Kiss your chains

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Commotion through my heart.

I moved into her room.

Taking a straight line
though sideways seemed best.

(Sometimes you have to make do.)

 

She was ready.

 

And, afterwards, said:

“Kiss your chains!
Before you go back home.

Kiss them, honey!

 

OK.

Stand up, now.”

 

 

By then
I really
wanted
a cuddle.

 

 

But sometimes

 

you have

to make do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

(The above piece dates from when I was 20 years old.)

 

I’m too ill for writing poetry, lately.
My brain affected by a virus.
Into the fourth weekend, and it’s still continuing.

Luckily the fever and headache abated.
Though depression increased.

I resisted a break from blogging, which might have been sensible.
These Sunday posts form a chance to connect with readers, that I don’t want to lose.
With a small following, I fear being forgotten altogether, during any absence.

My anxiety about running out of food eased.
Finding empty shelves now partially refilled, in local shops.
(I could not buy preferred choices, but there were, at least, alternatives.)

 

The best thing about the last fortnight was spending more time on WordPress.

I discovered many interesting blogs.
Plus enjoyed interacting with various writers, poets, photographers, and artists.

 

Hope everybody is well?

 

Have you been online for longer than usual?

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!

 

Thank you
for reading.

 

 

 

(Art on the blog is mine.)

 


 

( anxiety / art / beauty / blog / blogging / depression / life / mental health / poem / poems / poetry / reading / relationships / writing )

Unvisited

 

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They were wrong.

All those who claimed
that love would
seek me out
in time.

I lived no bright lit moments.

No great days.

 

She went unfound.
The longed-for one.

 

I searched on.
Though with
shrinking hope.

Through painful years
while ill.

 

Now old
I’d best
just shun desires.

Or lock them from
my heart.

Then sit here
quiet.

Resigned
at such
familiar
emptiness.

 

This place
I rent.

Unvisited
for over two decades.

 

 

 

It’s getting late.

I need to sleep:

So reach, and close
the blinds.

 

Once truth recedes
perhaps
I’ll gain

companionship

 

in dreams.

 

 

 

 

 


 


 

 

Update

Following an internal haemorrhage (melaena) in January:
I surmounted anxiety, and arranged a gastroscopy.

After my refusing sedation, hospital nurses warned me patients retch when the long tube (containing a camera) is pushed down their throat.
But I surprised them, by enduring the whole procedure silently.

(It feels nice, as a sad old poet, to occasionally master ones oversensitivity.)

Fasting (18 hours without food) made things tougher.
Yet going six hours on zero liquids was worse.

Anyway, I’m glad that’s done, now.  🙂

 

Comments are always VERY welcome!  🙏

Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 


( anxiety / art / blog / depression / life / love / mental health / poem / poems / poetry / reading / relationships / thoughts / writing )

The Aunt I never had

 

2

 

 

Thinking of her

(now
the family’s dead).

A little girl
I never knew
who would have been my Aunt.

 

Grandparents didn’t discuss this.
The pain remained too deep.

A daughter taken
by diptheria.
Aged just five.

When fearful poverty
delayed their seeking help
until a crisis stage.

Then doctor’s fees were paid in vain.

They blamed themselves
for hesitance.

Though not much could be done
to treat such germs
in 1929.

 

Next I recall
as a teen
discovering
Granny’s cupboard hid
(below stacked papers)
one fragile yellowed page.

On which a childish hand
had practiced ways to write
and sign
“Kathleen KATHLEEN
Kathleen“.

 

But the fragment later
became lost.
I don’t know how
or why.

Today our world
contains no trace
of her.
Except
a birth certificate.

 

Yet, sitting here
I brood alone.

Still wishing we had met.

Or that some photograph
survived.

And ponder if
those eyes were
brown
(like mine)?

 

 

At least these lines
revive her name.

The only thing
my art can save.

 

From cold

oblivion’s

grasp.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Kathleen Webber  1924-1929.

 


 

 

Hi all!

