One Last Time #24

Let’s take a walk
One last time
Through the canopy
And laugh like we’re five
Let’s sit down
Share a worry or two
Dream about days ahead
All the things we know we’ll never do
Let’s reminisce
Of the days we climbed mountains
Of the days you fell, the days I ran
Of risks and hopes and holding hands
Let’s unwind
And look at the stars
As the cold descends
Knowing this won’t last
Let’s breathe together
Wipe a tear away
Sparing ourselves the pain of words
And linger as the end comes to stay.

Sunset #23

Today I saw the sun set
For the 26th day in a row
Birds fly by, the day’s work done
As I stand at my window
And dream of home
Sunflowers in the hedge
Curry on the stove
Scents of comfort and hope.

I wither away longing to leave
But the world outside is caught
In perpetual dusks without cease
Like a beautiful song that goes on for too long
I understand the Little Prince
As he watched his 44 sunsets
And think of how often we smile
When sadness becomes too heavy to bear.

An Offer #22

I collect dead things
Dried leaves, dead moths
Butterfly wings and twigs
I place them all, safe on a shelf
I’d like to give you some space there too.

A Wish # 21

This is how we survive these days
Inside phones and our minds
Decorated with sunflower stickers
Laughing about the days of last week
Falling asleep mid conversation
Wondering where our friends from old are
Sending each other songs we go back to
Checking in on tired souls
Cleaning up rusted guitars that don’t sound right
Reading lines that stop making sense
Painting papers with colours mixed in two teardrops
Understanding how limited words are
And what distance means
When I try to reach out and hold your hand

Knowing how blessed we are to stay home
With memories of the past
and how it felt when it rained through the trees
and the butterfly that died sitting on my shelf
the book I forgot to bring
in my hurry to find home
mourning what will never be
words unsaid in unseen palaces
the photograph I didn’t take because I believed time would stay

Wishing you were here
As grief surrounds the sky
While I watch the birds go home
when the sun sets from my balcony.

Free Hope Shop #20

Just around the corner near the yellow lamppost
There’s a red brick house with a sign on the top
“Welcome”, it says, “to The Free Hope Shop”

I’ve been there often when I couldn’t fall asleep
There’s an old lady behind the counter
Reading a book, offering muffins and tea

She smiles at you and pats you on the head
Gives a blanket, a book and a flower
“Treat yourself to the tea, my friend”

The couches are comfortable, the cat is noisy
But there’s always something different
Sometimes the lights, sometimes the posies

A corner is for those who want to be left alone
The jukebox for ones who needs a friend
Spaces to heal and time to mend

You can stay for as long as you like
Cry or sing to the strangers around
Share a story, watch quietly peace settles down

I don’t know how the shop is maintained
Everything there is free, nothing is for sale
“Don’t you worry about it dear”, she says

When you leave she stops you at the door
Hands you a handwritten thank you note
Whispers, “Hope you’re okay, you don’t’ have to ache alone”.

As you leave, there’s one thing you should do
Wave and smile, take the note with you
Offer it to someone down the road and say thank you.

Sky #19

Swinging between infinity and now
Keep me safe in this flight
Young I am, be kind.

A Letter #18

Little darling,
you will hear these stories as you grow
of how you were born at a time
when the world as I knew it fell
and unseen powers waged war
How the days lengthened into months
as nurses ran from bed to bed
in slow motion under fluorescent lights
to a soundtrack of cries and coughs

How the rich lived with doors closed
and the poor could not breathe outside
how some gave up everything they had
so that another could see tomorrow

How I feared for you looking at numbers
watching even the strongest break
as heartless regimes plundered what was left
leaving nothing in their wake

How we learnt to hold hands across distances
to speak through our eyes
to stop and wonder where we were
what a miracle it was to be alive

How I stood unsure when fear arrived
but faced it, every day in the dark
how I loved you better for all of it
for the hope you bring to my life.

Struggle #17

They fight for peace
They scream for silence
There’s a wall to be destroyed
Leave, they don’t want to see you again
Stories of hate, I’ve chronicled them all
They’re written in books, stacked to the roofs
A game of rhetoric, history and pain
A gamble played with lives of many at stake

But in the violence, the fire and smoke
Don’t forget who you are, don’t give up
Can we care for ourselves enough
To consider oneself worthy of love
To reach out and take a stranger’s hand
While the fires rise to the heavens and the rains come down

Tell me how you are going to save the world
When you can’t save yourself
Tell me how you will live with yourself
Once this war ends.

Love #16

How was the bus ride?
Birds singing at dawn
Here’s a pretty leaf for you
Did you see the moon tonight?
Humming an old song
Take a nap, I’ll call you
Did you have dinner?
Sticky notes on the wall
I’ll save a seat for you
How was today?
A tiny cup of coffee
When I get home, I’ll tell you
Can I help with that?
Splashing water in your face
The sunshine looks good on you
What is your favourite memory?
Listening to you fall asleep
Call me when you’re feeling low
Are you okay?
There’s no one else here but us
Here’s a song for you
What’s on your mind?
I don’t think you should do that
I care about this and about you
Will you listen to the world with me?
Let me hold you too
Can I sit with you for a while?
I miss you.

Words #15

They terrify me
With their swirls and their curves and lines
Their battle positions in dictionaries and behind enemy lines
Some look like they will bite, make a flag and hoist it high
Others march out to shout, some to die and some to fight
Some still stay and plant gardens and trees
Some sleep inside pages, they never come in sight
Every war ever fought they began
Every truce ever made they designed
So, when they leave my home and walk into the night
I pray as I wait and hope they return
Without another war or blood on their hands
I could never disobey them with all the powers of the land.

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