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Chapbook Submission I: Love and Death

Chapbook Submissions I: Love And Death
Andrew Barham

Part I: Love
1. Love
2. Insert ♥
3. The Fight: Cynicism versus Romanticism
4. Teenage Girl
5. The Psychædelic Age
6. To A Comely Wench
7. Sonnet 3
8. The Great Emancipation
9. On The Sidewalk
10. The Hurt That Screams
11. A Broken Promise
12. Sonnet 19
13. Nihilistic Romantic
14. Romantic Nihilist
15. An Ocean Of Love
16. Sadness To Be
17. An Ancient Garden
18. Autumn Song
19. Thinking Of Summer Nights In Winter's Dawn
20. At The Centre Of Everything
21. Into The Storm
22. Incomplete Song
23. Part II Of Untitled
24. Sonnet 20
25. Flowers In The Duff
26. Love Is A Lie
27. Can't Be Whole
28. The Only Lonely Wolf
29. Everything And More
30. Tonight
31. Five-Six-Ten-Nine-Ten
32. Shadows Of Living
33. Facebook Romance
34. The Girl From Norway
35. My Cottage In L'Islet

Part II: Death
1. Death!
2. The Nightmare
3. For My Dad
4. Inscrutable Death
5. Without So Much As A Sigh
6. The Day My Father Died
7. Life Goes On
8. Impressions On The Ferry/Dead Mountains
9. Sonnet#? In Memoriam
10. Sonnet For Newtown
11. 91Poem12 (AKA Red Dawn)

Part I: Love

The walking wounded
Pay dues to deceive
The awful emptiness
For which together
We shall ever grieve

Insert: ♥
Of love
I dare not speak
I am
I whisper her name
In an empty room
The dusty silences
In the shadows …
(Introduction to Insert: ♥ in the poem "Vancouver; Urban Legends")

The Fight: Cynicism versus Romanticism
Oh, to begin another shoddy rhyme
Rotten with crusting cysts of layered time,
A menacing pustule in the sea of subversions! –
This, the uncanniest of perversions!
A hideous facade masking the illusion
Like a dagger piercing the Spacetime confusion,
Running with the effluent of a society:

I spit these epithets,
For, am I not all of these?
Harsh cynic –
You shit glass
Haemorrhaging a torrent of rhythmic pulsations
Vomiting a series of metric fabrications! –

An anaesthetic for the Radiologist, please
We must feed the dogs of these malevolent machines –

The robots of our insanity;


I love
Sometimes …

Ah, Love –
Complex and uncertain,
Defying the rules of the Lawmen.

Teenage Girl
She's one more teenage girl
Trying to impress the boys
Walking down the corridors, loudly
Talking about blowjobs
And how much she likes them;

She might be turning them on
But they are not impressed.
Perhaps somewhere in her twenties
She'll outgrow this phase
Develop a bit of perspective.

Perhaps not, in which case,
She'll either become a fixture
Of the local barstool
Going home night after night
With whoever will take her,

Or, if she's a bit shrewder
Become a prostitute
Turning tricks and making money
But still not impressing the boys
Whose drug habits she feeds.

There is a third alternative
Married young to a complete loser
Her youthful prettiness and charm
Evapourating, fading
Battered into bitterness and alcoholism –

Girls, trying to impress the boys,
Insecure and strangely innocent –
It's only sex isn't it?
But it won't buy the love
These foolish girls are looking for.

The Psychædelic Age
Cherry Power Pops is looking for dragon sculpture
Banana, Pineapple, Papaya and Lime
In the Mafia Wars racing through a rupture
In the electronic corridors of my MacBook in Real Time
Open up Pandora's Book and she will be
Face to face with post-structural reality

One small poem from womankind
One giant metaphor for mankind
From the dawn of the Nuclear Age
Of Mutual Assured Destruction
Dead though we might be when it was all the rage
We're still grateful for the morning construction
Of dew coating the leaves and grass;

Post Modernism has found its way into the zoo

Panda lovers as gay and free
In a cage as it's possible to be
Until a needy widow comes between
These hapless lovers –
Perhaps it's not in the genes

Homosexuality …

Penguins in Antarctica
Often practice polyandry
A female may need several males
To help her rear her baby

The Tibetan Plateau –
Up in that bleak place, they know …

The Lech of Africa's Horn
A circle of grouse – all males
These prairie chickens in a circle form
On a raised dais,
Males preening and dancing
Before the spectating gaze
As they wait to be judged
And not found wanting
By the wanting, waiting females

Is this really Africa?

