Archives for category: Poetry

A villanelle in amphibrachic tetrameter. The rhyme is a little off but the meter is near spot on. This was a difficult prison of liberation.

 

That lady at nightfall, that terrible beauty,

I yearn, I lay pining, bereft and desiring,

engulfed by her image, she haunts me, she owns me.

 

At night, when it’s dark, she appears so minutely,

voyeur I am not though I stand here admiring

that lady at nightfall, that terrible beauty.

 

Beholding the screen, how my stomach knots tightly,

her eyes look straight through me, my being is sighing,

engulfed by her image, she haunts me, she owns me.

 

My mind is awash with such thoughts, so unsightly,

I bask in her glamour, my being is wanting

that lady at nightfall, that terrible beauty.

 

She knows not of me, it would be so unseemly

to know of a longing that’s born out of nothing:

engulfed by her image, she haunts me, she owns me.

 

A biased contract that I signed so willingly

continues for now, so I’m left here admiring

that lady at nightfall, that terrible beauty,

engulfed by her image, she haunts me, she owns me.

 

JvH

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It could be the foreign cold

or the concrete infection

of that city

 

that summons this debilitating fog:

blanketing my eyes, pervading

my mind, clawing

at my yearning heart.

 

What once was now is not,

and walking over

that grave—frigid fingers of the past’s

 

ghosts on my neck—it hits me.

Longing for what now is: the present,

free air, my love.

A knife piercing nothing

 

in the darkness. The world

beneath turns. I see

naught

 

and I return, heavy-

hearted and in need, restrained

from the elixir of my parched heart.

I see you, my beauty, and

 

the ethereal nourishment that comes

from you voice,

your touch, fills me:

 

an empty vessel with a memory

that aches, the echo

of a song that fights

the silent dark.

 

 

I flew but not with the urgency

of old. The night air hung calmly

on everything,

in everything, and I drove

through it.

 

She pulled open the door, the cat

ran in;            moonlight

flowed in its wake, hitting her black nightdress,

caressing her with

celestial light,

in a way I never could. I stepped

inside

and my arms enveloped

her. It felt like an age

since I last held her

that way:

so close,

so desirous,

so beautiful.

 

This poem is in response to the blank verse challenge laid down by the prolific and adept sarahjaneprosetry (read her poem here).

 

with every pull of this cigarette

and every sip of this coffee, I

come back to the land of the living; the

dishevelment falls away like old skin,

unwanted; my mind becomes solid, no

more rattling like time-worn maracas.

 

I awoke in a bed not my own, in

a house not my own, but that of my ink

mate’s new fling, and on her back porch I sit,

the sun slowly climbing behind me—just

as I knew it would, dappling a forest

of gums in the rays of a newfound day.

 

and the day is young and nature’s sounds wash

over me and I sit in wonderment,

as if hearing it all for the first time;

white noise enriched with soothing hues and tones,

unexpectedly beautiful and soft,

I’m cloaked in an ethereal cocoon.

 

it feels like some new beginning but new

beginnings are precious and rare and, if

I am deserving of such a thing, I

beg of it to evince itself anew,

show me the light! the possibilities!

let me walk that desirous path once more.

 

 

midnight machinations pulled her into

my sphere

where Life spelt hope with thoughts, maybe dreams,

grandiose yet filling, abounding, swarming;

she filled the cup of want on levels too many,

words of ideas spewed forth, a biblical deluge

gurgling from a well-spring dry before that midnight

 

intertwined in physical communion

explosions to dwarf Pompeii

soul’s alleviated beyond the veil

bodies new, fertile

discovering without direction

the night watched, the night knew

celestial gratification.

 

after the fall: the well seems dry

bone dry, Gobi, Simpson, Arizona, barren

yet rain falls, drops of life, fuel;

alone, isolated, content

that muse, she has left, riding smoke shadows on the breeze;

she is gone and I am here

and I kept it,

that thing she helped me find.

 

 

I sit across from her

and tell

her it’s been

too long;

she looks beautiful

like she always has

and I tell her, you’re

looking pretty like

always.

 

she smiles and says,

two skinny lattés

please,

to a man

not

me.

 

I roll and light

a cigarette.

 

I’ve missed you:

the sun doesn’t shine,

flowers will not

bloom,

the well is dry,

words elude me!

yet I feel it now,

don’t

you?

 

she says, thank

you, to that same

man

and she sips her coffee

and checks her phone

 

seeing you now has opened

doors that were

merely ajar, I say.

I am yours! everything! all of

it! I

LOVE YOU!

 

her coffee is gone,

mine is cold, and

her eyes do not

lie

and we sit there like

that

until the sun does

finally

set,

and it does finally set.

