Dream Depth Dribblings

A new record! I am
writing with my eyes shut.

Inspiration, what time do you call this?
Soon I will be rising before the

or writing poems in my sleep;
dream-depth dribblings will be
scrawled on a page that can’t
be read with waking eyes.

But now sleeping and waking are
becoming ever more alike –

my writing resembles my dreams;
and dreams decorate my days.


Who can see how this will end?

In pink-skinned babies,
with dark hair,
caramel eyes and leaden
hearts, like ours?

Or in two loveless graves –
full of all that could have been.

We must choose one or another,
we’ve seen there’s no third.

What I have not tried by way
of destruction;
you have tried thrice over.

Together we’ve seen an
ancient truth –

It’s love.
Or it is loss.

We cannot have both ways.

I will not be held in resignation –
not even (not even) by you.

Instead give me your strong arm
that knows its direction
and points the way that warms you.

You choose with the steel in your spine,
and I will choose with the fire in mine,

and let us stand in that grace
for at least one full moment
before we perish.

Your Earthly Spends

I could have lost you
so very many times.

That long, dark corridor
claimed your strength and salience;

those vicious creatures
seeped into your aching spaces.

You did your best to
empty your soul of them –
when that didn’t work
you emptied your veins.

The righteous rattle of
black bottles merely kept you there –
fading the glow of doorframes
and taking away the handles.

Where could you go but away?

And yet here you are! In health.
Even, (dare I say?) in happiness.

I know the corridor calls you still
and the black bottles
are still sweetly on offer.

Hear their call, dearest one.

But, like sailors with
the sirens of the sea,
pass them by –

for your earthly spends
have only just begun.

The Storm

Daredevil birds
ascend cyclone winds,
ecstatic in their play.

We huddle in houses;
make ourselves smaller,
and wish ourselves away.

Falling Away

How interesting to find
that your final rejection should
bring such relief…

black strands of needy fatness
falling away from me like rain;
with none of the resistance I expected.

How interesting to learn
that the knowing of you was my pain –
and not the loss I feared, after all.

Those words I had always dreaded:
“I don’t want you.”
were so splendid when they came,
that my world turned quietly sideways
and I caught the view of a love to be lived.

Forever freed from the immensity of your shadow
and the hurt you wheel squeakily behind it.

These Slow Moments

I’m full!
Or I’m empty:
I can’t tell which.

But it’s clearly a case of extremes.

The mud trap makes me slow,
the dragging of my feet
leaving trails in the day behind me

and my hopes are just scratches
in the coffin lid of yesterday.

My eyes won’t open;
I have to see by feel.

Heaviness happens, and
lightness laments;

But tomorrow will hold me in health.

For Liam

It is a precious thing to see
a baby born –
(An honour I hope you come to know)

Better still when the baby is
you; bursting forth
with such courage and conviction

blowing raspberries, and love, at me.

I watched you splutter and spurt,
breathe your first,
and step into your solidness –

an ethereal earthling with stars still attached.

And now I watch you grow;
the massive mixing with the miniature
the grand with the grounded…

I know I’ve loved you forever.

Botticelli saw you in his
dreams; and painted you

five hundred years early.

An Ending

I cannot fight on
In this battle of loss;
I surrender without condition.

The harder I lift you
With my ebbing strength;
The closer I get to perdition.


You’d prefer I make things pretty
So I’m writing this for you –
Does my melancholy startle?
Does it sully your crisp view?

Am I making you uncomfortable,
With my less-than-perfect words;
Where losses count as beauty
And expression is a purge?

My depths no longer frighten me
With their peaks, and derring-do.
The only question left then, is:
Do your depths frighten you?

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