We've come so far
To get where we're going –

"Are we there yet?"

Spiders courting
Males so small compared to females make such dainty tidbits after a fun and fulfilling frolic at the end of the year:
For this year's king
The old year wanes
And the new year begins

All along that ancient sea …

Wild geese flying over in a Vee
A lone male lost and forlorn
Because he's lost his mate
But she tastes so good when she's bourn
All stuffed and roasted on a plate
Surrounded by roast vegetables and garnished
With a red wine gravy
It can be so lonely
When Love's image is faded and tarnished –

Monogamy …

And polygamy! –
When every buck tries to be
King of all the females
In his pride.
The fittest male
May not always be
The strongest
If he's got the strategy
To get a free ride

Cuckolding cuckoos …

No man can ever be sure
Any child he fathers
Is really his own
No matter how pure
His woman claims to be
But the woman always knows
(It's a principle of Ecology:

Sperm is cheap!)

The mating habits of mallards …

To A Comely Wench
To see you tonight
For the first time
(Although, technically, it's the second.)
Sadness beneath
That tuned veneer
Tinging your eyes,
A soft sad melancholy
Flickering briefly
and then,

Poetry, a method of communion
To speak, pour out my mind,
Like a limpid liqueur upon the sand;
Aw, shit! It's all so complicated!
Am I truly MAD? It's just that old anguish and despair welling up inside to burst forth and splatter the page!
A means of speaking verbally
Without being committed for so doing …

Sonnet 3
It seems I cannot keep my love away,
Deeper and stronger growing with each day
Developing with the passing of Time,
Reaching heavenward; growing to the sky
Changing, spreading its wings, learning to fly
As the poet reaches for love in rhyme.
What more to thee can I chance now to say?
Trying not to allow it, live each day:
To you, I reply, it's time now to fly!
Still reaching heavenward to a new sky –
Love, the sadness of all these broken years
Still developing, adding timeless fears
To my broken dreams as they fall apart –
Why must it enter my desolate heart?

The Great Emancipation
My nightmares have all come true
Since I met you,
The promises we made
Broken, as ever my sweet jade
A woman's lips
(Love at her fingertips)
What meaning she conveys …

The Great Emancipation
Like a new intoxication
Is just a vicious lie
No woman can really accept the new reality
The same old patterns emerge
Her autonomic rhythms still converge
Into the patterns of her evolution;

No matter how celebrated
You will never be truly liberated
Until you know who you are
You can only go so far
Before the patterns of cruelty
Re-establish your reality
"Do as I say, not as I do!"
Feminine Mystique through and through.

On the sidewalk ...
There's an Earthworm writhing in the sun
After the rains have come and gone
Shrivelling and drying in the heat
Of bare, sun-warmed concrete
Death is so complete

Life is the struggle to survive
Being here means we're still alive
Keeping Death at bay
For just one more day
But that last great adventure quietly waits

Someone hurt you deep inside
In that quiet place where you hide
And you tell me sad dreams of suicide
But, if I could get inside your head
I'ld tell you dreams of love instead

The Hurt That Screams
...The Hurt That Screams;

Knowing you and knowing nothing
I understand ALL.
The great confusion ...
I know nothing,
And nothing means
The hurt that screams

I spend my time contemplating
The Grey World
In the cool dark time
When you were weak and afraid
But there's strength in your weakness
And courage in your fear;
If only I could reach you
In the Dark Time,
For I can walk out of here
A cripple in the shadows,
But you can only die,
A frightened child,
In the Grey Place,
Where all is sadness ...

A Broken Promise
I never asked for this
Thing I'd tried to avoid,
Fearing a betrayal;
It came unbidden,
A dark cloud
Stealing across the deserted sky;
Love is only a promise,
The sharp sting of bitter tears
And a hard lump that chokes,
Like a demand,
Clutching at my throat.

Sonnet 19: Softly, Sadly
Ghosts of smiles flickering upon soft lips
Traceries of warmth across shadowed eyes
I mysticise soft lines, touch fingertips,
A knight paying court to conceal soft sighs;
I long to reveal the colours of night
M'Lady fair reflecting soft starlight.
Romantic! Thy pen spatters this pale page! –
Dark sad visions of the eternal night;
Across the universe, the dark stars rage
Ever glad to swallow the pale starlight:
I wait inside to weigh these cosmic tears;
Speak softly, sadly of these finite themes;
Cosmic catastrophes betoken fears
That mysticise the knight with soft sad dreams.

