Poems from the Road

Here are a selection of poems written on an Autumn Road Trip, mostly in Ireland in September 2013. I hadn't written poetry for a long time, but felt inspired by the beautiful landscape and good company.

They are presented in the order in which they were written.

1. A Poem of Venomous Intent

2. Muddy Puddle

3. A Kiss

4. Selkies

5. Firelight


Consumed by Hatred by Sickperson

A Poem of Venomous Intent

It has been dark before
There have been times when I have opened my mouth
Only for black ink to spew forth
Staining my fingers as I wipe it away

There has been pain in the past
Glass that looked like new fallen snow
Virgin lands beckoning us both to tread softly
Turning to find bloody footprints left behind

The menarcheís blood of first cuts
First wounds
First of everything

Which of us sliced first?

Scar tissue so thick, healed in such hideous formation
What a mess we have drawn of each other

As much as I would like to turn the page
With you my thoughts are ever only rage
And I would pick up my knife any day
And slice again

Itís not so much anger or hate as habit

Pick, pick, pick
Until the edges come away

Edge after edge after edge
Until you come unbound

Book after book after book
Until there are no more chapters left

Never were any chapters
Never was a story

There can be no ending
Because there never was a beginning

We are stuck in the middle

Maybe if I stab and stab again
I can bring this middle to that end
Maybe you or I or both of us
Could cease to fucking be

Iíll stick the knife in and twist
Till all the white turns red

It has been dark before
And that darkness was in me
There has been pain in the past
And I took that pain out on me

Thoughts tore through my head
Till I stuffed my mouth with lead
And wanted to be dead

I stuffed and stuffed and stuffed
So that I would not be able to scream
Because if I could keep that scream inside
I would remain alive

And now
I do not give a shit

Let it out
Let it all out
Scream and fucking shout
Let it rip through you
Let it strip you
To the bone

Because if there isnít any flesh
Then there is nothing left to slice

Now wouldnít that be nice.

Love in a Muddy Puddle by FineArtAmerica

Muddy Puddle

Dirt and rust and rain
Scrying the eye of the sky for a future
Held in the cup of a muddy drain
Staring down and down again into the

The shit and the spit that was our life
The spare change in a pocket full of holes
That bought us nothing

Puddles, as drops scatter the surface
Rocks, for a second, for a second stones
Pebbles and earth mashed together as though
Somewhere at the bottom I might find

Meaning is simply a reflection, it moves
And twists in ways we cannot hold
At every shift something new revealed and something lost
Fractals of truth and mirrored images
Hurts and slights and slices of good times
Ripples and waves, hours, days

That being the problem:
Nothing is ever truly forgotten
Simply distorted and covered
By a thin film of transparency
Beneath which clouds of grit and
Shit and spit and clods of ice
Cold anger drift and stain
Those memories that once were
Whole and can never be regained

This makes me what I am.
A dirty cloud of hate and spite
Reflecting back the broken
Light of a world that holds me
In its muddy hands
Smiling at my broken face
Distorted, twisted and disgraced.

There is something that cannot be touched
And cannot be loved
In a face like that.

Red Rose by Chandrika221

A Kiss

I've thought of kissing you, many times in many places
Your face held between my hands as our
Lips meet and meet again

We've stood on moonlit bridges as the midnight tide
Beneath us swells and rises,
Pressed against the kitchen counter
Whilst all around cutlery
Crashes to the ground

I've thought of you at sunset
Drenched in gold and red
I've dreamt of you at dawn
Silver, blue
Between my sleepy eyes and yawns
My forming thoughts and muddy head

Sometimes you look surprised, as though you didn't know
I act the shy, I look away, I wait to kiss another day
Other times we're hot as flame, lust's the word and sin's the game
Flesh press, teeth clash, we kiss and kiss and kiss again

I want the second, I feel the first

When the scenario starts with a laugh
We're like a pair of kids, we tease it out
We play about the things we haven't said
Running in and out of possibilities until,
With a tickle or a splash, we arrive at that
Rash moment of plunging in and drowning

When the scenario starts solemnly
As apt it is to do upon the bridge
And I am within the full attention of your stare
That is when I tend to lose the dare
My words get caught behind my teeth
My cheeks flush and my throat runs dry

I welcome the first, I fear the second

We meet in your house, in my house, in cafes
We've said hello at airports and goodbye on trains
We've laughed over meals, cried over drinks
We walk arm in arm through woods beside seas

A hundred thousand ways in which we meet
In which we kiss

Can a hundred thousand maybes
Make up for one true really?

