The woods in autumn rain

Inspired by

Nothing stirs, nothing moves
in the still damp air
green leaves turning
to silent shades of brown
hanging lifeless from
lonely reaching branches
tears dripping down on soft earth
sparkle, then drown
in dark pools of sombre sky
smoke from a distant fire
drifts through the hushed wood
invisible and invasive
as a memory
I stand alone beneath the grieving trees
joined in sadness.

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Dear Uncle

Before you die
I want you to know
that I remember what you did to me
all of it.
The little child you
used up and threw away
soiled and damaged
of no further interest,
and the unhappy teen
that you ridiculed
I understand now that you did that
to try to discredit me
you were afraid of me
afraid that I would tell
afraid that my wildness
meant that you had lost control
you moved your family
far away
you ran
and now I know
I am the one
with all the power
I could take your precious reputation
as the golden boy, everybody’s favourite
and crunch it to dust
under my feet.
I could turn you into an outsider
cast out by your own family
they would turn from you
in disgust
When you die
I will visit your grave
and leave an epitaph
of my own there
and you can spend
all the ages of time
rotting beneath it.

To an unknown man

to-an-unknown-man

I never knew you

but I remember your grave,

black and imposing,

reflecting the moon.

I remember the feel of

the slick black marble

cold against my skin.

I remember the bitter smell

of small dead creatures

hidden in crevices

behind broken stone statues

with angel wings.

I died on your grave

and was resurrected

as a small and insignificant ghost,

unseen.

After long years I returned

and looked down on

your benevolent faded grandeur

I wondered if you remembered me,

that small screaming child,

and if it made you sad

that your grave was a place of terror,

and I realised

that I had never had anything to fear

from the dead.