poetry diary

I rhyme to see myself, to set the darkness echoing. (Seamus Heaney, from Personal Helicon)

Month: February, 2011

The possibility of you

Even the possibility of you
is gone now. We dreamt of love together
in the snow. You kissed me. I felt we knew
a secret pathway – each to another,
long lost and sought. Others saw, quietly;
speaking only with their eyes, and smiling.
I liked that. So gently told and softly,
your words flowed, and heart ranged, always yearning.
I was naïve. Ambition cannot stop
unsettled pasts, chasing wakes, catching up,
and unvoiced fears rise at last to the top;
I just wish the end had not been so abrupt.
You have made sure. The possibility
of you, is gone now.

© Matthew Rhodes 2011

Dunnottar Castle (Fortress IV)

The men who lived here turned to rock,
and fell into the sea.

It seemed a good idea at first,
to build above the surf;

A fortress hewn apart from land,
a playground for the gulls.

Security and peace for all,
he promised and they came.

The waves and cliffs kept out the foe,
and held apart the race.

But soon the greyness of the days,
the rhythm of the foam,

Ate into minds and into hearts,
and memories fell too.

Then women left, and no more came,
and coldly fell the rain.

The men who lived here turned to rock,
and fell into the sea.

© Matthew Rhodes 2011



Yellow roses on your shelf,
half-open, dreaming in their vase.
A book, laid as if half read,
and pictures on the wall.

Little things that make me smile.
Fire, warming silence, holding space.
Glass and jug for someone else,
and pebbles on the floor.

Familiar face, familiar place;
your open mind, opening space;
A table bare to fill with tears,
and banishment of fear.

Frames and moments you’ve passed through,
Stacked and wrapped against the wall;
suggesting of a life outside,
and time will come to go.

© Matthew Rhodes 2011


Emotions, like autumn leaves wind-stirred, float,
and fall back to cover red-raw earth, soft
with your last breath on my cheek. If you wrote –
just one line, sunlight warming seeds tossed
by your smile to the ground, I would not wait;
new stems would rise to greet the light, partners
in growth and joy; we’d make afresh our fate,
and find new strength and space: who cares who errs?
But maybe it is easier to stop.
Skies are cold and clods strain beneath the frost.
Un-nurtured leaves will drift, decay and drop;
Our chance, that came, and went, was worth the cost.
I wanted so to strive and yearn with you,
But if you won’t, I cannot face the dew.

©2011 Matthew Rhodes


Shared with Poets United May 15 2011