Some of our ancestors believed the dead prefer we continue speaking of them.
I had that in mind when writing this.

My own name could soon disappear, once I stop blogging.
(Being last of the family line. With no-one left to mention it.)

My grandparents were very poor. They went in fear of debt. Before state welfare.

Coincidentally, I also live on the same street my grandfather arrived at, over a century ago. After he fled the coal mines of his homeland, aged 14.

So I may end my life on the exact spot our (local) family history began.

Though, as remnant.
A lone, forgotten, man.

 

Please let me know if you think the piece works?

Comments are always VERY welcome!

 

Thank you for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / mental health / photography / poem / poetry / reading / relationships / thoughts / writing )

Losing my uncle

 

12

 

 

A phone rang through my dream.

I woke to darkness, hearing sound persist.
Reached the living room too late.

No message. Number unknown.

Who’d call at one a.m.?

I fell asleep, again.

By dawn, a recording has turned up, after all.
My uncle is in hospital.

 

I arrive on the ward. A nurse asks our relationship.
“Nephew: next of kin.”
“He’s been telling us what a lovely person you are,” she says.
“Must be taking strong meds!” I almost quip; but,
unsure humour is appropriate, only emit a subdued
“Really?”

 

Ray halts eating dinner. Complains about stress.
“Finish your meal,” I say, “I’ll go and have a word.”

Staff wheel his bed to a single room, I’d noticed.

“Wow! This is more like a hotel. Own lavatory. Lots of space.
How did you manage it?” he exclaims, delightedly.

Being intense in his enthusiasms, future visitors would endure
loud praise of my resourcefulness.

I imagined their eyes glazing over.

 

 

Discharge dates revised, his stay extended toward seven weeks.

One evening, as I readied to depart, Ray’s face changed.
Looking oddly young and vulnerable.
A small, unfamiliar-sounding, voice implored:
“You won’t forget me, will you?”
“Of course not,” I answered, tenderly.
His hand, that had clutched mine, relaxed.

A strange impression rose, of having glimpsed some inner child.

 

A few days later, gripped by an abrupt urge to visit, I suddenly stopped.
And found myself talking softly, as if he could hear me.

“Ray, I don’t want you suffering any more. I know you have to leave, soon.
There’s no need to hold on, just for me.”

Ten minutes passed.
The phone rang.

A matron from the Cardiac unit says Ray has died.

“When did it happen?”
“Ten minutes ago. He quietly slipped away.”

 

Blue curtains surround the bed.
Behind them a nurse declares,
“I’m going to give you a nice wash, Raymond. Is that OK?”

I felt briefly disconcerted.

“Excuse me!”
She peeks out.
“I’m Ray’s next of kin.”
She allows me private moments.

I kiss his cold forehead, one last time.

“So sorry not to get here sooner for you, mate. Late as usual. Hate to say goodbye.”

I lift his lifeless hand.
Then place it, carefully, back upon the blanket.

 

I walk down shiny corridors.
With Ray’s belongings stuffed in carrier bags.

Trudge out, to chill November air.
Squinting at car headlights, amid bustle and noise.

Irredeemably alone.
In a city full of people I don’t know.

 

 

6

 

 

I had four weeks to clear his flat.

“Here I am again, Ray!” I say, stepping inside.
Light fell on his favourite chair.
I half expect to find him sitting there.
Everything is as it was.
Yet he is gone.

I kiss the spot his head would rest.
It has no scent.

 

Before obtaining a death certificate, I detour.
Along St Thomas Street, where he was born.
This day’s for him.
I brush each post and wall with fingertips.
The road’s deserted. No one sees.

I am hallowing the ground.

 

As I exit the register office, rain begins.
Seeking shelter in a covered market, I scan local papers.
“Day of the dead,” their headline reads.

Ray sought coincidences. I cannot show him these.

 

Back home, my mind replays our conversations, on the ward.

“You’d hold my hand all the way to the shops,” he said,
“and talk to everyone. Full of life. A joy to be around.”

“I thought I’d always been depressed?”
“Not til your teens. Once you gave up art.”

