A Thing of Beauty

I saw a thing of beauty

In the corner of your eye,

And it was so truly beautiful,

it nearly made me cry.

And I found my very favourite song

Along the edges of your lips.

It made me want to jump for joy,

And kiss your fingertips.

You managed to hide my favourite touch

In the creases of your palm,

And in a world of constant chaos,

You somehow managed to be my calm.

I found my favourite dance steps

In the soles of both your feet,

And when you spoke, you managed to make

My favourite words sound sweet.

So when I’m upset or angry,

I know exactly what to do.

I find your face and it makes me smile,

Because you’re my favourite you.

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In Remembrance of You

This poem was inspired by a white rose left beside someone’s name on the memorial at Ground Zero, New York City.

I remembered you last night again.

The memory struck me hard.

I’d tried with all my soul to say good-bye,

But this memory I could not discard.

It crept up close behind me,

And whispered in my ear.

It caused me to choke and cough in shock,

But the memory had no fear.

It came to me in music last night.

It sailed on the notes of a song.

They’re sneaky things, these memories,

They don’t disappear for long.

The words of the tune lingered behind

In the scratching scream of silence.

And I couldn’t quite notice for all the calm

That surrendered after the violence.

It’s easier to forget things for a day

Than it is to forget them forever.

For memories seem to alight in my dreams

As sweet and as soft as a feather.

So I visited you again today.

I’m sorry I haven’t for a while.

It’s hard to find time to say hello

And to conjure up a smile.

I brought you a gift when I visited you.

No thanks needed, it was only small.

I didn’t really know what you would want,

But I hope you haven’t changed at all.

It’s been such a long time since I last spoke to you,

And now I’ve forgotten your voice.

I tried to repeat it in my mind today,

But it didn’t seem to be my choice.

I asked you if you liked what I’d brought you,

But you didn’t give any reply.

I decided to take your silence as ‘yes’

Instead of you passing me by.

It was a tiny, little flower I’d brought you.

Only one, small and bright white.

You never liked colourful things.

I remembered that; I was right.

I tried to tell you what the rose felt like

Because I thought you would want to know.

And I tried to describe the way it smelt,

But it was a sense I couldn’t quite show.

It smelt a bit like a memory,

Bitter, and harsh, and sweet.

But you never liked how I couldn’t describe

Anything short and neat.

I thought maybe you’d remember as well,

And the flower might make you grin.

Maybe somehow you’d smell the smell,

And you’d understand why I couldn’t begin.

People kept staring at me today.

I think it’s because you never respond.

I sound selfish when I say it’s harder like that

Because no one can see our bond.

I tried so very hard not to cry today,

And I think I did quite well.

I kept a smile on my face throughout our chat

And my eyes, they never fell.

I feel like writing you a letter,

Even if its one you’ll never read.

I don’t want you to forget the shape of my hand

Because to forget would make my heart bleed.

I thought of that when I was visiting today.

I got a pen to write in the rose.

I stared at the petals for ages and more,

But I’ve never been good at prose.

The petals were perfect paper,

Soft and smooth like skin.

They didn’t crumple, didn’t crease,

They stayed perfectly warm and thin.

I couldn’t think of what to write

So I just wrote your name again and again.

I wrote until the white rose turned black

And the ink ran dry in my pen.

I didn’t know whether you’d want the rose anymore,

You never really appreciated mess.

But I left it with you anyway,

Because I could do no more or less.

I tried desperately hard not to touch your name,

But my fingers dragged along the groove.

It always hurts when I touch the letters

Because I can do nothing to stop the move.

We were in the middle of a conversation when you left.

I asked you a question and you never replied.

There were noises crashing, I couldn’t hear your voice,

And then our connection died.

I can’t remember what you looked like

When you last said good-bye.

And that’s what hurts the most and more.

That’s what makes me cry.

I’ll go and see you tomorrow, I swear.

But then again, maybe not.

It took all my strength to visit today,

And I haven’t got a lot.

So I hope you smell our memory

And I hope you read your rose.

I wish I could have written to tell you all I said,

But I’ve never been very good at prose.

Brave Boys in Paper Houses

He lived his life sitting inside,

He didn’t like the outdoor air.

He spent his days in a paper house

Away from every stare.

