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Nick Maley began writing poetry, (with a little help from his father, when he was five years old.  His first book of poems, "Words and Pictures" was published in 2009.  Here are a smattering of poems, some of which match certain Nick Maley paintings.



MUSE ON A MERMAID'S KISS


How lonely is the mermaid?

that.... beauty of the sea,

who rests upon the ocean bed for all eternity.


What happens to the kisses that she saves for her companions?

Do they..... surge between the breakers?

Do they..... drift through coral canyons?

Do they..... touch the spiny lobster and caress the cuttlefish?

Are they ... cast upon the waters?

Could I .......... get one if I wish?


And I wonder.... would I drown within those ever moistened lips?

Would they.... drift across my torso?

Would they....... touch my fingertips?

'Cos I know they're out there somewhere just as constant as the sea,

and I want to test the waters of that sweet tranquility.


If I could find that secret place, I know she's waiting there,

with the flash of dappled dolphins in the current of her hair.

And I'd swim within her tenderness

with passion, wild and free.


I hope she has the patience

to save a kiss


for me.


© NickMaley 1996



FIAT & NOBBY

There is a purring pestilence that lives around our home,

that terrifies all earthly things no matter where they roam.
A little cat named Fiat,
a match for any leaf,
who treats the dog with pure contempt and goats with disbelief.

I heard a crash in the garden one hot and humid day
and found her by the compost
where the crickets often play.
Her head was all a quiver,
with disbelieving eyes,
for there before her sat a frog
with slippery, slimy, thighs.

Well Fiat's mouth fell open.
Her heart was all a flutter.
She did a backward somersault and landed in the gutter.
The frog stayed quite collected,
his skin all wet and flobby.
He smiled a little froggy smile and said his name was Nobby.

Well,
they sat with one another
discussing next week's weather,
examined all our potted plants and wandered off together.
They whiled away the afternoon,
these two unlikely chums,
crushing plants and dragonflies,
terrifying plums.
and as the sun was setting upon their leafy glen,
played hide and seek with a cassie bush.
Then hobbled home again.

The light was quickly fading
when much to our surprise
they gave each other a woeful glance
and said their last goodbyes.
Their mutual admiration
overflowed like a loving cup.
Then Fiat,
looking sheepish,
ate little Nobby up!

What did you think this was..... A fairy story?

© NickMaley 1987



LIKE CLOCKWORK


My love is like a clock that runs on time.

The small hand's yours.

The big hand's mine.


Hand in hand we'll face the day and tic and toc our lives away.


© NickMaley 1996

~


DAY'S END


Tell me where the sun goes

when it gets so dark.

Does it crash into the fields?

or drain into the park?

Splash into the ocean?

Get blown off by the breeze?

Or does it simply vanish in a puff behind the trees?


© NickMaley 1974



PARADISE LOST


As the thought of her breast

caressed my mind,

veiled memories of chilled passion

lingered.


(A shiver flutters through this recollection.

My emotions

enmeshed

are ever constant in confusion.)


The welcome moistness of her lips,

the smooth swell of her silken buttock,

drift

midst cold stares from fiery eyes

doused in a sea of helpless hopelessness.


Must pain and passion always intertwine as living collides with loving?


Must Paradise found

be trapped and barred

and dashed upon the rocks of reality?


I told her I would always love her.


I will


© NickMaley 1994



THE FROG - (Antigua)


I'm just a little froggy so please.......

don't tread on me !

I'm really not a cockroach

or those spidery things you see.

I don't have no hairy legs nor flapping pairs of wings.

I'm really cute and cuddly,

unlike those other things.


I live here in Antigua,

beneath a leafy tree,

And pop down to the beach at night

and paddle in the sea.

With sand castle competitions by the light of the firefly,

we drink rum punch 'till midnight

'neath a star encrusted sky.

(And although we have a great time,

things can begin to slide if the crabs come out to join us

'cos they samba side to side).


Sometimes,

(in the daytime),

'neath leafy parasols,

we sit and watch a concert by

the Froggy Folderols.

Other times,

like carnival,

we dress in fine brocade,

and hop off down a burrow for a mongoose masquerade.


But without doubt we like it best as sun begins to fall.

We have our choir practice,

(We're tenors one and all).

We sing until we're fit to burst,

As happy as you please,

and hop out from our hideaways in the coconutty trees.


We hop along the pathways.

We hop right up the stairs.

(Sometimes we do it singly.

Sometimes we hop in pairs).


So if you see me moving as you're going out to eat,

be very, very, careful I don't get beneath your feet.


Cos,


I'm just a little froggy who decided to drop by,

and sit beside your wall lamp,

and catch myself a fly.


© NickMaley 1980



FATE


Life can pivot on the simplest things.

Like

whether you're home when the telephone rings.


Whether,

amid fate's fickle dance,

you grab that fleeting, fragile, chance.

Some opportunity,

easily lost,

that should be grabbed at any cost.

Your life might change in a single blow

from a destiny

you'll never know.


My life was touched in such a way.

It made me what I am today,

and I have to wonder where I'd be

if I'd just

stepped out

for a cup of tea.


© NickMaley 1967



WHEN I AM GONE

(Nick was 18 when he wrote this)


Oh dearest love,

don't mope when I am gone.

