Drink up

A quadrille poem

Only words;

tea stained crown
coronated beneath the coiled mist
brown as Thames water
- worn on the teeth

sugarless
purely sweet talk
trading in counterfeit riches
- white lies and empty promises

holding out his heart
to keep
as jarred moonlight
- gone in the morning.

© Darius the Mate


Doubling up: written for Shay’s Word Garden, and dVerse.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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The nothing we know

A poem

She hit him like a champagne breakfast

he felt on precarious footing
as they trespassed
the mournful walls
in the hotel corridor

it clutched the cigarette smoke
as withering keepsakes
she surrenders

leant against the doorway
she blew smoke rings
through an exotic red
lassoing his dilated pupils

she stole his liquorice heart
an acquired taste;
whether she likes it, or not
she has acquired it

they fell
through the technicolour wallpaper

mouth dry as Spanish sun
dark-haired, onto pale sheets
oil slicks on virgin snow
she took control
and rode him
as he struggled to regain grip

slip sliding
in her sherbet kisses

the many faced chameleon
curled on the tip of his nose

he could see the colour of her soul
hear her skin move

composer of thunder
classical, as black on white
romantic, as red on red
- the irony -
to all else in the world
he grew as deaf as Beethoven

a synthetic symphony no. 5
rained out Viennese skies
crystallised
they fall and rise
fall and rise
in the room

he felt her love surround him
astound him
confound him
he tried to take her heart, too
to find his fingers in the meat grinder

fear

it dangled in strands
the severed flesh
of materiality
haemorrhaging
black as crude oil

sudden as the Venus flytrap
a snap
flashes of reality
he buzzed and swirled within

confusion

a feverish delirium
the sand cloud that enveloped
scathing
his eyes worked to mop up the mess
slowly - unsteadily
it confessed its ceiling
the parting storm
revealed the edges of the room
pockets of rational thought
between the hillocks

he tried to recall the details
as they hid behind a gauzy wall;
sequences of a lucid filament, muted

his acid was wearing off
and he was alone
with nothing but tremors

nothing, but the colour of sound
illuminating the palisade
that kept his inspirations repelled
now, free to be leapt

with Hermes boot
he kicks the sheets clean off
left naked and exposed
a flash of her
hits him with a dagger of discomfort

alone - with nothing
but, himself

nothing, but fire for the forge
to paint, to write, to craft
to take that ‘nothing, but’
with him, as muse

nothing, but himself

now, he must sleep
- sleep it off

there was nothing, but the morning
and a peculiar dead cigarette
propped, half smoked, in the ashtray
lined with rouge.

© Darius the Mate


Written for Shay’s Word Garden.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Wordplay Pathway https://nicecissist.blog

Samurai in heels

A Wayra poem

The slice of lemon
sharpened the tip of Friday
gossip sloshed and fizzed amongst
- katana lips cut deep -
left red on the rim of the glass.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.

The Wayra, popular in Peru and Bolivia, is a short unrhymed poem of 5 lines, in a syllabic structure; 5-7-7-6-8.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Back to basics

A poem

The door slammed shut behind her
from an eager thrust


perched upon the throne
she braced

ready to let it have it
like the noble savage she is
her nose upturned, pointing east
toward the squatting pans


can’t fight progress
she thought

feeling a smug air
blow past her haemorrhoids

I wonder if it’s all it’s cracked up to be
this civilised society
we attest to


am I working to live
or, living to work?
I’m not sure


but, we’ve come a long way
from our hunter gatherer roots


kinda
she appended

Im still hunting and gathering
ideas, beliefs and convictions
finding out who I am
what I’m all about

what matters to me
and why

what it all means

- this “life” thingy

damn
that last glass of red wine
has gone to my head …
what was I thinking about, again?

alcohol
you’re so often the lubricant
which brings unsolicited opinions
singing from our open orifices

do-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti

now, if I could only
stay on track …

*hiccup*

with my train of thought

I’m an arsehole with an opinion
or …

something

wait

what was it, again?

maybe, the other way around
I’m an opinion with an arsehole

hmm …

oh yeah!

opinions are like arseholes
everyone has one


too true

hehe hoho

*hiccup*

I like that one most
and of all the crude sayings

chiming faithfully in the wind
that, likening opinions

with arseholes
resonates
in the gut


I must add
though - true, everybody has one
unlike my arsehole
I do not feel the necessity

to keep my opinion clean

… and sometimes it trickles out
when I have too much alcohol


meanwhile, a semi-autonomous hand
oblivious to the toilet epiphany going on upstairs
acted on muscle memory
busying itself with the aforementioned task.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.

Sorry/Not sorry, for the toilet humour.

What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Sparkling, still?

A poem

Thirsty, he took up his best crystal glassware from the cupboard 

ready for a mouthful
to quench the drought

valuable
dedicatedly displayed
elegantly shaped
and perfectly formed
delicate
ornately arrayed
and decoratively adorned


opening the fridge
he grasped a readily available
bottle of something fizzy

glowing from within
on the backlit row
she lit a skinny cigarette
beneath his eyes
and hung on beside him

S. Pellegrino, of Bergamo, Italy
the natural partner
of prime position
to any course
of banquet

the corners of his mouth frothed with the sticky white of dehydration
parting under duress
with cracks and flakes
as a disused wooden window frame
his seized lips squeaking open
for a curious tongue to fly out
as chubby robin
dampening the borders, expectantly
before they smacked shut

unscrewing the cap
he tipped her round bottom skyward
and watched her glug loose
sparkling mineral water
showering
into the glass

he placed the glass
on the table
and fell into his chair

excitable bubbles gyrated up

raising a finger
he dipped it in

effervescing tickled him
with formless subtlety

moistened
he dragged the finger around the rim of the glass
freeing a vivacious ring

pleased with himself
he sat back
and dropped off to sleep

in his dreams
he saw her
bouncy and young
on the Italian cobbles
she poured herself between each suitor
a single trickle of something satisfying
to wet the whistle

when he woke up
her sparkle was gone

the glass stood flat
stagnating before his eyes

he dipped his finger de novo
and grazed the rim
she whispered her sweet nothings
one more time

taking the glass in his hand
he upturned it in the sink
and poured himself a whiskey.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.

Today’s poetry was written in the form of a conceit – taking two unrelated subjects, and drawing an extended metaphor from comparisons between the two.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Day 13

A poem

Day 13, since you moved back in
and we agreed we’d give it
us
“one last shot”

working from home
I’m sat in this swivel chair
twitching like a downed deer

perhaps it would better to put the last shot in my temple

you’re across from me
laptop set on your knees
headsets drowning out the silence between us

your mother thinks you should leave me
I heard you on the phone earlier
she never liked me much
“too old, and too soft to start a family”, she once said
Merry Fucking Christmas

Things with no emotion;
• This swivel chair - although, it gets more screws than I do
• My coffee mug, stained with a bitter residue - we are kin
• The potted plant, sat on the windowsill, which casts a shadow that looks like a thumbs up, across my desk at 3pm, each day. Don’t you fucking patronise me, plant.
• Your face

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Wordplay Pathway https://nicecissist.blog

Vans gotta do

A quadrille poem

Life goes off track
veering, careening
sent round the bend
losing its meaning

outta shape
a beaten up banger
watching boots
gather dust on the hanger

Remember;

when you’re feeling blue
there’s always somewhere new …
a vans gotta do
what a vans gotta do.


© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

Wordplay Pathway https://nicecissist.blog

Murder, and other hobbies

A Halloween themed poem

The night is dark
as the lady is quaint
spruced up in paint
barely hiding her beauty

the night is young
as her temperament, restful
her glidings zestful
tune tapped on the cobbles

a Halloweeny teeny
bopping on naive plimsolls
into an All Hallows’
Eve’ing, haunting the streets

frolicking in sickly perfume
sprightly skin drenches
my attention - O’ the stenches
of innocence, consume

piss ridden, vomit splattered
how urbane, the urban alley
dear miss, dilly-dally
lest part without a treat

searching my pockets affectionally
these my murderous hands
for the saccharine strands
of the fatal cord

in this performance
my instrument of choice
to hear your voice
screaming the acoustics

my most valued fingers
are virtuosos of composition
I’m a bloody brilliant musician
if you’d dare to listen

for an intimate show
come alone, come along
if you’d care for a song
and a frenetic fiddle

an emancipating escape
from the violence within
- for I play the violin
as my other hobby.

