Rogets (insert [ghost] [spectre] [phantom] [wraith])


Rogets ghost is restless in death 
that, expelled with words
- what’s left

hoarding breath
lining up glass jars
so, not mistaken
floating through ether
coming together
when shaken

for the forever

with thanks
dear fellow

an apparition
in ghoulish off-yellow
staring down
the great
thus styled
face blackened with ink
from word smithing
long ago
into the first Thesaurus

red of molten metals
clang of the hammer
spark of the anvil
heat of toolmakers forge
into neural pathways

a word
it’s story
the family tree
this twinner
of words
a synner
in purgatory
on his way
to Arcadia

gone, and not
in-between realms

listing for centuries
misting the meadows
haunting smutty satirists
peddlers of prosaic prose
the pauper poet

cap in hand
sponging his benefit

he visits at night
when the ache
to write
he comes, for his cake

wax sputter
two hundred and forty three
candles flutter
as he sinks it’s black teeth
the frosted lettering

- tasteless
he spits

he flits

curling back
his spine
with a calligraphic bend

with more words for the mix
he returns
wails - try one of mine
for the end.

© Darius the Mate 18-01-2022

Written for dVerse: Poetics, and National Thesaurus Day, celebrating Peter Mark Roget, born January 18th 1779, who collated synonyms extensively throughout his life, to use in his own works, and temper his depressions – first publish in Rogets Thesaurus, 29 April 1852.

Mud dee mop

A nonsense-narrative poem

(makes sense to me *wink*)

Fo love o’ dee pub, slipping ta dee pub
make mine frothy, make eet bub

owt dee castle, down dee bricks
eager clicks, clacks, clacks, n’ clicks

Kicks dee doors in, n’ av’ it up ya
twisted tops, lickin’ dee liquor

Fo love o’ dee pub, slumping ta dee pub
swing dee sword ta cut dee grub

mooing madly, slurp dee blood
stab dee plate, pierce dee spud

wash eet back wid a pint o’ piss
piss eet out, make sure ta miss

Fo love o’ dee pub, slinking ta dee pub
find some flesh ta give a stub

cats on dee bar, lookin’ bushy
chase em’ round, tryna catcha pussy

all the stray dogs gon be barkin’
swinging wet wipes, muts be sparkin’

Fo love o’ dee pub, sluggin’ owt dee pub
Upty downsie, hangin’ owt dee shrub

owt dee herbage, back ta dee grotto
goblin mouthfuls o’ turf, all blotto

past dee tavern, up dee bricks
offbeat clicks, clacks, clacks, n’ clicks

Fo love o’ dee pub, slothing from dee pub
back ta dee cavern, draggin’ mee club.

© Darius the Mate 13-01-2022

Written for dVerse: Meeting at the bar (aptly).

Care Bear


I just care, a lot.
I can barely bear it.

Baring it all,
I feel I’m not
in my natural habitat.
I lack the wherewithal
to fight
the internal
Bearing it all,
turns me into a snowball
packed tight
and melting
slowly lost.
It can be difficult.
- I can be difficult.
In a state of tumult.
I don’t mean to
be grizzly
if my mood
is black.
When my skies
are drizzly
I brood
and crack.
I’m delicate.
I mean well
I know how to be good.
And try.
Still, that boy
from childhood
always asking ‘how?’
and ‘why?’
who watched
Care Bears
and, dreamed
in Hollywood sparkle.

© Darius the Mate 13-01-2022


A quadrille poem

Erato blew kisses
and, I wrote
body guided on impulse.

Pursuing Thalia
ones lost in the woods -

there lies the trouble
seeking the muse in nature
leaves one open
to garden variety inspiration.

A seasonal harvest
the fruit endures
in the morning frost.

© Darius the Mate 10-01-2022

Written for dVerse.

Wordplay Pathway

Poem by Amy G. Dala

A poem

They say you can’t be in two places at once … 

but, here I am, in this poem, narrating, coexisting with my half-witted, half-hung-over self, writing in half-baked-prose, wholly-cogitating over the clogged sink, woefully ruminating, thick as I think, imitating a mind, and lips, moving in sync,

Im alright, mate.

Liar. This is your internal voice, manifested, who’re you tryna kid, kid?

You’re barely opening up, from the eyelid.
You’re not some battle hardened warrior.
You’ll let down your guard like a lead balloon.

Dropping armour, and shield, you’re jelly in a pot. Jiggle jiggle.

I could tear you in half with a spoon.

