Loving Foundation

I promised your love
an offering to myself
which you said was true

I feasted my soul
on that loving foundation
safe against tremors

Secure in my gift
I felt no fear in your doubt
I saw only security

And so I built on
extending towers of self
with us at their core

And as the earth shook
I refused to see downfall
tied to falling spires

Though the rocks did shake
stones fell, towers collapsed
I sat still, serene

That love, once gifted
still held, immovable
for you could not lie

Even as limbs broke
and as dust obscured sight
I swore I could see

As collapse echoed
and silence fell on my mind
I swore I could hear

As rocks scoured skin
and my nerves became numb
I swore I could feel

And only once dead
lost in the rubble of life
did I know the truth

I was forgotten
with your love you had long fled
leaving an empty heart

My foundation decayed
my tower a fool’s triumph
a folly to love

So with fading time
I found only my own self
muted and destroyed

But even by then
I took nothing back from you
for my love is yours

For more from me you can check out my collection No Cure for Shell Shock – available in paperback and digital formats. Or you can try any of my other work here – variously available as ebooks or paperbacks. 

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Decaying Idea

Funeral

The eulogies were beautiful. Weeping and barely controlled mourners outlined a saintly life, the sort which only ever really existed post-mortem and whose loss devastated individuals and diminished all else.

Tyrone struggled to look on passively. This day belonged to grief, to sorrow. The anger he felt had no place there. Not that that did anything to ameleorate it of course, if anything the struggle to surpress his reaction heightened the feeling that demanded it. A price to be paid though, not a high one either given the costs already incurred by the person that body in the ground had been.

He knew why they’d invited him of course. Duty. They felt a duty to let him know about the funeral, he’d felt a duty to attend it. In the small talk surrounding the event they’d all been aware of their ignorance as to what more could be expected from the experience. He’d been tempted to cry to break the awkward silences. Not for himself, but for them, to give them some hint that their sorrow was his too. The lie of it would have hurt him more than it comforted them though, or so he told himself, not bothering to question his own selfishness.

In truth he knew he’d never cry for the dead man. How could he? In life they’d hardly known each other, the finality of the grave didn’t alter that fact even if he’d wondered before coming whether it might.

The dead man was his father. A technical label more than anything else. In life they’d had no relationship except perhaps for a distant awareness edged with ill defined and vague feelings. A pattern both men had been seemingly content to let endure. Death, though, had issued it’s own demands. Hollow labels had been reasserted as biological fact, ceremonies of grief had laid out patterns expected not just by society but also by the individuals who felt themselves beholden to it.

Beside him a woman let out a tear fuelled yelp. Tyrone felt himself visibly tense up. She had loved the dead man, that much was obvious although he didn’t know her connection to him. His first thought was to comfort her, a human thought, a natural one, but following it came the truth of uncomfortable apathy. In the sea of grief here he was the only one not drowning, to offer her a shoulder to cry on would be a lie in itself and if she didn’t notice it he certainly would. So he ignored her, half watching as a flock of friends and relatives swarmed over, tears in their own eyes and sorrow obvious on every face. Tyrone stepped back, clearing ground for the grieving. With awkward looks they both condemned him and showed a painful awareness of his reasons for holding back, not willing to sympathise but not quite ready to condemn either.

Later on Tyrone cried. Alone and hunched over a bottle he shed the tears which he knew would have been an unintended lie to any observer. Still, he knew the honesty of them, in solitude he could accept that the tears were his own and not the work of real sorrow delivered by death. That body in the grave was just that and no more, inert matter left to fade away beneath the turf. A tragedy for those who saw more, but nothing to him. He wept for his own loss, something separate from the rest, the departure of something far more simple than flesh and blood. He cried for an idea, a hope that was now interred six feet under. The idea of a paternal love never known and now never to be known.

For an instant he hated the mourners he’d ignored. Detested their hold on the dead, their existence as a barrier between himself and what might have been if their own grief hadn’t screamed so loudly over his repressed sorrows. But how could he resent such feeling? In life the dead man had never won such disdain from him, to let him send waves of it out in death would be a needless defeat. No, his loss was of something that had never existed, a man that never was, an idea that had no right to spawn living reticence.

Still he cried. The idea deserved that much if nothing else.

For more from me you can check out my collection No Cure for Shell Shock – available in paperback and digital formats. Or you can try any of my other work here – variously available as ebooks or paperbacks. 

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I Wrote

I was not alive
until I wrote my own birth
to start writing death

I was not yet dead
until the pen left the page
and I found silence

If nature made me
then I will remake nature
and claim my new birth

I grew to fill pages
and shrunk to become a word
yet never changed

I learnt cruel freedom
and loving cages barred
all fearful, unknown

I drew my own map
devoid of directions home
but all seen was mine

When I returned
the ink was stained to nothing
and I found no path

I found a new page
still blank and all unmarked
but I had no more

Confronted with space
I wept deleting tears
and lost even hope

I prayed and hoped
for new words you would bestow
but we both lost faith

We had no story
but in time we told ourselves
a new type of tale

For more from me you can check out my collection No Cure for Shell Shock – available in paperback and digital formats. Or you can try any of my other work here – variously available as ebooks or paperbacks. 

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Leaving on a jet plane…

… don’t know when I’ll be back again. And so on.

This Sunday I’m off to Nepal for three months, probably. Maybe for longer, or maybe travelling on to somewhere else, or maybe dashing back as soon as I can. Who can say?

Anyway, this trip is a mix between straight forward holiday – because I want one – working trip, because I have a crap load of half finished stories that need writing and pilgrimage to see some big mountains, because I love big mountains. Not walking up them mind, just being in their vicinity and staring at them. Something a city like London always denies you, the chance to see a horizon which isn’t man made, a horizon which is completely indifferent to the human condition and the day to day experience of it. Very liberating, I think, although it’s been a long time since I saw anything that wasn’t just more walls and buildings.

As I mentioned I will, hopefully, be writing a lot as I go. Not about Nepal particularly, unless I can find something worth saying about it, but about everything else. I’ll post here as and when I can, either new work or just updates on my journey and by the time I get back I should have a lot of new stuff to share.

While I’m out there I should also be able to unveil a new project I’ve been involved in which is currently in its final stages. A short film based on one of my stories. I’ve seen the current edit and it’s worth looking forward to but as it’s currently being polished off and submitted to festivals I can’t share it quite yet. Either way, one to keep an eye out for.

Anyway, expect more when I’ve skipped the concrete cave of London and jetted off to Kathmandu, like cool cats do.

Cheers,

Dylan

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Be Fucked

Be fucked and wander on mate
your future isn’t near
your past is grey and dying
for your present no one cares

They said that you’re important
the focus of the world
but the image that they’re selling
isn’t anyone’s but theirs

So be fucked and wander on mate
though it gets no better there
at least you’ll have the feeling
that at last someone might care

For more from me you can check out my novel Crashed America – available in paperback and digital formats. Or you can try any of my other work here – variously available as ebooks or paperbacks. 

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