Talk to Me


Talk to me about days unending
Dawning uncertainty that pinches your forehead
Cool darkness thinning into light
The faces, dead and smiling past
Pain etched in their palms
Clenched and holding tight to emptiness
The quiet retreat to sleep
To prayers, to grumbling homes
Hungry children and angry spouse

Talk to me about life
The golden gift tarnished with every breath
Grey drudgery for which we must give thanks
Dreams wrapped in mystery
Failures told as tales through missing teeth and tears
Eyes straining and peering desperately
At a future black and shrouded
Like a young bride amidst the northern sand dunes

Talk to me about hope
When, crushed by yesterday
We gather our ragged souls
And place our dreams in empty pockets
A fierce glint in the eyes of the living
Daring the sun to set on our strength
Does this make heaven laugh?
To see us struggle?
Chanting words of faith to hollow clouds?
Clutching charms and omens
Winds and stars to tell us
To answer us but they never do

Talk to me about fear
It’s in each creak in wooden doors
The cryptic call of night birds
The clap of thunder in a storm
At the doorstep of the new year
In the exit of the old
Shivering, stepping cautiously and murmuring
Prayers and dropping copious libations
Disease, death, want, all elusive spirits
Taunt us from behind their invisibility
Too scared to cast our bread on many waters
We cast our faith on many altars

This is hard, this lot of man
The sweat in glistening blisters on our brows
Old clothing and worn shoes
Looking out to this same shrouded elusive future
Shy like a young bride
Far and farther with each step
But talk to me about hope,
We keep on walking

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Talking to strangers in hushed tones

Tell them of the aching in my bones

Begging for mercy their curious eyes

Pleading release that heaven denies

Under wind and crushing rain

Bearing endless proliferation of pain

In glistening trickles

Like laughter from tickles

Fissures in vision

The solem sound summons

Echoes of brooding terrors

Shadows pulsing vibrantly

Hearts pounding to an eerie rhythm

The end is here closing in quick

Crocodiles snapping at ribbons

Blood steadily spewing into the street

Strangers blind and deaf

And all but dead

Tight smiles in the cautious curves they walk

As if the wind did not carry clandestine talk

As if time would not lend credence to my rants

What prophet is known among her own?

Fourth Man


It was the smell; hot and lusty

Like desire too long denied

Swelling, dangerous waves,

Tossed by careless winds

It was the listless darting

It was the ashes

Black patches where men walked

But their knees gave way too quickly

It was only the image of a man

Unforgivingly straight, a blind eyed gaze

Glistening bright under sun and polish

Called Maker by his skilful makers

Three fools still standing

Like blooms out of season

Amidst bowed heads and hands raised

In desperate supplication to the dead

His Majesty’s fury was a terror

How their voices shook as they stood

Clipped commands carried them

A flick of furious fingers

One, two, many cries


Strolling in the raw red glow

Amidst the greedy licking inferno

Three fools strolling and still

A fourth man in the furnace

Son of a God not cast in bronze

Walked among them in the impotent blaze.




This happened once, on a long day
Shuffling breezes stroking weary windows
Eyes of humble houses lining up
Like beggars on a busy street
An old man on the roof praying

Silent sacred songs bleeding slowly
Singing patiently to an impatient wind
That carried the songs away

Then it happened swiftly
Solemn clouds gathering in ominous circles
Threatening like stern fathers towering haughtily above
Tell me fear did not grip in deathlike vise
Unrelentingly tight, choking out prayers from the irreligious

If you never saw a bleeding sky like a wounded man
It was above us
If you never felt a trembling earth like frightened child
It was beneath us

Then it was gone again
Swift as a nightmare or a terrible lover
That comes and leaves you empty
And in its wake…



Art like music
Music like storytelling
Storytelling under a dark blue sky
Shivering and listening

Listening to stories
Stories of people
People from long long ago like ghosts in a crypt
Crypts full of secrets
Not told in our stories
Secrets kept close to the chest
Then hidden and buried

Buried in oaths
Oaths that are broken
Broken like shattered little glass shards
Glittering and dangerous

Dangerous like poison
Poison like envy
Envy of women
Women watching love spring up new
Whilst they are greying
Greying like evening
When the colours fade away

Away into darkness
Darkness like the dark blue sky
Above storytelling