a rug of loneliness,
a sleepy heart huddles
against such memories
of togetherness and not of
goodbyes, hating to disperse
the fiery rhymes of your lips,
as well as the warmth of its
sweat...tastes like red wine,
then it beats...and beats
gently, as it envisions
you, in an early
You were beautiful,
my tiny child,
wrapped tightly in my arms,
close to my heart.
I listened to you breathing.
I counted your fingers
and your toes.
you cried out to me
and I loved you
with every ounce of my soul.
Will you hear me
when I cry out?
Will you hold me close
as I held you then?
I remember the day
You took your first step.
There was no stopping you.
Your feet gave you freedom
to explore the world
like never before
but danger lurked.
I opened those doors anyway,
you to the world.
Where will you be
when my legs
no longer run?
no longer work?
Will you realize
that I love
about that day
you first tied your shoe.
We tried and tried
to get that rabbit
in that hole
and you finally did it.
You pointed your toes
for everyone to see
how proud you were.
I am proud too,
of my writing
and my drawing,
of my needlework
and my cooking.
But my hands are beginning to ache
and my fingers will not bend.
I will lose the things
that make me proud
except for you.
Hopefully not you.
Will you let me
brag on you?
Even tell wild stories
that are a bit beyond the truth?
Will you be proud of me too?
I waved good-bye
that morning when you left
on that large, yellow bus.
I was so scared.
I know you were too.
You waved at me bravely
through the dusty window
but I saw the water
forming in your eyes.
You came home, however,
full of pride and joy.
You sang the alphabet song
and got most of it right.
You practiced for hours
until you could sing it
even in your sleep.
whether I took
my pills today or not.
if I told this story before.
I even forgot once
who you were
and it terrified me.
is my treasure
the only thing I have left,
and I heard you make
fun of me
for not remembering
that I gave you the
same gift as last year.
Will you love me
when I no longer
know who I am?
You came home blushing
from the glow of
your first kiss.
Your first love,
the one you thought was real.
You talked about him non-stop.
You changed for him. You gave.
But he left you anyway
for a blue-eyed girl
and I held you
while you cried for him.
I too have a
The love of my life
left me after
He left me here
to live life on my own
while he moved on
to another realm
And I cry for him too.
I long for his shoulder
and strong embrace.
I feel betrayed
because he and I
made a deal
that we would never
leave the other alone.
Yet I am alone
sitting in an echoing house
with no hands to hold.
You welcomed her home today-
your tiny baby girl.
She has your eyes
and possibly your toes.
I see you counting them
as they roll me
into the room.
You finally came
It has been a while.
You look up at me
with tears in your eyes
"Will she tie my
when I get old? "
Things that seemed poetic were always sad,
though I yearned for sparkle
and my dad's guffaw, which never came.
Familiar things were always drear --
repeated motions in the same old game.
There were only distant glimpses
of budding spring, fleeting views
of daffodils. The strongest
poems dealt me death and dying.
Yet I always hoped, never went under
to gray despair, always dreaming
of a garden of love that we could share.
But those forbidden delights faded
quickly away; the only reality
I understand is the ever-looming
and final one. Nothing's changed.
The strongest poems deal death and dying.
There she stands
Centre stage for all to see
Tall and slender
Precariously she balances.
I reach out for her
Draw her to me
My hand skims her body
Slowly reaching her skirt.
Playful fingers find hidden areas
Delighted her legs spring forth
Displaying the very beauty
Of her delicately adorned skirt.
Gaily she dances around
Dizzily twisting and turning
In the brightness of day shading
She gently tends to my needs.
Personal ballerina takes to toes leaping
Merrily bobbing up and down
As emotional to her performance
Clouds cry a thousand tears for her.
Reaching our destination
Slightly shaken, she leans
Watches me quietly drips
Against the wall.
Reminiscent of the day's fulfillment
We acknowledge one another silently
Restful knowing we shall be
One once more.
Have some time to spare in-between a work schedule
burning me from the inside, out.
Wasted too much time on the computer already,
my body aches from physical inactivity.
Thoughts are racing faster than the speed of light,
the routine of modern life is trying to cage in a free spirit-
a pen for a wild horse with boundless energy,
a strong kick and large teeth.
Haven't come down to this part of the bay for years.
Not sure why anymore?
Not too sure about anything right now.
Believed I was too young to be having these thoughts,
but here they come like a booming drum beat,
keeping time with the pounding of my heart,
but always just a little louder,
to remind me how this warning isn't about to depart.
The putrid stench of kelp and dead crabs
baking in the afternoon sun,
curls up my nostrils, awakening memories of childhood....
....the salt in the sea is the salt in my blood;
we have been one since conception.
The salty, deep green rot, smells like bliss to me,
compared with the scents of over-heated wires,
burnt coffee, and industrial-gray carpeting.
Sit down on a large chunk of driftwood.
The waves aren't crashing in their usual rhythmic crescendo,
but lapping quietly like chortling laughter.
The ocean is chuckling,
laughing at my insignificance
in comparison to its almost limitless horizon
of cruel, cold water.
A familiar pungent aroma creeps my way-
the high citrus scent of bergamot
mixed with the sweet perfume of skunk.
Two young punks are hauling on some reefer
up the beach from where I am sitting.
Can hear their youthful, carefree chatter.
The last time I smoked weed, seems eons ago now.
