Poem: Guilt

Three times today I’ve gone to the window

to see what’s happening outside.

I know I’m to blame

but I hope there might be someone else

who’ll look out at the same time,

searching for another

who accepts their share of the fault.

No one’s there and I feel like an astronomer

hunting a dim, misty star

with an out of focus telescope

that he swivels around endlessly

while the star grows steadily fainter.

I know I’m to blame, but I want somebody

to blot out my guilt for just a moment,

like a cloud drifting across a mountain top

and then moving on. My heart’s been stolen

and replaced by a stone; I want to give it,

but the chunky block’s too heavy to lift.

I’ve hung a curtain over my bookshelves;

all those words have given us nothing

and rules and ethics drift away

even if we’ve ever read them.


I’ve unplugged the laptop

and shoved it far back under the sofa,

draped a towel over the television

and glued all my CDs shut as well,

but I can’t lock out what’s already inside.

The guilt is pouring out from everything;

it overflows the table

and loads my limbs like sodden branches.

Many times I’ve seen us falling through the floor,

tumbling and spinning over and over

while we try to hold on

and save ourselves from the gaping drop.

It’s not too late, I know, but we have to make a start;

it’s time to head back to the window.


(from “The God in the Box”, Agàpe Publications, 2003)


Poetry, poem, speculative poetry, science fiction poetry, Australian poetry, British poetry

3 thoughts on “Poem: Guilt

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