The Hell Butterfly


– Frost –

Weep, sapling, for frost
seals shut brave buds. Dawn awakes
in shameful mourning.

– Totsiens, Anodyne –

I had always been a sceptic,
until I found reason to believe.
There is such a thing as destiny.
There is such a thing as fate.
Mine is this:
I am light down to my core,
and my soul does not know how not to be.
Incandescent monument for the world’s adoration until my darkest day.

I pass through life eliminating darkness by simply existing as I do.
Shadowed cheeks stained, blackened by her mascara tears
illuminate under my beacon.
I cast them out, dry them with the warmth
that I have always known in me.
The gloom retreats with nowhere left to hide
and she is free. She smiles and is free.
She turns and walks away.

Through dusk I roam, a pillar of light
melting away the heavy dark.

Here, a mound of flesh balled helpless,
victim to encroaching umbra.
He is small at my feet, unfurling as my dawn approaches.
I shine my sun upon him and he casts his eyes skyward,
grateful to be open once more.
Nurturing the roots of sapling joy,
he grows with the nourishment
that I have always known in me
and he is free. He smiles and is free.
He stands and walks away.

The sluggish night draws on,
lethargic in its play of midnight,
whilst I glow my subtle glow of day.

One by one, this light of mine revives the fallen.
One by one, this warmth of mine strengthens the weak.
One by one, this soul of mine trades life for life.
The fireflies in my chest have been bottled in their mason jars,
gift-wrapped in the parchment of a handwritten love letter,
and have fulfilled their worldly duties.
As they leave my field of luminescence,
a shiver passes up my spinal cord.
Night’s opacity slithers, ever hungry,
and I realise the lantern in my ribcage is flickering, faltering.
My breath now mists the air.

In this solitary blackness I seem a blazing torch,
the lighthouse leading others home.
But I am not a glaring beacon.
I am not the candlelight of Mass.
I am not even the whole matchbook.
I am just one, single, match
burned slow, guiding and warming the coldest of lost souls.
Now, unable to light my own way home,
the fireflies tucked in bedside drawers,
I tremble, afraid of the dark,
and am extinguished.

There is such a thing as destiny, and mine is this:
I was light down to my core,
and my soul does not know how not to be.

– Coffins –

To the loggers who tear us usunder:
we bare our sap
through split bark,
limbs stretched,
awaiting the teeth you chew us with.
To the cutters who divide us:
we offer ourselves
and watch as you dissect us,
piece by fractured piece,
nostalgic for the canopy from which we were felled.
To the carvers who shape us:
we lay naked,
our timbers shivering
as you, with knife and hand,
manipulate a vision for our vessels.
To the undertakers who bury us:
we are hollow now,
readily shelter another’s flesh
and weep no more on our descent
as you let us down.
From skyline to soil,
trunk to twig,
body to box,
we were always let down,
never more
than coffins.

In Which I Bare My Soul For Public Viewing

I’m struggling, guys. I’m really, really struggling.

I could think of dozens of metaphors and short poems to describe this “feeling” but none seem to fit the base need I have: the need to confide openly. And, quite frankly, I don’t have the will or motivation to think up poetic comparisons.

The last 12-15 months have been rough, even by my standards. In (almost) brief, I started, and have now left, a job that had potential to be great but caused me tremendous emotional pain, endured a rapid decline of my 3+ year relationship into emotional abuse and manipulation before ending things and suffering the fallout, I made and lost a best friend to betrayal, selfishness, and threats of violence at a time when I really needed someone on my side, and have most recently moved out of my 7 years home of Plymouth, back with my parents, miles away from the few friends I still have (had?) left.

I am so… lonely.

I am so… ashamed.

How did I let myself get here? How did I let my life erode so deeply?

How this, why that… I could ask so many questions and not find any good answers. Why did I stay in a controlling relationship for months and months after my eyes had opened to the raw truth of it? How was I so weak to let my job push me to crumbling… again? How am I supposed to get through this without a solid “support network”?

I suppose, with a more positive outlook, I could rephrase those questions and have the answers: “I did my best”, “it’s okay to step away from something causing me pain”, “I’m not a failure unless I give up”.

