No Escape / Everything / Black / The Polish Girl / Silence / The Door / Start Stop / The Truth / Ambivalence / The Circle / Untitled / True Love / A Strange Kettle of Fish

by Marc Carver

Camille Pissarro, Avenue in the Parc de Marly. Public Domain.

No Escape

I stared into the Pissaro painting
as I sat there
I thought if I looked for long enough
I might be able to walk past those pink flowers
touch my hand lightly along their tips
walk past the people on the path
then walk around the corner
and disappear into those woods.

After awhile I could even smell the flowers
as people kept walking in front of the painting
and taking pictures of it.

But I knew the painting would not let this tired old pile of bones in
it could not be that easy
there was no escape.


to the cleverest idiot who ever lived
I am clever
because I know what you want
and an idiot because I give it to you
so come on
tell me what you want
and I will tell you
what you really want


As I looked at the church
I saw all the people
black ties and suits
another gone
there must have been twenty
and as I went around the corner
there were more and more
must have been forty
and it hadn’t even started yet.
I started to think it could be some local celebrity.

It got me to thinking about my funeral
there would not be many there
if any.
I would be quite surprised if my wife and son
would go
but I don’t care
I will be dead.

The Polish Girl

The polish girl smiles at me
as she passes with her new born baby.

Her Polish man used to be a bit of a player.
Then they got caught on that beach in north Africa
Terrorists wanting death.

So now
he has settled down
and she has made life

Even in a strange way
Good can come
from terror


I wait for silence to fill every part of the room
the corners
the floor
even silent mist comes down from the ceiling
but still
I see those eager eyes
hungry eyes
wanting to believe
to know there is more than Netflix and sky movies in life
more than going to work to pay the bills
more than growing old and dying
but I can’t possibly tell you what it is
so instead
I say silent

The Door

I looked at him
he looked angry but it wasn’t with me
even though he said it was.
He had let something slip
the first probably
in his life.
He had kept it a secret for over thirty years
it took me another ten years to find the key
and open the door.
The strange thing is
the knowing didn’t help me at all.
It is his birthday today
and all I can feel for him
is sorrow.

Start Stop

When do you ever start
when do you ever begin
has my life started
or has it finished.
If it did start I can’t truly say when it began.
I guess you have to start
so you are able to finish.
But if I never start
then surely it can never finish
what a terrible thought

The Truth

I like it
when there is not a sound
complete silence
so all you have left
is those thoughts
in your head
I don’t know where they come from
I don’t care much either
but they are the truth
I know that


The man stands at the bar
he tries to talk to everyone who comes to the bar
but most ignore him
I don’t know how long he has been there
but I am guessing a while
he goes to the toilet three times in ten minutes
again he looks around for a friend
he is not young
not young enough to make friends
but old enough
for everyone to walk past him
I know better
that is why I sit by myself
with my beer
and no one

The Circle

I wrote a poem once
it was a long time ago
I guess that makes me a poet
but I have a strange feeling I was a poet
a long time before that.

The wind is strong today
and if I tore this poem from the pad it would fly and fly
I would never see it again
just like my first poem about that big fish and my pain


people come and they go
not many stay
the ones you want to stay
are always the ones to leave
You can sit with the stillness
until it almost makes you crazy.
And still they come and go
days turn into months and months years
seasons pick up speed
grow and grow like doubts in your mind.
they all mean something
they all mean everything
everything and nothing

True Love

I want to walk out into the world
like a beaming beacon of love
everyone I looked at
and everybody I touched
would feel and become true love like me.
what a world that would be.

A Strange Kettle of Fish

All that I am
is a couple of legs and arms
stuck onto a trunk
with a head whipped on top
What a strange creature
I surely look like
wondering about
not knowing which way to go.
People must look at me and think
What is that

Marc Carver has published ten collections of poetry but to him the most important thing is to get an email from someone he does not know that says they enjoy his work.

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