Nihilistic Romantic
Somewhere, there's a girl kind and fair
With a heart of gold
The only girl who could care
For a misfit poet like me,
The last Romantic in an age
When the last bird to sing so free
Was tossed into a cage
And left alone to sing
To ears that couldn't hear
This broken hearted thing
That died in fear ...

If everything I believe is only a lie
Then can there be anything true?
Will all love die?
I am a Nihilist through and through
Dreams of hope have no place
In a world that's only a lie
Wheeling blindly through empty space.
Tell me the world's not cruel and cold!
Tell me people are truly sweet and kind,
With hearts of gold,
To ease my troubled mind.

Romantic Nihilist
Highlights golden in brilliant sunlight
Glow softly in your chestnut hair, a memory
As I wait outside these grey-stone walls ...

Acting on an impulse,
I grasp a handful of fallen leaves
Scattered on the cracked paving at my feet;
Gently, I toss them to the wind
And they are gone,
These wisps of amber and crimson.
Crystals of frozen water,
Glittering like tiny diamonds,
Gust up from the wall,
Swirling motes of light
That billow and eddy about my face
As they drift ground-wards
To settle at my feet.

The wall crumbles into ruin
With the passing of ghosts and time,
And soon, the snow reaches above my knees
To cover me completely
As the seasons revolve;
Until, one day, there is a wisp
Of chestnut hair, streaked with blue,
Scintillating with golden highlights
As the sun bursts through the skeletal ruins
Of the grey-stone wall;
Liquid snow seeps into the gullies and fissures
Formed by cracks in the jagged paving
Where new flowers bud
And spread wide their vivid inflorescence
Redolent of a rainbow,
As a hand, soft, gentle, and warm,
Touches mine, caressing away the wintry chill
Until I'm warmed through,
No longer frozen to this spot,
As we walk away
Into the brilliant sunlight ...

An Ocean Of Love
The Southern Ocean
On the bottom of the world
Icy deeps
In cool blue
I feel
Like I could fall in
Never to be seen again –

I'm falling...
into blue;
A sky full of clouds
And pale waters that dance
To a sunset reflecting
My love
In your soft brown eyes
That seem so green

Scattered leaves
On damp pavement;
Rain falling softly on my window,
A gentle rhythm
As I wait for your return;
I love you
But the words have no power
To convey the beating of my heart
Love burns inside my breast,
A fire that inflames my soul
I love you,
And that's all I know ...

Sadness To Be
Sadness so deep, drowning me as I go deep into my soul
Overwhelming sadness engulfing me whole,
Sadness so exhilarating it keeps me alive and connected
Beautiful sadness, the sadness of love swallowing me
Down, down, down to the bottom of the sea.

I'm so in love I have not eyes to see
Anything but she who inspires me
Softly, so softly, a love of which I dare not speak
Even to she who likewise seems to love me
Though we both pretend otherwise to be.

An Ancient Garden
Grand gardens in golden visions dwell
Redolent of peaty bogs
In spring wet woodlands;
A scattering of fragile orchids
Among the violets, irises and pale lilies
Growing beneath the gnarled trees -
Birch, Maple, Spruce and Ash,
Their coarse roots writhing in the dark rich soil
As their twisted limbs reach up
To catch the morning light
On new wet leaves
And dark green needles;

Odd associations ...
I see us in an ancient land
In a time when the world was green,
For you are the girl in all the songs,
The sweet-natured girl of whom the bards sing,
The Maid of the Harvest, the May Queen of Spring,
The girl in the village shop, and the girl next door,
The girl in a dark cave who lies with me on a blanket of fur;
You are all of these and so much more;
For together, we are the first and the last, and those in between
A part of the continuum in an ancient dream ...

Autumn Song
. and I wither
and scatter

Before October gales turn to

The low threatening sky conceals rain
As leaves blow across the road
Drifting into deep piles
Along the gutters and paving ...

