Poetry round-up – September 2016

I spent a good chunk of July and August working on our (unsuccessful) house sale, which involved scaffolding, replacing siding, water-blasting, cleaning windows, painting the roof and far, far too much gardening. This didn’t leave much time for writing, and it’s really good to be back behind the keyboard.

Autumn by stealth

How eagerly
we awaited your bloom –
casting sweet
unbidden
names to the wind.
How easily
time bent the
bough;
Please don’t fall.

Irrational pause

Suspend
all that matter
bluster and billow
tamed and trapped
in cheap frames.
Still they move,
as hands fumble
and images

tumble.

Vexed

Untangle please
this knotted gut
and iron flat
my brow –
My worries can’t
be cleanly cut,
but you,
you do –
somehow.

Gene

Smile, so defiantly vapid
and self-aware
one last time
let that thin skein of delight
fray across your face
until it tickles mine.

August 2016

Present Dreams

“Obstruct the rays of incidence,”
the Ancient One advised,
“And bend them to a single point,
until the embers rise.”
I held the glass and watched his words
come flickering to flame –
but as it spread he vanished,
leaving me to take the blame.
If you look upon the ashen shell
or taste these charred remains,
you’ll know his crooked fingers
and the throbbing of his veins.
He doesn’t come to hurt you,
but delights in nasty games –
and when that breath infests your ear
you’ll know his many names.

And so my story issued out,
yet still these children sleep!
So I sit and strop my sickle
while the sultry shadows creep.

If you should stir,
or leave the bed –
or even make a peep –
Well, my games are made for playing
and the Reaper lives to reap.

Divination

This blue isn’t;
it’s clear
where it surrounds
suffuses
the boy
who drifts
buoyed and blown
away, but unable to blow
those last lung-lingering
bubbles that divide
and yet define
the deep, the dreamer
and the day
still floating above.

Sauron’s Equilibrium

The shadow permeates this realm, each eve,
The conqueror of everything we saw –
But see no longer, until dawn’s reprieve,
Revealing once again what reigned before.
Our meagre preparations for the night,
The bolted door, and lover’s dread embrace,
Are lies before the fading of the light,
Which seeps inside and bids our world displace.
Or so the Shadow’s agents would contend,
But shadow can’t in isolation grow:
Without the light, the shadow has no end –
Nor can it shape, nor any substance know.
So turn the switch, and beckon in the gloom –
Let shadows have their life – until we light the room.

Phase Three Pre-orders

I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been working on a new stand-alone novel, and trialling a new distribution model to accompany it.

Phase Three is a science-fiction story that explores a near-future Earth and the implications of our emergent technologies through the eyes of four unique characters. It’s still in draft form, so the blurb is currently a little vague to avoid spoilers, but here goes:

Cover-PhaseThree-DraftThe world has an addiction. Augmenting reality – augmenting ourselves – averted a looming energy crisis, but it has become something more than that. “Overnight equality,” promises the slogan, and what’s a decade or two between advertisers?

We redefined what it means to be human, then bought our own bullshit retail.

But the physical world still exists, however much we stare into the infinite. People yet remain, living outside the reality bubbles we create. And so do the consequences of our inattention.

Three individuals, each a casualty of flawed implementation, face intimate, inconsequential decisions in pursuit of their goals. Then there’s Gordon, who simply wants to escape his past without being killed.

And their actions could unravel the world. Or save it.

Sound good? Want more? Well, you can read a sample chapter and meet the characters at the link below. Better yet, you can pre-order a copy (or three) and help bring Phase Three to life.

Read and support here: www.inkshares.com/books/phase-three-2584

You can also read my interview with The Warbler, a book review blog that’s also worth checking out, which touches on the background of Phase Three and my reasons for choosing to trial the Inkshares model.

The Warbler interview here: www.thewarblerbooks.com/featured-author-peter-ravlich/