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Betamax or VHS?

There was a sense, a feeling, sensation….. Almost, but not quite a belief….

That time may heal.

Yet, it’s not healing… It’s forgetting.

Pain subsides as the memories evaporate.

What once was so crystal clear, a reflection against the edge of a prism..

Becomes like a grainy video, magnetic tape watched and paused,

creating an image corrupted with that ‘fuzz’.

A soundtrack of words you promised never to forget,

but is now crackly, distorted, indistinct.

The remembrance of individual moments, becomes entangled,

constricted in a haze of things that you aren’t sure really happened.

As a consequence of mind knowing how important it was, but the details slipping away.

Replaced by messages typed out in a covert, government office, filling in the gaps…

That story for the public, explaining what Big Brother needs you to know,

rather than, as it should be…… Just forgotten, let go of.

Only the knowledge of what was, can never actually happen again.

Creates the pain, even if what was makes you smile and laugh,

that happiness is on the condition your mind will accept the fabrications

as the gaps grow larger.

Until you wonder what was real, what isn’t, and in doing so….

Understand that if it might not have happened, something just as special could happen to you again

Steve B 11/13


Leaving Gaol…….

It was a cold Autumn day, one which would remain in the memory of those who were there.

Not so much because of the almost unnaturally low ambient temperature,

but that which was experienced as a reaffirmation of a human soul being divine.

He had been expecting this day, whilst alone, afraid and unwanted.

Although his cell was small, cramped and unadorned, he’d lacked the energy to even move,

not that there was any reason to anymore.

He spent his days watching the Sunlight enter through the small, barred window

high above his head. Seeing its slow dance, from one wall, across the heavy iron-studded door,

then across the other wall, before widening and falling, then changing from bright white, to soft gold

to a forlorned, deep orange…. Then fading into nothingness.

Nothingness that segued into darkness, merely a hint on some soft breeze that something existed beyond the

cold grey emptiness.

But this day, was announced, even if he couldn’t really predict it. In the cell time held no meaning.

It was a cycle based on how long you wanted to remember.. The 7 bar gates counting the weeks, carved religiously,

until there was simply no room left. No space on which to catalogue that complete and utter waste.

Interspersed as it was with random beatings, humiliations and the repeated removal of humanity.

The lack of awareness would make him mad…… Was this all some kind of insane dream?

Until the heavy kick of a boot, the crunch of a brass knuckle, the dull thud of an iron bar..

And most memorable of all, the almost indescribable sting of the barbed whip.

And yet, when the door opened, on that cold… That cold day, that was almost an inevitablity,

he rose up and stood tall. His eyes aflame, his rags seemingly pressed, and his presence one of determination.

The guards, always willing to inflict some unnecessary pain were quiet and respectful.

In silence they lead him out, into the long hallway, flanked with the same doors, as if hewn from a single tree,

reinforced with iron banding made by some master forger. When in reality they were fashioned in haste,

made by the man who could offer the lowest price and quickest delivery. Yet, there and then…. Just like the roughly cut

brickwork, it seemed almost an unearthly, artificial replication.

Up flights of stairs, into the morning light they walked. Solemnly, slowly, each footstep bringing about a dull resonance.

Around the final corner they turned. To witness a wooden gallows, set into deep foundations, made to be

a final ‘goodbye’, for those who lived long enough to die with their neck in a noose, those who wouldn’t just

curl up in their cell and choose not to wake up again.

The head warden offered a slight nod, acknowleding their approach but no eye contact was made. He was directed

to take the final steps alone, four from the rutted cobbles that made up the base for such a platform.

With creaks and groans the wood encouraged his gait, but he took his time… And why not? What was the worst that could

happen now… If he wasn’t perceived as being on another’s timescale? He turned to face his nemeses.

The warden, instrument of his intense physical pain, anguish and fear.

And the Gaol, instrument of his intense mental pain, descent into madness, and total unequivocal hatred.

That he was placing his head into a noose was almost a relief, to find an end to years of wondering what could have been.

With his mind and body ready, he chose to make the signal himself, to end it all.

Not suicide, but merely acceptance of death, that came from a wry smile.

He took one last look, and revelled in the one last moment in which to wonder.

