Numb

I am untouched by death, it seems
My brow so cool, and arid eye
No flicker at the suicide scenes
Of friend that waited, soon to die

And hastened with impatient crime
To strike a blow and choose his time.

Not I, the sobbing, shrieking wreck
That tears their clothes and hair to match
The inner maelstrom kept in check
You’d scarcely hear my voice – the catch

Unnoticed by my colleague’s grin
Unless I choose to let them in.

At reading of another act
Of violence in public space
It is not terror strikes my heart
I cannot lie to save my face

Though all around are tearing fast
I’m calm and cool – it brushes past.

On hearing tales of chemicals
That kill en-masse, so far away
Of sniping shooters winging girls
Who want to go to school today

The sum of Arab Springs and Falls
Cannot unbuild emotive walls.

I’ve known it worse, or so we say
Explosions and effects galore
I saw a film, but yesterday
I can’t be feeling any more

Of Realism, High-def blow
Paid for my ticket, saw the show.

Though broadcast pictures fill the News
I’ve seen too many other views
In my short life to be amused
By one more shot of life, abused

While Western minds are overfed
On what we’re sold, and so, misled.

What heartstrings I have left to tug
Beside ideas I fondly kept
Lie buried underneath the rug
Old fashioned views, soft-celled, inept

Far too naive to hold so late
Beyond their expiration date.

Nauseous with nostalgia

Why on earth is it that even years after the event, I still cannot let you go?  Your lopsided smile and ugly, grinning, gurning face plague me from hour to hour.  I cannot sit in a room without smiling at some returning memory, and as warmth returns to my frozen heart, I take stock.  Weighing all of my options carefully, I balance from foot to foot, leaning this way, then that.  I am a pendulum, wavering, uncertain whether or whither to swing.  I am a clock, stopped still the day you left me, and only now beginning to find my rhythm once more.  As the shallow tick-tock of life creeps up my spine and tickles my veins into action, so the thaw begins.  I must be wary, lest my wintry organs melt to a spring flood of love, and I, swept along by my own strong current, am drowned by it.  Suffocated, helpless.  A fisher, tangled and caught in my own nets and snared by traps of my own devising, struggling to break free.  Wary indeed.  As my love for you had become a mantra – words of comfort to be spoken before sleep and upon waking; My ‘I love you’s with their reedy echo in the damp morning air, somehow growing to a rope with which to hang myself – and swing I did, groaning in pain and tormenting myself minutely with your voice, your face, your scorn, derision, pity.  Tearing myself down, piece by piece, until I had ceased to be.  Where once I stood, proud and strong, shining brightly for all to see – lay a stone.  My rougher edges smoothed to a bland pebble.  My glittering core dulled by your swell and smashed on rocks of my own choosing.  Broken and without pattern, without hope of re-making, mending, rebirth.  I lie here, and I am troubled.  That I still harbour feelings for you does not pain me or even shame me to action.  Nothing I could do to myself or to others could change that fact.  That these feelings grow stronger despite our mutual distance frightens and excites me.  I thought I had no more tears, and now I often don’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I can feel again.  What I thought had to have gone forever has returned to me.  Now I find myself at a crossroads with a choice.  Do I go onward?  Or do I turn back?