Poetry: Robert Maddox-Harle

Rob Harle

Diary Entry

 (from the memoirs of Sebastian Smith)


Today i realised i was still alive

the white-coats took me for a walk,

scents of the earth

early flowers and spring buds smiled,

neatly tended hospital grounds

how much i'd missed - did it matter?

drugged, strapped down, electrocuted

incessant blurred nightmare.


today i realised i was still alive.

the future?

memories, fragments of memories

deep-sleep clearing,

bits of someone's life – mine i guess,

was it a year since i was labelled Mad?

birds chirped and danced

darting behind happy hyacinths,

puffy clouds looked down - watching me,

would he falter?

the white-coats chatted at a distance

voices, memories of voices

but: No voices, No voices

Oh wondrous day - calm day.

i was tiring

i sat under a huge velvet fig tree

my body, i still had a body

imagine that, a body that felt.

outside the hospital walls, life was moving

cars in the distance, hummed

imagine that, to drive a car

fast - speeding along.





This mask you wear today


finely honed in light,

hours spent preening the reflection

mirror's lights

and mirror's gaze

to impress,

to bolster sagging confidence

dragged downwards slowly.


And yesterday's mask,

washed away

perhaps thrown in a corner

to decay like memories,

like childhood fantasies,

the puppets and the plays

have long since gathered dust.


What of tomorrow's mask?

Sleek, fashionable, fresh

projecting deep desires,

cool reflections

of grandiose games

or sighs of insecurity.


When your pantomime is played

and the final mask is made

What will be your next disguise?




Chthonian Vaults


Androgyny rises swollen and ripe

tempting, it caresses your mind easily

like the taste of melting chocolate,

a transformation of mental images

collected from past encounters

rounded, sensuous, piercing

gradually heat your inner core.

To become yin and yang

without sacrifice or scar,

to survive the boredom of mediocrity

you grow wings like Icarus,

only shrewd, you soar towards Pluto.

A journey of passion and provocation

to the deepest realms of nature's womb

where every move treads a razor's edge,

and blood and semen flow together

as archetypes yield their secrets.

Far from the purity of whiteness,

the glaring brightness of the Sun

you play in chthonian vaults of darkness,

moving forward with profane purpose

transcending synthetic moral pretense

the freedom you desire seems close.

Fly dangerously young hermaphrodite,

explore every chance with craving

swallow life with your voracious tongue

and consummate your destiny

in a ritual of solipsistic rapture.



Whore and Nun


the façade has split

is peeling

as the pupae eats your thoughts

cast from last year’s butterfly

has turned to evil's deeds.

hurtling through the tortured caverns

opening rigid darkened doors

'til exposed and naked

the final passion falls

and the moon casts splintered shadows

on the face of nun and whore.

"I'm not like that you rage,"

a hollow cry

for all to hear is false,

as whore and nun go dancing

down the highway of your psyche.

"Let's try this tango one more time"

where whore discards desire

where nun discards the habit

where both are mortal strangers

'til the lights go out at night.





Looking Towards Infinity


Draped in confusion I look towards infinity

listening I suffer the inevitability of isolation,

the whiteness of sacred flesh

mocks my feeble efforts

as the tired pages fall back to sleep.


Lost in the righteousness of abstraction

I charge mercilessly into the music,

the blackness of unanswered questions

mocks my feeble efforts

as the fools sing the Laws of Karma.


Drowned in the discord of smouldering wine

I court the winged messenger of fate,

the emptiness of unattended dreams

mocks my feeble efforts

as my mind drifts slowly away from its hinge.


And then a flash of hope ascends

I've foiled the arrows of the Philistines

the clarity of inspiration

mocks my feeble efforts

as I realise the answer lies beyond infinity

in a realm that few minds dare imagine.




Rob Harle is a poet, artist and reviewer. His work is published in journals, anthologies, online, and in books. He is on the editorial board of a number of international art and literary journals including Leonardo. His work concerns the technoMetamorphosis of humanity.

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