Banking

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It’s nice by the bank

That sits by the river
That sits at my side
That welcomes the tide
That shuns all pride
That is happy, just growing and alive

This pleasure
This immense pleasure that fills the soul
And soothes the mind
Where once in time
Jealous
Now harmonious
We beat to beat like kin

And why do I live so far
I ask, time and again
Not a walking distance
Not a plane or train
We should, within a breath
But near is still too far

And when the sun shows up
Oh, I could fall asleep I could
Fall right asleep in its arms
A hold that is like no other
Smothers me
Deeply
And I long to drift off

Can’t, though
This I know
The sun’s out
There’s too many people about
And my senses won’t allow me to fully rest
Still, it’s nice to think I could have that
To close my eyes, you know, if I choose or dare

And I’m hoping if I stay here
Perhaps the bank
In all its wondrousness
Will keep me
Hostage like
Or will one day allow me to take my last breath in its grasp.

© PC, 2017

Hobble

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A nagging sense
This nagging sense
Of approaching vulnerability
My own mortality
And the staring down of clarity
That soaks me in something akin to life

The very thought sticks in my mind
I’m fine
No, no. Really. I’m fine
My happiness is real, see
The numbness, too
A throwing up, or away, of truth

Before it’s too late
Like those hoping, soon, for a mate
Staying sane by wishing when he or she turns up
All will be well
But until then, they live
Beat to beat
Turning corners after corners
Walking the streets of some home city and some new county

Heavily made up to hide those dried tears
And buff bodies that hide the cushion inside
The backbiting and nitpicking
The ‘not happy unless you’re unhappy’
The wearing of drama
The adorning of strain
Carefree, and yet far from it

And still we hobble towards the finish line
Some stragglers
Some in, some out, and on time
But we hobble
Happy to be here
Happy to have taken part
Just happy to have had the experience, is all.

© PC, 2017

Blades

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In this spot, where the wounded have gone for eons to recover
To blow against the wind
The blades grow once again
The slightest of green pushing through
The warmth of the sun soaks deep
Deeper still into its skin

They are
Reaching
Worshipping the blue
Like the fray hairs of a balding scalp
Or like the prickles of a new follicle
These that appear weak but are the strongest of all

The mass of their being embedded within the ground
Making for a tough pull
Making for an unassuming entrance
What pleasure it is to witness growth again
To witness the rise after the fall

The beginning when it should’ve been the end
And instead the taller grains surrounding the birth
Cover it
Protect it, like
As though knowing of its fresh walk
All, after the constant rubbing
All, after the constant friction

Not wanting outsiders to prey and stalk
To tamper with or to fiddle
But to be left alone
To nourish and grow
Allow it to flourish

That’s what-I’ll-do
I’ll admire and keep walking
Not stand between it and the sun
But move along
Allowing it to become
As I Do.

© PC, 2017

Run, Rabbit

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The speed at which the heart pounds
A doubling over
And a frothing at the mouth
Words, like spaghetti, jumble and tumble within the brain
And not a single thought rings out

You’re having a breakdown
It’s okay
Stay with me
Be present
Breathe

As you clamber, like a heated pooch, for air
Wholly aware this may indeed be your last breath
A new wave, something stronger than before nips at your feet
Tugs at your arm
A calling to be recognised
To plagiarise the thoughts of others
Seemingly and abundantly, yet unapologetically
You are thrust into a world not much different from your own

Windows, where windows should be
Complimentary ornaments placed ever so lovingly on the mantel piece
But the ground, this moves abruptly beneath your feet
So wishy-washy is the room that sits the Virgin Mary or Buddha’s wholesome belly
And you dance, slapping your head twice or three times, just to be sure
Screaming, ‘No more. Please, no more!,’ at the sky
Wondering how and why your nerves, so frazzled in kind
Have now turned on you

A jolt, another much like the other
And you fall, crying to your knees
Those simple breaks, a needed space and cries for help
As you push others away
And all those days of ice cream and sponge cakes
All disappear now to be replaced with cheers at your fears now
Without the mind, the heart just pumps

And the lost soul becomes a dumping ground
If you are not around to hear yourself hit the ground
Do you still make a sound?

© PC, 2017

Seventh

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Beyond touch and taste
Only the soulless agree

The fifth man
The sixth hand
This sense, with its trickling affairs
And messages that never reached
Nothing for recognition
Used as ammunition to fill the body with fragments

Ripping through flesh and bone
Done and gone
And it’s here already
Where none can pretend they cannot see
A featured presence
Of great circumstance
This beautiful essence
Flipping back and forth on ideals and ideas
Mind’s change quicker when the open wound closes

Walking maimed
Still afraid
Slap on the smile
For a while
Walk that extra mile
This feather has tormented the soul as it tickles at your ribs
Driven you to the edge
And yet
You can only breathe

Love or lust
Who cares
The beeping sound doesn’t stop
Until you do.

© PC, 2016

“But I dillied and I dallied…”

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So it comes with and without surprise
That though there was much love
There was not much like

And through the stampede of emotions
Hurtling towards the river’s edge in a desperate attempt
To quench the lovers thirst

Love wasn’t enough to make me drink

And without like I had vision
Envisioning the days and days gone by
Through the truest of eyes

The privilege of sight
Of knowing how I knew something wasn’t right
Of the endlessly fruitless and exhausting fight

Being flattered by the intoxicating scent of beautiful roses
That pose a threat to sensitive noses
Like toxic kisses that landed as we wept the days away

A dirty lie
Or a suffocating try
Like a box with no holes, or your too tight tie

Like a chained chain around the neck of a dove
So simple it is that without like
There is no further venture for love.