I asked his earliest memory of me.
“I came in from work, and there you were.
A baby. Lying, peacefully, on the sofa.
It was love at first sight.”

 

Thus, hand in hand, we neared the end
of our long togetherness.
As he moved beyond my grasp.

 

(Meanwhile, I could now anticipate
a bleak decease
without shared family stories.
No bedside visitors.
Nor human touch.
Or child.

Having failed to win a woman’s heart.

An experience for others.
Never mine.)

 

Next, recalling when
he’d gazed into the distance,
sighed, and said,
“I wish you’d been my son”.

At which
we both fell silent.

Ray, who often talked profusely
lay, just staring upward.

 

Here the silence seemed
quite beautiful to me.
I didn’t want to break it.

Then Ray gave my hand a gentle squeeze.

 

And this is how
I’ve chosen

to remember him.

 

 

 


 

stonehenge-1

 

R.C.H. Webber (1923-2017)

 

 

 

 


 

 

Hi everyone!

I’m blogging the above work to mark the second anniversary of my uncle’s death,
this week.

Apologies for writing an unusually long post.

Comments are always VERY welcome!

(Especially on such a personal piece.)

 

Thank you all for reading.

 


( anxiety / art / blog / blogging / depression / life / love / mental health / photography / poetry / reading / relationships / writing )

 

Nympho Nazi?

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      Please do not read if easily offended!


 

 

Recognising my desperation, the guys at chess club suggested dating sites. 

Joking of one they called “Smelling of fish”.

(I discovered its real name, later.)

 

Being a pessimist, I was doubtful about joining.
But still signed up.

 

Sole success came in the form of an improbable beauty.

Her profile picture drew me.
I’d always adored blondes.
Incurably.
Hopelessly.

“Far too young. Way out of your league,” my inner voice judged.
Then I read she sought “Hot times, with older men.”

Hmm?

 

After messaging her, surprisingly, I soon received a contact number.

Our initial conversation followed an unexpected course.

“Hi Magda.”
“Hi Ken.”
“The bio says you’re pansexual.”
“Yes.”
“Can I ask a related question?”
“Ooh, go on.”
“Is there a role you especially enjoy?”

“Nazi slut.”
“Meaning?”
“SS uniforms. And cock!”

 

“I noticed your rune-shaped earrings.”
“Very good. Did you also fancy pounding me with your hammer of Thor?”

“I planned on going for a meal, first.”
“Sounds rather lame, Ken. The only thing I want to watch you eat, is me.”
“Hey! I could be vegan.”
“No need to play innocent. I’m a dirty girl.”
“Dirty?”
“Yes: I swallow. And I take it front and back.”

“I shall bear that in mind.”

“You’re a funny guy. Which is why I gave you my number.”
“It’s easy for me. If I need a laugh I just stand before the mirror.”
“Aw! You look quite distinguished, with your grey hair.”

“I’m starting to like you already,” I said.

 

“We live in the same city, Ken. Are you free tonight?”

 

 

My penis urged my brain to drop its qualms.

I paused.
Remembering the last sixteen, lovelorn, years.
Five thousand four hundred days:
yearning for a woman.

Unending physical loneliness.
So intense, it felt as if I wore my own touch deprivation,
in an unseen suit of aching body armour.

Why reject this unique chance to gain relief?

 

Magda was pleasant enough, allowing for her provocative style.
Might she be giving me a kind of female “test”?
I’d surely often failed those, in the past?

 

Would I ever get such an opportunity again?

 

 

 

“You’ve gone all quiet on me,” she said, softly.
“Sorry, Magda. I got distracted.”

“Can you make it, tonight?”
“Umm…”

“I have some videos, to get you in the mood.”
“That may not be necessary.”

“Are you coming, then?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Guess you’ve talked me into it”

I heard myself say.

 

 

 

 

 


 

(2011)

 


 

Hi everyone!

 

This is almost the last of my old prose.

