New Dark Poem – The Forever Man

The Forever Man

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I knew a man without a name.

He walked the streets of everywhere.

At dawn, at twilight, and later

his soles unpolished pattered on roads,

in alleys,

under eaves rotten with neglect,

beyond gates silver and gold.

He knew my name

but his, I only guessed.

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The people in whose shadow

he trailed

looked upon him in dismay,

the children with wonder,

and the world-weary with aching delight.

The lamps, whose lights fluttered in his passing

told not whether he smiled

or whether his face was many

or only one.

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Everywhere, I saw him.

On ships, walking the prow.

In church, standing silent

as the poor bent a knee beside kings.

Strolling beside farmers’ ploughs.

Waving his pallid fingers

above cribs.

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Everywhere, I saw him.

‘Neath his hat, beaded by rain,

stirred no worldly gaze.

His strides, measured always

to match his chosen ward.

His shoulders, heavy with a timeless suit

made of shadow,

looked the same to me

whether in sunlight

or gilded by the moon.

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One day, I came to him.

Was it a fever I had?

Or exhaustion in my bones?

Or had I struck the first of many nails?

I could not remember.

I spoke to him,

at him

through him.

And he told me,

“Today is not your day.

“Nor tomorrow.

“Look for me no longer.

“And find me later than you expect.”

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J Edward Neill

Find more words here.

New Dystopian Poem – Extinction

Extinction

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Crowning smoke

cloaks the heads of fallen kings.

And there I walk, on silent streets

over broken bridges

through the dark capillaries

of yesteryear’s fall.

With ashes, the towers weep

carpeting black the castle floors.

Their sacrificial fires, a century extinguished

but still they smoke

ever fuming

from glass eyes and stone-toothed mouths.

No one is here, save me.

Were they ever?

Ten grains of burning sand

on the fathomless shore of infinity

was the kingdom of man.

Three ticks of eternity’s clock

did we reign.

All that remains is me

straggling through grey fields

beneath crumbling battlements

crunching forgotten bones

under the last boots I will ever wear.

It was never my place

to ask why

or how.

Nor have I the desire, nor means

to dig answers from the dust

from the sunless sky

from the dwelling crypts of billions

whose laughter has gone.

No one is here, save me.

Were they ever?

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J Edward Neill

More words here

The Window Hours – A Poem

Here, I sit dreaming

by the quiet glass

through which everything has shined

dark and light

gilded sun and hungry shadow

all of them, gifts

strumming the webs of thought

in my tired mind.

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At dawn, I search the panes

for signs of yestereve

for changes in the night

for perhaps the world had broken

as I slept.

But none, are there,

none in the glass

though many in me.

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At dusk, I press my nose

against the highest window

hunting the gloam

for haunts yet to wake

for all things nocturnal

who must surely do the same

and search for me

even as I lie dreaming.

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And at night, ere the witching

I am most alone

scrawling by candle

inking the world’s walls

with things that never were.

It’s then, just then

I wake from long, black halls,

and see my face, the lights in my eyes

the shadow of my cheek

staring back at me from the place beyond my door.

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J Edward Neill

 

Chasing Death – a New Poem

I fear you none.

For though you give chase across time, across ages,

through valleys blackened by pain

and pastures greened with hope,

the labor is solely yours.

You know my name, but yours will go unsaid,

indifferent,

unlooked for

until the moment of leaving, at whose gates I will no longer care.

For though I might gaze across years, across oceans,

toward a horizon whose distance I will know only once,

you cannot touch me until then.

And so I fear you none.

Strip away the leaves of others, take them as you must.

Peel dry the orchard in which I live, whether summer sapling or wintered oak,

whether friend or foe, whether loved or despised.

I care not.

For they are mine forever, and yours but once.

And whence they come to you, wordless and unchangeable,

they are immortal to me.

In spirit indomitable.

In memory indestructible.

So take them. I care not.

Once the forest falls and I am the only one left,

you may cast your shadow upon me.

Victory, you may claim, fleshless, arid, and everlasting.

And you may laugh to see me kneel in the dirt, under grey skies,

under columns of black clouds in which no heaven awaits.

But nameless, I will hold you.

And bittersweet, your conquest.

For the dark line, drawn in the sand at the time of your choosing,

is no loss to me, no more than a whisper in the eon of my soul.

And I shall fear you none.

Whether sharp and sudden or a slow carrion crawl,

my burdens will be shed,

my thousand aches mended,

and sleep again I shall until the ending of all ages.

But you, my friend,

you must toil on.

