Umbilical Tethers

The bonds of the Past
Cannot be cast.
Invisible, immaterial,
Indestructable, ethereal.

We are born from it.
We cannot be without it.
Even when it restricts us.

No scissors or blade
Can sever the tether
Of what once was.

All we can do
Is strive to be
Who we choose
In spite of history.


What started off as a half-hearted acrostic poem for a uni assignment turned into the poetic expression of one of the special relationships in the short history my life. I hope no one takes offence to it.

John Marshall 2011

Joining hands, bound together

Overlocking links of flesh and chain,

Hidden bracelets in plain sight

Never faltering to ask the world.

Masks of bravado aside, to want

All and nothing. An unreasonable


Silence – enough to hear the beating

Heart of imprisoned freedom.

A wasted pain, a cherished joy.

Lonely, yet together;

Love’s barbed embrace.

“The Vampire Bat”

“The Vampire Bat” (2006)

Angry bats cry Death Eternal! Fangs glisten, hungry. Instinct joins kill, laughing. Murder; no obituaries. Predators’ quietude, rapacious screams. Thundering ululations, venomous wings. Xenophobic, yet zealous.


“Wind” (2006)

You turn into the wind,
To feel her playful spirit embrace you, surround you, run through you.
You raise your chin as she caresses your face,
Sweeping light fingers through your hair,
Kissing your dry lips.
She dotes on you,
Ever faithful, at your back.

All she has she offers you.
Her gifts of breath and life and love.
Though you may cloak yourself from her affection,
She pines every moment of the day
And waits by the door all night to see you again,
To sway you in the dance,
Always eager to be your partner.

She beckons, and for a moment, you can’t decide
Until you step free and embrace her,
Throw yourself to her widespread arms
And let her take you to the far horizons,
Lifting you to the sky and away from the bindings of this world.