JUST ANOTHER POEM by Barrie Purnell


I am a walking, talking portrait of my past
With each line I write I send myself a message,
I am known only for the coherence of my failures,
Each completed work, for me a rite of passage.

Living alone in the emptiness of no man’s land
I’ve been masquerading as someone who cares,
Wearing a poet’s disguise and Trojan horse smile,
Clothes woven from lies and unanswered prayers.

A prism of pragmatism in a trial and error world,
Hiding here in the deep shadow of all my mistakes,
With secrets I’m not prepared to either share or keep
Held tight in the arms of eccentricity’s embrace.

An outsider wanting to be back on the inside,
On the other side of love wearing tomorrow’s smile,
I am playing my part so well that no one can tell,
Too late for me to change and too old to stand trial.

I travel with a suitcase full of empty dreams
With my memories all being eaten up by rust,
I lent on their promises but dreams came undone,
This world is full of such examples of broken trust.

I’m waiting for an apology from the dream dealers
Who promised to build me an endless paradise,
But confession never comes easily to guilty men,
We only find the truth when it’s too late to be wise.

I look into the mirror it’s not telling me any lies,
I see the reflection of a man I should have known,
I’m looking at the ghost of the man I used to be
Holding a medal you gave me for the courage I’ve shown.

Just another poem that no one but you will ever hear
From a tired pen that’s forgotten how it all began,
Shining a fading light into unowned, unknown spaces,
Illuminating only the quiet workings of a broken man.