coarse days crueler than long cold nights
        can't remember when they end
        gradually sliding, passed unnoticed
        slowly losing older friends

            how are you doing they ask
            as always oh just fine
            really not much, things missing here
            something that doesn't mind

                strangers still they sense this too
                like they're all the only one
                hope here collapses, very slowly
                all beaten by the tired drum

            life only curls its smile in passing
            outstretched but out of sight
            color is momentary, a swirl but then
            time greys it back to black and white

        looking through a cloud like sleep
        dreams repeat the same cliches
        there's no edge, no feeling things
        seeming that they always fade

    people pressing in too hard
    this loneliness will understand
    there should be space, but none around
    ashes fall from open hands

        whispers creeping by unheard
        thought half unfolds then pulls away
        the rules were lost, so long ago
        to games that we don't even play

            weary goes the daily due
            same thing every month and year
            this tired breath is heavy yet
            the grey blanket smothers any tears

    (scrawled on an old diner order slip)

    date unknown.

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printed 30 January 2023
© Huw Powell