A final vocabulary

That year I gave up
on mastering the dictionary
between advocate and avocado,
I like to think,
but it took a few letters longer
for the infinite to sour.

Always was missing
and always was departing.
The pendulum could not merely
swing across the chasm
when some grander jump
would take us whole across.

It seems we return again
to simple comforts and pleasures,
the melodies of before,
forsaking more for less,
content that it takes a glance
only to trust who we are.


Walking dreams

I’ve been scrambling the thesaurus for its tangerine clouds,
trying to whip solutions from the dust into truth.

Instead a mess of stars and gusts send hinges daywards
while all answers adhere to the flanks of trailing ships.

And all nouns collect behind the frowning ether
furnishing the shadowed rooms, dreary with their suggestions.

Sitting here, watching and scouring the silence,
the days keep slipping their skins, becoming new words.

22 Lines, Darkly

Like scratching a lottery ticket,
This one has a blackened coating
To be whittled away without
The guarantee of a prize.

Watch its flakes drift away,
Rubbing produces little
Besides graying threads of doubt,
More the smell of mystery,

Your need to uncover toying thoughts
That encore on days magnified
By other lives for stepping into
A stranger’s wallpapered mind,

Tour how they became where they are going.
Keep stripping it away to no avail
As you must colour the gaps, intuit and
Restore words glazed over,

Savaged darkly by their maker
When a half-shared confession
Or something less
Appeared like an open mouth

In that pause between relief and regret,
Something less than both, chose neither.

– 22 March 2015

Before speaking (19 December)

They are just words,
Just people.
This is just a fleeting moment,
One of many
That mark our lives –
We will remember them
Only in the shades
Of memory’s pale fire.

So live in today’s quick-passing minutes.
Just be yourself:
They are your people,
All they want is to hear,
To smile.

So smile, too.
After all, it is just
Lexemes, sentences.
(And spoken language vanishes
In time’s waters):

They are just words.

This was composed for a friend today, on a special occasion. Congratulations! I’m leaving it exactly as it was written, with no editing. Because they are just words. But oh, what are we without words? What would we be?
(Also, a hat-tip to Mr Nabokov for a few particular borrowed words.)