© PC, 2016

* Title taken from the song, Don’t Dilly Dally On The Way (My Old Man), composed by Fred W. Leigh and Charles Collins, 1919.

Beacon

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A price too high

A soul so deep
A mind of great understanding
A tenacity for handling
A spirit of strength
Yet a body too new to carry the weight

The mind races
Where great minds are the wasted
The laughter dips
The heart beats faster
Desperate to bind to something
Anything
That only you can feel

And the pats on the back
And the, ‘Stop that’
‘Grow up’
‘That’s enough of that’
Do nothing but stoke the deathly fires of your aching soul
Too scared to hurt anymore

Not yet old to be bold
But bold enough you don’t have to be told
What you feel is very, very real
Beyond the point
Of self loathing
The innocence removed and you feel chosen

Sent to battle
A separation from humanity
Existing in an alternate reality
A short sharp prick to the skin
And the outside has gotten in
Wreaking havoc with all you are
This wonderful being that made it thus far

But yet
I get
You don’t feel like the star
That Mum and Dad say you are
No way in, so you feel the only way is out
Can you be reached?
Beyond the maddening sounds?
The crumbling down of walls
And drowning in pools of life’s superficial tools

How you wish you could just hurl the confusion
Air out the intrusion
Click your fingers for it to go away
Because all the, ‘shake it offs’ in the world
Cannot truly help the real beings
The shining hearts of the all feeling
The all-seeing.

© PC, 2016

No.8

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At 14 they met and fell in love
The young lovers too aware
Unafraid
Consciously walking in to what we now know as life

The picking apart of days
The future withholding from their present
Yet gifted with such a clear understanding
This young love forever binding

At 25 they married
Much against her need for freedom and the desire of their families
Still they walked hand in hand
The un-conventional bride and groom dressed in tartan and black, and covered in memories from the psychedelic age

They mocked at life’s lessons
Scoffed at the dreams that slowly filtered away
Beyond reach, they were still very happy
Far from their wishes, they shrugged and moved on

Then there was the time of no heat
Money tight, forget the lights, “We did the whole romantic candle thing”
And fixing the broken door the burglars broke in
And the dank smell from the soaked apartment floor from the flood

“That’s life,” she tells me, “Let go, love!” we laugh
As I sit watching him watching her
Still the sparkle in his eyes for his now much older bride
Youthful is the sound of the ground for many years of apparent bliss

Sentences run and now they have kids
Two, to be exact, with 3 grand-kids, and a dog
And two cats
As these two tell me stories befitting their shimmery hats

Words of wisdom, and words to live by
An afternoon sat listening to fairy tales of reality
Eating apple turnovers and drinking cups of masala chai
As they take me back to years I’ve not lived

Remembering my sins
Forgiven my occasional pessimism of which I’ve grown accustomed
Surviving just by the hairs and the glares at life’s cruel jokes
Dare I say, I’m awake to the lines of life once again

Parted by age
Brought together by the healing scents of patchouli and sage
The grand couple next door, happy, laughing, never apart
Have given me love and stolen my heart.

© PC, 2016

Muddy Waters

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On raising my head above the dank and dark of this informal baptism
A ruined soul, avenged
Relegated the master to servant
Breasts lactating
Mind spent
The washing of a debauched being
The return of the restless spirit
Spat out the coming froth from a cup overflowing
With such poisonous heat
I ate what I could
What I couldn’t I saved
Passing on the crumbs to others desperate to reach their grave

The sampling of this wetness
As I raise my hand to my full lips
Shoulders dipped
And I drink this toxic hit I swim in
Waiting for its effects to take hold
Now I’m feeling mighty bold

I raise up to turn up towards the out
Knowing full well it’s the only way out
The sky suddenly bluer
The air smelling newer
I stand to my feet
My nakedness
A raw newness to me
As is the visual treat
Of my soft skin
And the touched heart that resides within

I climb out
No, I float out
No doubt, I’m stripped down to nothing
For what I’ve left behind
As I turn
I stare to find
The decay that has fallen off me
I can only see what used to be
The dirty white sheet
That now begs a retreat
There is no defeat where the body no longer hides behind borders

For I find no more need to swim in muddy waters.

© PC, 2016

Daniel

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A broken-heart of a boy turned man
With the golden love stories that span like tales of old
From shyness of hearts to lovers that be so bold

Like the graves of war and war stories
The telling of indulging in indulgent flesh
Neither did you have an interest
But offered you a safe place to rest your weary lovelorn head
So for a soft warm bed
To nestle your head on a breast
To fall asleep on a chest
To feel hands on the back of your neck
All to fondle your great love awake

And rebuke your soul
As some entity separate from you
Leading loves down the rabbit hole
Knowing you had no intention to
Breaking free from the demands imposed on you
To bind yourself to someone who
Never quite cared a heartbeat for you

Then there was only you
Left
Bereft
Your actions catching up with you
Trouble in confessing
Your love to anyone
Because
Your greatest love of all
Was of course, to be loved.

© PC, 2016