It might be time I started
Spinning this straw into gold
Instead of hiding like
A needle in a haystack
Feeling bent and rusted

Maybe it’s time I started
Spinning straw into gold
And give myself to life
Instead of hiding from my name

It might be time to live
Under a new sky
Because I’ve been chasing these clouds
For far to long

It might be time to learn
to lay these burdens down

Its true
Shock is a state
You cross it’s borders
And wander in it for a time
Like some some nightmarish holiday
Then return home

But mourning is a season
It creeps in
While you are away

Like the heat of summer
Or the winter frosts
You must endure it

There is no rushing a season

Some days will be mild
And the clouds will be higher
Maybe the sun will shine through
Others days a storm
Will catch you out

And the torrent will leave you
Feeling empty
Eroded

Mourning is a season

I’m told
Like other seasons
It will pass

Maybe one day it will be
Something like the memory
Of that childhood summer
When it never stopped raining

I am a fearful fool
A fish dreaming of a hook
A moth yearning for the flame

Icarus has nothing on me
Even with these broken wings
I can’t shake those thoughts
Of a new sunrise

Loneliness turns me into
A latter day Narcissus
Longing to see myself
Reflected in anothers eyes

Love is a hopeful tragedy
And a refuge from ourselves

Words escape me
Maybe its the change of seasons
My pages stand like Autumn trees
Empty
Save for a few lines of withered prose

But even that is a weak metaphor
In this evergreen town

The mornings are cooler now though

Lets talk about the weather
It’s safe and polite
And right now
I’ve lost my nerve

Sometimes I laugh
When I feel like crying
Sometimes I try to feel
Nothing at all

I eat for comfort
Watch a glowing screen
For distraction
And shop
For fulfillment

But then
Sleep flees
My voice turns hoarse
Words escape me
I feel my heart harden
Like plastic

And I fear my dreams
Are no longer mine
But are sweatshop knockoffs
Imported cheap from china

I’ve always loved wings
The erratic aerobatics
Of a butterfly
Or the methodical hover and dart
Of a dragonfly
Never fails to catch my eye

But it’s birds
Soaring high on a thermal
Or gliding fast and close to the earth
That bring my heart to my mouth
And at times it seems
Almost unteather my feet from the ground

My best dreams are of flying
I have romanticized flight to mean
Peace and freedom

I wonder if tired birds
Dream of shoes

He is shuffling slowly
Back bent leaning against the wall
I’m in a hurry
Places to go

As I walk by
He calls out
Asks for help
Fear in his old eyes

He wont be able to make it
To his car without help
Broke his back recently
Osteoporosis he explains

He takes my arm and I take his shopping bag
We shuffle along
Taking rests every ten metres or so
Our journey takes fifteen minutes
To go a distance I would
Unthinkingly cover in less than two

He is shaking from pain
It only hurts when I stand up
He says

I wonder how long it took him to
Shuffle this distance by himself
And up and down the supermarket aisles
For his few supplies

I ask if he has someone who
Can do his shopping for him
He says he does
And frustration flashes across
His face

Inside I can see see
The strong man
Straight backed and hard working
Who could out walk me any day of the week

I imagine him
Getting up this morning
Thinking
Not even a broken back
Will keep me down
I’ve got places to go

The easy certainty of adolescence
Is beautiful and terrifying

New adventures are embarked upon
With the confidence of those
Who live outside mortality

Ideas are expounded in
High contrast black and white

My children can jump to conclusions
As boldly as they
Jump off that rock ledge
Into this swimming hole below

But they are not really children anymore
They have already lept from that ledge
And are yet to land in this pool below

Watching them in mid air
Hurtling towards this water
I silently pray
That they can avoid the submerged rocks
And swim strongly

It’s nothing extraordinary
But staring out of the
Cafe window this morning
The way the sun reflects off
The shining black bitumen
And the shrubs on the road divider
Cast their silouhettes
Makes me happy

It’s easy to get lost in the past
And clothe myself in loss and regret

But sometimes if
I just let my mind wander
It will find its way
And wander out of the shadows

Today I’m a lost dog
Pining for an owner

The indlugence of
A bed to myself
Can’t compensate for
Waking up alone

The waitress makes
Eye contact and smiles
When she brings my coffee

And its all I can do
Not to sit
Like a good dog
Tail wagging
Tongue lolling
Waiting for a pat

Today I’m no lone wolf
Give me a comfy sofa
And a lap to rest my head

Knowing what was coming
I took a run up
Put my head down
And hurtled through
The last few days
Like some athlete
Trying to sidestep grief