As the trapdoor swung open, and his entire weight rested on his throat, he knew it was all gone.

Life was being taken away from him, the fear slipped away, and…….

In that final instance, he was able to truly say, that those few memories…

Special, intense, magical, wonderful….. Might have been fleeting.

And yet, they were worth those years spent alone in penance, atoning in his own mind for the simple crime

of just being……

Not being enough……..

Yet what was a short Summer, would lead into a long Autumn.

Those corridors, stairs, studded doors, the unforgiving grey stonework, and the movement of light from one wall to the

other, would be the companions of the next sorry soul who tried to reach higher than he should have.

As for the last sorry body, he would be consigned to a shallow grave, no last rites, no marker to even give him a name.

Just another corpse, rotting beneath the soil, staring up at the sky….. But forever in the shadow of the Gaol.


Steve B 09/13


A Good Heart…… Is only worthy when joined to a god mind, soul and being.

It’s a long term perspective. I mean we can all put a pound coin in an envelope…

But that only deals with our immediacy, a response to that logo of a man ploughing a rutted field.

Don’t pretend to suggest you offered time, because you didn’t

I am not pretending i can build garden furniture, or that I have some massive pendulum between my legs,

even if you have experienced and dismissed such thing, and I have accepted that as a triviality.

I have gifts, and weaknesses……. Flaws I’d want to correct, but can’t on my own.

Perhaps I might find some song title to fit my meaning, but I loathe to usurp the words of others.

Just know you gave up on me, I can never give up you.

Steve B 09/13

I don’t deal in your emotions, because you don’t want me to.

I don’t understand your thoughts, because you purposely choose to push me away,

regardless of how often I have expressed my desire to be let back in.

YOU sit on the mountain, one I’ve climbed, and one I’ve been expelled from.

That mutual plateau you now seek another to share.

What is…… Is what you decided, what I lost any influence over a long, long, long time ago.

You knew I loved you then, and know I love you now. Time doesn’t dent, nor tarnish, that……

As long as you are the person, the woman, you are. And I know you to be, It is unconditional,

without pretense, or condition….

I won’t judge you on the minutae, because the whole supercedes.

It’s no more, or less, than a personal resolution. To know what it is, what I am, that I can never amend in time.

To sit and then take a step back, then another, and another……. Perception of what surrounds.

The Person I am, the woman you are. But still, not knowing what makes the man unworthy.

How you dream of another, who might be…… And that, as one roll of the dice i know only too well…….

But, how…….. How the numbers on those white ivory faces, never added up to enough, when you threw those

‘bones’, and looked at me…….

I’d have signed my soul away, for your love.

Steve B 09/13

I Dream Of………

There is nothing more powerful, or malignant, than the idea in a memory.

That sometimes outlandish requirement in the mind’s eye to

pull and tear at the insides of a prison made out of satin and silk.

To hammer against the glass walls, knowing it’s the actions of the one outside

that helped create what was, and somewhere beyond, carries on.

Days, into weeks, to months and now a year.

What is there but regret and remorse, for wanting to keep trying, improving,

to be there when needed, and to not feel isolated and alone.

Staving off dark thoughts, thoughts of actions that are destructive, painful,

yet perhaps releasing, moving to an unconscious level, without all the internalized bitterness.

Yes, to be set free, for all time.


Knowing how the genie must feel, looking up at the stopper.

Steve B 08/08



Outside Our Influence

What you would ask, you know I’d give.

What you wanted, you know I’d do anything to provide,

to try, to learn, to better myself, to be who I might have been.


What you offered, I’d take.

What you gave, I accepted with gratitude,

to see what was, to compromise over, to create more than the sum.


What ‘we’ had, was immense.

What I felt, I dreamed was eternal,

to be a part of some that lived forever, to exist in a shared world of love.


What you destroyed, I mourn.

What you chose, I can’t truly understand,

to think you said you loved me, to know it was not worth your time.


What you are, I miss.

What I know, I think and wonder,

to offer in my mind infinite possibilities, to care about something beyond my control.

