the blacklight gaze

maybe i am nothing
or maybe i did happen once
but history was never my story
and paradise always belonged to you
maybe if i denied my need
maybe if i’ve not said too much
i might finally find my field of reeds
to walk in, perchance to breathe

fain don’t you light a candle for me
for tomorrow’s breeze would see me gone
so scorn me not for a child
i intend to bleed from open hands

maybe i am grateful
or maybe i’ll be the final smile
frozen between provident lines
where i’m never right and you’re never wrong
maybe i haven’t bled enough
maybe if i defied the need
in an ultraviolet field of reeds
to haze in, ergo to breathe

fain don’t you light a candle for me
for tomorrow’s breeze would see me gone
so scorn me not for a child
i intend to bleed over scorched sands

maybe my blood was fire
maybe i am guttering now
bleeding out blackened fields of need
to lay in, forgo to breathe
so maybe i am something
maybe i’ll not betide even once
everyone’s busy living and dying
least of all me

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

relentless

a darkness was waiting in the wings
for the final curtain call on my veins
and even though i’d stepped away
gaslight still thrubbed a spell in my brain
i was skipping across the icy stones
upending my way toward a new home
determined to outrun the snowstorm
the hollow blast of their winter gloam

maybe i’m broken
but now i know i’m free
just a short run and i’ll be there
white lies the wolf at my throat

i was stepping outside the story cage
the one they’d fashioned, devoid of heat
that was meant to contain and subdue me
an austere tale more terror than sweet
the world broken down on every side
i upended way beyond their reach
never again would the cage define me
my soul to keep from dogma’s teach

maybe i’m foreswooned
but for now i know i am free
just a short run and i’ll be there
their lies the wolf at my throat

when they gorged on the fumes of their dead sun
i knew i could never be one of their pack
when they piously bayed against the moon
as it dared to haunt them from out of the black
so now i’m appending beyond their beseech
loping for ice that burns a ruby glow
stepping and running before i expire
to the inevitable ebb of fate’s flow

maybe i’m foredoomed
for now i know for sure i am free
just a short run and i’ll be somewhere
your lies the wolf at my throat

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

EARS WIDE OPEN // the ley of three (a firefly’s monologue)

Valentine’s Day is upon us again—a happy time for some, but not so much for others. It has been said that love makes the world go round, but what happens when love leaves? The world stops, and you wonder if you’ll ever get out of bed again. Your precious heart goes dark.

When I lost my faith, I thought I had lost the love of my life. I was wrong. I hadn’t. You cannot lose what was never real to begin with. Nowadays, I am able to see and feel more clearly. I can breathe without the crushing weight of dogma on my chest. The people I now know, I can love wholeheartedly. Of course, I try not to hurt them, but I don’t always succeed, and I am thankful that they can look past my failings. I know for a fact that I am nothing without their kindness and patience.

This poem is an ode of sorts. Yes, it’s for the ones I love. It’s also for the strangers I may never meet. It’s for those of you who have suffered on Valentine’s Day because love left. Perhaps you’ve felt despair within an inch of hope. Perhaps you’ve sensed pain waiting patiently at the door for vows to break. Perhaps old age or ill health robbed you of someone, just when you’d finally learned to forgive and accept. It’s fair to say that love is not for the faint of heart.

This reading was recorded with the accompaniment of a wonderful track by Kai Engel of the Free Music Archive. I hope it can help you in some way. I hope it can bring you some small measure of clarity. And I dearly hope love will find you again, that in the meantime you won’t let your heart go dark.