And yet here I am again
After four busy days
And nights of minimal sleep
Writing another poem to loss

The tears still came
And the dreams of course
You in your wedding dress
Looking radiant
Then
Laid out in the funeral home

I miss you so much
And I’m so mad
At you too

These days I try to make
My reckless decisions
On a smaller scale

Rather than running naively
Towards what I think is
Light at the end of the tunnel
Only to be surprised when
I’m flattened by a freight train

I will do a bit of jaywalking
On life’s streets instead
And hope I can time my dashes

That’s how I ended up
Rollin’ and tumblin’
Out of a blues gig
At a local pub
After midnight
And too much whiskey

There was a point
Where I thought about
Work in the morning
And a sensible nights sleep
But I ordered another drink instead

Because late night blues
Feeds the soul in a way
A call centre job never will

On the walk home
The moon was so bright
It cast shadows
And in the morning
I got up early and did
All those sensible things
That life requires
But with a stompbox rhythm
Beating in my chest

Sitting on a bench
In a Newtown park
In the shade of a
Brushbox tree

Leaves are falling
A bee mistakes my thumb
For a flower
And searches it
In vain for pollen

I’m looking at
An old wall
Layered thick
With Grafitti

The wall says:
‘Half of the time
We’re gone
We don’t know where”

and

‘I miss your smile’

and

‘My heart is your heart’

also

‘Aspire’

and

‘Why are lesbians angry?’

and

‘Pussy Posse’

Nearby
Toddlers play
In the playground

A tattered old man selling
Plants from a pushcart
Sits next to me
In a thick italian accent
He says:
‘We are in trouble
In this lucky country
All people care about
Anymore are bricks’

Maybe If I sat here
Under this tree
For 49 days
Letting all this
Wash over me
I would find freedom

A stray dog would come
To sleep at my feet
And I would name it Mara
If people asked who I was
I could say
‘Just call me Sid’

———-

If you don’t understand the cultural reference you can look here.

I carry a world with me
Wherever I go
The streets I walk down
Are my own
That’s why
It all feels the same
And even in this city
Far from home
I can’t hide
From sadness

There’s something about
This big old boat
That inspires hope

Maybe its being
Out on the harbour
Watching the city roll by
And seeing the wild
Sandstone headlands
Still forested

I enjoy the salty wind
And those big coils
Of nautical rope

When I was a boy
I imagined I was
An explorer and
This ferry was
Taking me to
Undiscovered lands

The last trip
A few years ago now
With her
We stood on the deck
And kissed as
We rounded the heads
And the bridge and the
Opera House came into view

We took photos
Of each other
Grinning in winter coats
It all seemed possible

This trip
It’s summer
And I’m travelling in
The opposite direction
Taking photos of seascape

**Warning excessive use of homophones and puns**

Written in response to a Big Tent Poetry prompt on feet.
——————

Downtrodden by
life’s disappointments
You limp along

Waiting for some
Mary to come
And fall at your feet
In devotion
To bath them with
Her tears

When she fails to
You nail those
Poor appendages
To your own cross

And balling at
This calloused life
You wait for
Your sole to heel

If only you would climb
Down from that cross

You may find happiness
Watching stars
In the arched sky
And digging your toes
In the sand

I’m floating on my back
Eyes closed
Out of reach of the current
In a basalt hemmed waterhole

With the sun on my eyelids
I watch the births and deaths
Of fiery galaxies

Upstream
I hear friends laughing

Downstream
Not far
Is the waterhole
Where I first learnt to swim

I remember splashing
And kicking wildly
My mother just ahead
Calling
‘Swim to me’
But always moving away
‘Swim to me’

In relief when she stopped
I would reach
And cling to her
But want to try again

Now
I open my eyes
Draw breath
And dive under

I go deep
Kicking weightless
Through the dark
Quiet water
In search of
Things forgotten

What could I meet
Down here

But I’m no fish
My lungs burn
So I swim towards the
Faceted daylight
And come up for air

I always do

You feel so far away now
But your loss still closes in on me

I’ll go through a day numb
Playing the charade of normality

Then I’ll open a draw
And find some of your jewellery
Or let my eyes linger
Too long on a photo

And I crumble

It’s that time of year too

Eight years ago today
I woke up next to you
For the first time

And watched you sleep
While I wrote my first
Love poem to you

We were both so full of wonder
At what we had found

How did we sink so far
To our separation
Then
Your suicide

I still loved you
You still loved me
But we had made
Such a mess of things
There seemed no way back

