In the Rose Garden

I have a little secret

That I’d like to share with you

For when your will is beat and bruised

And stained in stormy blue

 

Take a stroll in this here garden

And at once you’ll be beguiled

By the two resplendent roses

Who are blooming at the aisle

 

Breathe in their vital fragrance

It’s a scent of tickled cheer

A most sweetening reminder

That all is well in here

 

See how their splendid petals

Weave like lovely threads of lace

A show for the eyes that beauty lies

In understated grace

 

And to touch these silky flowers

Is to get a tender hug

That wraps around the body

Like a cosy cashmere rug

 

Still, these roses they’re robust

And their thorns they can endure

Despite bullies, bugs and other thugs

Their stems remain secure

 

I hear you ask, how do I know

Of these jewels our roses yield

Well, I’ve sat here in this garden

And felt how much they heal

 

I’ve seen them sway in tandem

Their leaves brushing with the breeze

In a tranquil dance of true romance

They move as one with ease

 

I’ve heard their floral whispers

Those shared in tender jest

By lovers who are grateful that

Together they laugh best

 

I’ve watched how both have wilted

And the other’s sacrificed

Their repository of rain drops

To revive the other’s life

 

I marvel at this garden

How she radiates today

Because we’ve all been bundled

In a Jules and James bouquet

 

So now you know my secret

It’s too precious not to share

The abundant love I feel because

Of these two roses rare

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Photo: A poem written and performed at the wedding of my beloved roses, Julka and James, who live their lives and their love in full bloom, always.

And There You Are

I scurried across the ocean hoping to find me

Certain I couldn’t be found where I had been

Swimming my way through a torrent of skies

I assigned to each lap a wilful cutting of ties

And the farther I flew from the breast of my home

The deeper I believed I’d come into my own

But as sure as the night that’s dressed in stars

So too shall we be wherever we are

walking-with-shadow-viktor-savchenko

Photo: Blatantly obvious to see. Brutally difficult to live.

To Dwell on Dreams

I thought I saw you look my way

Or do my eyes deceive me again today?

Their lusting gaze are transfixed on the haze

That thickens in tandem with truth’s decay

 

I see you dancing in the lofty clouds

In the realm of dreams where I’m not allowed

And it pains me so, to inherently know

That the essence of you is just a shroud

 

For perilous apparitions

That won’t come to fruition

Because the deeper I dive, the lesser alive

I am to my earthly ambitions

 

Despite myself, I still look to the blue

Up above reason to where I see you

And from there in your bliss, you blow me a kiss

Which plagues me to think you might feel it too

 

For my eyes are spent and my neck is sore

I must not deny where I am anymore

Among the grass and the trees, who are ever at ease

Being wedded to this terrestrial floor

 

No, it will not do to dwell on your star

That brightens the higher up there you are

For all that might be, between you and me

I just cannot love from a distance this far

above-the-clouds-alone-beautiful-clouds-girl-harmony-peaceful-sky-thinking

Photo: It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live

The Stampede

Why, when I’m still

Do I hear a stampede?

 

The wildebeest of peace

They’re charging at me;

A cluster of dusty horns

For as far as the eye can see

 

You tell me,

I must let them pass

They’re to trample on me

If there’s to be quiet at last

 

And why, then,

When I’m in my own

 

Is it a stifling place?

A ghetto of memories

That I cannot erase

And mirrors reflecting

A stifled face

 

I ask, why does the sky

Of what ‘could be’

And the low-hanging fruit

That fall from her tree

Have me so terrified

That they’ll all fall on me?

 

And why. Why

When I walk towards love

Do my feet fumble and flail

 

Across this taut tight rope

Of misguided hope

Or is it a slippery slope?

Because I’m sliding so fast

I just might not cope

 

You tell me to focus

In me, please remain

You repeat this to me

Time and again

Your trust, my girl,

It mustn’t wain

 

Because in the end

It will all be okay

I promise you this

It’s the only way

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Photo: Some days feel like a stampede of dust and horns, but really, it’s just a migration to greener pastures.

A Song for Sophia

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

The notes would flutter about like butterflies

Painting swirls of brilliant colour

That reflect rainbows in her lovely eyes

 

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

The melody would fly her up above the clouds

To a haven of hope that welcomes dreams

Where she’s never told ‘no, you’re not allowed’

 

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

The lyrics would chat to her as if to a friend

Weaving laughter through each eloquent verse

And a truth on which she could always depend

 

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

The drums would beat to the pace of her heart

Comforting her in those echoes of silence

When she feels as though she’s falling apart

 

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

The instruments would each sound with perfect precision

Not one chime would be out of time

Her life, a symphony of a happy vision

 

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

She’d store the recording in the nook of her soul

A tender humming and daily reminder

That she is nothing other than immaculately whole

 

If I were to sing a song for Sophia

We’d do cartwheels to the song that I sang

We’d dance until dawn with eager abandon

Because we are each other’s ying and yang

 

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Photo: In loving someone completely, do we not wish that they dance to their own lifelong melody?

