Drowning in air Fair fight, freedom lite Leave me alone

A lone what? Ranging the spectres Of Christmases past

Not so fast Freedom, heavy at first Christmas futures forseen Easter options unknown Feel it to the bone

Floating above the skin The threat of a promise A prayer for just a little magic Tragically, an eventuality Feel it through the soul A dolphin, in the waves An emptiness to make you whole

Do you feel saved by grace? Or just a little less... Crooked? Umbrella terms for a certain quality of the timber Build!

It's the end of the world And I'm not quite sure what I feel Except it could be better Well, different, at least

Please don't answer my questions

More words required Extraneous If we were ever neous To begin with

Ideas dropping Like flies Frying Like french fries But what's the smoke point?

Take the trip, and climb the tree Will even elevation and foliage set you free?

Maybe I should give more serious consideration to taking up vaping

God only knows what goes on in this head What the voices that dwell in this skull's depths have said

God only knows why I can't start a task It sure doesn't seem like such a great ask

God only knows how I spend whole days sleeping A last sad defence against ghosts that come creeping

God only knows what's out there in the world What lies at the bottom of the holes that we've delved

God only knows why I don't ask her out Though I begin to suspect that it might be self doubt

God only knows that we've come to take stock Having weathered the storm and endured the shock

God only knows where our dreams and hopes went Despite all the blood and goodwill that we've spent

God only knows of the hope that survives When God's presence feels absent from the weft of our lives

God only knows the day and the hour Come marching the kingdom, in glory and power

God's slow to tell if we've booked our last shows With a script for the final act only God knows

Only you know me, or so my lines go But am I worth sharing, this me that you know?

God in the hangover Trembling a little Trying to ignore the existential itch Flooded with a solipsistic sort of love, and with panic Ready, but mostly unable, to talk

God in the alibis Sifting them, but only as an afterthought

In the cockroaches and the maggots and the gangrene Even if I have to retch and cry and flee

In the lapse - Though could you blame the faithful Their separatist inclinations?

In the {redacted}, {redacted}

In the sepia The monochrome The lost degrees of freedom

In the binge eating The singularity of disgusting purpose One provides a running commentary Ever fascinated By this basic bug in its own programming

In a spurned gift – doubtless not meant that way

God in the cooling body, dead in the tomb

In the beeps the microwave makes When it's done its work And I'm yet to attend

In the car stopping just a little later than it should as you cross

In building the foundations For another round of repentance

In the whispers, in the chitinous clicking sounds

In the dryness and the lukewarmness

In the parking fines And the self-righteous rage At petty inconveniences

Should I see just what's here And not some holy light?

In the ceramic Left a little too close to the stovetop That you pick up

In just ten more minutes of procrastination

In the gossip, the mildest of betrayals Inconsequential Probably

Best not chase this dragon Just make allowance For being found here

Love is patient Love is kind (Praise be to Macklemore, amen)

Love had better be patient Because love is hard Love is not a sprint, nor even a marathon There is no finish line Just the steady beat of your feet On the asphalt Tired legs And the growing realisation That maybe you were meant to be a runner All along

The growing understanding That pouring yourself out To meet another, somewhere in the middle May be tougher, in some ways But in ways words can’t quite capture It satisfies something Something so deep in the soul You might never have noticed it But for this

The growing knowledge Of what it's really like To be known

It is written Love is greater than faith Greater even than hope That sounds Pretty great To me

I meant to mean a meaning A sad secluded seeming Of a tragic tale's teeming With written wearied words of woe

I meant to meekly mend The wearied words, their will to wend From paper's battles, left to fend For forms forgotten by our foe

But I kept those that meant the most Formed a reserve, a mighty host That none deserve, that none may boast That none may say they'd brought me low

I didn't mean my meanness But I couldn't gauge your keenness For a spendthrift's spending seamless From a chequebook brought for show

If all those gifts could only mean No empty gaudy golden gleam But grace's shoots of gladdest green Perhaps I'd give them, even so

Nothing given, meaning naught Even if my meaning's fraught The weary words, their fight they've fought How heavy lands the final blow?

The golden mean, approaching silence An end to all this wordy violence Bound behind the page's high fence A conceit that none may overthrow

Please don't be mean to me, I pray thee The words, as usual, have all failed me But maybe one day, we'll be made free Our meanings plain for each to know

God, give me doubt Doubt, to pierce my too small image of you To overcome the certainties with which I would fence you To remember that my knowledge of you can't outpace my love for you To let go of the half truths that had defined us To let go of you as I had once known you

God, give me faith Faith, to be drawn to something on the other side of doubt To seek you when there is no trace of you To love you when there is no love in me To cry out in despair to you In despair of you To dwell with the broken pieces of how I had imagined you To scream and rage and weep at the absence of you The distortions and mutations of you Let the obscenities and curses and imperfections Drip out of me, uselessly

God, give me awe Awe of you and all your works That I might fall flat on the ground before it Give it to me In a leaf In a mote of dust, suspended in a sunbeam In a book of ideas In a smile, for an instant Give me awe That my heart might be shattered That my image of you Might be just one iota bigger Than it had been

Look here, what is this? A soul Ragged, bloodied Someone put it through the washing machine But forgot to use “Delicates”

Life, however briefly, in a horror show Demons made real, given an almost casual solidity An assembly of everyday abominations Has its own way of staying lived

Your love never fails Even if sometimes Surely, oh surely, it feels like it “Eli, eli, lama sabachthani?”, indeed; And then one can't quite recall the rest

“You're OK” Still there But somehow lost beneath the waves

And what does he have to show for it all? The scars are all unseen There may be no lesson learned here Or even worse, there may be

Maybe he can't be truly upset with You Maybe it's not the done thing Maybe it's more a case that he let You down, than You him Maybe the limits of his love for You Are how he got into this mess in the first place But You know it all so well You know he wonders Did it have to be this way?

Something borrowed, something blue Nothing that makes sense to you

Seeking glory, find the arrow Escape this sense, this feeling harrowed

Nothing wagered, cloak of violet But don't invoke the ultra-violent

Brave the spectrum, ride the rainbow Heft the javelin, only feign throw

You rage in red, you fade to black You're only dreaming the attack

You wake from black, rage back to blood You sob, a tiny, heaving flood

You have lost it, you can't find it You long to grasp it and to bind it

You never had it, never lost it You never even stopped to cost it

It's your guide star? It's your measure? This rumour of phantasmal treasure?

The seeker's made by what they've sought Have you remade yourself for naught?

Extra, extra, read all about it I tell you the truth, you take leave to doubt it I tell you one lie, it won't hurt to fight it I won't find your trust til you take care to light it

Faith that moves mountains, faith that stops pebbles You've doubled your bass but left room for the treble Faithfulness follows, your grace you know not Let love and hope mould you and undo the rot

Fire in the Gospel, flames in the world The light of the fire shines on boulders you hurled I dodge them, I dance, you're enthralled, one more chance For you to believe in the trick up my sleeve May the truth treat you kinder Than life in a binder May your spirit fly free And may you count up to three

Play with dolls And if they comfort you Grant them life Of their own

Imaginary life, surely Better than nothing? Hard to say

Half lives decay Into some sort of prison Is that what you want? Is that what they want?

Your imaginary friends Deserve a piece of what you have, Or else the peace of emptiness But maybe You can't help it

So imagine well Imagine carefully Put in your dreams the capacity To reach freedom However you can manage it

Rivers to cross Mountains to climb With something real On the bank, at the peak

Tenderly nurture that realness Water and prune it No fake plastic stuff But the green of true growth And may all your toys fall down in awe of it