The Price You Pay To Be Alive

May 21, 2017
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Bright shards scrape down the dawn wall
Splintering eyelids that seek only dark peace,
Soft sleep shaken neath its brittle pond,
Its broken surface slicing the skin
As you rise into stark reality’s cold air
That again you attempt to withhold.

Try again to dive below and swim away
Try, try again to ignore the body’s fresh aches
And the mind’s urgent thrashing
Flaying, until dead, cowering subconsciousness
As it releases its clinging, hurting tentacles.
Now you are fresh vomit, free until day crashes.


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SJ – inked in parentheses

June 13, 2016
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Before the breeze arrived from the Azores
Before the blooms of Spring broke through the soil
She left. The sun too late to warm her bones,
Under Winter’s sullen canopy,
She inked her life in squared parentheses.

The weight of spiky granite in her head,
She stumbled often, grazing tenderness
From skin that wouldn’t shed no matter how
She longed to cast it into bygone years
Before the breeze arrived from the Azores.

And tears, empathic with the Holocaust.
And unjust faith in failed humanity.
Exquisitely, her faltered self-belief
Denied that academic mountain-top
Before the blooms of Spring broke through the soil.

Before the party and the burgeoning,
Before the Rosie age yet to arrive,
She left no packing done, no notice given
Unwilling, in her proper state of mind,
She left. The sun too late to warm her bones

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Finding Entropy

March 2, 2014
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Never mind the fire
Never mind the pain
Catharsis trickles from those lovely eyes
Mingles with your thoughts of summer rain
Feeling the cooling winds
Spinning fiercely round bins of green and brown
Discarding into sheltered nooks






skinned – nerves exposed

August 10, 2013
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we are paper-of-skin thin in places
unlike other places
of velour-skin that doesn’t paper-cut
and pig-thick-skin that bounces bullets

some parts of us a pea-shooter pea
penetrates and maims
more translucent there in tissue coverlet
admitting any object flung

time moves our slender threads of tenderness
and words and mere looks can dash a spirit
in places where, in eaten moments,
wounds excruciate in simple waves of air

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The Argument

April 18, 2012
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I am insufferable.
I am sure that’s what you think.
You know the valid truth of what you say
And how would I know different anyway?

I’m pig-headed.
The immovable object
That the irresistible force has failed to budge
To the truth in your superior knowledge.

I am a thorn.
I pricked your finger, made it bleed.
The sweet-smelling rosebush that looked so prim
Now tainted with the blood of your punctured skin

I will be slain.
The evidence you need, obtained
And held up for the modern world to see
How hideously wrong I’m proved to be.

But I care not!
You may be right or wrong.
The irrelevance of that is plainly visible.
Your reaction to my plain words is risible.

I weep inside.
I see your wrenching torment.
And understand much more than you can realise,
Your pain is deeper than you even yet surmise.