by david ratcliffe


The homeboy patrolled the platform
hauling a case full of troubles;
a youth, unprepared, undercooked, fidgety,
4 minutes from departure.

He could see his half-life below,
wished to wallow in its familiar frown,
allow his timidity licence to return
to the arms of invisibility.

The village continued its sophistry;
July sunrise presented limestone ripples,
clouds created kaleidoscopic greens,
the old mill beseeched him, remain
within its simplicity,
content to drink life from cupped hands.

A cursory glance to the exit;
would he prove them right?
'would he eckerslike',
yet fearing the train's arrival
he hoped it would run out of steam,
hiss to a stop, forever
lost in the tunnel a mile
from his inward mitherings.

Through branches of dappled summer, 
he looked down at the bus stop
from where his ride to that point had
terminated at the limits of imagination, 
while he waited for adventure
far beyond ambition...


Infinite Ignition © 2015 All Rights Reserved


Your sights appear faulty again,
leaving time for one last drink,
to bid farewell, to misery.

Empty bottles, crusty cans,
reveal, this foul odious
wretch, in foetal state.

Still, there seems time enough
to blur my own vision,
before your red dot finds me.

For now, ‘my’ sights are enhanced;
focused on wrong doers,
dissemblers, imposters.

Those like her, and her like,
coiled around bank notes, inside
left breast pockets of boastful men,

Scribbling red pen circles,
around bedsits, another
stiletto heel, against my throat.

Friends of both, remaining friends
of hers, as media is shut down,
my account closed.

The once shiny faced youth,
reduced to a potbellied pile of shite,
taking his final swallow.

Come get me, I’m ready,
vision now impaired, heart rate weak,
I lie in filth, anticipating impact.


Invaders feast on fiction
preferring piquant delights
to my bread and jam,
so gratified by prattle
they devour me.

Untruths woven into fantasy,
the vile becoming saint like,
my servitude directed
by haloed buzzards
leaving reason lost among rubble.

Perversely, I unravel
like paint from a tired wall
crying dust upon a filthy floor,
my replies silenced, crushed
within layers of deceit.

Demolition complete;
they circle the ruins, laugh loudly
in the open air, poking my bones
with a peevish stick.

Supremacy is theirs, as I bleed
my truth into splintered earth,
falling deep, seeking higher ground.


I cannot outrun time,
though I have tried, and found
a lack of wisdom slowed me down.

Nor do I belong
in the past,
where my memory

faltered, leaving me vacant,
bewildered, standing
in the shoes of a stranger.

Hoping not to stray into limelight
to die upon the stage,
I keep my counsel, and hide

among the garbage. I run
from justice, in a world
that punishes innocence,

pins medals on breasts
of guilty men. I remain
in the shadows

watching the powder ignite,
burning a hole in the future, with my voice
fading on the breeze.

Clinging onto hope, desperation,
in shoes that don’t belong
on my feet.


My torment, lies hidden, enveloped
by mist, carried by lamenting gulls,
endorsing misery, under charcoal skies.

Grey steel cranes fade, concealed
beneath a chilled blanket, stilled, stilted,
useless, dysfunctional; my equal.

Sad lonesome noises reverberate; ships
horns ‘like lonesome cattle’ moan, the sea
kisses the jetty wall, a familiar friend.

Salt mixed with diesel in my nose and mouth,
add flavour, a bitter confection, accompanying
my melancholy, a perfect storm.

Though I know the fog will lift, I wallow a while,
enjoy the despair, for its days like these
that keep my secrets safe from view.


I witness astonishment,
envy its purity, feel the contours
of her wide expression,
long to capture the essence of her being.

To lie in the infirmary,
behind battlement walls,
receive intimate attention
from curative fingers.

Realize the horizon of tomorrow,
place myself at the kernel
of understanding, and return
to the place, I last gave a shit.

To recognize truth; find purpose
beyond abandoned faith,
something that drives blood
through my wasted veins.

Though trodden, my child awaits
seeking a connection, before apathy
slows my pulse, time takes my bones,
and she averts her gaze.



Past events prevent joy in triumph,
hidden from view, suppressing emotions,
holding me back.

I exist in vapour of rainbows, in sunlight,
immersed in torrents, beaming colour
while crying silted grey.

Between wisdom and innocence;
held captive by nature’s whim,
flung into beautiful misery.

Unable to rejoice, I await disappointment,
encourage its arrival, like a mayfly
wishing for tomorrow.

For in misery I am recognized; known
for who I am, the accomplished loser
who never disappoints.

As the tide turns, wind abates, exposing
my weakness, I shine my false shine,
then I am gone.


I stare into the glass,
recalling days of presumption,
times of hardship,
relief sought in doorways
with little choice. Back then, eye contact
brought indistinct vision, fabricated smiles,
a penchant for approval.

I’d become an imposter, a freak,
beyond reach of normality,
pleasing whomever,
laughing nervously without cause.
In order to relate, I conformed
and hid behind illusion
becoming a stranger to my thoughts.

Like bit part actor, in my own life’s story,
stumbling through lines
written by a ghost writer,
hiding within the emptiness,
creating patterns in my mind, causing
dubious contentment
while further down the cellar I’d fall.

I now salute that void, drink to the traveller,
who found an empty glass, within
a swirling morass,
Here’s to ‘you’ my elusive self
should you exist at all,
May you present yourself, and remove
the glass from my trembling hand.


The craggy ledge crumbles underfoot,
as I walk its edge, heightened, teetering,
almost contrarily teasing myself,
enveloped by scenery, vision transposed,
longing to fall into its beauty.

Imagining the rush, mind spiralling,
the balance tipped. One step to no return,
four seconds of passive thought,
an end to ignorance and intolerance;
a disconnect from redundant DNA.

Harsh rock, soft tissue, staccato limbs flailing,
neck snapped, brain dead, pain free,
a string-less puppet, in ricochet, torn apart.
Four seconds from here, to the remains
of a hideous corpse, draped upon the rocks below.


Intruders feast on fiction, preferring
piquant delights, to my bread and jam,
and so gratified by prattle, untruth
is woven into fantasy; and I am devoured.

As the vile appear saint like, my servitude
directed by haloed buzzards,
leaves reason lost among debris, while
perversely I unravel, like paint from a tired wall.

Needing to remain mute, withdraw,
wash away the bile, I freeze; though spittle
of laughter hits my lips, and they respond,
with words that turn the barrel inward.

Outcast, painted poppy red, as my
grey tears bleed into pungent paste,
I descend into the cold chamber,
to inflict my own punishment.







 All writing material owned by David Ratcliffe© 2015 All Rights Reserved