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


I became significant in that moment,
for in your delirium, I’d mattered
my clothing like sweet wrappers,
trampled into a well-trodden carpet.

On reaching the burnt edge of forever
I watched the bridge warp and crumble
into times gone by, leaving me one octave
from halleluiah on a journey to the blues.

Previously I’d hummed on all frequencies,
through waves of chaos, seeking acceptance
from those who’d crossed before.
Before that time there was no other time;

I’d sung along to Hank without knowing,
the words mere lullabies,
no tears on the offbeat,
just playful claps of innocence.

Since crossing I often lean on a memory;
passing moments like in a dream,
searching something that becomes nothing
though I still see you there.

So slay me with a blues song,
and bury me beyond city limits
to live in folklore forever,
carrying a truth that began with a lie.


She removes her clothing,
cradles the naked girl
shielding her from the cold winds bite,
offering love of a different kind.

Knowing critics enter an open window,
indifferent to those observing
selfless intent, through dignified silence.

Those detractors that would
shake a pretty flower
into an ugly stem
to place on public display.

The gutless bastards that would
weave an itchy blanket
from the fibers of an ill-spun yarn
to throw over innocence.

She knows they come,
yet gladly hogs the blanket,
offering the damsel a fresh robe,
before standing bare to those
that see beyond the fabric.


Her eyes revealed everything
leaving words lodged in my throat
as I longed for reassurance
while my mind could not erase
events beyond a sleepless night.

A soft glow through ornate shade
created patterns across her beauty
intermittently exposing reluctant tears
glistening on her flawless face
as she sought resolve to speak.

Until speak she did
while spurning my self-pitying plea
and sealing my fate with a gesture
dismissing me like a servant
no longer privy to her thoughts.

Salacious words were woven
creating a well-worn pastiche
of falsehood served up as retribution
though nothing said betrayed her truth.

She had simply outgrown my vision
rendering me dwarf like in her shadow
as she rose and then fled
leaving me lost and alone among the cinders
of my foolish reverie.

Sitting in the warmth of her seat
her words reverberating around my head
I breathed in her fragrance
and held her in my head as a constant.

The long night met with the dawn
and the gormless birds sang
as if life was to go on as always.


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