when he speaks

when he speaks
there is silence
a stillness like nothing
he has known before,
and he wonders why?

he remembers
how she would listen
and respond, and his words
seemed ever to matter
to her when there was love

her eyes would sparkle
with affection for him
and he could almost
hear the passionate beat
of her most adoring heart

but when she lost
the man who meant
more to her than he did
it was as if his presence
were a noisome burden

he listened when she spoke
and offered his love
and tried to still
the anguish in her heart
so that she might heal

and there were times
yes, when he wished
that he had died instead,
for then she might already
have found her peace

rather that than to know
how little he mattered now
how foolish his words
how pointless his efforts
when silence were better

he speaks
and there is silence
expanding, filling his heart
whole and heavy until finally
he is the silence

which is when
he closes
his mouth
at last
and waits

your heart

I have known death well enough,
known it as most have—
from a safe distance,
and yet have felt it intimately
and oh so painfully.

When my mother passed
I was lying exhausted
having rushed that awful
distance to see her
one last time.

I cringed at how incapable
it—I!—all seemed,
her lying there quite
probably not hearing
my quavering voice.

And when my mother-in-law died,
I was in a train casually
traveling back to her side
without even knowing that
it was too late.

Yet now there is this—you—
mo ghràidh, facing a loss
all your own and here
this distant I quite trembling
can only wish you well,

and hope beyond reason perhaps
that you may feeling sense
any regard, any warmth
this my aging heart
can most eagerly offer you,

to hold your so tender heart
as it breathes again.

spectres

Again they come before me
these constant spectres
eyeless, mouthless, faceless,
pacing across my ragged breath
as I watch the fading sun,
weary wanderer, sluggishly
dip at last beyond the hills,
no longer caring for the day.

Ravenous, these ghouls
sally fourth, palely pouring
across the brittle sky,
more voracious they
than I had ever seen them,
swiftly consuming the fractured sun
which bleeds yellows and reds
across the angry heavens.

I knew them, I am sure,
I must have, for why else
would they shadow my days
if not for the chance
to accept the offer of my self
to sustain their petty
vindictive needs, feeding
oh so grossly on the flesh

that once shrouded my heart.

[Once again I must thank Allison for her inspiration, having drawn from her “black” certain images and words that fed upon my thoughts. I highly recommend her collection of poems, Vein, which you can find here.]

the trees

I remember, you know,
how your eyes sparkled
when I entered the room,
and I felt myself to be
so much greater a man
than I had ever been—
to be so loved by you.

But in the time it takes
for a heart to stop beating
your love for me died,
and I lied to myself
again and again, hoping
that you would return
to me once more.

And so I, a man of thought
and learning dedicated
to uncovering the truth,
found myself scourged
day after day by a reality
I could not bear to see—
and thus began to weep.

Which is how I know now
that it is time for me to leave,
for the light grows unbearably
bright, chastising my naiveté,
demeaning my once eager will.
I have seen trees grow and die,
and it is not for me to outlive them.

Looking at Photos

That was me—
the happiest me
apparent not only for the smile
but for the glow emanating
from my supposedly knowing soul.

It was March,
and I certain declared
for a future unfearing
with most endearing you
truly unencumbered.

But then April came
and you fell, oh God,
how you fell so so hard
shattering the spine
of your loving soul.

And the March me
withering wandered
through meaningless days
awaiting the waxing moon
to birth a new hope,

leaving trembling me
to endure on masticated memories
that growl desperation
in the deepest hollows
of shallow nights.

need to know

the greying sky denies me
the simplest solace of Sol’s
supremely blueing warmth

is it really so much to ask
that any task I perform now
be held relevant to another?

these hands lumberous lean
over keys that creak in aging
mechanical certainty

tap tap tapping, eyelids
snapping open, hideously
heavy with persistent weariness

but I still see truly you and
there is me clinging to hope
of happiness ever beside you

yet I am tired and so easily
broken now as I bending bow
to the spirit of worldly wonder

I don’t want to go, not yet,
but need quite simply to know
that even still, I do matter

yalanlar (“lies”)

bıraktım nihayet bu işi
uzaktan geldim sana

sonu görünmeyen yolda
kaybolmuş bir adam gibi

vardım, boşlukla dolu
ellerimi uzattım sana

yattın birden bu hasis acınla
hakkımı helal etmeden

kuru sesimle bağırdım
bu ağır sükûtunda sana

evde olsa, sokakta da
vadii hamuşanda dururken

kara kapanmış gözlerimle
bir daha bakıyordum sana

beyaz kefene sarılmış biri var
toprak tarafından kucaklanmış

ama sen değildin
yoksa?

dünyanın ucu uzundur
öyle demedin mi bana?

neden yalan söyledin?
neden?



Lies

I have at last abandoned this affair
and come to you from afar,

like a man who has lost his way
on a path that never seems to end.

I arrived and extended to you
my hands full of emptiness.

With this vile pain, you suddenly reclined
without asking for my blessing.

In a dry voice I shouted
at you in the heavy stillness.

Whether at home or in the streets
stopping in the valley of the silent ones,

with my eyes shrouded
I looked once more at you.

There was one wrapped in a winding sheet
embraced by the earth,

but it was not you…
or was it?

Hadn’t you told me that
the end of the world is long?

Why did you lie to me?
Why?

sweetest memories

Is this really how infernal you
would choose to be remembered—
with the chill shadow of regret
shrouding the hearts of those
you bitterly leave behind?

Make more of this, you fool,
more of you and we who dare
to believe in the you that was
before sorrowing you chose
to admonish the world.

How much better would it be
to bring tenderest smiles
to the lips of loved ones
in your eternal absence,
loving you as they did.

How much better would it be
that they grieve the least
your terrible passing,
than celebrate so much more
their sweetest memories of you.

Infernal fool that I am.

am I home?

broken bones so rootfully bore
down, sifting through coldest soil
seeking, longing for any sign of life

mother? are you here?

how long must a soul dangle
above this perilous precipice
before a hand reaches down

mother? am I home?

when the sky melted again
into azure grey I keening cried
not a why or a when or who, but

can i come home now?

shadows

There are shadows of my life
that haunt me still
regardless of the here and now.

You would know nothing of them,
nor would you wish to
as they have no meaning for you.

But to me they bear indelibly
and for all time
the marks of life and death.

I hide in their portentous darkness
from time to time,
but mostly I cringing fear them.

And yet as they expand within me
I embrace their coldness
even as I walk with the warming sun.

For now.