the milky way

There was music playing in the stars
When your skin brushed against mine
And time stopped the planets
For you, the sun will always shine

Your name, from bird’s lips flew
As gentle as morning dew
And every flower in the garden grew
Leaning inwards, just for you

You’re a single breath
Of moist and heady air
In a world long grown cold
Like the flash of a solar flare

That brush, your gentle touch
Becomes the air, the earth, the light
The water, the spirit and all things right
If I could tell you just how much.



long hallway made of brick and stone, day light comes through tall openings in the brick casting shadows on the floor

I no longer know why I walk these halls
Dust, a decade deep, thick upon all
My fingers trail through hope and memory
But the dust is ash and thick on me

The chains I chose, not feeling their weight
Clink and rattle, the music of my fate
Had I but had the foresight of past tense
Had I but listened not to reason and sense

Still, though I know not why
“Not yet,” I say, “it’s not time to fly.”
Clink and rattle, a lifetime of poor taste
when the very key hangs at my waist



Sounder of Grecian tragedy
Holder of mocking irony
In pursuit of freedom’s reign
From lip to lip, a word slain
The old Gods must laugh
The Titan freed from wrath
Where a single chain
Once broken, may have restrained
Bound by lies instead
The few cast the many in dread
For no greater prophecy
Than self proclaimed philosophy
A future of fearful shadow
Rose from down below
Gripped with raw red hand
Those most precious in the land
Fallen with promise waisted
For want of false freedoms raised



A lone tree with auburn leaves, a bench rests at its base.

A symphony of melody

Like the wind

Through tall trees

No greater truth to bend

But their whisper

Like dead leaves

For small things to find

And finding them

Sustenance they lend

High above on broad wing

Voices raised did send

With naive hope raised

Themselves they praised

Small things they could not transcend.



Our world is a dirty place

Whitewashed by an entire race

With shit smeared walls

Hastily erected where everyone falls

With blinders on and torches raised

Foul rhetoric from torn throats abound

Those who would wash clean

Written in blood and still unseen

From crosses held high

And martyrs flung on the sty

History rolls, turns and shouts

To themselves they never flout

Of all the crimes ever committed

Ignorance is strangely omitted

To heal all wounds

Weeping, filled with sound

For history we must atone

Not one, for none is alone

Together, eyes open wide

A single voice to stem the tide



White, deep dark lines
Calling to me
Begging, pleading
A need to be

My pen to drag forth
Wanton, misbegotten
From starry ether
To history forgotten

One more lie
For truths told
On hushed, quiet gaze
Lost in the fold

Why? I do not know
No choice was given
No desire had
I have not forgotten

I lay it on the altar
Of quiet, desperate page
Bloody, prostrated knee
For the world’s stage



A poem

An empty stone cathedral with high sloping arches and wood pews

If I could lift my voice to sing your praise
As the birds do to the sun but not the moon
It would ring from Cathedral halls down every street
But now is not the morning of our love, it is the afternoon
There are no accolades, no choir left to harmonise
All are silent in the Chapel where only cold stone resides
And the casket of our love rests empty and forlorn
The clear eyes of lead lined Saints looking down
On pews filled with too many barren words
And there stands before the altar, black cloak and bony hands
With silent voice to give the eulogy to our love
A fitting end to the deprivation of promise.



A poem about the death of love

An orange rose washed up on a sandy shore

There was a rose

Full of bud

With thorny stalk

Drowning in a flood

Wet with rain

To broken stone

Fiercely clinging

Alone, so alone

Petals falling

I watched it go

Into raging river

Slow, so slow

Soft blues was playing

A sorry eulogy

For fallen sorrow

Held in eyes of beauty



What is it worth

A lifetime of missed firsts

That first quiet hug

That gentle tug

One million? Two or three?

How much to watch time flee

I would like to know

By meter or measure, pound or kilo

By what do you assign

The immeasurably sublime

What weight to measure

Ten and twenty thousand priceless treasures

What is the weight

In this darkest darkest light?



John P. S. McLeish

John P. S. McLeish

Poet, writer, sometime artist, dabbler, wonderer and wanderer and often lost; it is where you find the best stories.