The following poems are a selection from an ongoing work called the 4am Club, a collection exploring various aspects of love and relationships. Many of the poems are about loss and/or betrayal, others detail those ‘obsessive’ phases of relationships when thoughts of the person you love (or have lost) occupy your every waking moment. All of the poems, whether celebrating new love or mourning lost loves, were written in that cold, grey hour before dawn when sleep is impossible and the mind races with unresolved emotions.
The 4am Club (prose poem) An Introduction.
The 4am Club is a place where broken-hearted poets, troubadours and wandering minstrels go in those cold, dark hours before dawn to pen songs of unrequited love and to mourn lost lovers. There is an open fire and a cask of wine, and the air is scented with candlewood and desperation. Each 4am Club has only one member, but is affiliated to a million other similar retreats.
One day, when they are ready to start over, the patrons of the million and one 4am Clubs will arrange to meet. They will mostly despise each other, but a few will find the person they have been seeking all their lives and they will be made whole again.
In the end, then, it will have all been worth it…
She picks at my brain
Like a monkey in a tree
Fishing for termites.
Her patience is impressive
She explores every crevice,
Poking and prodding, layer by layer
Consuming everything she finds,
Leaving nothing but her ghost
In each hollowed chamber
A Taste of Honey
(When I started writing this poem it was intended as a joke – a sort of ‘mummy porn’ parody. When I finished it I realised I had written a love song. I hope you interpret it that way too…)
If I had a detachable tongue
I would give it to you
And ask you to wear it as a panty liner.
I would spend all day nesting in your knickers
Drinking in the very essence of you
With every breath and every step you took.
I would tease you on the school run
Leaving you breathless and dumbstruck
While you waited with the other mums
At the school gates,
Your cheeks burning like those
Of a teething child.
I would ravish you in Waitrose
As you looked for white wine.
You would bite your lip, moaning,
The bottle slipping from your hand,
Exploding on the floor,
Covering your bare legs with sticky foam.
When you cooked I would be stirring you
As you stirred the pot before you.
You would bubble over with excitement
The heat between your legs,
The fire in your belly,
Burning you up with desire and hunger.
When you stepped into your bath at the end of the day
You would be physically and emotionally spent
Your thighs aching, legs like rubber.
You would place me in a velvet-lined box by your bed
And I would sleep, at last,
Sated for now by the hours I spent possessing you
And quietly dreaming of the coming dawn.