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Monthly Archives: April 2013

Don’t love.
Because the sad, inevitable truth
Is this:
Be it through wars,
Or tears,
Or even death,
Eventually, the flames that keep you warm
When the world is bitterly cold
Will burn out.
Sometimes they take many years to slowly die down.
In other cases,
They are snuffed out, suffocated,
In an instant.
The pain, though purely in your mind,
Will be more excruciating
Than anything you could ever put your body through.
Someone told me that time was the greatest healer.
They lied.
Time does not heal.
Time merely allows you to grow accustomed to agony,
To accept it as part of your daily routine.
Wake up, ache.
Shower, sting.
Breakfast, with added burn, naturally.
New lovers may take that place,
A warm, comforting bandage over a gaping wound.
But they will only ever be a bandage.
Some wounds simply refuse to heal.
Protect yourself.
Don’t love.

She admires the shiny red shoes with the heel,
The kind her mother would have only dreamed of
And her father would have scoffed at.
“Who are you trying to fool?
You’re a carpenter’s daughter, nothing more.”
But today, she is more than that.
Her hair, freshly washed,
Tied up in a smooth bun.
The dress, freshly pressed,
The labels newly removed.
Wages were saved for many moons
Just for this occasion.
She’d saved before knowing if he’d ask her to dance.
But her hope allowed her to control her own fate.
Tonight, she is more than a carpenter’s daughter…
She is the one he chose.
The girl he fell in love with on sight,
Watching her type in the office.
Clack. Clack. Clack.
Today the only clacking comes from the shoes she wears
As she walks towards the man
Who will make her more than her father ever believed she could be.

It doesn’t always fit in the way you’d like.
Sometimes it doesn’t suit the wearer.
But sometimes the truth
Is embroidered upon so much,
It becomes a completely different garment.
For better or worse,
It’s never what you asked for.
Sometimes you’d rather look honourably plain
Than to be gilded with lies.
I choose to walk this runway
With a fabric stitched with honesty
It may stretch or sag,
But even so…
I need not hide what lies beneath.

Pull a pint.
Change a note.
Shots, shots, shots!
Oi luv, when you got a minute.
Barrel’s gone. Damnit.
So when can I take you home?
Oi back off mate, she’s better than that.
She don’t look it.
Watch ya mouth.
Rolling eyes.
Turn away.
Out of ice. Damnit.
Stop lookin’ at my fella!
More rolling of eyes.
Glasses smash.
Claws come out.
Handbags fly.
Drunken slurring fills the air.
Why did I apply for this job?

Wrinkled hands reach for a sepia photograph
The same story is told again
To this stranger who has come to introduce herself.
The tale of a life, creating life,
Which, in turn created new life.
And there the story ends,
With a granddaughter,
Ten years old.
The stranger that was there throughout,
Unbeknownst to you
Who sits in the chair beside you,
Twenty years old,
Listening to your tales
Like an old familiar record.
There are silent tears in the eyes of this stranger
And as you smile happily at your brand new friend,
You cannot understand why.
“It was lovely to meet you my dear,
You really must visit again soon…”

There is something odd
About a place with merely a street or a river
Separating the rich from the poor.
The middle-aged millionaire,
His young, blonde, synthetic wife,
Her original parts are twenty-four,
But the improvements?
Those are merely months.
Counting their cash,
Buying their cars,
Selling their soul for immortality.
Only ever worrying
About who sleeps with who,
Who said what,
How much tax can be avoided.
Prison? But that’s for poor people.
But metres away,
In a one-bedroom flat,
Lives a single mother
Of two, a boy and a girl,
Who is living hand to mouth.
Too proud to sign on,
(Her mother never did),
Clothing her babies
In the finest garments
Her local charity shop
Can supply.
Going hungry herself
“Don’t worry, mummy’s already eaten”,
Scrabbling around in her purse
For a bus fare.
The doctor’s surgery is too far to walk.
A mile at most, between two walks of life,
But physical distance is not the only kind.

On the day
That a conman fooled me
With a cheap trick,
My rose-tinted glasses cracked.
And suddenly a world that once seemed so bright
Was full of filth and decay.
The masks of kind strangers
Began to slip:
The woman with the beautiful children
Cheats on her loving, trusting husband
Whenever he’s away on business.
The man who treats his dog like royalty
Treats his wife like a stray mutt.
She’d be better off in the gutter,
Where his drunken fists cannot reach her.
The frail old lady with aching joints
And a walking frame
Is a kleptomaniac.
She’s stolen silver from her sister.
The daughter, laughing with her mother,
Best friends with her post-university,
Is completely unaware that her mother
Is sleeping
With her daughter’s fiancee.
And prior to having my trust abused,
I too was unaware.
But now,
I see everything.
And I hate it.

I felt guilt
For traits of mine that showed in you.
And I wish I hadn’t passed them on.
I felt pride
When you stood up for what you believed in.
But I wish that I had done the same.
I felt pain
When you cried over bullies at school.
But I wish I could have taught you that they just didn’t matter.
I felt joy
When you climbed higher than me.
But I wish that I’d tried harder.
I look forward
To the day you give me grandchildren.
Because I know you’ll do a better job than I ever did.

Fear breeds hatred.
That is the truth of it.
A human reaction,
But one that makes us weak.
How can evil be silenced
If no one has courage to speak?
How can we open our hearts
When we shut ourselves off with barriers?
How can we love
With hearts filled with hate?
When blame is showered down
Like acid rain,
It is not just the guilty that are burned,
But those who were standing
In the wrong place
At the wrong time.
Stand tall,
Stay strong,
Always love.

Did I plot the end of your time together?
No Ma’am, I did not.
You ended it yourself
With the choices you made.
If talking to friends is a terrible crime,
Then lock me away,
Throw away the keys,
Leave me to starve.
For life without friends is lonely
And loneliness is killer in itself.

Did I make him choose?
No Ma’am I did not.
If you wish to blame me,
Then we’re guilty in equal measure.
You for emptying his glass,
Me, for filling it again.
And the accusing stares,
The vicious comments,
The petty behaviour,
All served a purpose in the end.

The outcome wasn’t what you wished,
But foreseeable? Oh yes.
In trying to pull him closer,
You suffocated.
In speaking with me,
Laughing with me,
Breathing with me,
The colour came back to his face.

You can keep a man as prisoner,
But he’ll never worship the judge that put him there.