A toast

On our final night together
in a little Italian restaurant we’d made our favourite,
we raised our glasses
and said
“to us”.

Just those two words.
That’s all either of us could manage
without crying in public.

But what we didn’t say was this;

To us.
To all that we were.
To all we could’ve been.
To every time we made each other laugh,
and to sweet Nepali tea.

To every cycling holiday
To all the memories we made,
To every happy polaroid
I pray that time won’t fade.

To every “I love you”
To every stolen glance,
to every morning coffee in bed, every debrief cup of tea,
and to every ceilidh dance.

To every adventure that we’ve had,
to every argument we’d right,
to every sweet guitar melody,
and to putting the world to order, late into the night.

To every birthday we made special,
to each and every kiss,
to every mistake we made,
it all came down to this.

So I hope you still remember us,
before we said adieu,
thanks for all the memories,
“to us, to me and to you”.

x

the silence & the sound

Empty.
Clean.
White.
Silence never sounds like it’s supposed to.

Silence is an echo chamber
of words unspoken,
and anxieties welling up to the surface.
Bubbling, bursting through the millpond of the mind.

Silence is an empty dancefloor
once the music has been turned off
and everyone has left
except you.
You’re left with the ringing in your ears, and a scratching in your throat
from screaming to be heard over that
deafening
silence.

Silence is an empty railway tunnel.
Gaping and anticipating
the next train of thought, coming along
bulldozing it’s way through the temporary vacancy between your ears.

Silence is a forest,
full of moss-covered rocks just waiting to be overturned.
Patches of fog hang despondently between the listless branches
Don’t peer too close, you might scare yourself
with the weight of all the things you do not know
that lie in the gloaming.

Silence is the gap between the thunderclaps.
That is all.
The rain it still pours.
And the echo of the last distance rumble
tumbles around your hollow head.

Silence is the torchlight of the interrogation.
Why weren’t you good enough?
When did it all go wrong?
Why are you like this?
Why can’t you just move on?

The silence
it never stops.

creativity #4

aching, the
body can feel it, the
crushing weight of your absence.
drought for the soul.
everything is
fine, i’ll say, i’m doing
good
how have you been?
i‘ll ask you
just to start a conversation. it’s more than
kind of sad, that we’ve gone from
lovers, to
messed up, to almost
nothing.
only we knew what we had, a
patient love, that grew
quietly, over time, like the confluence of two
rivers coalescing. they
say
time changes people, but i didn’t think it would change the course of
us, and now here i sit, staring
vacantly at the blank
wall, i’ll still finish my messages with an
x
you don’t. you’ve already
zoned out.

unfinished

The final few rays of a dwindling winter sun
The crest of a wave before it rushes up to meet the sand
The embers of a dying bonfire
And an outstretched hand.

A tree clinging onto the last few leaves of autumn
Breath catching in your throat
A question mark lingering in the conversation
Lying back in the Mediterranean sea, drifting and afloat.

The pips of voicemail as a phone call goes ignored
The red wine stains on the rim of your glass
Three dots, typing
A reply that isn’t coming back.

Turned down pages of a book of old poetry
The first few drops of rain before a storm
The hovering second hand of a clock as it just passes midnight
A half drunk cup of coffee, gone luke-warm.

An imperfect cadence
And a chance not taken
The imperceptible sound
Of another heart breaking.

things we used to say

We used to say
“I’m so in love with you”
and
“Would it be okay if I spent the rest of my life with you?”

We used to say
“I feel I can achieve anything with you by my side”
and
“You give me warm fuzzy feelings inside”.

We used to text each other
“Your eyes sparkle”, and
“I feel at home in your arms”
and
“I would trust you with my life in your wide open palms”.

We used to text each other
“I’m so proud of you”
“You give my life meaning”
and “you’re the love of my life, too”.

40 months, and 24 days later.