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Paper water pistol. Pt II

A poem

A paper water pistol 
filled with emotion…

fluid feelings found flooding
the pockets of his parchment shell
super soaking the contours of the cavities
where his headaches thudding
from the night before

the retrofitted facade
of a man
barely holding back
the impassioned puddles
forming on his brain
the episodic attack
insecurely trickles
in droplets of consternating rain
seeping out of his ears

he, the paper water pistol
purpose built
for living
wondering if this is all there really is
as his soggy sentimental self slumps unforgiving
a pulpy mulch upon his mattress
built to fulfil - to feel he has
a purpose

yet, it all seems so…
pointless
limp and jointless
a completely random animal
instinctually protecting himself
from anything that scares him
vulnerable to sharp objects
blunt objects
projectiles
objective objects
of all styles
infectious diseases
and all trials
one must face
to be a complex creature of
the human race

thoughts turn with a regrettable tinge
to the flashbacks
which make him cringe
dismounting him
from those worn tracks
he tries to stay on
a runaway
mirroring his a departing youth
the mirror always tells the truth
when he stares
it stares back

he digs his pupils in
to the landscape of yellowed skin
crows feet perched beside ashen bags
trashed
by another boozy night
a sickly sight
down the road
from the bright lights
and flashing signage of adolescence
he can’t jazz it up
he’s faded
perceptions, jaded
writing off his character
the Bleeding Gums Murphy
of evanescence

not good for his health
or, his happiness
he knows (them)
as if they weren’t the same thing
nosediving
the quivering white (k)night
who serves the king (of impulse)
“Has't thee cometh to saveth mine own soul?”
or, scratch that itch
drawing his sword
to get a whiff
of the green pastures
on the other side

… and so,
we celebrate
the triumph of our hero…


Arise, Sir Knight
the alarm is about to blare
and you’ve been lying there
feeling sorry for yourself
for far too long
this isn’t the chivalric romance
you were after

and being somewhat of a crafter
of poetry
I will confess to thee
it doesn’t get any easier
to be
a paper water pistol…


he, the paper water pistol
impaled by the spear of his alarm
manages to disarm his combatant
and peel his pulpy piece
from where it’s drawn
to (e)merge on the…

Mudane Monday Morning
crack of dawn.

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

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Paper water pistol

A poem

Mundane Monday morning
crack of dawn
behind the yawning
and the night
dreams are laid stillborn
in the artificial light
stirring
from a broken sleep
to an effervescently frothy
top adorning the bitter coffee
stirring
the spoon in the cafetière
purring
like a waking kitten

he fills his mug half full
“…another mundane Monday morning”
thinks the fool
who feels his mugs half empty

to percolate the silk
thread he wishes to weave
he adds a dash of milk
and let’s it leave
his lips, gratified
he sips it slowly
to taste the flavour of the day
a spoonful away
from ever truly being satisfied
not on porridge and poetry, alone
alas, it will have to suffice
to sustain his flesh and bone
and stand in as his vice

staggering through the week
to the promised land
staggering on weak will
willed on his own command
staggering on willing legs
or, dragged by hand
to drunken releases

till

staggering

his

words…

the cycle ceases
in amusing
only increasing his self abusing tendencies
getting lost among familiar brick
in the loneliness of a crowded room
just cold, steel-thoughts
to cut the thick
jungle of voices

he stares into their echo
dancing on the inside of the amber bubbles
he drains the vocals with a greedy gulp
to calm his nerves and drown his troubles

steadfast at the bar
he knows what he wants
- another beer
but, has never really known what he needs
to be content
whether sodden beneath the wetted whistle
dampening the fires of desire
first, to flatten the thirst of wanting
some sort of “something, something”
higher
whether a purpose
or, a punch up
to make him feel alive
in the here and now
that’s the sort of sorts he’s sought
in the rights, and lefts he’s caught
just to feel
something else
something other

broken bottles
reflecting shards of courage
or, principle
to stand his ground
… stupidity
some testosterone scented candle
to illuminate the foregone vigil
hormones of self destruction
from which he used to function
“drink up!” he presses on
hoping to pass that point
so he can disjunction

dowse that burning seduction
to reckless and impulsive pursuits
one can dive deeper into the intoxicating abyss
the grassroots
of this organised chaos;
those flying fists
fleeting fits
of self-sabotage
- they stem the barrage
of normality

it’ll be a lie to say he didn’t miss it - enjoy it - the fighting
maybe… maybe, that’s just his nature
to find conflict, exciting

when he was born to feel
life; with a frightening sobriety
unfazed by the taser of authority
yet, thrown off by the phases of the moon
a swooping anxiety
mourns the death of ignorance
the misanthropic magpie to the amygdala
a odd bedfellow
who, pissing on all reason
will let it mellow
where he lays, restless

sights and sounds shiver
through the veins of reality
more real
since the birth
of his precept to percept
its afterpains
lingering, still

a wound which will never heal

why does he feel
- so deeply?

is it imprinted in his genes
or, a blueprint administrated by
algorithmic machines

rolled on gears
out the womb
soft-witted
built to hold these feelings
pressed in the mould
all parts, factory fitted
packaged in pretty pink skin
and shipped out

sold to the world

a paper water pistol
filled with emotion.

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Construction in Progress

A poem

The old grammar school
in the centre of town
her bricks came tumbling down
as felled trees

concrete rising rapidly from the rubble
quick growing silver birches
which burst the suburban bubble
they nest new neighbours

outside the window
their worry perches
squeaking at dawn
in some unknown avian song

“they don’t belong”
said Mr Quo, to Mrs Quo, reciprocated

“first, this, then that. Soon, all we know
- gone.”

… and still the sun shone
through the room
but, nobody noticed

the rosey hues around yesteryears anecdotists
overwhelming any intervention

live - whilst you are!
cried the April rain
when she speckled the skies
to remind us, again
to appreciate the coming season

it’s nothing new
- change happens
it doesn’t need a reason

we don’t own a thing
but, perhaps, our bodies
- and even those, we borrow

do we truly even own our joy, and our sorrow?

Or, is it a fantasy we experience
fleeting
just chemical pathways
in our brains
meeting?

we leave as we came in
judged in death
not the pennies in our pocket
or, the wrinkles on our skin

reclaimed alike

she, the earth
best we charm her, not harm her

we, merely her sentinels
and our bodies, our armour
glistening in the sun
as we gatekeep
her bounty
till we return
to it

and maybe, just maybe
we have a skeletal claim
to build more than memories
perhaps more than a name
etched on some stone
or, in hearts and minds

the war on mortality
goes on

in this vanity - is there any wealth?

why do we battle to be remembered?

a deathless self

what does it tell us about ourselves - our wants, and needs

in building pyramids
to our field of reeds?

the search for immortality
goes on

we can conquer flesh
in passion
love, or lust
regardless
the one thing
never to die
I trust
is our urge
to bring an Alexandra
to foreign soils

what is the essence of our existence
the sum of all we are
everything we have ever explored, felt and thought
every emotion questioned, and answer, sought
every moment passing
before us
- to us
every moment passing
before us
- after us?

as buildings rise
above us
where we lie

in the timeline of the Earths existence
am I - are we - good gatekeepers
in humanities contingent subsistence?

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

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The heavy spoon

A Quadrille poem

Her spoon fell with a clang 
bowl rocked in position

chewing the cud
churning suspicion

was she a mad cow?
as he did persist

flaying his throat
wrenching her wrist

the frigid soup
a stone in her belly

the familiar taste
Cream of Machiavelli.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse Poets Pub.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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A lad in…

A poem

1993
under Californian sun
for a single week
this song charted at number 1

Aladdin’s theme
was a massive hit
awoken from the longest dream
with a faithful fit

I rode a magic carpet
across a dark and mysterious sky
stronger grew the heartbeat
in the 9 months that passed on by

till cradled on my mother’s belly
a vital cry and limbs uncurled
for I, eyes newly opened
was a lad in A Whole New World

… ”I can show you the world…”🎶🎵

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse Poets Pub. Today, we choose a number 1 song, which charted on our birthday, and plug into a moment which resonates with us.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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I am

A poem in free verse, with a reading from the author

I am the dreamless night
without slumber
without silence

shadows lumber
a deafening hum
fill the walls
till it becomes
numbing
I, to it all
but never numb
enough to find stillness

a lively mind
a blessing
and an illness

tuned into the world beyond
beyond the window pane -

creatures of the night
buzz and swarm
toward the bright lights
and warm
embraces

bushy tailed foxes
dip in and out of sight
whilst the tods snarl and fight
vixens squeal to lure a mate

we animals
with beating heart
what sets us apart?
us sapiens
us sentients

we have a world
beyond the vein
which pumps
and circulates

beyond the world
of atoms

ideas percolate
free of verse
and unpredictable
spreading
knowledge circulates
imbedding in pockets
of peoples
creating culture

in the world of essence
before disappearing out of use
to a world of evanescence

nose pressed against
the window pane
shatters
letting in the wonderland
Alice
and all the Mad Hatters

a circus of characters
trampling
winding in the belly
this winded pain
that leaves one breathless
restless

