Gibley Finds: Poetry

The stream of consciousness technique, perhaps most famously used by James Joyce and Virginia Woolf (Ulysses, To The Lighthouse), allows the reader a real sense of thought process. If you were to write exactly how thinking works, it’s sporadic, mad, and from the outside it’s easily seen as random and chaotic. However, like Joyce and Woolf did, there’s a definite skill to making these thoughts coherent in writing, granting us a rare, priceless portion of character. Today’s find, no stars, shouting lights, is another great example.

I love how this piece starts: ‘i’m cold and don’t / know what to do.’ There’s no set up, there’s no introduction. The writing is quick to grab you by the collar and thrust you in with the problem. As well, there’s no capitalisation; clearly, this isn’t the start and we’re catching the midst of anxiety. Reading this is like walking onto a treadmill that’s already racing at top speed. There’s no acceleration and you’re immediately sprinting, joining the narrator in a lost and confused state.

The use of enjambment, too, is excellent. It gives a real feel of intoxication and disorientation. It’s like spinning around, and as one image leaves your sight, another has already begun to take its place. With the lack of punctuation, fast pace and repetition, we get a proper sense of thought process. As well, there’s an air of adolescence, where the narrator has somehow found themselves, possibly again, in a hopeless situation; the surrounding world is relentless and unforgiving and we can’t help but to sympathise.

Author T.M. Puype kindly let us share this piece and I think it’s brilliant. This poem may seem to be a simplistic style, but it’s truly deceiving; there’s a lot going on here, and the multitude of poetic techniques together piece a relentless image of what it’s like to be shaken.


no stars, shouting lights

i’m cold and don’t
know what to do and
neon lights are shouting that
the night is still
open for business,
and I’m tired and lost
but still hoping
that some good might come
from this night
that it will not be like
yesterday night
or the night before
or the one before that
and i’m drunk
but not enough
never enough
and the sky is clouded
and i can’t see
any stars
and the moon isn’t out
and you aren’t here
and i don’t know what to do.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

It’s fairly easy to find poetry on the sky (whether it be day or night), a subject often written on for it’s broad scope beyond our breath, holding our bare understanding of what’s above. We definitely have a lot of poetry on the moon (thanks, Carol Ann Duffy), which is regularly married to the themes of love and mystery. However, it’s quite rare we see the focus on the field, the attention for everything else.

The black between the stars is another piece from Brenden Norwood (we featured a poem from Brenden back in October) and this poem is sure to fill your cosmic quota. The imagery of our starry night, and what’s beyond, is brilliant, transporting, flourished by refreshing alliteration. The picture painted by the language evokes powerful, surrealist impressions; I couldn’t help but to imagine a Dalí and Van Gogh combo.

There are two things I really like about this piece. For one, there’s a lot of allusions to the sea, and how the night sky is similar. It’s as if the sea mirrors the sky, both of which aren’t so different when it comes to it, and our little lives are lived in the middle. Secondly, I love how the poem is almost bookended by the same question, as if to further the idea that it’s about the space in between that matters. As well, the conversational tone, akin to good ol’ Bukowski, carries the writing in consideration for the subject depth and intensity, which can often be an overload for the mind!

Another great piece from Brenden, I hugely enjoyed the read, the language, the style – this is definitely one for the Saganist.


(If you’d like to read more, Brenden’s own Introspection can be found on Amazon)

the black between the stars

there are times
late at night
when people ask me,
with asteroids dripping
from their pupils:
“what is your favourite constellation?”
and, smiling in that half-madness
so often forgiven as
i say,
“none of them.”
for the stars are just markers,
beacon buoys with light
like sooty silver ash:
flicked flames off cindering cigarettes
blazing feverishly in the far alleyways
of the universe, their
milky incandescent nebulas
breathed by dusty lungs.
but the black in between—
it is possibility
and hope.
the constellations are mere
latitudes and
lines in a boundless cartography:
an infinitely black sea
rippling with tides of time,
the arcs of planet’s rings
into the void like the windswept sails
of the ships of our souls,
the seafoam starlight shimmering at its very ridges
rippling at its very ridges…
there are times
late at night
when people ask me,
with asteroids dripping
from their pupils:
“what is your favourite constellation?”

