An unsteady hand
a cascade of falling breath;
this will pass too soon.
fractured light through hollow glass;
breathe, a lighter room.
In the brittle cradle of summer’s youth
I was ashamed of the isolation
swelling in the abyss of lone days,
that my desire to be on my own
was a punishment for weaker thoughts,
a deeper scar, a more thorough graze.
As a child I made an unahppy nest
in the crawl-space between the walls
and go to die there for weeks on end,
ignorant of the fires of wider madness
or the low-throated call
of basements, of cold graves.
Now I sit well with temporary emptiness
and we talk over steaming coils of tea
or pass the biscuits from right to left;
we hold hands through winter’s skeleton
and spend entire blistered seasons
closing eyelids, counting breaths.
- Chris Lees
I think I’ve discovered the secret of life — you just hang around until you get used to it.
And the cycle of the moon
makes fools of us;
we who have dreams beyond
the weariness of better work,
two weeks spent forgetting
shelves and office corridors.
Days come and go as strangers,
an ache here, a handshake there.
And the calender face
is a creative stake;
vampire skin driven mad
with the un-achievements
of the passing months.
Days find us restless over nothing,
a lifetime here, an apology there.
- Chris Lees
Thinking Of Cemeteries
I dreamt of skylines and riverbeds
horizons slick with pale gold blood
and forests damp with morning tears
and other beautiful things.
I dreamt of fractured smiles and skin
and hands with bruising knuckles
furrowed ledges of well-chewed lips
cheekbones as crashing waves.
I dreamt of flying, moving on
bundled on rocking trains
and clutching documents to start again
far away from the violence of my mind.
I dreamt of getting out of bed, of smiling
of coping well with trembling change
or limping through another year
without thinking of cemeteries.
- Chris Lees
A fading whimper:
Nights come back to claim the days,
Swallowing the sun.
Dead eyes lock the mirror;
skin fearing to exhale
lest it crack,
I stare back,
a stranger to the icy
cobwebs framing glass.
another broken promise.
Another vow gone
with the black water.
There is ugly mould here,
but maybe I could think of you
and something beautiful
could live here.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Til human voices wake us, and we drown.
Calls gone unanswered
Dust clings to heart, house and mind
Deep sigh, a demise
Interim poena est mori,
sed saepe donum; pluribus veniae fuit
Thank you for it all:
I will leave you with this Love,
Worthless and worn down
The light has now gone
Dead behind our own eyelids
Music gone to grey