Robert Johnson

 

 

They said that, when it comes, it shall be singing.

I sit in a room of sunsets. Sideways blinds

Scatter light: until, the cloud smoke still,

A purple sorrow draws in, at the window;

Held in my fingers like cuts of steel wire,

I can hear night sounds. It can’t be long

Until the hound at last recovers me.

In another room, a lamplight flickers.

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After-ache

 

 

Hurled on drifts of midnight, I

Turn over to your side, to wake:

Clutching sheets where once you’d lie,

And hold the after-ache.

 

There’s absence, where once was a sigh.

Where my clothes start and yours once ceased,

The space is empty. Left to die,

Like something lost, released.

 

Your books are gone. The presence leased

Has called its debt, your place to take.

I grasp the hurt of us, deceased.

I hold the after-ache.

Deep Trouble

 

 

I am in hot water, now. Like the frog who,

So they say, would jump when dropped in a boiling pan,

I was placed in cold. It’s funny, I guess.

But the threat from underneath,

A gentle threat, persisting underneath:

I never noticed you.

You see, I’m in trouble, now.

I can’t get out of this one.

It’s the broken window. It’s the dropped

Shards of a plate. The curfew, overstepped:

This one’s all on me.

And, hands in my pockets, looking down

At my trudging shoes to avoid the gaze of you –

Stomach dread, soul hurt –

Like I’ve stolen something I cannot return…

That utter beyond-hope as I stare,

Deeper than anchorless oceans,

A punch in the gut,

The kick inside.

You.

Oh: I am in deep, deep trouble, now.

The Tapping

 

 

When old Macleod lowered his drink, the glass

Barely made a sound. The coal eyes neither

Burned nor brooded. He simply said, that

Down there in the cave, when at last he heard

It – after the rumours, strange voices, echoes, equipment

Missing, broken-necked deaths and the cover-ups

Of supposed natural gas and unsafe vents –

He said that, in the cave, the truth was,

“Old Nick isn’t so…. Unexpected.” He said

The day when, in the dark, he felt as clear

As you can feel your own fingertips the

Tap Tap Tap of the Devil on his back –

Well. He said, it wasn’t the fear. It wasn’t

Red-eyed madness, or malice. Only that…

Everyone feels they’re winging it through life,

Right? Everyone feels a fraud. That you

Got here by luck. But any moment now

They’ll find the error, check the files, and

Tap you gently on the back and say,

“I’m sorry, but it seems there’s some mistake.”

And we all have lived and loved on borrowed time,

Vaguely aware of eternity, vaguely

Aware of fate. But hoping they won’t tap.

And when alone at night, you hear a sound,

And know not to look behind you: it is that.

When the Devil taps you on the back,

It won’t be fear you feel: but exactly like

The kitchen window you once broke in childhood,

The plate you smashed, the deed now done:

Dirty-handed trudging back to mother,

Aware entirely what you have done:

You’ll feel the tap. And you will know

What’s coming next.

 

 

Patreon Page: We Are Live!

At last, the time has come.

Take a look at my new Patreon page! This is a site where fans and followers can subscribe and pledge, in support of my art and my studies, and in return access exclusive poetry, readings, content, features and surprises.

Here’s the site address: look forward to seeing you there!

 

http://www.patreon.com/jrhgreenwood

 

xx

 

 

Poetry Patreon!

 

Hello there, lovelies!

I have some rather exciting news for my followers. I will be redoubling my writing, and sharing videos of recitations and readings on a brand spanking new website, which opens TOMORROW (Saturday 9th).

On this website, followers, fans and patrons can get access to personal readings, extra content, behind-the-scenes footage, writing tips and even personal, hand-written poetry.

When we launch tomorrow I will share a link with you all: and if you wish to subscribe, the details will follow!

I will still be posting my regular content here as well, minus the extras and exclusive bits. Look forward to seeing you on my Patreon page!

Love to you all with bells on.

 

The Magician

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Infinity crowns me. Haloed by my heart,

I call the chalice, and wine fills me up:

My words are spells, and poison is my art.

Drink from my cup.

 

I conjure objects into servitude,

Breathe words into life, and am their dawning.

As even the universe was blown by a nude,

Bored God one Monday morning.

 

I play a truth, and always tell the trick.

Is this sweet distraction? Is it real?

Or both: the truth can be a real dick.

Which will you feel?

 

Speaking is belief, as much as seeing,

And snatching destiny from slender air.

The question is, did I will it into being,

Or was it already there?

 

Major arcana. Major stare.

Major drop your underwear.

 

 

I have once again been privileged enough to work alongside a fellow artist on Instagram, Charlie Ray Illustration, to provide poetry to accompany their work. I was taken by The Magician card, which symbolises inter alia creation, potential, skill and deceit. Have a look at his Instagram page for further samples of his work: 

https://www.instagram.com/charlierayillustration/