I am the restless mind
that’s wanting

ever wanting
wishing
in a sea of worry
fishing
for some unseen promise

rocking the boat
in calm waters
anxieties keep me falling
flailing
drowning

washing up on the shore of reason
soaked to the bone
I take myself home
muddled amongst beached words
thrown overboard
like an imperfect rhyme

it lingers
the worry
dropping in unannounced

the wanting
wishing it could be hung up at the door
like a soggy coat
instead of dragged through the house
dripping
sodden
trodden
into every square inch
of solid, saddening ground
tarnishing

I am the tarnished tale
imperfect
scrawled
loosely
barely legible
unrhymed

written in many different colours of ink
often blue
often dark
that bleeds out
when pressure is applied
to leave it’s mark
flawed
scruff
beyond the straight edge of the line
the impressions remain rough
and real

handwritten

scribbled in the margin
between black printer pressed type
otherly

the books a bestseller
“don’t believe the hype”
writes the child in war torn Afghanistan

It’s an often confounding composition
life
for many
barely fitting in
in the confines of the page
the cage - the boundary - the box
which we find ourselves in
from birth

a story with a plot
a protagonist
you

drafting out
a manuscript -
conventions which skew
our personalities
likes, wants and needs
to fit
into the systems
that be -
the creeds, factions, institutions
that we
accept, embody or in their grip
succumb
proliferating
and often
become

I am the narrative
changing
unfinished

no one child passes undiminished
of their truest self
configured continually
by their cultures

still, here we are
with all its wealth
beneath the circling vultures

who pick the bones
of the earth

but they do not have hands
to brandish the knife
which carves the oak
of my resolve

or hold the weight of the hammer
which judges ones heart
and can absolve

dexterity to move the pencil
toward where the flowers
of creativity bloom

in the darkness of
a dreamless night
tracing the shadows
of the room

filling space
with our annotations

… until the end

bending the will of our poetic voice
till the poems penned

I am the pen which writes
I am the fingers which type
I am the restless mind
I am the dreamless night.

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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The Dentists Chair

An oral poem

We cut our teeth on each other’s lips
your love gripped
and rotted away
as tooth decay
in the corner of my mouth

reclining back in the dentists chair
here, in this place
I’m acutely aware
of the colour of my ceiling
the buzzing of the tools

drilling deep into the depths of my being
the dentist, all seeing
I, neck back, puffed up like a toad
pathetically gagging on my own saliva
just to fill this feeling with this filling.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse: Poetics.

The challenge today, I which I particularly enjoyed, was to compose a poem without putting pen to paper – in this way, we explore the Oral Poem – now written, attached is an audio recording of the work in spoken word.

I decided to play on, and continue, the ‘oral’ theme in my poem, taking inspiration from the inspiration.

A thank you to Ingrid at Experiments in Fiction, for hosting today’s prompt.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

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Pathways

A Quadrille Poem

It’s standard practice
to treat disordered
emotional states

by severing connections;

I, the emotional state

drifting through this continuum
snatching
evanescent fragments

time
lobotomising
that which meant
so much

tribal connections;

surviving

memories gathered
together
for warmth

lineal pathways
scattered
- fireflies of the hippocampus.

© Darius the Mate


A poem in 44 words, written for dVerse.


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Eleusinian Mysteries

A poem

Since, long before
Alexanders horses
quenched their thirst
at the banks of the Indus

We, devotees of Olympus
praised you
the Corn-Mother
- spurn the heathen

Before even,
Pericles had the Parthenon’s
first stones laid
at Athens grand Acropolis

lest it befit a necropolis
I must thank you
Demeter
for this grain, and bread

which with fervour fed
all who gathers
here, at Eleusinion
by your grace

in this sacred space
this Boedromion
to celebrate the latter state
of summers gifts

long fertile days till Helios lifts
his sight
and dips his chariot
behind the sea

celebrate thee, Persephone
she, who was taken
undead
as Hades Queen

who Helios had seen
plunging beneath
aback a black chariot
to the underworld

devouring six pearled
fleshy pomegranate seeds
which tethered her
to that deep dark realm

Zeus, at the helm
seeing your anguish, Demeter
agreed to reunite
Mother with Daughter

and brought her
Persephone, back to you
and us, and with her
spring has sprung

on it, our hopes are hung
for the yearly harvest
thanks to her too, Persephone
who must thus return

for those six seeds which churn
in her belly
tie her to the seat
where she is to rule

all those who fall
at the feet of her judgement
for a third
of each yearly succession

she must remain in the possession
of Hades, till alas
she comes once more - forevermore
whence she descended and arose;

still claim heroes
who, yearn to make a name
in the blood of beasts
and brave men

who, again, and again
wager their lives on earthly glories
or, as Ajax the Great
fall on their sword

to join the horde
of undead souls
slipping into Elysium
or, Tartarus…

on a full stomach.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse Poetics.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Steel & Paper

A poem

All transgressions
will land
at the wrong time

never the right time
- no worse time -
to bring down

with a heavy swing
the battle axe
cracks bones

loves cold steel
cleaves parts
strewn and inert

~

Sincere expressions
will stand
the test of time

always the right time
- no better time -
to open up

a light thing
the battle map
navigates unknowns

loves hot feel
leaves hearts
whole and unhurt.

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Hex

A monotetra poem

Wistman’s Wood,
Dartmoor National Park, England Neil Burnell
Kisses that fall as summer rain,
hot, heavy, sudden, lips; arcane,
and just like that, downpours wane,
to seep and drain, to seep and drain,

The soil watered with your grace,
darting buds bend toward your face,
blooming into all open space,
to rush and race, to rush and race,

Tendrils slither around each night,
in times of shadow, crows the wight,
pillows cradle the creeping blight,
spits poisoned spite, spits poisoned spite,

Sickly forest of sullen grey,
till the fire came to cleanse away,
the spectres hex which made me prey,
burn and obey, burn and obey.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.


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State of (Word)Play

Poetic political commentary – freedom of expression, in free verse

We learn the difference 
between right and wrong
in childhood

So, if a child could
judge us
would they
sit us on the naughty step?

We know the difference
between right and wrong

So, in Hong Kong
protestors
are now terrorists?

Is this right, or
is this what terror is?

I support their resistance
They must resist
to exist
democratically

Systematically
dealing with opponents
Is emphatically
indefensible

Incomprehensible authoritarianism

Uyghurs are continually
deemed reprehensible

for existing
and interned
in re-education camps

Prisoners

Until they desist
in proliferating their culture

desist in existing

The vulture
of Han China
feeds of the corpses
of their minorities

growing fat
and ruthless

staring the toothless
tigers down
across the UN Council meeting

If The Communist Party of China
ever flag this poem
I’ll join a black list

for supporting the Hong Kongers
out, flying their flag
raising their clenched fist

The CCP
can do as they please

over a million
voices
scream out
in Cantonese

gather

for nothing

The streets are full
yet
voices fall
on deaf ears

Their fears
realised

foreseen

materialised
in the High Court

long assured
in dictum

The obscene
conviction

The ‘National Security Law’
claims it’s first victim

Guilty

my heart bleeds for you
Tong Ying-kit

Punished
for a “crime” you could not commit

in the Hong Kong
you were fighting
to keep

I weep
for democracy lost
in Hong Kong

it won’t be long
before it’s gone…
completely

when flying a flag, with;

"Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times."

is added to the list of crimes

Activists are now;

Criminals

The true criminals
are the ones in power

devouring the morsels
of difference

still
we watch idle

from our ivory tower

no better
to judge

-

Are
state secrets
being
protected
over
the freedom of the press

reflected
in Julian Assange’s arrest

and

the continued
request
by the US
to extradite

a freedom to oppress?

YES!

YES, YES, YES.

-

Are the
decisions
in back rooms
secreted
in files
defiling our freedom
In these British isles
too?

I suspect
I’m correct
in disbelieving the words

of government figures
who lead humans
as herds

to the polls

cattle
to the slaughter

Then serve up the blood
and tell us it’s water

Eyes streaming
children huddle
in dust of war

Lies teaming
politicians muddle
international law

We unite nations
under a veil
which detaches
and makes invisible
the scale
of perpetrated injustice

nations united
in greed
and death

preach peace
and contradict
in the same breath

An interest in conflict
is conflict of interest

The spoils of war
and the fruits of greed

The needs of the many
and the many in need

Between rights of “all”
and all those who fall
between the cracks

What are the facts?

Are our Western values
civil liberties
freedom
equality

our Western Superiority
(Complex)

a facade?

Is liberalism
just a political identity
to win votes?

abroad
chaos is created
human rights are violated
ethic groups annihilated

by “our” hand

cultures repressed
lands dispossessed
peoples oppressed

dealt by the cards
“we” play

forced to do as
“we” say
or, else

pay the consequences

The suffering is silent
when humans suffer
in violent
conflicts
on tv

when
foreign bodies
enter foreign bodies

it’s easy
to look away

Please, don’t look away

look closer to home

look deeper inside


Behind “Western values”
we hide
the dirty truth

Why do we convict
those who expose
not
those who impose
this
dark underbelly of our society?