Why we don’t rhyme much anymore,
no one knows,

when did we forfeit rhyme,
for half-price prose?
It’s a giveaway.

Im only human.

Did I just giveaway the plot?
Or, did I lose it …

I can be anything here;
wise, beyond my facility,
inflating my own sense of ability
- I do fear.

Can you confirm my sanity?
Im stuck in a feedback loop,
attending to the fermentation,
of novel ideas,
confirming the bias,
refracting the spheres,
bending the sourdough,
oozing out of my ears,
into little wreathes,
ready for the oven.

The words have risen, they must be removed before they burn.
Yet, they must crisp a little longer, if I wish to learn …

eat up, masticate, and churn …

grow and develop.

Oh, the irony, finally, I see.
Open me up, an autopsy.
With me, alive,
screaming and flailing,
all the little gingerbread men,
come marching out,
entrails trailing,
spilling truths, from within,
fresh off the pan

… can’t stand the heat of the kitchen.

It’s near time to sling my backpack,
and, up and fly to Japan. Non-fiction.

Sayonara, blood-suckers.

Running through neon streets
with my stomach stitched,
laughing deliriously.

How did I get here?

Now, let’s see …
let’s see you try and live,
without the host.
No more intrusive thoughts,
just butter and toast. Staples.

They love robots.

These emotions do not compute.
Troubleshoot. Troubleshoot. Trouble, shoot, shoot, shoot.
We need to hit reset - reboot.


Wake up.
One sleep hasn’t cured you.

Who’re you kidding, kid,
you just can’t shake em’, can you?
Stress, anxiety, fear, nervous energies,
self deprecating tendencies,
all crazy, up in yo headspace
- Robin your content,
and, his band of merry fuckin’ men
following behind,
singing until they’re blue in the face.


© Darius the Mate 10-01-2022

Written for Shay’s Word Garden.

Wordplay Pathway


A poem

Standing tall among my kind 
breathing deep the sun that shines
wind, lifting limbs - unconscious mind
the slow dance of the pines

the buzz that wakes me from below
fells me in the throes of youth
humans singing let it snow
wounds severed by the sawtooth

with sap still sticky on their hands
they mount me in their living room
away from my natural lands
accepting in my doom

so tired now, the curtain calls
- just when I am near to sleep
they decorate me in baubles
hanging heavy where I weep

wrap my body up in lights
so, no rest can be found
for many days and nights
they gather all around

needles dropping from my boughs
drooping as my life-force dries
with my dying strength, I espouse
to haunt them in my demise

for these wicked animals
in one last act of cruelty
to end of their cultish rituals
drag me, the “Christmas tree”

to the fucking curb.

© Darius the Mate 08-01-2022

Wordplay Pathway

Law of ownership

A poem

We don’t own shit.

Give me a sandwich today
and I’ll give it back to you, the next
- we don’t own shit.

We don’t own money.

We don’t own ideas.

We can’t spell out our thoughts
without borrowing language.

Remember their face? Barely.
Salt in water, dissolving.

The taste of success fades.
So too, the fear of failure.

The factory of dreams
working through the heart of night.

We don’t own the night
or, light.

Your tan is ageing you.
Killing you.

Bodies change with time.
Faces change with time.

Time changes with season.
At the closing of March
an hour is stolen.

We are mere clockmakers
they, the wards on our wing.

We don’t own time. Time owns us.

There’s a landlord out there waiting to rent you a spot in the ground

earthbound dwellers
bugs, and microbes
lining up to eat your flesh

far from being dead
the cornerstone of an ecosystem
teeming with life

the snout of the wind
snuffling the ground with seeds
your truffle, gas in a box
new growth above
bending to the sun

smell the roses, dear friend
whilst you still can
and enjoy the parade.

© Darius the Mate 05-01-2022

Written for Shay’s Word Garden.

Wordplay Pathway


A short rhythmic poem

Knead the dough, boy 
dust the flour
use your knuckles
let it rest

knead the dough, boy
need that dough, boy
feel the rhythm
in your chest

watching ladies
in the window
with those dreamy
boy doe eyes

whispers whooshing
passed the ovens
keep your fingers
out the pies.

