What is Love?

What is love?
A thing I think so often of.
I must confess,
I am somewhat obsessed,
By what is love.

A prickling of the skin,
Suggests a mystery within.
Or something less,
A happy accidental mess,
Of neurons firing?

I cannot tell,
The origins of this wicked spell,
Or what it means.
Like trickery, at once it seems,
Such heaven and then hell.

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Lost

To know your kiss,
Should hide no doubt.

If they still haunt,
I’ll cast them out.

No darkened clouds,
Or beckoning ghosts.

I’m sure it’s this,
That I miss most.

To gently lay,
Right next to me.

And not to try,
But just to be.

And know my smile,
it hides no tears.

I’m sure you miss,
this most my dear.

Please say the words,
Let’s start anew.

With all my heart,
I’d promise you.

No matter what,
At any cost.

I’d find the love,
That we both lost.

Above My Bed

I know I’ve been a fool,
I say too much I shouldn’t do.

Well I’ve misunderstood,
Your stoic face – it tricked me good.

I give away too much,
But sometimes you don’t give enough.

I hear the words you said,
Your smile still hangs above my bed.

I’m sorry that I said those thing,
They hurt you.

It’s just sometimes I think,
I don’t deserve you.

Old Brown Coat

Understated,
In your old brown coat.
Guitar on your shoulders,
Wherever you go.

You want for nothing,
‘Cause there’s not much you want.
Reposed at the desk,
Quietly writing your songs.

Your shirts all have holes,
And you couldn’t care less.
Skin worn down from the strings,
Your blonde locks are a mess.

Life is simple and honest,
Here enjoying the view.
As the waves stroke the shore,
Just below your bedroom.

Elan Valley

Percy Shelley’s house hid under the lake
And I quoted a line or two about sleeping lions
Stood looking out on the bridge
With you and your friends

Across fields we rambled
Looking for mushrooms with magical properties
I felt a deep and healthy fear
Looking at the vastness of the land

They ran chanting like Indians
Through the pine trees and down a slope
I couldn’t keep up
And for a moment you all disappeared

We stopped to fill a water bottle
At the stream I took a moment to think
That everybody should live
Quiet and simply, just like this

Talking about getting older
At last we walked through the heart of Elan Valley
And you said that Leonard Cohen captured how it felt
To be twenty-seven

Whilst looking silently at your face
I knew that I would never forget these days shared
And that this was one of the happiest moments
Of my life

Your Name

I’d begged you to see what was in front of you, to see how completely I was yours for the taking. Your calm repose and indifferent responses only impassioned me further. It was all a joke to you, it seemed. My agony, my desperate attempt to explain just how totally in love with you I was, was nothing more than a passing compliment that would fade in moments. Hysterical, I began to panic and babbled in a frenzy. A slurry of home-truths spilt forth. You were repressed, a coward, a narcissist, you were in denial, you saw what we had and it frightened you, you were too weak to allow yourself to love me, or too weak to acknowledge that you already did.

In the midst of my tirade, and as you began to blush with fury, a group of young women who appeared to know you came by. They whispered unintelligible insults about you into my ears, all speaking at once. Were they the ghosts of your past come to haunt you and enlighten me? You watched for the briefest of moments before walking away shouting out ‘you’re fucking mad, don’t ever try and contact me again.’ From the back of you, I noticed you wipe a tear from your cheek. ‘Don’t waste your time on him’ said one of the women ‘he is notorious.’ ‘I have to go, sorry’ I spluttered pushing past them.

By now you were nearly out of sight. I was running after you as you cried, walking away all in black. Every time I got close to you, some obstacle came in the way, pinning me down or holding me back – metal wires which appeared from nowhere entangled me. It was good that you were crying, I thought, we were finally getting down to the bottom of things. ‘What shameful past is holding you from living your future?’ I wondered as I continued to shout after you, desperately calling out your name.

Out of breath I shook off the mysterious and unearthly wires again and again which creeped after me like vines of ivy. The passers by pointed you out, ‘that way, he went that way’ they would say with one finger extended towards a point in the distance. I squinted to make you out, in your black silhouette far down the road. I was still crying after you but I couldn’t breathe anymore, I couldn’t take in enough air, I couldn’t reach you. I woke up screaming your name.

Some Things Must Matter

You sit there and you stare at me and say with self-accredited authority “once you realise that nothing matters, life becomes a lot more simple.” I say “some things matter, some things must matter.” And you tell me that I haven’t figured it all out yet, as if in life there is one great and final epiphany and the rest is all just intro and outro. As if the answer’s deigned to present itself to you but not to me.

Life’s great lesson might look like one big bang, but inside the magnificent explosion is an immeasurable number of sparking catalysts. That’s what an epiphany is, it’s a match being lit in slow motion. But I don’t say this to you, I don’t say anything at all.

You don’t know the half of my existential crisis, you don’t know how brightly or how fast my sulphur burns. I haven’t just looked into the blinding heat and light, I’ve walked dauntlessly into it and out again. I know what it is to be engulfed by the ineffable emptiness and futility of it all. I know what it is to understand that death is as meaningless as life and only half as much of a struggle.

Still, for some reason, we refute the answer with our very being. We negate the conclusion by continuing to exist, by sitting right here – you and me. We choose light over darkness, noise over silence, sensation over numbness. Why? Are we afraid of the unknown? I don’t doubt there’s truth in that. But fear alone isn’t enough to feed the soul day after day. Fear alone isn’t a reason for living.

Whenever I wake instead of sleep, whenever I eat instead of starve, whenever I breathe instead of asphyxiate, I know that some things matter, some things must matter. And when I find out what those things are I won’t try to enlighten you, I’ll let you strike your own match.