Steve B 08/13

Infinite Finality

A final chapter never begins, as long as possibilities we hope for exist.
We illuminate the unwritten words with the light of our life,
those earlier words lit up by the life of those taking the time to read.
Nothing exists but the moment, memories are sometimes so painful they intrude,
yet are we trying to rationalise what was, or convince ourselves our choices were right?
Well, at least in our own best interests, anyone who might want to question that
aren’t part of the light anymore.
Things that are of the moment leave us thirsty, not a craving, but not entirely satisfied either.
In a world of silver, where everything around is in our thoughts, we catch sight of
what we think we need.
Buttons pushed, keys pressed, contact initiated, depression abated, albeit fleetingly.
Contradictions, denial, self-doubt, mistrust, paranoia…. Check over your shoulder,
manage your sight-lines, watch your exits.
Make your deals, weigh up the morality, argue the ethical dilemmas.
Then, finally, if we can….. Sign up for a subscription. There’s no minimum term anymore

To continue to write, is a blessing.
To continue to be read, creates hope.
There is no closure until the book ends.

Steve B 07/13

We Must Bring Salvation Back

I try to keep my mind open,

my heart, soul and being too..

My needs are somewhat small and insignificant,

transient, of the moment, that fraction of a second that holds infinite meaning.

You won’t answer me anymore, yet I won’t stop calling out….

Hoping for something. a fraction of what we had.

Don’t leave me, don’t walk away.

Not without some rationale, some reason……. Some sense of things being closed.

That loop, that complicated set of dominoes laid out before me………

Let them all fall, don’t be the one that arcs away….. Leaving the rest standing.

I can’t, I won’t accept an empty promise. I need them all to touch, and embrace…. One after another, to the end.

I don’t need to communicate, as a reason to ‘be’ in contact…

Just some understanding, where I’ve failed.

What I’ve done wrong, so I can learn and move on.

To let go of this love, this desire, this unfulfilled… Unrequited belief in something I can’t make happen alone.

You don’t want me, fair enough…… Just make it clear what I have that isn’t enough.

Spell it out, allow me some elucidation, some means of thinking…….. ‘that makes sense’

I lament, I hurt, I clench my fists and want to strike out and the world that is so unjust.

To let you know what it is, in you, that I love so much…… But can’t, somehow, attain.

You are beyond my grasp, a woman I never had a chance of being with.

Borne into that upper class of people who I’d aspire to be, but I know I could never fit in with.

I will walk away, but………. Remember……. No one will love you as much as i have, and still do….

I am here, if you ever want me, ever need me……..

Reach out, and I’ll Be There.

Steve B 04/13


That we exist on a fragile razor’s edge.

We ourselves teeter without noticing, yet we never seem to fall.

In others that which we fear manifests,

never seeing that errant footstep, only the result of the fall.


That need for answers, a craving that will never be satisfied.

Wondering about what if’s, imagining what could be, remembering what was.

Time slows down, tears fall as the walls around you echo to howls and cries.

Letting everything about yourself fall away, becoming naked to the world.


Can things become what they once were, or are we just so averse to change?

Severity of potential effect, conflicts of idea, feelings of disempowerment, avoiding pain….

Each a reason alone, yet none seem to come as a single foe.

All or nothing? The strongest mental defences can’t protect an open heart.


To believe a future still has much to give, whether faced alone or together.

When time gets back to normal, your world will too. Senses reset.

Coming back out into Sunshine, yet knowing others may still favour the dark

Hoping something powerful may still come from possibilities extinguished.

You can’t prepare for the unexpected.

Steve B 03/13

Life in concrete

Each new day brings a calling, whether real or hallucinatory

they are Siren-like, bringing me either hope or despair.

My insides burn with failure one moment, then elation the next

as little positives build up to something tangible, meaningful, even desirable.

Until sleep brings me back, Sun rising in a sky, flanking buildings of concrete and glass,

reminding me I am probably in the wrong place, at the wrong time….

Maybe the wrong person too.

Self pity claimed many a poor soul, something I begin to understand in this second month of a year which

promises to be no different than any other.

To play the cards as they are dealt, to learn from things I see and hear….. People I meet, people I lose….

Perhaps to meet someone I can love.

Who can love me….

Who really knows?

I just want to feel as new, and as renewed, as the day is….

But no one answers my call.

Steve B 02/13