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
feverish
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
unheeded
In the jaded present
in which we are unknowingly
dying to be
unplugged
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
narcissistic
anti-social trade
In the space between
where the hammer strikes the bullet
the final throws
of a moment unborn
fizzles away
unheeded.

JP Collins

A poem #94 – Another winter

The clang of bottles being thrown
out in the back bar,
shattering the illusion of the moment,
lifting our eyes from the page.
The performance fades
and we are reduced to men and women only
sitting in the din of a crowded room, yet miles apart,
staring at a stage.
The performer, considered an artist
for a brief moment, until
in this humble awakening
the content of the songs become less
about the stories that drive them
and more about the complacency of our motions.
Repeating the “repertoire”
time and time and time again.
Proceeded each time by lessening quotients:
The inescapable clarity
of an ugly situation.
How dulled we have become with age.
The wallowing sage.
Yet, the stink of unconsciousness
still emanating from this woman
of uncooked mince
sitting to my left.
Plump as the sausage
pressing against its skin.
We are bursting to begin
a new nothing.
In the moment that
Wisconsin and Penn flipped their vote
We lost cabin pressure,
softening ghosts
as the tanner strikes the leather.
Feeling the sting
like the fix
from the needle scratching
to find the vein,
feverish and disorientated
about what this all means,
but knowing its volition
is to be a slow and deathly pain.
Stories spun endlessly
into rigmarole
until the term Brexit sounds
akin to those jokers
disparaging the mc’s word
singing “brap, brap”
round and around.
There is no thought,
there is no sound.
No feeling can ever be made of it,
where no sense is found.
A toast, maybe,
to the thickening sap
that fills our lungs:
the cripple in our lap.
To all songs unsung
about a willingness to leave
this place in which
we are no longer fit to breathe.
In my mind, reeling
and repeating
that it is farce.
It must be farce.
Convincing myself
as others have convinced us,
blindly, at the last
it is just another winter,
it will pass,
it will pass,
it will pass.

JP Collins