the colour of our lives

poetry • celebration • faith • nature • humanity • imperfections • glory

Archive for the tag “fear”

then again the acid

CorrodedHandit will return, of course
wheel and all its
moving parts securely
attached to its blue frame.
then, again, the acid
in the air
pocks the chain with rust and
in a rush of bile
Neverman’s bicycle blows
mojo and lightness dragged
into viscous singularity

image from


jerked from sleep by a loud name – his – urgent
stumble down the hall, into her room.
– Dad, I had a nightmare, and he lifts the weight
of her growing body into a hug.
– Want me to sleep next to you, in the spare
bed? – Yeah. – Let’s go to the toilet first. – OK.
Carry her down the hall, and back, still sleepy,
– Want to tell me what the dream was? – Yes.
And there are good and bad lands; white-striped,
face-painted warriors milling on the far shore.
Mum is there too, defending. The narrow water
between good and evil is leapt, breached, and
none of it makes sense in a narrative way…
– Thanks for telling me … we’re going to go to
sleep now. Love you. –  Mmm.
A single rustling turn; breathing, regular, quiet.
Nothing, then a bronze-shelled insect, closer,
along a vertical wall, closer in the pale tungsten
light, and he is awake again, facing his own


Garments rent. Nakedness. A
trivial strain; armour dissolves.
Swollen throat forces downward,
heartward; respawns loneliness’s
bitter winter ache; bleak,
stupefying, coercive; thrusting
bluntly back within. Anaesthesia
fades into strike of grief, face
wets with tears, eyes, blinking
salt, the last real drink running
into the corners of the mouth, at
once mocking and sustaining.
Here, we must linger, must hold
on, straining for comfort and
light, fearing, denying that when
this ends, nothing remains but
soul and self, glorious, pathetic.



fishbonesubsonic growl births stomach-
pit anxieties, b-grade parasitic alien
insectoids pierce and possess in
the ear-splitting dark; slow-witted
evil twists, chestnut-spined, in half-

chestnutdreamed delirium, panic-morninged
insomnia caresses loneliness’s jealous
grasp, clawed, feathered, skeletal
fingers, hopesuckers, pirates and
murderers of faith’s high seas

This year on the feast of the resurrection

This year on the
feast of the resurrection
he makes a plan;
a slow extraction from the
godless halls of the beautiful minds;
a deliberate but passionate
advance towards a life
plucking lost souls from fires, or
nudging the stale and disillusioned
towards Easter’s light.

A rush of terrifying joy;
a choke of unshed tears;
a suspicion of catching
the whisper of divine breath,
join a hope of moving
ever closer to the heart
of things



Somewhere between the extremes
of public nakedness in shame-filled dreams
and the occasional
middle-class angst of over-possessiveness
lies a balanced freedom;
for the man in mid-life who, on a
narcissistic whim, starts wearing
an earring again, losing it all except the
accidental contents of his car – wife,
daughter, guitar, a full tank and we’re off
on the apocalyptic road, into a timid new
world depopulated by rapture, plague,
or war, from which
mercifully, we have been spared,
for now. The same man, this time
wearing a domestic, pragmatic hat, steps towards
nakedness paradoxically;
radically, but more subtly; by plunging,
ego-first, into eternity, full
of the fear of subsumption



a work in progress
my fear of knives is as reasonably based as my mistrust of God or man

Holding the shining culinary blade
gingerly, avoiding
the imaginary, painless first slice of skin,
muscle, sinew;
the decelerating scoring of bone
stopping everything like
a conversational slap or faux pas.
my anxiously foreseen hazard
redoubles with flooding panic;
dropped steel’s honed edge
cartwheels, a gravity-powered dervish,
past lower body parts
with the merest of margins. I do not
know what to say or do
in such a situation.
Blood wells; drips warm in thickening
flows from dissected flesh; elsewhere,
it pounds in adrenaline-spiked vessels,
louder than insistent self-denigration,
clearer than an imagined sneer


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