Each day, green leaves turn around
Going gold and scarlet and brown
Finally falling down
To scatter before the scudding shapes
That course the sky;

Dark clouds,
A threat that passes,
Like an empty gesture
Implying what could have been,
Dark, low, scudding clouds
Opening to reveal
Another Indian Summer's day,
A soft blue backdrop for the trees
Wearing their coats of many colours;

Red Fox streaking into the understory
Rustles among the fallen leaves;
They whisper softly as they gently fall
To the ground,
These leaves of gold and brown;
The sunlight glinting on their leaves
Turns them into fire;

Rays streaking through
Branches coming bare
Scatter their light
On the Forest floor
Where the ferns dwell
In their dank hollows
Covered now
With scattered leaves ...

Autumn, alternating between light and dark,

The scent of new fallen leaves
Resinous like a sweet spice;
Dark days
When clouds pass
Trailing a foreboding sense
Of Winter to come ...

On light days
When the sun is high
It's brighter than Summer in the Forest,
But the light is softer,
Warmer, like an old friend,
Rather than hot and glaring.
Someday, we shall walk
Under Autumn's trees,
And in subdued voices
We'll speak of Love –
Dwelling forever
In that soft still moment
When we share our secrets
With the trees;
We'll caress,
Touching softly
Merging desire
With the spirits that dwell
In the falling leaves,
Joined forever
With the Spirit of Autumn

Thinking Of Summer's Nights In Winter's Dawn
On a still dawn in the soft morning light
Through the window I gaze at the falling snow
Remembering your face in the gloom of night,
Your features softened in the moon’s murky glow;
In wonder, I'ld gaze into your eyes
As above me you'd lie, looking into mine,
A slight pout to your lips as we'd realise
The love we shared was lost in time;
You'd start to kiss me, softly, slowly,
And then faster, showering my fever warm face
With soft sweet kisses, as though the night were only
Made for you and me in this darkened place;
I can't forget your face, softened in the night,
Eyes wide with wonder 'til the darkness passed
And we'd lie forever 'til the dawn's dim light
In gold and silver showered us at last.

At The Centre Of Everything
You who are all sweetness and light
Guide me through the long dark night
Of my soul searching for wholeness
Through the long dark night of my loneliness.

Most rare and precious art though my fair flower child.
To know you is to love with a love as free and wild
As the stars that drift through all eternity
As they blaze away sweetly with cool serenity.

How can I do ought else but love you endlessly?
The night-time stars drift through the black void relentlessly
In a Universe dying to be filled with a love so rare
For a girl so fair, that the stars themselves in wonder stare.

A love whose eternal radiance will light up those endless empty deeps
Where now the solemn darkness of loneliness sleeps
With a warmth so vast that the cold we once knew
And that pierced the whole Universe through and through
Will at last be a thing passed in the cold empty night
For there will be only the warm soft light
Of eternal being at the centre of everything.

Into The Storm
When bleak roses die, a thorny blight
Their petals falling in the soft afternoon light
From faded flowers turning brown
To make a sad carpet on the hardening ground
Then Summer is gone and Fall is soon to follow ...

The leaves and flowers have all died away
Resting deeper down on a darker day,
Turning to ashes beneath the snow;
Arctic winds that icy blow
Scatter us with snow, a fine mist of luminous white.

In the midst of this snow mist, a girl is there;
I picture her with snowflakes in her dark brown hair;
In the soft glow of a street-lamp's beam,
Tiny snow crystals in her long eyelashes gleam
As together, we drift with the snow, fading ...

Incomplete Song
There's something inside trying to break free,
A child that wonders if she's really there
And I must sing of the fear that washes over me,
In a song or a poem, I don't really care;
There's a girl, her like before I've never seen,
She's soft, she's sweet, and she's kind
And all my life I've wondered where she's been,
But there's a dark fear that sleeps in my mind;
It's bitter memories of dreams turned to dust,
Of future wonders, it dares not dream,
A sad collection of past hurts that rust,
Like an echo from the past, it's a silent scream;
It wants to know who she's with and where she goes,
It's a lingering doubt I know is a lie;
Where it lives and breeds, nobody knows;
It's a dark fear that begs to die.

Part II Of Untitled
Sometimes I think of you
When anger spoils the view
Then I look into your soft brown eyes
So like the faraway eyes of a wolf
And my anger fades away
Like old snow on a sunny day.