Now, we text each other, if we even text at all,
“I hope you’ve had a nice weekend”
and “sleep well”
and I wish I didn’t feel this small
without you.

moving on

is it moving on?
or is it deflecting?
distracting?
and attaching
onto someone new.
or old.

is it moving on?
or is it ignoring?
burying?
so i don’t have to feel the gnawing
pain in my chest.

have i got tired of feeling upset?
or is it resilience?
have i become immune?
to the chronic emptiness?
have i just latched onto someone else as a coping mechanism, because it’s better to be wanted by someone,
than wanted by no one?

it’s not even been 4 months yet.
was last night too much?
did i take it too far?
what was i doing? what did i think i’d achieve?
patching over my fresh pink scars?

it’s done now.
moving on.

try to write about what’s going on without talking about yourself

Trees miss their blossoms in the winter.
It gets dark. It gets cold. The nights are inconceivably long. The sunlight barely shines through the overcast greys.

And weeds grow.
They start growing where there used to be daisies and daffodils.
The weeds can tough it out.
The daisies can’t.
They wilt at the first frost.

But weeds can bear flowers too. Unexpected and hardy.
A flourish of colour amidst the gloom.

Weeds accompany the trees through their harsh winter.
Console them,
and offer them their own flowers as compensation.
It’ll never be quite as brilliant as a spring in full bloom,
but it’s something to cling on to.

The winter will drag on forever.
But the trees are patient.
Their blossoms will return.
When the moon and the sun
decide it’s so.

two paths

we once walked the same path.
you and i.
for four years, almost.
the same well worn trail.
well-trodden.
well-loved.
tended to.
there were small flowers growing out of our footprints.
and moss slowly growing on fallen branches.
and ferns reaching for light in the dark of the undergrowth.

we used to hold hands as we walked.

i don’t think i even realised our paths had diverged until i was clinging onto your hand by my out-stretched arm and my fingertips.
and you weren’t reaching for mine anymore.
i looked up, and could barely see you through the thicket that had enveloped the gulf now between us.

i didn’t see the warning signs.
i didn’t see the cracks beneath our feet.
i didn’t notice you veering off on your own course to avoid a fallen tree.

“two roads diverged in a wood”

it is not our path anymore.
it is not our story anymore.
it’s yours.
and it’s mine.
two separate paths winding their own course through the forests.

but for four years it was ours.
and it was magic,
because the path we walked together was golden.

elements

Wind,
sweep me off my feet and take me where I need to be
because I no longer know.

Rain,
pour down on me in a deluge, a flood
wash away my grief,
let my tears mix with your raindrops on my cheeks
so neither of us can tell the difference
between heartbreak, and nature.

Fire,
light a small spark in my soul again,
a smoldering ember among the ashes of what I used to be,
to give me a passion
a purpose
for anything.

and Earth,
where have you gone?
I used to feel you beneath my feet,
but now I’m sure I’m falling.
Ground, come up to meet me and catch me.

After all, it’s not the fall itself that kills you in the end, is it?

i see you

I can see you.
I can still see you.
In the creased spine of a hardback book.
In the frothy head of a pint of beer.
In couples cycling together.
In small, scruffy dogs snuffling about the ground.
In rough seas against sheer cliff faces.
I see you.

In dirty running shoes.
In quirky, backstreet cafes.
And old, hidden-away bookshops.
In the smell of dust after rain.
Petrichor.

In tuneful, twiddly guitar melodies.
In beautiful vocal harmonies.
In the setting of the sun.
In the engravings on parks benches for couples who used to frequent there.
In old blankets.
And poorly knitted scarves.
In hazel eyes.
And a good beard.

In the smell of jasmine flowers.
Or azahara.
In spoken french.
I see you.

In old world maps, with promises of future adventures.
In well-worn trails through the woods.
In moss growing on a fallen tree.

In big jumpers.
In takeaway pizzas and nights of Netflix.
I can still see you.

In waterproof anoraks.
In the sound of my octave fiddle.
In the Brecon Beacons.
In any mountain range at all.
In fairy lights, strung up on the inside of our tent.

How long will it be before I can unsee you?
I’m not ready to unsee you just yet.