Tag Archives: love poetry

Beatified


Ophelia in the water

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Beatified.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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I would wash your hair in a roll-top bath.

You, leaning forward,

Nose almost touching the fig bubbles.

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My fingers, massaging your scalp,

Your temples, your crown – 

You deserve a crown, my Queen.

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Combing through the conditioner.

The viscous liquid oozing through the teeth

Of the comb and your russet brown hair.

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Leaning back, I cradle your head,

Lowering you like the baptised.

Cupping the water to stroke away the lather.

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Your lustrous hair floating on the surface.

Eyes closed, your face framed

In a perfect oval of foam.

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για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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Mix Tape


Hands up, who remembers mix tapes?

I found one the other day, while I was emptying boxes, that an old girlfriend had made for me in the 90s. I couldn’t play it, of course, as I don’t have a tape deck anymore. Or a record player. Or a CD player. In fact, I don’t ‘physically’ own any music. It’s all in the ether. Intangible. Owned by Apple, Spotify, Youtube or some other super corporation.

It got me thinking about how I would go about making one now, if I felt the urge to translate my love through the medium of music to my new-found paramour.

So I wrote a poem about it. As you do.

Then I had an epiphany!

Why not go ahead and actually make the mix tape as part of the poem.

For ‘mix tape’, I mean playlist, obviously. So, here you are. 

(The link to the playlist is at the end.)

Mix Tape.

By David Milligan-Croft

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Don’t talk to me about love;

I was making mix tapes before you were born.

Speaking of which, just how old are you?

I may look old, but inside, I feel 33 1/3.

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It was easier to record from vinyl.

That way you could avoid abrupt endings. 

Fade in, fade out, like a Grandmaster Flash.

If you were slick, you might include excerpts

Of dialogue from old movies,

Or from great speeches like- ‘I have a dream!’

…That one day you’ll kiss me!

(Not sure that’s what MLK had in mind.)

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Recording off the radio was an art form.

You’d need the dexterity of a nuclear fission scientist

And a Watergate wiretapper to operate 

Play, pause and record simultaneously,

Before some schmaltzy DJ chimed in with his drivel.

And if your tape got chewed up

From too much stopping and starting,

You’d have to pull it all out until you found the kinks,

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Straighten it, then stick a pencil in the spool 

And rewind it all back in again.

Praying it doesn’t happen while she’s listening to 

Je t’aime moi non plus.

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I hope you like it.

It took me a whole weekend to put together.

Quite good fun though. Reminiscing, and all that.

I imagine you listening to it in your bedroom.

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Lying on your bed, looking up at the ceiling.

Your long, velvet hair cascading over the pillow,

Thinking of me, thinking of you. 

Except we’re not Gainsbourg and Birkin.

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The lyrics say things I never could,

Would or should. And are more self-indulgent 

Than a box of Thorntons. But what can I do?

I’m just a 20th Century Boy in love with a 21st century girl.

.

για τη δέκατη μούσα μου

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Truth is a Cruel Mistress


Le baiser de l’Hotel de Ville‘, 1950, Robert Doisneau.

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Truth is a Cruel Mistress.

By David Milligan-Croft.

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Sometimes, I imagine life like a romantic fairy tale.

There’ll be a pounding at my door.

I’ll go to answer it,

And it will be you – standing

In the pouring rain – breathless,

A suitcase in your hand.

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Or, I am walking down the corridor

At work. And I’ll hear my name

Being called. I’ll turn around, and it’s you,

Statuesque, and ready to run

Toward me.

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Perhaps my phone rings. It’s you. (Of course.)

There’s silence.

Breathing.

Then you say,

‘I need to see you.’

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Then, I remember that life isn’t a 90-minute

Hollywood trope.

It’s real. And so is 

The fact that you left your job

So you would never have to see me again.

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The fact, that I haven’t spoken to you since,

The fact, that I haven’t heard your voice since,

The fact, that I haven’t read your words since,

The day,

I told you that you had mistaken my love

For kindness.

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You ran

As fast, and as far,

As you could

In the opposite direction.

The mere thought of me, repugnant to you.

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Truth is a cruel mistress.

So I button my coat

And step outside.

The morning sun warms my face.

I hold out my hand to take yours.

I turn to you and smile.

You smile too.

And we walk into a brand new day.

.

για τη δέκατη μούσα

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Lost Love


I met Tom Pow in a Stellenbosch vineyard in South Africa back in the late 90s.

Pretty small world really, as he’s from Scotland and I’m English, but was living in Ireland at the time.

I am fascinated by how people’s paths intersect. Everything that they had to go through prior to that point in time for you to meet. And, perhaps more importantly, why?

One of the things I have carried with me since our meeting, was his poem, ‘Loving, Writing’, from his collection ‘Red Letter Day’.

For me, it encapsulates the beauty and purity of love. Whether or not it lasts is beside the point. The point is that you got to feel that way at all.

Tom Pow

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Drawn to you – new poem.


Drawn to you.

By David Milligan-Croft.

I tried to draw your eye

But it was too big.

The drawing, that is,

Not your actual eye.

This was after two failed attempts

At drawing your whole face.