© Darius the Mate 02-12-2021

Wordplay Pathway

The troubadour

A Rimas Dissolutas poem

The English call it a ‘French Exit’,
to leave a party without a goodbye,
and surrender out the door,
in lieu of trading novel pleasantry,
as socially conservative mercantile,

prudent in saving seconds, let’s Frexit,
no need for pomp, it’s not Versailles,
though, I admire your buildings, Monsieur,
for their historic architectural integrity,
you may consider me a Francophile,

you’re still my neighbour, despite Brexit,
we share a narrative; rival, or ally,
spread our lingua franca; Hello, Bonjour,
and in an affinity to avoid pageantry,
the French call it “to leave English style”.

© Darius the Mate 04-01-2022

Rimas Dissolutas; originating in France, this troubadouric verse was performed by French medieval lyric poets through the 12th and 13th centuries.

Writer for dVerse: Poetics – Exploring the realm of French Literature.

Wordplay Pathway

Una vacanza romantica

A poem

She waited

elegant limbs furnishing the lobby
musical heels behind the concierge

He heard

the tuneful doves ambient coo
saturated with charm, hovering expresso

She lounged

pristine pool water fighting wild fires
sun dappled skin scintillated with riches

He read

full and brazenly basking in kindling rays
admiring the architectural beneficence

She ate

alone, ai frutti di mare in the window
Tyrrhenian Sea washing into her silhouette

He dined

alone, with eyes to the moonlight
draping her shadow, that pointed for him

She danced

lucid body melting into airspace
boneless and beautiful, as butterfly

He watched

saliva thick and frothy in mouth
chewed as sour milk, canvassing edges

She rose

early, for continental breakfast
notepad of itinerary, between coffee and jam

He staggered

late, to refresh beneath a cold shower
whiskey and wine, indelicately mixed on the palette

She spoke

through the corridor in an indistinct accent
soft, yet rousing, phone blessed by her cheek

He splashed

overpriced cologne lavishly on sunburn
tight pants gliding gaudily, on hotel tiles

She glanced

He swallowed his breath
clutched his heart, beating - untameable

She looked away

and he left, with his suitcase trailing.

© Darius the Mate 04-01-2022

Wordplay Pathway


First poem of the year

First days hop by like jumping frogs 
pen sits as stone club between fingers
limbs lie heavy as sleeping logs
where the smell of flash powder lingers

how many pills must one swallow
to cure this poets ache
strummed forth by the lyre of Apollo
ink slithers the page as a snake

chaotic are English words
they battle for peace as sounds roll
try poetry painted to the rule of thirds
imperfectly off-centre, but with soul

elocutionists with electric tongue
can trick any fool above
charming for whom Orpheus sung
now, that’s going to hell and back, for love

the sun rising on hedonistic nights
a solar sea of zodiacal grace
for the love of it, one writes
as the moon falls quietly into space.

© Darius the Mate 03-01-2022

Wordplay Pathway

Happy New Year

A poem

Firework feet out the door
Keys tight in jeans, no jangles

Splash of aftershave and a bit more
Hair brushed neat, no tangles

Ready to cut holes in the dance floor
Boots making shapes, all angles

“Happy New Year!” Over, they pour,
Sky, reflecting eyes, with spangles.

© Darius the Mate 31-12-2021

Wordplay Pathway

Battle for balance #Poem #Poetry

The blade of self doubt
cuts a slit
across the eyeball
in which only uncertainty can fit
rushing in

a seditious mind
a superior force
overwhelming odds
buried beneath mud

mongol thinking
overruns the zen garden
invading and rampaging
resolve must harden

a resilient mind
hard as jade
light as air
faithful to the bearer

envoy of the state
of mind
levitating between worlds
to find

© Darius the Mate 30-12-2021

Wordplay Pathway

The afterlife

A poem

December, ducking out the back door
still drunk on holy merriment
bondsman, and the warrantor
dangling the carrot of sanity
turkey carcass martyred in teeth
good sense, crying from vanity
the oven cooling

slinking to a lonesome end
the apotheosis of twenty twenty one
naive eyes watch truth bend
with the other eleven wounded souls
skin particles in the bell jar
beyond fickle hand at the controls
the oven calling

ashes to ashes, dust to dust
ringing in the new year
beached and bloated, trust to trust
bullshit guidances mockingly spoken
fireworks silenced, we shuffle forward
sand in the wild wind
life, wading shoreward
us, crawling to the hereafter, unbroken.

© Darius the Mate 29-12-2021

Written for Shay’s Word Garden.

