AUTUMN WINTER THOUGHTS – QUEENS PARK…

Why do I think so much?
How does my mind make sense
Of the madness inside my head?
The boy who lived on the edge
Never truly fitting in-never wanting to!
Now a mature man who can relate to anyone
Who knows beggars and their dogs….
Judging nobody – for my own house is but ruins
Feeling comfortable with drifters
Those running away from society…

I always knew I was different
Maybe a little odd or even lost
Always looking behind the mirror
In search of my true self
Which still remains just an Autumn shadow
Glimpses of sunshine break through the clouds
Warmth upon my face
It’s going to be a long winter…

Memories of boyhood solitude
Bike rides to the moon
My heart my soul are quiet, tranquil, peaceful, content
I feel like a dry golden crisp leaf
Slowly falling-swaying
Finally settling on the frost-covered grass
I am always dreaming
For my reality is not the truth
But something entirely different…

A friendly robin is following me
I smile as she sings
My new companion-A brief acquaintance
Her secret melodies only understood by nature
A song of Spring’s return
New life fresh hope new beginnings
I pray she makes it through
As she flies away alone
Into the cold misty night
To be alive is truly wonderful
To feel the joy and pain of true love
Perhaps the greatest gift of all…

M C Bolton, October 2022

Photo by Jennifer Cavanagh

Both Barrels

Sitting alone upon the hill inside my head

Overlooking the City

Watching soldier ants devour, destroy each other

For no reason, no reason at all

Slowly returning to their homes

Questioning their beliefs their actions

Cognitive dissonance quickly vanishing – Vanquished

For the perpetual lie must continue…

Picking up a placard like a sword

Needing a cause to feel validated

I am here, they cry

We are the virtuous ones 

My life is relevant

My identity counts

Truth is it doesn’t…

You’re full of self-delusion

Just used by idealogues for a lost cause

Of their immature revolution

Always a follower

Never a leader

Or even worse an individual free thinker!

Feeling safe in a crowd

A peaky blinder

No one’s listening or cares

Even you don’t really

In the quiet of your bedroom…

But hey! The next march beckons

I sit upon my hill in peace

For I am a gang of one

I left the battle long ago

Slowly walking away

Leaving the foolish to fight the deluded

While the band plays on………………….

M C Bolton, May 2022

drawing by TC

THE HOMECOMING

Gently I stroll barefoot

Across the dew-soaked grass

The sun slowly rising

My feelings, my emotions stretching

Dusting off the fine particles of my subconscious dreams…

Is this the Promised Land?

I cannot return to the wilderness

Never again do I want to feel

It’s hard sand between my toes

Or hear the jackals howling at the moon…

I have made it this far

To the land of giants

Where their walled cities stand defiant…

Leaving behind my former self

Shredded like an old snakeskin

Blown away by the breeze…

This flawed, weak man 

Like a piece of driftwood

Made smooth by sea and sand

Tossed casually into the eternal flame

A sacrifice of unconditional Love

To glow amongst the embers

Finally, home

Finally free………………….

Mark C Bolton, August 2022

INITIUM NOVUM

A calmness entered my soul

Just briefly I was complete

Everything made sense

Feeling that inner peace 

Of refusing to fit in or go with the flow

I was right all along

The never ending war inside my head

Slowly rescinding as I accepted defeat…

Knowing I just had to be me

Taking risks-Putting it all on the line

No fear of rejection 

For there is truly nothing to reject

Being human wanting to love

To be intimate-To care

Sharing a moment in time 

For reasons I know not…

Gentle touches-A stolen kiss

Yet everything is slipping away

A landslide of the heart

Swaying like a reed in the breeze

Reaching out-Reaching inward

To feel-To grab

Hanging on to the thin thread of hope

Falling backwards into space

Beyond time-Towards darkness…

Then comes the bright piercing light

Blinding-Cleansing my soul

As I am born once more

Trying to hold on 

To my knowledge my experiences

But it’s all slipping away

Slowly slipping away

Knowing nothing once again……..

M C Bolton, July 2022

THE PARTING

I dropped anchor

Watching her slowly sail over the horizon

Knowing we would never see each other again

A small tear formed in the corner of my eye

Where it stayed

For the stoicism within my soul

Kept it from rolling down my cheek…

I knew I would miss her

We had fought so many battles together

At times against each other

She was brave good and true…

Capturing my heart upon my first gaze

Knowing it was doomed from the start

I still entered willingly

Laughing inwardly at my foolishness…

Yet what a journey

For a brief moment

We were both truly alive

Living dangerously -Without fear of tomorrow

Caring, sharing, touching each others’ spirit

Even praying together one time

Feeling the Love of God

Descend on us like a dove

But even that was not enough

For religion, tradition, duty calls

What should have pulled us together

Tore us apart!

I held on briefly-Still do

Believing that what God ordained-Brought together

No man could separate!

This world, this often cruel sea

Not made for the likes of us

As we both sail into the mist of time…

I will never forget you

For you are like the cool Summer breeze

That blows through my hair

I know it’s you

Just passing by

Just saying hello!

Just saying Hi !

A wry smile cracks upon my face

I truly love you still

Yet you can never hold the wind….

