No one is afraid of falling because that’ll always catch them by surprise, they're afraid of what they might land on. They’re afraid of what might shatter, collapse, explode into a million pieces.
—  you create the fear, otherwise it’d never there 

here’s a story
in less than a minute:
bruised lips, flushed cheeks,
battered hearts, bleeding scars;

here’s the story
of a lonely little girl:
she shines with the light
of a thousand blinding suns;

here’s the best part:
there was once a time
when she used to love you
and not spit poison at your name;

here’s the worst part:
the last time you saw her smiling
she put four bullets and a knife in your back
and left you bleeding out, then everything went black;

(except for some reason
she kept on shining bright,
she kept on being your guiding light
down the path to your brand new life);

does she know
that in a life of lies
the only truth you
were living was her?

(does she know
that when all your masters and rulers
walked on you, made you shed innocent blood
she was the only altar you could pray upon, the only one
you could trust with your life? you were right, she loves you
like a memory from an old nightmare she fears, refuses to let go;)

do you know
that when demons
embraced your shattered soul
she was the anchor in the ocean you held on to?

you don’t know
that she’d thought she’d moved on
when for a second she noticed your gaze
in a crowd of familiar faces trying to keep her safe;

you don’t know
that then the past
fogged her mind, flooded her heart
with memories of kisses at the sound of bombs going off;

you don’t know
how you assaulted her sight,
standing in front of her just like old times;
whose voice breaks into terrified screams first?

if yours was a story
of painless happy endings
i wouldn’t be writing this now,
no one stays till two am singing about
lovers who don’t bring each other down;


you didn’t think this was a story
of love and forgiveness
(here’s the thing:


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A Poem Few Can Understand

Dear friend, it seems tomorrow is the day;
at three, I said, some anonymous place,
and please remember I was led astray.

A siren’s voice that, full of you are wanted,
formed an image, taloned yet with gleaming eyes.
Dear friend, it seems tomorrow is the day,

so I’ll meet you there, then within an hour
you’ll know everything there is to know,
and please remember I was led astray.

A siren’s voice. Yes, close enough. But I
was small before the first, and trapped.
Dear friend, it seems tomorrow is the day,

I swear to god I’ll tell you, for this poem’s
not enough. Nobody could read this right.
Just please remember I was led astray.

It’s midnight, and, through this, tomorrow
has arrived. I’m here, I want to tell you.
Dear friend, it seems today will be the day,
but please remember how I was led astray.

I have spent my life cutting out the dirty pieces of myself, because sometimes I forget that parts are me are not so hateful.
I have tattooed myself with a thousand memories, written stories with sharpies and scalpel blades and biros and razors, because sometimes I forget that parts of me are still worth showing.

I still have a lot of wrongs to right, so I force myself to remember every mistake.
I read them all in the red rose that blooms on my forearm.
It tastes bitter, like iron.
Like I’ll always keep bleeding.
—  giraffevader - “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.”

Sometimes I forget
how you look like
even if I just saw you
this morning

I miss you
even if you lie there
right next to me
whispers nonsense in your sleep

When I’m with you
the whole world disappears
You and me
the only two that matters
right in that moment

Sometimes I forget,
that my life
hasn’t always
had a You in it

I have become greedy
If I’m without you
If only for a second
I feel naked
I feel weird
There needs to be
A You with Me

Otherwise there’s something wrong with my world
It lacks something essential

It lacks a You
It lacks an Us

But I wonder how
I could cope before

you entered my life

did I forget that too?



(Prompts - Sometimes I Forget - PromptsByCeeBee)

"Speak Up"

Be a voice
Not an echo
Speak out
Don’t bite your tongue
With only one
It’s vital you use it
Give form to words of love
Actions that heal…help
Bring hope
To the hopeless
Offer one percent more
Than you ever have before
Scream aloud
Where silence kills
Where oppression is the norm
When good people are herded
Like sheep who should conform
Open up your lips
Say it…be the change
Make noise
Do not remain
On the sidelines
When others are suffering
Get involved
Move to the front
And speak up

