I Was Ready

You’re gone and yet still here,
Infusing my thoughts.

You’re silent and yet you speak,
Leaving my goodbye unanswered.

You’re gone and yet I see you,
A face of sorrow, one single tear.

You’re strong and yet too weak
To change your ways for me.

You’re gone and yet unknowing,
I was ready to say I love you.

Looking for inspiration? That’s what your muse is for!

Tonight He Broke My Heart

He broke my heart. No, he did not.
I was the one who let him do it.

He asks me to stay. I want to go.
I am the one who is hurt.

It could be different. So wonderful.
But instead it burns inside.

I let him come in. Let him get close.
Allowed him to hurt me.

My eyes burn. Heart of pain.
My head says run away.

No promises from him. No matter.
Even his words cannot be trusted.

I wait for night to come. To pass.
To sleep away my goodbye.

The night comes. With the tears.
Thoughts of the man who does not care.

What is next? What should I do?
The same thoughts again and again.

I let him come in. Let him get close.
This mess is of my making.

Armour on. Defences up.
This will never happen again.

Lesson learnt. Smarter now.
But tonight he broke my heart.

Words from the heart of my muse.

I Lied

I lied.

Lied to myself
When I said he loved me.

Lied to the world
When I said I was happy.

Lied to my diary
When I said it was good.

Lied to my heart
When I said it was right.

Lied to my soul
When I said he was mine.

Lied to him too
When I said I loved him.

I lied.

Two Years Of Love

ONE

I hold my glass,
Sitting on the bench.

A review of the important things:
Lovers, conflicts, mistakes, regrets.

It’s summer solstice, the longest day.
Last year I had hope.

I lift my glass
And realise this is the low point.

TWO

I hold my glass,
Sitting on the bench.

A review of the important things:
Lovers, friends, success, satisfaction.

It’s summer solstice again.
Last year I had no hope.

I lift my glass
And realise that my life is good.

A New Chapter

Inspired by a scene from Coffee In Castillo

Back on the street side,
Into sunlight’s warm caress.
At once feeling unhurried,
Time to have coffee.

Round tables in a little café,
Hugging under bright umbrellas
That flap and fuss
In hazed summer breeze.

This Spanish afternoon
Is late, with empty chairs
Except one man.
She hadn’t noticed him.

Her eyes compelled.
Lifting a cup to drink
He moves, a subtle glance.
Does he see her?

Looking down she hides,
Demurely watches his hands.
One holds an open book,
The other finds a slim cigar.

He turns to face her,
Sunglasses lifted.
Intelligent eyes light
A well-tanned face.

He says hello.
Embarrassed gasp,
Her reply fumbles
An apology, brushed aside.

His smile disarms,
She sits with him.
Small talk starts
A new chapter.

She’s Beautiful

She’s beautiful
But he can’t see.

Soulful eyes,
Her face delight.
Honeyed voice
Of caramel.

Confident yet sensitive,
Knows her mind
And stands her ground.
I can see she’s beautiful.

He sees her eyes
But not her soul,
Hears her words
In monotone.

He’s brazen and insensitive,
Can’t know her mind
Or share her world.
Unfulfilled she waits.

He takes her when
He’s minded to,
Neglects her love
In days between.

She’s beautiful
But he can’t see.

Connected

I take his hand, pull him close,
Hug him, ask for more.

I’m feeling very huggy today,
I tell him and his eyes smile.

I have to go now, he says,
You can have lots of hugs later.

His hand slips from mine,
Yet we are still connected.

The Wind Blows

The wind blows over England.

Clouds, dark, threaten the land.
Rain falls, the people hide.

The wind blows over England.

Clouds part, tear open ragged blue.
Sun warms, the people smile.

The wind blows over my world.

Clouds, dark, threaten me.
Rain falls, miserable I hide.

The wind blows over my world.

Clouds part, tear open lighting me.
Love comes, I smile again.

I’m Going For A Walk, He Said

I’m going for a walk, he said.

The usual route? I asked.
I don’t know, but probably.
Thank you, see you soon.

