The songbird soars from the ebony cage,

its tune eerie, out of pitch, stark

against the dove-grey sky,

before the final note ricochets the land.


Its wings beat in clouds of ash,

like the wings of the devil,

falling with every newly shed tear.


She dives,

her fight fiercer than her flight.

We wait,

in sunken trenches like bodies

in newly dug graves.


We’re bombarded by pelts of dirt,

shards of metal, spatters of blood.

All falling as one.


We flinch.

Her song has resounded again.

The monotone bleep of the ambulance

is made bleak by her voice.


The rats have taken shelter,

no longer tearing at our flesh with minute teeth.

We barely feel them anymore,

our feet water-logged to rot,

our skin numb with itch.


She dives, soars, sings

in a constant circle,

like a vulture looking for fresh pickings.

We are vulnerable.


Our hearts flail

stuck behind our ribbed cage.

Our minds have wondered,

looking for a better place.

They have found none.


A general died today,

A friend, a lover, a brother, a father,

a forgotten face buried in an unmarked grave.



Be Still

It hurts, the fever burns

a symphony of frosty fire,

how the swish of fabric

sets your head a throbbing again

too loud in you now silent mind.

But be still,

my child.

Be still.

You twitch and you jerk

helplessness stoking the fires of

agony. Leaving you begging

for release.

I’m afraid there’s no physical escape.

So be still,

my child.

Be still.

I have you in my arms now

feel how the cold scorches you,

how the blood slows in your veins.

I know how it feels my friend.

I’ve held many like you before.

It helps to be still,

my child.

Be still.


This part I do not like-

please close your eyes-

that moment when the

flame is distinguished,

how I hate to see your eyes-

the windows to your soul,

well nobodies home.

Your still,

my child.

Your still.

You left so easily,

I question if you wanted this.

Perhaps you thought hell was warm

an inferno of iridescent light?

It’s cold.

Colder than desertion.

Colder than sorrow.

Colder than weakness.

Colder than most men.

Colder than death itself,

burning you till your frozen inside and out.

Forever still,

my child.

Forever still.





She inspires heart break

and sweet, sweet music.

Melodies in harmony

with the aching pangs

of pain in our love.

Our love; rich in sugar

that erodes my teeth

and makes weak my bones,

but that saturates my tongue

and makes me anew-

painful though it is,

too perfect to be truth.

The sacrifices I make for her,

the reasons why I weep,

while she sinks and folds

my skin withering it

like the petals of youth.

She plays me like play-dough

as though my heart has no strings,

but their there, made just

for her to play her beautiful

music with each painful verse.

And when I am not

with her, my joints refuse to work

grinding against each other

in a pitiful, crude chorus

that makes all the

sweeter her fragile singing voice.

At peace lying beside

her, her cold fingers

gripped fierce

burning icy fire along

my flesh until I no

longer feel her beside me,

no longer feel a thing.


The room hummed in the humidity, the heat suspended in the still, wet air: dense with energy. Floorboards creaked under the weight of it, as if some invisible form was testing the waters- eager to progress forwards towards that lonely door. But anticipation had it hesitating- wary. Another board groaned under the imaginary footsteps, moving ever closer to the door that stood solitary at the other end of the room. Stifling air followed the slow progression of that transparent figure across the room. Though, before one could even think to visualize a ghostly hand reaching for the handle, that lone door was thrown open- rippling the air into nothingness.

A small boy entered the empty room. Small though he was- and very frail- his eyes were a sky of blue, undisturbed by clouds or planes or stars just a ceaseless sky that shifted through day and night relentlessly determined. His hands where lined with bone the knuckles prominent and knobbly, the skin stretched thin. And in them he held a single piece of white chalk that dusted his gaunt fingers translucent.

Sure of his steps, he approached the yellowing walls.

Protruding elbows and malnourished arms, moved the chalk across his unsightly canvas. The chalk screeched as he forced it along in swirling lines and nonsensical patterns. Muscles jerked violently, unused to the strain, but he persisted through the aches and pains- too important was this task. The door swung softy on its hinges.

Soon the air was again heavy with the boys warm, rapid breathes and the wall filled with streaks of white- the chalk reduced to a stump and the boy’s face, arms and hands smeared a dirty white.

A curious rat wandered about, unafraid of the large boy. Its nails scratched the wood as it moved and the little pink nub on the tip of its face twitched in youthful wonder. A heavy boot crushed the rats tail and remained there as it struggled- detaching the limb, taunting the rat as it cried and scurried away.

He had heard the man enter and the rat’s screams of agony but chose to remain passive, staring stonily at his wall. He felt the hand as it settled lightly on his narrow shoulder.

“Wipe it off.”

He felt the thick fingers that crushed into his flesh: indenting fresh, dark bruising.

“Wipe.It.Off.” The voice was gruff and ferociously angry.

Shifting the air; the man leaned forwards till his thin lips hovered by the boys ear.

“You are the devils work.”

Cold and smooth against his flesh.

“So I will do God’s”

Warm and silky down his neck.