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Three Poems by Joshua Coetzee

How I wish

A light breeze travels since the dawning of days
Moving past our present, gently caressing your hair
A cooling evening sun places a glow upon your face
And our voices bathe our presence with delight.
It is to this end we begin, what we look for
When we decide to be together.

Nothing is said of great consequence, just
A communal effort to share a heart with another
With words brought forth on platters of simplicity
While eyes search for meaning in this dawning

Where this fortuitous breeze takes us is unknown
But the journey in itself my bring more joy
Than any destination arrived
For discovery is the essence of life
And life is merely a journey unfolding.

Empty vessels make the loudest noise

I’ve watched them, and seen them. Hyperactive and spiteful
Utterly empty-headed, blissful in there ignorance
Vegetables, like me, in the scheme of things.

Learning stupidities for filling their little pitchers.
But not one of them who doesn’t dream of flying out the window,
Or making love to the person next to them,
Most of them are already on drugs.

And you, for the love of heaven,
want to see these empty vessels do well.

Your empty vessels will be successful
and cracked at the same time.
No matter, your children will be cracked or all eternity.
How beautiful life is when the truth pours
Out of the mouths of you children


I'm cracking. I realize it now. My life is slipping through the cracks
And I’m too drained to try make a last grab for it.
My dreams, shattered, after having been balanced on a razor for so long.
After Having Cut myself again and again to push forward ever so slightly.

And now I am in tears as I see each sharp shard of my future
lying broken on the ground. My fingers bleed over and over again
as I have tried to put it together again. It's all so cold and inhuman.
I feel nothing and everything at once. My hopes are now just an illusion
Staring back at me a hundred fold, showing me the mirage I had created
within my mind of security.

There is no possibility of return from this point, yet I feel like I’ve been here before.
Perhaps with someone else or maybe this cold feeling in my gut is really a knife's blade
And not just a javelin of sorrow that pierces me to the core.

My life is cut open and displayed before me like an autopsied body.
I can see the Cancer, the Tumour, the Ulcers, the Rot and the haemorrhages
But I don’t see the pitiful remains. I see what could have been,
What could still be, if only I had the skill to put the pieces back together.

I have bled all I have to bleed.
I have lost all I ever had.
I have gained nothing
I have lived in death
Now I die in life.

All I had, I gave. And all they are I never saw.
I am nothing more now than a little child. Wanting to be held close and told it will be OK.

 All material is copyright Joshua Coetzee. Please do not reproduce it without consent.

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