A poem #100 – Moon makers (reprise)

Our voices are low in the gas fire light
the orange glow from the three bars
mumbles soft, somber, and slow tonight
The shadows, still, in the corners fall
where flames in passions past
danced high up the walls
We sold our desires by an inch of a candle
and now we are paying over the odds
I wish we had shared all of our truths
while our voices could still speak of god
Now the white maiden dress
browned in the dirt of experience
and washed with the milk of Moon tea
No song no more from that old piano
where the ash from the coal fire
settled on the keys
And on this the passing of the last day of Winter
the birds in her heart will take their final flight
There will be no words to the ear, no note on the night stand
only half a bed and half a man of untold scars
at the break of this last spring’s light
A toast, then, to the good times
and to the hearts that ran so free
we’ll dance to the jaunt of our old bones now
and the bleak and fading mind
that’s welcomed-in the grey of the sea
And when the bed is cold and the gas fire waned
I will look up through the night to see
amongst all the million suns up there
the moon is where you’ll be.

JP Collins


A poem #91 – Strange fruit

They build the balustrade
off the back of all Man’s failings.
Strong enough to hold the rope
and the enormous weight of consequence,
and with your arms by your side
you’ll feel the hemp-woven toll.
The balustrade is always strong enough
to protest your shivering throws.
But if you ever stand up there, be still
you will know in that moment, you have all control.
Real control.

What strange fruit
to be hanging from the stair,
where a selfish act was found, you’ll say,
in the place of a prayer.
You couldn’t see it through the mind’s blindness, but we cared,
All of us cared.
What strange fruit you are
hanging from that stair.

They build that ledge
on the other side of the railing
wide enough only for your heels
and if you stand over that river
with your arms stretched out wide
you’ll feel the water cleanse your soul.
The ledge is always wide enough
but not for your toes.
If you ever have to stand up there, be still,
it will be the only time you ever really take control.
Real control.

What strange fruit
to be bobbing in the water,
where a selfish act drifts away, you’ll say,
no clemency, no quarter.
‘Jump you coward!’ yell the gathering crowd, let loose the mortar.
And where the tide gains a son,
a mother loses a daughter.
What strange fruit you are
bobbing in that water.

JP Collins

A poem #87 – Juniper

I’m not really sure how to feel:
this news, coming so late to my door.
It’s been eight years since they found you,
eight years, and soon to be one more.

We’d take trips to the cinema,
with that bottle you’d treat as a friend.
A cocktail without a dress,
always a means to an end.

Jumping over the wall
to pick flowers from a neighbour’s garden.
Entangled in the juniper bush,
I left you shamelessly, without a pardon.

Looking at your picture now,
it begins to slur and slew.
A single frame turns into a movie of us,
drinking to forget what we knew.

I brushed past the juniper bush
on that road just after the bend,
in a cocktail without a dress
sadly, Juniper’s end.

JP Collins

A Poem #81 – Films about those lovers

She’s making films about those lovers
that she’s lost along the way,
and somewhere in the scenes of fiction
she longs to add my name.
It’s clear when we’re down at the sea
I want to be on the ground –
she, sailing to another island,
where new love can be found.
When she writes those letters
her words seem to burn,
leaving no room here for me
to love or to learn.
My toes now in the water,
I feel her slipping from my hand,
standing on the shoreline,
as she swims away from the land.
Theres nothing more now
but a bobbing head in the swell,
and I return to the land that has trapped me
to die alone on the hill.

JP Collins

A Poem #78 – Goodbyes

Goodbyes are never
as we imagine them to be.
The air thick and still
biting cold against our skin.
As the back is turned on another chapter,
we must set sail for the sea,
but the mind is always with the land,
whence it grieves.
As the pillow comforts
the muzzle of the gun,
we all know the meaning
of what’s soon to come;
the barrel still barks,
the bullet still bites.
But as day is done and dusk has run,
we are still most unprepared for night.

JP Collins

A poem #43 – Death, leave me be

Allow that I take my mind off of you,
for you are the thorn in my side.
You are the shadow over my head,
and the persistent limp in my stride.

We will one day meet for certain,
and you shall then have all of my time.
So be gone for the moment and leave me be,
as my life should be only mine.

Allow my mind to stray
away from the insufferable truth,
that when you do come calling at my door,
I will come freely, albeit aloof.

JP Collins