Copyright 2015 Chris Bartlett/FollowCB

The police aren’t

all good

The doctors

aren’t always


The judges

aren’t always



is not education

The sun doesn’t

always shine

Love doesn’t always

last forever

The green headed snake

I’m jealous of you
All of you
The green ugly snake rearing it’s head
Stomping on my heart
Inside me there’s no shame
I feel what I feel
Maybe I’m not proud
But there’s no shame
Just those uglies having a party
Kicking the beat
Squeezing my heart
Making me feel weird
Jealousy is not nice
It devours you
Every little thought
Tainted in green shadows
Maybe I’m not good enough
Of course there’s always someone that’s better
Better than me
And the jealousy doesn’t help my case at all

When A Man Sighs

When a man sighs
It is not a sign of weakness
No, it is just the longing of a heart
Trying to be patient
As the world revolves around him
Yet, he waits in silence
For the love burning inside
To respond to his silent sigh
With a smile
Or random phone call
With acceptance of flaws
And patience for the moment
Not rushing into the future
Not rushing into the fire
Just allowing the flames to reach higher
In the darkness of the night
As the stars and sighs collide
When lovers embrace
Tears, loneliness, and pain subside
So when a man sighs
It is not a sign of weakness
It is just his way of speaking
When all words seem to disappear

And still there are nights 
that blossom into mornings 
where my regrets find room 
to rain down from a clear blue sky. 
When light beats at curtains 
that bow gently to their touch 
and I remember how much like light
you were in years gone by and how
like forked sparks your forked tongue
had set my flesh aflame and your rain
had put me out again and I called it love. 
It was. 
It was your way of loving me and my way
of loving you was with tender hands 
and smooth sailing on calm seas, 
let you sit with your back to the tsunami
I was trying to row us away from 
but I guess you cannot outrun destiny. 
We were always going to get wet. 
And whether it was my waves or your rain
it doesn’t make a shred of difference; 
we both did things wrong. I knew all along
that you probably weren’t right for me but there’s
always a right time and a right place for the wrong people
to be right for a little while. For six years you were 
right for me. You made me smile when gravity 
had a hold of my face and lying horizontal at night
did not give me back a hold over myself. 
You were right for me then. 
And maybe you will never be right for me again
and I regret that I am a shame that your hands
can no longer fit to, that my body is a body
that your arms can no longer call a home away from home.
It was. 
And your arms were as much a home for my body
on the rare occasions when you held me 
but it didn’t matter because you didn’t show your love for me
like that. 
Mornings like this I miss most. We would have met
in the late afternoon sun under granite glare beneath
gargoyles watching from the church spires that marked
the crossroads between the territories we each called home 
and we would walk awhile. Talk and joke and laugh and smile
and when our feet would ache home would be which ever house
lay at the end of the route we’d chosen to take, cards, biscuits, crisps, cake and diet coke. So many times I fell asleep on your bedroom floor -
your mother never had the heart to wake us.
Some days I wish I hadn’t woken at all but other days
I am grateful: the right things are sometimes only right for a time.
Though it seems a crime to tear two souls asunder like paper with
a wrong answer writ upon it, like algebra, sometimes there can
be more than one answer, and maybe the two of us together
just weren’t right enough as you and I with someone else.
I wonder if, 
when we die,
we will find each other at God’s front door. 
And I will recognise your dark hair and your wicked eyes and you
will see my round cheeks and soft hands, and you will smile
and I will laugh and it will be like nothing ever changed:
and Heaven is just another house at the end of the walk, and
rest waits inside for the two of us together.
—  We Were and Are Like Algebra

A New Orleans street poem

Heavy curtains

thick with darkness

cannot keep out the light.

This is elemental, a primal

force of the universe,

let there be light.

Sunlight instrumental,

pushing notes through the cold.

This is where we thaw out,

after a long winter looking at the sun

as if it were a god.

And sunshine, warming us

from the inside out.


A warmth on my back
helps smother the chill,
my one constant
in an ever-changing being.
I miss our Sunday mornings,
the linen closet gods
smiling down
below the sleeping house.
We are always here
in this place
even when we are not.
Spare a moment,
or several—
think of me,
so much that I appear.
Your thoughts manifest
are my winding roads,
my satisfaction, my pride.
The romance is not lost on me,
though we are far from home
in more ways than we know.
Come to bed, now.
There is time enough
for morning to drag on
just five more minutes,
and another, and again.