We Were Awkward And I Cannot Swim Past That

by Ben Pickard   May 28, 2018

For the first time,

our eyes swam in a sea of sludge before they met -

and when they dragged themselves from the oil slick,
they came to rest upon a rocky outcropping that pierced our
tired bodies with shards of murderous rock and mockery

We, like the cursed Captain Cook, had discovered untamed
and unnatural land that savagely consumed Cupid's compound flesh,
sicking it up and scattering it upon Love's Paupers Outpost

And now - if nothing else -
I can tell you of the birds' loneliness;
of the haunting intermezzos that are a prelude to nothing
and of a moth's understanding that colour and mirage are the same thing

I can recount the sadness that will never go away -
how I scrawled it down in words I wanted you to read,
burning suicide's bashful braille on your retinas

I can tell you all that love's lilting sea looks blue when you jump in
but I have sunk
and am sinking still


*Captain Cook was attacked and killed in 1779 by Hawaiian natives

Ben Pickard 2018


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Latest Comments

  • 11 months ago


    Ben, not many times that you have left your rhyming behind, but it's a great write in the true style of poetry. You know that I am a dyed in the wool rhymer, don't think I could write my poems any other way.

    • 11 months ago

      by Ben Pickard

      I know what you mean, Ken. I find it less natural too but it's nice to broaden your horizons...sometimes.

      Take care

  • 11 months ago

    by Em (marmite)

    Ben this is just excellent well more than excellent but I am lost for words in all honesty I have read this (in hiding) a few times and each time I've found more thrilling about it that just blows me away which doesn't surprise me anymore with you Sir. I was going to break this up piece by piece but it is just too wonderful to do that. The whole piece seeps fantastic yet vivid imagery which I am again not surprised at.
    Take care
    Em x
    Glad to see its nominated by the way :)

  • 11 months ago

    by Milly Hayward

    Another epic piece. I loved the weave of historic reference but more the fact that you can weave such fabulous metaphors throughout this piece and conjure up such vivid imagery despite the fact it is free verse lol. Loved it. Milly x

  • 11 months ago

    by Mahal Ko Kuya Ko

    You really should write more free verse! This is beautiful! I love this so much! I love the reference to Captain Cook, to Cupid, and others. I love the title, the wording... This is well-crafted! I love the punctuations. I can sense a love at first sight scenario or something of that sort, and from that you dance with words and created something everlasting from a short span of time when the eyes of the two of you met each other. You play so wonderfully with your words, but the awkwardness is really evident, I love that kind of creativity! Great job! Added to favorites!

    --- MKKK

    • 11 months ago

      by Ben Pickard

      Thanks so much, Mahal. To be honest, I do write a fair bit of free verse but it just isn't noticed as much, I suppose. Rhyming poetry comes more easily to me generally speaking but I enjoy writing (or attempting) poetry in all its many forms.

  • 11 months ago

    by Ben

    I'm finding my inability to nominate a little frustrating now :/

    I have to say I do love it when you write free verse, your language and phrasing is always very addictive and at times find myself wanting more free verse from you :)

    I think alot of people will read this and nod in affirmation at this write and as usual you present it in a fabulous way.

    Epic as always


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