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Below is a selection of poems from Payne’s Gray.

Last Updated: November 29, 2020

Black swan

black swan
why don’t you come home

You’re fleeing as fast
as your anger can carry you

My black swan

Your neck reaches
all the way up to your head
to keep your mind the perfect distance
from a broken heart

Updrift on the wind, but
downsurge from within
You were always better
thank the ones who took you in

Black swan, let go your beauty-sleep
You’ve been swimming way too deep
Let go the comfort of that reed:
Come up and breathe!

Come up for air, come over here
Unfold your mighty wings
cuz here I come
disguised as spring

And later on:
Move on, black swan,
or come winter you will find
your legs are frozen to the ice
as the other ones fly south
– leaving you behind

Not just destructive

not just destructive
but destroyed

Not just happy

Not distracted
but aloof

Not just evidence
plain proof

Not really lost
just forlorn

Not just promised
simply worn

Not only loved
also revered

Not just frightening
but feared

Not just uncomfortable
but ill at ease

Not just fuck you –

No long distance
on the phone

Not forgotten
just alone

to evade
but not avoid

Not just destructive
but destroyed

Spare me your passion

Spare me your passion
your delicate words

your integrity and

Spare me your poems
your sensitive soul
your kindness and gentle approach

Your soft spoken tongue
your beautiful song
your clear thoughts
and consideration

An attitude so unassuming
An empathy so all-including

Oh spare me!

Just give me the silence
between all your words
the fuzz of your mind when it struggles

The moment before you stop yourself
The things that you hide,
the things that you fear
that self-serving part of your little black heart
Your greed and your foolish behavior
Your arrogance, all of your devious plots
Your pretense
Your cynical lines

It’s all that I want
It’s all that I ask

Ode to emptiness

The days are filled
with things to do
To keep myself
From worry

To keep myself from
Worrying thoughts,
I’m always in a hurry

Books I read & films I see
Words I write they stay with me

The days are filled
but none are full
Greeting, meeting, talking walking,
Eating, drinking, dining, wining,
Busy, busy, one, two, three –
Faster, harder, stronger, more
Jack has turned into a bore

Absurd to make “priority”
of strangers, friends and family
Surely they deserve much more?

The only time that I feel free
Consumed by some activity
Adhering to a ceaseless call:
Engage in all

Ironic how this flurry
For all my efforts serve no less
as reminder of the emptiness

Dormant seed

Dormant seed
wants to breed
In the ground
and waiting

Dormant ache
wants to shake
the ground
beneath your feet

Sleeping giant
wants to wake
Dormant seed
Dormant ache

Keep from sunlight
Keep from rain
Keep from bursting out again

Dormant seed
Full of greed
In the ground
and waiting…