Wednesday, May 2, 2012

14 July 1943

Last night I dreamed I walked along the sand
Beneath a rocky mountain peak that towered
So high above as if it would command
All life, and yet beneath the sky, it cowered

I spied a path and stumbled up a hill
That quickly merged, in one quite seamless leap
Into the mountain’s jaggered frame, until
I faltered, as the way became too steep

Then soon the path began to disappear
And in its place was barely room enough
For me to cling against the stone-faced sheer,
I climbed on as the way became too rough

For how I fought to make it up the wall,
As Thought, with black intent, upon me crept
You know, you could, from this height, end it all…
How I suffered! How I prayed! How I wept!

And so I woke to find it but a dream
Although, not quite. Atop the mountain peak
I felt I’d seen a man of lowly mien
With sun-scarred skin and tattered clothes and meek

The look within his eyes, that spilled the cry
Of his own mountain hell. For through my tears
I saw upon his back he held the sky
I lay there in the dark beneath my fears.

Copyright © 2012 by Layne Cockcroft
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 16, 2011

For the wind was contrary

The wind had tossed, the night was rough

But now the seas had calmed

The moonlight bathed the sea in glass

A shining orb, embalmed

Across the glowing surface they,

Amidst reflected light,

Would cast their weary sailing eyes

To contemplate the night

And as their contemplating grew

A shadow in the distance rose

Each eye towards it fearsome drew

Each heart of hearts in each man froze

Upsprang the Wind with violent rage

As Lightning fired across the sky

Sang Thunder quaking all the stage

'Neath which lay crushed, a fisher's cry

Who fought against all nature's will,

Against, with arms, a troubled sea,

A shadowed spirit nearing still,

With fear and trembling, battled he

Then penetrating all the noise

Through darkness insecure

He heard the voice, he heard the voice

so soft, so calm, so sure

While billows tossed and tempest raged

Impulsive, yes, but unafraid

The voice had so his fear assuaged

He leapt, just as the Master bade

But as he crossed the space between

The fourth watch wind crashed all around

And while he sank with frightened mien

He prayed that he might not be drowned


Copyright © 2011 by Layne Cockcroft

All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thirty Six

She swept across the silent night

So swift and smooth, she slid

Upon the eerie breeze she crept

And in the shadows hid…

She brought the darkness and the cold

That speak for her malaise

The one engulfs the weary soul

A cumulescent haze

As dark as night, as black as hell

Her suffocating gaze

The other cuts through skin and bone

As if the blood were ice

She slivers through with burning cold

To force, if not entice,

To rip, to scar, to shatter then

To grip in excess vice…

I will not of myself thus be

Destroyed beneath her breath

Oh Jesus, Son of God, mercy!

And loose these chains of death


Copyright © 2011 by Layne Cockcroft

All Rights Reserved

The Existential Deconstruction

Where light and darkness cease to be

There sit upon their sofas three

Our trio painted every gray

But with no exit from their play

They sit sometimes in reverie

In quiet, loathing what they see

At other times they shut their eyes

And tell each other courteous lies

But in their room there is no sleep

So courteous lies become too steep

For even blind men to believe

Who given time are undeceived

And since here time hath said farewell

Then surely others must be hell

So drop the spade, you've dug the hole

If others live within your soul


Copyright © 2011 by Layne Cockcroft

All Rights Reserved

Saturday, September 4, 2010

My Last Lover

I think that poor Porphyria

Hath had her blame enough elsewhere

And so, my dear Cytherea,

I've taken extra special care

To shift the blame for you to bare.

Now as Hephaestus, that's my role,

I hatched a plan to catch the thief,

And forthwith to my smithy stole

To smelt a brazen net motif

And thereby grant myself relief.

Within that cave of forges wrought,

I called upon the Cyclops aid

And with gold maids whom gods had taught

Began, and other work forbade:

A hero's arms were to be made.

It took sometime to dig the hole.

I dug it by that old pear tree

Among whose leaves you oft would stroll

To set your struggling passion free,

I dug it deep enough for three.

And as the rain set in tonight,

The sullen wind came out to play.

They spattered me with all their spite

As if my plan they would betray

By all the mud in the hallway.

But with this muddy trail's begun

The final stanza I shall write

So let the mud be like the sun,

Old Helios, that kindly light,

To lead all here, for I invite

With bitter pen and bloody hands,

From now into eternity,

The nymphs and satyrs of all lands,

The gods and all the world to see

Me grant you immortality,

The gift for which Achilles died,

Preferring glory over life.

I think it was his selfish pride

That ere the arrow, plunged a knife

Into his heart. But now, dear wife,

Tonight I watched as Somnus crept

Into our room to pay his debt,

Then silently, as you both slept,

Beside the bed myself I set

And wrapped you in my brazen net.

So do not stir, but lie quite still

And feel my knife so gently pressed

And set with long awaited skill

Against your supple skin and breast,

The blade still warm from its last quest -

For Ares' blood still soaks the blade

And drips upon your precious skin,

While lifelessly, his debt now paid,

Beside you, flowing from within,

His blood engulfs the sheets in sin.

I slip the covers from the bed

And run my fingers through your hair.

A tear upon your cheek is shed,

Your clothes lay scattered everywhere

And perfume floats upon the air.

In this last moment, let us stay

Engraven by my poetry.

Since I was naked for a day,

Thus shall it be eternally:

Your naked skin, this knife, and me.


Copyright © 2010 by Layne Cockcroft
All Rights Reserved

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

For Once, Then, Frost

Dear Mister Frost, I find myself

In need of that deep well,

At whose own curb you once would kneel

To see what it would tell.

But having once at well-curbs knelt

And found to my chagrin,

I had to look so far beneath

The well-curb bruised my chin,

Thus, though in summer heaven, I

so godlike did appear,

I did not have the chin to be

What you might call, a seer.

But now, dear Frost, I'm back again

To see what I can find:

A pebble, or a piece of quartz,

Or something of that kind.

I seek the wisdom of the well

Who once gave something back.

A well, as far as I can tell,

Who never yet did lack.

Beyond the surface, dear, old Frost

I seek to counsel deep,

Yet all I've see are rippling jests,

That lulled me off to sleep.

Now in this hour of great distress

Beneath the shimmer dwell

The answers to my golden quest -

Oh, please entreat that well!

For truly, Frost, I know you saw

For once, then, something there,

So let no drop nor puff of cloud

Impede what you can share.

The shining water, all too clear,

Reflects back only me.

And though I try to see beyond,

I'm all that I can see.


Copyright © 2010 by Layne Cockcroft
All Rights Reserved

Saturday, July 24, 2010

If it be thou

The waves rise up and toss against the boat.

The storm and tempest rage.

Not just from fear, I hide amidst my coat,

But also from his wage.

The wind will not, as much as I refuse,

Relent its vicious cry,

But thunders on, in vengeance and abuse,

My battered soul to try.

And to accuse, the rain and sleet and hail,

Descend upon me now.

With untold force, they crash against my sail,

They will that I should bow.

So in the deep, as lightning strikes with pow'r,

I sink into the sea.

Just praying in this last and lonely hour,

That He will rescue me.


Copyright © 2010 by Layne Cockcroft
All Rights Reserved