The passion that is shared by you and I

(though we may wish it on and on and on)

may shrivel,

like summer's sweetest bloom and die.


So even if you read

(as read you might)

these words,

think not of me who wrote them so,

if thinking on't might make you sad some night

remembering our love

so long ago.


The ocean of humanity is vast,

and we expire within a single tide.

So think of me as just a wave that passed,

and did, like all those other waves,

subside.


Instead, think of another, happy, time

that came before

or that came after...

...mine.


© NickMaley 1967



INSPIRATION


To meet the fiery challenge of inspiration

is to transcend imagination

with bravado

and ingenuity

that the progeny of our labors might emerge

like flowers

upon the sidewalk of humanity.


Born of darkness

into light,

empowered by truth

and passion,

they are drawn from the shadows of mediocrity

to ascend the brightest heaven of creation."


© NickMaley 1994



THE MOUSE IN MY HOUSE


There's a little pile of sawdust in the kitchen of my house.

I wonder what has caused it?

Perhaps it was a mouse.

I'd really like to meet him with his cute and squeaky snout.

I'd grab him by the whiskers

and throw the sucker out!


© NickMaley 1989



TROPICAL DEPRESSION


There's a hurricane a comin'.

Hear it knocking at the door.

There's a hurricane a comin'

and it ain't no fun no more.

There's a hurricane a blowin'.

Hear it pounding on my home

as the rain flies by my window

and the sea is filled with foam.


There's a hurricane a crashin' and a smashin' all around,

and the leaves are like confetti that it scatters on the ground.

And it groans amid my galvanized

and shakes my window pane.


How I wish that it would go away

And not come back again.

 


The awsome power of Nature is too vast to comprehend,

as sea

and wind

and earth combine

and giant palm trees bend,

as rain becomes a torrent

that hacks into the land,

as power fails

and moments merge

this isn't what I planned.


The raging of the hurricane appears to never end,

I know that once it passes

we'll soon be on the mend,

a week

a month

of debris

the sun will shine again.

But somehow in the midst of all

I just can't wait till then.



I really love this island where I settled with my wife.

I really love this island with it's casual way of life.

The beauty of the sunset

the sea upon the beach

the lapping of the ocean

my toes within it's reach.


I really love this island

and sailing on a breeze,

the glamour of the tropics

the drama of the seas.

But Nature can be sneaky.

We never know for sure when her mood will alter

or what she has in store.


 

There's a hurricane a comin'.

(Water seeps across the floor).

There's a hurricane a comin'

Watch the bending of the door.

My banana trees are breaking

and my pool is filled with mud

and the house is slowly filling

with some soggy

leafy

crud.


There's a hurricane a comin'.

Hear it make that eerie sound.

See the hedge a leaning sideways

and the fence upon the ground.

It's the seventh in a decade

and its now an awful chore.


How I wish that it would go away.

This ain't no fun

no more.


© NickMaley 1999



TOMORROWS QUEEN (Carnival)


Jump up.

Jump down.

Jumpin' all around.


Jump up in the country.

Jump up in the town.


Jump up where she's goin'.

Jump up where she's been.

Watch out where she's a jumpin'.


Here comes tomorrows Queen.


© NickMaley@AntiguaToday.com 1997



BELOW THE WASTE


The third world man

stands looking to the west.

He's emulating lifestyles he's been told to be the best.

A promise of such luxury.

A promise of such health.

Lets hope he sees the decadence that undermines such wealth.


Lets hope he sees the misery inherent in the system.

The fundamental value of this economic "wisdom".

Lets hope he sees the impact of excessive expectation,

the crime and the injustice that may infiltrate his nation.


Why copy their bureaucracy,

embrace their every vice,

until you've made a wasteland of your own sweet paradise?

They sacrifice their principles

like men upon a mission

and only worship money

through their alter......

television !


They're swapping air for freon

and exchanging sand for gold.

Want.......  their names in neon.

Want....... what can't be sold.

They will tell you power is wisdom

and wealth is peace of mind

'till the jewels of your environment are things you've left behind,


Try not to lust for glamour

and those glitzy shopping malls.

You can clearly see the homeless just beyond the palace walls.

You don't want to trash the treasures that your fathers came to trust

or to undermine their value 'till they're trampled in the dust.

But those airwaves whisper to you

and you have no way to stop it

and they say you have no value

if you can not turn

a profit.


Well.......


There's no profit in a sunset.

There's no profit in clean air.

There's no profit in a palm tree

so who cares if it's not there?

There's no profit in tradition

so why teach it to your youths?


This philosophy of profit

undermines life's basic truths!


There's a name for this new order,

this new universe of need,

that inspires in us such wanting

and the name of course is greed.

It invades our sensibilities

and undermines our taste.

Then it steals our independence.


It's a blow below the waste


© NickMaley 1997


LOVE


"LOVE" is such a little word yet signifies so much.

A voice within that must be heard.

A momentary touch.

An old man with a photograph........ his lover and her child

who's life became an epitaph to passions

sweet

and wild.


If "love is strictly for the birds" that's why they fly so high.

It fires our expectations.

Brings soul mates eye to eye.

Eternal as the moon and stars

and pure

like virgin snow.

My love for you consumes me no matter where I go.


Let my love protect you

as the woes of life attack.

It's the greatest gift I have to give.


I hope you'll give yours back.


© NickMaley 1996