Wordplay Pathway

A trip around the sun

A poem

He was lonely
but it was painless
January came silently in the night
a carbon monoxide libido pill
to kill any drive he had left

Women spooked him
February was scary
he, awkward as a bad wig
secluded himself to work from home
with the ghost of Valentine roses

March marched in, goose stepping
he feared the fierce footsteps
from the attractive neighbour
bringing in spring, passed the mat
outside his flat door

The skeletons in his closet
rained bones when he got himself dressed
old jumpers, and jeans bought by lost loves
April brought showers
so, he wore his birthday suit all month, instead

The nuns take pity
they serve a greater purpose in chastity
yet, he tossed his chances in the ocean
a pilgrim abandoning his May flower
for the savage coast

There they crossed
in the hot corridor, in June
the kitten heeled führer at flat #5
and the hallway acrobat
Spider-Maning by, as an inverted introvert

the weather lady kept him informed
of the July sun he obscured by blind
in good company of the tv
yawns poured over cereal
risen to eat on the stroke of noon

August-us stunk like a dirty engine
the street greeting the window, ajar
stuck to his skin
an uninvited house guest
ruling his sanctuary as an emperor

A knock at the door!
sheathed phallus in waistband
morning glories hidden point
toward terrifying beauty bringing baked goods
Septembers harvest was bountiful

Visiting his vicinal Valkyrie with favour returned
October ousted an oven fresh “Octo”pie
tentacle fingers burned on the baking tray
apples, currants, sugar, cinnamon, butter, flour, egg and angst
a magic eight ingredients, wriggling in the heat

The first Saturday of November erupted
he blew compliments like budget fireworks
dry, between sips of velvety Syrah
her tongue of Egyptian cotton spun chat
his thoughts were hieroglyphs

Jolly and red faced, with festive breath
artificial mistletoe of flashing neon street
a kiss to fruit their flirtations
juice of his veins, sweetened
December ended with something new.

© Darius the Mate 22-12-2021

Written for Shay’s Word Garden.

Wordplay Pathway

Owls things?

A poem

Whats happening here?
I’m thinking

Ok, what’re you thinking?
About what I’m feeling

What are you feeling?
I’m feeling wise

How so?
A wise man once said; “mushrooms are more nutritious when cooked”

Who said that?

Not when you’re cooked, dummy
when the mushrooms are cooked
now look at you …


what was that noise?


there it is again

It’s you, you made that sound
Owl the hell did that happen?

Psilocybin, silly goose
I’m a goose?
No, you’re an owl

And, hoo are you?
I’m you


You’re a hoot.

© Darius the Mate 17-12-2021

Written for The Sunday Muse.

Wordplay Pathway

Homage to the muse

A rhymed Kwansaba poem

Olympia by Uli Nimptsch,
Subject of the sculpture, born; Judith Stimpson, also known as Granny.
A present wrapped tight with family ties
chilled brandy butter on warmed mince pies
nowhere else I would rather be
maced stuffing from my Granny’s own recipe
her voice in the steam rising skyward
living on in spirit and by word
for all, a full belly and heart.

© Darius the Mate 17-12-2021

Written for dVerse.

Wordplay Pathway


A poem in uncoordinated couplets

noun: duplicity 

1. deceitfulness.
2. the state of being double ARCHAIC.

Oxford Languages

At 1 years old
as babe in arms
sweet as cotton-candy
Mummy from blushed lips blew
dulcet lyrical jingles
spun sugary rhymes
they purled in the the air
fingers in pigeon tuffs of hair

a runaway train
on piston knees
so innate
she stood tall
and proud
bouncing on firecracker feet
o’ bliss at 2
she stuck to Daddy just like glue

turning 4
Mummy went to “heaven”
so, she smooshed the frogs
with a unforgiving stump
at her mercy
on the muddy banks
where they sat

years later, she killed a tomcat

with an air-rifle
she was just 8
her nerves were cold
as winters hold

on the trigger
a crusading knight
she lined him in the sight
felt a righteous charge
as if she had found her religion
Daddy lost his temper
though, she played coy

she would kill a boy
at 16 years young
she fired a different gun
one made of disloyalty
but he, her boy-love,
had two eyes to see;

with the truth
his heart came in two
black and blue

she fit the glass slipper
an immoral Cinderella
to her prince, harming
the ‘c’
no charming
just …
heart shaped
made of chalk
to colour his pain
across the floor

if boys are from Mars
she ate all the stars

and planets
in the galaxy
in a black abyss
the hole
who commits all that who enters
to the belly
light churning
obedient wolves learning

it’s not safe
even in the pack
losing their nature
become dogs
three legged mutts
chasing tail
to her whistle
and call

