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)

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.

blog, Pat Aitcheson writes, poetry

The Time Is Now

Photo by Dawid Zawiła on Unsplash

It is the time of sleep and not-sleep
but warm, always.
It is the time of seen and not-seen
soft focus, indistinct.
It is the time of dream and not-dream
yet absolutely real.
This is the place, mapped and not-mapped
each hill and curve already known.

These are not adventures, and here be no dragons.
We know this gentle push and pull
caressing the edge of darkness
teasing the frontier of rest.
The familiar needs no more
when soft half-light reveals us to each other again
veiled in a gossamer web of sighs.

It is that time.