All poems by james minshall     2010

Drawing by sarah emily kirk

Butterfly Cages

August 1, 2011

Who breaks a butterfly
that lands in their hands
a cage covered tight
as you peer between fingers
must you pull off it’s wings
to examine it’s colours
or will you let it fly free
to dance patterns in air
for to see it’s real beauty
you have to let go

When Fingers Kiss

August 1, 2011

A voice
in the air
the static
of waiting
as  pictures
offer promises
of the  possibilities
that hands might
finally touch
as fingers kiss
and i finally
touch you
with my eyes

In Your Silence

August 1, 2011

In your silence i remember
the comfort of your illusions
that guard against the mornings
that wait outside your doors
to be enclosed in this confusion
where whispers come out slowly
words mistaken but not spoken
nights broken on the floor
where carpets are forgotten
in the darkness i’m still falling
in your silence i surrender
as i wait for you once more

The Killing Fields

August 1, 2011

First the pounding
unheard vibrations
through the ground
then the hard grasp
ripped from earth
the violent separation
roots torn and damaged
the shock and violation
as cold death sets in
layers upon layers
the skin removed
until the butchering
commences into little pieces
no face no smile no eyes
the conscience placated
through the unheard screams
of the killing fields

For Vegertarians with an attitude.

Drowning In Air

August 1, 2011

Did you see me there
drowning in air
unable to move
or speak
words turn
to concrete
falling on
your floor
for breath
waiting for
your hand to
pick them up
or sweep them
out your door

The Witching Pond

August 1, 2011

Let us gather at the pond
and weigh her down
with rocks

and let the water
be the judgment
on her soul

and as the bubbles rise
we will know
if she was human

in this sacrifice to reason
as we heed
the witches call

The Soft Touch

August 1, 2011

A glimpse
for just the moment
always without warning

an exchange of words
then the touch withdrawn

until the silence of remembering
forces the eyes to return.

The Silent Hand

August 1, 2011

The irony of a dream
to finally hold her hand
yet to never know
what it feels like
to have her soul
embraced in yours
fingers wrapped
tightly in silence
like a glove
around the heart
always knowing
that she’s there
but to never
feel her touch

The Promise

August 1, 2011

If i promised not to love you
would you let me hold your hand
if i promised not to touch you
would you let me feel your heart
if i promised not to care for you
would you see me in the shadows
if i promised not to move you
would you feel me in the dark

if i promised not to speak for you
would you listen to my fingers
if i promised not to whisper
would you breathe upon my skin
if i promised not to bleed for you
would you lay upon my wounds
if i promised not to pray for you
would you kiss away my sins

if i promised not to need you
would you let me be your silence
if i promised not to break you
would you speak to me in tongues
if i promised not to fall for you
would you let me in your darkness
if i promised not to stay with you
would you love me once i’m gone

The Accidental Memory

August 1, 2011

The hand remembers
what the heart has lost
a skeletal frame of memory
an image that forms
upon the touch
a forgotten breath
that whispers
believe again
in softness
and the promises
of winter
though there might
never be a spring

Broken Dawn

August 1, 2011

That delicate moment
before you wake
when the borders
between dreams
and the dawn
remain unbroken

no different than parting
the face slips away
as you wake again
to a bed alone


August 1, 2011

Frozen souls
wait on guard
like icicle soldiers
standing in rows
in a darkness
terminal cold

they wait upon
a sunrise blinding
a spark of light
a spark of life
to begin the slow
process of melting
these glaciers of hearts

Free Fall

August 1, 2011

The first breath
is the hardest
as you step out
into the air
for hands
not real
not there

the memory
of falling
into this
of light

at earth
you cannot
make love
to the sky


August 1, 2011

I am
the question
but unknowable
an answer
to ponder
and wonder
but shouldn’t
but wouldn’t
but then not
we’ll see
but we don’t
will be
but we won’t
to be
but not to
i am
but i’m not
i am
but am i
i am


August 1, 2011

These walls cannot answer
whenever i ask why
these walls cannot argue
or tell me when i’m wrong

these walls cannot fight back
when i punch holes in anger
these walls cannot accuse me
or judge what i have done

these walls can only stare back
as we stare upon each other
these walls can never hold me
or remember when i’m gone