What did he thank me for?
Sharing my home, a place for him,
A refuge when he’s lost.

He shares my home but not my bed,
Breaks away from my embrace.
I am the fool, I am the clown.

I guess he’s halfway round by now.
Walking through the woods,
Listing all my faults aloud.

Do I really want him back,
For loveless hugs and soulless chat?
Perhaps he won’t return this time.

I’m going for a walk, he said.

Rambling, twisted and tortuous thoughts,
painful to think, tough to read.

Image © 2018 Shona Silverman.

You’ll Come To Me

I need something to focus on,
In the future, not too long.
I dream of love, wait for the one
To keep me going, make me strong.

The precious years are passing me,
But I’m not wishing time away.
I live alone, no-one to see,
I could just book a holiday.

Imagine two weeks in the sun,
I’ll write it in my diary.
Beach and pool with night-time fun,
Perhaps by then you’ll come to me.

He Waits For Me

I watch TV, he waits for me.
I want to be back there.

I send a message on my phone,
I might be coming round.

I can’t be sure, I have to wait,
Is that ok with you?

Of course it is, he lies barefaced,
Come over when you can.

I hate to keep him holding on,
It’s such a silly game.

I wish the demons wouldn’t fight
A war waged in my head.

They tie me down with ropes unseen,
He must not see my shame.

I watch TV at night and wait
To go back there again.

A companion piece to Waiting For Him.

Waiting For Him

I watch TV and wait for him,
Maybe he’ll come tonight.

The actors move and speak in turn,
It’s clean and tidy, no mistakes.

A message on my phone tells me
He might be coming round.

He can’t be sure, he has to wait,
Is that ok with me?

Of course it is, I lie barefaced,
Come over when you can.

Real life is never clean and tidy,
No-one waits in turn.

It’s messy and confusing,
I am powerless in this game.

So I just watch TV at night
And wait for him to come.

A companion piece to He Waits For Me.

 

Time To Reflect

Allow yourself time to reflect,
A chance to review your world.

It doesn’t matter where you are,
Or who might be watching.

They cannot hear your thoughts,
Or perceive your desires.

No-one is a mind-reader,
Despite what they might wish.

On the train the world slips past,
It passes by your window.

Life is your journey,
A dream passing before your eyes.

Remember as you travel
The ones you love, the ones you lost.

Allow yourself a chance,
While there’s still time to reflect.

The Tale Of The Odd-Legged Goat

She once heard that the mountain goat
Has longer legs on left or right.
To make life easy on the slope,
It isn’t true, not even might.

She also heard it’s winter time
When flu attacks and weakens you.
Although she fell for that old line,
Odd-legged goats are just as true.

Listless, fevered, feeling blue,
Headache matched by her sore throat.
She now believes in summer flu,
But not odd legs on some old goat.

Your Perfect Lover

Imagine your perfect lover.

Let’s start with the basics, shall we?
Height first. Let me guess… taller than you.
Dark skin. Mmm, that’s always romantic.
Picture his body, make it as you like.

Now look up into his eyes.
Are they green, brown or blue?
You are the conjurer, creating your fantasy.
Colour his hair, hear his voice, smell his skin.

Your shopping list is complete.
Tonight he walks into your life.
Taller than you, dark skin, just like your dream.
You imagined this man and now he’s here.

Talk to him, watch him, feel him.
Now tell me, is he really what you want?
Doubt creeps in, the fantasy fades.
I think you forgot some things.

You never said he should be intelligent,
A practical man, caring and creative.
Confident, sensitive and considerate.
It’s time to start again.

Now imagine your perfect lover.

Affection Rejection

Affection rejection.
How I wish I could read his mind.
Why does he love me for a week
Then turn away, rejecting affection?

Daring caring.
I hug him and I pull him close,
Caress his shoulders, kiss his cheek.
To win him back I dare to care.

Passion ration.
If I could understand his ways,
Regain his trust, find what I seek.
Enough now of rationing passion.

Wear despair.
I lay myself out in front of him
He looks away, rejection bleak.
Dressed again, I am wearing despair.