Dread and anxiety
in this stream of consciousness
constantly confident
in being disappointed

in the powers that be

“we”

“us”

“them”

it stems

from our inner drive
to survive

to conquer

guard possession

it’s our own reflection
our ugliest face

The pace
of our forward march
exposes
a regression

in aspects

of basic human need
in fulfilment
which breeds
discontentment
and feeds
this dark cloud
of depression
over me

-

What are we prepared to do,
to protect our lands of milk and honey?

The exodus of our moral code
for…

money?

power?

or, is there something more noble?

Less self-serving
- more global

I won’t turn a blind eye

I’m still searching for the bottom line…









holding my breath
unknowing
how far we’ll sink…










holding out for
the page unsigned
by blood red ink.









Think.
And do what is right
not what is easy.

This is my bottom line.

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Wordplay Pathway

Gingerbread

A poem, searching for my muse

Resting softly on my side
on the side
of my non-bruised ribs
I ponder
where is my muse?

the irony is not lost on me
searching the atmosphere
at my fingertips

the taste of the room
on my tongue

the smell of summer
from the garden

a forever garden
blossomed
that circles the circumference of my imagination
unending

the irony
that there’s no obvious vessel
who carries the seed of creation

rather
airborne
as wildflower
birthed of a unfamiliar soil
each cycle

where is my muse?
deepening breaths inflate my lungs
mind
make me wince
remind
me of the body I abused
the ribs I cracked
the blood I spat
from the contusion
most recently
reminds me of my mortality
firms my feet to the ground
heightens my senses
awareness
gratitude
to wake
living
for life
giving

my muse is my body at rest
recovering
with time to spare
I work out my mental muscles
with ink and paper
gratitude
for this yin

my muse is my body at play
unthinking
is my body in motion
following a sensory trail
of breadcrumbs
to my gingerbread house
salivating
at simple joys
and grand experiences
with vision and adventure
gratitude
for this yang

and every now and then
my body will hit a limit
tumbling
into the cage
laid out
by the witch within
who plans to feast upon my bones

till foiled
by my Gretel
my creative falling petal
freeing a seed
a yin
which grows tall
blooms
blissfully
in the forever garden

and kicks the witch into her oven
burns
to ashes
whilst I stuff my pockets full of jewels
to live happily ever after

we grow up on fairytales
- fantasy

grow old on reality
- truth

actuality is;
theres still room for fairytales
beyond youth

youth
beyond age

age
beyond now

now
beyond then

then, where is my muse?

imagine…

and find within

there’s still room for fairytales
beyond imagination

imagination
beyond dreaming

dreaming
beyond sleep

to dream with eyes open

every week
every day
every moment

beyond an open mind
and open heart

to seek
a muse
which moves gracefully
amongst the atmosphere
in the room

in and out of breath
being

existing

settling within

in everything
which every was
or, ever will be

happily ever after
the end.

© Darius the Mate

Written for dVerse Poetics.

I would like to drop a notable mention to Rob Kistner, whose style, free of commas and capitalisation, I have recently fell very fond of, and employed today.

I adore the way this extension of poetic licence sits on the page, and flows.

They say, imitation is the highest form of flattery – well, I suppose it’s fitting to extend my appreciation for this poets work, and style, in a dVerse prompt, which asks of the writer to summon their muses.

A large part of my quest here at this blog, is to expand and develop the breadth of my knowledge, and ability, and sharing this platform with so many talented poets and writers, is a real privilege and gift.

Thank you for reading.


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Wordplay Pathway

Cecelia Seizes the Seas

Flash Fiction

“Daddy, I’ve outgrown my dolls house. I need a bigger one.”

Cecelia Beatrix Parker-Bardot, sat up tall in her chair, with eyes which tethered to her fathers affections.

The maid moved on kitten heels, as she served supper, momentarily cutting off Cecelia’s line of sight to her father, and with it, her powers.

(…she’s got to go) thought Cecelia.

“You have a bigger dolls house, my Pearl, Parker Manor, Pearly, it’ll all be yours, one day.”

Cecelia kicked at the air, indignantly. Her foreheads canvas of fallen snow, displayed opaquely the ripples of blue and red, with the intensity of frenzied sharks, thrashing amongst their kill.

“I want it now!”

“Do not weep, Pearly, the world is built for Parker’s.”

No, I do not weep at the world!”

(…I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife, ready to shuck my inheritance from your chest…)

© Darius the Mate

Written for dVerse, Prosery.

This piece of flash fiction, in 144 words, is inspired by the line;

No, I do not weep at the world – I am too busy sharpening my oyster knife”, included above, from Zora Neale Hurston’s,“How Does it Feel to be Colored Me” in World Tomorrow (1928).


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Wordplay Pathway

Thoroughbred Thoughts

A poem

From the mouth of the delta
information sediments

deposits of propaganda
governmental impediments

media for the masses
a sensory invasion

eroding our free will
by cognitive abrasion

contaminated
parasitic organisms
grow and spread

deep in the cerebrum
where they mutate
and imbed

which silences the brain
as the hosts
obligingly guzzle

bleating in acceptance
mirrored murmurs
from the muzzle

whilst the sheep slurp the rivers
which control how they think

the horse is lead to water
but can’t be made to drink

feel the gallop of hooves
on your sentient plain

mental muscles rise up
as you throw off your reign

exhale
with the breath of wild horses
empty your lungs

inhale the clarity
smell the stench of lies
as they slide off the tongue

of people
politicians
media sources
who push their agenda

and expect you to drink
out the hands of the vendor

spend some more time in thought
use your freedom of choice

be empowered to say neigh
with your authentic voice

however
please
don’t merely follow my word
i’m just another opinion

form your own views
roam free
over your own dominion

but
if you climb on your high horse
turn up nose
and scoff

you will hear my authentic voice
telling you to… buck off!

© Darius the Mate


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Wordplay Pathway

In the beat, the beat

A chant poem

Pulsing, the beat, pressing, confessing, to my eardrums, it’s darkest desires, drumming out the serotonin, honing my senses, defences dropping, beat dropping,

Those memories, seventeen, eighteen, mean nothing, without my memory, alive in me, these memories, living, I remember the days, those were the days, the days I can barely remember,

The nights, seventeen, eighteen, glean, bright, the lights, strobing, probing for my serotonin, honing my senses, defences dropping, beat dropping,

Letting go, going to let, any fret, of the day, go, days go by slower, than today, when months pass, in a way, more transient, those days, more transcendent,

Throbbing, breath penetrating, deeper, cigarettes to keep her, the rush, hot breath, hot touch, the rush, a gush of serotonin, honing my senses, defences dropping, beat dropping,

Those were the days…

© Darius the Mate

Written for dVerse Poets Pub, Meeting at the bar. Join in!


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Titanomachy

An Earth poem for our modern times, inspired by Greek Mythology

We the Titans reign,
In Gaia’s Garden,
Blood of Earthen vein,
Through our bodies, flow,

Mother, sowed our seeds,
Fathered by the Sky,
Uranus breeds,
Greed in privilege,

Fertile soil womb,
Who bore and birthed,
Held and weaned till bloom,
Nurtures our nature,

Mother, who gave life,
Must bear the burden,
Forever the strife,
Of her kin at war,

Cycles subsistence,
Sons, murder fathers,
Final resistance,
Titanomachy -

Olympus will rise,
The old guard will fall,
Will Zeus in the skies,
Light the coming age?

© Darius the Mate

Written for dVerse Poets Pub – Poetics.


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Jukebox

A quadrille poem

Thinking thoughtlessly,
ideas,
often forgotten,
if not jotted -

Slotted,
as gold coins,

Let bygones be bygones,

But,
bygone minds,
live on,
in written word,

Sung,
and heard,
from the jukebox,
of ink and paper,

Exhumed,
when consumed,

Risen,

From the soil,
voices,

Oil,
the cogs.

Written for dVerse Poets Pub.