before the fall
at 32
she carried another mans child
nine months, concealed
beneath a thin film
whilst doting husband
built the cot
the lies and deceit
grew so heavy
cradling the confession
became motherhood

swollen and rotten - driftwood
washing in
and out
of life
unholy and inconsolable
she tended to its silence
with fury, and violence
ivory cheeks
as the elephant
in the room
ethereal fingers
on piano keys
to play in the newborn

thorns to adorn
the babies crown
piercing his innocent skin
for her sin

when tales made their way
back to ears
fatherless, and too young for tears

the infant grew to know no different

she felt vacant inside
as she stood beside

her Daddies coffin
doubled over at 64
she captained her conscience
fought for the right emotions
to portray
a struggle and screech
cats tied in a hessian sack
clawing and catching
one another

her psychology would smother
authentic sentiments
in lieu of surrogate soothsaying
forecasting the necessary
for the benefit
of others

a cerebral tactician
posed for the exposition

friend, or foe
fall by the wayside
dragged through the performance
as heavy stones
around her ankles

her limbic system liquidating
narcissistic personality dominating

her vision
she saw only the silver lining
shimmering in the bleak church
her fraudulent left face
fearlessly crying in view
of all

inheritance glowing beneath a lazy sob
smug in the burial of an inside job

she wiped her eyes
feeling nothing.

© Darius the Mate 16-12-2021

Written for Shay’s Word Garden.

Wordplay Pathway

Pantomime season

A Quadrille poem

Painted faces
pantomime poster
clowns on the TV
bread in the toaster
the country is burning

“They’re behind you!”
scream the proles
Omicron ducking
behind confusing roles
no. 10 party prepping

tinsel hand-chuffs
for lawbreakers
cheese and wine
for lawmakers
fool me once …

© Darius the Mate 14-12-2021

Written for dVerse.

Wordplay Pathway

There are days gone, and days to come

A fictional poem, in a non-fictional world


Days dropped away -
a countdown
in maddening mid December

running toward some prophesied narrative
where everyone is grateful

in my naivety
I had come to think
that meant in my heart, too
but, the nativity of another unwanted child-hood trauma re-emerging
rears its bald and bloody head

winter had been generous, however
with its spirited yield of white powder
falling, and disappearing
at the tip of my nose

whiskey, or some cider coloured piss
to wash it back
in my smoky, magnolia dungeon

it was all ok, until I lost my teeth
now, I’m lonely, toothless, and there’s no fairy’s
or, white bearded philanthropists
creeping to my bed
in the night
in some-sort-of state sanctioned home invasion

the fat man in red visits, occasionally
he works for Royal Mail

I used to order myself gifts from Amazon
just for the human contact
now they just choke-slam my parcel
into the mat
like it’s Saturday morning wrestling
and run off
before, I can even trip over myself
trying to get my stained underpants pulled up
and get to the door

those were the days
not as in: the dreamy, rose coloured sense
those were the days, it all went to shit
it all started one cosy
duvet draped morning


days dropped away -
a countdown
in maddening mid December

sheep sheared for the season
counting reindeer to fall asleep
daydreaming of sleighs
and stockings

the morning smelt like cinnamon
the sky was marmalade on toast
and, the river Thames was spilt tea
down the side of a porcelain cup

it was 1976’
we had a new television
Andre the Giant was slamming men to the canvas
like they were Amazon parcels
all whilst wearing a little black leotard

I couldn’t wait to pull my wellies on
and make a snowman with Dad

he told me to eat my cereal
and watch tele
until Mum came home

he made me promise, I would

“Dad?”, I called out

“When are we going outside?”


with one red left footed wellington boot
on my right foot
and the other in my arms
I pushed his door ajar
to where there were two bare feet suspended in the air

he was just there …

just there …
like some, appalling Christmas angel

a grotesque decoration
hanging without a twinkle

I never understood why



it was so easy

not, to do it
but, to leave us

I thought I never would understand …

I always did what I was told
obeyed the rules
until, I didn’t
until, I opened that door
in a way, I blamed myself
I imagined if I hadn’t opened that door
if I had just waited with my cereal
and tele
and excitement
like Dad told me
then, none of it would have happened
I knew it wasn’t true …
but, I couldn’t help myself

so, since then
I alway do as I am told
but, it’s not working
everything around me is burning
and I’m just sitting here
doing as I’m told


