Tranquil

Walk with me in the crisp morning air
hands clasped and gentle smile
along creek and canal as the sun rises bright
misted mystery in the dawning day

Kiss me with tender lips and laughter
steady gaze and quickened heart
under the hooded eyes of a watchful moon
bearing witness to star-shone sentiment

Hear me while I whisper words for you
serenity in delicate song
then the enchantment of snug silence
enriching glance of devoted affection

Sleep with me in linen sheets
twined limbs and easy dreams
in the stillness of the darkest hours
wake softly in love’s embrace

Dialect

Ah did gie mah hert tae you
forever oan mah sleeve
if ye wid bit tak’ me in yer arms
and ne’er let me lea

I did gie mah soul tae you
it glistened in th’ light
if ye wid bit tak’ it tae yer heart
forever mak’ it right

I did gie mah voice tae you
on endless nights alone
in bitter tears ‘n’ softened prayers
the ravens hae noo flown

I did gie mah een tae you
and noo thay ainlie see
through salted wounds ‘n’ lonely words
now roiled wi’ th’ sea

I did gie mah loue tae you
and aye dae tae this day
my hert aches tae be wi’ you
on this ‘n’ ilka day

Rue

I’m glad the dispensary delivers to me at home
on Thursdays
I can sit glazed to try and drive the sorrow down
my haunted dreams overtaking
my vision by night and by day
I have Small Blue Thing on repeat
and Ms. Vega sings it to my soul
I am scattering like light
My eyes, still hazel, no longer shine
but glisten wet and near opaque
no longer windows to anywhere of import
I’ll sit in the shower until the water runs cold
fetal on the floor with my hands around my knees
tears washing freely from my face
I wonder if you cry, but doubt you do
least of all for me
if you ever think of me at all
I know I’ve lost my mind to grief
to bereavement for the still living
the melancholy deepens every day
The ban-sìth keens at the door now, or merely
In my head
Where I would only you could knock


Ah did gie mah hert tae you
forever oan mah sleeve
if ye wid bit tak’ me in yer arms
and ne’er let me lea

Declare

You told me that nobody had ever made you feel
as beautiful as I did
but you were always a vision in my eyes
You told me that nobody else had ever made your pleasure
more important that their own
but you were always the focus of my heart
You told me that you loved me more
than anything in the world
and I fell into your eyes
You told me you believed that we were fated
to be together
and I believed in that destiny in my soul
You told me I had a magic touch and a cure
for the pain that often ailed you
and it vanished with my touch and love
You told me you were happiest
held in my arms
and wished to be there forever
You told me things you had never told another soul
the secrets of your life
all kept safe still in my care
You told me we were meant to be
and I believed it
now I am lost and blue and small
I told you my heart was ever yours
and that is true
no matter passing time

Carton

I’m trying to pack up your things today
the things you left behind
There’s makeup and your coffee cup
for the cat lady in you
There’s clothing and that painting
that you gave me
will be boxed up too
and the photos removed from the wall
If I can get through the panic
that gathers me in its frightful embrace
I’ll mail it all to you when you leave
or have someone do it
This is harder than expected

Carve

A year ago you taught me to carve pumpkins
and we laughed and kissed and fucked and loved
and made a mess of seeds and mush
until the moment you had to leave
love reigned then as I believed in what you said
A year ago you loved me and kissed sweet lips
and we loved and laughed and talked and fucked
under skies we made ourselves
until the moment you had to leave
belief reigned then as I hung on your words
A year ago we had belief and fire in our hearts
and passionate embrace seemed our fate
you believed in destiny then
and soaring words were our delight
joy was our meaning and enchantment
you laughed back then as we celebrated our love
you laughed back then as we held our life
you laughed back then as we did as we could
you laughed back then as we did as love should
This year I carve alone while my dog watches close
hoping I will drop pumpkin to the ground
and the laughter sounds like weeping
A year ago is not today and this bleakness grows
amidst the desolation of memory and solitude
A year ago you said we were forever meant to be
and I would give anything
for just one day of that eternity to come to pass

Wan

Some count sheep to help them sleep
while others wealth in hoarded heaps
I count days as they endless creep
two hundred sixteen since I began to weep

Some write songs of light and life
with joy and laughter — their being rife
I write songs on the edge of a knife
darkness, sorrow, pain, and strife

Some fill their days with love and laugh
when shown the glass — it’s full to half
I write words in broken paragraphs
I write the words of my epitaph

Some see their days in zest and dash
their joyous hours of mirth and flash
mine mired still feel your stinging lash
all hope and dream has turned to ash

Some find in comfort as they tend
to household bliss they recommend
I only pray for some kind of end
the silent violence on me condemned

Some dream their dreams and wishes fine
as all around they wine and dine
I can’t pretend the stars still shine
as they once did in better times

Suppose

I wish I could stop caring as easily as you
were able to do
but I care more each day still
I suppose I should have listened
when you told me
amidst all your words of love
that you only really cared about yourself
and nobody else mattered very much
even as you whispered such sweet words
that filled my world with light
I suppose I should have listened when you told me
that you were selfish to a fault
but I didn’t hear
I heard only the gentle sounds of love
of longing, of desire, of bliss and elation
I heard only your promises of devotion
I suppose I should have harked when you said
that you were mercenary
unbeholden to anything less than
raw egotism
but I did not
I wanted to believe in you
in love, in passion, in gentle kindness
I wanted to believe in all the other —
sweeter things — that you whispered
I wanted to believe that you were not so cruel
and I’m damned because
I still do

Sap

There’s a silent cacophony that rends me
gouges deep into heart and soul
a voiceless scream that banishes hope
to far distant memory and bitter longing

There’s a blinding vision in my haunted dreams
salt-blurred phantasm of passionate devotion
ripped into sobbing wakefulness
the caustic absinthe of corporeal world

There’s a tortuous harrowing that cleaves
the excruciating affliction
of the cross on which I’m nailed
naked and exposed in all agony

There’s a piled high assemblage on the ground
of aspirations and hopes and dreams
desolated and distraught in abandonment
twisted trophies of dereliction

There’s a taste of slaughter on my lips
full of copper and salt and acid
jagged shards of desertion plundered desire
grieved vestiges of disintegrated yearning

There’s a sweeping sorrow across time
intensity grows each moment of mourning
no rejuvenation to spirit or vitality
eidolon remains of sunken promise

Existent

There’s copper and salt in my mouth
the sodden mass of decay under my feet
I’m living on cigarettes and coffee
and haunted visions of the living
I’m living in the place where dreams go to die

My hands shake and my body shivers
riven emotion etched on my sallow skin
I’m living on sleepless nights
and haunted desires
I’m living in the place that angels have fled

There’s a stench of death in every breath
rotted aspirations piled in savage middens
I’m living on acrimonious self-loathing
with the ghost of what should have been
I’m living in the place near the edge of the world

There’s vitriol coursing my arteries and veins
searing its way through vital organs and flesh
I’m living on stinging memory
and embittered self-contempt
I’m living in the place that nightmares call home

There’s vitriol coursing my arteries and veins
rotted aspirations piled in savage middens
I’m living on sleepless nights
and haunted visions of the living
I’m living in the place where dreams go to die