Gibley Finds: Poetry

This poem has just popped up; the imagery and the feel have really stuck. MeganSense, who is also on WordPress, kindly let us share this piece.

Three words come straight to mind in City Behind Windows: melody, monotony, and motion. In regards to the latter, the whole piece is of movement; the train, the bus, the walk, and I love how it takes you on a journey. We’ve all experienced that harsh commute, how monotonous it can be, and we all know how nice it is to be contained from it all, in our homes at the end of the day.

I was captured from the beginning – it’s that opening line that delivers the tone. It’s almost oxymoronic; ask anyone how a train sounds and most won’t say it’s of harmony. But because it’s everyday, because it’s the same sounds repeated each morning and each afternoon, it must be of some music. A cluttered, mechanical chorus, perhaps, but nonetheless a song of the city. And this is beautifully framed through the windows, our little cinema squares that capture the speeding world, even when we’re home, in our safe, quiet space for sleep.

MeganSense has expressed this well, in all the shapes and sizes. A great piece that encompasses a busy, urban lifestyle, and the tiny quests for tranquillity.


City Behind Windows

The train sang
The city changed
Behind the windows
We passed the high rises
And the violent shaped arenas

The bus stopped
I ensured the fare
And I watched the same city lights
Flicker in those windows too.
How will the city sleep tonight?

I walked two blocks
Through smoke clouds
And bar fights
Turned left and left again
And retired to my bed
Where the city moves outside my window
And I share my rectangle
With the cat.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

We’ve all seen hard work, in sweat, stress, tears, and success. And we’ve all seen how too much hard work changes a person. The eyes sink with tiredness, the worked hands weaken, the posture worsens, the calluses form. All of this breeds through repetition, elongated periods of time performing the same things over and over. In one way or another, we’ve all experienced the consequences of exertion.

How Time Affects Her, today’s feature, brilliantly explores an alternative way of looking at how hard work can take it’s toll. Reddit user Jamonde kindly let us share this piece; it portrays the weight of parenthood in a way you’ve unlikely seen before: the curls of a mother’s hair have gone.

This transformation is one of decline, and cleverly acts as the physical manifestation of her character. When the curls are lost, they are no longer a loaded, energised spring, they are no longer bouncy, flexible against the world. Instead they are weighed down, drained of strength, translating to the reader how her person is. No doubt this a sad piece; a parent consumed by menial household chores, worked to the bone, who has not the time for anything remotely fun or anything that doesn’t further her work. But this poem is also one of love and labour. Nobody will tell you parenthood is easy, partly because they’re too busy with parenthood to even remark. It’s a lifestyle to adopt and persist with, and that’s what this mother is doing.

There’s no time for these little, nice things, there’s no time for the cosmetic additions, there’s no time for anything. Even the poem itself is short to one stanza, furthering how busy life has become. There’s no time to write on and on about it, because it can be said quickly. ‘The curly hair is too busy… to be curly again’ and that’s that.

A memorable piece, efficient and cleverly crafted, and a great start to the new year. Definitely a poet to keep an eye out for in the future – well done, Jamonde!

How Time Affects Her

Mom’s curly hair is too busy
Washing the dishes
And taking care of the laundry
To be curly again.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

A short find for you today, Garden is a straightforward poem with a broad perspective.

What made this stand out for me was it’s simplicity. No fancy metaphors, no hyperbole, just an honest ambition. It’s the determination in this piece that really grips, and how it exemplifies the strive for a successful life. Of course, there’s more than one way to interpret this. It could be taken very literally, focusing on one particular graveyard which is rarely visited, overgrown and overpopulated with the dead, where the headstones are left to erode.

