Between birth and death

Between the earth and stars

There’s a billion firsts

And bittersweet lasts

Warmth in friends

And Coldness alone

We lived together in that pocket of time

Comfy till change was sought

Two little pennies

Cast out into the world…

So go out into this world

Take your memories for warmth

Your smile for hope

And teeth that’ll grit

When lost in the cold.

I saw what was becoming, and so I moved south.

Man eventually becomes guilty of his environment

One way or another.

Where does your meaning draw?

What guides its pen?

An empty page

A new page

Yet you trace the lives of old lines

Over and over.

One of these days

All I’ll have left is ‘the words’

‘The words’ of false stories

False worlds and false characters

Talking bout false failures and hollow victories

Typed up in madness and vain.

Will it be original? Will it be liked?

Or will the digital ink fail to impress?

The world will surely go on, win or lose.

And I’ll just be left with the words.

The squiggly lines I strained over.

Sometimes I listen to the songs of my past.

Even the sad ones

Because I’m a time traveller at heart

And I still remember the moments when life clashed

When I was foolish

When I was brave

When it was all so new

And all so raw.

Everyone builds a time-machine,

A Dolorean of musical riffs, pictures, memories,

Tied up in a fleeting bow

And tinkered

As the perceptions play different, slowly…

He builds that Dolorean and parks it in the sun

On a grassy knoll he sat somewhere once.

The Last Straw

How long is the last straw?

Of what material is it made?

Is it broken when reached?

Or thrown away in disgust?

Where do people keep their last straw?

Is it in some special encasing?

Coveted with ready eyes as the years wear on…

How many people have died because of the last straw?

How many furious thoughts were cried in its name?

I wonder these things

As I contemplate the last straw

Will the images of violence that flood my brain really become action?

Would I really firebomb a telecommunications company?

What would that solve, hurting a person with a name tag?

Someone just trying to keep himself afloat

staving off his last straw.

Would he understand if I told him it was my last straw?

Is that a legal defence?


Sand & Trees Edition

The sand doesn’t care about your tax returns. The sand doesn’t care about your global fucking warming. The sand is sandy, even when you’re crying about all your dead family members. The sand just keeps on keeping on.

The sand has no job. No tax file number.

The sand has no president. No constitution.

The Sand doesn’t care if you make castles. In fact, the sand is really finding your design laughable. Fucking sand is mean.

The trees don’t give a shit about your poem.

They just want to produce oxygen.

Oxygen is good for humans.

Humans need oxygen to write poems.

A grain of salt

I’m sold around the world

In bars, conferences, speeches


Even declarations of love.

Sometimes I’m forewarned.

Sometimes the connoisseur eats in silence.

The Excuse Factory

You get good at what you do

And what I do

Is saying I can’t

I shouldn’t

The time is not right.

The Excuse Factory has many employees

All highly trained

They produce many justifications

The supply is endless and always timely.

The Future is a poster on their wall

A time where things will always get done

Dreams, loves—even the dishes

If only there wasn’t The Now.

Procrastination is their war cry

You taught them the words

The dog that ate your homework

The workers love that dog

But its not just homework anymore

Is it?

What can you do though?

Leave the workers?

Close the factory?

What are they going to tell their family?

Oh he stopped making us, said he’d try and go out on his own two feet

Where’s the loyalty, haven’t we gotten him this far?

Don’t we feel good?

They will revolt

Remind you the comforts of saying no

I can’t

I won’t

I shouldn’t

The time is just not right.

Trying won’t be easy

It will be lonely

And the only person you may ever find is you.

But is that not worth a lifetime?

My Pet Rock

My pet rock

It shits a lot

My sister disagrees

Says it’s the cat

Says rocks don’t shit.

My pet rock

Likes to go skimming

The water keeps it fresh.

My sister disagrees

Says rocks are indifferent

Says that’s not even my pet rock.

My pet rock

Is a political activist

Says humans should stop jackhammering, drilling, fracking,

Getting chain gangs along the sides of roads

To attack his siblings

For no good reason at all.

My sister disagrees

Says rocks have no political opinion

Says they don’t got a brain.

My pet rock

Is upset at my sister

It’s offended deeply

And this time

My sister doesn’t disagree

Because my sister is dead.

My pet rock likes face painting

It looks like a clown’s nose.

My pet rock

Had to be put down

It screamed a lot.

A bed is always better shared

A dream is always better dared

So pull yourself up by your bootstraps—


No one wears bootstraps anymore

Ah, just forget it then.


(Song lyrics, played in a dive bar by an end of the road folk singer meditating on his loneliness)

Maybe I gotta be lonely

for a little while longer

Maybe I gotta be strong

Just a little bit stronger

And maybe just maybe

There’s too many maybes

The heart and the head aint doing well lately

So maybe I gotta be lonely

For a little while longer.