(unavailable) please take a step back


days dropped away -
a countdown
in maddening mid December

charred from the inside out
with a bucket of water
on the doorstep
- I’m told it’s contaminated with pathogens
or, was it the PH is off? I forget

days drop away -
I tell myself not to worry
they’ll be more;
that comforts
and scares me
in equal measure

a countdown
to a time when I can breath freely, again

in a maddening mid-life crisis
persistently preserving the jarred pickle
of my quarter-life crisis
and my beginning-life crisis
- between my pre-adulthood and

I passed flat #5 today
on the way back from getting milk
and long skins

the old girl was out
she must be in her maddening mid nineties
amazing women she is
mind is near completely gone
she wouldn’t know her son
from the delivery boy
double leg dropkicking
her mail-order knick-knacks
down the hall
yet, she always got around like a twenty something
even in her nineties
well, until, yano

I said hello
she smiled
and, I smiled back

like an old friend
not the stranger, I feel

it’s been so long since I saw her
I wondered if she was still around

… and … I’m all alone, again
with my mask.

© Darius the Mate

Wordplay Pathway

Word Farm

A poem

Poetry to the power of three, 
the sun will rise and fall to thee

weaned on folk tales, and oral tradition
soil rich from witch burnings, of old superstition

we shelter beneath the gables and decaying wood
rearing words for tomorrow, so we be better understood.

© Darius the Mate

Photo prompt, written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie.

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


A poem

Contains distressing content, with reference to consent.

Five digits on the wheel
five fiddling on his phone

texting, as he drove
the white on white Ferrari, he got on loan

he rode in to save her
broad shouldered, lofty upon his fair horse

she was alone, drinking to celebrate
the annulment of her second divorce

leaning spearpoints on the bar
fending advances at the dainty elbow

letting fly stray glances
they cut the air, straight as an arrow

he pulled up a stool, next to her
like he’s done done 1, 2, or 20 times before

squealed “what’s thy poison, ladybird?” behind moustache tusks of a prized boar

at first, her red curls seemed angry
not quite an inferno, more a snapping crab

keeping his hands where she could see
else, he end up stiffened, on the slab

taking shot, with his best chat up lines
she shuttered them beneath her skin

they posed in the aloof aperture
developed in darkness within

for he, pleasantly - and with some surprise
struck her shield, carefree

but, most of all the things he found
was her inconsolably thirsty

one drink, two drinks - salt, tequila
a wedge of lime - lick, shoot, suck

his thoughts turned south
to the sea bed - a quick, no strings, fuck

she drunk like a sailor
and swore like one too

the more alcohol he plied her
the more she threatened to spew

but, he kept on buying
she kept on chucking em’ back

with red headed readiness
she drunk, until things went black

“doth thee bethink me a scarlet women?”
she murmured, as he hailed a cab

“Mine own lodging, 'r yours?”
he pressed, as the red flags began to stab

she crashed on the shore of the back seat
as wreckage in a storm

viking feet to stricken the beach
raid, pillage and swarm

swarm and swarm, falling locusts
on the windows, shaped as heavy rain

could not even slow the blaze
the fevered blaze, of his campaign

the door slammed shut
she was on his bed

the ceiling spun
around her head

his lust, as penetrating as coals
on the feet

her body froze, clutching, the first frost
on his uninvited heat

“stop” she whimpered
but, he did not

“stop” she cried out
but silence, was all she got

he crowned himself a conquerer
a champion Knight

he thought he would thrust his sword
and be gone, before the morning light

he pledged to free her perfumed spirit
la petite mort - the little death

she closed her eyes
and, held her breath …

it was over
was it over? - will this wound ever heal?

as it sunk in, what had happened
she knew she had to kill

so, he could never ever, ever, ever
do this to another, again

this thing, this fucking thing
this pandemonium of pain

with his stench on her body
she staggered, she crept

to the knife drawer, in the kitchen
and, back to where he slept

born of the jugular
he wore her vengeance, on his skin

she promised it would not be quick
as he spurted, below the chin

he snapped awake with freakish cocaine eyes
quivering at the sight of morning

gargled the thought of mourning
of his family - the thought was dawning

beneath the knife, the champion Knight
had never felt so small

irony lost, his little life flashed
- he would get his ‘little death’, after all.

