Poetry Blog by Tom

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Ruth O'Reilly on The Winning Hand (Fri, 4 Oct 2019 02:40 pm)

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keith jeffries on As The Power Lines Crackle Overhead... (Tue, 24 Sep 2019 10:40 pm)

The Way I Write

The way I write;
I brainstorm twenty titles
words or phrases 
that sound good to me
that subconsciously already feel like parts of me
then 
I refine them
and refine them
pile them up around my feet
And 
when I’m in the mood to write
I either start writing
(with aim or aimlessly)
until I get stuck
then grab a title
work it in the lock
release the poem that was hidden
(o, and it fee...

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friendspoemspoetryprocessthoughtswordswriting

The Winning Hand

entry picture

In the dimming garden
beneath the belt of Venus
fingers grip a bottle
a nightcap alone

Finally, I belong
finally, I belong to someone
how I’ve run from this
for so long

Now, nothing makes me happier
nothing makes me feel more sure
of anything
than knowing that you’re waiting

There were so many jokers
in the deck
the two of hearts, too many cards
and still dealing, still dealin...

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autumnbelonginglovepeace

Lunar

Poems are like moons
reflecting past light
back down towards me
when I choose to look

Mind and creation
coexisting
at a respectful distance

Purged
with so much space between us
I no longer live
through the poems
they’re just reflections now

Beneath the busy sky
I’m free
and living life...

 

(Inspired by Cynthia's moon poems)

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moonreflectionswriting

As The Power Lines Crackle Overhead...

entry picture

Too long, too long
I’ve been too proud
to belong
to let myself lay open
and love
to open myself to love
and follow the flow

But the power lines crackle overhead
as we walk beneath
I reach my fingers for yours
feel the sparks fly
the way they always have

Too long, too long
I’ve been too scared
to belong to one
too envious
too greedy
to let myself just love 
chase the current

...

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belongingeyes openingloverealisationsparks

"The Ropes Are Fraying And Soon I'll Sail"

entry picture

“The ropes are fraying and soon I’ll sail”
pencilled grey
along the edge of my notebook page
a heart-breaking phrase
sure to inspire, somehow
 
Flicking through, I read it again
and pause to lament;
That boat washed out
its anchorage severed
silently, in the night
no words, no words
 
He’s gone
and into that sad darkness 
so many other ships would follow
The town seems quiet this e...

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inspirationinspirationallost voicesquietsilence

What Have You Done With The Daylight?

What have you done with the daylight?
What have you done 
with all you’d waited for, so patiently
those long days of nothing
those long days of stumbling lost
between the armchair and the fridge
What have you done with the daylight?

What have you done with the daylight?
Since it came to you completely
painted so beautifully
smiling down and sunny
licking the edges of your everything
...

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daylighthappinesslifemaking the most of life

Songs From The Womb

Through my life I’ve collected voices
maybe twice a decade a new singer comes to me
and I can’t let it pass by
without holding tight

Through the years certain songs seem magnetic, somehow
whole albums written in a style I know too well
for it to be coincidence
and I have to hold it close

When Joni sings of ‘skating away’
something jumped out of the speakers
and Leonard says a ‘highwa...

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hatchingJoni Mitchellleonard Cohenmusicsongs

Fingerprints

To know my fingerprints
on another’s heart
could stir them into art
a priceless gift, a magic

To know there is a poem
written about me
those words, more beautiful
than I could ever hope to be

From the caverns of passed time
there comes a sound
a constant, quiet, ring
when I choose to listen
always there
telling of another way of living

That the heart of an artist
a complexly c...

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artistinspirationlovemagicmusepoempoetryreflection

The Upside Down Girl

Her skin is pale in the early evening
hanging upside down
from the foot of an unmade bed
feeling weightless
watching the world beyond the window
where Autumn rain falls upward
and lights divide

No appetite in this dark room
no appetite for days
friends all kept at bay
no rubber masks, just patches of ice
no fireworks, only fallen leaves collecting
passing headlights flood the room
t...

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breakupdespondencylonelinessseparation

My Prescription

Too seriously; I tend in my journey
too easy to focus on the duty
the facts of what’s in hand
the doing of a thing

So precious to see the nonsense
appreciate the humour
the madness
in everything you’re tasked with
by this modern world

So freeing to have a sense of silliness
draw a cock and balls on your mortgage application
scribble a cape and tights across the undertaker’s pamphlet

...

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humourlaughterlifelove

Shedding Skin

Been living with trouble in mind
trouble of mind, troubling life
with trouble pulled inside

Spent a decade in the shade
spent a decade dealing in shame
a decade; feeling a certain kind of hate

Crawled out into the light
staggered through that blinding light
still I busied myself 
with needless slivers of selfish night

Do you want to start again
do you want to make that change
wel...

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growingmaturingmoving onstarting again

Contusion Blues

Have I caught a cold?
I can feel it in my bones
this hollow sense that I can’t shake
when I gauge the current state

Newspaper, newspaper
you’re not paper anymore
and it’s not news
just the inevitable unfolding
an unstoppable rolling
towards flag waving
a dismantling, dividing
dis-united kingdom

This news, this news
gives me contusion blues…

Politics is broken, democracy’s a jok...

