Poem: When


When the flowers close up within themselves,

And only inside one’s mind can one find any

Color – when the whole world hushes itself

Into a charnel ground, and only in the flickering

Tempests of your imagination can the thunder

Of life be savoured


When all has been reduced to rubble –

Every concert hall despoiled to silence;

When the only music left playing is a

Quiet nocturne by Chopin; the swan

Song of a piano, about to fall off the

Edge of the world


When all molluscs and crustaceans return

To their shells; and even hearts turn themselves

Inside out to try and find a warm place to burrow.


When the lungs of the world collapse,

And the seas lick their lips over the ruins

Of train tracks.


When that immutable ‘WHEN’ withdraws

Inside its own thunder, and things come

To pass exactly as they were hoped


When the last chord, of the last song,

Is played, but never quite dies away,

And the warm safety of resolution

Is held in eternal tension – a tension

That never lets up, perching on an

Impossible tomorrow, that, every

Minute, becomes more



When all of these things come to pass,

I will have lived through them more

Times than they ever flourished.

And the tension of bow string

Against violin, will never quite



Then, my tension will no longer be

The pain of waiting; my pain will

Have soldered itself into different

Forms; my waiting will have

Transformed into Waiting’s Long

Lost Brother – the one who returned

A week ago, and is back living with

His mother.




No – I will tell you about my kind of

Waiting – the suspense of a kiss a

Thousand years in the making – that

Senseless suspense that sits on the axis,

Unfinished – all those pale victories

You never know if you’ll quite accomplish.


But, it will be accomplished. Though I

Sit in this pool of erosion, and build

Up mansions from the bones of corral;

Though The Great Barrier Reef still

Gets caught in my teeth, and I can

No longer tell sky from sand – it

Will be accomplished


I will not let myself down.



Yet, there is still that suspense:

That fear of touching what has

Never been touched – of plucking

A string that has never been plucked;

Of hearing a chord, that, until you’ve

Heard it, you can’t be certain won’t

Have the power to destroy you.


But, when has the potential of destruction

Ever lured me from the danger of my dreams?

I am too in love with destruction; I have too

Much adoration of all that can assure me

That things will never be the same.


For that is my greatest fear:

The horror of the familiar.

So I look on the world with

A new mind each day,

Killing and reviving in




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s