Cold and battle-hardened,
cast the drawbridge from my heart,
may the waters never part.
The border spare and sterile,
let no creeper bear its fruit,
make me barren at the root.
A world within my chamber
painted vivid and opaque.
Soak in dreams, all else forsake.
The bold knight probes the fortress,
courts a torrent of abuse,
keep it in but what’s the use
when the music he belongs to
is a song from whence they came?
Same fresh face, a different name.
Hurt but not defeated,
he retreats beyond the moat,
picking daisies, writing notes.
Alone and battle-hardened,
past the point of nothing lost,
how I long for peacetime-soft.
I Am a Tightrope Walker
alone in a crowd,
balancing on a thread so thin,
sometimes I forget it’s there.
I try my best,
two half shoes on either side,
s t e a d y a n d s a f e
u n t i l
when the crowd snaps to attention,
baying for blood,
yet afraid to bleed,
four laser beams of unspoken will
imploring me to make their world
my final destination,
but I am a tightrope walker,
stalwart of obstinacy,
comfortable in solitude
and try as they might,
it’s hard to break the constancy
of a man with his head in the clouds.
The gentle hum of distant traffic curls
the dormancy within him, till it swirls
and blends into the background, loses hold.
He peers into the restaurant from the cold.
His jealousy no good to man or beast,
he leaves the happy couple at the feast,
heads early for the theatre’s gaping doors –
romantic fiction Saturday’s reward.
The teenage boy who works behind the till
distracted, doesn’t notice (no one will).
Two hours pass before him in a blur.
The critics weren’t impressed, he might concur
if only he could hide his joyful grin.
The night-time crowd are slowly traipsing in
and he should limber up and head for home
to work upon a fiction of his own.
photo by Sean Benesh