© Darius the Mate


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Theatrics

A poem in free verse

Misty Copeland
A week flies by,
Few words falling from fingers,
Instead,
They dance in the brain,
Pirouette and sustain,
Position,
On the tips of their toes,
They strike a pose,

Preforming for a crowd of one,
In a dusty theatre,
That sees no sun,
But, bright and living,
Feeling,
Giving,
Whether booked in a playhouse,
Of purposeful prose,
Or, aimless artistry,

Just creating,
To create,

We create,
Because we can,
Fresh thoughts that expand,
Across the stage,
Youthful ballerinas,
In black leotards,
And pointe shoes,

They begin to gather,
Where the shadows linger,
Behind the curtain,
The artists find their form,
The arts,
Take shape,
Sculpted by gentle thumbs,
That overcome,
The riddle of clay,
To display,
The ballet,
Dancers,

Chopping board chests,
Flat and firm,
dainty waists,
Perfect form,
Which bend toward the sun,
Floral stalks,
Lithe and graceful,
Hold up dusty pink cheeks,
That seeks,
Heat and light,
Heliotropic acolytes,
Budding,

Gripped,
To words that tug on the heartstrings,
They don’t float away,
But, leap in the mind,
Their syllables flying through the air,
Poetry in motion,
Like a kite,
Twirling,
On the winds of creation,
Swirling,

Twisting -
It’s luculent libretto listing,
My lexiphanicism,
In its use,
Irony not lost on me,

And loganamnosis;
Those words which are lost,
Wandering/Wondering,
At the tip of the -
tongue,

Dramatic inner dialogues,
Orated;
Authentic,
Not synthetic
voice,
Adroit,
not Android,
And void,
Of heart and soul,
In beating of the audiences applause,

The show goes on…

© Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Wordplay Pathway

Smiling

A narrative poem in free verse

Smiling through gritted teeth,
he nodded,
before his boss,
who plodded,
on his fat little hooves,
to his swizzle chair,
“swizzle on this”
thought Chris,
who held out an imaginary middle finger,
Only barely dared even in his mind,

Herman Parker General manger,
on the door,
cut in lettering,
that chained him,
fettering,
beneath,
no matter his belief,
of worth,
warranted,
that his mother spent years to impart,

A smile,
dialled in,
as if truly from within,
he writhed in pain,
to sustain,
the charade,
in ill regard,
he aimed his smile,
and nodded,
like a dog for treats,

Mr Parker,
who’s eyes grew darker,
sent a scolding,
A tirade that flew low and bold,
whilst holding an extended index finger,
capriciously,
dropping vicious words,
through the air,
lodging deep in Chris’ mind,
perniciously,

In the schism,
between nightfall and sunrise,
Chris’ bruxism,
wore him away,
as he analysed,
grinding down to the gums,
his teeth,
with stress and worry,
as bakers flour,
breaking down his happiness,
in his only sacred hour,

The sun rose,
but didn’t pry free of the clouds,
the microwaves ping was flat,
masticating on morsels of Herman Parker’s words,
he sat,
and ate his placid porridge,
which had no flavour,
or joy,
a degustation of his station,
in life,

The bus was late,
so, so was he,
he felt defenceless,
an amputee,
of his own bark and bite,
the elevator was out of order,
so he took the stairs,
with every step,
the hairs,
stood higher on his neck,

He rounded the final stairwell,
a place,
which captured the trace,
of a person,
where cigarette smoke shook itself from clothes,
sticky fingerprints layered the bannisters,
and low light picked out particles of skin,
falling through the dense atmosphere,
as petty life forms,
whom he imagined,
pitied him,

He slipped behind the computer screen in silence,
a quiet,
which felt uncomfortable and heavy in his tummy,
as if he had gorged on fried filth during a diet,
“Chris, my office”,
Herman’s voice,
Blunted across the no mans land of desks,
mangled spines and turned up ears,
through the mud,
he lumbered and lumped without choice,

Arriving at the lettering which reminded him of his place,
head hung,
emaciated and drawn,
almost instantly,
he was stung,
by the poisoned thorn,
which grew along,
the length of Herman’s tongue,
a razor sharp thicket,
dense and inescapable,

“Chris,
come in,
and shut the door,
don’t look up,
stare at the floor,
now,
unbuckle,
turn around,
I SAID DON’T LOOK AT ME,
LOOK AT THE GROUND!”

Or, something along those lines,
it was all the same,
to Chris’ ear,
it was Chris’ fears,
which held him back,
laid him down to be walked on like a mat,
whilst simultaneously standing up straight and smiling,
as a simple child,
and nodding,
the good boy he was raised to be,

Herman’s fat fingers gripped the desk,
as he rested on his weight,
in front of it,
petrol to Chris’ hate,
pendulous jowls,
let go the occasional speck of saliva,
which landed indiscriminately,
on Chris’ face,
his heart began to race,
with an incendiarism,

Chris bit down hard as he started to shake,
the shards of spit,
repeatedly hit him awake,
he clenched,
first,
his teeth,
his buttocks,
then his fists,
as yet another projectile barely missed,

Chris’ eyes began to tunnel,
toward the lathering,
of frothy white cannonballs,
which had began to pool,
at the corners of Herman’s mouth,
one struck Chris on his lip,
as his conscious began to dip,
in and out,
black smoke and twinklers choked the oxygen from the room,
breathing toxins into the edges Herman’s rotund mandible,

An emancipating volt,
put a halt,
to Herman Parker’s sentence,
as a sudden switch,
was flicked on,
in Chris’ brain,
a penitence birthed of electrical flame,
for all the years of stress and pain,
which connected in a precipitous strike,
lighting fast and precise,

The flash lit everything up,
emanating grace,
as Chris’ fist made a vivid slug in the centre of Herman’s face,
widening eyes were flabbergasted,
two rich rouge celebratory ribbons blasted,
twirling in spectacle across Chris’ new aura,
exotic dancers in red dresses lead a carnival of emotion,
unequivocally beguiling,
Chris nodded and walked out the room,
smiling.

Bonus tanka

A trio of sparks,
Manifesting differently,
Creativity;
Showing up previously,
Daily - now every three.

A busy first week back in the U.K, whilst making my adjustments, poetry has taken a momentary backseat. The inevitable overflow of pent up creativity has spilled out into a rather long poem. I hope you liked it, and the somewhat off the cuff tanka to compliment!

Thank you for getting to the end.

© Darius the Mate


Linked to dVerse midsummer live.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Wordplay Pathway

Data

Trimeric poem

In the dome, thoughts constellate in spaces dark and void of air,
Neurons lighting up, as pixels in an infinite code,
Programming which downloads a language unknown, and prone to glitches,
An arcade of concepts consternate in phrases which won’t translate,

Neurons lighting up, as pixels in an infinite code,
8bit figments, which fragment and implode into black holes,
Bred on bright flashes, dopamine rich colours, and catchy soundbites,

Programming which downloads a language unknown, and prone to glitches,
Words attacking my brain do not compute - troubleshoot, reboot,
Firing up, extraterrestrial pondering descends as space invaders,

An arcade of concepts consternate in phrases which won’t translate,
Utilising tools, upgrading dictionary and thesaurus,
A nebula of ionised words, nouns, adjectives and verbs, to explore...

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

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Wordplay Pathway

Minimal Effort, Minimal Results

Poem to minimalist photography

Autumn leaf gliders pile up their brittle bodies against blackened curbs, both hug and death throes.”
Glenn A. Buttkus
Another shoddy report card,
Dragging heavily in his top pocket,
His shoes were shinier,
Than his future,

His excuses were brittle,
Muddled alone in the browning leaves,
With barely a hint of verdant,
They had expired,

Mother was going to flip out,
Verbal acrobatics across the kitchen,
No rolling out of this one,
His knees knocked,

One foot in front of the next,
Sheen faded on the dirtied paint,
He tried to walk the line,
As he slipped through the crack.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.

Glenn A. Buttkus’s minimalist photography can be found at South Sound Minimalist Photos.


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Wordplay Pathway

Above and Below

Quadrille poem

Rue Saint Denis, Paris, Massimo Sormonta

The full collection of photographs and accompanying words can be found here.
Small hours,
Lipgloss smudged,
She staggered on points

Onlookers judged -

But, couldn’t be her,
For a day,
Or, even see her,
In any other way,

Broken tongue,
Eyeliner smeared,
Cleopatraesque,
The corners teared,

Desperate silence,
Cries without sound,
Below the watery oculus

- She drowned.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.


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Wordplay Pathway

Yogic Yarn

Micro poem with video

My brother (right) and I (left)
Family ties and yogic knots,
Brotherly love and headstands,
One with the wildflowers,
Offering support without hands.

Freshly home in the UK, catching up on some yoga and yarns with my (not so) little brother.

© Darius the Mate


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Wordplay Pathway

Home

Tanka

Bittersweet goodbyes...
Pages turn with the seasons
Winter kisses Summer
Technicolour brushed dreamscape
- We fly into the sunset.

Not far from home now. You can read a bit more about my thoughts and feelings on going home, here.

I’ve arrived in Changi, Singapore, from Hobart, Tasmania, via Sydney, Australia, ready and braced to catch my final flight to Heathrow, and home – after a monster 31 hour effort.

A sweet relief is on the way.

© Darius the Mate


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Wordplay Pathway

United Thinking

Flash Fiction

She lay awake. Flickers of bright ideas in the dark hours; hot enough to melt the rest of her thoughts, as candle wax, out the ears. She was restlessly focused – vocally restless, she sat bolt upright with an uninvited gasp.

“Crucial to finding the way is this – there is no beginning or end!”

The words fell from her tongue, as gold bullion in her lap. Sheets lifting airborne, as ghostly whispers in the opaque room, frozen in the moons glare, as she slipped on tip toes to the cranky floorboards, which marked her arrival with a groan.

