Poetry Blog by Robert C Gaulke

Buried Things

Buried Things

We forgot the plan
But still followed it

We didn’t recognize 
That particular stress

To a man we thought about
The opposite 

And how what we were told to do
Rarely made sense

Before we could give up
Before we could let go

It came back to us
Light through a broken window

And we found
The strength to continue

Read and leave comments (0)

Selective Compassion


Without selective compassion

We’d go mad in the streets

Outside of bubbles

Things get deadly


Well-designed products

Reassuring labelling

Consumed without drama

H&M, IKEA, Aldi’s


But the Guardian’s front page

The NPR story

The man on the corner

Doubts go on hiding


I see you tomorrow

I hold you closely

While that figure in the window


Read and leave comments (0)

Blue Sun

Blue Sun

We come in like the rain
Splashing over stones
On our holiday
Dreaming far from home

Wanting to taste something
We can’t have everyday
Wanting to feel something
To carry us away

Itinerant explorers
Homeless shoppers
Cheeses with holes
Heads full of images

Tiny dreams 
Flutter then escape
Under a blue sun
Between drops of rain

You remind me of so many people

Read and leave comments (1)



English teachers on vacation
imagine the furthest point from the classroom 

dream of inspiring indifferent students 
with exploits they won’t give many fucks about

ordering coffee with indistinct accents pretending they’re not American

yet insisting on knowing 
exactly where the cheese is from 

tipping generously 
to offset the perception 

that they’ve had too big a hand 

Read and leave comments (0)

All the news


Crowds of student protesters 
Were met with trucks of flowers

The president declared
A national sandwich discount

Your doctor recommends 
Several weekends a day

Side effects include
An exhibit at the Tate Gallery

The rebels announced
Their allegiance to open space

The stock market soared
When all shares were given away

The weatherman cried 
At the sight of spring


Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (1)



you're very inappropriate
in these situations

causing me so much embarrassment 
think about the children

do you want them thinking
the world is a ridiculous place

overrun by pink monkeys 
destroying everything

do you want them feeling 
there's some escape

from a state curriculum 
we're completely dependent on

mr. gaulke, please
act like a professional

Read and leave comments (0)




what just happened to us

what did we come through

how deep did it cut us

do we still need hospitals


clean sheets 

and caring eyes

machines and tubes

to keep us alive


out here it’s different

why, I’m not exactly sure

so much is there to hurt us

most of it is beautiful


to get ours 

to take mine

to drag it home

for it to thri...

Read and leave comments (0)

come go nowhere with me


you caught what you saw in me
gave it space to mate and eat 

now it’s running around 
with its own sense of entitlement 

maybe we can 
never be free of it

It’s going nowhere baby
taking us along

come go nowhere baby
something will happen

I buy everything I don’t need
surround myself with things

time spirals in carpets
surrounding us in cinder blocks

but I’m going n...

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (2)

The Codes

The Codes

While that bacon egg and cheese
Works on your stomach
And the empty savings account
Haunts your future

You start your day in earnest
By reciting the launch codes
Telling off your boss colleagues
And customers to their faces

Hopefully that day will never come
But it’s part of the vital defense
Of our nation to keep those words
At the ready on your tongue

Read and leave comments (1)

🌷 (1)




Bring the drugs

I’ll get the beer

Come over

I’ll be here 


I want to feel up my solitude with you 


We can go out

We can eat something

Talk about people 

Who don’t mean anything


I want to feel up my solitude with you 


There’s nothing tricky about it 

You don’t have to move around 

Be in the know or even 

Have something to t...

