i lay all this while (gulliver’s undoing)

let me tell you what little i know
i am not the man i ought to be
nor half a man if not for you
i’m stranger in a strange land
than i have ever been before

what no one here dares concede
is all we do is use and be used
we’re not the masks that wear all we
to be needy isn’t merely to bleed
carmine prints where we strove to be

time’s run out for it all to still matter
i’m bludgeoned, cowed, rarely right
i’d sooner delight in being more wrong
questions are my faithful companions
answers swan in with blazing cannons

i have no power to enact my privilege
i have no tower to enthrone my will
but i have a flower sat in my hair here
a curious plesh o’er frangible crown

i’m here yet unaccounted for
wrecked in my own inscrutable way
trajectories frill my shuttered mind
perhaps there’re none that really know me
the first in a long line of ignorants

i have no wish to disengage
the shells have forced an unembellishing
they smite me down for the little i am
ricochet out from what could have been
i’m induced to reduce to no margin for error

let me knell what little i know
i am not the man i sought to be
nor half a man if not for you
i’m stranger in a strange land
than i have ever been before

i have no power to enact my privilege
i have no tower to enthrone my will
but i have a flower sat in my hair here
a curious plesh o’er frangible crown

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017

quietus

the keel has met the shore
and maybe i don’t want to leave
but love, my story’s told
cannot sing past songs no more
parting is sweet bitter sorrow
heart’s cockles have grown cold

i see the sail unfurled
and surely we shall never know
what’s left that could have been
i’ll tramp not in your world
nor age another day with you
years not enough, my queen

the fisher king, he saves
peace you now, all will be fine
i cruise at morning’s light
and face the winds (as braves)
treading clear of land and sky
in this boat’s mythic flight

hark now, the end has come
we bid, my love, our fond farewells
and touch pale cracking lips
hush now, it has begun
this rattling chest shall raise no more
as mere life loses grip

sands wait, of greater price
than many riches in your palms
and all the jewel array
are not the seashells nice?
with eyes so sad, you look elsewhere
boat softly slips away

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2015

transient

you see demons behind all skins
i see a fey, tectonic soul
trying not to come apart
trying not to let you in

you are itching to move on
some can only hold on
and some of us won’t make it
lost in the gap of then and time

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2008

a grief with no name

fuck the god that put me here
and you over there
let him be nailed a thousand times over
for his crimes against humanity
and against me and you

i’m walking around in this tired old rain
each drop afresh with crying cliché
i’ve been so scared for the longest time
don’t know if i can diminish more
when hung out to dry how small will i be?

asleep within this well of days
my droom of dying in shadow
untying me from the knot of time
smashed upon the rocks of hope

how did this become a sodding wet dream?
body-shamed in the blood of christ
a third arm predestined for the drop
to be weaned and ghosted off of all grace
and this is when i recall i am nothing

so i breathe in the now, eclipsed in black
sun kisses, fool aye, no sun kisses for me
elsewhere, your shoulders a sun kissed hue
strange burning beneath a falsehood sky
all hope is lost but hope

asleep within this well of days
my droom of dying in shadow
untying me from the knot of time
fuck the god that put me here

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2017