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Best Poems Written by Greig Turnbull

Below are the all-time best Greig Turnbull poems as chosen by PoetrySoup members

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Shadow Life



Shadow Life

And the reaching
And the feeling
And the drops 
from the ceiling

On my head
On my shoulders
Weight of the 
world boulders

And the mornings
Not like night time
Offers brightness
But no lifeline

The mind calms in the dark
When it’s silent, 
And the silence is stark

And the reaching
Out for something
With this old feeling
That it is nothing

To cast no shadow
See no path
Clear my eyes in the light
As it rushes past

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2019



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Searching

I am looking for something
I look everywhere
Sometimes I give in
Go to a cafe and sit and stare

I'm looking for something
It may not even exist
A halcyon dream 
Impossible to resist 

Possibly I'm looking in all the wrong places
With the wrong tools I dig
Where there are not even traces of traces

I'm looking for something I don't understand
Beyond my invention
Or comprehension
Just beyond the lie of the land 

And when I find it
It will not last
A passing nod from a familiar stranger
In my now immediate past

A friendly cat,  a smiling child
A fleeting chat
A walk in the wild 

When it comes it never lasts 
A fleeting glimpse of the closing act

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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October

October (a bad case of timing)


A bad case of timing
coffee and sleep
pills and nightmares
from the deep

And drowning in my head,
the watermark
a tide of dreams undreamed
lost in the wash
of a shadow silent sea

As morning rises
the dreams that sunk
resurface in golden lines
moving towards me

And back, below the watermark I go
just another bad case of timing

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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Between the cloud and the field Part2

Between the cloud and field (Part2.)

In your dying days
The nights were not enough
For in fits and starts
Your faltering heart
Gave up diamonds in the rough

In fields sown for us
I hear strangers’ feet
You are now between the cloud and field
Just out of reach

And now I take the time
To take my time
To rise early, clear in thought
And express myself in rhyme

Have I seen all there is to see?
Done all there is to do?
I certainly feel I have already made all my mistakes
Including you

Your breath froze
Like all the things
You cannot say with prose

Your eyes closed
And they will not open
Even in my dreams
That part is broken

There has always been a knocking at my door
Telling me not to let my mind beat me
Not to bite the hand that feeds me
And I have lived long enough
To have seen and done much more

The neighbours at their windows
Looking out, reflecting the grey
Do not realise
They see a ghost of me today

And in the city
The telephone wires that surround
Mark out commercial battlegrounds
Where children play on nameless streets
This is where we find our feet

I beg of you
You, whom I do not yet know
Think beyond your learning
Look beyond your yearnings
For what is chosen for you
Will not sustain you, you know

For, rich, in a high townhouse
Adorned with trophy and accolade
You are merely preparing for the mistakes
You have the money to make

Tend to your thoughts
As you would a garden
Do not let your mind become overgrown

At the end of the map
At the edge you dare not point to
I will be there, shouting
Do not leave me alone

I am trapped
Between the cloud and the field
Forever in battle
With no army to yield

Make the bright sky break above me
I pray for that relief
When the clouds part
Allowing the light
To shine on all the grief

I shall fly to the soft
To the wings tip
With the strength not to feel
And I will no longer be caught
Between the cloud and field

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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Between the cloud and the field

Between the cloud and field (Part 1.)

I woke this morning
and it was not clear to me
If I am the man
I am supposed to be
If I am even me

Wishing day would be night
As I walk here and there
Under the false light
Of a city laid bare on seven hills
Bereft of sight

A city that has lost the fight
Yet staggers on, punch drunk
Towards the light held in its museums,
Enlightened townhouses
And their antique spouses

The men smoke and huddle near
And talk of other men
Outside men’s pubs
A second cigarette in their ear

And I will not fall
Backwards
Into their chatter
Into the world of tiny matters

I have looked at death
And we both have blinked
Yet still I have lost the battle
Retired to a back room with a drink
A mind made up to overthink

Should I go home
With a lonely head
Bowed up the stairs, through the door
To find loneliness has fled?

No, I shall sit alone in a room
And think these thoughts of dread

Everything comes from nothing
And stops when you want it to begin
Everyone stops sometime
From the pull inside
The Struggle Within

And I will not shirk
I will not flinch
I will not be held back
Before I begin

I am one
Though there are many
And you will see us at the end
You will see us at the end

Until then?
Lay cellophane on the fields
As I cock my head to rest
While the city fires burn slowly
Emblazoned on my chest

And up above was set in stone
And the wind did its best
Untie your shoes, hold your breath
And wait patiently
For Death

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018



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Same old dream

as the world wakes
to make, and take and break 
as the light draws near
a sneering voice in my ear says 
wake, you have your part to take
you have your time to make and break
to sleep to dream 
to make mistakes
another way
another day
To lose your hair
to change your face
to work for a while 
to earn your place
to dance at parties
to sing and laugh
to have quiet times
and long candlelit baths
to find true love and lose it again
to see see death and violence
too profound to explain
to hope or to pray
to leave or to stay
to travel, to see
what this world contains
And each morning the world awakes
repeats its warning
to make, and take and break 
as the light draws near
a sneering voice in my ear says 
wake, we have your bones to break
Sun creaks insidiously across my floor
Cars car by outside
and my bladder is sore

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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Hominy

Hominy

Two Sainted today
Both living but I don’t know the rules
It appears the world has gathered in Rome
I am frozen in time
In a smoking room at Schiphol
The realisation of an out of date passport
11pm last night
 it, see what happens
By the grace of something
We get to Amsterdam
Throw the passport in a bin on the way 
Tell the gel covered head at the desk it’s lost
Booking code on a dead phone I cannot charge
He mumbles something about hours
Then the word Embassy
I see a familiar name and walk in
Heineken, but it’ll have to do
Never thought my first drink in nine months would be a Heineken
In a miniature Dutch smoking room
Watching a Hominy

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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To the basement

To the basement

Down the stairs
To the basement
Where I keep my memories
I go down and clean them
When there’s nothing on T.V.

Somewhere down below me
Everybody sleeps
And they have clean clear memories
When there’s nothing on T.V.

In the deepest ocean
Where I hide my pride
In the Devil’s Forest
Where I bide my time

It’s the small things 
that make the big things work
and it’s the small things
that really hurt

Something starts
Something ends
And starts up again
Something breaks
Something bends
At the start and the end

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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The Bigman

	The Bigman


When you speak to The Bigman
don’t mention me
I don’t know who I am yet, so please
When you do they prayers you were trained to believe
Don’t mention me

He never helped
when I was down and out
He never came
was nowhere to be found

Though I prayed
most minutes of every day
for Him to stop by
or at least keep me safe

Though I waited and begged
for Him to make things better
He never came
no text, no call, no letter

And I am sick of having arguments
with things I cannot see
so, when you speak to The Bigman
don’t mention me

No, I cannot believe
in what I cannot see
and I cannot touch
what has never touched me

Never been seen
or proved to be
so, if you speak to The Bigman
don’t mention me

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018

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The Miner

The Miner

Too long a miner
now digging up things I shouldn’t
last year I couldn’t.
The year before that,
I wouldn’t

I was trapped
in the soot black
with no Canary
no sweet sound
or light from a shaft

I have been digging
desperately, hopefully, helplessly
in the wrong direction

I put my pick axe down
straighten my back and turn about
Follow my heart
Follow no sound

On the way back to the surface
I throw away the rest of my tools
I shout in my head “Enough”
I have been too long a miner
too long the fool

I am on my way to the surface, where I can get clean

Copyright © Greig Turnbull | Year Posted 2018