Five Poems by David Hanlon

Vincent_van_Gogh_-_Ravine.jpg

Ravine

Space created
by erosion
from our
river run
dry yet
still we
stand tall
and steep
cross- sectional
side by
side

Tonight will be the night I finally rest

I tell myself that restlessness burns
deep down
in my stomach
like a head-lit match with no other end
it is just burning
& burning & burning on & so I read write edit
& on & on
constantly on
will this obsessiveness drive success or
trigger
my downfall? my hand hurts as I write this my mind’s stuck on
overdrive
I was going to watch a film I
was going to meditate
I was going to eat more than a peanut butter
sandwich I was going to turn off
this phone screen
but how to tame how to steer this energy
that’s like a rocket?
continuously blasting off on its own stubborn
course my eyes
sting now like they will tomorrow morning after
another night of
not enough sleep & I know this but routine
is a rope around my neck tightened by the evening
stillness those reflective hours when the
proverbial
lightbulb flashes & blinds my capacity for
reason
is it that our best writing
comes to us in the moments
when we are not doing
what’s best for us? or are these just
the late-night ramblings
of a navel-gazing junkie?

Change

Faster than a humming bird’s
wings you’re gone,
and I’m here,

slack-jawed
at how much loss
can be felt
from a single
wing beat.

I’m left, unhinging
myself to a morning
breaking at sunset:

I pine for the Arctic in summer,
the midnight sun,
but then I remember

its winter is in complete darkness;
I’ll hold the night sky
thick between my teeth,
bite down on it
as it fills my mouth,
trying not to forget

how many times
I’ve been awakened
by the dark.

We all want something to call our own,

don’t we? I read recently on an online dating profile. Ownership: why do we want to own someone like a possession? To feel we have control over something? Because we can’t face the reality that, ultimately, we don’t have control over anything? Like how long we’ll be able to keep possessing things for, how long we’ll be remembered for?

Two Times

People only talked about
how hard break-ups were
but not about how much learning
I’d take from them.
If I’d have known the latter
in advance
would the aftermath
have not been so hard?
Or, like with any hard learnings
about oneself,
is enduring the pain
a part of the process?
Then reflecting on it
as you heal?
Is that kind of loss
a dress rehearsal of sorts
for a loss caused by death?
So we are better prepared, more resilient
to cope with it?
I have lost two times in my life.
Will the learning from these be enough
to get me through:
the naïve romanticist
turned budding realist.
Is life not just nurturing
our growth
to make us more accepting
of our inevitable deaths?

David Hanlon is from Cardiff, Wales, and currently living in Bristol, England. He has a BA in Film Studies & is training part-time as a counsellor/therapist. You can find his work online in or forthcoming with Occulum, Riggwelter Press, Dirty Paws Poetry Review, Into The Void, Impossible Archetype & Yes, Poetry, among others.

2 thoughts on “Five Poems by David Hanlon”

  1. I really enjoyed this collection of poems. I found CHANGE to be especially satisfying. This group of lines was my favorite.
    “slack-jawed
    at how much loss
    can be felt
    from a single
    wing beat.”

    Like

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