Collection of Poems by Candice James

Guest Poet Candice James

BLEAK HOUSE ALLEY

© 2012 Candice James

 

On the East side of Vancouver

In Bleak House Alley

Peppered with cardboard creatures,

A crude Cinderella,

Drooping wax figurine,

Cracked and creased with age,

Candling the night

Weaves phantom dreams

In the pale twilight.

Breathing in fetid foggy remnants

Of second hand wishes,

She churns them and burns them

Into hot buttered streetlights.

Drinking in the horizon,

Gulping it like wine

On this hot thirsty night

Of no reprisals,

She sways in drunken repose.

Skin, weather beaten

Hangs in pockets of leather

Chafing the edge of night.

 

She doesn’t remember

When the rain started

But she’s certain

It shows no sign of letting up soon,

Each random drop relentlessly

Pursuing the razor’s edge

Of the one in front of it.

 

This Cinderella broke her mirror years ago,

Lives in a fantasy world,

Thinks she’s still beautiful.

Her torn mouth twitches,

Groans into a grin,

Yellowed cracked teeth

Semi glinting

In the broken bits of moonlight

Decorating the one shoe she wears.

The other foot bleeding,

Weeping like a blind eye.

 

She limps along

This highway of tears

Searching for her prince

Knowing full well he will not come.

 

Busted bicycle wheel dreams,

Wasted chants and wishes,

Unanswered prayers and rituals,

Lost Cinderellas,

Broken bowling pins

Littering the alleyways

On the East side of Vancouver,

 

 

A BROKEN WIND CHIME

© 2011 Candice James

 

A snow cast heart frozen in time,

Unrecognizable, beating no more,

Hanging beside a broken wind chime.

 

Silent creature in pantomime,

In unfinished symphony, no music, no score,

A snow cast heart frozen in time.

 

Robbed of it’s rhythm, robbed of it’s rhyme,

Locked in steel cage, no window, no door,

Hanging beside a broken wind chime.

 

Inside this prismatic paradigm,

With teardrops refracting deep in its core,

A snow cast heart frozen in time;

 

In a bed of dampened dreams and burnt lime,

A remnant of what it was before,

Hanging beside a broken wind chime.

 

Love leaves behind a most grievous crime;

In the wake of her careless sway,

A snow cast heart frozen in time

Hanging beside a broken wind chime.

 

 

 

EAST OF EDEN, WEST OF LOVE

© 2012 Candice James

 

Recalling the sweet taste of wine

As your lips melted into mine

Taking us to love then past the brink

We bore love’s stain upon our soul

Like sea moss clinging to a shoal.

Water everywhere but none to drink

 

We watched love creep away on feet

That hobbled down a dusty street

Crippled by the vows we couldn’t keep

We lost the tender hush of touch

The look of love that meant so much

Love bowed her weary head and fell asleep

 

We walked away with empty hearts

That held the scars of our false starts

And all the while the beating there within

Echoed the pain of tragedy,

Sad circumstance and malady;

That hearts must suffer so is such a sin.

 

A burnished sky bereft of stars

Brandished its sword of wounds and scars

Sparks flew from ghostly moments burning out

We lost the words, forgot the rhyme

Two poets dancing out of time

While silent yearning struggled with a shout

 

Up above a scarlet moon

A melody played out of tune

As we swayed past the point of no return

East of Eden, West of Love

Our hearts strayed when push came to shove

The fire extinguished never more to burn

 

 

 

Here lies a heart at its last gasp

Hear death’s rattle, rale and rasp

Stripped at last of masks and all disguise

Somewhere below a tombstone lies

Somewhere above an angel cries

Bears witness to a lonely heart’s demise

 

No more to wander or to chase

Reflections of tears on its face

Love’s truly lost and oh the bitter cost

A weary heart gives up the ghost

That was a most unwelcome host

The words have turned to dust, music to frost

 

Crippled by the vows we didn’t keep

Love bowed her weary head and fell asleep

As angels sighed and tears fell from above

Somewhere East of Eden, West of Love.

 

 

ECHOING SPLENDOURS

© 2011 Candice James

 

The sea and spume now dried on the mast

A salty brine lashed with smiles and tears

Echoing splendours of moments past

 

Tall ships in full sail ‘neath skies overcast

Docking in harbours to welcoming cheers

The sea and spume now dried on the mast

 

Oak framed paned windows stained and glassed

The Spanish Galleons and buccaneers

Echoing splendours of moments past

 

Pirates and sailors, amid cannon blast

Wearing brave faces to cover their fears

The sea and spume now dried on the mast

 

A Captain’s journal from first page to last

Ink stains, worn pages, smudges and smears

Echoing splendours of moments past

 

The glory of tall ships faded too fast

Armada of ghosts in yesterday’s mirrors

The sea and spume now dried on the mast

Echoing splendours of moments past