IN THIS SECTION

A collection of my poems to date with subjects ranging from love, heartbreak, happiness, madness, trauma, nature, revolution, and growing up, so I hope there is something for everyone. Please feel free to comment

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The Evolution Of Coastal Crows

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The Evolution Of Coastal Crows

“Look there!” says Sinéad as we walk along the grass above the shoreline,
“I’ve never seen that before”
The crows were sharing the beach the with the seagulls
We stopped to watch them learning from their web footed cousins
How to feed from the sands and pools
It occurred to me that there had been a truce in the Great War
Between the sea and the farmer’s fields
“It’s like the Christmas day football game in no man’s land”

The next summer heading down to the sea we are met by a large crow
Wings spread, above the narrow path to the beach
Gliding on the thermals. . . but not quite gracefully
None of its characteristically clumsy flapping of untidy wings
Nor in descending circles as crows are wont to do
But a concentrated and valiant attempt at hovering
Stationary on the updraft from the seaward breeze
“They’re copying the gulls, I wonder what they’re up to?” Sinéad muses
“Maybe they’re evolving?” say I
“I wonder is it a two way tutorial?”
And we watch until the lesson is over

One more summer and the birds return in abundance
“These birds are getting stranger every year”
She exclaims, pointing beyond the dunes
We sit and watch gangs of gulls and crows assimilate
Joined through play, In a game of avian tag
The wily crows, tease their chasers
Retreating to their safe base on the telephone lines
Where they know the gulls can’t land

The days grow longer and we stroll out again along the grassy bank
Passing abnormally close by a single strutting grey beaked crow
Cawing to itself with its croaking throaty rattle
So preoccupied with its mission it pays us no attention
A large gull cries from behind us and we look up into the empty sky
There are no seabirds in sight, and we mirror our bemused frowns
And turn back in confused unison towards the only bird near
Amazed when with the mimic skill of a Lyre bird
The crow twice makes the distinctive cry of a large gull
For once we are lost for words

“Do you think perhaps he is in love with a gull?” quips Sinéad
When later that same crow sits atop a telephone pole
Practicing the cry, calling to the sea
“Wouldn’t that be sweet if it worked out?”
“There’s hope for us yet then” say I

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

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Love Tea

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Love Tea

Is love so fragile
As a cracked tea cup
Would it cause you to throw it away

Perhaps, from that china set
The one you’d use for special visitors
But once or twice a year
Pretty, but never really comfortable to hold
Nor ever did it’s taste satisfy

But is real love so disposable
Can it ever truly be replaced

Like your favourite mug
The one you use all day without washing
Because the tea tastes the best every time

Could the same fate befall it
Should you lose your grip

Or would you glue it back together
And make it look perfect again
But hold on more carefully to this delicate thing
With both hands so it warms you

For no other tea ever tastes as good
Once you’ve found the perfect vessel

 

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

Farewell Furry Sentry

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Farewell Furry Sentry

Farewell furry sentry
Nine years you fought an unseen war
Ceaselessly marching up and down outside our castle
Carrying your battle scars like medals
Defending us from the ginger haired foreigners
Who lurked at the border of thirty-nine
Killed in a cowardly midnight poison attack
Your hapless corporal made it back to die, but not you
Your body lost, out there alone on the field of battle
No glorious send off for an old warrior
Just a sad end befitting your noble silent mission
But your memory Shines on
In the boy who’s bed you guarded every night
Protecting him from creatures of the realms we cannot see
We only wish we could have said goodbye

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

The Man Who Fixed Dolls

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The Man Who Fixed Dolls

The sound of the bell above the shop door
Passes from audible into the echo of memory
As the vibration from the door banging shut
Subsides with the settling dust
Once again stillness fills the small workshop
Standing silently with expressionless face
Looking at the now empty shop window
Waiting in solemn resignation for the next broken doll

Those same old questions flash behind his blank stare
Why are there so many,
So damaged in so many ways,
Never worn out from being loved,
Just mistreated, abused, then cast aside?
It’s not his job, nor his vocation
Yet the heart beats heavy in his chest when he sees them
And he cannot refuse to care

Clearing away the flotsam from the last repaired doll
He wonders what task he’ll face next
Each doll tells a different story
The last became a labour of love
More complex than anything attempted before
But now he feels so very tired
Half hoping for something less taxing
A doll who has simply lost her voice perhaps
But more and more they test him
Some are completely torn apart
These are the ones that break his heart

Most arrive looking fine but not functioning right
A confusing defect for the untrained eye
But as with all of them they are broken inside
The work that superficial people cannot see
Slowly and carefully reconnecting the internal workings
Painting new life into their faces
Long lasting and better than new, leaving no traces

His eyes again drawn back to the empty shop window
Thoughts return to the doll that just left
Gone before his work was complete
Outwardly fine but not fully functional
Too often society makes this mistake
So long and hard he worked to mend and improve
Adding new abilities just ready to be unlocked
But the triggers remained unfixed
And he wonders how long it will be cared for
Until they wonder why it doesn’t fully work and discard it

The window displayed the work in progress
The fruits of every spare hour he possessed
Transforming the doll day by day
Until a day just like today
When someone takes his latest masterpiece away
And he cries when they leave
Wishing he could keep them
But not out of sight
Why fix them if not so they can play again
Just once though, just once
He would like to keep just one
Hold on to his proudest work
The one he put all his skill and love into
For him to enjoy instead of somebody else