Read and leave comments (0)

Loss Department

Loss Department

She lost her passion
And the world’s upset

Her passion 
She can’t buy it back 

Imagine living like
A ghost on a set

The magic happens
All somewhere else

We remind her there’s 
Work to be done

Her anger burns
Holes in a wall 

There’s a danger
She might hurt someone

I work her double shift
At the sex museum

Read and leave comments (0)



Shut up

We're making money


Everyone's dead

Read and leave comments (0)

I just came back from

I just met myself
I wish I could say 

It was pleasant;
It wasn’t

I could admit
Some respect 

For his work, his persistence
But I wouldn’t call him brilliant

And I didn’t like
Being judged

By someone so

I couldn’t help think
How fucking pretentious

We went for a beer
Then I ran into him at another function

We exchanged pleasantries
Kept our distance

It goes without saying

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (2)




baby I need you so much

I’d do anything for you

I think of you night and day

spending all my love on you


because I can’t think of anything else

with lines from a pop song

we don’t talk about the world

just our own emotions


so let’s burn down banks with love

kill administrations with our touch

takeover workspaces with thoughts

torture ...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Over my shoulder


They took hammers 

To clock towers

Stuffed wet towels 

Under doors


Kept TVs on 

24 hours

And all car 

Doors locked 


Used a lot 

of exclamation marks

Felt a strong feeling 

of purpose


Tracing the outlines 

of the struggle

In this they wouldn’t 

feel useless 


Against the future 

Against the future 


In disbelief 


Read and leave comments (0)

Your Hair

link to song



Your Hair


is it long in front like a seventies teenager

tied in a bun like a crabby teacher's

done in waves gold in the sun

spread in the sand on the lap of someone                                            

between your fingers twirled mindlessly

brushed in anger when you think of me

cut short talking to your mother

sticking straight up, a b...

Read and leave comments (0)

Cautionary Heads


when we lost our sight

we knew we’d be alright


when they cut off our arms

we were not without our charms


when they lined us up 

knew they had had enough


blood from our wounds

would make the sea bloom


how hard it is 

not to be human


how seductive the money 

and memory kicks


to erase the laughter

and what comes after



Read and leave comments (0)

That weird year


as we tried to put it behind us

It reached out to remind us


our grip on reality was tenuously held

just then its tentacles appeared


we washed it out with bourbon 

bleached stains of its semen 


framed it in our memory behind thick glass 

as it disappeared we couldn’t look back


that weird year what was it about

we can almost start breathing out


Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Role Again

Role again


Hey you you gotta survive

Like a piece of gum

On a steamroller

Coming for our lives


Here comes your 

Role again 

As the world’s 

Nicest policeman


Here comes your

Role again

Did you get my order

Hold up those onions


Shot by both sides

Somehow crawling 

Through the insides

Of your own thing


Imitation is flattery


Read and leave comments (0)

Summer of Thinking Too Much

entry picture



Summer of Thinking Too Much


Summer didn't end                            

It just kept on melting 

We swam in pools of sweat

Licked off sugar coatings


We eventually went in

There was air conditioning

But didn't dry ourselves

We were just too thirsty                           


In the summer of thinking too much    

I just wanted to ...

Read and leave comments (0)

Pretty Man


women warned

cats scorned


knew when you 

were born


what they were 

in for


distractions felt

below the belt 


In the battle of sexes

you're a nightingale 


problems you’ll never know

outcomes taken on


punches felt

wrapped in a tablecloth


feelings can’t be reasoned on

when people stare back


whispering when 


Read and leave comments (0)

Institutional Memory


I run up against edges
of your tight reality


fluorescent lights
wall-to-wall carpet and concrete


I hold it, bend it
rewrite it try to forget it


I don't trust my
memories of it


yet here I am again
In front of it


I start talking back

to the elevator

Read and leave comments (0)

Thoughts in the uber


If I left the pan on the burner
People will stay at the emergency shelter

I’d call Ralph Nader
To testify about the burner’s lack of
Safety features

I might get off with SSD
Quit my job with the DOE
Start over as a guitar pick collector

If I left the pan on the burner
I’d have to accept my nature

How I’ve lived without learning
Earned nothing while burning

A hole through...

