A poem #96 – Pound of flesh

From within the din of vagueness,
I will give it to you straight.
The change has long been underway
and we have all arrived too late.
The time to double down your chips
has gone,
along with our hope
our sense, our calm.
We did not inherit the earth
but instead shape it only with our pains
to hold it in our hands as clay
and disgrace it
for our gains.
Our cloying platitudes
cover a sea of discontent
drowning the balance of nature
that which Time will long lament.
You may have your pound of flesh
you may have it, blood and bone and all
and in the moonlight naked
all of us: accountable.

JP Collins


A poem #95 – The Space Between

The unfinished crossword
a catalogue of people
lost for words
concerned only
with flicking forward
to find the answers
Only to behold
in underlined bold
that their actions
have no reaction:
no hope
no vantage
In the space between
where the hammer strikes the bullet
the beginning
of a moment spins
In the jaded present
in which we are unknowingly
dying to be
Woven deeper
into the itching fibre
of the noose:
the un-scratch-able truth
Tugging at the cord
to pull the drapes
from the wall
A mounted plaque
under a stale tube light
addresses the Fool
‘All must die
and you are here
wasting away
every moment
of your life.’
To which a camera phone is raised
and a selfie made
and shared among the world
in a shameless
anti-social trade
In the space between
where the hammer strikes the bullet
the final throws
of a moment unborn
fizzles away

JP Collins

A Poem #77 – This thing, Life

What is this this thing, Life?
This synchronous rhythm, existing only in mind?
This skin made of stardust pulled from the voids of space?
This feeling of a moment by which you are defined?
This beat of a muscle whose manner of starting is still unexplained?
The small hours of a morning where Hope welcomes the new day?
That sensation of beauty and warmth as butterflies flutter by?
A thing of woven experiences, dreams and aspirations – the net of stars over the night sky?
Some bad men now with bad bones and bad minds,
go about unquestioning, unconscious, ignorant and wry.
And what of the Angels, who recognise that the upholding of this unreality
mars the pretence of time.
Thus, we question this thing, life,
this feeling, this glint in one’s eye.
Is it a freight train, perhaps, unstably laden, hurtling down the line?
Its final stop a place called Death, which exists only in mind.

JP Collins