Sunday, 25 September 2016

Free

The king is dead
The courtiers fled
The soldiers bled
For a loaf of bread
The maid it fed
Now makes his bed
And in her head
Wakes a foreign dread

These bars of steel
Sheer walls of stone
Have echoed forth
Many thoughts unknown
Cut through the cracks
New sun has shone
That light is mine
And mine alone
I am a beast
Of heart and bone
A hungry seed
In desert sown
When towering weeds
Had overgrown
I wrung their necks
To forge a throne
A summer sung
Among my own
The bird remains
The nest has flown

For them that see
Past the canopy
Waits a misery
You must agree
You will decree
The swelling sea
Her sunken tree
Ever home to me

When in that boil
I choose to be
Am I then caged?
Pray, are you free?

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

The Writer's Creed

Fear not, my words.

Fear not the hour you were born or the piece of paper you were carefully, carelessly or precariously committed to. Fear not the thought that engendered you or the hesitation that endangered you. Fear not the fingers that typed you or the pen that scribbled you. Fear not the blocks that held you back. Fear not.

You will be read. You will be ignored. You will be celebrated, reviled and detested. You will be tested. Fear not. Fear not the eyes that take you in, or the mouths that spit you out. The blinks of disbelief, the stares of discontent, the nods of appreciation and the muted gaze of indifference. They will greet you one and the same.

Fear not the cynicism you carry or the cynics you attract. Fear not the love you foster or the fury you proclaim. There is a weight on your shoulders and it is heavy. Only a few will see it but it is there none the same. You’ll be great company on a good day and on a lesser one, a speck in the distance. On a bad day, you will preach. 

You will cross lines. You will pass judgment. You will condone and condemn and be the only shred of solace one has to cling to. You will skimmed through, skipped altogether or spent entire days with. You will cloud thinking and rain fresh perspective. You will crush notions and renew hope. You will not retreat. You will provoke.

Fear not the chuckles you invite or the curses that drop by anyway. They will never be enough. Fuck the distractions and the four-letter frowns. You have a purpose. To set minds spinning and enter conversations and contemplations with the subtle force of an honest intention. You will lift songs and power into speech. Speeches, someday.

You will be treasured. You will be forgotten. You will strike someone like a bolt of lightning and stay buried under an avalanche of inconsequence until someone else unearths you by accident. But, you won’t have aged. You are immortal, the bright beacon of a beating heart. You travel to places my feet will never set foot on.

Fear not the strangers you speak to or the strangeness you bring out in them. You are a plot to my mind and the key to its deceptions. You are my strongest hand and my deepest tell. Let us play like we always have. Without reason, often with. You have been my privilege to write and my pleasure to convey. You will be questioned.

I believe in you.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Tungsten

She's a young summer and a bright winter and the breeze that flows between. She's a candy floss will and a molten heart. She's a firefly.

She’s a short burst of hard laughter, the rock lead in a jazz ballad. She has aces in her eyes and a story up her sleeve. She is hard talk and small talk and no talk at all. She's a long night at a packed bar, a short flight next morning. She’s a welcome contradiction.

She’s soft cheer and sure grace. She pulls off a gown and a frown with the easiest of ease. She sways to no music, makes you swoon to her tune, she swings like no one’s watching. She dresses up and dresses down, and stuns you every time. She sports mascara but never a mask. She wears no airs.

She’s the darkest heaven and the brightest hell. She flits through time, without a thing to prove, like warm poetry on a trapeze. She leads firms, and lays terms, and takes what’s coming to her. She runs the show. She runs as deep as still waters go. She should run for president.

She’ll sting you with her honesty and nurse you with her presence. She knows no compulsion and only says what she means. She’ll flood you with answers and still leave you guessing. She walks like a tiger and runs like a child. She's pure fire and raw rain, her mind holds no regret. She’s the flicker of the filament of a bright yellow bulb. She is tungsten.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

The End

At the end of this life, you will have laughed and loved, hurt and hated, fought and failed, won and waited. You will have tried and tested, cried and coped, dreamt, denied, helped and hoped. You will be learned and lonesome, wistful and wise, calm and clueless, it'll show in your eyes. You will have been anxious and affectionate, firm and furious, interesting, insecure, conscientious, curious. You will be a lot and a little you won't, you will have taken far more than you thought you could give, you will be tired but find yourself grateful, for every day you were lucky enough to live.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Smug

