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A Nightmare

Darkness.
Pure black darkness.
A complete absence of light.
An incomplete silence.
Something
Is moving.
I can hear a smoothing sound
Like a hand sliding along a wall.
I can see
Nothing.
The sound surrounds me now
Seems near and far at once.
Is it in me?
Is the sound from within me?
I am warm.
Sweat trickles from my armpit
Runs down my neck,
A tickle, uncomfortable,
Making my skin quiver.
Am I naked?
I push my foot forward,
Sliding along, not stepping
Not knowing where I am
What is around me.
I reach forward, both hands,
Carefully,
Extended fingers grasping
For something
Finding nothing
That I want to find.
There is a smell,
Sweet, strong,
Disgusting.
I can almost taste it.
My mouth dries
I swallow nothing.
I feel the flesh on my back
Crawling like a living thing.
I move forward again.
There is nothing in the air.
Just that sibilance,
That sliding, slithering shush.
Is it me?
Then the slithering stops.
There is no sound.
Pure silence.
And then the darkness
Reaches out
And touches me.

We Are Become A Horde

We are become a horde.
We are too many.
We are demons,
Legion,
A curse on this planet.
This world cannot sustain
The weight of us.
Nothing can withstand us.
Our sheer numbers
Overwhelm everything, everywhere.
All are crushed by our feet,
Sixteen billion soles,
Trampling over all the world
And all that’s in it.
Nothing stands in our way.
We cannot even stop
Ourselves.
We are the problem.
We know it’s us,
But none of us,
Not one of us,
Knows how to stop our seed
From being spread
Like pernicious weeds
That choke all things to death.
The holy men
Since ancient times
Have urged us all
To make more of ourselves.
A dirty trick.
Make more of us
Than heathen men
Whoever they may be
And we will win
Through weight of numbers
And god will let you in.
The heathen men
Heard much the same,
And the human race
Began.
We need to make not more but less
We ought to pray for doom.
Come friendly germs
And fall on us
Please let it happen soon.
It won’t.
We won’t stop.
We’ll leave it to some other,
Or put it off,
Leave it to the future,
To wheneverland.
Like Neverland, a fiction.
The eco-warriors
Fight the good fight
But it’s a war they cannot win
The only solution
Is utter destruction
Of all our kith and kin.
I give up.
The urge to procreate
The will to make life
Is the thing that will kill us all
In the end.

Some People

Some people
Sometimes,
Just sometimes,
They just get to you.
Some people,
They just have
A bad attitude,
A wrong way of being,
A way that winds you up
And some of them know it.
Why are they like that?
What does someone get
From making someone else
Unhappy angry mad?
They just suck the life out of you,
These people,
Leave you feeling like it’s you,
It’s something you’ve done.
But it isn’t.
You’re not like that.
You’re better than that.
You’re better than them.

To See Yourself

It is really difficult to see yourself,

To really see yourself. All the good stuff,

All the bad bits,

All the degrees between.

To see yourself

As others see you: Friends and family,

Enemies, strangers,

Other eyes.

You have to put yourself

In their place,

See what you do

Through their eyes.

This hurts.

You see the things

That you don’t want to see.

You hear yourself,

You understand how you appear

To others.

You become self-aware.

You see wrinkles.

You see all the warts.

You hear arrogance,

Hear it speak with your voice.

Selfishness and sarcasm

Spills from your own lips.

You see yourself

Pass by on the other side.

The occasional kindness,

Politeness, seems lightweight

And trite in comparison

To the burden of your faults.

Perhaps these flaws

Are magnified by proximity,

But they are visible,

They can be seen

If you look for them.

And we do look for them,

Every time we see a good thing done

By another, other self.

Introspection,

The inspection of the self,

May give us greater understanding,

But no greater liking,

For the subject under scrutiny.

On reflection, the mirror never lies.

And so I choose

My main defence.

I simply close my eyes.

The Majesty Of The Moors

The majesty of the Moors
Unmade by man
Spreads out beyond sight,
Great green backs bent
Beneath the horizon,
Like beasts of burden
Carrying the clouds
That boil in the blue sea of sky.
Herds of wild hills
Gather around me.
They transport me
To a wonder-filled place
Where simply breathing
Fills me with ecstasy.
Gullies and streams
Fall away on all sides.
Rocks and boulders
Travel with me on the path
To the summit,
The high ridge,
Top of the world.
Kestrels hover, raptor ‘copters
Eyes fixed on the prize
For their fledglings
Of survival by vole.
The lark above
Ascending on a rising scale
Of beautiful birdsong sung
Only for me.
The good ache in my legs
From the climbing and clambering
Over this so-sacred soil.
Golden bracken
Strewn around me
Like palm leaves
For a better man.
Drizzle-mist falling on my face
Like a kiss from the sky.
The world loves me today,
And I love it back.

A Killer That We Keep

The kitty cat
So sweet you could eat it
A furred and purring creature
Aloof and regal,
Lithe and loved,
Lionised like family.
This family Felidae
This Felis catus
It’s got us
Under a spell.
It hides behind
That feline smile.
That branded “M”
On its head
Disguises it,
Confuses us
Into thinking
It’s just a pet.
It’s not.
It is a killing thing,
A killer that we keep,
Its teeth so very sharp,
Just like its claws,
Both often red,
Dipped in the blood
Of feathered things
Whose flesh they often shred.
Imagine that,
The bird it kills,
Its shock at being snatched
While eating seeds
Or sipping from
A bird bath in the garden.
Think how it feels
As claws catch flesh
And pull it down to bite
And ends its life
In feathered bursts
Of pain and fear
And cries.
How easily it kills,
This friendly pet,
Just look it in the eye
And think again
My silly friend
What it thinks of you or I.

A Woodland Walk

Uncivil wars unending.
I need some peace.
Evacuate the building,
Start marching,
Escape the urban battleground,
Find the nearest green zone.
Open fields discover me.
Grassland, some wild,
Some like a mown carpet.
Blue sky, high clouds,
Distant hills.
Kestrel at a hover,
Grace with wings,
Sun burnishing its back.
Golden warmth on my face.
And then the sound of trees,
A shushing hushed whisper,
A million leaves in motion.
A sussuration,
Fills my ears.
At the margins, a pause.
Then slowly, through
The tall portal alders
And into the woods.
Fulgent sun dapples the canopy.
Rays leak through leaves,
Dripped gold
On the woodland floor.
Branches like open arms
Waving a welcome.
Trees in formation,
A hula troupe
Swaying in unison,
Hypnotic.
Distant traffic sounds
Murdered by the peace.
I see drilled woodpecker holes,
Nests unoccupied
Except for one
Squatted by blue tits.
I see cat walks and rat runs,
Hear birds I can’t name or place.
I smell fecund life
And pungent death all around me.
I see no other human being.
Here in the centre of the woods,
Just a few hundred yards
From other home fronts,
I find my peace on earth.