I try to understand
This dark anger
Stealing through my soul
Spilling bitterness
Like a rancid wine
To seal away the pain

Sonnet 20
Can I learn to hate if your love grows cold?
For love comes only to the hard of heart,
Success reserved for the cruel and the bold –
Kindness won't awaken love's golden part;
Soft care for my gentle love beguiled
Scorn and contempt and soft dreams defiled.
I thought I'd found the one girl who could see
My soft nature as a virtue to uphold:
Within my dark despair she set love free
And love, like Spring flowers did unfold.
In Summer sun, our world was touched with gold
As though she'd come in answer to my dreams.
Now my love steals away through Winter's cold
Left lonely, to drift where the cold wind screams.

Flowers in the Duff*
The final dream rots and dies
Becoming so much dust
And hope for any future flies
Leaving only tattered themes that rust

Love ...
Having proved itself fragile as a crystal
Dashed and shattered like a flung-out missile;

Love –
Too intense to be so casually named,
Never dies. It just slips away;
Life in this sad old world plays out its games,
Before rotting back into darkness and decay
And all its sweetness goes ...

It's the sweetness of love I miss most!
Hope, an excuse for inaction,
A bad corollary, Faith’s tiresome ghost –
A bad lie denying us satisfaction
As we quietly bemoan our cruel fate,
But the memory of Love's sweetness is reason enough
For drawing breath, savouring life while we wait
For love's flowers to emerge again from the duff.
*(Duff is a Forestry term (at least in British Columbia) for the powdery brown soil formed from the long slow decay of woody debris (stumps, logs and so on)).

Love Is A Lie
(Intro: main voice)
Here's two reasons why I cry
Inside alone, where I hide:
The first is a girl with soft brown hair
The second is that no one cares

(Spoken: off stage)
Love is a lie invented by God to con us all into believing that there's something worth living for ...

Love is a lie
You're not allowed to cry
Love is a lie
But big boys don't cry

(Remaining Verses; main voice)
Crystal visions that rust
When there's no one you can trust
Someone to talk to who'll care
But only shadows wait out there

I'll walk away from the shadows
To where an icy wind blows
Seeking the frozen places
In between the silent spaces

When I'm covered in funeral dirt
Will it release me from the hurt?
Or will it be another con
A desperate god just stringing me along?

The Only Lonely Wolf
So many poems and songs lost through the years …
Don't even know where they are anymore
They're gone, but I don't care;
Step into the dream doll
And see the dead mountains;
They're here, gone forever,
The way of the world …

Indians got sacred things,
But I get sacred in a glassa beer …
Wished from kinderhood I could be an Indian,
But I'm stuck in here
With roots nowhere on Earth
Cos I've got them everywhere

I'm the only lonely wolf
On this trail of blazing tears
That splash the midnight sky;
Nightmare visions of golden dreams,
Shadows in the dust …
Am I the one who cares?
Hope not

I think about you and wanna cry
And that makes me hate you,
Can you understand that?
This trial of tears?

Everything And More
I'ld give everything I have and more
To see you walk up to my door
And say to me,
"Why don't we let the past be
And start all over again,
Because I really want you for my friend?"

There is nothing real in heartache,
Just one more piece the Future takes
As it steals away the time
That could have been so sublime.

In the ensuing Darkness descending
I see all hope for happiness ending.
Wherefore is the end of all my striving?
Somewhere between the art of living
And the peace of dying.
Inside my head I'm crying
Trying to make sense of the world spinning past,
Everything ending in solitude at last.

All things end, but we can re-begin,
Open our hearts and let the light back in.
Are you feeling as sad and lost as me,
Or is this just my blue reality?
I get tired of the world coming to an end
When all I wanted was to be your friend.

Tonight I cried
and it wasn't for grief
Hot tears trickling down
to spill my relief,
After all the time I spent
worried and afraid;
In a world without you
I couldn't make the grade;
I wish you could see
the light of my love shining through
In this world gone grey
it's a streak of blue
A glowing ray
from the golden sun
I always knew
you were the only one;
Our love is a flowing river
spilling into an endless sea,
So never doubt my love for you
and I'll never doubt your love for me.

Love I miss you so
Never more seem you here
Wondering and wandering too and fro,
A prophecy searching for a seer –
No more do I know where to go my dear.

I ache as I break
The churning, swirling mist
Driving through my heart its vampyrean stake
Relentlessly pummelled by your fist;
Spake the trysting fake, "For god's sake, you're pissed!"