 

the sun is dying and I’m

waiting to hear

from you,

waiting for words

to make everything

more OK

than it has

been;

drinking to drown

the fear,

smoking to choke

the anxiety,

writing to alleviate

the angst: a modern

catharsis

because I can’t think

of any other

way.

 

 

She exists in a world

beyond yours

and you know her only

in pixels:

tiny, amalgamated fragments

evincing

a reserved perfection—

subtle, humble,

ethereal.

 

Her chestnut flows

like streams of golden silk,

her pools of lapis lazuli

enrapture,

envelop,

they pull you in

and leave you

in want;

they bend your heart

to breaking.

 

Pixelated goddess!

digital siren!

oblivious to your crush

and the wreckage

that awaits when her

visual melody dashes you

upon the rocks of

reality.

 

But she does not exist

in your world, so

blindfold you eyes

and sail past that island

of virtual lies.

 

 

Water, rippled and glassy, reflects

the pier lights, revealing

a sea of wavering candles;

gulls call to each other

in the balmy midnight,

their scavenging coming

to an end;

boats lay anchored,

dormant and unused, subject

to the whims

of the zephyrs that swirl

gently, almost seductively,

through the darkened

air,

their masts creaking,

yearning for

the endless blue.

 

Those pier lights stand there

boasting their unnatural

light, lighting

the path for no one but

the shadows they create,

and there’s a peculiar

calm resting heavy

upon all I can

see—including me—yet

I dare not

disturb it, not even

to go

home.

 

 

I wanted to see the stars

in Albury,

a town farther than I’ve been, six minutes

as the train flies, where

the land turns greener,

people become sparser,

the towns I pass grow

smaller, humbler, with every

mile the train

devours;

a sunset of forgotten hues precedes

the inky, candle-covered blanket

of night

but the mists descend, the

rains come, the stars

are lost to me.

 

I drink and eat and speak of

things I’ve never known,

never could know,

but their wisdom isn’t

lost—a magic surrounds me

that I can’t

explain.

 

Now, dawn has finally

broken

and that daunting feeling,

the one that comes

when you stare

at the starry ceiling of a night,

it eludes me

because

I never saw the stars

in Albury.

 

 

As time here runs short

and the words begin

to run dry,

the best has been saved

for last;

a chance meeting and two days away

reveal a world unknown, a world

open only to initiates

of a certain creed,

a new horizon with no visible end,

a beginning that floats on

the updrafts of possibility,

and all it took was

one person, someone with

a mind seldom found, someone with

ideas so new,

so refreshing,

they shine

like dew in the dawn.

 

the end is near

but life’s just waiting

to start

anew.

 

 

adolescent homeward journey,

shading gums, the creek,

kicking up dust

and piggybacking on

occasion,

when the day

permitted.

 

twenty-five minutes—

a mile?— of a

second brighter sun, a vaster

bluer sky, a smile whiter than

cumulonimbus calvus,

matching his gait,

saturating his

vision, encompassing his

mind, burning.

so many days,

so many walks home,

wasted,

engulfed by

the unwavering deluge

of time.

 

six years

and its beauty—her beauty—hasn’t

lost a touch of

what

it was,

back then.

 

 

hip high and bright-eyed

safe by Mother’s side

she smokes her cigarette between two fingers

and her hand rests lazily on my shoulder

 

night air blows exhaled and passive smoke alike toward

the east

and to the stars

 

I want to hold her hand

but feel only the sting of my juvenile carelessness

and I cringe

 

you bloody dick, go inside and put

some water on

it

 

scars from a safer time

beacons of a smaller world

nostalgic imprints on skin

burnt hard with memories

 

I do it myself, now,

just to feel safe

once again

 

 

she said the rain was coming, a storm is coming

she said it should’ve come

last night but

it didn’t

 

she said the rain is coming

I said, OK

she picked up her groceries

and went inside

and I’m still sitting here

with the annoying blackbirds

and the fragrant jasmine

and the rain isn’t here

 

my neighbour, she lies

 

 

Air heavy with

sweat and fumes and

cologne strong enough to

offend and force a step back;

limbs armed with

a glass shield

that parts the sea of Read the rest of this entry »

The woman stands there

like a beacon of lost hope,

a paragon for unwanted devotion;

I look at her as I run

and she stares at me with defeated eyes

and I see her loneliness and it slows me, but

I don’t stop, for

hope is perilous.

The child swings on rusted chains of childhood’s passed,

higher and higher, a precocious Icarus; it

squeaks and he squeals, then

bark chips explode,

her crumpled brow leads to

a heavy sigh, then

a final glance of pleading begs, not I

but, all and anon to

liberate her.

She turns and I linger,

then leave.

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