I sit here among you. I sit here with a drink in my hand and the odd smirk on my lips. You might think I'm a dreamer. You might believe I'm a schemer. But the truth, God's honest version of it, is I couldn't care less. I don't care for small talk and long winded conversations of no comprehensible consequence. I don't care who you are, what you've done and where you're from. I don't care for what you have to say. It's not that I despise you. It might appear to be the case, but I'm not judging you. No, that's unfair, because I don't know you. I don't despise you. It's just that I don't want to know you. You must be interesting. You must have some joke, anecdote or achievement up your sleeve, raring to unleash itself upon an eager audience. But, I will spare my ears the trouble and spare you an audience. I'm closing myself as the evening wears on. And I quite like how that feels.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Light

You look radiant in the candlelight as I sit here writing these words, stealing a glimpse or two of the woman I love. I watch you smile, I see you playing with your hair, I observe you listening pensively, your chin on your palm, disinterested in what you hear but nodding in acknowledgment nonetheless, then spontaneously breaking into a laugh that places you right back in the thick of it all. I look at your hand, the hand I held a few minutes ago. I remember your touch.

And, as I gaze into you and turn away when your eyes meet mine, as I seek you out through panes of stained glass even though nothing obstructs my view, I find words. I'm at the cusp. I run the back of my finger against the brick wall to pause for a second. I want this to be real. I want my words to be true. I pause for a second second when I recall your name has much to do with the truth. I utter your name in silence, you can't see me grin after, and realise the hour is right. I'm at the cusp. No, we're at the cusp. Between a love immortal and one that never existed. Walking the thin line between hope and its lessness. I know lessness isn't an actual word but there's no reason it shouldn't be. We're on the verge of something extraordinary every single moment we're together, this one included. And in this moment, you and I are standing at the threshold of our futures. I believe they're intertwined, like our fingers are used to being

Why did I leave that table? Sitting across you, inches apart, your feet occasionally brushing mine, I didn't have to. Conversations are a distraction, especially when the only thing on your mind is the only thing you want to talk about. Instinctively, I stood up, polished the last of my wine and stepped out. It wasn't the cigarette alone that drew me away. There would be another. It wasn't the cigarettes alone. I wanted to numb the noise, blur the whirl, and find some focus. And, I did. I lit up, looked up, and there you were. You and the candle, only. I wondered which one was illuminating the other. You threw me inspiration, I caught it. Each time the thin white haze cleared, I saw you. I see you. The way I've always seen you. You look radiant in the candlelight as I sit here writing these words, stealing a glimpse or two of the woman I love.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Ordinary

You are a waster of time
A taker of space
You are a thinker of things
A forgetter of names

You are older than yesterday
Younger than tomorrow
Taller than your standing
Smaller than your ego

You are a maker of sound
A crasher of gates
You are a flipper of coins
A feeler of pain

You are harder than cloth
Heavier than light
Better than your worst
Faster than your stride

You are a soaker of sun
A watcher of waves
You are a breather of air
A catcher of rain

You are this and that
You are one or another

The only thing you are not, however,
Is ordinary

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Umbrella

It was a night like this. As thunder and lighting laid desperate claim to the sky, I remember we shared an umbrella. We pitched it in my living room and crawled into its welcome shelter. It wasn't big by any measure but neither were we. It was home to you and a cave to me. We lit a fire and took turns shivering. I stuck my hand out to catch pretend raindrops while you cooked a make-believe meal for our make-believe family of three.

Two decades have passed, leaving us our own halves of that long forgotten picture. You have a little mouth to feed, a child infinitely more beautiful, and I presume hungrier, than the one you imagined that night. And I'm caught in the rain, sticking my hand out from under the umbrella.

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Maybe

‘Maybe’ is a fascinating word.

In fact, I’ll go as far as to say ‘maybe’ just may-fucking-be the second
most interesting word after, well, ‘fuck’.

‘Maybe’ is better than ‘or’, and not because it’s three letters or a syllable heavier.
Come to think of it, ‘or’ is barely a word. Actually, it’s barely a sound, much like
a half-swallowed hiccup. Fundamentally, ‘or’ is dependent on the two choices
it needs to fit snugly between; in or out, soup or salad, your place or mine.
‘Maybe’, on the other hand, is a brand new choice altogether.