Shadows Of Living
I thought I saw you yesterday
But so changed, there was nothing I could say.
What happened to the sparkle in your eyes?
Has it died from too many lies,
The price you paid for stability,
A resignation to dull futility?
Are there no questions left
Because it's too much bother to find the answers?

Was it really you
An irritable ghost just passing through?
Or shadows to come?
Has life become so numb
That there's no hope, no joy,
Another worn out toy
Past the time worth waiting for?

Life's passing you by
But it's you that wanted it to die
It's the wrong time of life
To twist the bloodied knife –
Am I so young and you so old?
So calculating and cold
You'll destroy us both.

Facebook Romance
If you think I no longer love you –
I tell you, you're wrong;
If I no longer loved you,
Would I be writing this song?
But I can only take so much neglect
And I just had to turn away
Too many women have hurt me
And there's nothing more I can say.

If you don't think I feel sad
Over breaking up with you
I tell you now, babe
That I really do feel blue
But when I get to thinking
Of all the things you never said
And the promises you never kept
My sorrow turns to anger instead

All those empty silent wastes –
The time I spent waiting for you
To come online and talk to me;
I tell you now my love was true
But Love is a flower that fades
When Summer's warmth turns to frost:
I kept my faith with you so long
That only I know the final cost.

You were there for me that February
When my Dad was dying
Someone I could talk to
Everytime I came crying
Online when there was no one to whom
I could truly open up my heart;
You said you knew I loved you then:
And so this thing did start.

It wasn't quite so long ago
Perhaps three or four years
When you would get upset with me,
Your head filled with wild fears
That I might be drifting away
If I couldn't come online
To chat with you or message you
To assure you everything was fine.

You needed me there constantly
To chat to you all the time
And I did my best to be there
Finding ways to get online
Even when I was homeless
And had no place to go
I don't know why it all changed
But somehow your heart grew cold.

I remember – was it May or June
When we talked of buying a ring
But in the bleak September
It was a whole different thing
Suddenly, you were no longer there
Hanging round with another man –
How cruelly you threw it in my face!
Until I nearly ended it then

For a while, all seemed right
As our love bloomed again
But how long did the honeymoon last
Before you had another friend?
Avoiding me, ignoring me –
And all the excuses you made:
With every broken promise
My love a little more did fade.

To this day, I really don't know
Why you kept me hanging on;
Somehow it was always my doing –
Somehow it was always me in the wrong.
Was it just a game you were playing
Stringing me along?
For almost four years you played that tune
And now it's time to end this song.

The Girl From Norway
Love me and I will always be
Love me not, for I am the wind
That icy blows across the land
From the dry cold tundra
Across the high, staring mountains
In and out on narrow roads
That fold back upon themselves …

Climbing higher into these isolate crags,
Upthrustings of tree clad rock,
To touch the evening sky
In a broken down minivan,
I fall to Earth,
Coasting so fast round hair pin bends
Down again into cool, wet-green valleys
Winding away so far below
As we follow the trail
Of a rill fed stream
Rushing to empty itself
Into a long narrow lake
That stretches to the horizon ● ●

● I'm seeing you at last,
The girl from Norway.
(For Marete in Købnhavn)

My Cottage In L'Islet
I can no longer hold my grief in
Sadness unending bursting out all over me
I love you so my little cottage in L'Islet
With all the gardens I made
The greenhouse I restored
And every kid I ever taught who visits me …

Sitting on the dolmen in the garden
Drinking red wine and singing to the music in my head –
How can I say goodbye to it all
If I'm never going to see you again?

Sadness …

Why must love end in sadness?

I love you beyond the boundaries of everything –
The Nothing that can ever displace you in my heart;
What wonder-full combination of random events
Burst forth all over me to create you?

Hopelessly in love with someone
I'm not allowed to be in love with;

Living in a place I call Home
That I'm not allowed to live in;

Writing the loveliest poem to someone
Who will never get to read it;

Who am I?
I am no one
You can ever know.

The Nightmare

Seeing you
As you were
Before anger cloaked my view
I ask myself
"Who are you?"
Now that you're gone

So far away
The light still shines …

… is there really Life before Death?

Or is this only the way
We wash the hurt and anger away?
Through dying?