M C BOLTON MAY 2022

photo by TC

The Kind Man

I sit amongst empty tables 
Where the walls sweat history
Knowing my haunting will return
They come for me
Demons, accusers of shameful acts of passions release!
Maybe I am not the man I seem?
A cursed wretched being of sin…
Yet I know God’s grace
His mercy new every morning
Forgiving-Restoring-Loving…

Like the Great Gatsby
My mystery lies in secrecy
Of a tormented tortured soul…
Constantly carrying around  this old sack of bones
Occasionally gnawing on them to ease my pain…
The hurt of hidden sadness
Buried deep inside my heart
Night-time an escape from the falsehood I portray
Death awaits me with ultimate patience 
For his is the long game…

Like a stage door Johnny
I stand to catch a glimpse of the world’s most beautiful woman
Forever holding this same red rose as a futile gift…
Rejection engrained upon my soul
Cast aside, my kindness too much to bear!
Trauma slicing through body parts
Discarded like butcher’s scraps to wild dogs 
They feel no pity, it’s just tradition…

Everything now lost!
Nothing left for me
Like Saul, I will fall upon my sword
Journeying to a better place
Where I will wait for you….


M C Bolton February 2022
pictures by TC

CROSSING THE RUBICON

Slowly I walk down slippery stone steps
A mist hovering over the Thames like mustard gas in no man’s land!
The creeping barrage inside my head
Keeping me one step behind insanity
Being by the river chills my bones, yet I feel truly alive
Connected to the past….
My own feelings, emotions like an old door
Drifting away on the current of time
I am stripped naked internally, laid bare
Left only with my faith in the power of deep Love….

Something has happened in my heart
This old warrior king has found his Queen
But the closer I get to her
The further she seems away!

I am sick of this world
The madness, dividing, faux religiosity, virtue-signaling hypocrisy!
Tombs full of dead man’s bones
Whitewashed to make death look magnificent!

Fumbling for some change
To give a kind-faced beggar
Who’s eyes reflect his crushed plans, broken dreams
My mind returning to rule my heart
I think of her, she has captured me I’m no longer free
Two lovers walk by holding hands
I spy their aura as they stop to kiss , embrace
Before disappearing quickly into the night
Like ghosts in a hurry
Returning to the graveyard before dawn
Their’s is a story within my own story…

Perplexed I sit upon a bench
Wheezing in the damp air
No fear, for my assassin has always been myself
Why this? When I had everything in order, planned out?
You entered my heart
Trashed its kitchen!
But don’t leave me,
Don’t go now!
It would be too much to bear
For I truly love you deeply………..

M C BOLTON

JANUARY 2022

THE CURATOR

I wander around this museum of my heart
A lone curator of my soul
Dusting cobwebs of my emotions, my feelings…
Shuffling around in my moth holed cashmere cardigan!
Silk scarf casually tied around my neck
Like a drunken hangman’s noose…
Gently touching memories of lost love
of those that have paid the ferryman…
 
My candle flickering as the draught, like passing ghosts,
Blows particles of the finest dust into my lungs
The flesh of the dead, yet my breath offers not life…
Slowly walking along the corridors of time
Missing the laughter of those long gone
There is no sadness, only memories
Another staircase-Another room
Just numbness, the heart’s permafrost of innocence lost…
 
I truly love her, this woman in my dreams
Who appears at dusk
Gently stroking my hand, as if to remind me
She is here, she is always here
We continue our nightly walk, anxiety engulfing me
For time is slipping awayA crow cries for it is near dawn
Until tomorrow I sigh
I turn in hope, she has gone!
Disappearing into my heart, where she forever sits
upon the throne of my desire…
 
My flickering flame comforts me
It’s reassuring, offering hope…
Slowly I walk down the winding staircase into the cellar
To lay amongst the empty barrels of mirth
Muttering happy inside, even content
knowing this new day will bring the same
Awaiting the night,to wander once more
With my true Love…………
 
 
photo by MNT

Mark C Bolton November 2021

ANTHROPOCENE

If you held me in your arms for eternity
That would not be time enough!
For you are the sweet fragrance of petrichor after the rain…
Everything about you was unpolluted, pure
There’s no falsehood in your being
Snatching my heart for your own
Yet I felt no pain or loss
For it was always yours
Ordained from the beginning
Not by chance or fate, but by nature’s mighty power
The apex of colliding dimensions…

A gentle touch of your hand just enough
To cause creation to stop and wonder
Is perfection once more again about to be created?
Oh! Great Mother Earth
Take me in your arms
Show me how this world should be…….

M C Bolton September 2021 @MarkCBolton1

Hope Valley, photo by The Duke

SISTERS OF MERCY

I knelt in submission before the throne of grace
Guarded by two veiled women of Truth
Sisters of purity, staring deep into my soul…
Feeling pity for this wounded man
whose heart bore the scars of many battles…
Mercy and Love surely were their names
They both stood in silence
Looking without judgement at this corrupted man of flesh…

Wisdom beyond their years, yet without age!
Harbingers of light
Shining into humankind’s hidden depths
Enabling my eyes to see true beauty once more
Each glance filling my heart with Hope, with Love
Making demons shudder-Angels weep…

Granting me God’s favour, mercy, kindness…
So softly walking into my spirit
Setting me free, as slowly they depart
These majestic-regal-spiritual beings
Who have seen, who know life’s secrets
Yet still remain clothed in humility
Leaving me quietly weeping
Knowing they have my heart for eternity…

M C Bolton July 2021

@MarkCBolton1

Sudanese Women in Egypt by Max Slevogt (1914)