Otherwise, it’s the aspiration, to cement yourself in history in some way, where the epitaph isn’t like any other. Instead, it’s a bold statement, an important name, someone who was successful in their life, whose grave would be visited, someone who was worthy of monument or statue.

Dahelzat kindly let us share this poem. Whilst it’s not Christmassy, I do think it’s a drive for the new year. It doesn’t have to be fame or fortune that you pursue. What’s key is that you  work hard and fulfil your goals. To bring good, whether it be to a hamlet, city or country. To be extraordinary.


I don’t want to be planted
in the garden of dead men,
where the stone flowers grow
and a library of words are never read.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

A seasonal find for you today!

Laurie Grommett has kindly let us share Whispered Words, a poem focused on the use of the letter ‘w’, and it’s a real treat to read. Poems that focus on one letter can be tricky. It’s easy to fall into repetitive sounds and saturate the reader of variation – but the utilisation here couldn’t have been done better.

This piece is one to read aloud; the iambic tetrameter resonates with the Romantics, as well as the solid imagery and touches of personification. The use of alliteration is not too sparse nor too compact and the way it bounces along to the meter delivers real satisfaction. There’s a little ambiguity to the end and it’s well done – it adds a little haunt, it adds a little love.

A brilliant picture of winter which truly flourishes the beauty of our coldest season.


Whispered Words

A whirling sweep of soft wet snow
awoke the woodsy countryside
as crisp flakes flurried to and fro
and winter townscape opened wide.

The wind weaved in and out in waves
bewitching as a wizard’s wand.
The wisps of wonder iced the nave
and water logged the well and pond.

I wiped the wood on windowsill
and tweaked a notch to whiff fresh air.
He whispered words of grace, goodwill.
I saw white shadow standing there.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

When we write, we have not only the language to wield but also poetic techniques, used to enrich our ideas. There’s metaphor, repetition, rhyme (and lack of), tone, personification, dissonance, all sorts, and each one is incredibly useful when it comes to flourishing thoughts.

Bob Mason, Reddit user /u/bobbness, kindly let us share his piece Rest Stop. Written to a satisfying meter, this poem brilliantly demonstrates how to paint a picture using the poetry toolkit.

Firstly, I have to say, the use of alliteration in the second line is one of the best I’ve heard in a long time; those harsh hard C’s exert real stress and produce a great picture of the locked traffic. The line beneath, with its frequent punctuation, furthers the theme of lack of movement, as if there’s no fluidity to the line and we can’t finish it without stopping, inching us like traffic.

The second stanza breaks the mould and as the narrator finds relief, so do we as we’re given the bounce and rhyme amongst the hectic night, ending on a lighter note of more calm and quietness.

There’s real music to this piece, it’s fun to read out loud, and it’s a great use of language. A real gem that clearly had a lot of thought and talent put into it. Well done Bob!


Rest Stop

This turnpike ramp burns brake-light red
with cramped cars crammed in line.
They grumble, tap, and puff white plumes
which fill the wind-chilled night.

Aside sits mine, its blinkers lit
to gild the hill in waves,
where I, behind a lonely pole,
find peace and do the same.

Gibley Finds: Poetry

We all go through hard times in our lives. It’s all part of the human experience, it’s all part of the package. However, our attitude towards the situation can lighten the severity. Whilst that’s not necessarily suggesting there’s always a positive outlook, we can alleviate our grief with a shift of perspective.

Guest, our feature today, portrays someone who has met sorrow before. It very much speaks for itself in volume and clarity. What I love about this piece is how it can be interpretated. Of course, it’s no easy task to face sadness again, despite how frequent it may have visited. To soften the blow, taking the kind, welcoming approach is perhaps easier on the mind than refusing the feeling. However, there’s definite humour here, and it’s dark, sarcastic and accomodating. The voice is potent, and the familiarity with sorrow breaks out a little grin.

