To be a soldier

Shellshocked and battle scarred
Marching from oblivion
The need to always be on guard
A lonely path quotidian

This backpack of old memories
A heavy load to carry
The pain of blistering dis-ease
Street life military

To be a soldier stuck in no mans land
Route to base unknown
No signal from high command
Order overthrown

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Bottles

Where do you hide your bottles?
Because there are so very many
And every day’s a new battle
To keep me from finding any

In hard-to-find locations
Like lambs, there’s always another
Wine and spirit your ruination
Another stash yet to uncover

But you know I’m getting tired of this
I‘m not sure that it’s helping
My strategy has gone amiss
Feels kind of overwhelming

Free your bottles, no more to shame
Let’s put an end to this ugly game

Steven Shorrock (2018)

No-one ever died wishing

No-one ever died wishing
They’d stayed longer at the office
Tapping at keys and staring at screens
Sand trickling away into corporate machines

No-one ever died wishing
They’d fitted in more shopping
Malls and sites serving corporate greed
Wants suffocating basic needs

No-one ever died wishing
They’d spent more time on devices
Tapping and zooming and clicking and scrolling
Addicted, distracted, weary eyes rolling

No-one ever died wishing
They’d watched more television
Chewing gum soaps and horror show news-scenes
Neighbours unmet, strangers on widescreen

People die wishing
They’d stayed in touch with their friends
A phone call, a visit, some time spent together
Knowing that you and they won’t live forever

People die wishing
They’d expressed how they felt
I’m sorry, I’m angry, I’m hurting, I love you
Opened a door for feelings to pass through

People die wishing
They’d taken risks, made decisions
Travelled, changed job, conquered their fears
Not stayed in a rut for so many years

People die wishing
They’d lived true to themselves
With authenticity and meaning
Sensation and feeling

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Happiness unreal

The agony and the ecstasy
Down days and up nights
Strangers in dim lights
Happiness unreal

Derelict and void
And alive, all at once
The urge now to dance
Brings glimpses of joy

When all things have shattered
Leaving fragments of pain
And a mind now insane
Doves can cure, for a time

Because sometimes salvation
Comes from curious places
From unknown faces
However long it lasts

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Ice picks

Thoughts lead to feelings
Feelings lead to pain
Agonising screenings
Ice picks to the brain

The body coils in defence
Hollow but for fear
Frozen feelings too intense
Old memories still near

Sudden, without warning
Or lured back to mind’s eye
A mind and body warring
No real threat nearby

Just another flashback
Replayed on repeat
Frozen pain on playback
Cues the body to retreat

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Blow out

Worn out, blown out
Spinning into terror
Looking back at the fast lane
Through snapshots of horror

Overtaking him at speed
You still had lots to learn
A rock, a hole, a fault, who knows?
And now which way to turn?

At eighty miles an hour
It’s no easy decision
Heading east, facing west
A tailgater’s eyes in vision

Veering backwards to the barrier
Braced for impact, no airbag
Scraping, screeching, metal on metal
A wretched noise, a car dragged

Sitting now mid-motorway
For how long, who can know
The police arrive, the road is blocked
In shock, you have to go

Return home to a man bereaved
No sympathy to give
You escaped with mental scars
Another day to live

A family swerved another death
Worse things have occurred
You’re here to drive some journeys still
But they won’t be as they were

Steven Shorrock (2018)

Juggernaut tears

Driving through rain
The night before that morning
Juggernaut tears blur the black road
Three hundred miles over wailing hills
Driving near death
A round trip to remember
To wake to the news
The worst possible news
From a kindly old man

The bedroom door opens
“It’s your Mum
She’s passed away”
The bedroom door closes

She died in her sleep
She died in your sleep
Do you regret your flight?
Could you not sit with your fright?
Because now you return
To a family decimated
Spokes with no hub
Everything’s changed, forevermore
Darkest years now to follow

Steven Shorrock (2018)