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Archive for September, 2011

Neighbour

I’m still not quite satisfied with the end result of this, but I needed just to get it done for now…

Neighbour

“Won’t you be my neighbour?”
Are the words we first exchanged,
When you asked for cash so casually,
Candidly,
Apathetically…
But I saw passion in your hunger,
I saw romance in your pain,
And fumbled quarters frantically
To feed a fire
And fan a flame
I thought my love contained.

So maybe I had youth to blame?
Maybe we were young…
To share a swing set built for two,
When all I’d known was one.

I was keenly captivated,
Drunk on kindness,
Fascinated…
By your filthy shoes.

I rode the waves of sympathy.
I relished how it feels,
When knowing what’s stuck in your throat
Is finally something real.

So gulping back these fervid tears,
I worshipped dirty shoes,
And caked-in mud,
And street-wise scars,
And all of hopeless you…

I took you as my neighbour
And sang your ballads too,
When we would gather at the bonfire,
Many wonders to require,
Endless missions to inspire,
Even as a concert’s choir:
This opera of you.

Feed the fire,
Fan the flame,
The book of love proclaims.

I held your hand one afternoon,
When nothing else would satisfy…
Your vice of gripping so to match
My vice that sought to gratify
A world of empty hands.

And still our houses side by side,
And still me stopping in my stride
Along the road to Jericho…
Despite the toll that journey charged,
I blessed each tear I cried.

And you were wearing Velcro shoes
The thieves had left behind…

Feed the fire,
Fan the flame,
Of parables pertained.

You followed me to school one day,
A furry freshman lamb…
And as I suffered through my studies
At the hands of books and bullies…
When I fought through fears and furies
For a passing grade…
You were the needed bursary.
You were why A’s were made.

Every time I slipped my feet
Into my closed-toe shoes,
They fit a little bit less well:
The grime all gathered in the creases,
Sweat and tears…secretions, feces…

It won’t wipe off,
At least, not well…
I’m left with all the traces.

It’s such a slothful, soiling pain.

Feed the fire,
Fan the flame…
Be-still my numbing brain.

I let you live beside me,
And left an open door.
One cup of sugar
Not enough.
You always wanted more.

And more,

And more,

And more.

And popping in one day to see
If you had muffins, cakes or cookies
Laid up well in store…

I saw, instead, your sticky shoes,
Shuffling through a sea of sugar
Smothered on the floor.

What the hell’s it for?

Sputter out, this fire and flame…
I won’t be tricked again.

I thought that I could change you.
And wasn’t I a fool?
But don’t they say that love is blind?
I’ve learned that hope is cruel…

‘Cuz when you hope to wash a neighbour’s
Dirty, worn-out, calloused feet…

You’re left with soggy shoes.

And so today, I pack my stuff.
I’ll take it somewhere far enough
Away
From you and all your convoluted,
Crass and cross,
Contaminated
Crap.

I do not know when I’ll be back.

I miss your presence even as
I’m getting used
To cleaner air.

I bought new shoes,
But now my feet
Just tip-toe here and there.

What use are shoes for those of us
With no one’s weight to bear?

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