Ma Belle Voisine

20160921_183051-sNot a poem this week, just a true story.
I wrote this piece almost a year ago.
This seems like the right time to publish it.
Click here to hear it:

Ma Belle Voisine

Every now and again we meet someone special.
My neighbour is just such a person.
Someone who makes life, and the world, just better.
She is older than I am, at least in her late seventies, maybe more.
She has a slightly over-enthusiastic spaniel, and she keeps birds on her balcony.
I can hear them singing as I write.
As is often the case, it is hard to say exactly what makes her so special.
She always has a smile, always greets me as though she is pleased to see me.
We break the polite rules of French social life together.
The norm is to exchange kisses only once per day, on the first meeting.
We do it each time we meet, and we actually make lip to cheek contact each time.
I call her ‘Ma Belle Voisine’, my beautiful neighbour.
She tells me I am adorable, the same spelling and meaning as in English, but with her northern French accent it says so much more.
She speaks no English.
When I gave her a signed copy of my book, she smiled at me, told me she couldn’t read it.
That doesn’t matter, I said, you can look at the pictures. It is a gift because I love you.
Her eyes shone.
I met her in the street yesterday.
She told me I looked tired.
I said I had been unwell, confined to barracks for the past few days.
Why didn’t you tell me, she asked, I could have helped you.
The look she gave me clearly indicated that this was no empty offer.
I thanked her and left quickly.
With a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes.
Because she recently told me, reluctant to share, that her specialist recommended chemotherapy.
She has pancreatic cancer.
When I asked her if I could do anything, she just smiled.
C’est pas grande chose, she said, it is no big deal.
Every now and again we meet someone special.

Monique Primault passed away yesterday, September 21, 2016.

Tu me manques, ma belle voisine.

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realise by anelephantcant

realise by anelephantcant

Click here to hear the poem being read:


with eyes and tongue that sparkle
sharp and bright as any knife
I am very quick to realise
I want you
in my life

with laughter on your sweet face
you are all I’ve ever wanted
I happily now realise
my dreams are no longer haunted

the subtlest of caresses
a finger stroking wayward hair
your soft touch makes me realise
I am free from pain and care

but as we grow deeply closer
your gentle words become defensive
I share my soul and realise
you abruptly become offensive

summer flies off on autumn winds
and leaves a heart sore chilled
why do I not realise
my love can’t die it can be killed

with eyes and tongue that sparkle
lethal as any knife
why am I so slow to realise
you are just afraid of life

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disguise by phil burns

disguise by phil burns

Click here to hear the poem:

I am not who you think I am
not who you see through your love tinted eyes
I am not who I seem
I am not who you dream
I am a man who always wears a disguise

I am not who you think I am
I love only for a minute or three
when my radar shows
that you’re getting too close
I blow you a kiss and I flee

I am not who you think I am
my defences too quickly adjust
as soon as you feel
that this might be real
I abandon your heart and your trust

I am not who you think I am
I never stay I prefer always to roam
but as I grow older
and the long nights grow colder
I sometimes ache for a place to call home

I am not who you think I am
I give the impression that I am quite free
but I am no longer whole
since I gave my soul
to the she who walked softly from me

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innocent by anelephantcant

innocent by anelephantcant

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I know that I am innocent
of that fateful tender touch
and yet I can’t be pardoned
when I am guilty of so much

so much pain and suffering
I cause with my sad eyes
so many base betrayals
caused by my casual lies

my casual lies bring heartache
created by seductive words
what should be lyrically poetic
is instead a vicious curse

a vicious curse that wounds deep
slicing through a hopeful soul
leaving expectations bleeding
mercilessly wretched in a hole

in a hole without a bottom
where dreams no longer live intact
but shamefully disintegrate
my tears confess that I know that

I know that I am innocent
of that fateful tender touch
and yet I can’t be pardoned
when I am guilty of so much…

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without you

empty days by anelephantcant

empty days by anelephantcant

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so this is my life without you
a heart stumbling in sad disarray
a mind that once lived to enchant you
now spiralling into wretched decay

so this is my life without you
long nights that are painfully black
a darkness that stretches forever
into the next time that you won’t be back

so this is my life without you
tear-sore eyes with no you to see
a spirit devoid of restriction
wrapped in shackles since you set me free

so this is my life without you
a full year of continuous ache
I long ago abandoned the purpose
my soul dying small flake by small flake

so this is my life without you
crippled arms with no one to embrace
withered fingers bereft of sensation
still they crave to caress your sweet face

so this is my life without you
a succession of empty days
of words and deeds that mean nothing
and poems full of pointless clichés

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taurus by anelephantcant

taurus by anelephantcant

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I am strangely moved
I watch them go
My jacket streaked with hunger
I am aware that time has passed
We met before when I was younger

The bread rolls in my pocket
The scribbled note’s remains
I know for sure what I have lost
But not what I have gained

The boy was most articulate
We are a travelling school
She teaches us the three subjects
We have no need for rules

Some things we learn for wisdom
Because they’re good to know
Some things are just necessity
How to run and how to throw

What is the point learning to cut
If you do not have a knife
She teaches us to make such things
To live a balanced life

We learn to read from all these books
That someone wrote for us
She teaches us to write our own
That’s why we call her Taurus

I now pretend indifference
While taken by her charms
She steps unknowing to the night
The baby in her arms

The boy is sore to leave me there
He blinks turns quick away
Her fleeting smile shines from without
Perhaps we’ll meet again one day
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temptation by anelephantcant

temptation by anelephantcant

Click here to hear AnElephant read this poem:

not a single vague thought of unfaithfulness
two people in wedded accord
so what really happened that day long ago
all too simple to say I was bored

a smile on the lips the flash of white teeth
the brown eyes that promised adventure
led quickly astray on a warm summer day
with not enough thought for the future

long shapely legs in an all too short skirt
enough to turn any man’s head
succumbed to temptation or sparked into life
thinking only together in bed

the touch of a tongue between moist parted lips
a hand on a breast soft caressing
no memory now of that last glass of wine
just two people too quickly undressing

the lean muscled frame of the eager young man
the firm curves of a beautiful woman
the delight in the eyes enjoying the sight
the realisation they are both only human

for one afternoon a life was forgotten
for one afternoon it was lost
that one afternoon that changed both our lives
and a husband still counting the cost

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