I've learned not to ask for the things that I want
If it's a no, I'd rather not know

In one no, all maybes die

And if a yes, one really yes
My soul is sold

All things you want can be taken away
Nothing you love can be owned
To lay yourself weak, to open your heart
Exposed to the rain and the frost and the stars

I haven't the courage

And neither should you

I fear the second: that I have nothing to say
That you'll think me a fool, that you'll walk away
That you'll laugh and look down, that you'll
Chuckle and frown, tut your tongue and look to the sky
Wonder why I hadn't noticed that you preferred another

Yet the first is worse.

The passion, the flame, the spark, the fire
The lava, the flow, smoke rising higher
Your scent, my sweat, the salt
The grit, the grail.

Treasure is claimed,
It isn't cherished.

Rivers of ice and molten rock

Denied or won
One kiss can kill a thousand maybes

Let me dream a little longer.

Selkie Blues by Sgorbissa


Rush of wild air, tainted with mermaids' hair
Dragging you down to a thick salty world
Of watery seaweed webs
Catching your gut with its chill punch
Claiming your mind for its own

Sharp clams strike blood against the rock
Tearing your toes as further you go
Walking towards your washy tomb

From birth to the given day
You've never turned away

Come to me, big brown eyes
Speckled skin like the flying thrush
Spattered on silver-grey silk
As you rush between the waves
Laughing at the clumsy clods of earth
That walk the land
That stand and point and picture you
With battery boxes and buttons

One moment there, the next gone
Vanishing with the tidal song

Sing it to me now
Let me hear as you now hear
Dive me deep beneath the surf
Till sky and sea merge
And I cannot tell my up from down

Until I drown

Sea water, saltwater, sacred water
I'll breathe the tears I cry
For one chance to follow you
For one chance to float beneath the summer moon
To eat my meals off soft belly
Chewed between flippered fingers
Laughing like the Selkie



Beneath the bedded ash the ember curls and dies
Its memories drift towards the sky, reaching grey fingers
Up the blackened grate towards the early morning stars

Within the silent room the ghost of whisky lingers
Its breath testament to those who drank there earlier
Sharp warmth waiting to greet the breakfast comers
Searching out fresh fat to chew,
Crackling beneath the griddle.

What memories fold and steel towards those stars?
Whispered over tumblers in the late hour of the night.
Our minds' stained glass distorting light behind our eyes,
Colouring opinion, casting motes of floating
Dust adrift upon the ebb and flow of our remembered history.

Between those whispered words, hushed tones,
Cracks of lightning laughter quick to smite,
Comes the ticking of the clock
Measuring out both time and truth,
Illusive in the midnight hush:

No longer rights or wrongs but
Wicked witches casting spells
Against which we pitch ourselves
the heroine.

No longer simple kindnesses bestowed
But kingdoms and vast fortunes gifted
Whilst ungrateful greedy hands would
Snatch from us our mercy, offering only
Empty embers' ashes in return

Our youth no longer ordinary but
Fraught with Hogarth's excesses
Of hedonistic, narcissistic, nihilistic
Indulgent pleasures

First kisses love stories, first cuts a battlefield
Bled out over a lifetime, mingled with gin and
Absinthe, as absent hearts refused to return
And those that did grew fat and unforgiving

Ah! Such heady thoughts of heady days.

Conversation, like the fire, soaked up fuel
Grew higher.
Spat a little, blushed red hot
Smoked, smoldered and raged
Before dying.

Topics exhausted and sapped to ash
Colourful opinions drained to grey
As the bottle emptied
And the clinker built
As the dawn broke
And nought more
There was to stoke
From the gaping
Jaws of two tired friends.

To bed, then.

Let the last breath of whisky haunt the hearth.

Let the stars claim their stories from the grate.

Let a hundred more stories await us

For the telling.