I was anxious over how much to self-censor?
While reluctant about excluding such work altogether
(as I’m blogging all types of past writing, not just musings and poetry).

 

Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

 

Comments are always very VERY welcome!

 

Thank you for reading.

 

 


( art / beauty / blog / blogging / fiction / humor / love / mental health / reading / relationships / sex / story / writing )

Overstressed

Konica12856

 

 

   Lostness    ( 104 )

 

 

Progress came from failure

Given drive to
move ahead without
good looks or lucky breaks.

And when success occurs we
might be chosen as
a mate (which boosted
any hope of spreading genes).

But some, like me, were never
fully in the game.
Once losing health so young
most chances quickly passed.

What made things worse:
an artist’s eye
craved beauties who did not
feel drawn its way.

Picturing those excluding touch
desire exceeded reach.
Such isolated vision found
no point for compromise.

 

I mused about biology.
Then prejudice
fate, karma.

Maybe one could help
dilute the blame?

Perhaps frustration overstressed
relationships?

Can a single human meet our needs?

 

( Would even gods do that?

They seem content to give mankind
the silent treatment, now.

Where evil gains free rein
non-intervention shades toward
abandonment.

Yet still a few who fume
impatiently at
traffic lights slow change
speak unperturbed in waiting out
millennia for
deities.
Minus likely dates of their
return.)

 

 

These days
left here
being ill

I craft reflections
from despond.

Or strive to dredge up
decent lines.

 

While laid

alone

with only
writing.

 

Since
I can’t
quite get

a life.

 

 

 

 

(2011)

 


 

( Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it?

Comments are very welcome!

I have been on the point of giving up for many months, due to illness, but your likes and comments make me push on through the pain, each time.

Next weeks post will mark my second blogiversary…

Thank you for reading! )

 


 

( anxiety / art / beauty / depression / drawing / ideas / life / lostness / mental health / poem / poetry / relationships / thoughts )

 

 

 

Unglimpsed destiny

 

scan 26

 

 

Lostness   (100)

 

 

An aged image casts a lure

as my gaze meets
once sighted eyes
past living.

What reflections might be heard
if these long silent lips could
regain speech?

 

In fading prints
of monochrome
I look upon them still:
Victorian and Edwardian days.
Quite close to ours
they feel.

 

When browsing books of photographs
collecting vintage scenes
where bustling city streets show
people stressed or hurried
chasing after needs which
seemed so vital then
but did not leave a trace.

Like those faces briefly
turned aside
forever now
concealed.

 

Around some corner
through old doorways…

They’ve all gone
ahead
before us.

 

Into darkness
well obscured.

Fared forth on
unglimpsed
destinies.

 

 

 

 

(2011)


 

 

 

scan 24

 

 

I was struck by how, from mid 20th century, viewers may know everyone seen in specific dated photographs could not possibly be alive.

Examining such reproductions of reality populated exclusively by the dead, is a fairly recent human experience. Just a few generations old.

 

 

scan 25

 

 

(Portraits used above are the only ones to survive from my grandparent’s youth:

Kathleen Regan (1896-1984) at first communion (1904).

Charles Webber (1900-1971) in uniform (1918).

And with his son (my uncle): Raymond Webber (1923-2017).

I honour and miss them all.)

 

 

While time remaining wanes
I live alone in lostness
as my failure to find love has left
the chain of family
broken.

 

 


 

 

( Comments especially welcome!

Opening the heart feels lonelier met by silence.

Thank you for reading.)

 

 


 

(art / beauty / books / depression / life / lostness / love / mental health / photography / poem / poetry / relationships / thoughts )

 

 

Worshipping beauty

 

 

Konica128516

 

 

 

Lostness   (94)

 

 

Art worships the injustice of beauty.

 

In my case, from afar.

Since any work was summoned forth
through ugliness
which I’ve been forced
lifelong
to endure.

Where much creating
could not faintly compensate
on lacking nature’s charms.

Stuck feeling like some freak
who wears a masking shame
I’d rather hide from
what is loved.