Mourn forlorn.
I reason it’s his changing moods
But it’s my fault, I am too weak.
Forlorn of hope, I mourn.

Hiding Place

He walks ahead,
My pace too slow.

Rising track
From forest dark.

Bird song lines
A sandy way.

Drained, fatigued,
The gap grows more.

Hedges bind
A hiding place.

Waiting there,
His eyes love me.

A Hint Of Summer

This morning brought
A hint of summer,
Scented on the breeze.

With shadows soft
And milky clouds,
I thought it just a tease.

This afternoon
A yellow ship
Sailed high above my head.

With shameless lies
It burned my skin,
How I had been misled!

Just a bit of fun on a surprisingly hot day in England!

Fuerteventura Wind

I run my fingers over grey bones,
Trace out skeletons that never lived.
I lift the paper’s yellowed edge,
It’s last month’s news.
My nails, dirty, broken, peel the paint
From sunburnt cars that no-one wants.
My world is black rocks and broken roads,
You will leave and I won’t care.

Image: Abandoned Construction Project, Fuerteventura.
Copyright © Shona Silverman 2014.

Do You Believe In God?

Well, do you?
I’m waiting.
Yes or No?

Relax, it’s OK if you can’t answer with just a single word. This is a tough question! No wonder that it’s been asked since the time of the ancients. Instead of asking for a simple black-and-white binary answer, let me ask you three more questions. Perhaps they will give you pause for thought.

Do you ask God for things? Maybe you ask for help in difficult times, companionship when you are engulfed by loneliness, healing when you are unwell.

Do you blame God when things go wrong? Think about this one for a moment. Recall a loss, a failure, a catastrophe that recently befell you.

Do you thank God for the good things? For the friends that are there when you need them, for success at college or in your career, for safe passage in a difficult journey?

By the way, I’m talking about your God. Whether you love Torah, Qur’an or Bible, no matter. Whatever your faith, this is your God and it’s the God.

You’ve had a few minutes to ponder my three questions. Need, sorrow, gratitude. These cover just about everything that touches your life. I won’t pry any further. Yes or no, please just remember that life is a difficult journey, one that is best travelled with a companion. I wish you shalom, salaam, peace.

See The Little Things

I was washing the dishes. This time amongst the usual foamy confusion of bubbles there was something small yet special, a beautiful cluster of tiny bubbles arranged near-perfectly. In this moment I saw that it’s the unexpected little things that really matter.

Has your love ever sent you a message just to say that he still loves you, that he cares about you? Perhaps you’ve had a wordless message, his head briefly resting on your shoulder, his hair tickling your face. Such gestures might seem tiny, even insignificant. Don’t dismiss them, see the little things.

Retail Therapy

I’m feeling down,
What should I do?
I’ll buy something
In pink or blue.

I’ve got more shoes
Than I can wear,
And lingerie
Bought for a dare.

Something for me
When I’m alone…
I know, I’ll get
A nice pink phone!

Stars Of Lovingness

“To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive” – Robert Louis Stevenson.

It’s a oft-quoted mantra and it’s one that helps guide me, another facet of the journey versus destination concept that I explored in Live The Journey.

Journey. What does the word bring to mind? A road trip, an ocean voyage, a long flight? That seems reasonable enough. These are the real-life journeys that you make. You plan the trip, buy tickets, book hotels. You can feel these journeys – smell the burning fuel, hear the engines, rock to the vibrations. The world passes by your window, scenery changes.

What about the other journeys that you make, the ones that exist fleetingly in your head when you daydream? Fantasy journeys, unbounded by borders. Guided by your imagination you travel in hope, seeking and finding. In these amazing journeys you can go wherever you like. You pass through a stargate into another world, a place where you are master. Here the stars shine at your calling. Night or day, rain or sun, it’s your choice.

Your fantasies may seem futile, little more than a forlorn attempt to escape your world and find a better place. They should not be dismissed so lightly. If you cannot envision what you really want then how can you ever hope to reach that place? Don’t be afraid to dream your journey. To travel hopefully is a better thing than to arrive.

