Self-Portraits 1, 2 & 3

You barely note the subtlety of certain brushstrokes,
As they fool your mind,
Into a dream of simplicity,
You doubt the artist considered these strokes important,
There is a vagueness, a sense of absence, a vacancy.-You walk by, distracted.

Your eyes widen, drawn toward a second canvas,
-Same artist,
You consider the bold strokes and block colours,
Chaotic swathes of red, black and blue,
Screaming for attention,
Like a riot of anger, of violence.

By disregard of those early scaffolding lines,
The delicate scars of a passive ignorance,
Drive you directly to madness,
A passing glance and,
You can find no subtlety in the artist,
Nor deep in the pits of your eyes.

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The Beach Boys

Vintage 0162
Passing by a meadow, in a memory, summer, some time, long ago,
The sun was setting in the long tall grass, the sun an orange glow,
We were listening to the sounds of the sixties on the car stereo,
Driving down country lanes to Sloop John B and God only knows,
The Beach Boys; the annual soundtrack to summer holidays,
The closer we drove to the sea and sand the louder the songs would play,
We couldn’t contain our childish excitement of spending a week in a small caravan, then,
I always seemed to return with a collection of seashells in my suitcase,
Half a beach in my shoes.

Souvenirs, treasures, mementos of being buried in sand up to my neck by my father,
Making sandcastles, exploring rock pools with a cheap plastic fishing net,
Floating on the sea pretending to be a starfish, then a mermaid, then a shark,
The salt crystallising on my skin,
As I dithered in a beach towel under the Great British sunshine,
My mother rubbing sun lotion onto sand covered shoulders,
My brother and me licking at ice-creams that melted around our mouths, our chins,
It all seemed so simple, idyllic, enduring,
-God only knows, where the time goes.

Miniature Designs

Things rarely play out, as they do in our minds,
Taller we build our fantasies,
The more miniature a world we design,
Locked in our ivory towers overlooking,
Everyday scenes, everyday people,
Imagining ourselves above all those everyday dreams.

Wanderlust; sends us searching,
For the unattainable prize,
Pinning the tail on the donkey,
Blindfold, and aimless, on the inside.

Feeling insignificant, nameless,
It would be easier if we could see,
The obvious, truth,
That ideals become real.

When we stop idealising,
Burying our head in a pillow of stars,
Stop suffocating in infatuation,
Content in wasting our endless hours,
Going nowhere at all,
With our backs against the wall.

Waiting to be shot down,
By the disappointment squad,
The reality check, a lack of chemistry,
The inevitable disenchanted sobs.

The First Time In Years

The train wreck brought us here,
Where carriages collided,
We collapsed, lay down and drifted away,
Comatose, dreaming of our reasons to stay.

As we came around, we clawed at the doors,
The windows, and the air,
We helped each other stand,
For the first time in years.

Dumbfounded we survived, to make it out alive,
Crooked teeth, two nervous smiles,
Perfectly aligned,
Arriving perfectly on time.

Mantra

You matter-
because you’re the only person alive that is authentically you,
You matter-
because only you, can do what you do, the way you do,
You matter-
because you’re the only one who has experienced what it means to be you,
You matter-
because you’re the only one who truly knows you, to understand you,
You matter-
because you spent your whole life figuring out how to be you,
You matter-
because the only person you can rely on sometimes is you,
You matter-
because all the love in the world is within your head and heart,
You matter-
Because you’ve survived the odds to be here, where you are,
You matter-
and your voice is valid,
You matter-
and your flaws are beautiful,
You matter-
and your imperfections are perfectly perfect in every way,
You matter-
You must believe it’s true,
You matter-
and all you’ll ever need to be; is you.

The Room

Before I moved here,
The room was clean, neat and tidy,
Pristine, there was a corner for guitars,
A corner for creating music,
A TV set and a bright sunny window,
No dust, no cobwebs,
No love.

I arrived and tidied up of course-

No!
I came in and trashed the place completely,
I gave it that shabby chic touch,
I hung the cobwebs and sprinkled the dust,
I gave it that squatters paradise look, with added glitter,
I left my muddy footprints on the carpets,
I left my lipstick on the rims of cups,
I made the cracks in the paintwork more apparent and,
I moved in to add that, left-overs-on-a-dinner-plate appeal,
Yes, I gave it that lived-in quality-

I gave it; me.