I want to know
If this is all there is
Anger, hurt and death;

What the fuck is it all for?
I don't know anymore
I only know
I fear your death
More than I fear my own;

I would take these deaths all away
If I could;
We live and die
And then are gone
And I don't know why

All night I woke up crying
As I dreamed of your dying
Until it seemed you came
And sat inside my head
As I alone lay in my bed
Trying to remember the screaming
Things I said
To the death's head
In my dreaming;

But, at break of day
There was only emptiness
In that place
Where once we lay.
Part II: Death

Slow greening sleep and rest –
Sweat not! – anger-dust and rust
Beneath this fractured marble epitaph I lie,
A sacrifice to the ancient quickening quest;
Into this lie in which we all are thrust
Fated to die, for our Fathers know best
And therefore must we succumb
Into a world doomed to decay
Where every tree must shed its years
And cracking open wide, fall, benumbed
Unto the forest floor, for each tree has its day
And each frightened child must shed its tears
As those it loves are born away –
The burden of those grey ghosts who carry fears
To haunt our dreams and curse us as we sleep
The weary night away before the dawning day
Arises to summon us once again to weep,
And pray.

For My Dad
Old life fading
New life emerging
Spinning round and round
Inside my head –
What's up?
What's down?
Everything comes and goes
Like a snowflake on a wet day;
For a moment it exists
On the windscreen of my awareness
Before it drips away,
One unique and infinitely precious special moment:
A snapshot of eternity …

Inscrutable Death
Just sits there
In the corner
By the ceiling
In the antiseptic isolation
Of the Neurological Ward,
For that final moment
To spring
Propel itself from its perch up there
And grasp its prey
Utterly lacking compassion
As alien
And incomprehensible
As any predator
Dreamed up by Science Fiction …

Without So Much As A Sigh
Without so much as a sigh
My father dies
By the struggle
To stay alive
And the nurse turning him
Cries …

A dark presence
Lurking in the corners and shadows
Perched up there
Near the ceiling,
Waiting –
And it's all over.

He could see it
As he lay
The terror in his eyes
Every time
He looked up there
Unable to speak –
To communicate;
The man I looked up to
The man I could always talk to
About anything
About everything;

Is not so complete –
It leaves everything
Unanswered …

The Day My Father Died
Even the duty nurse cried
On the day my Father died
My brothers and I stayed in the sick room
All through the night's long gloom

But, at the break of day
There our Father still lay
Refusing to surrender his light
To that dark shapeless Knight

His exhausted lungs gasping
The breath through his mouth rasping
His body withered and wasted away
As there on his gurney he lay

Unable to speak, barely able to see
His right side paralysed completely
In a stroke, half of him was taken
All hope of recovery forsaken

Life Goes On
Somehow, Life just goes on
But sometimes I wonder why
Life goes on and on and on
After someone special dies

The day I dreaded more than any other came and went
That dark shape lurking against the hospital wall
You can only begin to see when a life is spent
And struggling desperately against the end of it all
The things it loved and held most dear:
Spring flowers – snowdrops peeping through the snow
Boys catching frogs in a local weir

These things that gave our Father delight:
Listening to the radio while Mum watched TV
Ideas and culture and philosophy through the long night
On the CBC he loved and listened to so loyally;
Christies Ginger Snaps and endless cups of tea
As we sat in his shop putting the world to rights
Tinkering – His dream of being the Tesla of the 90s

Our father seeing against the wall that darkening Thing
Waiting stealthily to pounce in the silent room
Fear and horror in Dad's eyes as it sought to bring
Him closer and closer to his impending doom –
I could almost see it through the corner of my eyes
Skulking and shifting about as it waited up there
In that empty corner where our father stared and stared.

Impressions On The Ferry
Dead Mountains
Raindrops on the window,
Mist on the mountains ...
There's a storm coming
Dark clouds hang
Pendulous in the sky
Somewhere near,
A baby cries
Outside, a tugboat pulls a raft of dead trees
Stripped from once green mountains
Now bare and littered with the skeletons
Of ancient Firs, Spruces, and Cedars,
A cemetery of the wild;
What creatures lived here
In this place of nebulous mists
And green trees?
Dead mountains.