© 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

Mother, Wolf

A poem

Wolf around my neck
snarling teeth, and red army gums
protecting in the night
when the bad witch comes

I call my wolf, mother
for, she was there
when babushka thread daisies
in my yellow hair

suckled at the teat
when the larder was stark
holding her fur tight
in the dark, dark, dark

shes not a real mother
but, she was there
when babushka pushed up daisies
in the soil, bare

she is my second face
snapping at the crooked nose
as Baba Yaga crept
on boney legs from the shadows

she is my strength
and she was there
when I burnt down the hut
smelt Yaga, in the air

now, all the witches
and the chicken legs
run from my hunger
as the wolf eats their eggs.

© Darius the Mate

Baba Yaga
by Ivan Bilibin
Vasilisa the Beautiful, at the Hut of Baba Yaga by Lily Seika Jones

Written for the The Sunday Muse.

With the picture provided by Shay, at its base, I tapped into the Slavic folklore tales of Baba Yaga, the infamous witch with the taste for children’s flesh, who is said to live in a hut on chicken legs.

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

Chapters too, fragment in time

A poem of parts


Light, warmth, sound, darkness, cold, shape.
Finger tips searching.
Impenetrable shrouded shield, protecting, as muslin sentinel.
Fours on the carpet.
Food on the table.
Food on face.
Food for thought, everywhere.
Hope, promise …

… expectation …

… hands up, who knows?
Gold stars.
Pink cheeks.
Red knees.
Stabilisers stabilising.
Imagination emanating.
Feet on the ground, running.
Pencil shavings on the table.
‘Kiss, Chase’ worn on the face.
Investigation, anticipation …

… impatience …

… 4 wants 5, 5 wants 6, 6 wants …

… 12, 12 wants 13, 13 wants …

… them. Her. Him. Him. Her.
Whom the heart desires, beating heavily.
The first taste of their chewing gum in ones mouth.
Tongue warm inside, exploring.
Candescent adolescence.
Green steps on uneven ground. Heartbreak.
Some give, some take, most all will shoulder it …

… a disco ball of sensory stimuli reflecting off every surface.
The panacea of tomorrow’s promise.
Contemporary conscious, wading into future, forecasting …

… Friday, grafting, gasping for liquid salvation.
Saturday, groggy, rasping for a breath.
Sunday, snoozing, stealing a moments moratorium.
Monday, moving, moving, moving …

… Friday …

… foundation building, counting digits in the ether …

… Friday …

… tripping over shoes in hallways.
Picking up articulated objects of mass distraction.
Pygmy packed lunches for little priority magnets.
Focus, commitment …

… sacrifice …

… the treasury of the heart, opulent, abundant.
Candles burgeoning, twinkle beneath bright eyes, reminiscent.
Belly full of cake, trying to keep ahead of the game on a full stomach …

… chasing something, always something to chase, trying to catch ones breath.
Wheezing through the weeks, drawing in the decades …

… sudden was the creeping tiger.
A quiet house.
Empty rooms.
Plethora of flora and fauna, lively beyond the window, by the comfy chair - an orange, black and white tail, disappearing into the long grass …

… the jar of pickle, shelved, is from 2008, forgotten, beneath settled dust, and lassitude.
The children - children no longer - used to visit on Sundays, now so infrequently, it’s been surrendered to serendipity.
The joy of of the grandchildren’s laughter, echoed on the walls once more, added value from the absence …

… rediscovering long lost pleasures, one admittedly wishes they’d have spent more time in the occupation of.
So much time for leisure, and so many options, it’s difficult to get much of any done …

… reminiscing is chief conversation. Television is company …

… speculating how well ones faired, and benefitted from all they gave.
Wondering what could have been.
Scared of so little.
Scared of so much.
Embarrassment parted ways many moons ago.
Now, a graver companion strides beside, pointing to the endless horizon, looming; the knowing, the not knowing.
It is humanities torment.
The fear of finding out, and the irony of not finding out when …

… what does it mean to be human?
Complex, transitory …

… mortal …

… realising the trade off, for everything we get to see and feel.
We know the consequences, ventured regardless.
The pain of loss, weighed against the the fruits of love …

… sun through the window, sweet as summer blackberries, dappled on the skin.
The door ajar lets in an polar draft, sending the grizzlies into early hibernation …

… knowing what one wants, needs, and will accept is a wizardly talent.
One can wield the tongue as an artifice of considered dexterity for personal gain, or philanthropic pursuits.
Knowledge is a precious commodity.
Wisdom, expertise …

… recognition …

… lazy Sundays, lazy Mondays, Tuesdays …

… lazy Fridays, Saturdays. All days flowed and merged, in a confluence of time …

… seized joints, raptured long ago by some unknown numen.
To move about the room came with great effort …

… lifeblood flowing tepid, trickles in narrow vessels, arteries hardening, elasticity lessening …

… chest tightening …

… light, warmth, sound, darkness, cold, shape.
Finger tips searching.
Breath shortening, labouring.