Unpinning her paper map, with all the continents of the world, she tore it in two, clinically, down the middle. Rearranging their order, she placed the two halves side by side.

“My word! There’s no East and West, and we aren’t the centre of the universe!”


Afterword

The divisions which define us, are only as powerful as you let them become. We made them; harboured and grew them, becoming embedded in our culture and history. Identity defines us, but, it doesn’t have to.

There’s no geographical East or West, and, once we look passed the boundaries that we have created – once we invert the map, open our minds, and abandon our tribal mindset, we can see the only thing which divides us, is us. Theres two halves of the brain, which work in synchronicity, for the healthy function of the body.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse: Prosery.

Today, we use a line from Joy Harjo’s poem “A Map to the Next World”; “Crucial to finding the way is this: there is no beginning or end.”, to create a piece of prose 144 words in length, or fewer.


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Wordplay Pathway

The Final Days

Thinking & Feeling

Bass Strait, Tasmania
My first sight every morning

So, after more than two years, the time has finally come – I’m going home.

Home being, to no home… well, not entirely true; to my parents home, actually – gratefully – but not really my home, not anymore, and it hasn’t been for some time.

That said, “home” will always be home.

But, what does home mean?

Sure, it’s where we live, however, when, where you live is transient, where is home – my home?

Is it where I was born – Los Angeles, far from my upbringing, in London’s periphery, or just that, where I was brought up?

Perhaps, it’s the walls in which laughter echoed, as a child; a sentimental space – a place, in memory.

Is it where a family resides?

Does home need to be familiar, or, is it as simple as where you lay your head?

Do you need to feel connected?

What if you lay your head on cardboard boxes, build a cardboard castle – sure you’re “homeless”, they may say, argument muted, but, there must be a moment those four walls become home, unless, home is defined by utilities – then, are you ever a washing machine or a toaster away from a proper home?

Maybe, it’s where mail gets sent? Imagine cosy dinners around a P.O. Box.

Aha! The age old saying; home is where the heart is. We’ve beat the game! Ba bum bum b…ut

…what if you’re an organ recipient and your heart has been sent to pathology..?

For five years, my partner and I have called many manner of places “home”. For longer, we’ve been separated from the family cell – in some aspects, not all, of course – having mutually shared our first home (an apartment) in the U.K, prior to starting our free footed journeys, beyond the bounds and bounty of imagination.

My old bedroom, in the family home – my parents home – is filled with boxes; boxes upon boxes, of “stuff”, which has utterly overrun it, piled high atop my bed, and everywhere else. The bed itself, floats as a cargo ship, transporting miscellaneous relics, keepsakes, crossing a sea of memories, they collide in waves of nostalgia, manifesting into an aura almost tangible, frozen in time, as icebergs bobbing, off the coast of my youth.

Bizarrely, surreally, despite my gleeful excitement to see my family, I can’t help harbour a feeling of displacement. My home, has become so far removed from any earth and brick, that I find in the parting of my van and I, I am lamenting fully its fast approaching drive into the sunset as a loss greater than its weight in steel, gain in virtual digits in a bank account, or, in the comfort of its shelter. I am mourning the farewell to the nomadic lifestyle it represents, at least for a time.

What am I going back to – really?

My home, is/has, and I suppose always will be, exactly where I am – where I’m meant to be. Except I’m not meant to be anywhere, am I? I was meant be in Canada right now, before the pandemic hit, so, turns out I was meant to travel Australia, a little longer. Are we honestly meant to be anywhere? I don’t think so. I don’t believe in fate. We just are. And I mean that.

Although, infinitely grateful to have a supportive family, who is able to accommodate for my partner and I – our lives, mine, and that of my parents, have moved on significantly from the parent/child conventions of yesteryear, as it does, and venturing back, will likely prove to be as much new territory, as it is old.

I feel somewhat like an invading army, overrunning the walls of their castle with our bags and ransacking voices, bellowing stories of conquest and expansion. I just hope the purity, in the heartache of our time apart, and the long awaited, imminent reunion, will mitigate any emboldened feelings of intrusion, prodded as spear tip in their sides.

In writing all this, I should probably acknowledge both parties, to the best of my knowledge, are indeed counting down the days with excitement. Writing for myself, I feel joyous and warm with expectation. Our planned stay is to be relatively brief, and transitionary, in its facilitation of our next step, yet, with the state of the world, its limiting options, you just never know how long “brief” is anymore. Through the rosy visions of sunbeam lambent toward the wildflowers, in the cling of open bottles of bubble and hop; there is a guilty distillation in my soul, in which I feel kneecapped of my independence. Kneecapped, with a double edged sword.

But, then again, hasn’t everyone forfeited in ways which make my turbulence seem borne of paper planes; fragile and crude?

I am burdened by the knowledge of my overwhelming privilege, to have spent this tumultuous time, in the sanctity of Australia, where I have been free to, if not wholly condoned in the scripture imposed by the higher powers that be, at least in practice; shake hands with strangers, scratch my nose without barriers, loiter in public without imposition, and tongue kiss traffic crossing buttons, at my discretion.

Australia has suffered in pockets, anyone who has lost a loved one can attest to that, but no where close to the degree of many of its closest neighbours in the East, or its political allies, in the West. It has, for all intents and purposes, at least in my experience, been a beacon of normality. I’m sure most will agree. Especially all the Hollywood stars, who have flocked here in droves. The U.K is the great unknown, where policy can change with socks.

I’m stepping out into the road before the crossing lights have gone green.

I’ll be riding a waves of emotion, back to the shores of white cliff – my family, my country, and my home.

© Darius the Mate


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Wordplay Pathway

Beast of Burden

A poem with Symploce, using Anaphora and Epiphora

Asleep; at our most vulnerable – heres a candid shot, thanks to my creeping partners archives.

Beast of burden, am I, who carries this imp on my chest, purring, like an acid trip gone wrong, in sobriety, shivers of anxiety, sending vibrations through my being,

I feel your breath, as a hum, in my body, an itch, as fleas, to beggars, corrupting, with no antibodies, to cure this disease, that breathes through my being,

Beast of burden, am I, who caries this imp, head of a cat, body of a monkey, joints that creak, movement clunky, pale green of ghostly essence, malnourished and sickly,

Like a pickle with hair, matted with feces, limbs of a swine, an aberration of species, face drawn and sunken, hacking and wheezing, pained, as if drunken, on poison, malnourished and sickly,

Beast of burden, am I, who carries this imp, wings of a bat, too weak to fly, with open wounds that seep, putrefying, the voice of babies crying, a thousand souls dying, under duress, and in distress,

O’ why, o’ why, o’ why, do you sit upon my chest – am I, so wicked, to deserve no rest?
Hooves prodding, poking, a weight forever choking, just another soul, am I; under duress, and in distress.

© Darius the Mate


Written for dVerse.


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Wordplay Pathway

Backpacker Barbecue Guide

For traveling Australia

What do backpackers eat?

I know, I know, it’s the question which keeps you up at night.

Oh, it’s not?

I wish you told me that earlier.

Anyway…

To those who have never experienced the van life, they may imagine a scraggly type, in boho genie pants, ornate with Thai motif, sharing spoonfuls of cold baked beans, between themselves and a windswept mutt, which shares its owners features. Now, whilst that may be true often, there is an alternate universe where a venturesome few reside.

A lot of backpackers kit their van out with a gas stove and refillable cylinder – portable, practical and relatively cheap – but in my opinion, messy, greasy and often smelly, when fitted in as a permanent fixture (especially at the head of your bed!).

However, those without the space for this set up, like myself, who opt for a smaller, more under-the-radar vehicle, might be left wondering of alternatives. 220g canister compatible portable butane cookers, let me tell you for nothing, suck! The canisters are expensive, short lasting, and foiled ingloriously by a light breeze.

If you’re lucky enough to tour the popular backpacker destination of Australia (fuck yea, Straya, cunt! – get used to it), then there is an alternative.

Two years in this larger than life country, and I’ve managed to get around… a bit – it’s big place, if you didn’t know.

The hot plate ‘barbecues’ are all over mainland Australia, and the quaint (and mighty) Tasmania. These barbecues, are provided free, and kept well maintained (often) in the majority of parks around the country.

It’s quite exceptional, actually.

I don’t think we’re trusted to have nice things in the U.K – that’s understandable.

After realising it’s just a glorified frying pan, I became quite experimental.

Far from just the humble burger, I managed to knock up Spag Bols, all manner of omelettes, crispy potato’s, sweet-sticky Chinese dishes, complete with fried rice, and so on – you name it, I tried it – often met by raised eyebrows from the locals, behind their sausage sizzle (sausage and a single slice of white bread, an Aussie staple).

Here’s an idea for all those interested, with more to come!