The first, was too long,

The second, too round.

I could not capture

How perfect you are.

So I decided to draw you

Piece by piercing piece.

First, your left eye – 

The one that tore through

My soul leaving me exposed

And vulnerable.

I felt like I knew you.

Not from a past memory

But from a memory passed. 

(If you believe in that sort of thing.)

Then, I moved on to your chin,

Your nose, I wanted to feel each part of you –

The curve of your eyelid,

The flick of your mascara,

Your russet eyebrows,

Your left ear,

Protruding through

Kobicha hair.

You have a hint

Of an epicanthic fold,

So I ponder your genetic makeup,

Which only adds to your etherealism.

Now, the impish curl

At the corner of your mouth.

The almost imperceptible smile,

On the lips, that only another woman shall kiss. 

My fingertips gently touch the graphite, 

Then draw them to my own.

And I slowly turn the page.

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Let me fail in Sunshine – new post.


I’ve been a busy little bee of late publishing my first novel, Love is Blood.

Well, I’ve now also published my first collection of poetry, called Let me fail in Sunshine. It’s split into three sections covering childhood, nature and love.

When I first began writing poetry in my teens, I tried to write how I thought poetry should be written – T.S. Eliot, Wordsworth, etc, like I’d learned at school. This was unnatural and forced. (Not to mention, crap.)

It was only years later, after discovering the works of Raymond Carver and Charles Bukowski, that I realised it was okay to be me. Not to try and be someone I’m not.

So, I found my voice.

It wasn’t long after, that my work started getting published in poetry journals, periodicals, websites and anthologies. Many of the poems featured in this collection have been published in the U.S., Britain and Ireland.

Some of them are humorous, some are heartbreaking, while others will fill you with joy.

There are a couple of sample poems under the image of the front cover. I hope you like them. And, if you do, maybe you would be so kind as to pop over to Amazon and buy a copy of it please? (Just click on the cover image and it will take you through to Amazon.)

let me fail in sunshine, poetry, david milligan-Croft

THE DEPARTED

Holes appear in wardrobes,
Cupboards stare agape.

Delft wrapped in newsprint,
Boxes packed and taped.

Naked patches,
Where photographs once hung.

Dusty bookshelves
With no stories to tell.

Bulging suitcases
Clambering for the door.

Except, I’m not the one,
Going anywhere.

GUILTY.

The pole from which I hang

Is normally meant for the washing.

Today though, I am out to dry,

Swinging like a criminal

By the neck of my t-shirt.

It was my means of escape

That captured me:

Across Mr. Gordon’s garden,

Through the hedge,

Over the shed roof,

With the crab apples,

Down the washing pole,

Where I now hang.

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Le cadavre d’exquis, de l’amour – new poem


Le cadavre d’exquis, de l’amour.

Draguignan, 1999.

© David Milligan-Croft

Outside the vineyard,
Droplets of rain refresh us,
Along with the bottle of white wine,
On the wrought iron table.

There’s a sunflower between us
On the cover of your notebook;
We take it in turns
To write our exquisite corpse, of love.

Occasionally, we stop,
To exchange wine through baisers,
While the rain makes our words bleed,
Like your mascara at Nice airport.

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Poetry: Trust


TRUST
© David Milligan-Croft

As you stand on the bath mat,
With droplets of the morning’s shower
Clinging to your ochre skin,
You delicately examine between your legs.

You are concerned that you cannot find
The string of the tampon
You’d inserted the previous night.

You ask me to check.

I kneel before you, in trepidation;
I am enveloped by an aroma
Of lavender and pheromones.

I place one hand on your behind,
And gently insert a finger.

My cheek is pressed flat
Against your warm
Tea-gurgling stomach.

I probe around your vulva,

But I cannot feel anything,
Except the heat from your sex,
And the closest
I have felt to anyone
In my entire life.

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Beats a bunch of flowers…


The Causes.

By Jorge Luis Borges.

The sunsets and the generations
The days and none was first.
The freshness of water in Adam’s
Throat. Orderly paradise.
The eye deciphering the darkness.
The love of wolves at dawn.
The word. The hexameter. The mirror.
The Tower of Babel and pride.
The moon which the Chaldeans gazed at.
The uncountable sands of the Ganges.
Chuang Tzu and the butterfly that dreams him.
The golden apples on the islands.
The steps in the wandering labyrinth.
Penelope’s infinite tapestry.
The circular time of the Stoics.
The coin in the mouth of the dead man.
The sword’s weight on the scale.
Each drop of water in the water clock.
The eagles, the memorable days, the legions.
Caesar on the morning of Pharsalus.
The shadow of crosses over the earth.
The chess and algebra of the Persians.
The footprints of long migration.
The sword’s conquest of kingdom’s.
The relentless compass. The open sea.
The clock echoing in the memory.
The king executed by the ax.
The incalculable dust that was armies.
The voice of the nightingale in Denmark.
The calligrapher’s meticulous line.
The suicide’s face in the mirror.
The gambler’s card. Greedy gold.
The forms of a cloud in the desert.
Every arabesque in the kaleidoscope.
Each regret and each tear.
All those things were made perfectly clear
So our hands could meet.

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