audio, blog, creative writing, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry, relationships

Encouraging words

clouds way direction seat belts
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

listen to this poem here:

You say the sun is always there.

Above, only sullen nimbus grey.
My left hand grasps at shadows
right hand trapped by work’s iron fist
behind, a thousand tiny ties bound to the past
below, soul-sucking mud swallows every step
hateful reality burns down my dreams.
But you say, keep going
I’m doing great, so tell me
will I see the sun again

do you promise?

 

audio, blog, poetry

Unbound

freedom_TygerTy
Image by TygerTy via pixabay

listen:

Even though casting off your bonds seems
dangerous
and cutting ties that bind seems
most unwise
you should not be afraid.

Shed the leaden coat of history
find your wounds, kiss them tenderly
you do not need to watch them any more.
Trace one finger over your map of ancient hurts
cast it into the forgiving sea
look out to new horizons.

For when your shackles break
when your handcuffs are dust in the wind
you will rise at last
on gossamer wings of hope’s new breath
spreading, beating, growing ever stronger
freed from those Lilliputian troubles
that were never yours.

So cut the cords
fly where the heart leads
and you will see at last
you were always meant for more.


comment? leave it here

audio, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry, relationships

Carry you

a dark tree-lined road with shafts of sunlight
image by seth0s via pixabay

listen here:

I thought I could carry you with me.

We walked hard roads together
leaning on each other in bad times
laughing side by side in good times
we didn’t know our lines would run parallel
only for so long.
A tiny shift
a tiny space
the lines diverging
and I try
try to hold on
because
after all
we are seen and we are known
we are something to each other
not easily found, I thought.
But since I set my compass to wider horizons
you dig at me with your discomfort
scratch me with your disapproval.
And I try
try to hold on
because
after all
I will miss you too
your sarcasm and tears
your perspective and your fears
the way we huddled together for warmth
long into dark nights.
But with every angry jibe
the chasm grew, so
I placed you tenderly behind a shield of glass
raised for my own protection
seen, not felt
cry if you must
and don’t forget
I love you even as
you shrink in my rear view mirror.
I should be looking forward
and I try
try to hold on
but
after all
time is the great separator.
Almost beyond touching distance
yet it still hurts.
I wish you well
but

I wish I could carry you with me.

audio, blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry, relationships

A Bitter Taste

pasta-heart_moni08
moni08 via pixabay

listen to this poem here:

I made her favourite dinner.

Onions simmered to vanishing
tiny-chunked tomatoes
meatballs just the right size
absolutely no mushrooms of any kind
no wholegrain healthy pasta
everything the way she likes it.

Then I watched her poke at the sauce and say
too salty
not what she wanted
not hungry anyway.

And I thought
one day
you will make something for someone.

It will not showcase the breadth of your skill.
It will not win any awards.
In days or hours it will likely be forgotten, but
you’ll put heart into every tiny part, regardless.

And when they push it away you’ll tell yourself
it does not matter
not that important
it’s okay.

Some lessons can’t be taught.

Some flavours must be tasted
swallowed, haltingly
bitterness in each regretful bite.

I love her, so I let her walk
from plate untouched and love unspoken
and I spared her the knowledge
that one day

it will be her turn.


(first published by PS I Love You on Medium 1 Sept 2019)

audio, blog, creative writing, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

The Quiet One

photo of woman putting her finger on her lips
Photo by lascot studio on Pexels.com

listen here:

I have something to say
so large
so dangerous
it might destroy the world

I swallow it

lava turned granite
elbows my heart aside
crushes my lungs out of existence
graceless under pressure

walk, don’t talk
hold on tight
I’m unexploded
barbs in my throat

(smile)

each breath a haze of pain
acid rains unwept
corroded within
a shiny carapace

I swallow it

my gut twists
in broken glass waves
tiptoeing
careful now

when the bomb blows
only one victim

audio, blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Garden Party

cake-tea_Skitterphoto
Skitterphoto via pixabay.com

listen to this poem here:

There is a place where the sky is
amazingly, truly blue
always perfect summer
floral silk flutters in a warm breeze.
Tea and cake on elegant lawns. We watch
the world go by.
And in this place
the string quartet plays on
all worries fade to leave us
contented, soft.
We float on half-heard conversations
skirt around the deep
drown in the shallows while our hearts
barely beat.
More cake? Yes please
this sponge is rather good.
And no amount of genteel words can fill
the gaps and missing parts
but yes, a fine day, a fine day indeed, yes
I heard, it’s such wonderful news.

