Second Eden

Our May collaborative poem. An honour to work with @brudberg @stair71 @troublegummer @sleepingdingo & @myvogonpoetry.

The voice of collaborative poetry


To live, to walk these streets we walked before
Where cobblestones sing eulogies for us
My soles are burning with its quenched desire
Of walking barefoot on a forest path again

Recalling our run from the rock pool, naked
slipping on moist leaves in dappled sunlight.
Giggling as I stole your towel; and your shivers –
an invitation to warm you in young love, ages old.

The dew upon the fronds it lingers yet
Where once we lay and loved, so innocent.
Beside the lake, beneath the moonlit trees,
We found a second Eden, ours to lose.

Memories of warmer dawns and golden days,
Lazy evenings and awaiting our faces to be lit pale
Lost in moments and moments now lost
Yet when my eyes are closed and I hold you in my arms…

You are there again, soul to soul with me.
But on waking, I see it is…

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Our latest Collaborative Poem. My monthly treat, to work with @brudberg @troublegummer @sleepingdingo @myvogonpoetry @permabloom @stair71 in creating what we hope are poems that move people, & open up the concept of collaboration to others.

The voice of collaborative poetry

Artwork by Jorge Berlato Artwork by Jorge Berlato

Alone tonight, and the first time he’s cooked for her,
She likes how his deft fingers chop, stir and mould.
Then a firm poke of the meat before hefting it
whole in his hand, feeling the texture and weight.

Her voice like honeyed butterflies, it flutters dreamily
while the stardust candlelights reflect in crystal orbs
anticipate the tingling from his fingertips again
to read the braille of love imprinted on her skin

A breath by the ear and inhaling her scent
arms slide and entwine, fingers lock like vines
They grip, they squeeze, hold, taste and then… wait
As a button is loosened and a knot is undone…

Somehow she’s always known this embrace,
She laughs, shaking off her time alone.
Dreary years vanish as they clasp and kiss.
Time spreads ahead; it’s not a race.

Measured movements synchronize to
the sounds of a languid trumpet…

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Morning Walk

Pair of butterflies

It’s been a month since my last walk

and it’s time to get back into it.

So unusual to feel the sun’s heat in my back,

this early in the day.


Perhaps I should have worn sunscreen

like the office girl I just passed –

the warm, beachy smell incongruous

with her pinstriped suit, and joggers.


A babble of Farsi, ending with jubilant laughter,

gushes out of a taxi’s window,

the driver’s eyes alight, above his dazzling grin –

shared with me by his gentle nod.


A butterfly dances in front of me

soon joined by his mate – seeming to kiss

then part, in joyful random flight

before settling on a rose in full bloom.


Raucous giggles and squeals pull my gaze

to three little girls, separating to avoid

their classmate’s outstretched tagging hand

and make me smile at my own memories.


It dawns on me that the gloom

that has plagued all winter has lifted,

when I realise that I forgot to notice

the Funeral Home today.


Neee-eu  Neee-eu  Neee-eu!

This sound – What does it do?

Seeing his blue stillness

her own heartbeat, thumping,

is all she can feel.

And the screams ricocheting in her head

only come out as soft whimpers.

Help arrives in a wail of sirens.

Weeee-oh  Weeee-oh  Weeee-oh

Is it only for show?

She focuses on his neat haircut

His circumlocution a droning blanket

of naive comfort she can hide in.

But “identify” and “morgue”

penetrate the whooshing in her ears

like a cold slap in the face.

Bleeee-der  Bleeee-der  Bleeee-der

Is this the domain of the newsreader?

The smarmy look is gone from his visage.

No longer pumped with force,

the greasy fluid oozes from his guts

onto the floor. Even now,

she’s still cleaning up after him.

Let them bring their own mops.

Eeee-oww  Eeee-oww  Eeee-oww

Why can’t they help me now?

The pain comes in waves.

Through silent sobs, she hears his words

“if you tell anyone our secret,

they’ll take your dollies away”

She knows this is the truth –

Daddy is a policeman.

Woo-woo-woo  Woo-woo-woo



Our most recent Collaborative Poem. November 2013.

The voice of collaborative poetry

The day felt like it was frayed… or cut,
As one bad moment bled into the next into the next and the next…
Fear and loneliness rose like a leviathan,
our past selves ran like deserting rats.

Anxious nausea in the pit of my stomach. Breathe!
I pause at a photo on the mantle
A family of laughing children frolicking in waves
and ask myself Where did these people go?

I remember holding the pure white shell in our joined hands
clasped together in a prayer of thankfulness and communion.
We listened for the wisdom of the ocean
and all was still. all was silent. all was at peace.

Where was that shell? Did we keep it?
If I put it to my ear, would that day come roaring back?
An idle fantasy that lasted a moment,
An idyll in this day’s grim track.

But now the only shell is…

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