For whether here or there or a in place yet unnamed,

your work is never done.

 

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J Edward Neill

The Muse – A Poem

Were I a stone in a pale river,

the water would teach me

sculpt me

beguile my bones into shapes

I’d never known.

Were I a cliff, lording over the sea,

the wind would, over patient eons

move upon me,

at times a gale, sharp yet sincere,

at others, carrying the mist softly to my face,

that I might feel things

to which I’d never awakened.

Were I grass, short-lived and thirsty,

but always a friend to the sun

the rain would nourish my roots,

and beneath its clouds, it would remind me

that no day is ever-bright,

but nor is the darkness always my foe.

Were I fire, booming in the hot belly

of the earth untamed,

my release would raze the life from all things

yet in the end,

I would gladly perish,

and all else grow anew.

And were I a maker of words,

quill in hand, burning hearth in place of ordinary heart,

she would smile at me,

and whisper thoughts undreamed into my ear,

that I might wake the next morn beside her,

with always another page,

another tale,

and never a dry spell

for the garden in which we live.

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J Edward Neill

The Riot – A Poem

She lives in the wind

or so the riot tells me.

A golden flame, a pale rapture, an elemental catastrophe,

all of this, and more, the riot will say.

An invisible trail, she leaves,

on the streets we have walked, in our rumbled bed.

But she is never lesser.

Her hours of toil beget mere moments of calm,

for there is no taming her, only the lie thereof.

She walks never straight, but in tangles, in weaves,

and on wild paths only the trees can name.

She lives in the wind

or so I’ll say

from now until the end of everything.

Many will try, and many will dream of her at peace,

only for a moment’s breeze to unravel her.

to take her skyward.

to unleash her.

The riot, she is.

In body, in spirit.

And those who would tame her,

had best beware.

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J Edward Neill

A Dark Poem – Leaving in the Rain

It began the moment I left.

The clouds, black and burgeoned with dark water,

caught me, contained me.

Drums in the sky pounded the only message

my body needed to know.

For all their thunder, my bones shook.

For all their streaming rivers

falling down my fractured panes,

I should have turned back.

Brief, I expected them,

and easily swatted aside.

But the sky told no mistruth,

and the serpentine road, swallowed by the rain,

scrawled into my tired eyes

the lie of leaving.

 A wager, I made with the advancing night.

‘You’ll break with the sun when I return.’

‘And go black again with every retreat.’

And impatient, I threatened.

And railed.

And made war against everything.

Even knowing the deed was mine.

But the rain only laughed.

And the night shrugged at the hidden moon.

Daring that I should do it again.

That I should return, and stride the storm

a thousand times over.


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For more words, go here

 

A Poem at Midnight – Black River

On a black river, I race toward the waning light.

Westward, burning, the smoky clouds breathing their last.

My carriage vibrates on the shallow water,

the wheels wanting to break, but lacking the will.

There are others besides me, but there are none.

I am alone here, but for one.

A dusk-born bat, I see nothing, and feel everything.

Flying, wings biting at the dark, nothing slows me.

Save death.

At the witching hour, to a theme which shakes the world,

I ride.

Sweating. Aching. Hellbent.

At the black river’s end, everything.


More here.

Finding the Words

I’m not a writer. When it comes to writing anything, even an email, I put a tremendous amount of thought behind it before I begin. I’m the same with talking. There is always far more I’m thinking than saying. This is who I am. Don’t be mistaken. I have the ability to talk for hours with friends on a topic I find interesting or one that sparks my passion, but sitting down to write a blog post… I’d rather go back to my drawing or painting. What do I have worth saying to the world? I find it easier to speak through art, or poetry, because in truth I have simple loves in life.

Photograph by Amanda Makepeace

Photograph by Amanda Makepeace

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Satin soft petals reaching toward
the clouds, sway aloft sturdy stalks–
To and fro, to and fro.

They lure me with luscious hues
To places unknown, and
Capture me with Spring incense,
A meadow inside my soul.

Lay me down midst the Aster and Sage,
So I may rest, may dream,
If lucky, live again.

© Amanda Makepeace

A Poem (because I’ve got nothing else)

Wind Chimes

Their notes drift in through the window
Tickling eyelids that refuse to open.
Instead of waking, the melody pulls me
Beyond dreams, a symphony of new beginnings.
I let go my troubles and worries,
Turn away from dark thoughts, those memories
Which haunt my days and loom over my nights.
Away I fly, each clang of the wind chime
Creating an opera in my mind.

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© Amanda Makepeace

NaPoWriMo 2012