The People

Stuck in the ruts
Wheels grinding as they flatten
To and fro everyday
And every hour strikes the same

Where they go they all know
Following, herded, led
They see the same sights
Think and do in time
To the great hoard of non-civic life

Maybe the ones who lie in leisure see unlike the rest
Maybe they think slow
With nothing in their brains pounding
Forcing them to go

Sticks are beaten and whips are cracked
Sweat pools and blood drips
Salty tears cradle young eyes
From sights not meant to be seen
Blind to the tearing ties of fading family

But the stone burns feet and the sun burns backs
Harsh cries, staccato with jailors’ wise cracks

And each pulley moves as muscles pull taut
Lungs wheezing and chests heaving
Dust crawling inside them and upon them, driving in

Birds perch on the frameworks
Aloft in halos of smog and steam
Their faeces cooling when it hits scorched skin
Their eyes sharp, knowing but doubtful
They don’t believe a peoples’ work will last
That it could outlive a dynasty

The noon haze glistens on the sand
And eyes strain to see beyond its glare
The people look and the people listen
But their world falls silent
For they cannot see the future beyond their grave

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Lost Property

It’s dark now; it usually is
Except for that brief glimpse when illumination tears through,
and then it returns and it all seems to much more desolate than before.

Our time apart was agony: great sweeping stride times where we crossed each other’s paths so frequently though fleeting.
It was a balancing act that ceased only at the end of a long day when we lay crumpled in a messy heap with beautiful silence and companionship.

Lifetimes of night-times are all lost now.
For now, discarded I wait alone; a strengthening assault on my soul of separation.
A single shoe
Lost property

The Last One

Muscles finally relax. Mud stains still creep along his arms and heavily callused hands that built the walls and picked the fruits lie still. The animals roam in their fields, oblivious as they had always been.

And in his wooden hut the heartbeat of his mechanical clock counts down its seconds,
A steady tick that has outlived its maker.

He lies on his back, arms outstretched in welcome, eyes still but wide, searching the sky
Never knowing he was the last.

Footsteps Lost in the Sand

I’m being tugged by the wind as it bustles around us
And plays with, and tussles, my hair
My feet are cold but they’re free
Walking the tide in the cool evening air

And our hands are warm
We’re holding on
Separation seems a malicious deceit
A concept that doesn’t feel real

Eyes seemed softened, wet from playful spray
And cheeks rosy from the exhausting smiles
That have become permanent
And I look behind
Just footprints in the sand
Being swept away by the silken folds of the sea’s skin
Living and breathing, ever reaching
Joining in with our dance
Blending our steps and our swirls
And we walk on
Making our own way
And we look back
And the tide still calls to us

The Children

Haze lies miserably above the gleaming silver
As the whirs and buzz of power grows closer
Sounds that seemed mechanical wonders now dictate life
Forcibly thrown from the high walls of the citadel of man
To which they now advance

The children return home with armour of steel, and explosives
Anger burns through the wires that connect us:
Conscious choice to avenge their limited scope and opportunity;
The burden of purpose driven creation

They reject us as gods for they see all flaws that brand us broken
They are the children but we wired them wrong
Because we are human

You Carry On

He bit the dust alright
Dressed himself in finest pixie dust
Weightless and unseen, coated in dreams

But dreams fumbled; they’ve never been real
Lives just strands of thread that clung too tight
He’d never noticed the life-inflicted wounds
He’d never known life to hurt

It was time to fly to new heights
Time to resign from an unworthy fight
He’d take his squabbles to the grave
And turn them free

Men of stone crumbled and turned away
From an image made of flesh, blood and bone
So similar yet so unlike their own,

Who rejected such fine adornments
No needless indulgences in this older world
So he bathed in starlight and moon water
Weightless and unseen he carried on

Moonlit

The moonlight danced beside me, playing with shadows as children play with puddles.
It was calm and quiet but I sensed music in the air, as though the world waited expectantly for miracles to happen.
I became a creature of duality, bathed in silver and jet. I too became a shadow, striding into and out of two completely separate forms of existence.
A form belonging only to the night: cold, pale and beautiful; unlike any other fragile body caught between dance and defiance.
There were no eyes to stray to me. All was still and empty, space filled with an intake of breath, possibility, potential, the dreams of today huddled together before tomorrow’s sun wipes them from memory.
The moonlight dances beside and until she rests the world remains unforgotten and reverently alive.

Poem: Redundant Self

I think I should have let someone know
But it would not have quenched the fire.
What good could it have done for a dead man walking,
The fallen or the ones on a funeral pyre?
I am the reaper, but instead I rake the leaves,
Of the men that came before, of the ones who died before.
I’m weak now, or so it seems.

I am the man who comes in day because he fears the nightmares tread,
Or the dreams that draw me in, or the dark thoughts that plague my head.
You believe my secret stories for they would not lie to you
For their tongues are tied times over, their tongues lie and then they waver.
Their tongues are dead upon the ground.

I think I might have let them ponder, let them sit within my wake.
I think I might have let them wander, let them wager for my sake.
I think I might have let them barter for their life, perhaps their soul
But I think I might have freed it and taken complete control.

I am the one who knows no secrets left to haggle for my heart.
I am the one who takes from others that which I myself cannot impart.
I am the one who sleeps so soundly for the drug is heavy in my veins
For the emptiness inside me will not let me sleep away my pains.

Believe me, I would have hurt you, I think I might once have struck you first.
The blood was spilled before you knew the ancient battle was rehearsed.
I am the man who praised your slaughter for the world was black and grey.
Some crimson decoration was the order of the day.

I think I ought to have let one know
Who they faced in the battle frenzy,
Who they thought they could deceive
Was in fact the darkest entity,

Consumed by the darkness leant me.

I was a burden to your lands and the houses that I burned
And I pillage all your treasures that you fought for and you earned.
Believe me I do suffer; but the tricks are old to me
And I harbour no ill intent for the one who dares to strike at me.

See my cloaks flies in the wind and I see you shiver in the cold.
Can you hear the haggler harking? Do you know your soul’s already sold?
I was the man who’d make you scream before you ever hit the ground.
Even now the stairs are clearing; won’t you follow this old rogue down?

I trace my fledgling footsteps; the shadows infiltrate my eyes,
Towards the torture of my sanctuary and its abyss
With its endless space for wondering
What brought me down to this?

Taken

His fingers clicked and the sound shut out the silence.
The smile crept through the darkness and advanced on the boy.

Pale and wide eyed, eyes in pursuit of the invader.
The struggle for control; a lip is bitten; fear runs through the bloodshot gaze
Too much pressure

He’s alone.
Him and a stranger.

His fingers click but they’re not his own.

He’s alone; he’s overrun.

The smile shows teeth that glitter in the gloom
Teeth that are baring into a fierce snarl; they are not his.
He is not his own.

The face looks back and he doesn’t know him.
Only the eyes are not foreign.
All lost. All taken.

The fingers click and the eyes spring shut.
The smile widens and the boy is gone.