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Poems

I love writing short stories, but poetry is also a craft I’d like to master one day. This is a short collection of poetry I have written over the past few years. I hope you enjoy them. Ben x

Peace and Solitude

(Written for the wedding of my dear friends James and Steph Harrington.) 

I knew a man who caught his breath,

The final gasp left in his chest,

On mountaintops that hum in shades of blue.

 

 

‘Twas here upon the rocky ledge,

The climber made his final pledge,

In nature, he’d seek peace and solitude.

In nature, he would seek the final truth.

 

 

The air had left his lungs before,

At Central Stations sliding doors,

Where pale faces tell of stolen time.

 

 

Where men and women fight in haste,

For plaudits in this nasty race,

That never ends and never makes the climb.

It never ends, and never makes the climb.

 

 

So off he went in search of crags,

With ropes and clips in chalk filled bags,

His mind awash with colour-laden dreams.

 

 

Of sandstone peaks and granite cliffs,

Where freedom speaks in petroglyphs,

And life itself’s exactly as it seems.

Where life itself is exactly as it seems.

 

 

He clambered, scraped, and stretched and jammed,

On battered knees and weathered hands,

To summit Alps that kissed the morning sun.

 

 

And when he reached the shapeless clouds,

So far away from raucous crowds,

He smiled and thought his work was surely done.

He smiled and thought the work was surely done.

 

 

But the smile never touched his eyes,

Just lingered, like a starless night,

Then faded, as he wallowed in the truth.

 

 

He’d rolled the dice and risked it all,

Left blood and flesh up on the wall,

And found not peace, but only solitude.

He’d found no peace, just empty, lonely, hollow, solitude.

 

 

So down he came on withered rope,

This beaten, broken misanthrope,

The beauty of the climb brought him no solace.

 

 

Nor looping bats on crimson skies,

Or fleeting glints of dragonflies,

Could mend the hurt of nature’s broken promise.

It hurt that nature broke her only promise.

 

 

So back he skulked on tattered shoes,

To mountains steeped in shades of blue,

To beg for answers? No, to ask for peace.

 

 

And there he found a virgin path,

No rusted bolts were in her heart,

He’d set his own course, one he could believe.

He’d set his own course, and soon he would be free.

 

 

The rock was sheer and sharp as ice,

The rails were thin, no jugs in sight,

He knew the climb was far above his grade.

 

 

And still he crept toward the crux,

Where lesser men will come unstuck,

That final move would be a leap of faith.

The final risk was one he had to take.

 

 

He shuddered like an autumn leaf,

As winter’s breath sought to unseat,

His weary mind and body from the wall.

 

 

Then steeled himself and made the grab,

For life upon that final slab,

But missed, he missed, and so began the fall.

The sad demise, a brutal curtain call.

 

 

But then a hand of smaller size,

Appeared before his sunken eyes,

And dragged his skin and bones to safer ground.

 

 

She pulled him close and felt his breath,

The final gasp left in his chest,

And they both knew a higher place was found.

And they both knew a higher love was found.

 

 

Now eagles drifting in the air,

There’s so much beauty everywhere.

To share in nature warmed them to their core.

 

 

And thereupon the rocky ledge,

Our climbers made the final pledge,

To find peace in each other, evermore.

To find peace in each other, evermore.

 

 

Six and Out

 

Young Danny counts the days,

Could Summer get here any slower?

He fills the tank, and primes the blades,

Of Daddy’s Victa Mower.

 

 

When daylight savings hits the clock,

He drags it from the shed.

And mows a pitch right through the guts,

Of Mum’s Gardenia bed.

 

 

Below the kitchen window,

He paints three stumps and a bail.

If you catch a knick off willows edge,

It’s automatic fail.

 

 

He stalks the local tennis courts,

For backhands gone astray.

Then he pockets yellow tennis balls,

And makes his getaway.

 

 

Back home he’s found some builders tape,

In rolls of red and black.

So he wraps up half the tennis balls,

To get them swinging back.

 

 

On Christmas Day the field is set,

With Uncles, Aunts, and Nieces.

And he’s clean-bowled Uncle Gary,

Gone for none, old man’s in pieces.

 

 

And now young Danny’s at the crease,

And Aunty Trace is bowling short,

And so he pulls her for a six,

No bloody chance of getting caught.

 

 

But that ball it keeps on climbing,

High above the neighbour’s fence,

And there’s no surer thing in life,

That’s six and out, it’s common sense.

 

 

Yes, young Danny’s disappointed,

But not totally dismayed.

For tomorrow’s day is Boxing,

And the Ashes will be played.

 

 

Now to Danny there’s no sweeter sound,

Than trumpets over strings.

It’s the test match cricket theme song,

Only God’s and angels sing.

 

 

So he’s perched himself cross-legged,

On the carpet, front row seat.

And he’s hoping, willing, praying,

That the Poms can’t take the heat.

 

 

“Hey Dan, who will take the series,

And the trophy home this year?”

The question came from uncle Gary,

As he cracked another beer.

 

 

Young Danny turned to Uncle Gaz,

And this is what he said.

It was the saddest speech on Boxing Day,

Now Boxing Day is dead.

 

 

“Welllll, I’ve got Smithy in a multi,

To score more runs than the rest.

Into Starc to take 5 wickets,

On the first day of the test.

 

 

I’ve got the Aussies in a series sweep,

For ten bucks, paying five.

And Dave Warner best and fairest,

For his deadly cover drive.

 

 

And that fifty in my Christmas card,

From you and Aunty Trace,

I’ll throw $25 each way,

Menangle Park, the final race.

 

 

I’ve got bonus bets from Ladbrokes,

And the Tab and William Hill.

And Joely Caine from Sports Bet,

Flicked me fifty for the thrill.

 

 

Soooo, I hope the Aussies thrash em’,

Cos’ I’m outta cash till May.”

“What’s in May?” Old Gary asked.

My twelfth birthday, my next pay.

Starless Nights

 

I wake in want of dreamless sleep,

Where hopelessness can rest its feet,

And starless nights will never cease,

And broken hearts can bleed. 

 

 

Awake, I pray for empty rooms,

Where darkness never comes too soon,

And flowers weep instead of bloom,

And there, I can be free.

 

 

I wilt beneath the screeching sun,

Where everybody’s having fun,

But every breath it weighs a tonne,

And everyone can see. 

 

 

“So where were you on Friday night? 

And weren’t you coming for a bite?

You said you were, but then, that’s right,

You’re not one to believe.”

 

 

I count more hours than I live,

Like grains of sand lost through a sieve,

I wonder if you might forgive,

If I decide to leave. 

 

 

Fallen Kites

 

 

I don’t know how it ended here,

The last puff of a cigarette,

The final swig of stale beer,

I don’t know why the end is near.

 

 

I don’t know when the light will come,

The death throes of the latest bet,

The burning dregs of wasted rum,

I don’t know why I’ve come undone.

 

 

I don’t know how to stop the night,

Eternal black of old regrets,

The tangled mess of fallen kites,

I don’t know how to win this fight.

 

 

And if my heart should beat again,

The tune played out on weathered frets,

I’ll dance a jig till this song ends,

And kiss you gently, dearest friend.

 

 

Bedside Table

 

My bedside tables stacked with pills,

Of names I can’t pronounce.

The books once there I loved to read,

Now fester on the couch.

 

 

And there they rot with weakened spines,

And crinkle with regret,

And weep at shallow footsteps of,

A man they’ve never met.

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