The house was brittle and flimsy,

But it kept him hidden from sight.

He said he was angry at the world,

And staying away was winning the fight.

Then one day, he heard laughter

Through his paper windowpane.

The laughter spread across paper curtains

In a curiously shaped ink stain.

He tried to clean the curtains,

He scrubbed each night and day.

But the ink stain only came back each time

That the children returned to play.

He pulled the curtains to, and steeled himself;

He told himself that he was brave.

The laughter was inappropriate.

His dignity was his to save.

But the laughter always haunted him,

It even entered into his dreams.

He lay awake in a paper house

That was falling apart at the seams.

It was bravery that kept him there.

Bravery kept him strong.

He was brave to stand out from the crowd,

And to refuse to be strung along.

He didn’t want to follow the masses,

He wanted to stand out.

So he stood alone in his paper house,

Where only he was about.

But the laughter kept on chasing him,

Cutting through his paper wall.

He didn’t like how small he felt

When his bravery should have made him tall.

One morning, bright and early.

There was a knock on his paper door.

When he didn’t answer, the letter slot opened,

And a note fell to the paper floor.

The note asked him to come outside,

And he bravely threw it away.

He didn’t need others to be happy, he said,

To have fun, he didn’t have to play.

For ages, he pretended and ignored the note,

And his paper house grew more and more small.

He suddenly noticed how his house had grown weak;

It concerned him that one day it may fall.

One day, he finally ventured outside,

His heart was in his throat.

It stuck and he found he couldn’t talk,

Nor speak a single note.

Another little boy came forward,

And he said, “Don’t be afraid.

“I know you haven’t been out before,

But I’ll teach you the rules of what we’ve played.”

So the brave boy left the paper house,

And was amazed at how well he’d fared.

For the bravest thing he’d ever done

Was admitting that he was scared.

Papercuts

A paper cut is all it takes to make you bleed,

The tiniest of cuts is all you need.

I cut my finger today on a letter you wrote,

Now I’m drowning in me, and I don’t know how to float.

I made a ship from your letter and sailed away,

But the paper got soft and fell apart in a day.

I was dragged to the bottom by the weight of my wealth.

I saw you down below, and you toasted my health.

You shouldn’t write me letters because I don’t want to know

Everything that you’re doing because I know it’s for show.

And I’m speaking the truth, I don’t care what you say;

None of this would’ve happened if you’d just gone away.

The Door Before Me

There’s a door right in front of me,

It’s standing in my way.

I don’t know how to open it,

And if I could, what would I say?

I think there’s someone behind the door,

I think they’re calling out my name.

But I’m too scared to call something back,

Because after that, what if nothing’s the same?

Someone comes to stand beside me,

And together, we stare at the door.

Maybe behind it is another boring room,

But just maybe there’s something more.

I reach out and touch the doorknob.

It’s cool and fits in my palm.

That’s when I realise I’ll open the door,

And I have never felt more calm.

The person beside me takes my hand,

And slowly shakes his head.

He turns me away from this strange, new door,

And points down the hall instead.

Down the hall, it’s safe, and nothing has changed.

Down the hall is where I’ve always belonged.

Down the hall is the world that I have always known,

The world where I’ve never been wronged.

Walking down the hall would be easier.

Besides, the door’s locked and I don’t have the key.

The person beside me smiles and nods,

He likes that I give up so easily.

Holding his hand, I walk down the hall,

And with each step I feel a little more unsure,

Until I tear my grasp out of his hand,

And rush back towards the door.

I hammer my hands against the wood,

Until my knuckles start to bleed.

I beat and I beat until the door starts to creak,

And I know I’ve nearly completed my deed.

The door swings open, and I fall through

Into the strangeness of what I don’t know.

Behind the door it’s scary and different and large;

I don’t know in which direction to go.

I can hear the person screaming behind me,

And I know the door was part of his plan.

He wanted me to stay on what I’d always known,

He wasn’t expecting it when I ran.

But I wasn’t happy in the hall,

There was nothing that made me smile.

Maybe that’s the reason I went through the door,

Because nothing’s made me laugh in a while.

 

So if anyone ever locks the door in your way,

And tries to make you frown.

Just run where you want and give them hell,

Because you’re strong enough to knock it down.