you will return to me,

I’ll never see what you’ve seen

as I lie here lost to dreams,

beyond the night you have flown

as I die a death alone,

tie me to you,

take me on your voyage,

into night, where you fly,

do not leave me here to die

bring life back to my dreams,

take me with you when you go,

where you fly,

I cannot bear to die alone

on my own, just a shell of myself.

You leave me bare,

I don’t know where, when or if

I’ll be reborn, recover soon,

my death to self.

 

Russian Roulette

This came as a song. Think one guitar, husky voice and slowish tempo. Or make up your own. I’m very democratic. 🙂 And I can’t quite get politics and the short and long term effects of austerity on so many people everywhere out of my head. 

Facing life’s rouletted wheel

Down barrel of a gun,

Bullet to the head would do,

Spent days nearly done.

Emptiness and hope devoid

One missile, once deployed,

Would end the pain, she can’t sustain,

Escape into the void.

He’s swept for mines upon his path

And joked at losing all,

Limbs and life and, lastly, hope

Prepared to take that fall.

A quicker blast than endless shells,

Wary everyday,

He’s the guy who’s being passed by

While gamblers poke and play.

Daughter, son, can’t be outdone,

They’re watching every stroke,

Nitro in their nostrils,

Aware they’re butt of jokes.

Nothing left to lose, they guess,

As parents lose their lot,

Power fracking system,

Systemic in its rot.

Grab the keys, on automatic,

Stakes higher than you know,

Hope berefted diffidence

Finds courage as it grows.

Dismal fog but headlights gleam,

Truth or dare the game,

No gamble on the future

When death and life’s the same.

Behold The Woman

In the endless years of waiting and the watching

She deemed that shadow length must soon diminish,

That patience and quaint ethical endeavour

Would forestall gloom, reverse the trends and finish

The weary task of sentinel to living,

Abhorrence to the task, so bleak, in hand,

To reap the harvest of the ghouls untethered,

Slaughterhouse to wicked in the land.

Apparent cloak of grey and cowled hood,

A swish of semi-darkness in the night,

Double-edged the scythe to strangulating outgrowth

Whose vindictiveness and cruelty served to fright.

Thus it was the temptress became woman,

Woman tempered, raged with blood red eyes,

Reaper to the violators, this her charging,

Stalked she now mid murderers and lies.

A potent sort of woman with a mission,

Stilled in womb, cut open for the lives,

Challenger to death by haughty ingress,

Harbinger of justice to despised.

Avenger of the children, every mother,

Every father, every soul who seeks the light,

Partaker of the flesh of idle flavour,

Vampire to the wraiths of soulless sight.

Suckled on the teat of terror driven

By hardness, hubris, hierarchies and hell,

Behold the woman, Mother Earth, anew created,

Anointed in the bowels of ne’erdowell.

Blind Ripples

The time will come, as sure it must,

When flesh and bones return to dust.

Ere this happens to mine state

I challenge life, what may await

Round corners I have yet to veer,

On roads and paths that I must steer

As true to self as I can be

While hurting none as best I see.

The trouble with my self-direction,

Modus operandus, introspection,

Is, I can’t see what acts I do

May taint the world for me and you.

I struggle on as blind man feels,

Alerting senses to what’s real,

Believing that my ripples cast

May count for something that could last

Into eternal consciousness

And, somehow, one day I’ll be blessed

By loving light that comforts soul,

Suffuses dark when all is told

In story of my life on earth,

That task completed had some worth.

Reunion

Cry gently, my love, in parting,

loud tears mar the time we shared as one.


 Weep softly, to music,

errant chords plucked at only just begun.


Tread lightly, my sweetness,

fragile heart may break at one more tap.


Embalm me, my angel,

fly to me, wing’d aura be your guiding map.


 Know nothing need part us,

no distance, time, nor space created in between.


 Be ready, alert to

my sighs arising, soft slowness pitched to keen.


 Stand steady, my fortress,

strength of Everest to your scaling feet.


Awaken my dreaming,

shift silken drapes, in dawn’s rays we meet.