Read and leave comments (0)

Negotiating Curves


some of us are confident

start to accelerate


others slow down 

cautiously pumping brakes


one or two stop 

pull over for some head 


all feel anxiety 

mixed with excitement 


negotiating curves

everything works 


why does mature 

mean mean and serious


each of us take it 

some with a touch of grace


it comes with your name


Read and leave comments (0)

Childhood in the Woods


golden hours stretched 

over cottontails 


senses engaged 

without words to say 


feelings make marks

in dirt with rubber boots


play never leaves us 

we leave this place


you decide at once 

you’re an adult


you forget these 

pleasures and pains


sadness and longings

of childhood 


replaced with distaste

for children of...

Read and leave comments (0)

Am Wasser gebaut



It’s colder by the water

Everything we are

Implores us to move closer

Despite fears and loss


I try collecting moisture

Had half a jar

Spilt on your carpet

I wake up thirsty now


I’m sixty-five percent water 

Thirty-percent tears

Twenty-percent piss

The rest, blood and beer


Built close to the water

I have no fears

Of drowning in drea...

Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)

Emanuelle Can’t


to escape this loneliness 

there’s only one means 


through the origin of the world 

said to be obscene 


still figuring it out 

shooting the dark 


every beat of the drum 

strum of the heart


Emmanuelle can’t 

How could I 


reconcile passion and reason

with your lifestyle 


Emmanuelle can’t

neither can I 


say goodbye 


Read and leave comments (2)

Pink Money


I'm an artist

You're an 



We're the same

You with your money

Me with my paint


We make things happen

You with your factories

Me with my openings


I like the dinners 

At your house

My kids like to eat


I'll give you validation 

You could

Buy something 


I'll put you 

In my work

You could imagine you're me


Read and leave comments (1)



I like it rare
not too done
uncommonly put on


would you dare
leave things out
make something
by your own hands, untouched


are the only things
that interest


in situations designed

to drive us mad
I'd play the eccentric
that's what you'd want


you'd play the skeptic
your heart
too close to my chest


Read and leave comments (1)

Meeting People Upside Down


I pull her shoe off 

into the dessert

she compliments me

on my tape playing


starting the evening 

with an altercation 

that leads to a lovely

working day 


sky turns burnt orange 

at midnight 

people emerge from

their somnambulant ways


violence always excites us

we return to bed

for tomorrow 

to be replayed 

Read and leave comments (0)


We woke everything was new

We tried to hold on to the feeling 

We thought of everything to do

The world pregnant with possibility  

Nothing would ever be the same

As much as we tried to imagine 

The moment was here we changed

The difference measured in seconds 

We found ourselves full of gratitude 

We felt a shift in attitude 

Energy was flowing with abundance 


Read and leave comments (0)

🌷 (1)


Recent Comments

Brian Maryon on Blue Sun (Tue, 3 Apr 2018 06:50 pm)

Hazel ettridge on All the news (Thu, 29 Mar 2018 09:14 am)

Anya on come go nowhere with me (Sun, 18 Mar 2018 08:29 am)

Cynthia Buell Thomas on The Codes (Fri, 16 Mar 2018 11:41 am)

Douglas MacGowan on Emanuelle Can’t (Thu, 11 Jan 2018 10:31 pm)

Patricio LG on Emanuelle Can’t (Thu, 11 Jan 2018 09:40 pm)

Douglas MacGowan on Pink Money (Tue, 9 Jan 2018 01:37 am)

Douglas MacGowan on Rare (Sun, 7 Jan 2018 11:47 pm)

Sidra Shahid on I was the wife (Sun, 24 Dec 2017 12:02 pm)

Patricia and Stefan Wilde on The ghost of what I want (Tue, 19 Dec 2017 10:16 pm)

Martin Elder on Specific Gravities (Mon, 18 Dec 2017 09:04 pm)

Graham Sherwood on Specific Gravities (Mon, 18 Dec 2017 01:33 pm)

Rose Casserley on Today's Doodle (Sun, 17 Dec 2017 10:29 pm)

Eric G. Hoff on Content (Mon, 13 Nov 2017 01:05 pm)

Hannah Collins on Playing Adults (Sun, 12 Nov 2017 12:59 pm)


RSS feed icon

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

Find out more Hide this message