Friday, 28 February 2020

Dead Poets
Outside the night was filled with stars,
a sky full of dead poets
if van Gogh is to be believed.
But he was inside now
and all he remembered
was the red curtain
coming down over his eyes.
Red first and then black.
So black it turned everything black.
They told him that
he had died
for a few seconds,
or was it a few minutes.
Then he was back
looking out
on the starry night.
He wondered how long it took
for a dead poet to become a star.
Was a few seconds,
or even a few minutes,
And now,
now that he was back,
was he still shining
undead, living
up there with all the dead poets.
Unless the raising of the curtain
put out his light.

Thursday, 27 February 2020

I can hear the flies buzzing
since I died.
In life I could shoo them away,
open a window
to persuade them through,
though usually they were
too stupid
to grasp the chance of freedom
offered and escape.
Now there is no window to be
This is a closed space.
Eternal night.
No possibility
of freedom,
or escape.
Not for me.
Not for them.

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Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Gleaming globes of gold,
and scarlet
and pink,
the brightness of their colours
masking the shadows within
and the blackness at their heart.
Too soon their coloured shapes
will fly away like birds of paradise
glistening in the sunlight,
petals of paradise.
But these are transient beauties
already in their death throes
as they soar,
for the dusk to dull their colour.
to decay,
to become dust,
while their black hearts
grow fat on what lies beneath,
like the black crows that feast
on the bright flesh of below them.
to live another day.
to make seed
for another year.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

On Our Watch
If it had been on his watch,
he would have seen,
he would have given the alarm,
would have been heard
and catastrophe would have been avoided.
She also was alert,
but it was not her watch
and no one heard her warnings.
On their watch we would have heard
the warnings.
But it happened on our watch
and we were sleeping.…

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Half Light
The taxi's waiting
and it's getting light,
the half light
of day break.
And I'm ready
for the journey
into the brightness,
optimistic that
the daylight is coming.
that the taxi will take me
to a place where everyone
is in their place.
It’s a picnic.
A cloth spread out under a tree.
That's where we're going.
That's where we'll be.
A picnic in the sunshine
with sunny, smiling people.
But I have to stay awake
or I may not
get there.
Have to keep
my eyes open
to let in the light.
Stay awake
to open the door.
Get into the taxi
while it's still light
and hold the door open
for the rest to follow.
in the half light...
Is that the light leaving us.
Maybe it's the night
closing in on us,
the half light of evening.
Not the dawn,
but the dusk
enclosing me.
I am afraid.
I am afraid that
the taxi will leave
me behind
to a dark awakening
from the half light.
And when I wake
will it be light?
like the dream of a day,
or dark,
a dark nightmare.
Not a picnic.

Friday, 21 February 2020

Against The Tide
Will we wait for the tide to turn.
to carry us away
wave after wave
gathering up the debris
which surrounds us
sucking it up like so much dust
getting rid of it all,
everything going
with the flow
beneath the waters.
But not everyone.
Some of us will swim against the tide
take the risk
strike out
hold on
ride the waves
and survive the back flow.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Snowflakes lit by sunbeams
blowing gently,
fragile as shadows
making rainbows in the sun.
Smiling in the soft light.
So soft.
So soft.
Catch them quickly in your hair
to melt them
while the sun
is still shining and smiling.
For only as long as it falls,
can the snow renew them
when they melt away.

Wednesday, 19 February 2020

So Many Words
It’s getting crowded
inside my head
with so many words
trying to sort themselves
to get out
of my head.
I should help them
but I can’t let them out
while they’re in such a jumble
and they can’t seem to put themselves
in order
I have to do that
or out
I have to decide
what to make of them.
They can’t seem to do it alone.
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Tuesday, 18 February 2020

My neighbour was sweeping up.
“Beware of earwigs,”
she said.
“they go in through your ear,
crawl round your brain
and tickle you to death”
Her name was Rosie.
She cleaned trains for a living.
No earwig survived where she swept.
Fortunately not many travelled by train.

My neighbour was sweeping up. “Beware of earwigs,” she said.

Thursday, 13 February 2020

Perfectly Imperfect
It started when we stood hopefully,
with our thumbs outstretched
by an English roadside.
We were heading towards Italy and Yugoslavia
without maps or money,
or sense of direction.
And we made it to Italy.
and swam off the rocks,
with a man we’d met in a cafe,
because he said we could.
And we swam and swam until two policemen came,
(one very stern and one very twinkly),
and said we couldn’t.
Nor could we leave the rocks without clothes on,
or with clothes clinging to our still wet bodies,
or lie on the rocks until we were dry,
in case we disconcerted the traffic or populace.
This being the main street in Trieste.
And we made it to Pec and lived
in a house ‘typique du Turque’
with a water pump in the garden
and a toilet, also ‘Typique du Turque’,
which made us very ill indeed.
But the parties were good and
the conversations interesting,
Even though no one spoke English.
And we learned to speak some Albanian,
which was always handy.
And we survived to sit thirstily by a hot,
dusty roadside and fantasise
about the ice cold mountain water
streaming through the streets of Pec,
and even about the water pump in the garden.
And we made it back home.
We had got lost a lot,
but hadn’t got raped or murdered.
So far as we can remember.
What perfection.
Perfectly Imperfect is a poem written and shared by Lynn White for The Ugly Writers under the theme Stuck! for the month of February.