Gently now for fear it might break

It has been many moons
Since love has tread
In the halls of my heart.

The tapestries on the walls
threadbare and muted.
The forgotten corpses of furniture
Shrouded in white,
Still as the dead.
The hearthstone lies cold and unused.

The dust is piled up like snow
In the deep of winter
Heaped in the corners and doorways.
The emptiness of the place
Hangs heavy in the air.
Stale and tired.

And yet

It would appear
A single window shutter has been opened.
The fragile morning light bleeds in.
And perhaps it might be possible
To make out the shape
Of a footprint or two
In the grime.

And it could be
That if you stood for a while
In the now-open doorway
You might even catch the faintest aroma
Of freshly picked lavender
And the earliest murmurs
Of a long awaited homecoming.

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The Box

At first he thought,
Somewhat presumptuously,
That the box contained
All of his words.

He had been silent
So many months
That he assumed that
His thoughts had been dragged
From his lips
And placed into the box.

For what end, nefarious or otherwise,
Well in truth he hadn’t considered.

He longed for the box to be opened
And had tried all the keys he could find.
He had opened hidden boxes before.
Many mysteries had been uncovered.
But this one was stronger,
More resolute.

Finally she came.
The key bearer.
She who would open the box
With it’s intricate carvings and inlay
And release his words
For him to use.

She was so beautiful.
She brandished a small, bronze,
Heart-shaped key.
It had to be her.
It had to be…

The key slipped in the lock.
It turned noiselessly.
She lifted the lid.

He peered in.

The box contained nothing.

But not just nothing;
Less than nothing.
A void-less, soulless, sleepless nothing.

And too late he realised
That the box was not a box of words,
His or anyone else’s.
It was a box of silence.
Complete silence.

The lid closed
With the slightest of clicks.
Footsteps faded away
On roughly hewn cobblestones.
The ages gathered.
The box remained silent.

Since You

Since you
Opened your mouth
And spoke
those few words
I have lost my sense of taste.

Gone.
Isn’t it odd.

Not that much would taste sweet anymore
Anyway.

I remember the moment exactly
(Imagine that if you can)
When it happened.
You had just looked up
And said
‘Ben?’
In a questioning tone
And as I didn’t quite know
What to say,
Or how for that matter,
I didn’t.

I just sat
Close-mouthed
But perfectly dry-tongued
As clouds gathered across the
Darkening London sky above.

Sometimes I notice
That I forget certain

Words.
Or can no longer
Put
One
Beside
Another.

But that comes and goes.

Also
I should mention
Since then,
That hour,
I have been unable to see
The colour purple,
Certain shades of green,
Pink altogether,
Or black,
Although only when paired with
A bright despairing red.

Funny how such words
Such few words
Can have left me
So very
Empty.

Please
Don’t speak them to me again.

A Lot Of Dreaming

Something is very wrong.
In my mind thoughts are clear
And lucidly float behind my eyes.
I can feel soft words,
Some of them for you,
Dangling from my fingertips,
Hiding in the drowned spaces
between my glistening teeth.

But up close this mirror
Is muddied and scratched
With fingernail marks and
Something closely resembling
My very own brand
Of unsettling bullshit.
My tongue drips sour,
The saliva frothing and bursting
And steadily becoming
More embittered and lonesome.
Suddenly there are things
That I can no longer impart,
Not nearly so readily at least.

These problems course
Through my arteries and veins,
Through the skin on the
Back of my hands,
Along the bloodlines
That feed my brain,
My arrow-filled mind.

They lead me to believe
That some creatures were designed
To break with natures bonds.
And perhaps we will always blame others
For what we refuse to believe.
Or hate ourselves
For what we know to be true.

Rushing Forwards

Some nights the ghost of love dies
and is replaced by some bemoaning, sorrowful creature
and no faces come rushing from the mists
to fill the void.

And the stars seem colder and more distant
and the moon has vanished.
The sudden taste of darkness
is bitter and motionless on the tongue.

On nights like that
I cannot help but long for simpler days
when but a single pair of eyes
seemed to cloud my vision
and I strived not for something
but for someone.

Settle for Love

Settle yourself and be still
even if all around you
the wind howls
cold and quick
and shrill.

Let your heart settle
for what you always knew
was the colour of it anyway,
the ‘less’ that is ‘more’,
and the uneasiness
that steadily rises in your throat,
with its greasy metallic tang,
may subside for a while at least.

Settle down now for a long wait.
Stare at your hands
and count the scars,
the callous calluses
of your existence up till now.
Breath deep and feel your
blood flow.

And if you can,
settle your head on their chest
and listen to their drumheart
beat,
settling to the
unremitting rhythm
the perpetual part
of their somatic self
and the rest.

And at night
when your mind spreads out
to find them in the darkness
do not fear so if you find
that you have to settle
for the stars.

Of All The Luck

All of these stars above us
Are as distant as your eyes
On the days when you betray,
The days you dream about him.

On those days I am a dreamer too.
I am a dancer in the dark, my mind
Full of deep reds and cigarettes,
Flower boxes and the Suffolk coastline.

Your gaze, for now, drifts back to me.
Your stars shimmer in a haze and vanish.
I relish the hours of neglect
And dream of days and her.