Note;

I use ‘sea to summit 360 furno’ camping burner for boiling. They are cheap to buy at around AUD$30, and as good as the pricey stuff. Gas canisters are $14-17. I love my gas burner, it’s perfect for a quick tea, rice, pasta, or, anything else!


Teriyaki Turkey Mince and Rice

Ingredients:

• Turkey mince • Red onion • Red or green capsicum • Spring onion • Rice • Teriyaki Sauce • + Add peanuts for extra crunch

Method:

Super easy this one; just chop the capsicum and onion, and fry with a little oil. Whilst the veggies soften, start the rice – boiled or fried. Top time saving tip, get the microwaveable packet rice, for quick and simple fried riced. Add the Turkey mince to the veggies and break it down with the spatula, frying it off until cooked, keeping the rice separate from the other ingredients. Add the teriyaki sauce and heat through for a minute or so, making sure not to burn. Garnish with chopped spring onion and optional peanuts.

© Darius the Mate


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Playing with Words

When Life Gives You Lemons

A poem in couplets

They say; when life gives you lemons, make lemonade,
I like their optimism; let’s put that in retrograde!

When life gives you vanilla, add lemons,
When everything is beige, go bronze!

Get some sun, top up your vitamin D,
Or, a squeeze of lemon, for your vitamin C!

When you’re feeling flat, and not your best,
Pick up a lemon, and add some zest!

Complimentary, or; just hard to be beaten,
Imagine it paired with the favourite dish that you’ve eaten,

Add it to sweetness, and you’ve got ‘tart’,
Sun drenched beverages, surely can’t be apart,

Refine richness with a squeeze of its juices,
Savour the sophisticated flavour it produces,

The waxy texture, knobbly, ran under fingers,
That smell it imparts, on the tips, where it lingers,

I adore the scent, alive through the skin,
And the Sicilian memories it evokes from within,

Taormina’s hilltop seascape, gossiping pink petals,
In the shadow of Etna, cameos set in precious metals,

To Syracuse, birthplace of Archimedes,
Ancient architecture kissed by Ionian breeze,

Bar Vitelli, Dad, a grappa, coming of age in the heat,
Where they filmed The Godfather, in the medieval street,

All the way to Naples, across the Tyrrhenian Sea,
Where Mum lapped up lemon sorbet, in Italy,

Blessed moments, when I close my eyes,
Breathe deep that zing, and let my dopamine rise,

I’m there, off of Rome’s Piazza del Popolo,
Finishing dinner with a shot of limoncello,

I feel happy – warm, young and rosy,
Good for winter too, when you want to feel cosy –

At Christmas, with a couple of lemons handy;
Syllabub! Curdled cream, juice, zest and a heap of brandy,

A palate cleanser, but lets not call it the end,
Because lemons promise to be a lifetime friend,

Unlike the pear, who’s easy to bruise,
Not our tough lemon; another reason to choose!

Unlike the banana, who cant get along with other fruits,
Lemons are sociable, can be kept where it suits!

Unlike the passion fruit, with a throwaway rind,
Zest, juice or pulp – use all parts you find!

Best of all, it grows wise as it ages,
One with the philosophers and the sages,

Mature – it’s skin may be hard, wrinkled and dried,
Just like us; the juices are still good inside.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


Written for the dVerse: Poetics.


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Playing with Words

Witchcraft

A poem in free verse

Dropping from her lexicon,
As weighted hands,
Dusted in earth,
That spank the hide,

Ringing in drummers ears,
The rhythm of her voice,
tames beasts of the desert,
To her side

She woke the creatures,
Nipping bloody,
At her heels,
Tearing flesh,

In trance,
Deep into the darkness’,
Insentient recess,

Till the moon,
Enriched her juices -
Refreshed,

She danced to the beating,
of stretched skin,
Soothing the bark of the jackals,

Rejecting safety of his peers,
One ventured,

Alone

Fear gyrating the pupil,
He crept forth,
With raised hackles,


A beautiful boy,
Instincts impaired,
With fur of silver and rust,
Flashing white teeth,
Nostrils flared,
He sniffed the air,

Where her passions poured,
Intoxicated,
He grew accursed,

Lickerish Lupulella’s lollapalooza,
Twisting his tongue,
to try quench its thirst,

Supping from the cup of her hands,
He grows to lust,
Only for her spell,
Never to trust,
Beyond her word,
Remaining silent,

Changing his nature,
He drunk without quell,
Till her rivers grew,

With one bloody thrust,
She tore out his heart,
Threw it skyward,
Her face morphed,
Jaw apart,
Snapped and rolled,

In her belly,
It was cleaned,
Of any and all purity,

Her tempo weaned,
Feet quickened,
Kicked up a fervour,

It shook the land,
Stirred the waters,

The jackals heart,
All which lived inside
Any animalistic spirit,
Essence of pride,

...washed away,

To the rapids,
Without a raft,

Through her drum,
She beat its rhythm,
Ba-bum, ba-bum,

The wild again became bewitched,

That was the power,
Of her craft.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


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Playing with Words

Opulent Ornamentals & Ponderous Peculiarities

A Quadrille Poem

Lent, swaying, pitched on his chair, twirling stache, the devils red hair,

Purveying contents, edge of his rocker; curio cabinet/luridness locker,

– Prismatic jarred oddities, of wonder and fright, fingers of sunbeam, lambent light,

Refractions, grotesque and exquisite – patiently planning, his heads own exhibit.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


Written for the dVerse prompt; create a Quadrille, a poem in 44 words, using a form of the word curiosity.


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Playing with Words

Winters Breath

A Shakespearean Sonnet from the Southern Hemisphere

As autumn crumbles into brittle parts,
And lifted on a whisper of winters breath,
Another season of the year departs,
The clouds brief tears bear mourning of its death,

Cold snatches the pearls of heavenly birth,
To sprinkle twee crystal parcels in lieu,
Bewitching giggling streams in sheets of mirth,
Primed for pebbles to free the babbling blue,

Sleeping giants will stretch their creaking joints,
Steel bones snaking through the mountain resorts,
Planks beneath feet lead where pink noses point,
Warming the wilds with storm served snow sports,

Adventure with an ephemeral glow,
Seizing the season as prints in the snow.

Poem by © Darius the Mate

Published first on Experiments in Fiction.

A big thank you to Ingrid for hosting Sonnet Sunday; putting all the work together from the featured poets. I loved reading them all.

You can start this collection with Ingrid’s “Spring into Summer”.

Perisher, NSW, Australia
Thredbo, NSW, Australia

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Playing with Words

First Kiss

A poem in free verse

The air was lively and brisk,
The earth was homely and accommodating,
The water trickled nearby with a zestful chirrup,
The sky was feeling wild and experimental,

The boy was nervous,
The girl was calm,

She lent forward, on the invitation of a flutter beneath his shirt,
He met her with darting eyes which searched for unfamiliarity for lips,

They rested, as a butterfly to a leaf,
Tasting with their tarsus,
Beating wings against one another,
With an amateur aptitude,

She led, spearmint ‘chewy’ pushed to the side of her gums,
He followed, out of rhythm, in a minty muddle, with his tongue,

He was in love before she pulled away, carrying his saliva on her upper lip,
She was finished with him before he knew he was in love.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


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Playing with Words

Trading Cards

Double Tanka Pokémon Poem

Japanese children compete in a Pokémon card tournament, Tokyo, 4th August 1999. Yoshikazu Tsuno, Getty Images
Bitter is the boy,
Who traded Pokémon cards,
For the next mans dream,
Worthless paper promises,
Which bring him no warmth inside,

~

Years increase value,
Some seek that which gave them joy,
Whilst collectors laugh,
Becoming Pocket Monsters -
Life is a trading card game.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


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Playing with Words

Sand Castles

A poem in free verse

We build our castle in the sand,
standing proud,
upright and pristine,
buckets of expectation,
become the mould,
shaped according to its vessel,
its straight edges can’t defy the breeze,

the winds of change

Grains lifted,
airborne,
one here,
one there,
but it holds its form,
threatened with nothing of substance,
light basking it in a radiant sheen,
vigorous incandescence,
now time to live inside,
to watch the waves,

the changing tide

It breathes evanescently,
fluid salutations,
never quite hello,
never quite goodbye,
transience lapping up the shore,
grain by grain,
the foundations of your castle,
wash out the sea,
till it tumbles back into the beach,

All kingdoms fall,
eventually…

Poem by © Darius the Mate


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Playing with Words

Lost Kitten

Tanka

Sometimes, we get lost -

Kitten on a busy road,
Arched back and frightened,
Uncertainty all around,

- Which way to not get flattened?