Sorrow is brilliantly personified as the inveitable guest we’ll all have to stay with at some point, and likely to have the company of again. Reddit user _layman_ kindly let us share this poem with our followers. It’s short, powerful and memorable – poems like these continue to amaze me, how in only thirteen words such history and perspective can be portrayed.



Sweet sorrow
hello again

I’ve kept everything
just the way you like it

Gibley Finds: Poetry

A part of writing is to sample something, perhaps what we all see or experience, and paint it in a unique light. Whether it be the summer glow, the winter chill, or the marching men in business suits on a Monday morning, we all have our own perspectives, and we tackle our thoughts and ideas and thrust them onto paper in poetry and prose.

Brenden Norwood kindly let us share his piece ‘The Unsaid Words of Falling in Love with a Stranger at a Coffee Shop’ and it wonderfully depicts an ordinary moment in a fresh, vitalising light.

The poem starts slowly, showcasing a little of the awkwardness we’ve all experienced when approaching a stranger (especially one we find attractive!); as the writing continues, the poetry takes its form, the thoughts articulate themselves and communicate clearly in rhythmic sweetness and magnitude. The realisation from the narrator, commenting on how on the grand scheme of things in this world and the way they work, demonstrates perfectly why it’s important to seize the moment, especially in the name of romance. The poem finishes, bookended with the little awkwardness that’s undeniably endearing.

This is certainly a poem to read out loud; Brenden writes with clarity, his dialogue’s real and concrete, his character rich, and all with light, liquid poetry weaved throughout. A very satisfying read and a great sense of style.


The Unsaid Words of Falling in Love with a Stranger at a Coffee Shop

“Hi! So okay, I know I’m a stranger,
and that you don’t know me,
and I don’t know you, but very recently I’ve
come to the realization
that the number of people we meet
in this world isn’t nearly
as infinite as we’d think it to be,
and that our lives or this world,
for that matter, aren’t nearly as infinite
as we’d think them to be,
which is why I think it’s so special that,
upon first laying my eyes on you,
I felt that infinitude:
that boundless untick tock
frozen clock ticking vast vacuums
of savory saturated seconds,
of crossed legs and eyes the color of undug gold;
soft brown irises blinking etched eternities–
what I’m trying to say is you’re very beautiful!
And to be a hundred percent honest with you,
if I didn’t at least ask your name,
I’d be as bitter as this black coffee!

Gibley Finds: Poetry

Sometimes in poetry, all we want is a nice image. The Romantics taught us the beauty of nature, the beauty of the world and often, left it just as that. No metaphors, no complexities, just the simple treasures around us.

That style of writing still exists. Of course it does, but in such a wide variation. There’s beauty in the morning commute, and there’s magnificence in the lunch hour at work; there’s charm and grace in the every day things, if you look hard enough.

Or, alternatively, it can be brought to you in poetry! And that’s exactly what we have here. Gearoid O’Donnell posted this to the /r/ocpoetry subreddit and kindly let us share it with our followers. It’s a simple piece, detailing a simple pleasure, in calm and peaceful poetry. I’m sure we all savour the Sunday morning, but never stopped to realise the little details that make it. There’s nothing to add – the poem speaks for itself, in volumes of luxury, sure to make you hungry for breakfast and comfort. Enjoy!

Sunday Morning, 11 O’Clock

Morning slices through the darkness
Like the opening of some long forgotten tomb.
We lay there, tucked away in silence

Between the sheets; Embalmed in one another.
Turning softly, groaning in contempt of waking,
Our tired limbs stretch out before of us.

The mid-day sun pours through the open window
Of our sitting room like honey; dripping slowly,
Encasing all it touches in its amber glow.

Steps echo on the cobbled street below us.
The city too is only getting to its feet
As I, half dressed, get up to set the table.

In the kitchen you begin to cook; eggs sizzle
In the pan; the kettle grumbles to the boil
And the warm smell of toast, envelopes us.

We sit cross-legged, plates in our laps,
Turn the TV to something simple and
Let the morning come to us.