The fresh outlook on life you found my love-
Was me in all my chaotic glory,
No pretence left in my bones,
No appearances to live up to.

I turned down the silence,
Turned on the music,
And dimmed the lights.

The house is a ruin-

A few years’ have passed now, and the room is a pigsty,
Me, my stuff, my creative flair, my late-night brainstorms,
My creeping up the stairs-

While our guitars have been replaced with photography magazines,
Camera club paraphernalia stacked under the windowsill.

There’s a large artist’s easel, paint brushes in jam jars,
A desk covered in paint spatters, loaded with clutter, like-

Old compact discs, hairbrushes, tape measures and diaries,
Old books, new books, paperclips and lens hoods,
Cameras, hair scrunchies, keyboard and mouse,
I can barely move about this desk let alone the house,
Trinkets and craft bits and microphones and a wool hat,
Jewellery wire, beads and a cinnamon bun; half eaten.

There’s a corner dedicated to paint pots and tubes,
Art inks, pens, there’s art on every wall in this room.

You know I turned your world upside down,
Inside out and back to front, but,
This is home, and every room knows we’re alive!

Yeah, we should tidy this place more often than we do,
But the same chaos inside of me,
Is inside of you,
This room is a reflection,
Of a mutual truth, and affection,
Of passion and creation,
Of becoming and undoing,
Of unravelling and renewing,
Of being me and you and,
Living our truth.

Drowning

Drowning in the shallows,
The shadows of your eyes,
Where truth is hard to swallow,
Diluted down with lies,
Is your rib cage so hollow?
You’ve lost the ability to breathe,
To feel your heart fall from great heights,
When your conscience tries to speak.

Drowning in your words,
Of high functioning paranoia,
Throwing caution to the wind you,
Pop a cork and roll a number,
Spewing pseudo-philosophy,
Conspiracy theory, mind games and,
Your latest analogy on how to-
Break society’s chains.

Drowning in your red glazed eyes,
I sense your fear of being found out,
Not so brave and not so loud,
Not so fucking proud,
Not so high on the inside,
Not so brazen, sure or brash,
You’ve been hiding from reality,
As transparent as glass.

You make me feel callous,
Cold-hearted, and cruel,
Because I can see you are drowning too, but,
I can see through the game you’ve been playing with me,
The only person you’re cheating, is you,
And since you never made me feel that welcome,
It’d be wrong for me to stay,
The first breath of liberation; is walking away.

I’m Not Your Stopgap

I’m not your stopgap lover,
Not your ego masseuse,
Not your whore undercover,
No matter your next feeble excuse,
I wear no label that says,
Use once then throw away at your leisure,
I’m not looking for the cheap thrill,
You know what ‘no’ means so don’t act clever.

I’m not your reliable friend with benefits,
I’m not your private entertainer,
You don’t get to penetrate my body,
Until you recognise my brain,
I’m not the scapegoat for the failure,
Of your long dead love affair,
That maybe you should get over,
And anyway why should I care?

I’m not some secret love affair,
Though you deny me when I’m there,
Like it’s some nasty little crime,
That I dare to be standing there,
So, don’t call me when you’re lonely,
When no-one understands,
Thinking I’m someone you can count on,
That I’ll dance on your command.

It’s simple to gain my respect,
You know, just show me some,
Like it matters that I’m somebody,
Like it matters, I’m someone,
I’m worth more than you ever gave me,
More than you ever cared to,
More than you’ll ever know now,
More than you could hold onto.

Sociopath

Whenever I felt your hands delve into my skull,
I knew how you needed me most.

-Like putty in your hands; malleable.

If you were to reshape the things that make me, me,
Go in and fix what wasn’t broken, and smash up the things you fixed.

-You needed me; vulnerable.

Always acting like the one with all the answers,
The first to speak up, last to shut up.

-You needed me silent; gullible.

To play me like a puppet,
Who would dance at your command.

-You needed me reliable; agreeable.

To validate yourself, in your own hour of weakness,
-You needed me.

 

 

 

 

 
(More than I, needed you.)