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bleakcolddemocracymodern lifenewspoliticssicknessukus

We Were Beautiful

The complication of those earrings
the texture of the paint around your eyes
the sun's highlights in your hair

The redness of those parting lips
such belief in everything we said
the pristine shape of your nose

Lying on the roof
your head close to my heart
summer blushing the sky
weren't we beautiful
weren't we beautiful then

Nothing to fret about
just prolong the passing day
sw...

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beautylovememoriesnostalgiayouth

Don't Look And It Won't Hurt

entry picture

Five years of cobwebs
decorate the hallway box
more dust at rest
fills the urn within it
that used to be your father...

Don’t look and it won’t hurt
don’t look and it won’t hurt

Your brother’s been drinking
on a fifteen year bender
so quick to lose his temper
if you ask too many questions
a snake prone upon his shoulder

Don’t look and it won’t hurt
don’t look and it won’t hurt

...

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denialgriefproblemssadnesstalkingtherapy

Breathless

Let’s make a pact
let these shadows hold us
swaddled in secrecy
and breathing quickly
I see you draw in close to me
sense those lips loosening
my foundation questioning
the forcefield of your sly grin
and the delicacy of those fingers
upon me
exploring

Let’s make a pact
let this moment be our blueprint
to not accept a fading
or a softening of this urgency
I feel that magnetic pull...

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beginningsdesirelovelustshadows

Murmur Love

Don’t be scared to put it out there
Don’t be scared to speak
sometimes what you choose to make
is pure gold

Don’t be afraid to paint what you love
Don’t be afraid to create
some things are bigger than you ever knew
eternal beyond our lives

I say go
and keep going
go and keep going
murmur love, if that’s all you’ve got

I love the way you carve it
I love the way you write
I love ...

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artistscreativitylovepaintingwriting

Idle Flame

She came to me with pride
and with her sealed conditions
said she wanted someone she could trust
with a preposition 
to ease her cobwebbed lust

It was cold out there on the avenue
I'd been walking lonely for some way
it was the idleness of her greeting
it was the warmth of the fire within

There was little choice to make
and nothing new to say
just come inside, keep it between
the u...

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an arrangementflamelust

The Artist's Desk

entry picture

Always, I want to see 
the place of work
I sit and wonder
of the artist’s desk
what trinkets, what tools
they choose

Always, I picture in my mind
the artist’s desk
and what blue-tacked postcards
what scribbled notes of inspiration
may surround it

Is it by a window
is it in a basement
Do they toil below a craning lamp
or by dim candle light
do they have a desk at all
or just a s...

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artistsdesknosey

Great Destroyers

entry picture

Sometimes
I suddenly remember
the last thing we said to one another
parting

'If you're ever 
feeling self-destructive
hell, look me up 
and we can 
destroy ourselves together'

Sometimes
by chance, I remember
the last time we sat across a table
drinking

'If you're ever feeling
like the whole mad world
needs a little petrol
you know where to find me
and we'll
torch the fuckin...

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thankfullythe one that got away

We Walked Along The Wall

entry picture

We walked along the wall
that secret weighing heavy in my pocket
as we circled the old town
my heart beating hard
in a new way
or a way I’d not felt for years

We walked along the wall
passed a bar and got a beer
looking down upon the rooftops
you were pressed so close to my mind
no other thought could form there

The morning sun lit everything before us
not just the view but our who...

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proposals

Love And Everything Else

Let's take our bond
seal it within
a singularity

Let's celebrate 
and acknowledge it
There was desire
now there is
fulfilment

A new infinity
of love
compassion
empathy

I've been decorating
repainting everything
renewing the colour
drawing a line here

Like the world
I've been denying
but now I'm ready
and I'm sorry
for making you wait this long

It's time for love
and...

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lovemacromarriagemicroworld

How To Be Alone

Waiting for a friend
sipping tea, sunglasses on
passers-by double and disappear
as reflections in shop windows
everything lit golden
then dimmed behind my lenses
I stir the drink some more

Waiting for a friend
they’re half an hour late now
I barely notice
just watch the people
let my mind wander
the liquid turning in the cup

And it hits me, squarely, there
on the corner by the cr...

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contentmenthappinesssolitude

You Are My Priest

Is it not the beads you count
Is it not that blessing
Is it not your seated position
on the far side of the screen

It’s here I come and spill
twisting myself as rope
endlessly unknotting 
a constant confessional

And through the cracks
behind the mesh
I feel your furtive eyes 
licking my salacious lines

Dear reader
you are my witness
you are my priest

Is it not the way you br...

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confessionsharing workwriteoutloudwriting

Pillars of Creation

Looking out to look inside
I see you both
the pillars of creation
above me, before me
deft hands
painting me into existence
with hands of love

Across all time
beyond the sky
my gratitude expands eternally
into a space that doesn’t yet exist
hand above my heart
your two hearts all over my art
the hands of love

Should you ever leave
you’ll never leave me
the pillars of creation
...