“Stars Of Lovingness” lyric quoted from White Queen (As It Began), Brian May 1974

 

 

Live The Journey

Nothing is perfect, nothing is complete, nothing lasts forever. That’s what I’ve been told. So why do we squander so much of our lives searching for precisely these things? Is it something primeval, seated deep within out human spirit, that drives us on relentlessly? We seek perfection and completeness in our romantic lives, always hoping that we’ll find “the one” and it will last… forever.

A friend called me a couple of days ago. “I’ve been married for a third of my life,” she lamented, “and it’s all been for nothing.” Was it for nothing? There were good times, many of them. There was love and laughter, caring and companionship. It didn’t last forever. Like I said, nothing does. But it was lovely at the time, the years filled with joy and happiness. No, it was not for nothing.

Life is a journey. That’s a very tired cliché and it should have been retired long ago. The trouble is, it’s true! Don’t spend your hours lamenting what has passed. Remember those times for what they really were – spent happily with someone you loved, doing what you both wanted to do right then, in the moment. As we drive on down the road of life, things will change. You will win, then you will lose. Now you must keep going and discover what is waiting for you around the next corner.

Anticipate the destination… but live the journey.

Photo: Road between Plumtree and Clipston, England. Copyright © S Silverman 2018.

Your Love Story

You’re looking for someone
Who sees within,
Doesn’t care about your past
Or how thin you wish you were.

Love doesn’t care about those things.
It sees within,
Finds dreams in your eyes
And feels the warmth of your skin.

This Is My Rose

This is my rose.
Last week it wasn’t there. Last month the bush was bare.

This is my world.
Last week I danced in the rain. Last month was filled with pain.

This is my heart.
I could give it to you. Would you remain true?

 

At The Marina

  The wind was light, just enough to set slack ropes clinking against metal masts. Abbey and Lewis sat on a wall, looking out over the marina and listening to the soft slop of wavelets that played between the boats and ran aground on the stones below their feet. Oblivious fish shoals played along the rocky edges in the warmth of the glassy shallows, hunting for morsels amongst the grey crags. Abbey shaded her eyes to look beyond the marina. The sea sparkled, energised by a sun-whitened sky. Lewis tugged his sunglasses up to scan the white rows of pleasure craft, then dropped them back onto his nose.

  ‘Which yacht is it?’ he asked.

  ‘I don’t know. She said it’s blue and white.’

  ‘There’s a blue one over there.’ Lewis pointed into the glare.

  ‘Where? Oh yes. I didn’t see that one. But it might be this one.’ Abbey pointed into a different part of the blinding light.

  ‘Why didn’t you ask her? It could be any of them. There are hundreds of blue and white ones.’

  ‘Don’t exaggerate, Lewis.’

  ‘Alright, half a dozen then.’

  Abbey chortled. ‘It’s hard to see anything from here.’

  ‘You need some sunglasses. I thought you had a pair.’

  ‘I did but you sat on them. Remember?’

  ‘Well, you shouldn’t have left them in the beach bag. How could I know?’

  ‘So, why did you sit on the bag? Oh, forget it.’ Abbey reached around Lewis and pulled his mouth onto hers, smothering his protests and bringing the bickering to an end…

Read on… Coffee In Castillo is out now!

Don’t Give Up

How many times must you fail before you give up?

Of course that’s a silly question without any context. Give up what, exactly? It makes all the difference. If you were searching for a missing ball-point pen, or maybe trying to catch a spider in your living-room, then it might be quite reasonable to give up after a couple of attempts. A lost pen or a harmless spider doesn’t matter very much, does it? When you take a broad view, these things are quite trivial and soon forgotten.

Some things in life really do matter. A lot. Consider all the romantic connections you’ve had in your life. Now we’re are talking about something that is important to most people and I think I’d be safe enough in guessing that you feel the same. Think back. You had teenage flings of course. This was just the starting point, training at the Love Boot Camp and intensively developing your skills. The love you felt in your twenties was something different. Profoundly deep, compelling, overwhelming. So powerful that you married him.

