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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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.

All is well in the sky tonight

The sky quivers tonight

Stars dart across an infinite canvas

Hesitant to mark their spot on the black


Something’s amiss in the stratosphere tonight

Why else does the moon wear its knowing face?

That neither welcomes bedlam, nor turns it away


The planets tango in frantic haste

Defiant that the music will stop

But it will. Stop.


The sky is so fragile tonight

She may just shatter into a million pieces

And lay scattered across perpetuity’s floor


The sun casts her rays in apology

For what her light may reveal

Scenes of menace burst from her beams

She longs for the dark tonight


And then. Stillness envelopes the uneasy sky

The stars align in perfect constellation

The moon nestles into a tranquil smile

As the planets lovingly skip to a halt

The sky exhales a cosmic breath

That pacifies the sun’s raucous rays


All is well again in the sky tonight.

Ten Thousand Years At Sea

It’s been ten thousand years since our eyes last met

On the day you submerged me in blindness

Your eyes so determined that I should forget

That they’d once been a vessel of kindness


A ship that steered me through treacherous seas

Your lashes fluttered like sails in the wind

Though all I could feel was a delicate breeze

That playfully tickled my back while I grinned


As the rigger, cabin boy and quarter master

You excelled in each post with tenacity

Never once grumbling that you had relented

To me – so unworthy in my captaincy


As I darted each day from starboard to port

Veering off course at the behest of the tides

I ignored your cautions to ‘abort, abort’

Pre-empting my peril, you still stepped aside


So from the plank I dived with whimsical glee

And near drowned in pursuit of a mermaid

Risking all to be a creature of the sea

Knowing very well you’d plunge to my aid


Though we shared the same deck, our hopes never wed

As we tried to make sense of our passage

Your eyes, they were fixed on the waters ahead

While mine were lost in a sky so lavish


And in this vein, we circumvented the earth

An unruly captain and her one-man crew

Refusing to moor at the pleasing berths

When this was all you’d ever wanted to do


Ten thousand sightless years have come to pass

Though more vivid my vision has never been

Your ship was my compass, my beacon and mast

This, I see now, what I should have then seen


And so on that day when you released your tears

Delivering to me what was rightfully mine

An ocean that’s wept for ten thousand years

Over a love adrift with the swells of time

Grasshopper in a Tree

My big sister grew remarkably tall

Before I was even able to crawl

Her limbs, they towered over mine

And from way up there, beyond the skyline

I often wondered, what could she see?

Plenty, I was sure, when she’s as tall as a tree


But most days she tended to climb right down

To where the falling leaves hit the soft grassy ground

Showing patient love as she played with her Gás

For years on end totally engrossed

In a grasshopper’s world, so much smaller than she

Yet always happy sitting by the trunk with me


That’s what I see looking up to the blue

Her eyes like clouds watching over you

B is the branch that blows out of the way

So that others can soak up the sun for a day

Needing but a droplet of water to quench her thirst

Because a big sister always puts her little sister first


I gaze at her branches as they sway in the breeze

From down here they seem to sway with such ease

But I know B can often camouflage her pain

So that others won’t feel the drench of her rains

This is a marvel for grasshoppers like me

Who grow in the shade of their big sister’s canopy


As I see how her roots have made her so tall

Drought upon floods, B’s defeated them all

With a quietly cultivated and formidable strength

She’s twisted her way to considerable lengths

To revel in a life she now proudly leads

With her head spiralling well above the other trees


And that’s what a grasshopper sees in the height

Of a sister she’s copied with inexorable might

Oh, to be as tall as the sky soaring B

So I can finally lay eyes on what she can see

Yet, as the grasshopper rummages by the tree’s foot

B urges me to relax! And just stay put


Because otherwise she wouldn’t be able to play

In the garden below that takes her breath away

So I see what a combo we are tall and short

Though different in stature, we’re still the same sort

Two sisters who adoringly love one another

For there’s no other sister that either would rather


In the end, it’s no matter where I sit in the tree

So long as I’m sitting next to my B