“Ay, there’s the rub!”: I feel, a little, like I’ve already given up. I already see myself as a failure. I already let myself be walked on, pushed down, talked over. I already gave all the love I can muster with this soul and where has that gotten me? I don’t want to answer that, you get the picture.

I’m trying, guys. I’m really, really trying. I don’t know, I guess I just need some encouragement, an outlet, and if I can’t get that solace from The Hell Butterfly then what have I spent my time keeping this up for?

I want to be okay. I’m getting so sick of crying. There’s the initial catharsis of the action, then just a deep melancholy, a loneliness, a darkness that just won’t let the cycle end.

I’ll get through it. I always get through it. I just wish I didn’t have to keep “getting through it” time and time again. I need this awful universe to cut me a break. I mean, don’t I deserve it?

– Absence –

It hurts; longing.
Wanting, trying,
without reply.
No dignity in pleading,
in vulnerability,
no, none for me.
This heart of mine
likes violin strings
It screams as it
echoes overlapping
as it dies.
No, no dignity in it,
none for me.
Pain is not a melody,
but absence of it.
How do I go on,
with sorrow,
but no song?

– The Request –

Draw your attention to your request.
I have attached the application
For the post of the night.
I have been dealing with some of the unpleasant things.
Have to do it.
I’ve been trying to get that to work.
I have discussed the matter with the client
And they said they would like to stay
For the next few weeks and we will have to wait.
I’m tired of having to wait for the next one.
I’m going to be sad leaving
And said I will be back.
I am looking for a while but I’m afraid.
Get a better deal.
I’m going to be a poet.
I’m a good fighter but I don’t know what you meant.
I’ve seen the last few years of my life gone,
I am free and I love you.
I’m so sorry.
Is the best person in the world to help me
The first one I think is a bit more than I am?
I’ve just had a look at the bigger picture.
I am looking for something to do with that.

How I Came To Love You

The first time I made love to you

I recall nothing but a tangle of limbs and breath and sweat,

pulsating, writhing like some unbridled beast of lust.

The second time I made love to you

we locked eyes and you told me I was perfect,

I learned your rhythm and danced to it until you sang.

We used to sing together when the song of you and I was playing

in the jukebox of our love’s bedroom

and, god, we harmonized so flawlessly.

The third time I made love to you

I felt the rapid beating of two hearts and it felt like one,

so close it seemed that nothing could tear them back

into two separate fleshy drums of blood and passion.

The fourth time I made love to you

I thought we fell away from those same old walls and emerged

two faces smiling at each other in a future we had built, together, in these moments.

The fifth time I made love to you

you had your eyes closed from the start, and I felt bliss,

believed that when I closed mine we would see each other again

behind the lids we drew across the windows of our lives without each other.

The fifth time I made love to you

you talked dirty to me which, you knew, only made me want you more.

The fifth time I made love to you

you called me “slut” and I didn’t care, because I was your slut

and this was my body given to you with consent

because I knew that yours was mine too,

our two structures intertwining into a foundation far too strong to topple.

The fifth time I made love to you

I stopped making love entirely because it was already made.


This love was always being made;

between the sheets,

beneath the stars,

in long-gazes held,

in smiles I kept for only you,

in energy spent running to you when you called.


The fifth time I made love to you

I whispered it in your ear, “I love you,”

and you didn’t flinch.

All things were tinted rose and I believed that meant you were not scared,

that you felt it too.

I whispered it again and you said nothing

but fucked me like you’d never get another chance.

The fifth time I made love to you

I wondered if I was the sole creator, this treasure made only by myself,

you a silent non-contributor to the blooming love,

yes it was love,

that we, I, designed and felt you shared.


Time passed, my love held fast, and we did not make love again.

I became your whore, paid in cheap compliments and batted eyelashes,

your charm as sharp and wonderful as ever I remembered.

Time passed, and silence was our newfound symphony.

My love was made long ago,

I showed you mine,

but you never showed me yours,

and so I waited,

and hoped,

that maybe

you could make some for me too.