shotgun cabaret

i shot my reflection
as i walked past the mirror
with two fingers levelled
& cocked thumb twitching
my snide grin mocking me
‘a loaded gun won’t set you free’
the closest thing to suicide
for one that’s scared to run & hide
i live to fight another day
this life we call a cabaret

yes ‘life is a cabaret, old chum’
but for some it’s more a bowl of glum
the days humdrum
the nights succumb
to the rule of thumb
that we must overcome
and accept the crumbs
like little jack horner
who sat in his corner
saying what a bad boy am I . . .

(song lyrics by Joy Division – New Dawn Fades
and Fred Ebb / John Kander – Cabaret)

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even the geese have flown

it was as I suspected
it was as I had feared
the footpath was deserted
the mountainside was cleared

empty were the pastures
where her goats had wandered free
the tinkling of their neck bells
no longer calling me

and in the valley woodland
I stood beneath the tree
where she and I first surveyed
the grasslands growing green

it was as I suspected
it was as I had feared
no more her lips to savour
no more her voice to hear

but will the spring return her
to my arms and to my side
in all my dreams I will conjure
my shepherdess, my guide

Shepherdess IV

she was knee deep in cut fleece and laughter
and I was thigh high in cleaved oak and joy
her with the shears and me with the axe
we snipped and chopped in the open air
until, work done, we shook off the dust
retreated back behind our eyes and went
our separate ways . . .

Shepherdess III

oh god she is beautiful
tending her flock on the hillside
lighting a bundle of gorse twigs
to see herself through the dark

and inside the abandoned byre
she rests her head on a bed of stars
for this is not the Elysian Fields
this is here and now and forever

and time is a breath

Shepherdess II

I wear the fleece of my mother’s skin
around me wrapped like a body blanket
a bag of gifts and good intentions
warm affections and familiar smells

no sacrificial lamb am I
for through this needle’s haystack eye
do I travel through the birth canal
my Shepherdess has opened wide

Shepherdess

my Shepherdess cradles her little lamb
she comforts him with tender hands
abandoned, desperate, stumbling blind
her breast she offers for him to find
suckled, nourished, love divined
Shepherdess save me from my mind

Isn’t that just how dreams are meant to work?

I followed you like an orphaned lamb follows
a shepherdess, blindly bleating, jumping for joy
until you cut my throat and stifled my hunger
with your severing knife of cruellest steel

I know, I know, I didn’t sleep well last night
someone kept calling me out in all my dreams
I suspect it was you but I couldn’t hear your voice
and isn’t that just how dreams are meant to work?

they trick you into believing you are safe with them
that clouds and lambs and eiderdowns are
merry-go-rounds with familiar sounds and
there are painted smiles on the turnstile ponies

but on reflection, in the cold light of morning
I should have heeded the warning signs
and if by chance you should come my way again
leave at home your knife of severing pain

Happy New Year Haiku!

so warm in my bed
like a foetus in a womb
not wanting to leave . . .

A big thank you and hugs to all of you for reading my poetry over the past year. Your support and encouragement means the world to me. And as our world becomes increasingly more divided it is obvious how much we need to communicate our hopes and fears in thoughtful and considered ways. Good luck with your writing over this coming year. Come find me when you can  and I promise to read as many blogs as possible when time permits. If you enjoy a bit of Twittering, haiku, micropoetry and one-line musings then please come follow me here @ColinHillWriter
and I will follow you back.

Love and Peace to you in 2019.

Colin xx

wanderin’ hearts

if I could be anyone
I would be all of you
an amalgam factotum
a sum of all your parts
for the whole would be better
than the quart or the half
and a cup that’s half empty
could be a cup that’s half full
be you wild alcoholic
or suicide melancholic
a genius prolific
or an amateur poet
I will take what’s on offer
till death we depart
to go our separate ways
with our own wanderin’ hearts

Consuming

Was it worth it?
The new jewellery for the wife
And the plastic toys for the children

It’s just a tumour that has spread around the globe
By the men and women that live here
Soon we’ll be consuming again

Well, they’ll ask us
The children all cry, what will you do?
To change your ways by next Christmas

It’s just a tumour that has spread around the globe
Somebody said the oceans got filled in
With all the plastic we discarded
The result of this consuming

Without any thought for our world
Shopping for dear life
When we should be saving our home

It’s just a tumour that has spread around the globe
A news report of a washed up dolphin
Within a few years, we’ll be suffering
Notifying our children, we got it wrong

It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be consuming again

Without any thought for the world
Shopping for dear life
When we should be saving our home

It’s all we’re skilled in
We will be consuming again

Without any thought for the world
Shopping for dear life
When we should be saving our home
When we should be saving our home
When we should be saving our home

(to the tune of ‘Ship Building’ by Elvis Costello)