Songs from Last Winter


The world is not the same,
When every pin drop reminds me of your name,
When every drop of rain
Is filled with the salt and honey
Of our pleasure and our pain.

The skies turn grey with the misery
Of a thousand stars that died
When we parted
Millions of years ago,
And our souls broke the bond they’d made
In an atmosphere beyond reach
To humankind.

You were an alien,
You were the stars, the sun, my moon,
And the asteroids in between.
Like a meteor, I came and
Shattered you.
Injecting a strange new life into a universe
Learning to heal itself.

But still the earth remains,

In your absence, it turns the same,
But I can no longer keep up
Or refuse to.
Because there is only rain,
And I am only grey,
And the stars only shine,
When they have died.

Supernova (Source: Neil M. Paik)


I fell with a whisper
Into your grief-stricken arms
As you cradled me with the years
Of love you had stored away
Warmly in a crevice of your heart.
The door was opened in our first embrace,
The sun let in when we lay in
Each other’s arms that night,
When the moon smiled and the stars cried
Their tears of gold
Into the bright blue ocean where our hearts swam,
Into the horizon.

Those were the days when my heart felt young again,
And at once ancient,
Aged with the wisdom of an elder who has known
Love and the splendor of its fullness.
The fast moving clouds of slow summer days,
Were mirrored only by the sailfish our hearts became,
Breezing through an ocean blue,
Immense in its glory but plagued
With the remains of souls all but forgotten,
Drowning, yet still grasping for life at
The slightest glimmer of the sun,
Peaking its arms through the blue door
That was left ajar
When we swam apart.

I carried you up the waves of a mountain,
When your legs would no longer climb,
And you brought me back down to the Earth
When my feet didn’t know where to land.
I needed you because you were part of me;
And you found the best part of me.
The one I wanted to broadcast
To a world that couldn’t care to watch;
The image I could stencil onto
          my 5 year old self
          my teenage self
          my middle aged self
          my senile self
and feel that in the enigma they call life,
between these weary years,
at least one thing was right,
and that was us.

You fell with a whisper,
Out of my arms,
When the sun disappeared and I could no longer see,
What I was holding,
Or where my feet were walking.
I flew into the sky looking for the light,
To find you again,
As you called out for me from down below,
But I couldn’t listen,
Because the sun’s glimmer was seducing,
And I leapt through the blue door into a dry world,
Searching for the horizon.

Sailfish (Source: Neil M. Paik)

On Supernova and Sailfish

Rose Ledge (Source: Neil M. Paik)

Love strikes hard and fast and can end just the same. With time comes perspective, but in the interim between a romance’s end and acceptance of that end, the life of a love story can become contoured by the roseate lens of nostalgia or the cold pragmatism of hindsight. These lines were inspired by the former though written in defiance of reality, which almost inevitably favors the latter.

Young the Giant: Camera (Audio) | Source: © Young the Giant/YouTube

Photos courtesy of the author.


Issue.15: Civic Artistry

Poems of Protest


Issue.14: Invisible Lines: Performing Borders and Liminal Space



Issue.29: The Creative Issue

Interview with Lizz Dworak

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