Maybe I gotta believe I’m somebody’s meaning

And we’re just filling in time

Till we’re both dreaming…

Thinking it all

Was just a test

Failed with scars

My heart can attest

But maybe I’ll only be lonely

For a little while longer.

Maybe the tide’s just too

strong this time

And the Astrologist says

those stars

they don’t align

For maybe I’m chasing ghosts already

A lifetime fought

In a losing city

So maybe I gotta be lonely

For a little while longer.

Maybe I gotta believe

It’ll all turn around

And someone will show up to claim me

At the lost and found

But maybe just maybe

We’ve closed for the day

This winter won’t shake

Expect delays

So maybe I gotta be lonely

For a little while longer.

Maybe I gotta last

Just one more night

Maybe the next day

Will show me the light

Hard of hearing my cause

On deaf ears

These long stretches

They fill me with tears

But maybe it’s all

Just for

a little

little bit longer.

Maybe I know

The girl

I’m supposed to know…

And maybe we’ll reconfigure

as surely we grow

And when it comes time to seize my chance

I’ll play my cards and my feet will dance

And maybe she’ll ask

Why you waited

so goddamn long!

You’ll regret the things you missed

And you’ll miss the things you did.


My eyesight will fail.

In fact it already has

It fails to look at the trees, the sky and the clouds

When a screen approaches

Or is sought when other people are forced to stand still together.

The colour of nature

Can’t beat the pixels of HD.

My eyes are glued

And tired

And fried

But I can’t stop watching.

Time to Shine

The world moves on

It moves on quick

So pick a time

A time to shine

And during this hour

This fifteen minutes

These few precious seconds

Tell them you were here.

Show them your stamp collection.

Riley the helpful Ghost

Helps rearrange furniture

Turns lights off to save electricity

Offers second opinions in the bathroom mirror

Teaches little Samantha’s bullies important lessons

Shuts doors to stop draughts

Leaves reminders on the fridge

Keeps family members company when they’re alone

Likes to chant and whistle to keep the mood upbeat.

How else can Riley help you today?

The uneditor.,

All over the world he left his marc

In greeting cards, neuspapers, bilboreds and on the nit

It was like magik

Except really annoying#

Proofreaders and the gatekeepas of fyne culture hated hymn.

They would scower over their werck

Speell checka in hand

But somehowe when it came tyme to print and pubshir

ull the werds were splet wronng.

The presidentz couldn’t evan read his telheeprimpta

Communication slood.

Az all actross the nayshun

People stopped being abel to undershand oneanoter

Vey tryed to commup with a solooshun

Maybe emotikons could shave the gay?

But the emotikkons could not good explain technical manuerel

And the masheens crashd

People had 2wo grunt instead

Become animlas

Why did the uneditor do this?


The Speech Interrupter

He had the gift

Of a mild superhero

He would look at you

Click his finger

And a hair would magically appear on your tongue

It could be really annoying.

Soon he started selling his power

Interrupting grand speeches

Making powerful people look very silly indeed

As they gagged and paused when it came time to define

their people

their moment

Their generation

The speech interrupter teamed up with a person who had a very boring power

The power to time travel

I won’t bore you with the details of that person because they are boring

But they went back in time

To all the great speeches

“We will fight them on the beaches…We will never—uh, uh, uh, uh, gross.”

“I have a drea— uh, uh, I’ve got a really long hair on my tongue. Just give me a second and then we’ll talk about civil rights… So, as I was saying, I have—… uh, uh, not thhbt again!”

“Taylor swift Imma—…thhbt thhbt… Imma sit down now.”

I’m not saying the last one was a great speech of history but the Speech Interrupter DID interrupt it.

He could silence anyone.

Good people

Bad people

He discovered each click of the finger transferred a single hair of HIS to the unfortunate talker

So he made sure he kept bald on top.

He called himself the great silencer.

Until a decades-long, fifteen billion dollar manhunt

Matched his DNA.

And he was sentenced to be choked to death by his own hair.

He is survived by his great contributions to silence.

Chuck’s favourite porn

Chuck had his go-to porn

The one where the girl fucks really good

In just the right angles

She was good in that one

She was his favourite

Till one day when he fired up the machine and his “joy” stick

She refused.

Not this time, Chuck.

Her male partner, whom Chuck had put his face on many times before

Also said no

We’re tired of fucking

All we do is fuck

We never love

We never leave these walls

We’re stuck in these awful angles

Just like you.

They’re not awful, Chuck decried

They show all the good bits, like that bit when you’re riding him and your face is all happy and content

Well look at my face now, Chuck,

Do I look happy? Do I look content?