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parents

Purpose

My car stands motionless in the drive-way
but I still don't have my licence
That guitar stays propped against its amp
but I don't know a single chord
and my lover, she lies there in the bedroom
but...

My chess set collects dust in the fire grate
but I don't know what the rules are
That fishing rod looms above the bait box
but I don't have the technique
and my lover, she lies there in t...

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distractionsend of relationshiphobbiespurpose

Shadows Climb In My Cold Room

How I long to sleep tonight
forget these thoughts
and rest
Ease my body free 
of anxiety and worry
but the more I try
the more I fail
I fidget fast, roll in frustration
cursing my debt
and conversations that won't end
Where are those waves of darkness
when will they wash my brain
Where is that tide of sleep
of empty-headedness 
of ignorance
and bliss...

Six hours now
I've studie...

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coldnessdebtinsomniathe pastyouth

Return To America

Lit by the distant sun 
in a backyard beer-garden 
overlooking the meadow
my swimming brain spins out
through adventures of the past
forgotten journeys 
by coach, by plane
through unfamiliar landscapes
to the desert 
in California

We rode the Greyhound 
between the sun-drenched cities
your head lay on my lap
and when we could tear 
our eyes from one-another
we'd watch the world pa...

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Americalost loveloveold poemreflectionsTraveling

To Be Adored

One day...
I'd love to sign my name
autograph a volume
my words printed in glorious black ink
type-set, spell-checked and bar-coded
head-shot just inside the hard cover
The girl opposite will be saying she loves my work
the way it 'resonates with her own feelings'
she and her man read together at night
I'd be respected, met my potential
achieved something of note
So, when my child seeks...

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creativitypublishingrespect

Don't Look Into Their Eyes

If only I could be as naive as you
watch the world, removed
as if it's a bible story
a morality tale
where the wrong we do comes back around
how I wish it was like that

I grew up in the real world
a northern child from a broken home
I saw the things people do
sensed what people really think
it doesn't shock me
it doesn't surprise me
I understand that people sin
Yes, and I join in...

...

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naivety

Your Light, Our Youth

The strength of your light
catches me unguarded
how brightly you shine
blooming brilliantly
how welcome
how confusing to me

The confidence of your glow
magnetic from all angles
I'm softened in the shadows
but your light does not permit them
so welcome
so challenging to me

Brighter than in our youth
brighter still than photographs
we talk and take a new one
twenty years since the...

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first lovelightmemories

A Song of The Wind

Attic window open in the night
as hinges creak
it's a dim swell of light
from the page, I raise my pen
is that your laugh, your voice I hear
blowing through the years

Is it you, is it you
or a song of the wind
it is you, is it you
well, I never know

I see the miles of white tiles
that infinite airport floor
where you left me statuesque
our future time without a date
that never ca...

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lost love

At Dream's End

At dream’s end 
we let the water flow
accepting
resolved

At dream’s end
loosening our grip
hold the best bits
release the scenes that never came

I imagined endless parties
some intangible heart that I could puncture
I imagined so much more
turns out it’s just another place 
moving at a heightened pace

Now I sit quietly
by the chequered flag
grateful to have run
chest heaving
...

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citydreamsexpectationlifelondonplans

Between A Blue Night And Dawn

entry picture

Two lovers traveling
two lovers
meeting in the East

Their affair 
was letters inked 
and photographs
Now here embodied 
will they know what to do?

She wakes him one morning, saying
'let's take a boat to an island
let's rise above the Bangkok smog'

Bike beneath them spluttering
her arms knitted around him
they race from bay to beach
chasing the burning sun
with hair wet and smi...

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loveloverstraveling

Remembering The Garden

I've been remembering the garden
we once tended
I've been thinking of the petals
that fell each autumn
I've been working through the list
of things we said but never did

And the rains that fell upon our garden
and the snow that covered all
O, that snow...

I've been remembering the garden
we once enjoyed
I've allowed myself some moments
to reflect with clarity
I've been feeling sad...

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looking backthinking back

Highbury Fields

That sixteen-year-old words 
scratched there in a diary
could bring the two of us here
seems almost supernatural

A spring-evening walk, so like us
the us we were as teens
when you were my first and still my only kiss
as we walked the peaceful parks of home

Now so many years stretch across
a wide valley of unshared experience
squealing and dancing between us
slowly and methodically w...

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friendshipold flameold friend

Letter From The Lake

Dear friend
a sigh is leaving me
I can concentrate now, finally
a statue standing on the jetty
the lake’s slow wash below the boards
hypnotising me

I feel freer now than ever
more than I did back there
I don’t know how you toil on
those boiling days below the city
tinned-life crammed searching for air

You wrote of the love you found
that you always dreamed was waiting
head cocked ...

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citycountrysidehopeleaving townletterloss

Strangers Leave Scars

We were strangers by the pool
there was summer on your skin
I lay low, opened my whole body
in the hope that you would find me

Then taking it the distance
from the shore raised to the sky
there were many sailors scheming
on the bending of your knee

There’s a bridge in your dreams
as it recedes behind a fog
you wonder what it means...

Even naked your body was a silk gown
as you sc...

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fleeting momentsloversscarssilkskinstrangers

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