The smell invokes the rebel still alive inside,
giving a glimpse of who I had once been-
eyes blazing red,
mind full of humble awe
flying high above the clouds like an eagle.
The shrill cries of gulls fighting over a starfish
breaks my stupor of reminiscence,
reminding me of the hungry ways of nature-
the hungry ways of mankind and money.
Damn! My stupid job awaits!
As I make my way back,
pant legs causing the sand grass
to sigh in dry moans and whispers,
I make up my mind to visit
this old stomping ground more often.
In fact, I might start coming out here
on all of my lunch breaks.
Out here, the wild horse has ample room to roam,
even if for only a few moments of escape-
an illusion of escape is far better
than having only stifled dreams
and no hope left at all-
feel much better already.
Down there, on the shell-coarse beach in a furnace of sand
The sea writhed and almost boiled at the shore,
Barefoot we walked, with her hand in my hand
No girl had ever driven me more.
She dry-licked her cherry lips and saltily smiled,
Solar flares bursting there in my chest,
The way she moved always drove me wild,
My eyes entranced by her shape in that dress.
The sun stamped in the sky like a chromium plate,
Dripped the colours of butter and steel,
And she stood there the most, the coolest hot date,
So radiant and still and surreal.
When she threw back her head as she lay on the grass
Liquid eyes burning silver and green,
With the parting of lips she gave me a free pass
And the world dissolved to aquamarine.
Remembering the days of yesteryear
when family ties were held most dear,
gas lamps flickered in the back street
while most of us danced a different beat.
Tragic alleyways of smog and smut
“Live over the brush”* branded a slut,
silhouettes in fringe the darkest night
gullible back shift broke the morning light.
Adventurous nights at “Townhead Mill”
eight pints of beer the back porch thrill,
when no meant yes in rapturous skill
to fumigated music from “Nashville.”
Obnoxious libertine this bread man
bay curtain drawn delivery van,
the situation conspired indiscretion
clinical the world’s oldest profession.
Sporting gentlemen in summer bliss
caught first ball costly night on the piss,
pavilion home to moorside drover
many a chaste maiden bowled over.
Partial pilgrimage down “Bolton Road”
black and amber heroes round ball code,
liniment buoyant throughout the room
manly skills embroider the village groom.
Cardinal days steeped in “Rock ‘n’ Roll”
sire in fear of them out of control,
a colossal wedge between cultures
in shadows of decency vile vultures.
Repetitious days of school yard might
the bullies reduced one’s life to plight,
parents queried yet misunderstood
reasons for mayhem in the neighbourhood.
Lad and lasses lost in “Hide and seek”
games of “Stroke a back” every week,
by the old school grounds we all did laik**
now the street is naked for heaven sake.
Why on earth would a mind keep drifting back
this poetry constantly placing me on track,
when life was a role without fame or stars
only toil and trepidation and these scars?
© Harry J Horsman 2013
*Living in sin
Down south of a dirty delta town
after double-winged dusters sweep low
White hats, bent backs and bloody hands
sway to the rhythm of summer snow fields
Backed by a choir of ten thousand crickets
reaching up to touch heaven with a song
High upon the highest heights
I see the most tremulous sight
A small girl, fair and tranquil
Smiling strangely, sitting still
Beneath a sobbing willow tree
She recites a verse upon her knee
She sings a rhythmic hymn
Not of death, nothing grim
But prays that life will return
Even for those who are doomed to burn
The girl is a woman now
Beneath the tree and upon the cloud
She whispers, “I am watching you”
Why then are you so blue?
A single tear of sadness and joy
Rejuvenate the quirky earthly boy
Who sits down beneath the blooming tree
Listening to her silent voice attentively
She reminds him she was once young too
That she also was a misty shade of blue
But when the boy grows into man
He has come to ignore the fair woman
Who watches him still from above
Burning and swelling with disdainful love
The ways of the world have sweltered his heart
And time has torn his soul apart
Thus he has lost all innocence and light
Battling his sinful lust—an endless plight!
I watch as he feeds on others’ pains and fears
Reducing the vigilant woman to tears
The prayer of the innocent has been ignored
Life has died and hellfire stored
Into the hearts of the impotent
In blue, fires of haze their heart is sent
Toiling in misery and lament
Savaged and severed by our regret
The heavenly woman grows old and frail
And the man still treads the sinful trail
As the rotting tree withers into dust
Can I revive it? –I must!
Low as low can possibly be
I watch myself condescendingly
A tombstone, gray and hell-bent
Frowning knowingly in bewilderment
Above the dust that once was a tree
She cries out a verse anxiously
Faintly she whispers the undying hymn
Not of happiness, nothing of whim
And prays that life will come to end
For those that break instead of bend
I remember you
cartoon smile and egg-shaped head.
Do you remember
how the rainbow formed on the water,
how the neon lights flickered,
or the scent of nectarines on your forehead?
They were happy to see for the first time
behind glass window,
between speaker box voices --
untouched collector’s item,
you shiny new contraption,
star of the play,
hero of the hour,
flavor of the season.
Seed of your father,
soil of your mother.
Fruit of love,
fruit of conflict.
Are you accident,
Bough in the river,
wrenched in the current.
Hand reaching for hand,
hand holding your own.
Bedlam baby with the guilty smile
do you remember
how you would not fracture the mullioned frame,
how you could not shatter porcelain,
or how you hid in changing alleys?
I will save you
you will save me.
My hand in yours.
I am the boat
you are the journey.