Poetry: Selections from Christopher Collingwood

Inhale the Burden

I lit an illness –

and breathed it deep,

the courage of the low,

the first puff of dignity, to ease

into the solemn days.


Burden has a way of staining –

your sheets, clothes, fingers,

friendships, dreams; an ugly

shade in everything you touch,

the victims trademark.


Lungs push out a cloud

of anger – it grabs the

breath of anyone passing;

not that it means too,

help has a strong odour.


Until you’re burnt out –

the soberness fills you,

you hold the years

between your fingers,

crushing words under foot,

sending burden to the air.

A Drug Called Innocence

Imagine - if the stains on your virtuous self-repression

Were washed away by tears of fidelity

The breath of individuality inhaling insight

A cleansing born from an imposed identity

Instilling a continuous naivety that takes you away

Escape vulgar diversion, into a virginity of thought

Just imagine…….


You’d pop a pill – ‘Innocence’

Find your self-expression in a ceaseless wade

The graffiti of your emotional delinquency washed away

Suspended from the right of fixation, escape of cynical turbulence

No longer a foreign scholar of autonomous conscience

No diversions from an existential ego - persona without games

Depleting the insanity of ridicule from your self-absorption


You can feel it – persuading mental clarity

Reducing your mind to shallow experience

Disconnecting you from real memory

A perpetual state of childhood deflection

Ultimate reprieve, in the form of a useless tragedy

Guilt, conscience, sadness; slip into the ether

It takes away pain, it takes away memory, it takes away you……


And what do you get – self betrayal

No growth from the yearning of yesterday

Maturity of experience abandoned

No wisdom to distil from perspective

Never creating from a broken heart

Neglect of real self, a shapeless personality

Escaping manhood, no way to womanhood.


So, pop the pill

Cease the pain

Indulge your nativity

Learn to escape

Fake your heart

Engage your self-tragedy

And stay innocent forever.

The Arid Lens

The lens hurts –

it peers too deeply,

seeing waste wash up

upon an arid will;

while all the world

is homeless.

The camera flares –

as the light of day

becomes a forsaken truth;

without a tree to shade,

mankind is lost in stares.

There is no focus –

the best stills are tragic;

a sandy carcass, the breathless

streets, the farmland dunes,

a bathing waste;

the lens can see only

the indecent.

The walls are covered in photos –

searching for a single

natural smile;

there are only faces staring

in an endless drought,

searching for necessity.

Close the shutter –

it hurts too much,

there is aching everywhere,

and the photograph

will not forget.

Wash out the Dry

The price you paid for bad life choices, was the confession you made to the drain. I still see

the essence of my bad gums echoing around the sinkhole, we use to drink a lot in those

days, anything to wash down an excuse. I still take a sip from the old memory ever now and

then, but I don’t share anymore, not like I use too. Times were tough back then, and everyone

you knew either had a wound or a vice; even when your mouth was dry, which was most of

the time, you could still wash out a truth every now and then, not very often, but ever once

and a while. That was important, especially when the taps in those old towns were never any

good, the pipes were always rusted, and you could find a problem quicker than another

days’ work. That’s what the smart ones realised, you had to tend to the creaks every once and

a while, ‘the long waits during the war’, as they used to call it. A quick wash in the river, with

a few passing words was a good start; a lot of them couldn’t see that, they took to the longer

drink, or just kept running, but nothing good ever came out of that. You’ve got to make your

choices, that’s what I’ve realised, and you’ve got to know when its time to stop, and wash out

the dry wounds.

Confessions of a VR Addict

Don’t unplug my love

Desire baths in silicon

The light taunts my lips

Flowing over sensual rivers

Diverging into formless pleasure

Spreading my mind open

Thrusting into abstract delusion

Pleasuring in another’s fantasy

Flesh layering upon itself

Melting into a man

Folding into a woman

Spiralling into a sexual form

Surging into new experiences

Seeking unknown perversion

Pushing beyond tolerable pleasure

Until it hurts

Unplugging into senselessness

Vomiting convulsions

Blood wrapped cables

Urine stained carpets

Repenting to the screen

Loathsome pity of an unfelt dream

I plug back in.

Christopher Collingwood  was born and raised in Sydney Australia. He completed university in Sydney and graduated with a degree in business studies. Chris has devoted his spare time to writing, with works published in Quadrant, The Remington Review, The Avenue, The Aurora Journal, Abyss & Apex, Jalmurra, Eunoia Review, 101 Fiction, and several genre anthologies, among other creative spaces. 


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