Sonnet #? In Memoriam
I can't write Latin; things not taught anymore,
And our once Great Civilisation wanes;
As we move into Darkness Evermore,
I ponder and reflect upon lost names
Forsaken in the rush to steal yet more
Of the treasures buried in Earth's deep veins –
What dreadful choice did those doomed people make
Standing in fear before windows up high
Above the flames climbing up for the sake
Of the Desert God awaiting them nigh?
To die by fire, burning in agony,
A foretaste of the Hell that awaits us all,
Or plunge to Earth; return to the Mother
Undone by a desert dwelling brother
Heeding the insane screaming Muzzein's call?
Beware the lure of his sanctimony.

Sonnet For Newtown
Suffer little children come unto me
But not so young for their Maker to see;
Cut down when their lives are just beginning –
What evil hour is Evil here winning?
Madness speaks, and Death untimely answers –
Get thee hence, Death! Cast elsewhere thy grim lures.
Children so young, so fragile filled with hope
For a bright future they will never see;
Through these dull days of endless night we grope;
Our pleas beseech whatever gods there be
Demanding answers from this tragedy:
From meaningless horror, we seek meaning,
Plunged as we are in Grief's bottomless sea –
Instead we hear only children screaming.

91poem12 (AKA Red Dawn)
Glistening in the naked light
Of another red dawn,
Visceral images of mass dying
As the soldiers rise from the gloom
Of the cannon's gloaming,
Gaunt shadows readying for one more try
To get to the other side
Of the green hill;
How can I spill
The horror I feel
For the boy bleeding
At my feet? – so close,
Yet so far to go ...

... I wish I too
Could just sail away
On the back of the slippery sea ...

Breakdown, breakdance!
The break of day
Shattered, shivered, and bleeding,
Another one dies
As someone shoots the horses;
The Black man is forced to kneel
In homage to The Man
Before he pulls the trigger ...

... Children die,
Homeless and confused
For the grown-ups have all gone insane ...

The boy on the floor
Battered and bleeding
Bashed his head
Again and again
Against the cold stone unyielding,
His mute answer
To the ancient question of

Review Request (Intensity): 
I want the raw truth, feel free to knock me on my back
Review Request (Direction): 
[This option has been removed]
Last few words: 
I am going to submit this chapbook (along with a few others) to a publisher that has a chapbook contest going, as soon as I can come up with the $20.chapbook submission fees. Would like to get some critique on it. Is it coherent. Does the poetry flow? Do the poems segue well? Do you think my chances are good of winning? I want to get published, and by God! I could sure use the award money if I win. But I have never had the faintest luck getting published in North America. (Editors in the UK seem to like my work a lot more than they do over here. I don't think I fit any of the current categories of poet: Street, Academic, and definitely not Trendy! I also have no desire to limit myself in terms of style or category of poetry. I can write a free verse poem whose structure on the page is meant to convey such things as tonality, voice or even meaning, one day and write a sonnet or a pantoum or a villanelle the next. I have recently completed my first Epic (over 1800 stanzas, all rhymed and metered, 560 pages in length), whose wording and syntax was meant to make it read more like prose, since no one wants to read epics anymore, and even more recently made a word-for-word prose formatted version to see how well it reads as prose. Into the final edit now. Regarding the submission of my chapbook, it has completely destroyed all the formatting using page indents, spacing and margination which was designed to (a) enhance meaning, (b) distinguish voices and (c) impart tonation (the way the poem is supposed to sound when read aloud).
Editing stage: 


You are basicly asking us to be your editor.

Post each poem separately and I'm sure you will get valuable feedback. Be sure to give critique to others too. This is a volunteer, democratically members run site. The more you give the more you get.

Several of us have edited each others books after we have built a reciprocal, trusting relationship.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

from the glance I gave this you clearly have great skills, knowledge and talent. I look forward to reading your work in more accessible form.

A new workshop on the most important element of poetry-
'Rhythm and Meter in Poetry'

Totally agree with Jess..
We have epics on Neopoet but not in this form.
Welcome to Neopoet and please try to let us see your works one piece at a time this to me is just too much to read and sort out.
Yours Ian.T

Give critique to help keep Neopoet great.
Unconditional love to you all.
"Learn to love yourself first"
Yours as always, Ian.T, Sparrow, and Yenti

what I thought they'd say
you are very much epicurial
you beat our snow man .

On this site only a single poem is allowed
in 24 hours

Kindly follow the guidelines

You are a class poet
who just commented on mine
I thought to befriend you
and be kind .
Hopefully you will kindly rewind
and re-post each one
one at a time
Else consider a OK tick
U posted

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