This is what happens to poetry after years of under-investment – Tim Love

This is what happens to poetry after years of under-investment

Depression’s a shadow that doesn’t fade
when you turn the light off in this cheap hotel.
Extras are paid more here if they speak,
so they go “Uh Uh Uh” in the next room.

At least it rhymes. Unable to sleep, you take a walk
in the snow where the cable-cars keep going all night.
You’ve never seen stray dogs with such expressive eyes,
or roads so bright with moonlight.

If you could hold back the tears
you could write about how you’re not always
like this – it’s just that some reactions
bypass the mind. You don’t know why.

You’d prefer to sway between cafe tables
singing about how sad love is, your
heirloom accordion keys yellowed except
for one you got a grant to mend, brilliantly white.

Back at your hotel they’re still at it next door.
You sit on your bed, your boots dripping, wondering
why you wrote a poem instead of a prayer, though
you’ve always been confused about the difference.

 

Tim Love’s publications are Moving Parts (HappenStance) and a story collection By all means (Nine Arches Press). He lives in Cambridge, UK. His poetry and prose have appeared in Stand, Rialto, Magma, Unthology, etc. He blogs at http://litrefs.blogspot.com/

The Son – Tim Love

The son

She told him that the pain of dying was
like giving birth – it wouldn’t last forever.
She didn’t want drugs to numb the feeling.

For the funeral he ordered flowers
with long stems because the hospital
could use them after, because tulips,

unlike roses, will not boast about love,
the love that dries them out through
long winters. Their bulbs are poisonous,

not like onions, which only make him cry.
Like all lilies, they need cold shocks
to bring out the best in them.

From then on he wore hope like superman
wears underpants because Kryptonite lurked
in every playground and waiting room.

He kept her jam jar of buttons, each one
a teddy-bear’s lost eye, shaking it nightly,
staring in as if it’s a kaleidoscope.

The sun shone like the moon.
Even the stars believed him now.
He’d give it a year like he promised.

 

Tim Love’s publications are a poetry pamphlet “Moving Parts” (HappenStance) and a story collection “By all means” (Nine Arches Press). He lives in Cambridge, UK. His poetry and prose have appeared in Stand, Rialto, Magma, Unthology, etc. He blogs at http://litrefs.blogspot.com/

Diving – Tim Love

Diving

The diver’s head then legs split the arms’ shaft
like aft oars breaking the stitched scars of the first
or an old junkie fearing detection, having to go deeper
until too scared to open his eyes let alone look up
he wrestles bubbles at the bottom.

Miming death he rises into brightness,
bruising not breaking the skin,
part of the mirror until he feels again
the edge he longed for, smoother than alcohol,
concave and clinging to the steep sides.

 

Tim Love’s publications are a poetry pamphlet “Moving Parts” (HappenStance) and a story collection “By all means” (Nine Arches Press). He lives in Cambridge, UK. His poetry and prose have appeared in Stand, Rialto, Magma, Unthology, etc. He blogs at
http://litrefs.blogspot.com/