Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Into the Mighty Falls

There is a man taking form
beneath a woven sky
before unbroken mountains
above the mighty falls.

Gentle waves birthed him:
midnight depths shade weary eyes
scratched on penciled cheekbones;
charcoal mountains frame him.
Smoky clouds congeal
as painted waters fall:
starless black, ashen grey -
the artist's midnight palette.

Pouring his shadowed soul
onto reflective canvas,
the painter's rain lashes
the lines of his eyes.
Brushstroke pupils gaze
beyond their watercolor prison
reflecting the darkness layered
upon his broken portrait.

And the man is dissolving,
plunged beneath the waters,
freed from canvas prisons
into the mighty falls.

Also shared at WWP #163. More poems.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Big Art Book 2012

Scarborough Arts just launched its Big Art Book 2012, a digital anthology of visual arts, poetry and prose. It's a really immense publication; I'm definitely going to take a while to finish it!

Three of my poems have also been included - In a Pool of Starlight, Up the Lonely Stairs, and Home. I particularly like those pieces, so it was nice to know that they chose to include them.

Here's the publication, conveniently opened to pages 294 to 295. :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quiet Rain

Sometimes my poems emerge from a phrase, a line or a stanza that invites itself into my consciousness; other times they arise from an image - usually one emotional or at least intriguing - in my mind. But sometimes, both: the first stanza of this piece blossomed in my mind one day in a matter of minutes, but the image of a broken, tired man in the rain developed with the poem. What inspires your works?


somewhere in
the silent storm
safely shackled
sandals torn

flinches at
the hint of rain
burning tears
streaks of pain

molten shades
and burning dark
lashes broke
your quiet heart

lying still
the cruel claws
tearing through
your carrion flaws

distant thunder
quiet rain
wash away
the years of pain

Also shared at WWP #91. More poems.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Into the Dark

He walks a barren ground
somewhere along the valley
of grief, some tenebrous place
past the jagged plateaus of fear,
towards the inky thresholds
of the unforgiving night.

He walks a broken dreamscape:
in the pale, fading moonlight
piercing cries of carrion wings
circle in the cutting light,
silhouettes of shattered trees
slash the cold, shifting path.

He walks, cracked leather
straining in the dirt, the cold
wind toying with his frayed tie,
whistling through the tears
in his ragged jacket; chills
with every laborious step.

He walks, murky mountains
mock his transient shadows,
the paths on his weary face
etched by dripping lashes,
each cavern on his brow
a storehouse of darkness.

He walks the fury of lives,
crashing along the swelling
tributaries of pain, rushing in
free-fall through heavy clouds
leaking despair, each tear
burning, glinting in the storm.

He walks the dimming tempest
as it breathes its final thunder,
consumed by the irresistible dark
of the night; he walks to his doom
as shadows merge into the dark
of despair, as the stars perish.

Darkness falls.


Shared at WWP #90. More poems.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Beyond the Watching Skies

This piece is special in many ways, not least because it's the last poem I began in my very busy 2011 and the first one I completed in 2012. What a journey it all has been, and what a way to mark it - with a poem about the beginning of a journey...

The glimmer of the aircraft's wings;
the shimmer of the breaking sea:
we pierce the cloudy canopy.

Take my hand,

We fly, we rise, we ride the dark,
we dare the brazen, flaming lights;
we'll hide somewhere beneath the stars
beyond the watching skies at night.

step out with me;

The clouds our floor, the winds our walls,
unbound, the world beneath our wills,
the fearful sun behind the hills.

close your eyes.

A tremor, yes, a trembling heart:
a kite of steel a-sway at night.
All dark, all smiles, a lovely start,
but rest for now until the light.


... and more than half a year later I return to find that yet another wonderful poetry site has closed down? What a year it's been. Also posted at We Write Poems. More poems.

Friday, April 22, 2011

To the Fury of Lives

I just rediscovered this lovely piece I wrote almost two years ago that has since been collecting metaphorical dust in my archives. Have any of you ever looked back at some of your older work and wished that you could write as well as you used to?

I lost her in her haze of glory
entranced by musky melodies,
mixed amongst synthetic sillhouettes.

