*Writer’s notes: This piece is part of an ongoing French poetry series this year, designed to push my limits as a writer and diversify my content. This poem relies on the feelings of fear and love and imagines their consequences when juxtaposed.
In any age
a writer may say
“It’s gone too far
we have lost our way.”
Though it was always true
it’s ne’er been truer
We swap friendship for facebook?
We trade love for tinder?
What have we become?
Have we come undone?
We are numb.
Numb to the suffering
and the pain
‘cos on the news
it’s the same.
We are blind.
Blind to the wasted minutes
We are liars.
Liars, we feign acceptance
we’re still steeped
We are alone.
Alone and isolated
a device will give us value
but it’s too late
you’re no longer you.
Well, as a writer of today
let me say
we’ve gone too far.
we have lost our way.
This piece is a social commentary reacting to our desensitization, isolation and misinformation. All such pieces are written with a view to expressing dissatisfaction with the faults of our society and encouraging readers to question our routines, our truths for the hope of a better future. The title is French ‘hors’ meaning in this instance apart from or separate from the system.
I had a friend called Tyler
Tyler liked to rewrite the sky
Tyler liked to live, fight and die.
My friend Tyler made sense
down with fathers and God
burn the ground they trod.
Tyler knew how to break rules
fight, bleed to beat the system
pillage it and make them listen.
My first fight was with Tyler
I hit him too hard in the ear
he swung back with a sneer.
I met Tyler in a dream of nothing
despairing a routine existence
Tyler became my resistance.
Tyler made purpose simple
challenge every moment
or die without atonement.
This piece was inspired by Chuck Palahniuk’s book ‘Fight Club’ and the film adaptation of the same name directed by David Fincher. Part of a project to write a series on influential films and literature.
Oh, to be naked and writing by the beach
to hear the summer wind’s winnowing plea.
Basking in white heat alone atop the dunes
safe to savour the siren of the wave’s tunes.
Squinting in sun my eyes upon the horizon feast;
endless expanses of blue from the west to the east.
A place beyond memory or ticking, tocking time
without judgment for all the wicked sins of mine.
…oh, to be naked and writing again beside the sea
to feel the breeze once more kissing my long locks free.
This piece was written on holiday last year, as the poem suggests, at one with nature in a secluded spot on a beach, in beautifully bright Gran Canaria. Revised and edited for reflective effect.
I only have to open my eyes,
to see the friends at my side,
feel the warmth in their hearts,
so, this friendship poem starts.
Thank you, thank you and thank you,
for always being faithful and true…
I don’t know where I’d be without you,
you brought me in from the blue.
Your kind words of encouragement,
nourish my hopes for achievement.
Your careful and considered advice
comes open-minded without a price.
I love you all dear friends – my family,
long may we continue so happily.
A dear, old friend and teacher told me a tale the other day
When I asked him “How’s the school, has it changed in any way?”
He sighed deeply, turned sad eyes on me and said:
“The playground is silent… they’d rather WhatsApp instead.
Some days when I finish class and walk through the hall
All I can see is motionless zombies, not talking at all.”
A silent playground – do we dare to imagine that?
I admit – it is hard to imagine so sad a fact.
A whirlwind is coming, the extent of which we cannot predict,
A fast-moving knock-on effect that surely can but afflict.
What has become of society… fostering swathes of the socially inept.
Later, after we spoke, I cradled my head in my hands and I wept.
They say they think its acute psychosis.
They state the usual cease and desist.
Everything – seems upside down,
As they dress me in the asylum gown.
Reality is an illusion of quick twitches
Kept from the realm of broken witches.
I halt, I look right and I look left,
My eyes are of their vision bereft!
That girl says we swim in a pool of lies,
That man sleeps in a monster’s guise.
The fences remind us of our lone sin,
The mental cages climb in and win.
Tortured husks haunt my steps,
Our maddened bodies know no rest.
The door out is labelled ‘Exit’,
But our timid selves fear it.
At last, a fresh breath of air…
Hark, a woman mid-nightmare.
I run and I run till at last I am free!
Then, too soon, the nurse traps me.
The wind was howling through the trees and it felt as if something was surely about to give way and come crashing down.
Inside his body was warm and his breath invisible, to look out across forest and sea gave him a great rush – to be at the centre of a storm whilst impervious to its violence.
Occasionally the wind would propel small bursts of smoke into the room but otherwise, the castle was a fortress.
That is unless your torment already lies within; steadily he turned to look back towards the library, a single shudder passing through him.
There once was a man known as no- name
who’d fled home to pursue ill-gotten gains.
A soldier of fortune he became, to sow
bullets and bloodshed for his every foe.
He’d string them up and bleed them out,
Acting unburdened by conscience or doubt.
What drives a man to forsake his name?
To kill others? For greed, or for shame?
Once – he’d had a family
Once – he’d known mercy.
Now, behind smoke-filled eyes…
He contemplates his own demise.
Free from fear and driven by rage
This man would never die in a cage.
He’s a lone wolf,
a gun for hire,
A wicked man,
rough-wrought in fire.