June 27, 2011

shock therapy

white room
sterile hands press electrodes to my head
are you my friend?
bright lights burn my eyes, my soul
hollow smiles try to reassure me
the cold from the table settles into my bones

the pain explodes in my head
straps angrily dig into me as my body spasms
the pain explodes in my head
the demons retreat to their caves
the pain explodes in my head
i no longer care
the pain explodes in my head
erasing me
the pain explodes in my head
i no longer care
the pain explodes in my head
the demons retreat to their caves
the pain explodes in my head
straps angrily dig into me as my body spasms
the pain explodes in my head

the cold from the table settles into my bones
hollow smiles try to reassure me
bright lights reflect my vacant eyes, my vacant soul
are you my friend?
sterile hands remove electrodes from my head
white room

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 23, 2011

small love poem

the girl
i love
with me
in my

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 20, 2011


is suspended all around me
lights hanging in a dank
constantly flickering
on and
and on
am i not insane?
i am
because i thought
i might be in
control of my

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 16, 2011

My Captain

I read Whitman aloud
one strange and lonely night -
a light spring breeze danced unaware across my skin -
and I was moved.

I was moved at how his words
seemed to shimmer, to flow
like a stream -
Like a mighty river;
churning, frothing, bubbling,
this mighty river engulfed me;
sending my emotions twisting and turning
in every imaginable direction.

I was moved at what a lonely man
he must have been –
O captain, my sad captain.
Every time a passage would echo with sadness,
I was with him – tears running down my face.

I wept with him.
I laughed with him.
I screamed and shouted,
danced and sang.
I hated with him and I loved with him.
I lived and I died with him.

I walked through the leaves of grass
with Walt Whitman – my captain –
and was moved.

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 15, 2011

A Wish

I threw a penny into a wishing well;
a familiar wish that
I should not tell -
I wished for your eyes
to dance with my heart.
I wished that we would never,
be torn apart.
Some say a wish
should not be told,
but I didn’t wish for silver.
I didn’t wish for gold.
I wished for your love,
but true.
I wished for your soul…
I wished for you.

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 13, 2011


The gulls on the windswept shore
Chittering amongst themselves
Old women at a rummage sale,
sorting through the broken lives
the unrealized hopes and aspirations
of others.
They scream at me
as I walk along their beach.
They question my sanity –
Those bitches.
How dare they?!?
After all,
They are just birds…
Aren’t they?

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 9, 2011

Wild Rooibos

The warm, sweet, earthy fragrance tickles my nostrils
as the tea surrenders itself to the water.
“Equal Exchange!” the box smugly declares in bright red lettering.
“Biodegradable pyramid bags!” it yells at me.
But I don’t care about any of that…
I drizzle honey from my sticky, bear-shaped bottle,
close my eyes,
put my feet up,
breathe in the welcoming, African aroma
and sip the nectar
as the stress of my day languidly
floats away with the steam.

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

3:22 am

she stumbles in the front door
glazed eyes
angry eyes
she punches me with her vitriol
hitting me harder than with her fists
her fury and rage attack me like a violent summer storm
where is my bride?
my partner?
my lover?
my friend?
she’s gone
replaced by a stranger
replaced by anger
replaced by hate
tomorrow there will be remorse
she will be sorry
but not tonight

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 6, 2011

The Activist

As I sit here
Spinning through the universe
in my underwear and ripped t-shirt,
I can’t help but think about
Life and Death
and my place in the whole order
of things.
I can’t help but contemplate matters like
Good and Evil
and I question why hunger, disease and
war have to exist at all.
But then the feeling leaves me,
as I open another beer
and watch wrestling…

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 3, 2011


The old woman looks out her kitchen window at the snow falling as she waits for the microwave to heat her frozen dinner.
The minutes in her life are falling past her eyes like the snowflakes falling from the grey December sky.
Her fingers – twisted and gnarled like the branches of a crab apple tree – tremble uncontrollably as she watches a squirrel gather nuts from her frosted window.
For a moment, she is transported to the lawn with the squirrel. 
Excitement courses through her body as she runs and chases the squirrel and breathes the cold, crisp winter air deep into her lungs…
The shrill beeping of the microwave drags her back into the kitchen – back to reality.
She slowly retrieves her pre-packaged Salisbury steak and shuffles back into the living room so that she can be close to the phone – just in case someone remembers to call.
The noise from her TV chases away the loneliness – for now.
She pulls the cellophane back from her birthday feast and sighs.

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh

June 1, 2011

newborn daughter

  her eyes
  intensely brown
  reaching out
  burrowing into my heart

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh


  Part One

  People pass by with vacant eyes.
            Cars honking.
  A siren screams it’s warning for all to hear.
            Dogs barking.
  A raggedy man mumbles to nobody.
            Rain falling…

  Part Two

  The man,
  His last name forgotten in the
  jumbled mess of his mind,
  Talks loudly to no one in particular
  about how the government had failed him,
  about why Jesus Christ was pissed off at the Chinese,
  and how, one night in 1979,
  he had accidentally killed a man…

  The man,
  shuffles through the rain,
  as the echoes of a long forgotten war
  Follow him
  and Haunt him.
  He looks for shelter from the rain
  so he can sleep and find
  Peace from the demons.

  The man,
  Rain dripping from his nose,
  Remembers through a tunnel in his mind,
  a hospital that closed
  Leaving him angry, confused,
  He screams blindly at shadows in the rain.

  The man,
  Who reeks of cheap wine
  and urine,
  Preaches to the rainy night
  as the five teenaged boys
  run towards him with hate in their eyes
  and sticks in their hands…

  The Man,
  His last name – he remembers now –
  Lay dying in a pool of his own blood.
  As the rain pelts his crumpled form,
  He smiles and waits for the end.

copyright © 2011 Kevin Routh
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