 

Genes have no concept of fairness.
That’s more a cry for those
condemned by disadvantages.

Such I craved to overcome:

escaping my unwanted self
in fantasy utopias

(envisioned glinting their
transcendency
while drifting toward sleep).

 

When young I found
a woman’s spell
also intimidates
revealing an unfitness
thus
fearing my unworthiness
had proved it true.

Inexperience was weakening
subverting brief romance.

Then muscled hunks soon
brushed aside a poet.

 

 

Seeing now
but decades late a
pattern made:
her gaze transfixing
sensing insecurity
once doubt’s erosion showed
before two stark incisive eyes.

The stronger an attraction was
the deeper my unease.

 

 

And so repeated
disappointments
chilled
this wasted heart

which beat
lone time

across these
empty years.

 

 

 

 

(2010)

 


 

( Any art on the blog is mine. I hope you like it. Comments are very welcome!
My audience is quite small, and I love to hear if anyone finds a post worthwhile.
Thank you for reading.)

 


 

 

( anxiety / art / beauty / culture / depression / drawing / lostness / love / mental health / poem / poetry / relationships / thoughts )

 

 

 

 

Nearer purgatory

 

 

Konica12556

 

 

Lostness   (81)

 

 

Being ill is tough
even in a nice place

but to face decline
surrounded
by a cast of fools
rubs salt on wounds.

And for each “neighbour from hell”
are several nearer purgatory

whose favoured noises enter
unwelcome
through thin walls

evoking basic territoriality

plus
learned helplessness

when we see
the first few times
attempts at change
that use persuasion
getting spurned
since none find their own sound too loud
(or they would have already
turned it down, themselves).

After action makes situations worse
spawning new enemies
stress now spirals round
in restlessness.

 

Proximity requires consideration:
once it’s lost
only clumsy instruments
such as law
remain
aiding sides to embrace victimhood
and justify severity.

People fight over almost anything
(though certain theories view social conflict
in one dimension).

I began to fantasise about
estates for introverts
with residents who prefer
a quiet read.

 

Then
standing up
I note
outside
grey spectrum spread
from clouds to concrete

full urban drab

existence giving hints
at realism:
the world too dull
to be a dream.

 

My gloom ferments
these unlit words

 

why seek more beautiful
expression of
this suffering?

 

I just want to not

be feeling it.

 

 

 

 

(2003-2004)

 

 


 

 

(art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it. /   Comments are welcome!)

 

 


 

 

(art / beauty/ blog/ depression/ drawing/ life/ lostness/ mental health/ poem/ poetry/ reading/ relationships/ thoughts)

 

 

Disruptive joy

 

Konica1197

 

 

Lostness   (79)

 

 

I watch a couple walking past.

One face wore the sort of controlled blankness
useful around jealous partners.

It triggers memory…

A woman I once dated
who would abruptly ask:
“You like her, don’t you?”
about another female
barely noticed.

My surprise
before pausing to consider
if attraction could ignite
at this specific instance
may not have been the best response
but reflex denial
seemed less honest.

She later left me, after all.

And so has everybody else.

Hence I search reflections
in my lostness
that attempt to conjure sense
amid futility.

 

Yet any cynical defences
might still get swiftly pierced
from kindness.

Perhaps I should even distrust
the slowly setting concrete of depression
when a simple act
could be enough
to undermine constraint
against responsive feeling.

Recently exampled
where
along some sunlit path
the happy child had spun
behind a mother’s back
and shared discreet expression
of its joy with me
as I fought an urge
which drew a hand
to briefly
land my gentlest pat
(unseen by others)
on the little upturned head.

Thus we parted
trailing smiles.

Though mine soon faded
through more musing

formed across such
rare disruption

to this dismal
constant

called
aloneness.

 

 

 

 

(2001/2003)

 

 


 

 

 

(Art on the blog is mine: I hope you like it.    Comments are welcome!)

 

 

 


 

 

(art/beauty/blog/depression/drawing/life/lostness/mental health/poem/poetry/relationships/thoughts/writing)