‘Maybe’ is shorter and sweeter than its overtly sophisticated cousin ‘perhaps’.
Perhaps, you’d disagree. See what I mean? ‘Maybe’ is easy on the tongue,
you can drop it at will, like a hydrogen bomb, which brings me to my next point.

Wielded well, ‘maybe’ is a potent weapon in the power hungry control-freak’s
(you, if you’re wondering) arsenal. Allow me to illustrate.

--

‘Do you love me?’

‘Yes.’

‘That was easy.’

‘Yes’ is acknowledgement, and although it presents the subject with success,
the feeling is short-lived. It’s precisely one chest thump, two fist bumps, three calls,
four social media posts or five eventful nights long. You can’t keep replaying
a single glorious instant for an eternity, can you?

Outcome: Power forfeited.

--

‘Do you love me?’

‘No.’

‘Bite me.’

‘No’ is outright rejection, a slap in the face, it’ll make the subject reel momentarily
but recover nonetheless. It’s a wake-up call, and some of us need more than one.
It puts the universe into perspective, and the jilted on an entirely disconnected
intellectual plane.

Outcome: Subject forfeited.

--

‘Do you love me?’

‘Maybe.’

‘What? How? Why? Okay.’

‘Maybe’ feeds both curiosity and hope in the precise measure required to place
the aggressor in a position of power. Even though the odds of approval and rejection
stand equally divided, it is human nature to disregard the latter. After all, hope sells
harder than sex ever did. And, while a part of the subject’s mind devotes itself to
optimism-laced flights of fancy, another dissects the response, probing desperately
for arguments that aggravate the former.

Simply put, when blind hope gets boring, one turns to curiosity to discover worthy
justification. A valid justification strengthens hope and the cycle completes its first,
but far from final, revolution.

Outcome: Power and subject retained.

--

‘Maybe’ is the grey in a world of black and white. It is the convenient middle path
between ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Do I sense Buddha frowning? ‘Maybe’ is nonchalant,
noncommittal, nonconformist even. It has a certain air of suspense working for it.
It’s Bond-like, yet catty. It’s a veiled insult, yet sometimes pretty darn straight.
It’s absolute, yet throws open a world of countless probabilities and analyses.
It’s the answer to the question you weren’t seeking an answer to. It keeps you on
the prowl and your victims on their toes.

‘Maybe’ is a drug. Use it before you lose it, because you’re eventually going
to lose it anyway.

Well, maybe.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Yes

It was quite simple, really.

If you said ‘Yes’, I’d take your dog on a walk so you could sneak in an hour of sleep,
and get back in time to watch the sight of your eyes adjusting to the light as the first
sip of freshly brewed tea kissed your lips. I’d make you breakfast.

If you said ‘Yes’, I’d ride you to work, buy you a croissant to go, even though
I secretly know you prefer muffins but are watching your sugar intake. I’d pick up
your dry cleaning, I’d offer to drop you home and hang on to every word
you said along the way.

I’d like every status update you put up just to let you know I read it. I’d make you
put up status updates just so I could like them.

I’d cover your head when it rained, wrap my jacket around you when it was cold,
hold your hand when we crossed the street, hold your hand as we weaved through
a crowd, hold your hand for no reason whatsoever and squeeze it gently
before letting go.

I’d take you to exhibitions, plays, films, festivals, concerts and carnivals.
I’d probably take you shopping. No, I would take you shopping.

I’d stay by your side when you were sick, make sure you took your medication
on time, never on an empty stomach, and take you to the doctor
if your condition worsened. I’d nurse you back to health even though it meant
I could fall ill the moment you recovered.

I’d write you a poem and ten songs to go with it. I’d sing you those songs
on days you needed to be told how beautiful you are. 

If you said ‘Yes’, I’d revel in your success, brush away your failures, push you
to try harder and give you a million reasons to refrain from entertaining the thought
of giving up. I’d be a partner to your crimes, an audience to your expression,
and the wall you often crave between you and the world.  

If you said ‘Yes’, I would do all of this and so much more, in the right amount
of moderation, so you never felt you owed me anything but always had just cause
to light up that smile. I would write a thesis about that smile.

But, you never said ‘Yes’. 

Because, I never asked.