Elric John Stockley - Cold Baptism

Steps… I have struggled taking steps
One foot in front the other, that’s how you make the steps, but where are they taking me?
What was I born to do? When I walk, I walk with passion yet my feet they never move
And then I see you passing by
You’ve recovered from our deluge and I’m just a passerby
Stood in the rain, just, stood, inside the rain
Looking out, you can’t see in and I am hooked by all the stains
You see, I reflect a lot, about the chances I had missed
You’re forever looking forward you forgot these wicked fists
The downpour once predicted cuts the ties I had with you
Now the full stop once forgotten is underlined subtracting fruits
The ones idyllic trees bare, the proverbs of the whispered verse
About the wisps on tongues, the hits that plunge the minds in whimpered words
I lay ribbons on the femurs as they spread to take the guilt
We both know I wasn’t innocent, don’t we?

Whistle, I hum the songs you whistled
So seraphic in their symphony, I simper at the thistles
When the missives unrelenting would contain infernal waves
They fragmented into soul streams and I was ruptured by the wraiths
In their atramentous coiling, I condoned you falling short
On their alabaster tombs, you foresaw me falling short
I’m on the other side, where I wash myself in spires, revealing robes show father’s fire
The frail chassis of my flesh recedes where waters rise
You were anchored down, waving, subtly to the night, turning, away from what was there
You, me and an ocean between us
I was good at building bridges but you’re good with match and flame
The frugality of fate forces us to watch the blood dilate
I fabricated sources, instillations intervene
We both know I uttered lies, don’t we?

Brimstone, we carved our name in brimstone
Surrounded by a heart it reflected in the wishbone
Etched into shinbones are the dents where I caved
Under all the pressure kicking linings once depraved
Doing my best, I am doing my best
Caught a glimpse of tousled curls but I’m doing my best
And every time you speak his name I will drown in my regrets
Woven demons of my doing they baptise me in the pond
All the lilies root in chest feeding on all that I’ve done that’s wrong
Alive, I must keep them all alive, if I don’t I’m just a failure, aren’t I?
Holding hands can signal love or they can symbolise a loss
It depends on point of view, or, if you are the one forgot
Congenial thoughts will be dismantled by dismay
We both know I love the rain, don’t we?

Who am I to want you now that you’re gone?
Who was I to leave those footprints in the cloud?
Who were they to ask if I am fine?
If I went into the detail they’d have kept on moving by

You’re an apostle of the lord it was written in your name
When he arose a second time you were martyred in the stains
You hold to your beliefs (even when the choice is tough)
You found relief in my release (will I ever be enough?)

Who were you to not want me when I’m gone?
Who were you to lead those stepping stones astray?
Who was I to ask if you were fine?
If you’d gone into the detail, I’d have stayed with you a while

I am a prince of the ruins it was written in my name
I rove the frozen lakes, bitter riptides drain the veins
And the cold baptism births me, into a world that speaks in tongues
And I witnessed you desert me, it’s not the cold that made me numb

Who am I to want you now you’re gone?
Who was I to leave those footprints in the clouds?
I see you through the deluge, I see you passing by
I’d ask how you were doing but I’m just a passerby


About the poem

Prior to writing this poem, I had left my bag in a taxi, the driver had taken it home and said I would need to collect it from his in Leyton, the same road where my ex-boyfriend lives. It would take me three attempts to finally get it. On the 3rd visit, I saw my ex and felt like a stranger. How surreal to be the closest person in someone’s life, only to end up in the cold. As if life had baptised me anew, he did not recognise me, I’m forever grateful I knew him. Thank you, Tom.



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