Copyright 1994, S Hartwell

A collection of short verses written between 1980 and 1994


Sundip on an empty plain,
Watching eyes to see again,
Sunrise in another world,
Across a million, million miles,
Sunset on eternity,
Sunrise at infinity. 

A golden disc rises high,
To end eternal night,
Sends fire into the grey-blue sky
To give a gift of sight,
In vain - us dark-dwelling creatures
Are blinded by its light.


Footsteps in the sands of time,
Tracks along an empty beach,
Towards a fate which is not mine,
A destiny so out of reach.


The seas of time
Leave me behind,
Driftwood on its beach;
The tides of change will never turn,
The times now past cannot return,
Having flowed on out of reach.


Travelling I know not where,
Searching for a key to time,
I go where others do not dare,
Until eternity is mine.


We are the seeds of your destruction,
You look at us but do not know,
We are the discontent of millions,
You planted us - now watch us grow.


To each a mind, to each a voice,
Give to each the right of choice,
Do as youíre told and call it free,
And label this democracy.


In the successive dynasties,
Life is but a span,
A moment in Earthís history,
So short the reign of man.


What use is beauty without badness;
What is bliss without toil and labour;
Or joy in a world where we know no sadness;
How know we sweetness when we have no other flavour?


Returning home victorious,
From the battle swift and glorious,
Salute the sun with upraised hands,
That same sun shines on the murdered lands.


Unleash the power of your mind,
You never know what you will find,
So think of me and Iíll be here,
Long since gone - forever near.


Here and there and everywhere,
In and out the trees,
Still the spirit lingers there,
Blowing in the breeze.


Sleep, pretty lady, close your eyes,
Forget the vaulted mortal skies,
Forget this land you once called home,
And let the earth enfold your bones.


Short verses written after 2010

You are the sunshine in my life,
You are the balm for inner strife,
You are the breeze that lifts my wings,
And the melody this songbird sings;
But though your key unlocks my heart,
Our way is blocked by locks and bars,
It's stolen time you spend with me,
On something that should never be.


How are our icons fallen,
From worshipped to despised,
Reduced from gods to men of clay,
When the veil falls from our eyes.
We see them now for what they are,
Those whom we once adored,
No longer shining, throned on high,
But fallen, fake and flawed.

Another icon fallen,
Another fall from grace,
A mask beyond reproach removed,
To show a darker face.
And now the veil is lifted,
The one in whom we'd trust,
Was not a flawless idol,
But just gilt paint on rust.


I wish you well upon your journey, for your destiny's not mine,
But I'll treasure all the memories from when our lives entwined,
But where you go, you go alone, to places I won't follow,
The life you seek is not for me, so our time was merely borrowed.
The gold ring that you offer me, is just a ball and chain,
For marriage is captivity by any other name.

I have a heart that must be free, my spirit won't be bound,
Though I'll recall with fondness all the times you were around,
But what you ask I cannot give; what you seek is not for me,
And though it's me who won't be kept, it's you I must set free.
The stable life you're offering would be a prison cell,
So we must go our separate ways, and I must wish you well.


Up from the sea there floats a sob,
Of the waves that are breaking on the shore,
As though they are groaning in anguish and moaning,
Bemoaning the ship that comes no more.


Echoes of an empty land,
Of breezes through the trees,
Life and beauty hand in hand,
And no man to spoil these.


Here today and gone tomorrow,
Never anywhere too long,
Living on the time I borrow,
Just a day and then Iím gone.

Iím living by habit,
And dying inside;
If life is a journey,
Iím only here for the ride.


I built a bridge across the ages,
To the future from the past,
And read my future in the pages
Of a history book.

I built a bridge to reach forever,
Into aeons yet unknown,
And when I met her there I never
Wanted to return.


Just as a dog's bark may be worse than its bite,
An evening of waiting may outshine the night,
The anticipating be more sweet than the deed,
The act not satiating the burgeoning need.

As promises may not live up to their claims,
So the fear of events may be worse than the pain
Trepidation can cause wounds as surely as acts,
Crippling the psyche through mental attacks.

The power of the mind is not yet understood.
Both a force for self-harm and a force for the good,
Balance and judgement must e'er be employed
For the power within to be harnessed, enjoyed.


Some men look at things that are and ask "Why?"
I think of things that never were and ask "Why not?"
And when my favourite nightmare haunts me,
And spectres from a half remembered past taunt me,
I wonder on those things that never were,
And wonder turns to wonderment now that they are.


Perhaps my heart misleads me,
In beating just for you,
I swore Iíd never love another
And to my absent love be true.

Ah but love, it plays such tricks
And to satisfy loveís whim,
Iíll take another to the heart
Already sworn to him.

For I am being crucified
On the cross of my love for you,
And all these feelings that I hide
Are tearing me in two.


It seems that I cannot escape
The chains in which you've bound me,
And neither can I fly above,
The great walls which surround me,
I feel those walls come closing in,
I feel the weight of chains,
I cannot end what I begin,
Nor push away the pain .

I'm trapped, alone, a captive thing,
In love with what I cannot have,
You do not know the pain you bring,
The pain of unrequited love.
In your eyes I do not exist,
Unnoticed, I regard you,
For you've a power I can't resist,
The gaoler of my heart, you.


How easily our dreams are tossed and blown
Like thistledown upon capricious winds,
Our fragile dreams are swept away,
Like stardust on a butterflyís wing - our precious hopes.


Some drink to remember, some drink to forget,
Some people drink to loosen up, and others for a bet,
If you wouldn't do it sober, you shouldn't do it drunk,
Do things that you remember, not things that you'll regret.

Some people drink from habit, some to quench their pain,
A legal anaesthetic to cloud the mind and brain,
They wouldn't do them sober, those things they do when drunk,
And however bad they feel next morn, next night they'll do the same.


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