advice

Story teller

He was a writer and a poet

A real writer though if you can understand,

He would bleed words all over the page.

Notebook after bloody notebook.

Piled up on the table and in his wardrobe

And his wife

Would say how he was always writing,

Even when he was supposed to be doing else.

He would journey back to his childhood in his mind

And tell us stories.

To catch the train, he and his sister

(Who was five years older),

Would have to walk across the neighbour’s farm to get to the little platform.

Then they would wave the train down with a flag

And it would puff to a stop so they could climb aboard.

One year, when he was about twelve years old,

Some kids started catching the train to school with them.

They were working on the farm nearby

And they were dirt poor.

These kids had no shoes

And summer spike grass

Or winter frost would attack their feet.

They had black toes and hard horny feet.

The boy, tall and thin, with long crooked teeth

Would get on the train and smile,

Hanging his hands down by his side, he would whistle,

And the kids would gather around him,

There as the train picked up speed and filled their lives with smoke and cold wind

He would tell a story.

The boy’s face would blaze as he spoke

And he would hold people with his words.

The poet would open his eyes after sharing that memory

And, a little sadly, would tell us

 no matter how much he practiced and wrote,

He never captured people in the same way

As the poor boy with no shoes.

Leather bag

The leather bag cost $560

The leather was thin but of beautiful design.

She bought it at an exclusive store downtown,

Where they keep the doors locked.

Her dresses all cost thousands of dollars too.

She would leave them on the back of the chairs in her room

Or they would be dropped on the floor

Like dead flowers.

Once, I picked a red dress up and held it to my face

And smelled her scent, then I hung it in the wardrobe

While she lay on a daybed by the window.

She watched me through half closed eyes.

She was tired of loving me, and that meant

I would soon be like an expensive dress, one she had worn to a party.

A dress she could never wear again.

I would sit in the back of her wardrobe

Untouched,

Never to see the light again.

Eventually, I would go to a box and placed in storage.

She could never be rid of anything,

Her things were stored or lost.

Things fell from favour, but she kept them all.

I would be hers, but I would be forgotten,

I would fall out of fashion.

I looked at that leather travel bag and picked it up,

She was going away without me,

I did not care to ask where.

 

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The reading room.

The French doors lie open,

the sun and breeze trip in, like visitors coming for tea.

The books sprawl across the old wicker table,

under them, a crisp white cloth.

The smell of toast dances with the summer morning.

birds, overjoyed by the beauty of life, sing along the branches of huge plane trees.

She has stepped away for a moment, but her perfume stays

like the ghost that fell in love with a queen.

These days of luxury, sun-kissed ease

are marked in difference from the older, darker days.

The money is less now, but she does not miss the abuse of wealth.

Sleep a long deep sleep

and wake with the gentle day,

let the universe provide for now.

Stand on the balcony and look down at the trees and green parkland,

and remember the dirty, city streets that can touch you no more.

Thunder on the Mountains

I have seen the people at the close of day,
dark like the dreams of storm clouds.
In a city on any day, millions of lives unfold,
burning like little candles.

The sad face of life looking in through the windows of laundries,
where people sit, side by side, in yellowing underclothes
watching the spinning of the machines, laughing, detergent frothing machines,
always asking for more money.

Three friends grown up together,
one died young,
the other two moved to different cities.
Took on different lives.

One works hard on her fitness,
running and lifting weights.
but lost a lot of money investing in property
and now works hard to keep off the thoughts of darkness.
The other married and had three kids
and dreams of what might have been
if only, if only things had been different.
And her husband has sex with the secretary three times a week.

Jack had been in their class at school,
but they had forgotten him after 20 years
and could pass him on the street,
and not know his face.

When Jack was a kid he followed his father down the street into town
to buy the Sunday lunch. They visited the butcher and the baker and bought vegetables.
Jack always carried the vegetables in a wicker basket
his mother gave him specifically for that purpose.

When Jack’s father died,
Jack stood at the funeral numb with pain
and knew then, that those days of being loved, and free,
would never come again. The best he could hope for would be to have his own son to love.

The great clock that sits above the street,
ringing out the hours, disturbs the lovers in the rooms nearby.
So many people making love,
as the mist of the early night settles on the grey roofs.

