Through These Words

Max or Not

you will see
my pain

the endless hours spent

the triumph
of this misery

in a momentary squander

you may wander
through the pages torn

and wonder
how i speak your truth

the one
stayed by a stinging tongue

layered ‘neath a stolen sun

at times
we will laugh together

rain may fall
on distant ground

and the secret
guarded smile
will have vanished
left untold

on the cusp
of thought symphonic
on the path
of parting stream

though we understand
the story

who we are
remains unseen

mystery becomes our warden
through these words
of sought reprieve

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for my dad


the harbour shivers
in February’s frosted morning.
pewter skies are washed
in dirty watercolour.
the watery slosh of the swell
smacks against the bricks,
tearing at the weakest
to tumble
into its mild murkiness.
a sea breeze breaks
at mid-morning,
hurling crisp packets
and dried seaweed
over the heads of the dog-walkers.
this is the fury of Aeolus,
but winter warriors
zip up their anoraks,
stuff their feet
into thick socks and waterproof boots.
Thor will spill no wrath today,
as grey skies
cascade into grey seas,
boats and buoys jangle,
and fishermen roar.

stage fright


the blackest black.
cotton curtains brushing
soft cheeks,
eyelashes trembling
as the evening forest.

in the void,
like jewels flicker,
on and off,
on and off.

a hum rises,
like a thousand insects
beating their wings
as if trying to start a car,
or a revolution.

the lights move
across the black,
some in pairs,
some brighter
and bigger than others.
some disappear.

a quiet voice,
a gentle hand –
the darkness lies like a silent pool,
cool, inviting –
but concealing
those creatures who hide,
claws poised
to strike the bare foot of daring.

the stage is set.

In Praise of Gravity

from robert okaji

O at the Edges

world technology(1)

In Praise of Gravity

Which bestows weight
or slings me around
some other heavenly

body, a version of you
wondering whether
I’ll rise from my next

plummet, victim of
curvature and infinite
range held in place,

attractive in nature,
bent perhaps and
scarred, proud to have

survived but never wiser.
Cleansed, we continue
our orbit, our mirrored fall.


This last appeared on the blog in November 2015, and is also included in my chapbook, If Your Matter Could Reform.

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December Ghost

from christine ray

Brave & Reckless

I have been walking

Through the holiday season

As if from the inside

Of an ice tunnel

I see cheerful lights

I hear joyous voices

I smell pine

But everything is muffled, remote

I experiencie these sensations

From a distance

As I trod Locust Walk

On my way to my

Sterile subterranean office

I know that I will yet again

Spend too many hours

Trying to wrestle

My focus, attention span

Back onto work

Deadlines looming

My thoughts too easily

Wander away into ether

Other commuters

Look as though they

Are on another plain

Of existence

Our colors, our vibrancy

Do not match

No look of recognition

No acknowledgement

As we pass each other

They are like ghosts

Drifting by on the cobblestones

It occurs to me

That perhaps it is I

Who has become

The ghost

Washed out

Stretched thin

Rendered transparent


Liable to disintegrate

Become completely


If strong…

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Darkness has cloaked the city in its weary weight. Children gently snore, leaving exhausted mothers and fathers thankful for a little peace and quiet. They try not to think of the morning squeals that will arrive all too soon.

Busy workers have laid down their tools and returned to the temptation of sleep. Thin pillows ease their aching heads, ringing with the screech of machinery. Shops are closed, shutters drawn and locks turned. The market is packed up, with only a few shavings and wrappers fluttering across the cobbled square to remind passer-bys that it was ever even there. The trains stop running at eleven, and only the station guard sits, in his dim-lit cabin, yawning at his newspaper. He looks up as a shadow passes his window, but it is gone too quickly for him to care. Had it rattled on the station gates or clattered on his window, as the drunkards sometimes do, then maybe he would have stood up and fought.