The old storm has abated and the next, not yet arrived.
Did I throw out my oars in despair, or were they ripped from aching hands at the height of the tempest?
Adrift, bearing unknown, the lighthouse blind and dark,
clouds obscure the sun and hide the stars alike.
rudder splintered, compass shattered.
I hold my breath, not daring to inhale the leaden, empty air
no land in sight.
The waters shift below, yet no kindly current arises, lost here in the doldrums of life.
A heartbeat, then another, the only timepiece in this forgotten space
an unreliable machine, prone to error
incapable of solving the riddle, the longitude of my soul.
Aimless, unmapped blankness branded on my skin.
A certain shade of vulnerability
Dark smudged beneath a weary, teary eye
Faint fingerprinted hip where passion turned angry
A shadowed brow, but not like this
The place where things slid from binary
Into uncertain gradations
When did day surrender, when did light flee?
Night now, but let your eye adapt
And catalogue dim fractions
Pupils stretched wide until all the darks are one
Swallowed ghostly whole entire by dusk
Obscuring every boundary and line
You think you’ll know when
You think you’ll see it
But the shift is imperceptible.
first published in Poets Unlimited on Medium, 10 January 2018
“Depression is being color blind and constantly told how colorful the world is.”
— Atticus, Love Her Wild
This is a good day.
Hardly a cloud to mar a sweep of sky blue, warm winds sigh against my skin and tug at my sails. Hardly a shadow, with the sun near its zenith. Up here in the wide above, birds call and all is bright. The sea glitters blue and silver, reflecting sunbeams. Anything is possible. Viewed through the positivity telescope, the horizon beckons.
Plenty of steel blue sky, but more grey clouds now, not yet weeping fat raindrops. Time to batten the hatches and haul in my sails against gusting winds and imminent storms. Water shivers in the air, cool against skin goosebumped despite my thin coat of hope. The sun hides. It is still there, I think.
Days go by.
I crouch in my frail boat, tossed on angry swell, shipping cold uncaring wet. The sky touches the sea and all is grey, colour washed away. Torn clouds shed raindrops to mingle with tears on my chilly face. And when the giant wave finally snatches me into pitiless ocean, I am not surprised. It was always coming.
I drift endlessly. No map or compass, no lifebelt. Helpless to fight the long slow slide, sinking deeper into the blue, I lose the last vestiges of light. Down, and down. Eyes blinded, nothing to see. Marble skin, numb to feeling. I could shout at the void, but there will be no reply. The blue darkens still more. It is the black shadow that has chased me every day of my journey.
Swallowed in nothingness, I lie resigned on unyielding ocean floor, a certainty of sorts.
Help isn’t coming.
first published in The Creative Cafe on Medium, 8 November 2017
Blood running hot, and never cold
it presses forward, always bold
calling us on to run and fight
propelling legs as they take flight
and for one moment stop and think.
Then the next instant to the brink
The red eyes are blind
to all that’s gentle, good or kind.
A teasing swish, matador’s cape
will goad the bull. There’s no escape
from spears embedded in his back
that prod him to futile attack.
And down his skin run rivers red,
his life poured out and painted dead.
We feel the ruby pulsing heat
within our chests with every beat
of every crazed deluded heart,
so sure that this is just the start
of something lasting, fine and true,
of you and me.
I always knew
that red would overwhelm this love.
Though lovers gaze at stars above
and whisper declarations soft,
these ideals that they hold aloft
soon fall to earth.
Nothing to say.
Unbridled passions win the day
over mere intellectual words
when feelings fly like scattered birds
and reason flees.
All that remains
is quivering flesh and dripping veins
left hollow by an anguished flood
of passion, anger, rage, and blood.
Follow the heart, obey the head.
Go fast, full stop; now quick, now dead.