#poetry : To Hero and Leander – Death’s Apology

For those unfamiliar with the relevant mythology, here’s the Wikipedia article on it, although I’d like to think the poem can be read without the background knowledge…


To Hero and Leander – Death’s Apology


I remember you and your love secret,

secret even from the gods.

I remember your smooth body bathed in fragrant oils, and his hair wet

with brine and ornaments of seaweed,

eyes glazed with the fever of love.

It was selfish, I know,

to wrap you in my shroud – two souls knotted like eels

to warm my eternal frost awhile.

Such is my fate

to not to be able to touch what I love

and to wreck with a single caress

all your creation.

Each night I watched

as you lit your lamp, for your dolphin love to cross

the sea, straight into your warm, and open arms.

Each night I watched

as from the spring of your lips

you gave him drink, while you fed tender whispers

to your hungry ears.

I could not bear to keep you apart,

so I took you both, my doves,

rather than break your lettuce hearts.

I plunged him into the depths of the waves,

and dragged you over a cliff,

on jagged rocks your arms spread,

wings that didn’t work.


it seems

the buds of summer

have withered too soon.

Gods cruel and silent,


what have I done?

#poetry : into the woods

Into the woods
migrant clouds throb over a pink horizon
swirling in the sky like a finger
through hot breath
on the window
the path wears blinkers of trees,
armies of pine on either side
oxygen floods into my lungs
so cold it burns
for a moment,
I stand,
a cockroach by a green giant’s foot
the only way is forward
-don’t look back-
a branch shrugs off birds
the path is a river, and thoughts
the only oars left to paddle with
snow swallows the footsteps of those gone past
               -forward is the only way-
though we all know
how it ends.

#poetry : Am Faoilleach

Am Faoilleach*
awake at dusk
by the trunk we marked
in our youth
where their woods end
ours begin
echoes of ghosts
always come in twos
haunted hunters
flutter away into darkness
a wake
with moonlit eyes
and sharp ears
my nose seeks your scent
I breathe in
the smell of earthworms and roots
canopy greens still glisten with afternoon rains
twilight vigil
I juggle a jade horizon
through the dewy dawn
by the stump that remains
where their woods begin
ours end
*Scottish Gaelic for ‘January’. It seems to come from the word for ‘wolf’ (meaning January is essentially wolf month)

#poetry : basic shapes

basic shapes

two lines – that’s all I need –

to weave me into a dance

dizzying coil

fling me free as a feather

into jazz, metal, blues

and then pop – it’s a soft landing.

two lines alone

to pour confessions into thirsty ears

in a communion of beats, notes, pauses

all in time.

two lines – no more – are all it takes

to ‘store in a cool, dry place’

a dose of shimmering


elixir of life mass-produced

–        what good is your erosive entropy

now you’re trapped in a transparent tower?

two lines – no less – are enough

to get lost

two lines exactly

to leave me exposed

and two more still


to bring me home.


Apologies for disappearing for so long! I’ve been busy with various things – learning, gaming, going to the theatre, trying to be sociable… Today I decided to try my hand at erasure poetry (I only discovered its existence last week!). I’ve never done this before, and it was an incredibly speedy, rough edit on the computer, just to get into the swing of things. The following is the result of playing around with Shakespeare’s famous ‘To be or not to be’ speech, as featured on Open Source Shakespeare. (I’ve included the source text below it with the erased words struck through. And yes, I realise my poem doesn’t really make sense…)

To question:
’tis to suffer                                                                                                                     fortune

flesh a consummation .
death dreams

undiscover’d country
No will,
conscience                                                                                                                                 the native                                                                                                                       enterprise of
the action.Soft!
all my sins.