As midnight chimes out,
Mary sits up from her damp bed, and notices tonight’s lover has left.
She runs her fingers across her tired eyes,
and wonders if she’ll see him again.

We leave them now,
you and I.
Think of these people sometimes.
It is their lives that echo around you like thunder on the mountains.

Ring the bells and ring them more

and know that they ring for more.

The birth of a new son, a baby has arrived

the death of an old man who lived long enough in spite.

 

The youth brings promise

the old brings decay,

and what can people do

but wait for that cold day?

 

Some pray,

some live in art.

They walk the halls and look upon the gold and silver

pictures formed long ago, far away.

 

I chose art

for in choosing art I get to see

the visions had long ago

on dark winten nights and bright summer morns.

A disease

She broke a stick on the ground

and held it up to me.

‘See there, where it broke? A weakness, there’s a knot.’

She’s always pointing out people’s weaknesses.

Nobody has strength like her,

no one has intelligence as fine as she does.

But instead of being humble and kind in her greatness,

she wants to break people down all the time.

 

Last month she was told she has cancer.

She shrugged her shoulders and said

‘It happens to people all the time, why shouldn’t it happen to me?’

I said nothing.

She asked me over to her house yesterday

and when I came in, I could see she had been crying.

‘Why me?’ she asked.

I held her hand. It was cold as if she were already dead.

 

On the truth.

Catching the train from South to North,

I notice the conversation had by two drivers on the platform.

Yesterday this very train took the head

off a man who had had enough.

He laid on the track

and the metal wheels acted like hot knives.

I sit in my first class seat

and read the kings and queens of words.

What bite do these printed thoughts have

compared to the weight and steel of life?

But still, this book does more kindness to me

than the train did for him.

 

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Morning in the city

The boat slaps against the timber wharf

the muddy water sloshes against the piers, like water poured out of an old boot.

Mr. Thomas lets out an inadvertent roar into the tired morning.

People around look at him,

not in surprise but more in disappointment,

as if to say:

Yes, we’re all in this, but we are controlling ourselves, thank you.

Thomas looks up and sees a group of teenage school girls,

laughing, their youth pleased with itself in the face of aging misery.

They are too young and strong to be brought down.

They are, in their beauty, like a powerful beacon holding off the heavy night.

He watches one girl for a moment, the tallest and most pretty of the group,

he sees the sunlight finger her blonde-brown hair

like the light in the leaves of a forest.

Then he looks away to see a man throw a cigarette into the harbor.

What promises he made himself

when he was young

and how much more beautiful that woman was

than even that girl

at 17.

Do you want a free copy of Anvil Soul? Go here and win one at Goodreads!

Side Chick

Sitting in the city café

A woman near the window starts crying.

Her friend goes to stand up,

A look of disgust across her face.

“He told me I’m his side chick,”

The crying woman says

Before the other one leaves.

I watch her out the window

As she walks away down the street

The other woman– the side chick- cries for a while and then leaves as well.

I wonder what a side chick is.

The waitress comes and stands beside me

I realise I’m the only one left in the café.

“They didn’t leave any money,”

The woman says.

I look up at her,

She is old, with lines on her face

But still pretty.

Her arm is a sleeve of tattoos, and a tear is tattooed on her cheek.

I start to ask her what a side chick is

But I change my mind and give her twenty dollars.

She talks to me a bit longer,

About the people, she sees every day.

I tell her to keep the change, and she smiles.

Hard covers and How to write a poem

My hard covers of The Bomber arrived today and I am excited.

They are real collectors items!

Have a look at my instagram: https://www.instagram.com/iamdavidosullivan/

Now how to write a poem:

 

  1. Live a life where you do your best by everyone
  2. Remember all the best times
  3. Remember all the worst times
  4. Make notes to help you remember in steps 2 and 3 if needed
  5. Find love
  6. Lose love
  7. Sit by a window on a rainy day and watch the drops on the window slide to oblivion
  8. Walk about a forest
  9. Walk about the city
  10. Buy a pen and a note book
  11. Be aware of things you see, hear, smell and feel
  12. Remember that person you liked five years ago? Remember that kiss?
  13. Read a lot of poetry
  14. Write, write, write

 

 

Pizza Poem 

I ate the pizza

we could have had together

but you left me

so I had the pizza to myself.