Lips moving, tasting, swallowing
a full portion
of nothing at all.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry, relationships

Retrograde

stars man torch_martin-sattler
Photo by Martin Sattler on Unsplash

listen to this poem here:

This place I’ve been before
almost home
a shoe that didn’t quite fit
I’m sliding in anyway

(close my eyes)

can almost see the way we were
hear your laughter unravelled in time
distance draws the bitter barbs
leaving only the ghost of sweetness

(let’s pretend)

feast on crumbs of forgotten memories
rake it over, find one last spark
call it enough
better than nothing at least

(a once-familiar kiss)

it only looks like backward motion
from where I’m standing
so stay with me awhile
and I promise not to cry

(we already know how this ends)

listen to this poem narrated in reverse here:


(with thanks to Wil Roach – first published in PS I love you on Medium 28 July 2019)

audio, creative writing, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

Ballad of the blood moon

photo of full moon surrounded by clouds
Photo by samer daboul on Pexels.com

listen to this poem:

Dark stories are told, but time passes so fast
you’ll find that precautions are not built to last.
Watch out little children, you better take care
when those who know better tell you to beware,
when those with long memories shudder and sigh
be sure something fearsome will come by and by.

You might love your fairy tales, sugar and spice
without realising such tales are made twice.
The first is to make trembling humans afraid
of glowering monsters that creep in the shade.
The second, to gloss over, sweeten and soothe
for those without courage, the unvarnished truth.

Just call me Cassandra, who did try to tell
there are many roads to the portals of hell.
Through study and practice I long ago learned
to master the hunger that endlessly burned
in flesh bone and marrow, secreted within
my heart and my essence, the voice of my kin.

Dark, difficult magic. This had to be done
to shackle the devil. There was only one
small gap in my armour, for try as I might
no lore can delay the day’s turn into night,
or heavenly bodies that spin on their track
and one day align. Then the beast will attack.

I swear that I told them they must stay inside.
I hopelessly begged all the children to hide.
No prayer, incantation or druid’s wise rune
will silence the call of a super blood moon.
My wolf broke its bonds, howling vengeance. And here
came answering cries of my clan far and near,

my brothers and sisters all hungry to feast
on flesh of the great, and the bones of the least.
Unfettered by reason and drunk on our might
the slaughter proceeded beneath the red light.
I woke to regret, utter carnage around.
We cannot leave anything here to be found.

There is no escape, chained to life by this curse.
But I would exchange all the gold in my purse
to be once again a mere mortal — to die
and pay for my sins as blood drips from my eye
in sad imitation of genuine tears.
I mourn for my victims across countless years.

We buried the last of the bodies this morning.
The foolish and brave, who did not heed my warning.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

sea glass season

sea-glass_treenabelle
treenabelle via pixabay

Every year it comes again, this subtle sense of loss — a missing piano note. I’ve erased and rewritten our story so many times over that the memory now is ragged and blurred. Too much clings to the fabric. There’s no space to start afresh.

Sharp edged criticism and disappointments have mellowed, tumbled over and over in an ocean of days and tears and never minds. What was once harsh and bitter turns soft and hazy. Perhaps one day even these will disappear, all the corners worn away until nothing remains.

I wonder if she ever heard me cry, holding jagged shards to my heart instead of comfort.

I cannot bear to wait for an echo that remains silent, so I do not sing the missing note. It sits inside my chest, bound and shackled.

Each early summer season it tries to escape. My throat is barricaded and I will not.

The past is veiled for my protection, bubble-wrapped in half-truths and semi-plausible explanations. We do our best and it is not enough. One always wants more than the other can give.

A never ending game played out across generations. Rules are unclear and the dice are loaded.

One day, my daughter too will cast the wishes I unknowingly broke into her private sea, hoping fragments will wash ashore smooth enough to hold.