Nearly half of marriages end within 15 years. Ok, so there’s more than one way to measure divorce rates but I don’t wish to get bogged down in such debates. Let’s just agree that divorce is a thing and it happens a lot. For better or for worse, never mind for richer or for poorer, marriage simply isn’t what it used to be.

lonely man ocean-2787669_1920 smlSo what comes after your divorce? Is it time to give up now? That’s the easy option but it’s far from satisfying. Envisage the lonely years that would stretch ahead of you. Instead of throwing in the towel, it’s time to start dating again. Argh, it’s so much more difficult now! Where have all the good men gone?

Despite the challenges, you do go on a few dates. Romances develop, they blossom for a little while but soon wilt. Back to square one, again and again. Failure upon failure. The months go by, hope is displaced by despair. Now you really do feel like giving up.

friends people-2561065_1920 smlA friend called me last night and I told her everything. I told her about the lost love, the hope and the despair. I told her that I just didn’t have the energy to keep on trying. I was fed up, jaded. Enough was enough. “Don’t give up,” she said softly. Good advice from a wise friend.

Unlike a cheap ball-point pen, you can’t nip out and buy another lover. And without that lover, you’ll just have to have another go at catching the spider yourself. No-one said it would be easy. Just don’t give up.

The Bizarre Theatre Of Your Dreams

Dreams, the playground of grotesque fantasy. Distorted reflections of your life mirrored in a troubled, stormy ocean. A theatre filled with players that shift, meld and fade. Mingled voices speaking in tongues. You can’t hear their words but still you feel their minds.

Dreams, packed with imperative, reminders of all the things that you have yet to do. Journeys you must make, relationships to heal, broken things that need mending, voids in your life still unfilled.

In dreams, loved ones come to talk to you. A parent that lives on only in your heart comes to comfort you, a lover from the distant past touches your face, friends you can barely identify arrive to heighten the chaos. Sometimes disturbing, occasionally consoling, the ensemble changes as the drama plays out. Time is fluid. Minutes, hours, even years mean nothing.

The backdrop of this theatre is bizarre. Distortions of places that you barely remember or have never even been. Perhaps the house you lived in when you were just a child, a street in a city you have never known, your church or synagogue populated by characters you are sure would never be seen there.

Dreams, half-crazy, surreal, disturbing. Do they seem pointless, no more than absurd distractions sent to cause fleeting distress? Are they no more than discarded snippets of indie cinema, ill-conceived and worthless mind-art produced by some misguided director? Or are they trailers for a compelling movie that you must not miss?

When you wake tomorrow, don’t try to shake off the shreds of your dreams. Hold on to those movie snippets for a moment. Make it your quest to remember your loved ones, to heal relationships and re-connect with friends.

You have the power to take control of your waking hours and you can start right now. Fill the voids in your life, one by one. Seek a little more contentment each day, make your waking world a better place to be. Sail away from the troubled ocean, see your life reflected in calmer waters.

Falling In Love Again

Our life is a journey through love and pain, light and darkness. The path of life twists and turns. What lies around the next corner? We cannot know until we reach it.

We must travel in hope, have courage in the face of disappointment. Some of us are just setting off, others have journeyed long and seen our hopes dashed again and again. Divorce, depression, loneliness may all take their toll but you are still here and it’s far too soon to say “I’m finished.”

Recognise the immense value of all that you have experienced. You have trusted and been betrayed, loved and lost. Was it all for nothing? No, of course it wasn’t. Each event in your life was uniquely tailored just for you. You have a bespoke collection of learning experiences that prepare you for the future, for your future.

Fiction and reality are often intertwined. We dream about our future, imagine how we would wish it to be. Like Abbey in Coffee In Castillo, we realise that unless we follow our hearts and pursue our fantasies then we cannot hope to build the future of our dreams.

So hold your head up high, throw those shoulders back, thrust your chest out. Show the world that you are still in business, ready to face life’s challenges. Please believe me, it is not too late to fall in love again.