A Conversation with Death

It was an idle Tuesday, if I correctly recall

That we struck up our first conversation

When I saw you from afar, in that indistinguishable bar

Before approaching you with some trepidation

 

It wasn’t your appearance that caused unease in me

Nor was your disposition of any note

You stood casually cool, amidst an overflowing pool

Of mediocre men guzzling beer down their throats

 

Though a stranger detached, in my presence you knew

That I’d been waiting for this my entire life

To look into the eyes that could reveal my demise

And in the final crescendo, release me of strife

 

But death, like skilled men, knows how to tempt

To tease his prey before relenting

To her whimsical needs, and her heart that bleeds

For a dance with the devil that churns deep within

 

“Why does a beauty like you choose me amongst men?”

Are the first words that death utters to me

“Because you’re the only solution, to the mental pollution

Clouding the impetus that wills me to be”

 

“From this deluge of men, the only insight I’ve gained

Is that I am unequivocally alone

Each stale interaction masks a vacant distraction

And so I ride a breath that’s already flown

 

“Death, prey tell, how does a man of your stature see me?

Where do I teeter between suffering and success?

I need your clarity of vision, and your ultimate decision

That will guide me away from all this distress

 

“My adorable girl, how you do make me laugh

For I am not your martyr, nor your salvation

That you have sought me out, proves beyond reasonable doubt

That I must avoid the lure of temptation

 

“You see, my imperative’s to remain incognito

So that the dying should never fear my advance

When with a nonchalant step, I draw them closer to death

While affording them an affable glance

 

“Petal, this conversation is not of that world

And there are still many bars you must frequent

Before coming home with me, so much awaits you, you’ll see

Because your life, my dear is perfectly decent”

 

Then death retreated beyond the beer-soaked haze

Where I was left to converse with me

Awake to each breath, I felt vindicated by death

Now at ease with a future that I could not foresee

 

angel-of-death

Photo: I often envisage death as an average man you might meet in a bar; unassuming, and often unnoticeable, but once he approaches, you’re utterly ensconced in his world and there is no turning back.

If I were a fool

If I were a fool

I’d call upon my four year old self

In moments of catastrophic despair

Because I’d know that the indecipherable ramblings of a child

Hold far more wisdom than those of an articulate adult

 

If I were a fool

I’d give heed to these arbitrary words

Unencumbered

Uninhibited

Unpretentious

And unyielding in their honourable truth

 

If I were a fool

I’d ask more questions than there were answers to

Of more people than were willing to listen

Cognoscente that whilst society equates knowledge with power

The most profound power comes in knowing that we know nothing at all

 

If I were a fool

I’d act repeatedly on impulse

Well versed in the song of regret, I’d sing it with pride

Trusting that one day one of my ill conceived decisions

Will prove to be the most intelligently conceived of all

 

If I were a fool

I’d strive for diversity

Knowing that to dabble in a plethora of people, places, pastimes and professions

Doesn’t make me fickle or lazy

But instead cloaks me in a tapestry of texture and colour

 

If I were a fool

I’d recoil in shame at the hurt I’d caused others

But endeavour to calm the pangs of guilt

Because no suffering I’ve ever engendered

Has belonged to anyone other than me

 

If I were a fool

I’d see pink elephants dancing in the sky

Believing them to be as real as the taxes I pay

I’d solemnly swear that I was Juliet incarnate

And that Romeo stood but a Cupid’s arrow away

 

If I were a fool

I’d allow myself to indulge in the imaginary

Because selective naivety is not stupidity

It’s the keyhole through which we see the unseeable

And the vision that arms us with the courage to open life’s door

 

If I were a fool

I’d be afraid

Of failure

Of heartbreak

Of boredom

Of loneliness

Of longing

Of grief

 

If I were a fool

I’d be alive

To success

To love

To stimulation

To connection

To satisfaction

To gratitude

 

I’d be a fool to be anything other than foolish.

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Photo: “A fool thinks himself to be wise, but a wise man knows himself to be a fool” said the greatest fool of all, William Shakespeare.