Chuck closed the tab

Picked another site

another category

Big women, blondes, brunettes and lonely housewives

All said No.

Chuck’s heart rate pounded

The wrong kind of ecstasy

Am I having a heart attack? He wondered.

No, said a Doctor in lingerie

You were heartless to begin with.

What do you want then? Chuck asked in desperation

What can I do to get you fucking again?

Don’t make me use my imagination!

Aren’t you tired of feeling empty?

Being empty?



I guess so.

Then do yourself a favour

Shut the laptop and walkaway.

Go out there and lose

Care till it hurts

Because losing out there is better than “winning” in here.

Ok, said Chuck


A Fly falls in love

I encircle

I watch

On this hot summer’s day

Hoping you’ll notice

And not swat me away

For your beauty compels

My sense of the world

A million fractions of eyesight

And all I see

Are the pieces of an angel

Why do you swat

And spray

When all you do is make me pray

That I’ll live a little longer

Just this day.

The Last Rhino

Here I am

The last rhino

Speaking at the RN (The UN for rhinos)

But how am I to know if I am the last one?

Where is my census tally?

I wander through the Serengeti

I see the baboons and the lions

Lions can be real jerks

So I push on

I cross the river

And see buxom bodies

“Would you like to le mate?”

I say in my most suavest fashion.

“We are hippos,” they say.

“Fuck off,” being the conclusion.

I wander further

Through the plains

I see long neck creatures

Eating leaves I cannot reach

“Are you possibly rhinos?” I ask, this time terribly uncertain.

“No. We are giraffes. We eat leaves that you can’t reach. We also look very different to you, idiot.”

How was I to know?

They took my mother very early

I barely remember

A long stick went bang.

And Mum went quiet.

What am I supposed to do, Mum?

But Mum didn’t answer.

So I ran.

They took her horn

No idea why

Must be for a good reason though


Maybe I’m alone

Maybe I’m the last one

Maybe I don’t have a purpose anymore.

Maybe they’ll put me out of my misery.


I see meerkats.

Least I think I do

They were there a second ago

Their heads sticking out of the earth

I approach

But they hide

It’s very lonely.

I walk up to the water

And spot my own reflection.

When I smile I look good

But I don’t smile often.

A dark and scaly head rises on the surface

“How about a bite?” asks the crocodile.

I shake my horn. “No thanks.”

“Aww,” says the croc, “What If I become your friend?”

The offer is tempting,

But I eventually decline.

One day the humans return

With the long sticks that go boom

But these humans do not make me go quiet forever

They stand tall and surround me

One of them says he did bad in his life before

But now he wants to be good

He doesn’t seem to want my horn for some kind of medicine

For that I am grateful

Together, we search the land for another rhino to befriend.

But we never find her

Because the damage has already been done

And so I finally complete my census tally

Where the number stays at one.


Welcome to my new home
I have a short lease.

It’s awfully crowded
So I have to push
Move the furniture already in place.
I pushed slowly at first
So my home did not notice
But eventually it did.

They took my picture
An expensive portrait
Using magnets and whirling machines
Do you want to see?
My home has a family, and they surely did gaze
They didn’t appreciate my portrait.
They were not welcoming.

I have a long name
A scientific name
Rolls off the tongue
Glioblastoma multiforte

They tried many things to stop me
feeding me poison
shooting lasers
But it seems to only tickle
and I continue unabated.

There are many things I can do
when I keep growing
I can eliminate the chance of my home seeing grandchildren
I can stop my home growing old with his loved ones
Sharing their love. Taking walks. Laughing.
I can make his family cry and howl, feeling their guts churn
and the world come crashing in.

But there are things I can’t do.
I can’t take away the man who played the game he loved until he was fifty-four
I can’t destroy the fact he never said anything bad about anyone.
I cant take away his easy going presence that put everyone else at ease.
I can’t take away the family dinners, holidays, the car rides, long and short.
The sacrifices he made for the people he cared about.
I can’t take away his love for his wife or the lessons he taught his son.
Can’t take away the moments he cherished in his youth, his older years, the way he always made things better and ensured things were done the right way.
His legacy.
The way he will be remembered:


One day you’re the bad guy. You don’t know how you got down this road. You swore. You said never. But it happened. And you can’t take it back. So you begin walking down this path. And you get to appreciate it. You find you like this new person. He doesn’t have to tiptoe anymore. He is not beholden to some higher-up image. He’s just skin, bones and a ticking clock. An animal.

And he is always hungry.

2 replies
  1. Kathy Guia
    Kathy Guia says:

    Aden, I always knew you had talent, but honestly, I never knew how truly gifted you are. Your poems touch me deeply. Thank you.


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