But each one takes a piece of him with them
Some only a little but others much more
And every time he feels a little more depleted
After so long and so many
He feels like he has nothing left inside
No magic left to give the dolls life
And finally he stands there in the workshop
Tired and empty, and very alone

Glancing over at the glass panelled front door
He sees the colours in the street
Bright new people confidently going about their business
Many times he has stared out
Watching life pass by his door
And now a new thought enters his head
He reaches behind his back, wanting to take off this apron
Step outside and pass the time of day
Looking into smiling eyes full of life
Instead of making the dulled worn dolls’ eyes shine again
No more mending and fixing
No more need to breathe life into them
A last chance to soak up the outside world
Where people are new and perfect

Still holding the apron strings
His mind starts to race through old memories
From a time long ago when he lived out there
With the careless and the carefree ones
Trying to be like them but becoming ever harder
As he slowly realised his true nature
The more people noticed he could fix things
The more they noticed he couldn’t say no
Until one day the first doll entered his workshop

As he contemplates stepping away from his work
He sees one of his recent departees
Passing by in someone else’s hand
Already a little less pristine than when she left this place
And he wondered how long it could take
That she might end up back here and in need again
Tears well in his eyes
As he reties his apron behind his waist
A hostage to his own nature
And he starts to clean down the workbench
As he has done so many times before
Arranging his tools and wondering
What new ones he might need should another doll arrive

And he quietly waits
To hear the bell ring over the glass panelled front door
An old thought returns to his mind
Perhaps the next doll will be his last
Maybe he will get to keep this one

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

Pretty Lies

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Pretty Lies (song)

I believed you when
When you said those words
All the laughs we shared
And all the memories that we made

All our days were
Filled with laughter
Silly games we played
That no-one else could understand

I believed in you
And I loved you

Always hand in hand
In eachother’s arms
Loving doing nothing
On a cold and rainy day

Little notes you left
Smiling faces
Hugs and kisses, hearts
And promises of our forever

I believed them all
So I loved you

But all these things were only
Pretty lies
Different characters of
Your disguise
Painting sunshine over
Darkened skies

To hide your true intentions
Your transient deception

I can’t understand
You could live that way
All the passion, love
The intimacy meaning nothing

I didn’t see the the signs
‘Cos I loved you

Guess I was listening to your
Pretty lies
Different characters of
Your disguise
In this real life play you
Improvise

To make me sing to your song
Till its time for you to move on

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

Flat Beer

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Flat Beer

The paradox in the public bar
Where the self proclaimed connoisseurs of the pint
Who delight in imparting their superior knowledge for creating the perfect beverage
Down to the details in the shape of the glass
Now sit dispassionately unaware of the flattening heads lined up along the bar
As the gas escapes, their eyes fixed to the corner of the room
Deflected from their assured rectitude
By multi-millionaires in short trousers running around a green screen
Two blows of a whistle reminds them to both forget and remember their standards
As they readily down their flat beer at half time
Insisting again the next be poured to their particular specification
Only to repeat the absurdity in another forty five minutes

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

Better Off Dead ?

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Better Off Dead ?

Their years of love and happiness
No arguments, no hurt, no stress
That last night when she reached the top
Where pleasure comes and doesn’t stop
And leaving in a blissful state
Next day for work she can’t be late
But meeting later with her man
Kisses goodbye lets go his hand
A brand new place picked for their date
Planned for some time they cannot wait
But just before his time to leave
There came a call to make him grieve
A solemn voice to tell bad news
His wife is gone, he’s left confused
For he could still taste her sweet lips
And smell desire her loving hips
Her smiling eyes, caressing hands
Her promise to fulfil their plans
Her words still echo in his ears
Their happy past, their future years
This isn’t true, he can’t believe
A ruse, a trick made to decieve
He calls in panic, calls again
No answer time and time and then
Her voice, her soft familliar sound
Excitement rises spins around
Then dies again a message tone
He speaks his love unto her phone
But no replies, no answers came
No final words, no one to blame
What kind of world takes kindred souls
Tears them apart, opposite poles
And shattering a perfect dream
His heart pours out an unheared scream
As overcome by helplessness
To change her fate, to end distress
The madenning confusion twists
His heart and mind, the bloody wrists
The crushing pain around his voice
Escaping hurt is a false choice
No end for questions why love’s gone
You carry them when you pass on
The bitter knife still held within
A scar grows where his heart had been
A deathly silence fills his life
The emptiness left by his wife
She stolen by a hidden hand
Her feet will never walk this land
How could such cruelty come to her
And take away her kind nature
Best friends for life shared joy and pain
To speak no more drives him insane
And passing time gives not relief
From hatred for his futures thief
A man tormented to despair
Unanswered questions everywhere
Reminders of their life deprived
As if she’d never been alive
For he can never reconcile
Why his best friend stopped sending smiles
Abruptly conversation ends
A vast and empty void descends
The hardest wrench he’ll ever feel
To lose someone who’s love was real
All contact gone yet she’s aware
He’s the best friend she’ll ever share
How can you suddenly abstain
From one who took away your pain
Made you feel always safe and loved
And fit you like a hand in glove
He’ll never understand his fate
And wont recover from this state
All logic in this story lost
He’s left alone to count the cost
And ask would it be easier
To bear this pain he feels for her
If she had really died that day
And not just simply walked away

©Copyrighted by Colin Ryan (2014)

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