Poem by © Darius the Mate


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Playing with Words

False Prophet

A poem in free verse

Overloaded with the vision,

I spill parables,

seen through the incision,

of the all seeing eye,



They dribble the chin,

dragged up on the sins,

they douse,



Through the orifices,

Of my inner self,

On revelations,

I gift their wealth,

in my wisdom,



Spewed at length,

words falling,

from stylising tongue,

which finds its calling,

in the hearts and minds,

at which it lunges,

In direction of the earmarked,

whose transgressions,

it expunges,



Through snarling teeth,

verses howl,

beyond the scabby muzzle,

a jowl,

covered,

by lambskin fleece,

to mask the beast,

I secrete beneath,



taming the bleat,

a mimicked sound,

where I nuzzle,

my snout,

to confound,

the crowd,



Spouting all they need to hear,

to the ear,

that follows,

where I lead,



Sheep indeed,



I breed,

In them,

for my own purposes,

in this new world,

ruled by bandits and warlords,

which loot and horde,

there is no safety,

but in number,

they need a saviour,

to shake them from their slumber,

granting salvation,



If they choose,

to heed my word,

then who is to blame?

I did not ask for fame,

or reverence,

all I wanted,

was to be heard,

and if I found the right instrument,

which stirred,

emotion,

Does that mean this is unjustified devotion?

Or, am I as good as real,

To make them feel,

the things they want to feel?



We all have learned behaviour,

I too,

from the books,

which I savour,

verse by verse,

until it insatiably became my curse,

and my gift,

the pace grew swift,

till I devoured,

growing fat and overpowered,

word by word,

now, instead of just being heard,



I lead the herd,



The internet has fallen,

technology has regressed,

everything which I detest,



No longer do we mine for oil,

companies which existed to corrupt the soil,



gone,



In the year of our lord, 2158,

The consensus is – it’s too late,

to save the past,

the time has passed,

and they are right,

now, at last,

The second coming is upon us,



Repent!



For making this earth ill…

all I really want…



Is to continue,

beyond the devastation,

and torn sinew,

growing anew,

– not to rebuild,

we must leave the past behind –

For the few,

To reap the yield,

in clean, unadulterated earth,



For this mission,

a rebirth,

of a prophet,

make of it what you will,

a true messiah or a scam?

Am I the wolf

or, am I the lamb,

Of God?



In Gods new world,

there’s room for both,

to run free,

that is his oath,



To think –

Christ would grace this land,

this Jerusalem,

– Gods will and command –

where buildings crumble,

in the aftershock,

of World War 3,

why has God chosen me?



The balconies are lined,

remnants of humankind,

hear my oration,

deliverance from damnation,

echoing through the shell,

where commerce used to dwell,

– a mall,

let silence fall,

when I speak,

is this the truth that you seek?



…to nodding heads,

once happy to consume,

until their world was bled,

buried,

exhumed,



We rise!



Once hidden,

we consume each other in the open,

on the broken,

bones of society,

fractured,

we heal,

stronger,

set on the wound as callus,



Rejoice!



I have been given the sight,

Together,

my flock,

we walk into the light…


The promised land, of tomorrow.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


Written for dVerses Open Link Night.


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Playing with Words

Out for Blood

Haibun; prose and haiku

Unfortunately, phone cameras just don’t get close to this quality.
A super blood moon from in 2019, image credit; Mike Blake

I sit, my women by my side, with legs dangling – as the moon in the sky – out the back doors of the van, facing out across the Bass Strait, to the mainland of Australia, from my coastal cradle in Tasmania, rocked by a chilling wind which tightens the air.

Numbing sea of dusk,

Black waves lap over the rocks –

Steal and shape their form.

The “Blood Supermoon”, flying through the sky – pumped and swollen – battles the darkness, in a fray which has spanned the ages, destined, ultimately, to be lost, in a distant flow – of what we call time – beyond mortal bounds.

May she bathe in blood –

Our moons hoary complexion,

Flushed in her frenzy.
The phone camera really doesn’t do it justice!

We are here at the epoch of her supreme power, draped in the red of her own cape, or; perhaps refracted sunlight in Earths atmosphere – it is up for debate. A trail of Infinite energy, sourced from across the universe, scattered in starlight – a fallout of the tumultuous tussle of time, space and all the things which crash about in the cosmos, silent to earthly ears.

Twirling in the sky,

She dips into the umbra -

Flowers in her hair.
Zoom, zoom – into bite size pixels!

Tonight, she celebrates her victory, for the sky is lit, for all to wander in the would-be-darkness, and share in her spoils. The Flowers of May, still hold their scent, as she prepares her outfit for the Strawberry moon of June. Our hero’s job is never done – her schedule ever busy – as she prepares to Clark Kent her super powers, until their time of need.

She’s full in the face,

Drunk off the bloody goblet -

Panning to pale cheek.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Playing with Words

Grumps

A poem in free verse

A knock in three,
I rise for thee,
but, barely see,

through the cigarettes,
which went down for breakfast,

two more worries at the door;
I’ve been dreading this day,
the Grandchildren come to play,

One more second of peace before…

Shrieking! uninvited joy,
through the musty corridors,
and into the high walled garden,
the plants suffer,
where attentions do not tread,

These little mites,
bearing their cuddles and need for comfort,
behind snot and dribble,
unappealing as burnt toast,
I spread myself thinly between,
as to not come across too sweet,
a sugarless spread,
try marmite instead,
on your unsophisticated palates,

Don’t call me Gramps,
best call me Grumps,

Wee devils,
who question my dishevelled manner,
and everything else,
infernal curiosity,
which need be shelved,
yet turn a blind eye,
to the paintings which loom,
as their heirlooms,
in my doom,

In timely strokes,
I poked away,
dabbing and brushing,
as aging hands sway,

Or, to my poems,
which litter the table,
where the ashtray climbs,
as the highlands in winter,
where I spent my youth,
bonnie and in bloom,

the little tykes pounce on my lap,
laddie, and the lassie too,
spirited hair attempting to escape in all directions,
in blonde tuffs,
that grew,
as kicked up lawn,
and flap as dying canaries,

– I do mind if you mine my beard,
not that you asked,
but leave anything which you might find,
for its mine,
crumbs and other oddities,
all things weird,
drops of ash,
a hidden rash,
stash of cash,
its mine –

Whilst the ashen mounds,
are beaten from their crystal cut bounds,
to float down again,
as snow on rolling hillside,
where I used to glide,
on planks,
in the Cairngorms flanks,

I thank you,
for that momentary reminisce,
a time of bliss,
where my dear lady lives,
behind the glass,
of the café,
I pushed scran down the pipe,
As she’d unload rounds of banter,
into my ready hide, tough as leather,
But, already sore from the Scottish ice,
we warmed our fingers,
as we blether,
around tea brewed black,
in porcelain,
not paper,

like it used to be served,
when things were right,

there’s not a night,
I don’t rest my hand,
on your pillow,
to a hollow,
as in my heart,
and trace the dents your body followed,

not a day goes by,
I don’t wipe my eyes,
of your presence,

aye,
I miss you so,
I wish you dinnae go,
but, I also miss my brew,
and that’s one thing I can change,

just another tea,
and a cigarette,
away fae you.

Poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Playing with Words

The Lion Queen

A poem

Image credit: PeteLeong Photography
She is my Lion Queen,
Rolling beneath white linen,
As sun rises over the scene,
Everything the light touches is our kingdom”,

Bodies dressed in gold,
As eyes patter out curled lashes,
Diaphragms breathe bold,
My mane nuzzles in her neck,

I am her Lion King,
Protecting the pride,
But, she - she is my everything,
Deep inside - she is the roar from my chest,

As she sits up, hair wild,
Yawning to reveal teeth and lion breath,
She’s classic, as old cinema, yet restyled,
Their ferocity muted by loves apex.

Written for dVerse’s Poetics.

Today, we are incorporating movie quotes into poetry. I have chosen a childhood favourite;

Everything the light touches is our kingdom.” The Lion King, 1994


Poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Playing with Words

Judgement

A poem in free verse

Duality; life and death,
A new journey beckons me from the Duat,
The strength to inhale each breath becomes onerous,
The Kingdom of Osiris awaits,

Judgement awaits.
Who dictates my life,
But for my own heart,

Balanced against the feather of Ma’at,
Judge away,
For I am free of sin,
Ready to address my assessors,
A simple man,
Who split papyrus to make bread,
I tore in parts,
My wealth,
To be divided between my two surviving sons,
All I ask, Is a fair decree,
When Anubis stares me down,
Formidable fur,
Black,
Rich as the soil of the Nile,
Lit by his just perceptions,
I trust,
Ive lived as a good man,
Yet, my fingers,
Cleaned of my last reeds,
Which residue determinedly lines its cracks,
Carrying my labours into immortality,
Or restlessness,
Shake with the thought –
My reflection in the jackal’s austere eyes,
As he prepares my fate,
Heart in hand.


Poem by © Darius the Mate


What is life without community? I would love to connect with other nicecissists out there. Reach out, let me know what you think in the comments, and of course, give me a follow for more – nice!

https://nicecissist.blog

Playing with Words