© 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

Drink up

A quadrille poem

Only words;

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

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!

Wordplay Pathway

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
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


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

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


a feverish delirium
the sand cloud that enveloped
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

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!

Wordplay Pathway

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

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

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

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


now, if I could only
stay on track …


with my train of thought

I’m an arsehole with an opinion
or …



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


I like that one most
and of all the crude sayings

chiming faithfully in the wind
that, likening opinions

with arseholes
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!

Wordplay Pathway

Sparkling, still?

A poem

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

ready for a mouthful
to quench the drought

dedicatedly displayed
elegantly shaped
and perfectly formed
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
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

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!

Wordplay Pathway

Day 13

A poem

Day 13, since you moved back in
and we agreed we’d give it
“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

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


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

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!

Wordplay Pathway

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…
limp and jointless
a completely random animal
instinctually protecting himself
from anything that scares him
vulnerable to sharp objects
blunt objects
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
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
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!

Wordplay Pathway

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
from a broken sleep
to an effervescently frothy
top adorning the bitter coffee
the spoon in the cafetière
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





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”
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
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!

Wordplay Pathway

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
just chemical pathways
in our brains

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
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!

Wordplay Pathway

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!

Wordplay Pathway

A lad in…

A poem

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
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

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
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
letting in the wonderland
and all the Mad Hatters

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

I am the restless mind
that’s wanting

ever wanting
in a sea of worry
for some unseen promise

rocking the boat
in calm waters
anxieties keep me falling

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
into every square inch
of solid, saddening ground

I am the tarnished tale
barely legible

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


scribbled in the margin
between black printer pressed type

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

It’s an often confounding composition
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

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
and often

I am the narrative

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!

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A Quadrille Poem

It’s standard practice
to treat disordered
emotional states

by severing connections;

I, the emotional state

drifting through this continuum
evanescent fragments

that which meant
so much

tribal connections;


memories gathered
for warmth

lineal pathways
- fireflies of the hippocampus.

© Darius the Mate

A poem in 44 words, 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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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
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
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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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.

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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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
are now terrorists?

Is this right, or
is this what terror is?

I support their resistance
They must resist
to exist

dealing with opponents
Is emphatically

Incomprehensible authoritarianism

Uyghurs are continually
deemed reprehensible

for existing
and interned
in re-education camps


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

can do as they please

over a million
scream out
in Cantonese


for nothing

The streets are full
voices fall
on deaf ears

Their fears


in the High Court

long assured
in dictum

The obscene

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


my heart bleeds for you
Tong Ying-kit

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…

when flying a flag, with;

"Liberate Hong Kong, revolution of our times."

is added to the list of crimes

Activists are now;


The true criminals
are the ones in power

devouring the morsels
of difference

we watch idle

from our ivory tower

no better
to judge


state secrets
the freedom of the press

in Julian Assange’s arrest


the continued
by the US
to extradite

a freedom to oppress?




Are the
in back rooms
in files
defiling our freedom
In these British isles

I suspect
I’m correct
in disbelieving the words

of government figures
who lead humans
as herds

to the polls

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

our Western Superiority

a facade?

Is liberalism
just a political identity
to win votes?

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
on tv

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
those who impose
dark underbelly of our society?

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

in the powers that be




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
a regression

in aspects

of basic human need
in fulfilment
which breeds
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



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
how far we’ll sink…

holding out for
the page unsigned
by blood red ink.

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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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
that circles the circumference of my imagination

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

as wildflower
birthed of a unfamiliar soil
each cycle

where is my muse?
deepening breaths inflate my lungs
make me wince
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
to wake
for life

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

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

and every now and then
my body will hit a limit
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
in the forever garden

and kicks the witch into her oven
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

beyond age

beyond now

beyond then

then, where is my muse?


and find within

there’s still room for fairytales
beyond imagination

beyond 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


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.

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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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).

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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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

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

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
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

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

form your own views
roam free
over your own dominion

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

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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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!

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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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.

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 quadrille poem

Thinking thoughtlessly,
often forgotten,
if not jotted -

as gold coins,

Let bygones be bygones,

bygone minds,
live on,
in written word,

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

when consumed,


From the soil,

the cogs.

Written for dVerse Poets Pub.

© 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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