Wandering wiles, carnivours stare,
silently savouring, appraising;
entering, a skirt provacatively plays
about its smooth, warm partners -
a dancer's legs tentatively sashaying,
brushing past the doors of the den.

Stalactites stab in jerking strobes
of misty rainbow hues, swirling
tongues of flame leaping and swaying,
cavorting to the fanciful winds;
I lost her to the dreamy vortices.

Stirring the cocktail fools hardly
notice the blending fluids. She tastes
the touch of tequila and caresses
the strong orange-skin scents.
Flowing, the throng pulses in
that heady temple of delight.

She succumbs, loses the fight;
I lost her slowly, gently,
pulled by pleasure, seduced
by the kindling of caged senses
in that dark, unseeing womb.

I lost her to primal humanity;
I lost her to an essence of being;
I lost her to the fury of lives;
I lost her to a madness.

I wander while my memories stir;
caressing scented skin. I enter
the comforting darkness, feeling
my being succumb to the fury
of lives. I wait for her rebirth.

Also posted on Big Tent Poetry. More poems.

Monday, April 18, 2011

A Song for the Infinitude

"Oh, the comfort — the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person — having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away." ~ Dinah Craik


I hear a silent song in your eyes:
the glint of a forgotten memory,
the tired glow of a dying star.

It is a mournful tune, a dirge
of the half-recollected dream
of our light, our life; a lament
of the words that defeated us.

Yes, I spoke the chaff and grain,
poured from an empty heart;
I burned your faithful, sifting arms.

It is a requiem for the joys,
stalled, for the love, lost;
a song for the infinitude
of the caverns of regret.

For I bound your loving hands,
weighing them with a measure
for my cruel, unthinking words.

Sing: its verse is despair,
its chorus sorrow; I burned
the book before its happy
ending: I drowned us in tears.

I surrender: no longer seeking
a breath of kindness; it is all
to listen to your song.


Also posted on Big Tent Poetry. More poems.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

In the Starless Night

Rejoice, for it rent the soul from
my heart, this void, this blade
the colour of the darkest night,
this jagged knife of despair.

It sings of its conquests; fools
and sages, abandoned and loved,
fall to that intransigent grip,
the inexorable pull, the fire
consuming, the blinding dark
beyond the dream of a sliver
of hope of a mote of light.

Rejoice, for I entered the dark,
and under the fist of despair
I will live and I will die.

Build the cage around my heart,
and crush the hope of a lying key
in your jubilant palm and rejoice
at the darkness of my prison,
within which none shall find me,
beyond which none shall know me:
despair shall befriend me.

Rejoice, for your tormentor found
his place in the starless night;
dance on the empty corpse, triumph
over the vanquished soul felled
by words, the agents of despair.


More poems.

Monday, January 31, 2011

In a Pool of Starlight

                      There is a man
in his darkest hour, alone;
only the slightest of movements
by his weary chest betrays
the unforgiving, harsh truth:
that he is still alive.

                      He breathes, he sits
in a pool of starlight, gently falling
through a solitary window. He is
curled up, knees held close,
huddling for warmth, denying
the murderous cold.

                  And the odd chill
passes as a lonely tear, thawing
quietly, shivers unsteadily by his
frosty right eye. The broken dawn
eases its way through the glass
like a thief.

                   The probing light
casts its criminal gaze as beams
resolve from the inky shadows.
It is an old house, broken-hearthed -
fireplace silenced, mantel memories
long forgotten.

                   It is lost in time:
swirling, dusty rays pierce through
gaps between broken tiles, grasping,
fanning across the room, searching
as the morning sun strides across
the changing sky.

                         Now the afternoon
winds mock its geriatric frame, whistling
through cracks, shoving the old walls,
and as the supports sway a rope,
hanging, slices the beaming sunlight
like a demented knife.

                            There is pain
in the house; the man remains
still, seated alone by the setting sun
in the window, streaked by watery
tears. His empty eyes travel again
to the hanging rope.

                            Now it is his
darkest hour as the midnight chill
begins anew. The man is still
alive, still alive: his weary
eyes come to rest upon the old,
comforting noose.

Also posted at Big Tent Poetry. More poems.