Author Archives: benhenleysmith

Resident

The city is my life support 
But I am not from here, perfectly plucked
Placed in this bed of flowers
I am a resident, not a citizen 
My growth, exists to make others 
Busy doing the important work
Happy to see the green things 
Are still here holding on 

They came and in the name of God 
Took my home whilst I slept
Your holy city, not mine 
I no longer belong 
Now I watch my cause 
Stolen by others 
Burn, turn to rubble 
All around me 

Why did fate lead me here 
With no place 
To love or  
Return?
As if trapped 
In a bed of flowers 
Dislocated 
From home

Debris of night

To be made 
the day must break 
only light can cut the dark.

Left behind,
splinters of white haze
blanket the cool ground,

hovering debris
the only sign 
something else was here. 

Seconds pass 
the sun sees
that it ends.

The gifts of this half way 
between night and day 
vanish,

the low orbit 
air of night
replaced.

I wish 
it would return 
I know it won’t.

People come 
from their houses 
into the dawn;

one, two, three 
now all at 
once

school, work
cars, bikes 
moving 

I hear a train 
in the distance 
doing things 

sweeping up bodies
as it
goes.

We begin, 
anew 
in the light of day 

that pierced
the sky 
of it’s dark

Yellow brown perish

The edges of your yellow
brown from the autumn 
disembark, one by one 
floating with indecision 
one way then the next

I know you want to stay
next to all you have known 
to be right 
and safe 
your place

It is here now 
in the beauty of this 
perish,
in the elegant sway of 
decent

Your only choice  
surrender 
forget your 
pride 
let go

hand yourself
to greater things 
and be lost 
in the echo 
beneath

Rubber

Beaten by what we know but don’t see 
swirls of air 
somehow over years of standing 
still 
gave you that rubbery face 

Rich red, cracking  
chunks breaking, running 
up and down
wrapping what’s hidden 
inside your cloak 

A wink. You’ve watched me
follow these tracks before
my young face, swift gait, 
fast pace
driven 

So was he. My mothers dad, tall 
with a downward gaze
skin like rubber that told
stories of good and bad  
of things never spoken now seen 

He once had a chest 
experience harder fought than mine 
his badge, that with age, withdrew 
replaced by kindness to a world 
he’d forced his way through 

You remind me of him,
perhaps hidden inside of you 
he is there, watching me 
as I pass on by 
and the sun drifts across the sky

From the brown

Roots tumble 
From the brown
Bathing her feet 
Into finer health  
Now she’s up  
Climbing above the eyeline

Roots born 
From the brown 
Revealed by a tide gone now
To the distant lake 
Further than can be reached 
Or returned

Roots work 
Preparing her with 
What she needs 
Against the forces 
Of wither and 
Weather

Roots break 
And bow 
Their fragility known
Only to those  
Raising their toes 
From the dirt

Roots cave  
When their grip has been
Lost 
Fingers powerless to hold 
The coming and going 
Endless holding  

Roots stretch 
Under sodden silt  
For wealth 
We are blind to
Singing  
Under us 

Roots search 
For answers that go 
Years forgotten 
Now upturned 
Bereft
To the air 

Too young

I see you now
Twisting and turning in your bed
A green felt, that in the light of day
Savours the Sun’s breath

The moment breaks and your foilage 
Still, until caught by wind
Bellows the sound of waves 
Crashing upon the shore

I remember life before, the small house
Sandwiched between forest and sea 
I was too young to know you then
Too old to embrace you care free   

A boy full of lust and longing 
Spikey hair and new shoes 
If we’d met then as we do now
I would not have been any less lost 

Though I sense you will escape me
Off into the glittering sky
When for a moment 
It was only us  

Your gentle arms  
Onto care for another
Who when they were younger 
Forgot to look up

Water Sheet

Nothing glides upon thinly cut water sheet
Not a young bird washing their fresh belly 
Or hovering flies at its fickle edge 
Or the timid fox nervous at night 
Some rest for those under the surface at last   
The slice that keeps two worlds apart
Secrets now shut under deepening ice

—

The day limbers from its early rise
Shoots stay clenched in their fist 
Twigs hang onto their aching branch 
It isn’t long
What’s hidden will soon flirt 
With the coming of sun
Of hope

—

Now it rushes with undivided mite
Into a new blue, light 
White ice, gone, now the sound of
Circling wings sing and the crisping air
Reveals truth 
Song 
The coming of life

Swift gift

Your orange eyes are all
I see when I think of 
Firm ice holding 
Your shape 
For it will end 
To melt is to know 
How it was to play 
In the winter cold 

Surely it is better 
To have sticks for arms 
Than to have lived
Without them 
Though your time is brief 
It must be worth 
Joy 
Made  

You will topple and tumble 
To a puddle 
Regular and 
Ordinary 
But you will have lived 
Come and gone 
Your swift 
Gift  

A drift

It arrived under cover of night 
A blanket of white as if to hide 
With a layer of gentle ice 
Misgivings from the day gone 

Washed away by a sea of bright 
Eyes blink and squint with light 
Better suited to summer days 
Of sun and fun and yellow 

Layers of sun kissed snow 
Hold events passed beneath 
For a brief time I will forget and play 
As the sound of children wake me

A new world for morning  
As the sun rises and begins to chip 
And the chilly snow drips 
From the day 

Not before long or delay 
White turns to grey to black 
And back to its state of 
Wet cold and frozen air 

As if by magic this day
Returns to its usual way 
Without snow or play 
We will wait

That heavenly light

The arch of day bends to heavenly light 
Past the wanderous eye of a child 
To the chill of flesh grown out 

Our chance begs to come alive 
Though years gone hold us to
Frozen choices made in time past 

Dreams of a youth so eloquently felt 
Swept under roots of rotting self 
The sweet curse of time rolled