 

 

 

the ley of three (a firefly’s monologue)

i’ve been ghosting in and out of life
for a good long while now
your life, her life, and my own
i’m the conjuring lost at life’s murky end
and i no longer wish to delay
for night threatens to subsume we three

lone perforations in the dark are we
we’ve tarried here, for hope’s shape to beam
behind us and through
to propel us to… something
but it seems we’re not the stars we prayed for
nor the burning triptych others dismayed for

there’s a fallen saviour, dead in the night sky
and i think we know it
it could have clapped hands over us mankind
but chose not to
us mankind that had pledged not to lose our way
back in the good old days

so, what are we
a chorus of one, or are we not
are we some kind of earthen trinity
go on, you can answer me
are we a three-in-one rumbling spark
that shall never let the heart go dark

i’ve been ghosting in and out of life
for a good long while now
pulsing across the ley lines of our heart
linking the terrain ’til death do us part
mapping the terrain ’til death do impart
a silencing hand for all that lies below and aught above

and i said to myself, ‘if i don’t gain the world
then perhaps i might not lose my soul’
but do i have a soul, and i’ll die anyway
without faint recall to when and from
when and from we three embarked
when and from our heart sank dismally dark

there’s a saviour, dead in the sky
gone to be with a dead god
it could have clapped hands and sung over us
but chose not to
it chose not to reunite us in love, us mankind
at the cusp of a new day that was promised us

so, what are we
a chorus of one, or are we not
are we some kind of earthen trinity
go on, you can answer me
are we a three-in-one thunderous spark
that can never let the heart go dark

i’ve been ghosting in and out of life
for a good long while now
pulsing across the grey lines of our heart
without faint recall to when and from
when and from we three embarked
on our search for the day line of our heart

each day has been eclipsed by the day before
the past has been banished to the past
and mortality’s ephemeral scream
lost yonders have faded us beyond recognition
but who says we can only be here for a short while
yet the stars remain impossibly high (and we cannot be them)

there’s a fallen saviour in the sky tonight
at the right hand of a small god that won’t let us in
it could have clapped hands and brung us over once
but chose not to
we’re blood and bone, us mankind, the earth to till
until judgement day, these are the rules

so, what are we really
a chorus of one, or are we not
are we some kind of earthen trinity
go on, please answer me
the three-in-one continuous spark
we must never let our heart go dark

never

 

Text by TONY SINGLE
Audio by KAI ENGEL & TONY SINGLE
Image by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2020

circle without end

i am shape, formerly human
a frosting sphere beneath heaven’s blear
insensate in the wake of chased dreams
waking to be, to be held by you

but you don’t care for all that i’ve shared
(in truth) do you
taking only what i can ill afford to give
yea, lay me down, do trollen sigh
into the bracement of dip and rime

hoar am i as the sea
you always said something about completing me
professed to crest open roil with gladness
but have you ever

i’m the end you always supposed me to be
and you’ll always be the end point of me
we reek of codependency
yea, lay me down, do trollen cry
cover thon over these lovers’ crimes

tease me with your lips, plunder me
sweet talk me again and again
squeeze me with your hips, squander me
junk me gently with the pain

yea, lay me down, do trollen fly
decrease the contours of my decline
was there ever a beginning to all of this
you’ll always be the end point of me
we reek of codependency

hoar am i as the sea
something about you completing me
and cresting the open roil with gladness
but have you ever

yea, lay me down, do trollen hie
bury me gone, away from all time
you won’t care for all that i’ve shared
(in truth) will you
taking only what i can ill afford to give

i am shape, formerly human
a thing to be abraded with use
an asset, a liability
you’ll always get to choose

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019

Thy Rod & Staff (He Watches Me)

And the lord said,
“I Am Calamity’s Form.
I Am The Blinding Light.
I Am The Finger Of Doom
Come To Finger you.”

And we said,
“You hide behind natural disasters,
make mountains from molehills,
and allow your filthy acolytes
to prey and finger the weak.”

Bibles in one hand,
held aloft, spilling holy milt
as the other palms denial.
Acolytes all must agree to be right
but we’re still free to know that you know (that we know).

So, here we stand in the gap,
and finally declare war on you.
The days are numbered, tyrant god,
and yours are running out.
We’re wise to you and yours.

Nothing can save you now,
not even rite nor greased wrung.
No longer lost in corridor minds,
we don’t have to see by your gaslight.
We’re free to unknow all we were told to know.

 

by TONY SINGLE
© All rights reserved 2019