I didn’t know that for you
There seemed no way forward
Either

If I could go back eight years
I would tell you to run

But who knows if that
Would have saved you
And where you would
Have run too

We had some good times too
I know
I have the photographs

Night time
Walking home
It’s halfway to morning
And I’m halfway to drunk

After days of rain
The stars are out

Not ready for sleep
I make a detour
Into town

Water still runs down hills
And pools in temporary lakes

Street lights and
Neon signs reflect
On the pools
Transforming the night
Into an oil slick rainbow

I feel as empty as the streets
Broken glass glints like
Tiny fallen stars

Then I look up
And laugh
Suddenly happy to be
Alone in this sleeping town

I have fooled you
I am not a man
I am a lagoon
I live between
The surf and the dunes

I walk in the the world
By day as a man
At night my waters
Ripple against
The flotsam on a sandbank

This existence was given
Long ago by
A fairytale god
As a blessing
Or a curse
I can’t remember
Which anymore

I am tidal

Sometimes I am so full
I break my banks
And invite you in
To swim

Sometimes I am left
So empty
My heart lies withered
On the sunbaked sand
For seagulls to pick

I am brackish water
And shifting sand
Fed by unseen aquifers
And endless waves

I have fooled you
I am not a man
Though I leave
Small clues like
The sand in my pockets
And the salt on my skin

Sometimes on nightfall
As the moon rises
The fish in my waters
Leap for joy

I am a lagoon
I am tidal

Don’t try and fix it
You can’t

It is so hard
Your hidden fears
Veiled as advice
Don’t make it easier

If you don’t know
What to say
Then be with me
In silence

And practice understanding
That some things in life
Are beyond us

If you have a question
Ask it
If you have a fear
Share it
Honestly

Tell me stories
Of yourself
Not of how it could be
For me

If you give me love
Don’t give it as
A remedy
Give it simply
As love

Forget claustrophobic
Desk calendars
I’ll take a hard covered
Diary with a gold embossed
Year on the front

A day to a page

365 fresh
Time stamped
New beginnings
Oh, the possibilities!

It will probably sit unused
In a desk drawer
Under a pile
Of overdue bills
But,
Think of the possibilities

Yesterday the clouds
Travelled higher in the sky
A few dropped
Lazy raindrops
As they passed

The sun looked in
And warmed life
Into a moist
Subtropical Celebration

The earth steamed
Cats sun baked
People sweated
And swam and smiled
The parrots held a party
At dusk in honour of
Such a day

If I were a seed
I might have chosen
This day to send
My first shoot
Out into the world

Fuck time!
Stop it moving
Six weeks since she died
A month since her funeral

Christmas looming
Then birthdays, anniversaries, holidays
The everyday living

Chronos you old bastard
Leave me alone
I’m not ready

You can keep your dogma
Don’t try and give it to me

You put it in a wooden box
Tie a ribbon around it
And call it spirituality

But still I can smell
The sickly sweet odour
Of rotting fruit

So you’ve got the answers
Well I never asked you
The questions

Leave me with my uncertainties
They are wild
And fertile
And beautiful

I am a pendulum
Afraid of it’s swing
A night
Afraid of it’s dark
A sun
Afraid of it’s light

A failed god
A shattered vow
A silent cry
Alone
Surrounded

This morning
I saw a snail
On the path
If I were Neruda
I would write it
An ode

Business hours
Leave your problems
At the door

In here it’s
Targets, product launches
Terms and conditions

How do I schedule grief
Into my weekly planner

It will take my mind off it
I’m told

Working is good for me
They say

But is it really

Would they say that
If they stayed with me
Through the night

And saw me sobbing
In the pre dawn hours
Dreading the day
Rebuilding the facade
Each morning

They just look at
The numb smiles
And empty banter
To reaffirm their idea
Of my recovery

Mourning has no
Key performance indicators

At night sometimes
Do you wake
To the fragile uncertainty
Of existence

Does your jaw clench
Your stomach tighten
While your mind dwells on
The impermanence of
All you love

A life anchored
Like balloons
Tugging on thin cotton threads
In the wind

Can you see its miracle
Can you feel the delicate joy
Along with the unsettling fear

Or do you crowd it out
With your new flat screen
Stainless steel appliances
And designer shoes

As for me
In the morning
I will remember
Though, I will put on
The business shirt,
The watch
And go

For now

A dream
You are still here
Living
In a little townhouse
Healthy, Calm
Peaceful

We are talking
I walk you home
There’s hope for us
You go on holiday to Germany

On your return
The two trees
In your front garden
Have been cut down

You are sad
Disappointed
In me?
It’s over
You are going

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